Hi MJ & All,
On 12/18/2012 4:42 AM, MJ Ray wrote:
> I sort of both do and don't. I do appreciate that people are making
> the effort, but I do worry that other minorities are collatoral damage
> of some vociferous support for this larger-minority single-issue
> group, that few seem to be supporting a strong anti-discrimination
> line and that it's not really clear what libtechwomen is yet.
Everyone is definitely welcome to his/her own opinion. None of us are
taking any offense to anyone expressing an opinion. By all means, it
should be encouraged!
However, I think some/many are taking offense to the implication that
'libtechwomen' is discriminatory or prejudice against men or minority
groups just because its name includes "women". That sort of implication
would be the same as stating that "code4lib" is discriminatory or
prejudice against non-coders or folks who don't work in libraries.
Neither of these is true. Neither group is actively discriminating
against anyone else, and I believe that both code4lib & libtechwomen are
attempting to be as inclusive as possible.
MJ, I definitely agree with you that other minorities (AVI folks or
whomever) should be allowed/encouraged to have similar support groups
(and perhaps a more general "code4libsupport" group could be of use).
The existence of a "libtechwomen" group doesn't disenfranchise others
from creating similar support groups, or even just joining libtechwomen
and talking with them about other minority issues (which I'm sure they'd
In fact, the existence of one such support group should encourage others
to create additional support groups. Each minority faces issues that are
unique to their group. Women face their own unique issues in the
technology landscape. AVI people also face their own unique issues in
the technology landscape. It is true that there are surely common issues
faced by multiple minority groups. But that doesn't mean that all
minority issues for all minority groups must be discussed in a single
To call a group discriminatory just because they initially planned to
concentrate on specific gender issues is just wrong (in my opinion).
#libtechwomen is a support group, who's primary focus just happens to be
gender issues in the library technology field. libtechwomen is actually
not even entirely a sub-group of code4lib, but seems to be fashioning
itself as a general support group across other library technology groups
as well. It's not trying to block other minority issues from being
discussed, or turn away other minority groups or even majority groups (men).
If you want to discover for yourself, go take a look around at what has
already begun with #libtechwomen. They are easy to find out there on the
IRC: #libtechwomen on irc.freenode.net
Honestly, if others out there in the code4lib world see the need for
other support groups, I'd encourage you to speak out & help make it
happen! Reach out on this list and see if others want to join you in a
new support group. It can be as simple as creating a new IRC channel or
similar. I think you'll find the code4lib community to be supportive in
such ventures. I've always found this community to be surprisingly
supportive as a whole.
I think that's all I have to say on this matter. :)
Technical Lead for DSpace Project