On 12/18/12 7:51 AM, Tim Donohue wrote:
>  It's not trying to block other minority issues from being discussed, 
> or turn away other minority groups or even majority groups (men).

I want to thank everyone for being so thoughtful in this discussion. I 
do, however, want to make one factual point: women, per se, are not a 
minority. In fact, in the general population, we are a slight majority. 
[1] In libraries, of course, we are by far the majority. We are the 
minority in technology in general. It is NOT clear to me (yet) that we 
are an actual minority in library technology -- we simply do not know 
unless we do a count. It may be that male dominance in that area is an 
assumption rather than a fact. I say this as someone who worked in a 
library technology project that, over 20 years, was from 2/3 to 3/4 
female, yet the men were considered "techies" and the women were... just 
there, even though they were coding and being DBAs, etc. We see what we 
have trained our eyes and minds to see (all of us, not just men). The 
study that Rosalyn did showed that women are less likely to consider 
themselves part of c4l than men, and I would bet that many do not 
consider themselves as "techie" as men in their environment. Note also 
there was a somewhat strong reaction to the statistic of 42% female 
(which we still cannot confirm or disprove) because it was unexpected. 
What if, just what if, there are more women in this field than we've 

Knowing that women are not a minority actually makes the entire "woman 
question" more difficult because it requires one to think about 
inequality, not numbers. Inequality is the actual issue with many if not 
all of the groups that we refer to as minorities. Note that in many 
countries, the ruling group is statistically a minority, and the "less 
equal" group is in the majority. (And we may get there by 2060 if the 
population predictions are correct.) In summary, it's just not a numbers 
question. It's something much harder than that.

[1]  (49.1 
male/50.9 female, most recent US census)
> 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 web:
> Twitter:
> IRC: #libtechwomen on
> Website:
> 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. :)
> - Tim

Karen Coyle
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