That makes sense, but I predict that if you create such a channel, even 
if the intention is for training (in recognition that many women are 
more comfortable training in a single gender environment, as kcoyle 
says) -- people (mainly women people) will end up 'hanging out' in there 
instead of in #code4lib, resulting in fewer women hanging out in #code4lib.

Which I guess you could think is a fine thing, or could think is an 
unfortunate thing. I agree with royt that it would be an unfortunate 
thing, for a bunch of different reasons.

Of course, like most any other project or venue of code4lib, we don't 
all need to agree on this, and no approval needs to be had -- if someone 
wants to create an IRC channel for 'code4lib women' or something, they 
can do so on freenode.

But I agree with royt it'd be unfortunate. If the intent really is just 
for 'training', then maybe call it #code4lib_learning_irc or something, 
to try and reduce the chances of it vacuuming women's participation out 
of main #code4lib, even if that wasn't the original intent.

On 12/5/2012 4:45 PM, Karen Coyle wrote:
> Roy,
> It wasn't for safety -- it was for training. Some of us haven't spent
> much time on IRC -- I never know what to do when I get there -- can't
> remember commands, even with a decent GUI. So I was trying to think of
> places (e.g. Github, IRC) where we'd like to have more women
> participating and how we could give them a chance to learn.* Lots of
> people are afraid of making mistakes in front of others, and we know
> that women/girls take fewer chances in mixed classrooms. Once they get
> adept at the environment they can participate in the group list with
> more confidence. Training, mentoring -- it all blends together.
> In fact, I'm thinking that at c4l we could put up some big pieces of
> paper (I love the giant post-it paper) and have people make lists of
> their favorite tools, hangouts, etc. Then we could use those lists as
> ways to figure out what people need to learn to feel more like "part of
> the community" and to feel more confident about participating.
> kc
> * Look at the list of edits on the anti-harassment policy -- not many
> women there. I suspect it's unfamiliarity with Git. If we're going to
> use a tool as a community, then I want more women to be familiar with
> it. If someone else wants to train men or a coed group, that's fine.
> On 12/5/12 1:35 PM, Roy Tennant wrote:
>> On Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 12:57 PM, Rosalyn Metz <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>> Karen had the idea of creating a women Code4Lib IRC channel, maybe
>>> that can
>>> be a place to start.
>> I understand the motivation to create a "safe space" for women, but
>> please let's not do this. "Separate but equal" has never been shown to
>> make progress toward equality, and I doubt this situation would be any
>> different. I believe it would instead make things worse, by
>> balkanizing the community rather than encouraging good behavior within
>> a unified group. In other words, the solution will never be reached
>> without active participation by men.
>> Roy