Link: Geek Feminism: Doubting the Daubing Philosophy (Melissa Draper)

Geek Feminism: Doubting the Daubing Philosophy (Melissa Draper)
[Draper connects the dots brilliantly: If the Open Source community wants to significantly increase its market share, it must increase gender diversity; if it wants to increase gender diversity, it has to start by admitting it has a problem. –L.]

"Basically; If you throw enough mud at the wall, some of it will stick.

"To a tinkering community, this may sound logical; If you try enough at something, you’ll get some successes eventually. In fact, the philosophy is thought to be based around the wattle and daub method of construction.

"I have an issue with applying this to the Women-as-a-minority issue. My apprehension with applying this philosophy to potential contributors is that humans have remarkable abilities that wet dirt does not. Humans are able to remember things. No elephants or knots of string required. Humans are also able to make decisions about what they do and prioritise good experiences above bad ones.

"If I take 50 women and successfully encourage them to join a project because everyone is nice and they will feel like they are frolicking with bunnies, but they actually have a contradictory experience — then this is bad.

"I cannot magically take away the bad experience that they had. I cannot turn back time and make the sexist joke or come-on go away. I cannot turn back time and make the negative stereotyping alienation non-existent.

"Basic sales and customer service training will tell you (right after “keeping customers is cheaper than getting them” (pdf)) that it only takes one bad experience to turn a customer in to an ex-customer. If it is the first experience, then it is more or less permanent. First impressions really do count."