Guillaume “Zifro” Desrat’s former blog

Welcome to the girls

Filed under: geek, girls — Zifro October 20, 2006 @ 2:19 am

Ouch. 00:53 am.

I’ve just finished writing our last French speaking Ruby users, Ruby France, e-gathering, during which we dealt with… administrativia.
It wasn’t long, but I’m not very productive when I spend the evening watching Prison Break and chatting on IRC.
Anyway, we’re on our way to building a strong Ruby community in France (by the way, we need a logo, so, if you’re a graphist, feel free to contact me (zifro@ this site) to show me something ; in my idea, and hexagonal Ruby will be perfect, as France is also called the Hexagon).

I wrote I was at the JDLL last week-end.
It’s time to point at a stand I particularly liked : LinuxChixFrance (who claimed to be also grep|grrl too).
It’s a group of women, willing to see more girls involved in the open source community (like Debian Woman, Gnome Women). They were explaining to every each guy coming to their stand what goals they target, and were selling very, very nice A3 (European size, more than twice the US Letter size) posters, which you can see there.

As most of this blog readers are not French reading ones, here is the translation of the texts of the posters, from left to right :

1. I code, You code, She codes, We code, You code, They (women) code

2. One can love to take care of animals without even dreaming of becoming a vet.
3. This woman uses Free Software. It makes her : [ ] sexy [ ] independant

4. This womand hates mouses. She prefers command line interfaces.

I was well-dressed (I wore a suit and a clean shirt) so I suppose the girl (zopeuse ?) thought I wasn’t a techie (but I may be absolutely wrong…) and explained me more precisely what LinuxChixFrance wanted.

To support them, I bought five of each posters they were selling, plus a small Tux pendant (I bought a pink one, I think I’ll offer it to my sister). The girl didn’t believed it at once, then she was truly happy to see someone would spread their message by pasting and/or distributing posters.

The fact is there aren’t enough girls in FLOSS (Anne Ostergaard made a neat conference about “Women in Free Software - Findings from the FLOSSPOLS report on gender 2006″ while she was at the 2006 RMLL). All that those girls say are sadly the truth : from kindergarten (toys play an important role in mind development, and girls are given dolls while boys are playing with construction games, tools and stuff) to university, girls are more or less forced to other ways than computing.
So whatever we could do will be a first step to welcoming more girls in our community.

I’m waiting for the first girl to join Ruby France :)

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