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From Anjana G Bhattacharjee <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] [VOTE] roll women@a.o into dev@community.a.o
Date Mon, 19 Jul 2010 12:53:51 GMT
Dear Ross,

Firstly, thank you for your questions - and no need whatsoever to forgive
you for asking - the fact that you are finally asking again is vindication
enough, for the time being at least ;-)

Secondly, should say for the record that have just picked up this message,
and am replying having read the additional messages received with regards
this thread since as at the time of writing, including Jean's, Benson's,
Jean's and Noirin's thus far, and much appreciate the efforts at continuing
discussion at this stage.

Thirdly, let me step through each of your questions in turn below, and hope
this helps clarify my vantage point on the matters at hand:

Ross Gardler wrote:

> Before addressing your suggestion I first wish to correct a few errors in
> your post.

Would suggest that these may not be "errors" as such, and may rather simply
be matters that we see differently from our respective vantage points.

Arguably, using a language of "errors" can be off putting for respectful
discussion, if not inadvertently stamp it out completely before it has had a
chance to take root.

> The creation of ComDev was not made at the barcamp session you refer to. It
> was created prior to that meeting as a result of discussion through the
> normal ASF mailing lists and a subsequent Board Resolution.

Creationism versus evolutionary theory is a big debate, and the timing of
the creation of ComDev may be similarly so - another way of considering when
and how a group is, or can be, created is to work on the assumption that it
is already dead unless we keep it alive, moment to moment, conversation to
conversation, list to list.

> The decision to roll women@ into ComDev was not "agreed" (as you put it)
> at the barcamp session either. It was a suggestion from the board when the
> ComDev resolution was passed.

My placing the term "agreed" in quotation marks refers to the perceived
working agreement kept appeared to keep the idea of something having been
sufficiently "agreed" in play - sure, nothing was really agreed and that was
the point being made by the lady sitting beside me - a point of process
rather than content on that particular occasion.

> On Oct 28th 2009 I made the women@ list aware of the opportunity to
> revitalize the women@ objectives through comdev [1]. Specifically I said
> "The women@a.o list has not really gone anywhere, but maybe this is
> another chance to look at the lack of female representation here at the
> ASF." This resulted in a few of the original women@ participants joining
> the comdev list where rolling women@ into comdev has been discussed on a
> few occasions.

As described, it is my recollection that though the BarCamp meeting,
face-to-face, did follow your post to the list, it did not quite achieve
what it said on the tin - again, that self-same matter of process that
remains a constant concern, and long may it do so - this is not the first
and last time such matters will come up in all its different guises, albeit
it may be one of the first times that we are addressing it openly and
publicly on-list - here, then, let's appreciate that as list members change,
social practices can change also, and it can be developmentally
time-critical to be open to ever open to this possibility, if we are not to
get into habits of chucking newbies out with bathwaters.

> The actual decision to roll women@ into comdev is the subject of a vote
> currently underway on comdev and this list was notified of the vote [2] to
> ensure full transparency.
Having duly noted the manner of this notification earlier this weekend, my
concern has been, again, that the process of holding a vote that affects
members of one list at a place off their home list, which therefore requires
them to sign up to another list before even getting a chance to voice
concerns relevant to them, is not good enough, even in this day and age imho
- hence my specifically joining the women@ list this weekend in order to
primarily bring these discussions, at least, back to its home turf.

> OK, so that's the history of how we got here. No to look at your concerns.

Freudian slip: No ? :-)

> You argue that a better solution would be to leave women@ open merely
> suggesting that comdev may be an appropriate alternative. I would counter
> that this only serves to split any effort that might emerge. Long history
> here at the ASF has shown that splitting communities along artificial lines
> results in weaker communities.

The options provided by the autoresponder could be worded to include
explanation of the effort to avoid a "split", without assuming that there
may yet be a reason to prefer posting to women@ rather than dev@ from the

> However, given that our communities do not have adequate representation
> from women perhaps this is an exceptional case. Please forgive me while I
> ask a few basic questions.
> Why would someone post to women@ but not to comdev? That is, what does
> women@ provide that comdev does not (or vice-versa)?
Don't know yet - let's see what people do over the next year or so as
mentors and mentees start to come on board, some of whom may be women, so of
whom may have cultural reasons for prefering a women@ interation to
dev@whilst their spouse monitors their internet use back home - who
knows? And
would this be our business to know? To pry? Just keep the channel open - how
much is it costing us to run? Is the workload to heavy and need it be
rotated every few years or so to keep it alive? Might there be meritocratic
mechanisms for enabling us to do so? For example, Lady Captains at golf
clubs tend to serve for a year whilst grooming a next generation and
remaining as Lady-Captains-at-large therafter. Few volunteer to take up the
challenge more than once if they can help it, though some manage to
introduce mixed match days between men and women in their club more easily
than others (perhaps depending on the serving (Man) Captain at the time, who

> Why haven't these people been posting to women@?

Did you ever get a chance to read the research paper on the "Effects of
Gender Socialization ..." referred to earlier in this thread?

> If we do bring women@ into comdev what can comdev do to address these
> problems?
Perhaps it may be easier to bring ComDev into women@ to begin with, as we
are doing now, with a view to being open to ComDev being made redundant in
due course, on equal footing to the idea that women@ should be so already

> How can comdev attract sufficiently motivated and time rich volunteers to
> make this happen?
My preference would be to step back from ComDev and take women@ as my
starting point from here on in - ComDev is getting a little noisy for my own
liking - but then, does this help?

Or would you rather me leave my participation for one all on the back burner
for now?

This is not a rhetorical question, am sure you understand.

Best, A

> Forgive me for asking these questions. They are genuine questions, I am
> concerned that I'm missing an important point here.
> Ross
> [1]
> [2]
> On 18/07/2010 22:39, Anjana G Bhattacharjee wrote:
>> Hi Ross,
>> Thanks for replying to the women@ list and cc-ing to others as
>> appropriate
>> The matter at hand is of course one of decision-making process, albeit
>> with
>> regards to women@ on this occasion, and it is the process that concerns
>> me,
>> given that it may not be condusive to community development in its fullest
>> sense and may, at best, turn out to engender mediocracy as if it were
>> meritocracy in the longer term.
>> Having participated in face-to-face discussions on topic, including the
>> meeting last November when the formation of ComDev together with the idea
>> of
>> closing the women@ list was "agreed", my recollection is of the lady
>> seated
>> next to me, albeit not an apache member as yet afaik, commenting on her
>> utter disbelief at what had just taken place by way of passing for
>> "consensus" on the matter.
>> Personally think that it will be interesting to try rolling women@
>> into dev@whilst keeping women@open on the off chance that it doesn't
>> really. If an autoresponder could be
>> set up to introduce dev@ as an alternative place to post, without it
>> being
>> compulsory to do so, then we could keep a count of how many of those
>> intending to post to women@ take up the offer of posting to dev@ instead,
>> without being compelled to do so. Compelling any single person, let alone
>> a
>> group, to do anything other than what they are and /or have been trying to
>> do in all good faith can be painful.
>> But then, in this day an age, dare our generation be the ones to try
>> setting
>> any example otherwise? Does anyone care enough here?
>> Best, A
>> On Sun, Jul 18, 2010 at 11:19 AM, Ross Gardler<>
>>  wrote:
>>  Anjana,
>>> The vote is to merge the woman@ list into this one. The way things work
>>> around here is that they get done in the way someone gets them done. So
>>> if
>>> someone cares enough to get an auto-responder set up then one will be set
>>> up.
>>> This vote is the result of previous discussion on the topic, if you've
>>> not
>>> seen that please check the archives. The discussion covers the topics you
>>> raise.
>>> I'll try and summarise for you if you prefer:
>>> Women@ is aware of both the plan to merge lists and the vote underway.
>>> The original driving force behind women@ has participated in all
>>> discussion, as have a number of members of that list.
>>> Rolling women@ into dev@ means closing the women@ list, all business
>>> from
>>> that list will move here.
>>> An autoresponder will be set up (I agree this was not clear in the
>>> original
>>> vote, thank you for highlighting the importance of this).
>>> By moving into comdev we get a place for the women@ issues to be
>>> officially represented in the foundation as opposed to a largely inactive
>>> list with no official status. I, and others, hope that this will enable
>>> us
>>> to be more effective. However, if this proves not to be the case we can
>>> create a women@community.a.o as appropriate.
>>> Personally I don't see a need to hold up this action.  So I'm not going
>>> to
>>> vote -1 in order to have the vote rephrased.
>>> Ross
>>> Sent from my mobile device.
>>> On 18 Jul 2010, at 07:49, Anjana G Bhattacharjee<
>>>>  wrote:
>>>  Hi,
>>>> Jean T. Anderson wrote:
>>>>> It was "noise" because on a busy morning I was too distracted to read
>>>>> Bertrand's original post carefully and, thus, missed your point, which
>>>> was
>>>> responding directly to what he wrote. I hate it when that happens  :-)
>>>> but
>>>> no harm done.
>>>> Thanks for kind reply, but my point was - and is - that the framing of
>>> the
>>>> vote as stated in Bertrand's original post on this thread is not clear,
>>> and
>>>> so is potentially harmful.
>>>> In particular, it does not quite specify all of our possibly relevant
>>>> options as distinct from one another, and so some of us may think we are
>>>> voting for one thing, but may be counted as if having voted for
>>>> something
>>>> else.
>>>> In other words, what could it mean to vote positively to roll women@into
>>>> dev@ ?
>>>> Does it mean closing the women@ list "and/or or" setup an autoresponder
>>> to
>>>> direct people to this list instead, as Bertrand has (literally) written?
>>>> Or, could it mean, technically, keeping the women@ list open together
>>> with
>>>> an autoresponder that introduces dev@ and suggests posting to
>>>> dev@instead,
>>>> without it being compulsory to do so?
>>>> And would past/present/future members of the women@ list feel that they
>>> are
>>>> being respectfully taken into account as a result of how this is being
>>> done?
>>>> Let me cc this to the women@ list btw, on the off chance that some of
>>> these
>>>> discussions [1] may be of direct interest, albeit that this vote has
>>>> been
>>>> principally conducted on the dev@ list only thus far.
>>>> Hope this helps, A
>>>> [1]

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