When you feel like you’re feeding all your talent and your accomplishments down a bottom-less pit, stop and think, woman. They just don’t get it.
SO, where is the hope?
I have been attending the Free Open Source Software conference in Bangalore for the past three days now, and this is the beginning of my blogging foray about it.
This conference has been good for me so far, although there are still technical glitches in my mind about what artists and designers can contribute to the FOSS world. I’m attending this conference more because I’m interested in the frame-works that open-source communities work around, because it’s the culture that interests me and because I think I belong to it. However, as an artist who can do much more than graphics,I think that there are still directions that need charting out for both the creative world and the software world. I hope that somewhere along the next few days, some of those directions will emerge in our heads.
When you meet ‘brilliant’ women who pretend like there is nothing wrong or exclusionary about the scenario, they can’t be that brilliant, can they?
Today among the many worthwhile sessions I caught was the BOF or Birds of a feather session for Linux Chicks (written ‘Chix’, wonder why) India. And it brought it all back. And maybe there is hope.
When the damn patriarchy starts to damn you, then you could damn them back, they aren’t that holy anyway. But they ain’t even worth the effort.
Why must you evangelise Free Software among women? Because it just gets more women in. And because the technological world has the same problems as the real world although it pretends like it doesn’t, but the technological world has with it the possibility of creating freer worlds.
Feminist knowledge has been community oriented and community driven. Open Source frame-works are a vital part of such synergizing, because we in the open-source world believe in the power of collaboration, of shared frameworks and non-proprietary work that should benefit all humankind irrespective of existing hierarchies of power.
How much of your effort is lost in just trying to fight? A lot of women gave up doing the work that only they could have because they were stretched too thin.
So here it is. Get more women in. This is the only way. Stop being exclusionary and defensive about your knowledge assets. Get more democratic and participatory. Get innovative. Get out of the box. Start talking to more women. Stop trying to prove yourself to mentors who are sexist. Don’t waste your energy in listening to sexist critiques which try to dictate to you. There is work to do.
The centers of power have shifted. Maybe we’re all lagging behind .Look around. See. Refresh.
And no one can afford to hold on to their knowledge anymore. Someone would have stepped over them already. It’s smart to share, because jargon is just jargon. Everyone has their own. You need to communicate to get across, and start the real work.
When things get tight, the air needs to be let out, because that’s the only way to breathe.