[iDC] Where have all the women gone?

amanda mcdonald crowley amc at va.com.au
Sun Jul 9 11:40:58 EDT 2006

Trebor, it was you, not I who brought up the issue of gender balance  
as regards the list.  I was just using the example of one particular  
thread/project that is obviously driving at least some of the  
discussions on the list at the moment.  So I presumed that you were  
thinking about the issue as regards your own practice.  I had noticed  
the gender disparity on the list, however, given the organisational  
structure and culture of the list was not at all surprised, nor would  
I have specifically brought it up had you not raised it yourself.  In  
fact I think that I was being a bit cheeky by stating the obvious in  
regards to your own question: "Beyond a general call to the keyboard  
and individual invitations; what are practical suggestions for  
fostering participation by women of mailing lists?"

So, thank you Danny for so eloquently summarising the point I was  
obviously making in asking my question.   If one includes the  
organisers as well as participants for 'Architecture and Situated  
Technologies', which is I understand is an organising group of three  
males, then 1/3 of the core group of 15 participants are female, but  
there weren't any female voices setting the agenda, nor have there  
often been in the past on this particular list.  That isn't intended  
as a criticism at all, merely a statement of fact.  And I think if  
practical answers to your question were really what was being sought,  
then Danny has answered your question much better than I.


On 09/07/2006, at 9:59 AM, Danny Butt wrote:

> Trebor, your first sentence sounds like a stereotypical defensive  
> response, but I'm not sure if your last sentence is a mea culpa or  
> not.
> Amanda's question reflects my own experience, the gender/ethnic  
> composition of *organisational* bodies (not invited participants)  
> for forums often - if not always - reflects the "participation" of  
> those groups (esp. those whose participation is "genuinely sought"  
> lol) in those forums.
> There is no "other space" or "public" where such "participation"  
> happens. We either engage with other social locations in our day to  
> day activities as cultural organisers or we don't. Our social  
> networks, professional networks, citation networks, curatorial  
> networks etc. are a marker of our positioning. If we want to change  
> anything, we can change the people who we engage with in setting  
> the agenda for our projects. And if we can't change those, no  
> "practical suggestions for fostering participation" are going to  
> achieve much.
> [I am not trying to put myself on a moral high-ground with respect  
> to you here, I've spent more than enough time organising cultural  
> events with predominantly male org committees :7. I'm just saying  
> that I think Amanda's question gets to an empirical (not virtual)  
> reality that is in accord with my experience.]
> Danny
> On 09/07/2006, at 11:36 PM, Trebor Scholz wrote:
>> Gender balance is always an important concern, thanks for bringing it
>> up, Amanda! We invited 5 women (out of a total of 12 participants).
>>> Whatever the reasons are-- they are not comforting; it's simply bad
>>> and there is no excuse. It's 2006!
>> However, I do apologize because I was not clear enough.
>> I think that there is -- no excuse -- for *facilitators/ 
>> organizers* not
>> to include women.
>> Trebor
> On 09/07/2006, at 8:35 AM, Trebor Scholz wrote:
>> Beyond a general call to the keyboard and individual invitations;  
>> what
>> are practical suggestions for fostering participation by women on
>> mailing lists?
> --
> http://www.dannybutt.net
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amanda mcdonald crowley
amc at va.com.au / amc at autonomous.org
AIM: amandamcdc99
skype: amandamcdc

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