[iDC] Where have all the women gone?

Eric Goldhagen eric at openflows.org
Thu Jul 13 09:02:10 EDT 2006

>Eric Goldhagen responded to my questions:
>>  >If women post/participate less often than men, why would you want to
>>  >entice them to participate more extensively? Do you want women to
>>  >behave like men? Do they need to? Want to?
>>  I think you are asking the wrong questions.
>Trebor reported a desire to entice women to post more than they do, which is
>less than men do. The questions you raise (such as about how men ought to
>behave) are important ones, but they are not directly responsive to Trebor's
>post, only make sense subsequent to a questioning of Trebor's assumptions,
>and so are not more correct than those above. The questions that I asked are
>thus not "the wrong" ones, but the first ones.

It is your assumption that the only way to entice women to 
participate more is to ask them to change. I am saying that Trebor's 
request that we figure out how to entice women to participate can be 
looked at two ways.

You choose to look at it from one perspective, I suggested that we 
look at it from another. You made the assumption that the only way to 
view Trebor's statement is by asking why he wants women to behave 
like men.

 From my perspective, the first question that came to my mind when 
reading Trebor's comment is that he was asking what dynamics exist 
that might be preventing that participation. I assume that 
participation can be increased by changing the environment that is 
causing the dynamic and that is where I would like to see the 
conversation go.

So, from my perspective, the first question is what changes can be 
made among those that dominate discussions to allow for more diverse 

I'd be very interested in seeing a discussion of what those different 
communication styles look like in reality and from that discuss how 
lists can create the space necessary for those other dynamics to 

As such, I won't continue any back and forth with you on this, as I 
believe that is one of the dynamics that squelches participation.

I am simply asking you to look at, and discuss, the issue from a 
different perspective.

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