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Women and Technology Mailing List

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Women from all walks of life meet on this list, run by women in Canada, to discuss technology and women--particularly the net and net culture, emerging technologies and how more women can be encouraged to enter technological fields. The list is part information gold mine and part support group for those who feel crowded out in the male-dominated computer world. Topics run the gamut from hitting the career glass ceiling, getting girls and young women interested in computing, access for minorities and the disadvantaged, spam and the gender of computers (you'd have to have been there). But the women here often veer from the technological to personal. One of the more heated debates involved online harassment. Some women decided to fight back against harassment by, as a group, contacting their system administrators. Should the sysadmin not cooperate, their domain would be listed as unfavorable to women. Other women stated that pursuing every claim of harassment would make them the net police, and that while those who felt harassed deserved support, going on an uncontested complaint of harassment was unfair. The result was a splinter group who formed a new mailing list and organization, Women Halting Online Abuse (WHOA). This passionate debate went on concurrently with a marvelous thread about what would happen if women designed most software. But probably the most sheer fun was the responses given when a taunt of "feminist bitches!" arrived in the mail one day. No victims here; these are women who clearly don't put up with such nonsense and are damn funny in the process.-E.L.

subject matter: the Net, gender-specific community

regional affiliation: global, Canada

format: mailing list

language: English

cost: no cost

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