sex ratios

Danny Yee (danny@STAFF.CS.SU.OZ.AU)
Fri, 15 Mar 1996 01:38:56 +1000

Ruby Rohrlich writes:
> Just to bring it down to the situation on this list,
> do you think it is happenstance that the three antowners and five members
> of the board of governors of Anthro-L are all male, even though women
> constitute almost 40% of the list. I have mentioned this several times,
> but none of the "governors" have even bothered to do anything about it;

I'm not sure exactly what I'm expected to do about it. Being on the
board of governors of anthro-l is, like most positions involving
volunteer labour, nothing to get excited about. The "powers" involved
are purely advisory, and while I would have no objection to holding
elections it seems far more trouble than it's worth. I'm not sure how
the board of governors was picked in the first place, but I suspect
Hugh just asked people he knew who were active on the list and who he
thought would be moderating influences. (And perhaps in my case
because I maintain the list archive.)

As for the list-owners being male, that's a pretty silly thing to
complain about, as that's not something anyone can change. (You want
to be a listowner? -- start your own list!) Hugh actually asked me if
I wanted to be the listowner at one point, and my response was along
the lines that it wasn't really possible to be a listowner without
having good access to the underlying list infrastructure (ie the
computer on which the list software actually runs).

> If it doesn't really make any difference, what
> would you all say if there were eight women running the show, with 40% of
> the membership being men.

You wouldn't catch me complaining.

> Even if the governance here doesn't much
> matter, the symbolism matters, and folks are accepting the situation
> because they're used to having men run the show.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd be more than happy to have a
suitable women on the Board of Governors. I'm not sure Ruby herself
would be a good candidate (she tends to polarise people a lot), but
there are lots of other possible candidates...

Danny Yee.