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I'm too sexy for men's T-shirt


openSUSE shop already got the wind of it:


(obviously, this item is so popular that by now, it is available in America's shop only, being sold out from Europe's one for quite some time already).
Surprisingly, so did root.cz, the most popular Czech Linux and open-source e-zine:



(those folks went even further and offered those cute penguin motives also on ladies thongs, check out their shop :))

Unfortunately, this year's openSUSE conference organizing team either assumed that all the conference participants will be male, or (more likely) deliberately chose not to take female minority into account. Ladies tees were sadly not among the conference swag. So I said no, thanks, I already have a shelf full of Linux/opensource/tech conference T-shirts I can hardly wear, because they simply do not fit (those of you who happened to meet me at the conference know that I look drowned even in men's S size ;-) ). I see no point in handing them to friends/relatives either, after all, it was me, not them, who participated at the event, right?

It is a tiny little detail (compared to e.g. lack of wi-fi connection at the conference site), you may say, and you're actually right. But often it is a tiny little detail that can make you feel welcome and accepted in the community (and absence of which, on the contrary, can contribute to the feeling of being marginalized and invisible minority).

I don't believe this is all about money (and saving some cents on T-shirt print run). Some fraction of the T-shirt pool can well be a ladies model, those do not cost more. I also don't believe that majority of ladies tees would be left after the conference as participating ladies simply did not match organizing team estimate when it comes to the sizes. Come on, two years ago really cute ladies tees were handed out on SUSE Labs conference (even though only up to 5 of the participants were female) and they were gone in the first two days. Reason? Hackers simply took them home for their wives/girlfriends.

Imho, this is more about the least common denominator, minimalized effort and that sort of things. But - even if conference swag is just a cherry on the top of the cake, it can speak volumes. About how much you care about your community and how much you value users as individuals.

To conclude, instead of repeating obvious and anything that has been already said, read more on topicI couldn't say it better. And hey, conference team, for the next year, help openSUSE folks (all of them - including 4% female minority - 10 out of ~250 registered participants were women) look good in your T-shirts. After all, it is a form of community marketing, isn't it?


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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 24th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC)
Ugh
I thought I would encourage my baby girl to become a computer scientist like her mom and dad, but this post made me worried she would end up unhappy because of things like this.

TODO: Fix world.

-mvidner
hedgehogpainter
Sep. 24th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
Re: Ugh
Please do encourage your daughter to become computer scientist, we really need more women in the field. Once there is more of them, things like this will no longer keep happening (at least not that often).

I'm only afraid that the initial barrier to overcome (to get more gals into CS) is too high. I'm not going to live long enough to see it fall, but maybe your baby girl will.
sukanta2
May. 30th, 2010 09:34 am (UTC)
t-shirt
Nice t-shirt. Cool.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )