The issue of the small number of women involved in FLOSS and sub-communities, together with sexist incidents in these communities, received a very large amount of attention in 2009 due to several highly publicised sexist incidents, prominent conference presentations about the issue, and considerable press coverage.
Much of the discussion seems to have fed into further discussion, with incidents fuelling discussion, presentations and debate.
These incidents were widely blogged and subsequently documented on this wiki. The degree and intensity of discussion was notably high, each incident building on the last.
At the same time, Racefail was in progress in the Science Fiction Fandom and Media Fandom communities. Although not directly related to the subject of women in FLOSS, it did touch on minority/diversity issues in geek communities, and many people who were involved or reading the Racefail discussions later took part in the Women in FLOSS discussions, often using tools and resources learnt from Racefail.
The foundation of this wiki in 2008 may have contributed to the 2009 discussions, as it allowed sexist incidents to be documented in a central location and offered a resource for people to link to.
- Mark Shuttleworth at Linuxcon
- The discussion either coincided with or inspired the reemergence of troll MikeeUSA resulting in harassment of people involved in the geek feminism discussions.
In 2009, there were several keynote presentations on the issue at Technical conferences:
- Angela Byron. Women in Open Source (June 2009 at Open Web Vancouver)
- Skud: Standing Out in the Crowd (July 2009 at OSCON, September at Atlanta Linux Fest, October at ZendCon, November at ApacheCon)
- Christina Haralanova: Rethink Women's Contribution to Free Software Development (November 2009 at FSCONS)
Although conference presentations about women in FLOSS are not uncommon (see Unicorn Law), the number of keynote presentations in 2009 was unprecedented, showing an increased interest in the subject.
- Open Source Business Resource special issue on Women in Open Source
- Sexism: Open Source Software's Dirty Little Secret by Bruce Byfield in ITManagement website.
- Editor's Note: Sexism in FOSS by Carla Schroder on Linux Today (first of a series)
- Is Sexism Rampant in FOSS? by Katherine Noyes at LinuxInsider
- The Linux Foundation's "Community" Doesn't Look Very Community by Carla Schroder on her LinuxToday blog.
- The next wave of feminism crashes on the FOSS shores
- Free software lacks women - women react at ZDnet.fr (originally in French, translated via Google)
Personal blog posts
(Please only add items that address the overall issue of women in open source)
The discussion partly or mostly inspired the creation of several geek feminist and related initiatives:
- RailsBridge (founded April, after CouchDB talk)
- Stand and be counted (pledge for allies to stop condoning sexism in the FLOSS community)
- Python community diversity list (founded July)
- Geek Feminism blog (founded August)
- FOSS Women planet (founded September)
- FSF mini-summit on Women in Free Software (September 19th)
- Diversity in Open Source Workshop (September 26th)