The Courage of His Convictions

Mike Gunderloy announced this morning that he’s resigning from the Rails Activists group:

...Anyone who cares to take the time to actually talk to the women who are a part of the open source community will have no trouble getting an earful about how challenging it can be to participate...[p]eople like Audrey Eschright, Aaron Quint, Peter Szinek, and Selena Deckelmann have written about ways to address some of the fundamental problems... But...a significant number of Rails core contributors - with leadership (if that's the right word) from DHH - apparently feel that being unwelcoming and "edgy" is not just acceptable, but laudable. The difference between their opinions and mine is so severe that I cannot in good conscience remain a public spokesman for Rails. So, effective immediately, I'm resigning my position with the Rails Activists. I realize that some people will see this as an act of prudery on my part, or a lack of a sense of humor, or some other personal failing. That's OK, I don't mind. Other people...have attempted to convince me that I could do more good by staying involved with...Rails...and trying to work from within to change things. At this point, unfortunately, I feel sufficiently outnumbered and unwelcome that that option is no longer open.

If more of us had Mike’s courage, this problem would have been solved a long time ago. Three cheers, and thank you.

And speaking of cheers: this is a good time to send some to the members of last week’s open source panel at U of Toronto. When I brought up the under-representation of women in open source (roughly 1 in 200, compared to 1 in 7 for the industry as a whole), they all addressed the issue thoughtfully and head-on. It’s quite a chance from four or five years ago, and very welcome.