Open Source prides itself on being a meritocracy that judges people entirely on what they do. That is a fine aspiration, and once or twice I have even seen it apparently being realized.
However, like any ideal, the concept of meritocracy can be used to conceal the exact same behaviors it is supposed to prevent, such as favoritism, bias, or centralization of power. After all, if a person is supposed to owe their influence solely to their accomplishments and contributions, they can easily claim to be unaffected by other motivations.
Ever since LinuxChix was founded in 1999, open source has been known to be infected by systematic sexism, with a low rate of participation by women. In 2006, the FLOSSpols surveys suggested that open source consisted of less than 2% women, far less than in proprietary developments. More recently, the number of women involved in open source appears to be slowly increasing, with dozens of groups such as Outreachy working to improve their number.
The fact is, the composition of open source projects is changing. They are no longer the preserve of white men, and this trend is only likely to continue.
Some of these assertions are likely to produce heated denials. However, all of them should be self-evident to anyone who takes the trouble to look around and observe what is happening. You may or may not approve of all of them, but they are real regardless.
The only real question is: When is open source going to accept them?
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