There were a couple of reasons that made me decide that the world needs yet another HOWTO. First of all, I was asked a while ago to assist at a local Linux install party for some organizations for women and feminists. Admittedly, this is not my normal environment. Usually I meet very few women in my profession of Linux consultant/trainer. Most women I meet sit behind a reception desk and are not really interested in what I do. Imagine my surprise upon finding so many women so nearby, all willing to learn more about Linux!
As always, I prepared for a little lecture. But my audience would be so much different than the usual! I decided to do my very best to make them feel comfortable with Linux, and set out with my browser to find them some interesting links and such.
It became clear pretty soon that female initiatives are rather few, and existing documents at this time, November 2002, are incomplete, outdated and/or too superficial, and spread in small bits. There is also virtually no comprehensible getting started information, women-related or not. A beginners HOWTO, with some special hints and tips to help women find their way in Linux, seemed a good idea.
Needless to say this is a very opinionated essay, sprouted from a more or less liberated Western-European mind.