Welcome to LinuxChix IRC!
You don't have to be a member of LinuxChix -- or even female -- to chat on our IRC channels. But there are a few rules we ask you to observe to help keep this a friendly and supportive place for all LinuxChix and friends.
First: all LinuxChix IRC channels are part of LinuxChix and subject to our two cardinal rules:
Second: The mission of Linuxchix is "LinuxChix is a community for women who like Linux and Free Software, and for women and men who want to support women in computing."
While those seem pretty straightforward and simple, we have some guidelines to correct misconceptions people seem to have about our IRC channels:
Trolling ("women are too stupid to be geeks", etc) is not acceptable. Even "jokingly". Insulting members of the channel -- or any other group, culture, religion, etc. -- is neither polite nor helpful.
Our members use IRC for all sorts of reasons, some of them social. But believe us when we tell you that no one is there hoping that a random man from another channel will pop in and offer her a date.
Please don't. No, not in private messages either.
Sometimes we get strangers, usually men, popping in looking for a female shoulder to cry on about their difficulties with relationships or other personal aspects of life. Apparently some people assume that because we're women, we're programmed to be nurturing and motherly to anyone who shows up. That's just as impolite on IRC as it is face-to-face.
Yes, there are women here. No, that doesn't mean we want to hear about your sexual fantasies or discussions of body parts. Sex talk on irc.linuxchix.org is forbidden. No, that doesn't mean we hate sex. It means that we like to talk about other things here. There are lots of other channels available for talking about sex. Go find one of them.
Dominating the conversation is impolite anywhere, as is butting in with something completely off-topic. IRC usually has a certain amount of chaos, but just like face-to-face conversations, a little consideration goes a long way.
Violating our etiquette guidelines may get you banned from the channel or from the server. "I was just joking" is not a viable defense.
You may see some talk from time to time that appears to violate some of these guidelines. Remember, the channel regulars know each other and aren't likely to misinterpret each other. As a newcomer, you're best off staying away from borderline subjects until you've been around for a while and have a feel for the channel culture. If you're not sure about something you want to say, ask an op privately if it's okay.
With that in mind, please don't be put off by this list of rules. Remember, it all boils down to courtesy: "Be polite, be helpful." Have fun, and we're looking forward to chatting with you.
For more information about how to use IRC, see our IRC Basics guide. If you find yourself without "voice," you'll find help there.