Verifiability, truth, and hearsay: feminist point of view on the Geek Feminism wiki

The following quasi-anonymous comment was received and acknowledged on the Geek Feminism Wiki’s article about the Gittip crisis.

If I understand the editing policies here (I just read them), lies or heresay [sic] can be printed as fact, because you don’t take an NPOV, you take a feminist point of view. That implies that feminism involves lies or hearsay otherwise you would recognize that incorrect information (whether it supports a feminist viewpoint or not) doesn’t belong in an article of any merit.

“NPOV” stands for “neutral point of view”, a notion that Wikipedia editors take as a governing principle. NPOV is useful in some contexts, but also can be abused to camouflage specific ideologies — especially those that happen to dominate discourse in a particular place and time. Like “meritocracy“, NPOV is an abstraction that may or may not be realizable, but in practice often serves as neutral clothing for the decidedly non-neutral opinions of those who power structures currently happen to serve.

The inimitable Rick Scott took the time to craft a patient reply, which I’m reproducing in its entirety here (with Rick’s permission) because it deserves to reach a broader audience. I think it’s a good companion to Skud’s “Feminist Point of View” talk from July. It also serves as an illustration in a specific case of the general points we make in the Geek Feminism wiki editorial guidelines.

The remainder of this post is Rick’s words, not mine.


You have read the editorial guidelines (for which I thank you), but not understood them. Perhaps I can clarify.

NPOV properly applies to opinions and analysis, not facts. We convey the facts as accurately as we can ascertain them—there’s no such thing as “feminist facts” and “non-feminist facts”.

Having gained our best understanding of the facts at hand, we analyse and interpret those facts from a feminist perspective—one which is informed by the substantial research, scholarship, and critique that the field encompasses. For instance, if a woman is harassed by a male colleague, her supervisor may deny that sexism played a role, explaining the incident in other ways: “He’s just a jerk”; “He’s not good with people”; “Are you sure you aren’t imagining it”, etc. A feminist perspective, however, draws on the considerable research documenting gendered patterns of harassment in the workplace, and points out that this incident is likely part of the larger pattern—that the woman’s gender probably played a significant role in how her colleague elected to treat her.

What you actually take issue with is our approach to matters addressed by Wikipedia’s two other core content policies, namely Verifiability and No Original Research. Our editorial guidelines, which you so kindly read, state (emphasis added):

While citations are preferred wherever possible, we do not require them. Much of our wiki is primary source material, sometimes added anonymously in order to avoid backlash against the whistleblower. Original research is welcome.

To take but one example, harassment and abuse often occur in ways which leave no artifact save the accounts of those involved. Turning our back on these accounts would eliminate our ability to document what happened and undermine our work. Moreover, in the face of a society which tries to silence marginalized people and casts them as liars when they talk about their actual lives, we push back against this erasure by respecting their integrity, taking them at their word, and treating the facts, as they describe them, as facts. This may offend some people’s utopian notions of epistemological purity, but in a world where speaking truth while female can invite significant retribution, this is what we have.

On the topics of truth, fact, whom we presume to be telling the truth, and whom we presume to be lying, you may find some of the articles linked from the Innocent until proven guilty page to be illuminating: specifically, Christie Koehler’s post on Community Safety, and Jill Filipovic’s article The ethics of outing your rapist.

Finally, and separately from all of the generalities above: I can affirm that the information described as “heresay” (sic) comes from an impeccable source, and so am content to leave the description of events as they are. Since nobody has deigned to present any evidence to the contrary, I consider the matter closed. — RickScott, 18:01, September 4, 2014 (UTC)

Wuthering Linkspams (14 September 2014)

  • [warning for discussion of violence, rape threats, suicide] They Are Not Trolls. They Are Men. | Rosie at Make Me a Sammich (Sept 9): “By calling these people “trolls,” we are basically letting them off the hook. It’s a lot like the “boys will be boys” mentality that helps to keep rape culture thriving, but it’s also different, because boys are expected to be human. By calling these people “trolls,” we relegate them to non-human status, and we make it clear that we don’t expect them to live up to the same behavioral standards as human beings.”
  • Researcher loses job at NSF after government questions her role as 1980s activist | Jeffrey Mervis at ScienceInsider (Sept 10): “In August 2013 she took a leave from Union College to join the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a program director in its Division of Undergraduate Education. And that’s when her 3-decade-old foray into political activism came back to haunt her. [...] Barr was grilled for 4.5 hours about her knowledge of three organizations [Women's Committee Against Genocide, the New Movement in Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independence, May 19 Communist Organization] and several individuals with ties to them, including the persons who tried to rob the Brink’s truck [in 1981 near Nyack, New York].”
  • [warning for discussion of sexual harassment] After the Shermer Article: What Do You Decide? | Stephanie Zvan at FreeThoughtBlogs (Sept 11): “This news story contains accounts of three women, named and well-known in skeptic and atheist circles, who say that Michael Shermer engaged in sexual behavior aimed at them without their consent. How many incidents of that sort are you willing to put your reputation behind? That’s what you do when you continue to employ Shermer, entwine your name and reputation with his. If now is not the point when you feel having that name and behavior associated with yours is bad for you, when does that happen?”
  • 17 Rare Images Tell the Real Story of Women in Tech | Michael McCutcheon at Mic (Sept 9): “Tech isn’t a male dominated field, in many respects. Women are responsible for some of the core innovations that drive the Internet today. It’s increasingly important to remember as we read the disquieting stats about the industry. Diversity seeds creativity and it’s possible that women approach the development of tech in slightly different ways that, when combined with others’, helps produce a more powerful Internet. It’s why having more women in tech, and recognizing and celebrating their accomplishments that began over a century ago and continue today, is vital to producing a more powerful future.”
  • [potentially NSFW content] Breasts without Photoshop violate community standards | Sam B at Fit Is a Feminist Issue (Sept 11): “We were banned from Facebook, sent to the virtual time out chair in the corner, for 24 hours. I was also forced to scroll through pages of rules about content and about community standards and then tick boxes promising my photos didn’t contain nudity. Mostly tedious. But I confess I’m a bit riled about what got me banned: ‘Bare Reality: 100 women and their breasts’ A hundred women have bared their breasts and their souls as part of a project to further understanding of how women really feel about their breasts, and how they really look.”
  • Women’s education in Hogwarts (before the first wizarding war) | The Postmodern Potter Compendium (Aug 6): “Question: What are your thoughts on the education of women in the wizarding world? Authorial assumption: Possibly antiquated, similar in nature to education of non-magical British women in the 1800s or so – most conservative people with the least contact with muggle world did not develop that much when women are concerned – given that the wizarding world separated from the muggle world in 1689-1693.”
  • Mother Gothel’s design makes me uncomfortable | Not Your Ex/Rotic (Sept 10): “Her dark, thick, curly hair, her sharp nose, and the way her features are generally perceived as more “ethnic” in comparison to all the other human characters in Tangled – it all reminds me of an archetype for Jewish women”
  • [potentially NSFW content] 23 Female Cartoonists On Drawing Their Bodies | Kristen Radtke at Buzzfeed (Aug 12): [illustrations] “So what happens when women draw their own bodies in a medium that has represented them so poorly? While graphic books published by men each year still outnumber those by women, the exclusionary landscape of American comics has been called into question. From blockbuster successes like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, to rising indie artists and vibrant online communities, female cartoonists are producing some of the most exciting work in the genre.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Quick Hit: The Baffler’s “Feminism for What?” conference livestream, on now

A quick last minute note: The Baffler’s “Feminism for What? Equality in the Workplace after Lean In” conference is being livestreamed today, and being livetweeted on #bafflerfemconf. A bit about the event:

For over a year Sheryl Sandberg’s blockbuster of feminist self-help, Lean In, has been setting the agenda for leading-edge discussions about women, men, and work—and with Lean In for Graduates appearing this year, this gospel of empowerment doesn’t seem finished with us yet.

For more awesome social criticism with feminist flair, follow the Baffler on Twitter at @bafflermag.

License to Linkspam (12 September 2014)

  • Why gender disaster data matters: ‘In some villages, all the dead were women’ | Global Development Professionals Network | The Guardian: “When we do look at the data, the gender dimension is clear. For example, when it comes to deaths in disasters, women tend to be affected significantly more than men. A household survey carried out by Oxfam in Aceh, Indonesia, following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami found that in the most affected areas, up to four women died for every male. “
  • Ursula K. Le Guin wins honorary National Book Award | Star Tribune: “‘Well, it’s taken the literary/critical/academic establishment 60 or 70 years to learn to respect good science fiction and fantasy,’ [LeGuin] told The Associated Press, ‘but hey, you’ve come a long way, baby!'”
  • Meet Black Girls Code, The 2014 TechCrunch Include Grant Recipient | TechCrunch: “As the Include recipient, Black Girls Code will receive tickets and exhibiting space at upcoming events. TechCrunch will also provide coverage of the nonprofit as it grows and serves our community.”
  • Scientist Says Men and Women’s Brains Aren’t Hardwired Differently | XOJane: “’There is quite a lot of thoughtless science being done and quite a lot of overenthusiastic presenting,’ [Rippon] told the Daily Mail. ‘If you just look at gender differences — and not their experiences in life — then yes you might find differences … People who could study these subjects or do these jobs are choosing not to…This must not be explained away by misguided and misleading explanations in terms of unchangeable biological characteristics, or references to ‘the natural order of things.’'”
  • Reddit is a failed state | The Verge: [CW: discusses harassment, victim-blaming] “Reddit wants to be a techno-libertarian’s wet dream, but in practice it’s a weak feudal system that’s actually run by a small group of angry warlords who use ‘free speech’ as a weapon. Reddit is mostly a nice place filled with nice people who run nice little communities, but there’s virtually nothing keeping them safe from bullies like ‘John,’ a 33-year-old man who brazenly dispersed stolen private photos and then cried foul when The Washington Post published information about him. Reddit’s government is more interested in protecting John than the women he harassed.”
  • Tinder Settles Sexual-Harassment Suit With Co-Founder: “Dating-app startup Tinder and its parent company, IAC, have quickly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by one of their co-founders.”
  • Take Back the Fedora — The Archipelago — Medium: “I want to take the fedora back,  because it’s fun to tell MRAs that they can’t have something. They get so mad. But I don’t just want to take it back—I want to earn it.”
  • Penny Red | Why We’re Winning: Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War: “Games and pickup artistry gave a formal structure to that mindset for this generation, but it’s older than that. The gamification of misogyny predates the internet, but right now, in this world full of angry, broken, lost young men convinced that women have robbed them of some fundamental win in life, it’s rampant.”
  • An update on ‘Humanity or GTFO’: [CW: IRC harassment] ‘ “guys” is not abusive; “boobs or gtfo”, however, is. “please remember that not everyone in the IRC channel is a guy” is not an “attack”; “fuck lindsey”, however, is.’
  • CERIAS : What is wrong with all of you? Reflections on nude pictures, victim shaming, and cyber security: [CW: Discussion of violations of sexual consent and privacy; victim-blaming in comments following the piece] “If we give users lousy technology and tell them it is safe, they use it according to directions, and they do not understand its limitations, they should not be blamed for the consequences. That is true of any technology. The fault lies with the providers and those who provide vague assurances about it. Too bad we let those providers get away with legally disclaiming all responsibility.”
  • We need to talk about the sexual abuse of scientists: [CW: sexual assault, abuse] “A common theme in many cases of sexual assault is that the abusers are known to the people, and are usually in positions of power or trust. Yet a culture of silence allows the abuse to continue with the abusers unchallenged… Scientists rely heavily on their supervisors for recommendations and career advancement. Our peers also become an important part of our professional network for grant reviewing and research collaborations.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Strange Linkspam Lying In Ponds Distributing Swords (9 September 2014)

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

In the Hand of the Linkspam (7 September 2014)

A hilariously sad tale of gender bias | Trisha Quan on Medium.com “After listening to the woman who wrote the #2 Computer Science book on Amazon, about coding and technical interview skills, people have still assumed she’s a recruiter. Some rando on the internet called her an “incapable coder” who didn’t “deserve the level of respect she expects”, demanded she prove herself, and even tried to give her career advice.”

All you need is L*** | Daniele Procida on Speaker Deck The opening keynote talk of DjangoCon US 2014, on how people claiming that success is only a result of hard work have failed to notice the evidence that success is mostly the result of luck. [Accessibility note: this is a web presentation, can be downloaded as a pdf from the page linked]

[Trigger warning: rape joke] Woman Discovers ‘Rape Room’ in Comic Book Store; Is Promptly Fired | Jezebel “It took less than two days for her to be fired after complaining about an inappropriate rape joke at work. Big high five to all the detractors who tell women all they have to do is “report it” when someone harasses them at work.”

Why I’m not a “gamer” | @pattheflip “I think it’s funny that the Internet Hate Machine dismisses all the badass women who have served as the industry’s most vocal critics as “not real gamers” because in my experience, simply playing video games is the lowest-effort method of engaging with video games. You play video games? Congratulations; so does just about everyone else.”

Job interviews: a waste of time? | James Adonis at The Sydney Morning Herald  The little research so far on the subject of job interviews shows that candidates are judged more harshly if they belong to a minority group, that extroverts are more likely to do well, and that the impression candidates give often doesn’t match their behaviour on the job.

Followers | Raquel Vélez at the Pastry Box project “Every time I speak at a conference, write a blog post, or compose a tweet, I ask myself: “Is this it? Is this the [talk/post/tweet] that will send someone over the edge?””

[Content note: discussion of racist language] Clarify guidelines for flagging words or phrases we perceive to be offensive? | meta.stackoverflow.com A discussion on what to do about flagging words or phrases that many people consider to be offensive (but others do not) gets derailed as many just want to discuss whether or not the word in question is racist (because they consider that it is not).

The 8 White Identities | KVARM This is an amazing resource for allies. It is a manifesto, a workbook, and a report card all in one. An old post, but still worth sharing.

Discussion on the recent hacking of celebrities’ accounts and the online sharing of private photos:

[Trigger warning: harassment, assault, victim blaming] Say hello to men who hate NSA spying but blame women for being spied on | The Verge “He apparently doesn’t like it when the NSA spies on Americans illegally. Surely he would be horrified to learn that private citizens are being violated in a crass public manner! Oh, nope. [he] thinks it’s the victim’s fault.”

[Trigger Warning: harassment, assault, victim blaming] A PSA About Nude Photos | terribleminds ““If you don’t want nude pics leaked, don’t take nude pics with your phone —” *Tasers you* *steals your shoes* SHOULDN’T WEAR SHOES BRO”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

She blinded me with linkspam (6 September 2014)

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on PinboardDelicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Breaking news: the gamer community is broken

[CW: verbal abuse and massive online harassment directed at women]

In case you missed it, there’s a war on against women in games. Trolls and/or misogynists (when the two groups are observationally equivalent, fine distinctions seem beside the point) used the 4chan hate site to organize an attack against game developer Zoe Quinn, opportunistically exploiting a series of revenge posts made by Quinn’s disgruntled ex-boyfriend.

Quinn has now posted detailed excerpts from 4chan members’ IRC logs that make their intentions to carry out a false-flag operation, and manufacture a controversy about “ethics in game journalism” out of thin air, crystal-clear. The people making sockpuppet accounts to post what they think are convincing simulacra of feminist thought aren’t concerned about ethics; they’re not even sympathetic with Quinn’s hapless ex. No, they simply have a vendetta against “social justice warriors” (I guess they think that term is an insult?)

You can follow links to read many more details. I’d like to highlight one thing, though. Normally, we don’t publish rejected comments on this blog — sort of by definition — but most comments this blog receives never see the light of day, whether they’re nonsense spam, indiscriminate proposals for posts on the most faintly on-topic issues, trolling, or outright hate. I’ll make one exception, though. This comment sat in the pending queue for a while before it was deleted:

The full text of a comment from Matthew Rappard that was left on this blog

This is a comment that was deleted before it appeared on the blog. Wow, are we glad.

As far as I can tell (people who are sufficiently dull, sheltered, or both to think that fighting against social justice is the best thing they can do with their clearly-copious free time), 4chan trolls planned to manipulate the Fine Young Capitalists to provide publicity for their hate campaign. I was already suspicious, when I saw the initial comment, of a group purporting to help women in games that has a spokesperson with a traditionally masculine first name; more suspicious by not seeing obvious credit given to any women who were also collaborating with the organization. I thought it might be innocent, though. And now, I see that it was — but that it could well have been preparation for some not-so-innocent manipulation.

(By the way, I didn’t think to whois the IP address until just now. Turns out it’s a public Toronto Public Library terminal. That probably would have raised a red flag for me as well — usually, representatives of nonprofits that are on the up and up don’t need to hide their identities by using a public library computer.)

I think the moral of the story, for people who moderate blog comments, is to be careful and seek second (and third) opinions. It’s natural to want to err on the side of not dismissing somebody as a troll when they actually have a genuine issue that you don’t know much about. But sometimes, when it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it really is a member of Anas platyrhynchos.

I take it wearing cat ears wouldn’t help?

Moskowitz

A Twitter friend of mine linked to a cute post that Asana — a startup that makes collaboration software — has on their web site. It’s a joke proposal for furnishing the office with kittens. This is a nice type of humor because it doesn’t rely on making fun of anyone. I would have appreciated it, if not for one thing.

Back in June 2013, I got a recruiter email from Asana. I was already considering leaving my job at the time, and it seemed like the company was doing something pretty cool. I asked whether they offered trans-inclusive benefits. The recruiter looked into it for me, and came back with the following answer:

“We researched this and went back and forth with the insurance company and our insurance broker. It appears we probably do not have the coverage you are looking for. Sorry about that. I would have liked to be able to talk.”

So that was it. I would have considered the job otherwise, but not if I was clearly going to be a second-class employee. There was nothing particularly unusual about this interaction. As trans people, we’re not a protected class under US law, so it’s okay for insurance companies to deny us medically necessary care as long as it’s care that only a trans person would need. This isn’t because insurance executives actively hate us or something like that — no, it’s because of something worse. They know that because the American public considers us subhuman, they can get away with cutting costs by denying us health care — just because we happen to be in a politically unpopular group. To me, that’s worse than being actively hated.

Is this the fault of a small tech startup? No, of course not. But at the same time, many companies — big and small — have found ways to be fair and just in how they provide benefits to employees. Generally, this just means negotiating a deal with an insurance broker to add a rider for trans-related care. It should be the default, but in the meantime, negotiating that deal is the right thing to do. Engineering is supposed to be about solving problems, not reassigning blame so as to accumulate more of them.

Negotiating a better insurance plan is also the smart thing to do, because at a time when it seems widely accepted that there’s a shortage of tech talent, turning somebody away because a doctor assigned them an incorrect sex category at birth makes no sense; being trans has no bearing on anybody’s ability to write software. And even when you are not actively discriminating against trans people, saying (explicitly or tacitly) “it’s not worth our time to treat trans employees the same way as everybody else” is effectively equivalent to active discrimination.

So when I saw that “kittens” link, this is what I thought about. Somebody at Asana had enough time to write a cute, silly blog post — that nevertheless must have taken some effort — on the clock. And there’s nothing wrong with that in and of itself. But at a company with more than 50 employees, nonetheless, nobody has time to spend a few hours executing a simple, well-documented procedure to make sure that they are treating all employees as equally welcome. So that says something about their priorities.

When I made this observation on Twitter a few hours ago, it didn’t take much time before Asana’s co-founder Dustin Moskowitz was in my Twitter mentions explaining to me that Asana doesn’t have any trans employees (how does he know that, exactly?) but if they ever did, they would be sure to make their health insurance coverage fair after that person got hired.

Even more mind-bogglingly, he defended this choice by saying that many HR processes work this way, using pregnancy leave as another example. This is like saying “we are only going to install men’s restrooms in our office, and wait until a woman gets hired before installing a women’s room. Too bad if she needs to take a bathroom break while we’re interviewing her.” Lazy evaluation can be a great feature in a programming language, but it’s a terrible way for a company to ensure it’s meeting minimal standards about equity and inclusion right from the beginning.

Right now, I’m thinking about the free labor that I’m expected to perform by virtue of my membership in a marginalized group. If I actually did apply to Asana and was hired, I’d be expected to out myself to, potentially, people outside HR, just so I could get something every other employee takes for granted: health benefits. As it is, Moskowitz attempted to deflect criticism by asking me if I knew which insurance brokers were willing to negotiate trans-inclusive riders. Is that my job? And anyway, I reported the problem directly to Asana over a year ago — if they had acted on my feedback (as a job candidate who would have considered working there if not for this), the whole conversation would never had had to happen! How much more work do I have to do for free? In the time Moskowitz spent writing defensive tweets, he could have instead called up Blue Shield and gotten a price quote for a trans-inclusive rider. It took me less than five minutes on Google to find that Blue Shield has been offering such riders since 2012. Moskowitz never claimed that cost was an issue in deciding not to provide equal care for trans employees, so what’s the problem, exactly? Is this a good way to do public relations?

I don’t mean to single out Asana here. There are many companies that fail to provide this basic health coverage to their employees. But today, there was only one whose co-founder chose to spend his time arguing with me instead of fixing the problem. Is that a good way to do business? While Moskowitz eventually replied to me saying that he recognized he’d been wrong and would look into it more, still, I’m tired. I’m tired of the knee-jerk reaction to constructive feedback about how to stop marginalizing people that amounts to, “when you do more work for us for free, we’ll stop marginalizing you.” Again, no startup founder made the decision that insurance companies shouldn’t treat trans people equally by default. But by expecting trans people to take the lead in working around that decision, they reveal their own complicity with it.

What it amounts to when a startup co-founder says, “fix the problem for me, being fair isn’t important enough to me for me to do it myself” is attempting to convince users that a problem those users are having isn’t really hindering them, in lieu of just solving the problem. I think engineers can do better than that. If you want to build reliable software, you do the research on tools for static analysis, debugging, and testing; you don’t ask your customers to tell you what the best test framework is. Likewise, if you want to show that you treat people equally — that you try to be like a meritocracy, even if that abstraction is unrealizable — then you take the lead. I think business people call this “being proactive”. And when proactiveness is selectively applied so that no work ever gets done to move a company closer towards fairness unless the people being treated unfairly do all the heavy lifting — well, we notice. There is nothing complicated about what trans people are asking for. We want to be treated like everybody else. Apology or not, Moskowitz’s reaction to criticism today confirmed what we already knew: for many of the companies that employ us, treating us fairly is just too hard and takes up too much time that could be spent writing proposals about kittens.

The Way We Linkspam Now (3 September 2014)

Further discussion about the recent attacks on Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn [Trigger warning: these incidents involve harassment and threats of rape and violence]:

  • Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes | Badass Digest: “The only way the ecosystem can improve is through the involvement of more women, more LGBT people, more of anyone who doesn’t conform to the white gamer-bro stereotype. That is exactly what the Twitter terrorists seek to prevent, and awesomely, is exactly what’s happening. Female gamers are rapidly on the rise – 48% of gamers are female, and adult females now double the number of the once-central under-18 boy demographic – and the collected assholes of the world can’t do anything about it. Women play games. If you can’t deal with that, maybe there’s something fundamental to your worldview you need to examine.” (August 26)
  • The Truth About Zoe Quinn | Elizabeth Sampat: “I could tell you stories about the voices we’ve lost, the women we’ve scarred, the people we’ve left behind. I want to, but I’m not sure you’d get it. I tweeted earlier today, We should have a war memorial for all of the women we have lost to this. We should lay flowers and grieve and see our reflections in stone. And I meant it. I wish there were a way to honor the people our industry has wronged, and a way to visualize the enormity of what we have lost because of it— some representation of the gap between what games are and what they can be, and the pieces of the bridge between that have fallen away.” (August 27)
  • Fanboys, White Knights, and the Hairball of Online Misogyny | The Daily Beast: ““White knighting” is a pejorative term bigots use to undermine such actions from men who are using their voices for support, not for condemnation and misogyny. Bigots use it to claim men are supporting women in the hopes of sleeping with women. Because, apparently, that’s the only reason you would ever want to treat someone as a person.”  (August 28)
  • Will the Internet Ever Be Safe for Women? | The Daily Beast: “The technologies that we use to communicate with each other online, it seems, were built and continue to be operated by the people who can feel safest on those technologies. These platforms are like 4-foot-wide roads built by motorcycle riders: Those of us stuck in cars are left wondering how we fit in while motorcyclists zip past us.” (August 28)
  • Dan Golding | The End of Gamers: On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity: “Due to fundamental shifts in the videogame audience, and a move towards progressive attitudes within more traditional areas of videogame culture, the gamer identity has been broken. It has nowhere to call home, and so it reaches out inarticulately at invented problems” (August 28)
  • ‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over. | Gamasutra: “When you decline to create or to curate a culture in your spaces, you’re responsible for what spawns in the vacuum. That’s what’s been happening to games.” (August 28)

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.