Geek feminism is important!

Hello and welcome!

Feminism is super important to me as a geek. On a pragmatic, day to day level, my feminism is about paying attention to other women and what they do. This is extra difficult in some geeky fields and cultures. It’s easy to default to male.

I’d like to suggest to anyone with a feminist or womanist outlook to put attention into diversifying your information feeds and your conversational patterns. Who do you read? Who do you listen to? Who do you talk with?

So I try to be aware of intesectionality of a lot of factors, and really pay attention to women, women of color, lesbian, bi, trans women, disabled women, women who are from different backgrounds and countries and incomes and educational levels and who speak different languages.

My energy and resources, personal and professional, go into supporting other women in their endeavors. I work for a women’s media and blogging company, fix women’s blogs, teach women how to code and do techy stuff, translate women’s poetry, write about women writers, and I do my open source work for Dreamwidth and for the Organization for Transformative Works.

Despite all that, I am only a situational separatist. It’s just that, in order to bond with other women, I find I have to make a particular effort. The most random men often feel incredibly entitled to my time, attention, energy, and labor. Men watch and amplify each other’s works, creating a feedback effect that means I can’t even avoid knowing about them. It takes a conscious shift in attention not to become a constant, default, man fan.

That shift in attention patterns includes: noticing, critiquing, and praising other women’s work without using the tools of misogyny and racism; being able to recognize and name problems in communities; speaking up in public to call out bad behavior and stand behind other women.

Benefits of doing this include: being less of an asshole despite my own privilege; having a broad base of information from which to judge and make decisions; less self-hatred and internalized misogyny to struggle with day to day; not having to kiss ass on men in public while rolling my eyes at them in private; being less vulnerable to harassment; and getting to know lots of kickass women doing amazing things. Instead of feeling alienated while I’m coding, gaming, blogging, or going to science fiction conventions, I have a lot of powerful and positive sisterhood in my geeky life. Try it, you’ll like it.

One thought on “Geek feminism is important!

  1. brainwane

    *Paying attention* consistently is surprisingly hard at first, but pays off immensely. Thanks for the articulation.

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