The last linkspam has a comments thread about the difficulties geeky women can have exploring, explaining, attacking or changing sexist patterns in geekdom due to not having ready access to feminist or anti-oppression ideas and language.
Whenever I read about tech conference incidents which involve using the sexual objectification of women to teach technology to men, I find that the bloggers who protest have a lot of difficulty expressing themselves and articulating why itâ€™s wrong. They often complain about the â€œsexâ€ or â€œhalf-naked womenâ€, and the terms â€œsexual objectificationâ€ or â€œdehumanizationâ€ are not in their vocabulary. Commenters then accuse them of being prudish and against sex, and the point is lost.
I think the problem is that many women in tech are not versed in feminist vocabulary…
That is in fact one of the main reasons (in terms of personal motivation) why I set up the GF wiki â€” because I wanted to improve my feminist vocab and wanted somewhere to record and share what I learnt ;) Learning feminism 101 concepts etc has been really important to me these last couple of years. I find it almost funny when people assume that I have a degree in womenâ€™s studies or something. Nope, I just read and take notes and practice.
I think part of it is also disciplinary â€” that geek women are less likely to have taken the sort of studies at university that would give them the tools to think about this stuff… Iâ€™m not just talking about womenâ€™s studies, but also things like media studies, sociology, etc â€” most of which have pretty low prestige in geek circles.
This seems front page worthy! What tools has feminism given you, when did you pick them up and where are you putting them to use in geek feminism? Did geek intellectual hierarchies stand in your way at some point?