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Geek Feminism Linkspams are compiled by the Linkspam team from public submissions. Thanks for your help!

Bring Out Your Linkspam (30 September 2014)

  • The Trans-Everything CEO | New York Magazine: [CW: This piece doesn't follow GLAAD's media recommendations for coverage of transgender issues; there's a lot of problematic stuff in this otherwise positive profile of a woman doing some fascinating and geeky things.] “But the highest-paid female CEO in America is not nearly as well known. She is Martine Rothblatt, the 59-year-old founder of United Therapeutics—a publicly traded, Silver Spring, Maryland–based pharmaceutical company—who made a previous fortune as a founder of Sirius radio, a field she entered as an attorney specializing in the law of space.”
  • Growing fantasy-game universe collides with entrenched boys’ club mentality | The Washington Post: “Longmore’s success, and the recent success of other female players, set off something of a crash course in diversity training for Magic players. It had to. The game isn’t just some extra-obscure corner of the offbeat nerd community anymore: It’s a $200 million-a-year industry with a fan base of 20 million and a growing pool of elite players who make their living from tournament prizes (which top out at about $40,000).”
  • The Business Case for Diversity in the Tech Industry | NYTimes.com: “The issue here was one of ignorance — the engineers and designers who created the YouTube app were all right-handed, and none had considered that some people may pick up their phones differently. It’s a small example, but a telling one. If Google’s designers couldn’t anticipate the needs of left-handed people with an all-right-handed product team, how could they anticipate the needs of women with a staff composed overwhelmingly of men?”
  • Facebook’s real name policy is a drag, and not just for the performers it outs | Comment is free | theguardian.com: “People will find a way to undermine identities they don’t approve of, and there will always be ways to write them off as insufficiently authoritative, ‘made up’ or ‘fake’. It’s not about bad behavior, or even about official sign-off. It’s just about making yourself the arbiter of someone else’s self.”
  • Why women don’t name names: Kirsten Gillibrand, Daniel Inouye and women’s calculus for survival | Salon.com: [CW: Sexual harassment] “And not all of them wear the typical mask of a villain. Some are progressives, even self-identified feminists. Men who don’t vote to strip women of control over their own bodies but who still feel entitlement to those bodies. So this is the face of harassment. The faces of the men you know, and the faces of the men you respect. How do we create space to talk about that? Maybe this is the larger conversation Gillibrand wanted to have when she chose not to name names.”
  • ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty': Notes for the Peanut Gallery | satifice: “From what I understand, there are some people — in the apparent interest of seeming ‘reasonable’ and ‘neutral’ — who are insisting that in the Team Harpy legal case that our plaintiff should be considered ‘innocent until proven guilty’. There are a few things wrong with this framing.”
  • Recent Events Involving Brian Leiter | For Those Who Need To Know: [CW: Harassment, abuse.] “What follows recounts the basic facts about these episodes and provides links to relevant information. There have been several other such episodes over the last decade or so, some of which involved not philosophers but lawyers. But we do not have the energy to catalogue all of them, and we are not sure what purpose it would serve. What follows, we hope, is sufficiently illuminating.”
  • Why I’m not really here for Emma Watson’s feminism speech at the UN: “Here, she seems to suggest that the reason men aren’t involved in the fight for gender equality is that women simply haven’t invited them and, in fact, have been unwelcoming. Women haven’t given men a formal invitation, so they haven’t joined in. It’s not because, you know, men benefit HUGELY (socially, economically, politically, etc. infinity) from gender inequality and therefore have much less incentive to support its dismantling. It’s not because of the prevalence of misogyny the entire world over. It’s just that no one’s asked. OMG, why didn’t any of us think to ask?! This is an absurd thing to suggest. Women have been trying to get men to care about oppression of women since…always. Men have never been overwhelmingly interested in fighting that fight, because it requires them giving up power and all evidence suggests that’s not their super-fave thing. Share a link about gender equality? Sure! Count me in! Give up real power in real ways? Nope, not really.”
  • Building a Better Breast Pump | The Atlantic: “At the close of a hackathon held at the Massachusetts institute of Technology this weekend, tables were littered with the standard fare: empty coffee cups, LEDs, joysticks, and transistor parts. There were also scraps of fabric decorated with elephants, foam models of women’s breasts and flanges. Lots of flanges.”
  • Monstrous Women in Dragon Age: Desire Demons and Broodmothers | Gaming As Women: “In this essay, I’d like to talk about a very specific feature of Dragon Age: Origins:  the female monsters. Throughout the game, the player encounters humanoid enemies (such as bandits or soldiers) that are both male and female, with no significant differences between the two sexes.  The monstrous enemies in the game, on the other hand, follow a different course.”
  • ​Tentacle Alien Sex Card Game Isn’t As Perverted as You’d Think | Kotaku: [CW: Consensual sexual content, NSFW!] “It’s easier and safer to negotiate sexual practices (whether represented in cards or with your actual body) if you talk, obviously—but when we play games, we are often looking for more danger, surprise, and challenge. Which is great! We can explore stuff in the safety of games that I wouldn’t recommend doing during actual sex, obviously! The silent games had a variety of communication styles — most people were “communicating” (so to speak) just by looking each other in the eye, but there were several games where people were touching each other, or making dirty or suggestive gestures, etc. That’s all mentioned in the rules. It’s pretty much up to players to negotiate how to play.”
  • My free software will respect users or it will be bullshit | Matthew Garrett: “The four freedoms are only meaningful if they result in real-world benefits to the entire population, not a privileged minority. If your approach to releasing free software is merely to ensure that it has an approved license and throw it over the wall, you’re doing it wrong. We need to design software from the ground up in such a way that those freedoms provide immediate and real benefits to our users. Anything else is a failure.”
  • Four Interactions That Could Have Gone Better | Bridget Kromhout: “If you’re wondering why women don’t attend the conferences, unconferences, meetups, or hackathons you enjoy, or why you don’t seem to make meaningful professional connections with the ones who are there, maybe they’ve been having these conversations often enough that they’re tired of it, and would rather spend their time doing anything else at all.”

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.

Damn the Man, Save the Linkspam! (28 September 2014)

  • You don’t know what you don’t know: How our unconscious minds undermine the workplace | Official Google Blog (September 25): Google runs research and analytics to try and combat unconscious bias that excludes minorities. “we need to help people identify and understand their biases so that they can start to combat them. So we developed a workshop, Unconscious Bias @ Work, in which more than 26,000 Googlers have taken part. And it’s made an impact: Participants were significantly more aware, had greater understanding, and were more motivated to overcome bias.”
  • Building a better and more diverse community | Blog – Hacker School (September 25): “The short: We now have need-based living expense grants for black and non-white Latino/a and Hispanic people, as well as people from many other groups traditionally underrepresented in programming. Etsy, Juniper, Perka, Stripe, Betaworks, and Fog Creek have partnered with us to fund the grants, and help make the demographics of Hacker School better reflect those of the US. Hacker School remains free for everyone.”
  • Science Has A Thomas Jefferson Problem… | Isis the Scientist… (September 19): “A large portion of the attacks against scientists are perpetrated by someone the victim knew, but many women in general know their attackers. So, at the crux of the stunning and shocking and eye opening is something that I find more insidious – it is the belief that science is somehow different than society at large.”
  • Read The Nasty Comments Women In Science Deal With Daily | The Huffington Post (September 25): [CW: Sexist and harassing language] “Curious to learn more about sexism in science, HuffPost Science reached out to women on the secret-sharing app Whisper. We asked whether anyone had ever said or done anything to discourage their interest in science–and, as you can see below, we were flooded with responses.”
  • Book Challenges Suppress Diversity | Diversity in YA (September 18): “It’s clear to me that books that fall outside the white, straight, abled mainstream are challenged more often than books that do not destabilize the status quo.”
  • Technology Isn’t Designed to Fit Women | Motherboard (September 12): “In some cases, making devices smaller necessarily requires waiting for further technological advancements; just think of how smartphones shrunk through the years as the tech was refined (before phablets took them in the other direction). But especially when it comes to devices that are implanted in the body, this has a disproportionate impact on people of smaller stature—which means women are more likely to be left behind.”
  • Building a Better Breast Pump | The Atlantic (September 25): “Until women have better support for breast-feeding, whether that manifests as paid maternity leave, safe and convenient places for pumping, or better access to lactation specialists, breast pumps aren’t likely to go the way of the Fitbit.”
  • Hope-less at Hope X | missbananabiker.com (September 18): “What Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras made possible, a couple of knuckleheads made impossible. The courage that Snowden has shown, the determination Poitras has shown, the persistence Greenwald has displayed — all these things made it possible for a woman who mostly doesn’t leave the house to … well, leave the house. I thought, for the first time in years, maybe this is a fight I should be fighting alongside the others.”
  • Goodbye, Ello: Privacy, Safety, and Why Ello Makes Me More Vulnerable to My Abusers and Harassers | Not Your Ex/Rotic (September 23): “Because the people I most want to avoid know my aliases. They are friends with people I know on Ello. They might already be on Ello (I’d be surprised if they weren’t) and are totally open to following me, reading me, tagging me, commenting on my posts. Hell, they can even find me through our mutual friends – any mutual activity pops up on their Friends feed.And, by the way Ello is currently set up, there is nothing I can do about it.”
  • The Victim, The Comforter, The Guy’s Girl… | Matter | Medium (September 23): “I’ve come to notice more and more how working within the particular masculine sexism of the tech industry has nudged the way I present myself, just a little. I’ve noticed how, very slowly, I’ve started to acquiesce into playing roles that get assigned to me. I’ve noticed how I disappear behind these masks.”
  • Apple Promised an Expansive Health App So Why Can’t I Track Menstruation? | The Verge (September 25): “Apple’s HealthKit can help you keep track of your blood alcohol content. If you’re still growing, it’ll track your height. And if you have an inhaler, it’ll help you track how often you use it. You can even use it to input your sodium intake, because “with Health, you can monitor all of your metrics that you’re most interested in,” said Apple Software executive Craig Federighi back in June. And yet, of all the crazy stuff you can do with the Health app, Apple somehow managed to omit a woman’s menstrual cycle.”
  • Why can’t you track periods in Apple’s Health app? | ntlk’s blog (September 26): “So why isn’t cycle tracking present in the Health app? I don’t know, but the only valid reason I can think of is that it didn’t occur to anyone to include it.”

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.

Linkspams and Chocolate Milk (23 September 2014)

  • Official #teamharpy Statement on the case of Joseph Hawley Murphy vs. nina de jesus and Lisa Rabey | Team Harpy: [CW: retaliation against whistleblowers, sexual harassment] “We both also believe that women calling out harmful the behaviour of men is an act of free speech and of resistance to a culture that regularly reduces our bodies to sexual objects existing only to serve men. We have decided to fight this lawsuit, at great financial and emotional cost to ourselves, because we believe that all victims of sexual harassment should be supported and believed.” “Team Harpy” have also posted about Round 1 of fundraising efforts, for those who would like to offer support.
  • Privilege | Robot Hugs: Short comic explaining privilege, and how to manage it responsibly.
  • You Asked: Why aren’t more companies putting their weight behind diversity initiatives? | ashe dryden: “Industry-wide change isn’t coming from within companies but, increasingly, from people who are able to operate outside them where the risk of being harassed, fired, or pushed out of the industry all together seems lower. When we’re seeing companies actively punish marginalized people for speaking up, we have to question their mission statements proclaiming a commitment to diversity.”
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making | Quiet Babylon: “We too can access the tools of publishing and the means of production and find success as independents. We too can be small scale Tims Cook. Some of us who make the attempt will be made rich and some of us will be driven from our homes and some of us will putter along comfortably and all of us will have made our bed upon a great deal of human and environmental suffering.”
  • How to Detoxify the Web | The Kernel: [CW: discussion of abusive language / behavior] “A lot has changed in the world and online, but being 14 still sucks. Plenty of times, just being human sucks. Without someone to talk to or to help you figure out which end is up, it’s easy to push it down—like a man, right?—or fall for advice that doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Those readers still message me sometimes to tell me the impact my advice columns had on their lives. As much as I’d like to think it was because of my fantastic writing, I know it’s because of the community we created together.”
  • Geeks have become their own worst enemies | The Washington Post: “The essence of confidence is the ability to handle critiques and the existence of challengers with grace and security in your own position. If what deBoer is describing is a permanent state, though, then a certain subset of angry geeks will prove themselves to be exactly what the once-dominant culture said they were all along: myopic and insecure. The hysterical reactions to criticism and challenge do far more damage to the proposition that geek culture contains rich forms, stories and communities worth taking seriously than any critic ever could.”
  • GaymerX2: Internetting While Female | YouTube: Video: “Carolyn Petit, Katherine Cross, and Anita Sarkeesian discuss their experiences ‘Internetting While Female’ at GaymerX2 2014.”
  • Dear DC Comics, This Is Why You Shouldn’t Leave Creative Little Girls Behind | The Mary Sue: “Maybe statistically it’s more likely to be four boys playing, and they want to cater to that. But if so, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you market only to boys, don’t be surprised boys are your only market. And don’t be surprised if the boys with sisters and female friends end up playing something else entirely.”

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.

Who moved my linkspam? (22 September 2014)

  • “You Cannot Be Mommy”: A Female Cook on Ratatouille | Rebecca Lynde-Scott at The Toast (Sept 15): “Notice that, while her position is never specified, she’s low enough on the totem pole that she’s given the job of training the despised plongeur (“garbage boy” in the film, actually dishwasher), a job only given to the person occupying the station the new person is moving into, so she’s pretty damn low. [...] Linguini announced his and Colette’s relationship to the press, “Inspiration has many names. Mine is named Colette.” That moment in the movie is supposed to be about how he’s betraying Remy by not being honest, but he’s betraying Colette nearly as much just by these two sentences. In eight words, he demotes her from competent cook on the way up to artist’s muse. As the former, she could keep working her way up. As the latter, she might never get another job in a really good kitchen again, if she and Linguini break up. That gets ignored, of course, shellacked over with Remy’s story, some sharp remarks, and that trademarked Disney happy-ever-after.”
  • [warning for discussion of harassment] Pushing Women and People of Color Out of Science Before We Go In | Jennifer Selvidge at Huffington Post (Sept 18): “The misogyny and racism I experienced and saw at MIT became more and more concerning [...] I know that even with close to straight As, I am still unwelcome in my scientific community and unwelcome as an engineer. I will be competing with white men with lower GPAs and less research experience who will likely be chosen over me, as professors on graduate committees. After all, some of those very same graduate school committee members probably remember fondly “the days when men were engineers and women were flight attendants.” The problems in STEM are the people in STEM. I shouldn’t have to play catch up, when I am already ahead.”
  • New FOSS Outreach Program internships for female technical contributors | Quim Gil at Wikimedia (Sept 18): “The Free and Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women offers paid internships to developers and other technical contributors working on projects together with free software organizations. [...] The application period starts on September 22nd and ends one month later on October 22nd.”
  • [warning for police brutality] Police killed a black man dressed up like an anime character |  Aja Romano at The Daily Dot (Sept 16): “For the second time in two months, a black man has been shot and killed by police officers while holding a toy weapon. The Utah police fatally shot 22-year-old Darrien Hunt on Wednesday.”
  • Participate in a Survey About Gender Diversity in Video Games | Carly Smith at The Escapist (Sept 16): “Student researcher Jennifer Allaway is examining the relationship between players’ desires for diversity and game developers’ understanding of that desire, among many other topics, for a GDC 2015 talk.” There are separate surveys for developers and consumers.”
  • [warning for discussion of sexual harassment] Misogyny and the Atheist Movement | Comment by Hold your seahorses at Metafilter (Sept 15): “The article makes a passing mention of new “rules” for the “gender dynamic” and I think there’s actually something to that, as far as the reason why at least a subset of men get extravagantly, sometimes violently, upset and retaliatory when they run up against, or see someone run up against, those “rules”. Because yes. Absolutely, the rules are changing about what you “can” and “can’t” do with/to women (at cons, in public, online, in general). But the people getting upset about this tend to misunderstand what the idea of “the rules are changing” means. The “rules” – that set of norms that determined where you could and couldn’t acceptably transgress with someone – used to be much more liberal from the male perspective. [...] That sense of assurance, of insulation from consequences, is what’s been increasingly yoinked away from men as it becomes less and less acceptable to do these things.”
  • Time to Raise the Profile of Women and Minorities in Science | Brian Welle and Megan Smith at Scientific American (Sept 16): “over the past few years, we discovered some pretty ugly news about our beloved Google Doodles. We had been making these embellishments to the corporate logo on our home page, often in honor of specific people on their birthdays, ever since the company was founded in 1998. For the first seven years, we celebrated exactly zero women. We had not noticed the imbalance.”
  • why many women of colour within the so-called ‘Western countries’ and those outside are very alienated with the [mainstream] feminism | lesetoilesnoires at tumblr (Sept 20): “The idea that to show a White young woman in the West why and how she needs feminism, or why and how she has benefited from feminism, you have to appeal to the ‘tragic plight’ of Women of Colour ‘elsewhere’, turn these Women of Colour into caricatures of victimhood while contrasting it with White, middle-class women as ‘empowered subjects’, is simply condescending in the best case and outright racist in the worst case.”
  • Albert Einstein, Anti-Racist Activist | s.e. smith at this ain’t livin’ (Sept 22): “It is perhaps not surprising that Einstein’s contributions to anti-racism were erased at the time. It was easy to focus on the media-friendly physicist who amazed people with his mind, and to quietly skate around details of his personal life. His work can’t have made contemporary media comfortable, either, as he was unafraid when it came to specifically confronting white complicity and talking about what whites needed to do.”

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.

There Can Be Only Linkspam (19 September 2014)

  • on being a woman and a war historian | armsandthemedicalman: “As I say, we all bring our own histories, including our subjective constructions of gender, to our historical practice. Which is why it is important not only that we note and acknowledge that women have written and are writing the history of the First World War, but also that we don’t categorise their writing simply as a category of ‘other’. How I embed this in my own practice as a woman writing the history of the First World War is something I am still working on and probably will be for the rest of my professional life.”
  • Steampunk without POC is so 1899 | K. Tempest Bradford: “While I do really want to see this succeed, it would be ridiculous to make a steampunk film with only white characters. There’s no justifiable reason for this cast not to be racially diverse.”
  • Racial discrimination & resignation of Dr. Misee Harris – An Open Letter to media | Black Girl Nerds: Forced out of her job because of her (private!) social media posts. “Dr. Misee Harris wants to go public with this unfortunate story of racial discrimination in the workplace because it has been her mission to empower black women, many of whom, when subjected to this kind of discrimination do not have the financial freedom to leave with dignity the way Dr. Harris chose to.”
  • MacArthur Awards Go to 21 Diverse Fellows | NYTimes.com: Alison Bechdel is among the winners. “Several of the new fellows are combating pressing social problems, including violence against women and racial bias.”
  • 5 Things I Learned as the Internet’s Most Hated Person | Cracked.com: [CW: article illustratively quotes violent threats and misogynistic slurs] “Do you know how weird it is to see an actor from a show you love repost conspiracy videos about how your sex life is somehow ruining video games? Pretty goddamned weird, it turns out.”
  • The Greatest Black Women In Superhero Comics (Who Aren’t Storm) | io9: “Whenever anybody asks about black women in comics, the immediate response is to bring up Storm. But Storm isn’t the only black woman to rock superpowers and a costume. Here are 20 other black female characters in superhero comics who deserve more love and attention.”
  • Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims | All Tech Considered : NPR: [CW: domestic violence, abuse] “But there’s another kind of privacy concern that is a lot more intimate. You could call it Little Brother, though it’s really more like husbands and wives, lovers and exes who secretly watch their partners — from a distance. They are cyberstalking — using digital tools that are a lot cheaper than hiring a private detective. NPR investigated these tools, also known as spyware, and spoke with domestic violence counselors and survivors around the country. We found that cyberstalking is now a standard part of domestic abuse in the U.S.”
  • Guest post by Kameron Hurley: Why I Stopped Writing About White People | Far Beyond Reality: “There will always be people calling my decision political, of course, without asking themselves about the political decision made by those who have written in unrealistically white worlds their whole lives. What could be more political than a legal, political, and social system that seeks to erase the majority of the world’s population and pretend a minority population – white people make up just 20% of the world’s population – owned the past, and will own the future?”
  • Why It’s Time To Put A Stop To Feminist ‘Infighting’ Accusations | Ravishly: “Feminism is only effective when it is self-critical. When marginalized voices are shut out, you create an environment where dissent is disallowed, which puts holes in our visibility and presence. Inclusion of marginalized women is not optional. With them/us, feminism remains as pockets of isolated consent, a lot of sound of fury signifying nothing. That is what actual divisiveness looks like.”
  • Grin and Bear It?: On Staying in the Picture | Camille E. Acey: “As a black woman in free software/free culture (what I guess could be called a Double Unicorn?), I find that I am often The Only One In The Room and — as one can imagine — there is a certain amount of discomfort/unwanted attention that comes with that. So when it comes to pictures, if the group is truly progressive/diverse or has it’s heart t in the right place and seems to be making strides towards inclusiveness then I am mostly fine for my image to be used to signal to the world that ‘Hey, this is an inclusive bunch’ and further to signal to other black women like me ‘Come on in, the water is warm (or at least not icy cold!)’. However, if the group is less than hospitable and/or does not seem like something I’d want anyone I care about putting time into to, then I do my best to dodge the lens. And so time and time again in different meetups and gatherings, at work and at play,  I’ve literally had to take a moment to determine whether I should ‘Give a grin or get going’.”
  • Tech’s Wakeup Call From Your Trans Coworker | The Bold Italic – San Francisco: [cw: transphobic slurs, discrimination of trans and genderqueer individuals] “A friend of mine who identifies as genderqueer told me about how they had to explain to their own HR department that outing someone without their permission is wrong. If you can’t rely on your HR department, where they’re supposed to know this stuff, then who can you rely on?

    This lack of knowledge about how to properly handle trans issues exists industry-wide. On top of it all, there is an immense pressure to believe that these problems don’t matter, shouldn’t be discussed, or that they don’t exist at all. If we don’t fit in to ‘the culture,’ in tech, we get iced out silently and forcefully.”

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.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Linkspam (16 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.

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.

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.