Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ghost in the Whitewash

Entertainment media is buzzing with news that a Ghost In The Shell remake may be coming soon to a theater near you, and Scarlett Johansson has been offered the role of Major Kusanagi.

ghost-in-the-shell-cover

Major Motoko Kusanagi  from Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Major Motoko Kusanagi.

The Major apparently fell into a giant vat of whitewash on her way to Hollywood.

There’s already been a fair bit of backlash, thanks in part to the good folks at racebending, who do excellent work raising awareness about this problem and calling it out. Over on twitter, the hashtag #whitefandombelike kicked off around this issue, and went on to become a much broader conversation around race in fandom.

The defenses I’ve seen for whitewashing the part have fallen along predictable lines. There’s the classic “but we need big names to carry the project forward,” which last starred alongside Ridley Scott in Exodus‘s press tour. This argument is insidious in its circularity.

Are we to imagine that white stars spring fully-formed from the head of an Oscar, instantly famous? They get famous because people take chances on them. And if you’re white, there are a lot more chances to go around. The already painfully limited roles for women in Hollywood overwhelmingly go to white women. Even roles that should go to actresses of color–like the starring role in Ghost in the Shell–often get whitewashed, thus denying actresses of color the opportunity to even reach for the brass ring (this isn’t just women, of course–characters of all genders get whitewashed–but for actresses of color, racism and sexism act as multiplying factors to limit their opportunities even more).

You can’t claim that whitewashing is just about business and ‘star power’ rather than systematic racism while actively contributing to the very racist system that denies actors of color access to stardom.

We’re also seeing more tired variations on “but it’s fantasy!” The Major is a cyborg, after all. Bodies are interchangeable to her. But while her body might be a little more like clothes for her than bodies are for most of us, she still has a history of making pretty specific choices about the body she wears.

Rather, her creators have made specific choices, because pretending that fictional characters have the agency to choose how they’re portrayed is a cheap trick that’s pretty much exclusively used to silence criticism. But if you’re going to use in-universe arguments to justify whitewashing her, you can’t ignore all the in-universe evidence that doing so is a misrepresentation of the character. If you’re arguing that she can choose any body she wants, you can’t ignore the fact that the body she has consistently chosen across many stories has been Japanese.

Then there’s the folks saying that it’s okay because the remake is almost certainly going to be set in the US rather than Japan, as if erasing the culture from which a thing is being appropriated makes it acceptable. But even if they do set it in the U.S, it doesn’t automatically follow that the cast should be white. Japanese Americans are part of the U.S, too. Some of them are very talented actors, and all of them deserve to see positive representations of people who look like them on TV and film.

Casting a white actress to play a canonically Japanese character is racist, and tired old excuses don’t change that.

Further reading:

 

I Just Love Finding New Places To Wear Linkspam (9 January 2015)

  • The hard slog of diversity — Medium: “Even if you work in an organization that’s supportive, and which would love to make changes and celebrate them, dealing with these concerns is SO MUCH WORK. You can spend weeks trying to get a small measure in place. And if it didn’t work, did you waste your time? If your job at the company is not to fix this problem, do you get tired after your first idea? your third idea? How do you decide if an idea is even worth tackling, especially if it’s controversial?”
  • In STEM Courses, a Gender Gap in Online Class Discussions – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Women and men behave differently in online class discussions, at least in science, engineering, and computer-science courses, according to a new study conducted by Piazza Technologies, a company that makes a digital class-participation tool. The company found that women use its program, called Piazza, to ask more questions than do their male peers, but that they answer fewer questions. When women do answer, they are more likely to answer anonymously.”
  • 31c3: inclusivity, bias and awareness – Zara Rahman: “Essentially, all of the observations that we’d been hearing about students’ access to technology, the differences between postgrads and undergrads, were all true for men only, not for any women at all. Call me picky, but for me at least, gender segregation in the university being discussed is a major fact that affects how I interpret most of the observations mentioned, and one I hope would be given more importance than being brought up by an audience member.”
  • Intel Budgets $300 Million for Diversity – NYTimes.com: “In addition, Intel said it has established a $300 million fund to be used in the next three years to improve the diversity of the company’s work force, attract more women and minorities to the technology field and make the industry more hospitable to them once they get there. The money will be used to fund engineering scholarships and to support historically black colleges and universities.”
  • What Happened When The New York Times Tried To Profile Marissa Mayer — Medium: “Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has a long profile of Marissa Mayer’s turnaround efforts at Yahoo called “What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs.” And I’m furious. Because this is tech journalism at its sexist worst.”
  • ‘Agent Carter’ Star Reveals Wild Hopes for Decades of Stories to Come: “It’s a great time to be able to say to audiences and to Hollywood alike: Women are bankable. They want to be at the forefront. They are watchable, and audiences want them, and Hollywood should want to make female-centered projects. I feel like the last 10 years of TV has created really strong and fascinating women. Women who aren’t the damsel in distress or the ingenue or the bitch or the mother-in-law. They are a lot more interesting and complex. I hope that Peggy is seen in that category of leading a show, but also showing her flaws and showing much more relatable qualities.”
  • ‘Philosophy is for posh, white boys with trust funds’ – why are there so few women? | Higher Education Network | The Guardian: Interviews with female philosophers. “Although male and female students take philosophy undergraduate courses in almost equal numbers, the number of women who pursue a career in philosophy is much lower. A recent report by the Equality Challenge Unit found that, among non-Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, philosophy is one of the most male-dominated, with men accounting for 71.2% of the profession.”

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.

I’ll Linkspam What She’s Linkspamming (7 January 2015)

  • It’s Not an Asshole Problem—It’s a Bystander Problem | Accidentally in Code “I read Lean In and looked around at the women I knew, and I noticed how, for most of us, it “just so happened” that a guy was promoted over them. It “just so happened” that he was the tech/team lead, or the manager. It “just so happened” that we hadn’t been promoted before our projects were killed.”
  • Mediocrity and Unfair Expectations, or, Gender Bias in Judging Women | Medium (December 31): “I wish there were more mediocre women developers. When women are as mediocre as men, well, then we are in a post-sexist world.”
  • What leading feminists want to accomplish this year | The Washington Post (January 2): “From the creators of #BlackLivesMatter to a MacArthur genius fighting for women’s labor rights, we asked 16 of the year’s most influential voices for what they hope to accomplish in 2015.”
  • Fixing Broken Things | This View of Life (December 29): QA analyst’s analogy for social justice – it’s all about fixing things, but we’re still arguing about who’s to blame.
  • Pinterest Engineer Tracy Chou is Breaking the Silicon Ceiling | Vogue (November 21): “At only 27, Chou has emerged as a star problem-solver, a programmer who, having started out as an intern at Facebook and Google before taking on a foundational role at Quora, can now do with a line of code what a master brain surgeon can do with a rongeur. More recently, though, she’s led an effort to solve one of the tech industry’s most nagging problems: a striking dearth of women, especially within its engineering ranks.”
  •  


     

    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.

    Segmentation fault, links spammed (4 Janurary 2015)

    • See How She Runs: Feminists Rethink Fitness | International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics (January): Submissions due 1st April, 2015. “Some of the issues discussed show that there are significant impediments to women’s flourishing associated with fitness talk: fat shaming, body image, the tyranny of dieting, the narrow aesthetic ideal of femininity and how antithetical it is to athleticism, the sexualization of female athletes, women and competition, issues about entitlement, inclusion, and exclusion, the way expectations about achievement are gender variable, the harms of stereotyping. Feminists have begun to interrogate the very assumptions about what constitutes “fitness” in the first place. How is fitness connected to ableism and non-disabled privilege? Sport and fitness provide us with microcosms of more general feminist concerns about power, privilege, entitlement, and socialization.”
    • Harassed by Algorithms | Joanne McNeil on Medium (31 December): “accidental algorithmic run-ins happen more frequently, often with startling insensitivity, and with greater potential for emotional distress. […] there is no way to amplify marginalized voices if structural inequality is reflected in our algorithms and reinforced in user pageviews”
    • 365 Days of Feminism | mariemeierwilderart (2 January): “The goal of 365 DAYS OF FEMINISM is to present a feminist figure per day during a year from all backgrounds and eras without distinction or ranking. The idea is to show how many women, have worked and are still working for the women rights worldwide and to arouse curiosity about them.”
    • Why Do You Fight Accessibility? | this ain’t livin (2 January): “when I see people being resistant to accessibility, I point out the benefits of universal design and the fact that modifications to an environment benefit everyone, not ‘just’ disabled people (though even if it’s a disability-specific modification, it’s still appropriate, worthy, and should be implemented). […] you have situations like city councillors signing off on plans for public buildings with no ramped access, because it doesn’t occur to them that some people in the community (including current and future city employees!) might use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or other mobility aids that are hard to impossible to maneuver up stairs. You have web designers making pretty, pretty things that look gorgeous and are totally not functional because they’re focused entirely on a specific school of aesthetics, not on the execution and user side of things; they step back and are pleased with their work as an artistic creation, but don’t realise it’s a struggle for users (whether or not they have impairments that could interfere with their ability to navigate the site).”
    • Sacagawea (c. 1788-1812) | Awesome Ladies of History (2 January): “Putting some of the most badass women of history in the spotlight. […] Sacagawea was a Lemhi Shoshone woman who was part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a guide and interpreter, traveling from North Dakota all the way to the Pacific Ocean between 1804 and 1806.”
    • ‘We Are the Future ****': CyberFeminism in the 90s | Motherboard (20 November): Part 1 of Motherboard’s CyberFeminism series. Part 2 is here. “CyberFeminism: A wave of thought, criticism, and art that emerged in the early 1990s, galvanizing a generation of feminists, before bursting along with the dot-com bubble.”

     

    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.

    Guardians of the Linkspam

    • A Brand New World In Which Men Ruled | New York Times (December 23rd): “Yet instead of narrowing gender gaps, the technology industry created vast new ones, according to interviews with dozens of members of the class and a broad array of Silicon Valley and Stanford figures. “We were sitting on an oil boom, and the fact is that the women played a support role instead of walking away with billion-dollar businesses,” said Kamy Wicoff, who founded a website for female writers.”
    • On Nerd Entitlement | New Statemen (December 29th): “White male nerds need to recognise that other people had traumatic upbringings, too – and that’s different from structural oppression.”
    • Brief Critique of Paul Graham’s Essay “Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In” | Shanley on Storify (December 27): “You look at underrepresentation and say this is explained by “inherent skills” = genetic/biological justification for racism and sexism.”
    • Why 2014 was actually a positive year for women in tech | The Kernel (December 21st): “At first glance, it’s just another year full of a number of very high-profile events highlighting how toxic the tech industry can be towards women. But look again: 2014 was actually a great year. Not because of the things that happened, but because women are finally talking about their experiences. Perhaps more importantly, people are listening.”
    • Hello, Quotas: The 2015 Diversity Imperative | Medium (December 19th): “Ergo, quotas. Not out of generosity or an earnest commitment to changing the ratio — please, nothing hates change more than the status quo — but out of urgency. Organizations are realizing that actual diversity results takes effort and commitment, and can’t be waved away with an obligatory seminar and vague promises to do better. It comes down to making it a priority.”
    • An illustrated guide to superhero movies that pass the Bechdel Test | The Daily Dot (December 30th): “For films like Spider-Man, Batman, and The Avengers, all of which have extensive supporting casts, there’s really no excuse for having so few women in speaking roles.”
    • Concern for Equality Linked to Logic, not Emotion | Sociological Images (December 26th): “A new study finds that people with high “justice sensitivity” are using logic, not emotions.  Subjects were put in a fMRI machine, one that measures ongoing brain activity and shown videos of people acting kindly or cruelly toward a homeless person. Some respondents reacted more strongly than others — hence the high versus low justice sensitivity — and an analysis of the high sensitivity individuals’ brain activity showed that they were processing the images in the parts of the brain where logic and rationality live.”
    • Meet the most famous woman in computing you’ve probably never heard of | PRI (December 23rd): “Famous computer scientist Alan Turing was the first person in the modern computer age to reference Lovelace in his own writings. She was later hailed as the world’s first programmer and a visionary who saw the potential of modern computers 100 years before they were built. In 1980, the US Defense Department named a programming language after her.  And then in the mid-80s, the backlash started, says computer scientist Valerie Aurora.”

    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.

    GF classifieds (January, February, and March 2015)

    This is another round of Geek feminism classifieds – now quarterly! If you’re looking to hire women, find some people to participate in your study, find female speakers, or just want some like-minded folk to join your open source project, this is the thread for you!

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Geeky subjects only. We take a wide view of geekdom, but if your thing isn’t related to an obviously geeky topic, you’ll probably want to give a bit of background on why the readers of Geek Feminism would be interested.
    2. Explain what your project/event/thing is, or link to a webpage that provides clear, informative information about it. Ideally you’ll also explain why geek women might find it particularly awesome.
    3. Explain what you’re looking for. Even if it’s not a job ad, think of it like one: what is the activity/role in question, and what would it involve? What is the profile of people you’re looking for?
    4. GF has international readership, so please be sure to indicate the location if you’re advertising a job position, conference, or other thing where the location matters. Remember that city acronyms aren’t always known world-wide and lots of cities share names, so be as clear as possible! (That is, don’t say “SF[O]” or “NYC” or “Melb”, say “San Francisco, USA”, “New York City, USA” or “Melbourne, Australia”.) And if you can provide travel/relocation assistance, we’d love to know about it.
    5. Keep it legal. Most jurisdictions do not allow you to (eg.) advertise jobs for only people of a given gender. So don’t do that. If you are advertising for something that falls into this category, think of this as an opportunity to boost the signal to women who might be interested.
    6. If you’re asking for participants in a study, please note Mary’s helpful guide to soliciting research participation on the ‘net, especially the “bare minimum” section.
    7. Provide a way for people to contact you, such as your email address or a link to apply in the case of job advertisements. (The email addresses entered in the comment form here are not public, so readers won’t see them.)
    8. Keep an eye on comments here, in case people ask for clarification or more details. (You can subscribe to comments via email or RSS.)

    If you’d like some more background/tips on how to reach out to women for your project/event/whatever, take a look at Recruiting women on the Geek Feminism Wiki.)

    Good luck!

    I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About Linkspam (28 December 2014)

    • Diversity != Inclusion: Expanding the “diversity in tech” conversation | Tiffany Mikell at Medium (26 December): “Diversity in tech conversations have become stagnant and narrow. Missing in these conversations is the relevance of culturally specific learning, methods of curating inclusive work spaces, practical ways to navigate the psychological toll of being an under-represented person, and attention to the value of supporting economic ecosystems that financially and structurally support POC communities.”
    • Why You Have To Fix Governance To Improve Hospitality | Cogito, Ergo Sumana (21 December): “if you want a hospitable community, it’s not enough to set up a code of conduct; a CoC can’t substitute for culture. Assuming you’re working with a pre-existing condition, you have to assess the existing power structures and see where you have leverage, so you can articulate and advocate new worldviews, and maybe even move to amend the rules of the game.”
    • Turning girls of color into robot-obsessed techies | Fortune (21 December): “In three years, Black Girls Code has grown from a pilot with a dozen students to an organization with chapters in seven U.S. cities, and one in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Robot Expo sold-out before Black Girls Code could do any outreach to schools. In Berkeley recently, nearly 200 girls rotated through classes that were a big contrast to their usual school curriculum. They learned about building a circuit with Play-Doh to make an LED light up, snapped together machines made of Legos that could be hooked up to motors, and assembled robots that could wheel across the floor on their own steam.”
    • Lupita Nyong’o: Star Wars Finally Gets It Right | Black Girl Nerds (24 December): “We have yet to see a Black woman depicted in a major role within the Star Wars universe.  This will in fact be a monumental moment for both fans of Nyong’o and the Star Wars franchise itself.  I am giddy with excitement that I can finally see a woman of my ilk kick ass in a big budget sci-fi film.  This is a colossal point in history for all black girl nerds.”
    • Is Being a Jerk Necessary for Originality?  | Springer Link (6 December): “We aimed to investigate the relationship between lower levels of agreeableness and innovation process such as idea generation, promotion, and group utilization, as well as potential contextual moderators of these relationships. Disagreeable personalities may be helpful in combating the challenges faced in the innovation process, but social context is also critical. In particular, an environment supportive of original thinking may negate the utility of disagreeableness and, in fact, disagreeableness may hamper the originality of ideas shared.”
    • The story of Grace Hopper (aka Amazing Grace) | Stanley Colors (9 December): [comic] see also a previous SMBC comic.
    • No true conference organizers | ashley williams at Medium (22 December): “there are no true conference organizers. Just conference organizers doing better and worse jobs at making conferences safe. Instead of appealing to purity, let’s stay constructive and keep iterating on our efforts. Design is not opposed to iteration, rather, it is a very important element of every iterative step. The dichotomies and post-rationalization Jared demonstrates in his blog post render his opinion unfalsifiable and, as a result, premptively end any further critical conversation about how to make conferences safe. That’s the last thing we want.”
    • Deep Lab Book | Studio for Creative Inquiry (23 December): “Deep Lab is a congress of cyberfeminist researchers, organized by STUDIO Fellow Addie Wagenknecht to examine how the themes of privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and large-scale data aggregation are problematized in the arts, culture and society.”
    • [potentially not safe for work content] An Oral History of the First Cyberfeminists | Motherboard (11 December): “Over twenty years later, in the many feminist conversations happening online, groups like VNS Matrix and their compatriots in the Cyberfeminist trenches are not frequently cited. They should be. Their spirit of joyful subversion is more relevant, more cannily timely, more totally necessary today than it has ever been.​”
    • [warning for harassment and violence towards women] Why Are We Kicking Up Such a Fuss About The Interview? | In These Times (24 December): “Yet here we are, with the new and supremely newsworthy face of terrorism, The Interview’s cancellation. And it mirrors, in exact detail, what women have been going through all year. It’s international terrorism, whereas other cases were domestic, but if that makes a significant difference, no one told Oklahoma City. It’s a case of nations opposing each other, rather than one privileged group within a nation opposing and punishing a less privileged one”

     

    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.

    Please match this $15,000 donation from Sumana Harihareswara by December 29th!

    Update Dec 30: Sumana’s offer has been extended until Dec 31 at 1:30pm!

    This is a guest post by Sumana Harihareswara. It originally appeared on the Stumptown Syndicate Blog

    Sumana at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

    Sumana at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

    I’m donating up to USD $15,000 to the Stumptown Syndicate — depending on how much you are willing to match by December 29th. Please join me by donating today and doubling your impact!

    Stumptown Syndicate works to create resilient, radically inclusive tech and maker communities that empower positive change. Open Source Bridge, one of its core programs, is the tech conference that has imprinted itself on my heart — informative technical talks, inspiring ideas that help me improve how I do my work, and belly laughs and great food. I love that I can tell friends “Come to OSB!” without having to add “but watch out for…” the way I do with so many other conferences. Hospitality lives in the DNA of Open Source Bridge, so it’s a place where people from different projects and backgrounds can share their experiences as equals. I especially appreciate that it’s an inclusive all-genders tech conference where I’m never the only woman in the room; in fact, in 2014, half the speakers were women.

    Liene Verzemnieks at BarCamp Portland. Image by @reidab.

    Liene Verzemnieks at BarCamp Portland. Image by @reidab.

    Stumptown demonstrates its values before, during, and after OSBridge, and documents them to make a playbook other event planners can reuse. The Syndicate encourages volunteers to help make Open Source Bridge happen (showing appreciation by giving them free access to the conference), encourages them with a reassuring form and clear expectations, and mentors them with structured orientations. The Code of Conduct, accessible venues, clearly labelled food, cheap or free admissions, and open source conferenceware all model effective and ethical collaboration.

    But, until now, Stumptown Syndicate hasn’t had the money to host childcare at its events, to offer travel scholarships to OSBridge speakers from other countries, or improve the audiovisual experience (with faster video processing or transcripts/captioning). And it’s had to host its events at borrowed or rented venues, which reduces the Syndicate’s ability to nurture new events and communities; more money in the bank opens the possibility of a more permanent event space.

    Amber Case at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

    Amber Case at Open Source Bridge. Photo by @reidab.

    Still, the Syndicate’s done a lot since its founding in December 2010. Every year, Stumptown Syndicate supports or directly hosts 2-4 events in Portland. Hundreds of participants have grown, personally and professionally, via OSBridge, WhereCampPDX, Ignite Portland, BarCamp Portland, and the user groups it supports. Its work on Calagator keeps the community connected, and its focus on inclusion and diversity has helped everyone in Portland’s tech scene benefit. Including, probably, you, if you’re reading this. And it’s done that with about USD $110,000 each year, a mix of donations and sponsorships.

    With your help, the Syndicate can plan further in advance and make the events you already love even better. And if Stumptown Syndicate volunteers don’t have to worry as much about fundraising, they can concentrate more on revamping Calagator, mentoring newer developers, and enriching Portland’s tech scene — and documenting their successes so people like me can copy them.

    9323447669_c5253b3dd1_b

    That’s why I’m willing to give up to USD $15,000 to Stumptown Syndicate. I’ll match donations starting today and ending on December 29th, whether corporate or individual, one-time or recurring memberships. Please donate now to help raise USD $30,000 for the infrastructure of inclusivity!

    Stumptown Syndicate is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Contributions to Stumptown Syndicate are tax-deductible in the U.S.

    I have always depended on the linkspam of strangers (23 December 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).

    Note to potential submitters: most of our linkspam submissions come through Pinboard. Pinboard has a new pricing plan from January 1 2015: all new accounts will attract an annual fee rather than a one-off sign-up fee. This doesn’t affect accounts that already exist or which are created during the rest of 2014.

    Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

    Linkspam, all alone in the moonlight (21 December 2014)

    • How user research woke me up to harassment in the design community | Medium (December 19): “But then I get a bad response, and then 2 more. My heart sank. […] My immediate reaction was to play down the comments in my head, after all it was only 2 people. But then I thought back to all the stories I’d read and the endless blog posts about sexism and harassment in the digital industry. Suddenly I was faced with the realisation that a huge group of my target market think it’s a good idea and want to use my product, but don’t feel safe enough to. It’s not just a business problem I’m facing, it’s a moral one.”
    • MIT Computer Scientists Demonstrate the Hard Way That Gender Still Matters | Wired (December 19): “The AMA became, to borrow one Reddit commenter’s phrase, “a parody of what it’s actually like to be a woman working in a STEM field.””
    • Why it’s so hard to stop online harassment | The Verge (December 8): “In her column last week, Jessica Valenti wrote, “If Twitter, Facebook or Google wanted to stop their users from receiving online harassment, they could do it tomorrow.” […] Valenti assumes here that Content ID works. But Content ID and other blunt, algorithmic tools in the service of copyright enforcement are documented trainwrecks with questionable efficacy and serious free speech ramifications. In other words, Content ID and its ilk are simultaneously too weak and too strong. Their suitability in addressing copyright infringement is already deeply suspect; their suitability in potentially addressing harassment should be questioned all the more.”
    • 2015 wall calendar of women in science | SmartyWomyn on Etsy (December 17)
    • [Warning for discussion of sexual assault] Defending the indefensible: gaming’s fondness for ‘rape’ | ABC Technology and Games (December 3): “It’s  true that adolescents around the world have co-opted [the word] as a term of comprehensive dominance for their online prowess. And yet despite the incredibly broad and increasingly diverse demographic that gaming has come to represent, […] there remains a staunch obsession to hold onto the uses of words like [these].”
    • Codecracker | CastillejaDPW on Youtube (December 15): [Video] “The Dance Production Workshop Class in collaboration with the 8th grade choreography class created Codecracker. This dance was created at the all girls school Castilleja in Palo Alto, CA. This dance combines coding, technology, art, and education. Enjoy!”
    • Hilarious Christmas Song Is the Feminist Rally Cry You’ve Been Waiting For | Identities.Mic (December 17): [Video] “the Doubleclicks, a musical duo made up of sisters Angela and Aubrey Webber. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the sisters write songs “that are all at once snarky, geeky and sweet.” This holiday season, they’ve gifted all of us with their version of a Christmas carol, only instead of sleigh bells and Santa coming down the chimney, they sing about a magic weapon for ridding the world of sexists and a fervent hope that slut-shaming dudes will be long gone this holiday season.”

     


     

    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.