Category Archives: Uncategorized

There’s No Linkspam Like Show Linkspam

A few more about the implications of the Ellen Pao trial:

More general links:

  • Things My Male Tech Colleagues Have Actually Said to Me, Annotated | The Toast: ““It’s not ‘P.C.’ to say this, but…” Thank you for this helpful preface alerting me to the fact that I can spend the next thirty seconds fantasizing about Star Trek without missing anything important.”
  • Tech conference bans scantily-clad “booth babes” | Fortune: “The fact that some large, respected companies still use women in body paint to try and draw attention to their wares seems outdated at best—kind of like handing out breath mint containers inscribed with a company logo. And while it’s not to blame for the overall dearth of women at many of these conferences, it certainly doesn’t promote an atmosphere that’s welcoming to both genders: Let’s face it, these companies are explicitly marketing specifically to men, and in the crudest way possible.”
  • A game that speaks of Africa | Polygon: About the upcoming game Aurion, developed by Cameroonian game company Kiro’o Games. “What we are trying to do in Aurion is to give another perspective. The power in our game is mainly a consequence of an inner path, not just your physical training. To fulfill your own goal you must count on the connection between you and your ancestors.”
  • Smart Watches: Am I F*cking Missing Something? | Autostraddle: “Perhaps it’s foolish to compare Google Glass and Apple Watch, but it’s hard not to—they’re the highest profile wearables so far. To me, Glass is an actual real technological development—it allows for entirely new and life-changing interaction as seen in the above video. It’s not some text messages on your wrist. I suppose what really gets me about the Apple Watch is this: there is no innovation here. Nothing about this makes the world a better place. It doesn’t even make the world a more connected place—the Apple Watch does nothing that existing technology can’t do. I’d go so far as to say it does nothing that Apple’s own existing technology can’t do.”
  • Sexual Violence in Epic Fantasy (TW) | Manic Pixie Dream Worlds: “Do these deeply harmful patterns occur in other dudebro epic fantasy novels? Do these cycles self-perpetuate in our narratives? Is it recursive with real world violence against women in geek culture — e.g., is threatening women with rape online when they get too uppity and have opinions and stuff a learned behavior that’s inspired in part by our problematic narratives around sexual violence?”
  • Michelle Rodriguez Talks Representation, Fridging, and Hollywood’s Problem With Female Characters | The Mary Sue: “I have such a strong sense of self, there are certain lines I just won’t cross. I’m really picky about the parts I choose. I can’t be the slut. I cannot be just the girlfriend. I can’t be the girl who gets empowered because she’s been raped. I can’t be the girl who gets empowered and then dies. So I just said to myself, look, you’re going to just have to create your own archetype, doesn’t matter if you go broke doing it. And I almost did go broke, twice! But people finally got it: OK, Michelle is not malleable, you’re not going to influence her by shining fame and money at her, and they stopped offering me that sort of stuff.”
  • Cards Against Humanity releases science deck to benefit women in STEM | Circa News: “Each pack of 30 cards costs $10 and proceeds benefit the Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship, aimed to cover four years of tuition for one high school or college student who identifies as a woman. The special deck features science themed-lines like “supermassive black hole” and “the quiet majesty of the sea turtle,” written by the Cards Against Humanity staff, author Zach Weinersmith and astronomer and writer Phil Plait.”
  • Fewer than three percent of land plant species named by women: Author gender over 260 years | International Association for Plant Taxonomy: “Female authors make up 12.20% of the total number of authors, and they published 2.82% of names. Half of the female authors published 1.5 or more names, while half the male authors published 3 or more names. Female contribution has accounted for more than 1% of new species names since 1900, and now stands at 11.97%. The difference in productivity between male and female authors has declined over time, and female authors are now 80% as productive as their male counterparts. In spite of botany’s traditional image as a feminine pursuit, women’s contribution was not significantly reflected in species authorship until the twentieth century, around the same time as in other branches of science.”

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.

The Linkspam of All Maladies (3 April 2015)

Starting out with a handful of links related to Ellen Pao:

  • The Limits of the Ellen Pao Silver Lining | Inc.: “It’s a sinking feeling reinforced by Claire Cain Miller’s New York Times interviews about the verdict with venture capitalists. When asked what they learned from the whole experience, they told Miller the case had taught them to:be less overtly sexist in work emails; formalize human resources standards; and be less hasty about declining to fund female entrepreneurs so quickly. Big progress, right? I mean, those are all good things, but shouldn’t they pretty much be table stakes at this point?”
  • Ellen Pao and the Sexism You Can’t Quite Prove — NYMag: “It is a form of soft discrimination that I fear might be all too familiar to all too many women — and often I find it hard to explain to my male friends and colleagues. Occasionally, I even find myself struggling to convince them that it is discrimination, and that it has consequences. It is pervasive. It is persistent. And it is so, so exhausting, all those subtle hints that you are a little different and that your behavior is being interpreted a little differently. On top of that, it does have profound consequences, if made through a million tiny cuts. The idea is to force covert sexism to be made overt where you can, around the conference table if not at the ski lodge or the cocktail party. Only then can you stamp it out.”
  • Ellen Pao, Kleiner Perkins and foiled champions — Medium: “We have gotten carried away with our own fabulousness to the degree that we don’t even see newcomers or people who choose to labor in the background. It’s a kind of power and influence that is exclusionary — making it less possible, month by month, for people outside power circles to enter the halls of influence, partake of its bounty and contribute to our industry and the world. This isn’t right, kind or productive.”

Other links:

  • Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet Now on Display | AirSpace: Love this April Fool’s joke from the Smithsonian!
  • Call for proposals: !!Con 2015 | composition.al: “This year, for the second year in a row, my friends and I are organizing !!Con (pronounced bang bang con), a conference about the joy, excitement, and surprise of programming. !!Con is a conference with “a mission of radical inclusivity” where all the talks are ten minutes long1 and cover a bewilderingly wide range of topics.”
  • tim | “Call-out culture is very problematic,” said the naked emperor frantically | tim: “The general principles of skepticism, evidence-based decision-making, and even civility can be useful tools, but don’t obligate us to entertain those who use them in a way that sets off our bullshit detectors. And anti-call-out-culture crusaders are obviously insincere — if they were sincere, wouldn’t they spend some time doing something other than the activity they claim to detest (namely, calling people out)?”
  • Your Brief And Wondrous Guide To Contemporary Queer Comics | Huffington Post: “The following artists and creatives identify as queer, among other labels, like, for example, comic, illustrator, storyteller and writer. They defy rigid categorization in both life and work, weaving wonderfully unique and sex-positive tales about everything from college parties and intergalactic adventures to a criminal potato. If the following artists show us anything, it’s that there’s no one way to be queer. And why would you want to, when each individual perspective looks oh-so beautiful?”
  • Galactic Suburbia » Episode 116: 18 March 2015: “It’s our special 2014 Galactic Suburbia Award episode! Listen to find out our winner and shortlist for our award to honour activism and/or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction.”
  • How to defeat Internet bullies – CSMonitor.com: [CW: examples of online harassment and abuse] “Danielle Citron, a leading expert on privacy and online harassment, says it’ll take enforcing existing state laws as well as as broader societal acknowledgement that what happens online has real world effects, too. I recently spoke about these issues with Ms. Citron, the Lois K. Macht Research Professor of Law at the University of Maryland.
  • We Need More Badass Women: TV Bosses Tell Us Why The Bechdel Test Isn’t Enough | MTV News: “Some male writers might be absolutely fantastic at writing well-rounded, complex female characters (and vice-versa), but when it comes down to it, the consensus amongst the showrunners we interviewed seems to be that diversifying a writing staff leads to more complex characters. And since most TV writers look more like Rick Grimes than Carol Peletier — more like Michael Scott than Leslie Knope — it’s shows dominated by white men, with female characters existing as extensions of those men, that you’ll continue to see. (Minus, of course, the several standouts we’ve already mentioned.)”
  • Why This Disabled Woman No Longer Identifies as a Feminist | Disability and Representation | Changing the Cultural Conversation: “But what really, really drives me to bitter tears and raging inside my head is when people are all INTERSECTIONALITY FOREVER and WE’RE NOT SINGLE ISSUE FEMINISTS and WE’RE INCLUSIVE OF EVERYBODY and they chronically leave out disability from the analysis. And then when I mention the omission, I am met with silence (on a good day) and hostility (on a needlessly crappy one). The result is only more bitter tears and more raging inside my head.”

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 (April, May, and June 2015)

This is another round of Geek feminism classifieds. 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!

Linkspam for people who hate links (31 March 2015)


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.

Take the Linkspam and Run (29 March 2015)

  • On Being a Badass | New York Magazine – The Cut (March 1): “It strikes me that as women continue to break into traditionally masculine professions and defend their right to exist in unsafe spaces, the rest of us have a responsibility to do more than cheer them from the sidelines. We should also make clear that we understand this work is hard, that it often takes an emotional toll, that there are no easy answers, and that, when they acknowledge their feelings and admit their struggles, they’re all the more badass for it.”
  • Robot-Building 6-Year-Old Girls Talking Tech With Obama Is the Best Thing You’ll See All Week | Mother Jones (March 24): “The 6-year-olds from Tulsa’s Girl Scout Troup 411 were the youngest inventors selected to present at this year’s fair. Inspired by conversations with a librarian and one of the girls’ grandmas, they built a mechanical Lego contraption that can turn pages, to help patients with mobility issues read books.”
  • A Comics Creator Harassed Me On Twitter and I Don’t Want to Say His Name | Women Write About Comics (March 21): “I have a history with stalking, or rather, stalking has a history with me. He couldn’t have known that, our unnamed comic creator, when he decided to make my Twitter life as miserable as his own pathetic heart. He couldn’t have known much about me, or what hurts me, besides the obvious things that hurt all of us. But equally, he couldn’t have known that I DIDN’T have a stalker, a past that, like so many women, includes abuse. He did know, you know, that I am human. That every. Last. Person. You interact with on the internet, is human too.”
  • The divine witches of cyberspace | Boing Boing Offworld (March 24): “There is also a uniquely feminist layer to the digital fortunetelling space—it can offer a safe haven in the technology world, where smooth futures are far less certain for some as for others. Stone suggests that astrology and witchcraft have always, throughout history, offered ways for marginalized people to understand the world, even while white patriarchy, capitalism and their associated religious movements rutted up alongside and over them.”
  • Content warning: descriptions of sexual assault and harassment Sexism in Tech: Don’t Ask Me Unless You’re Ready To Call Somebody a Whistleblower | @katylevinson on Medium (March 8): “You’re tired of hearing about this “women in tech” stuff, and we’re tired of living it, but there are some big issues here, and we’re not going to solve them by pretending they don’t exist because we’re bored or afraid of them. We need serious discussions, and we have to have educated opinions about what’s wrong and how to fix it. We need to mull these ideas around until we come to some combination of hard data and cultural consensus before we can get meaningful change.”
  • The 5 Biases Pushing Women Out of STEM | Harvard Business Review (March 24): “We conducted in-depth interviews with 60 female scientists and surveyed 557 female scientists, both with help from the Association for Women in Science. These studies provide an important picture of how gender bias plays out in everyday workplace interactions. My previous research has shown that there are four major patterns of bias women face at work. This new study emphasizes that women of color experience these to different degrees, and in different ways. Black women also face a fifth type of bias.”
  • How Silicon Valley Can Change Its Culture to Attract More Women | The New Yorker (March 26): “She also sees value in talking about her own experiences as a woman engineer who presents in a “feminine” manner—not to suggest that all female engineers should wear floral dresses and speak softly, like she does, but to promote it as no less valid than turning up at work in a hoodie and jeans and using a loud voice.”
  • A Note on Call-Out Culture | Briarpatch Magazine (March 2): “There are ways of calling people out that are compassionate and creative, and that recognize the whole individual instead of viewing them simply as representations of the systems from which they benefit. Paying attention to these other contexts will mean refusing to unleash all of our very real trauma onto the psyches of those we imagine to only represent the systems that oppress us. Given the nature of online social networks, call-outs are not going away any time soon. But reminding ourselves of what a call-out is meant to accomplish will go a long way toward creating the kinds of substantial, material changes in people’s behaviour – and in community dynamics – that we envision and need.”
  • Salesforce CEO Says Company Is ‘Canceling All Programs’ In Indiana Over LGBT Discrimination Fears | CBS San Francisco (March 26): “Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says he doesn’t want his employees subjected to discrimination as part of their work for the San Francisco-based company, and he is cancelling all required travel to the state of Indiana following the signing of a religious freedom law that some say allows business to exclude gay customers.”
  • A Fish Is the Last to Discover Water: Impressions From the Ellen Pao Trial | Re/code (March 26): “I can imagine that as the little injustices built up, she compartmentalized and moved on. That’s the easier path. It might not have occurred to her in real time that there should be a policy in place, for example. I know many women in high-powered positions who have not reported incidents or didn’t want to rock the boat. It can be the benefit of reflection on the totality of the situation that provides clarity.”
  • CASSIUS – Issue #1 | Kickstarter “Inspired by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the events of history, Cassius is set in a Roman-esque universe centered around the collection of states know as Latium. The story follows our heroine Junia, who belongs to the Latium state of Cyrentha, and believes herself to be no more than ordinary. But one single act of violence suddenly thrusts Junia into a world of politics, betrayal, greed, bloodshed, and fate – and Junia must overcome it all if she is to survive.”
  • Philosophy has to be about more than white men | The Guardian (March 23): “Imagine a future where a student interested in, say, humanism, encounters a global range of thinking on the topic and not a narrow, regional one. Such a creative, fertile environment is not only possible but it is the only one that can return philosophy to its worthy purpose, namely the investigation of all human existence.”

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.

A Big Ball of Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey Linkspam

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.

The vessel with the pestle has the Linkspam that is true (24 March 2015)

  • Every woman in every Disney/Pixar movie in the past decade has the same face: “Apparently every Disney woman is a clone/direct descendant of some primordial creature with huge round cheeks and a disturbingly small nose, because there is no other explanation (yes there is(it’s lazy sexism)) for the incredible lack of diversity among these female faces.”
  • Beyond: An anthology of queer SFF comics, coming in spring 2015. Currently fundraising.
  • Former Facebook Employee, Chia Hong, Sues for Sex Discrimination | Re/code: “A former Facebook employee is suing the company for a number of claims, including sex discrimination, harassment and race/national origin discrimination, according to a lawsuit filed with the San Mateo County Superior Court Monday.”
  • Robyn Launches Festival Promoting Women in Technology | News | Pitchfork: “In a press release, Robyn said she wanted to use the platform to inspire girls aged 11-to-18 who might be intrigued about technology—a historically male-dominated industry. ‘Tekla is a festival for girls, in which they get to sample different areas of future technology in what I believe will be a fun and imaginative environment,’ she wrote.”
  • New feminist Thor is selling way more comic books than the old Thor | Fusion: “While the audience breakdown is not available and there’s no way to know if the new Thor is bringing in more female readers, it is clear that she’s outselling the last series by A LOT. The first five new Thor books are currently selling more copies than the last five Thor books from 2012 by close to 20,000 copies per month, not including digital copies.”
  • Lighten Up — The Nib | Medium: Powerful comic about skin tone in comics coloring.
  • Chapter Three | Follow the Geeks: Profile of Lifehacker founder Gina Trapani. “Her skills as a programmer, leader, and writer are often overlooked, because she works so quietly. She flies under the radar, outshined by ideas shouted from the rooftops by Silicon Valley braggadocios. But Gina did something no other tech entrepreneur did, though most of them became big fans of it. She founded Lifehacker, the standard by which all productivity-enhancing web publications—now a dime a dozen—are judged. “
  • You can choose who submits talks to your conference | Julia Evans: “If you ask someone specifically to consider speaking at your conference, they’re WAY more likely to consider submitting a talk than if you don’t. If you then actively work with some talk submitters to help them focus and improve the talk they submit, their proposals will get better! And if you choose to focus your energies to work with (for instance) non-white people more than white people, then you’ll get more and better proposals from people who aren’t white.”
  • Doxxing to Defend Student Privacy | Hack Education: “If doxxing is the tactic – and “a primer” sure might indicate that it’s a-okay – then we have much more to do to prepare students about the implications of their online profiles, safety, surveillance, and discipline. Seriously, we have to think about what it means when political groups decide to use social media mechanisms not just to observe and monitor but to stifle dissent and quite literally to destroy their opposition.”
  • How This Young, Female and Latina Investor Broke Into a Middle-Aged, Male and White Industry | Hunter Walk: An interview with Ana Diaz-Hernandez of Kapor Capital. “I take my relationships very seriously: I believe deep, systemic issues require multi-disciplinary minds coming together. I work hard to bring together people who are taking radically different paths to address similar problems. It’s in those unconventional settings that amazing innovation happens. If you’re a driver of meaningful connections, people will want to work with you and you’ll be sure to have a place at the venture table.”
  • Art+Feminism Events on International Women’s Day « Wikimedia blog: “The Art+Feminism Campaign organized a global drive to host edit-a-thons on the weekend of International Women’s Day, to improve Wikipedia articles about women in the arts, feminism, and gender — as well as to raise awareness of the Wikipedia gender gap. Over 75 events took place around the world, bringing together about 1,500 participants — ranging from small gatherings of friends to large groups at significant cultural institutions like LACMA, the Walker Art Center, and the Stedelijk Museum. As a result, at least 400 new articles were created, and another 500 articles were significantly improved.”
  • Lawsuit: The 10 ways Twitter denies equal job opportunities for women | Mashable: “A software engineer suing Twitter for sex discrimination says the company’s mysterious promotions policy denies equal job opportunities for qualified women, according to court papers obtained Friday by Mashable — a document that handily alleges 10 personnel problems and five ways to fix them.”
  • Why I Don’t Want to Talk About ‘Women in Tech’ | Life as I Know It: “This week, I got an email from a local journalist asking if I wanted to participate in a focus group on writing about women in tech… here is the reply I sent.”
  • 24 Thoughts on Sexism, Feminism, YA, Reading, and The Publishing Industry | Stacked: A good summary for many situations. Women don’t get points for experimenting. They have to get it right the whole way through. Men are right when they try, even if they fail.

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, I Wish I Was Your Linkspam (22 March 2015)

  • Greg Pak Is Making Book Diversity Into A Reality | Black Girl Nerds (March 18): “with The Princess Who Saved Herself, I was initially attracted to the story because Jonathan’s song so beautifully explodes the passive princess myth and creates this amazing, non-stereotypical hero princess. I kind of imagined parents and caregivers reading this book to girls and boys alike, and those kids getting a kick out of it and imagining themselves as the proactive heroes of their own stories.”
  • Beyond Bossy or Brilliant: Gender Bias in Student Evaluations | The Society Pages (March 18): “Men are sexualized when they teach in fields culturally associated with “femininity” and women are sexualized when they teach in fields culturally associated with “masculinity.””
  • The Woman Speaker Slot | Accidentally in Code (March 11): “It is frankly amazing how many organisers think I will be willing to come and be a token women at their event for the sake of “exposure”. It is appalling how many of them think that I will cover my own travel costs to do so. It is particularly jarring when these organisers are large, profitable, tech companies.”
  • Making it easier to report threats to law enforcement | Twitter (March 17): “While we take threats of violence seriously and will suspend responsible accounts when appropriate, we strongly recommend contacting your local law enforcement if you’re concerned about your physical safety. We hope that providing you with a summary of your report will make that process easier for you.”
  • The Most Dangerous Meme in the Pao/Kleiner Trial: ‘Now, No One Will Hire Women’ | re/code (March 16): “No matter which side wins, what would be a positive outcome of this trial? If it were to help crack open a discourse that leads to more diversity, not less.”
  • Criticism and Ineffective Feedback | Kate Heddleston “Critical feedback is an aspect of engineering cultures (and work-​cultures, in general) that is damaging to both employee performance and diversity efforts. Critical feedback is bad for a myriad of reasons. First, people have strong, negative reactions to criticism regardless of their gender, race, or age. Additionally, people’s performance worsens when they are given critical feedback. They also end up resenting the person criticising them, even if the criticism is technically corre…, “Critical feedback is an aspect of engineering cultures (and work-​cultures, in general) that is damaging to both employee performance and diversity efforts. Critical feedback is bad for a myriad of reasons. First, people have strong, negative reactions to criticism regardless of their gender, race, or age. Additionally, people’s performance worsens when they are given critical feedback. They also end up resenting the person criticising them, even if the criticism is technically correct or kindly meant. Finally, criticism is disproportionately given to women and minorities during performance reviews, resulting in an uneven distribution of critical feedback in the workplace that harms diversity. “
  • This Democratic Congresswoman Wants the FBI to Take on Gamergate | Mother Jones (March 12): “On Tuesday Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), backed by the National Organization for Women and the Human Rights Campaign, asked her House colleagues to join her in demanding tighter enforcement of cyber-stalking and online harassment laws.”
  • The church of the hacker, or, fake geek girls and outside agitators | Tim’s journal (March 15): “To say, “It doesn’t have to be this way” is to expose yourself and your reputation and credibility to every kind of attack possible, because “it doesn’t have to be this way” are dangerous words. They inspire fear in those who find it more comfortable to believe that it does have to be this way, that all women should stay indoors at night (instead of men learning not to rape), that people who don’t like being verbally abused should “just grow a thicker skin” (instead of everyone learning not to be abusive), that children should patiently wait until they’re big enough to hurt smaller people (instead of parents respecting their children’s boundaries). What those using the “outside agitator” / “fake geek girl” defense wish for is making “it does have to be this way” a self-fulfilling prophecy by scaring everyone who can imagine a different reality into silence and submission. But as long as we recognize that, they won’t get their wish.”
  • How Our Small Startup Affords to Offer Paid Maternity Leave | Fast Company Magazine (March 18): “we mapped out a budget for how we would cover her time away, including an increased allowance for outsourcing some tasks to freelancers. We determined that we could comfortably provide her with seven weeks of fully paid maternity leave, plus several weeks of part-time work at her full salary before and after her leave.
    This exercise also confirmed our hunch that the cost of paying for Lee’s maternity leave was much more cost-effective than losing and trying to replace a vital employee.”
  • This App Makes Your Phone Buzz When You Approach Places Where Women Made History | Good Magazine (March 13): “Now, when app users log into Field Trip and switch on the history notifications, they are alerted when they are approaching the exact location where a woman made history at one point in time, and can then read a bit about her and her achievements.”
  • We are not colonists | Boing Boing (March 20): “When marginalized voices come to take their seat at the table, there will always be an outcry that they are invaders, colonists, inferior versions of their straight, white male counterparts. But rather than killing artforms, the addition of marginalized voices often helps ensure that they stay alive.”
  • Man Hands | Motherboard (March 17): “When a woman puts on a foot or a knee or an arm, she often finds that it’s not quite right. Knees are too tall and too stiff, feet don’t fit into shoes, hands are big, ankles don’t bend to accommodate heels. Every step a female amputee takes puts them face to face with the fact that prosthetics is still a male dominated industry.”

 

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.

Open thread: Tell us about a women-in-computing recruiting gaffe!

So, this older maternity leave graphic from Thinkprogress has been making the rounds on Twitter…

Graphic shows a ring with the weeks of paid maternity leave for various countries, highlighting the fact that the United States lags behind at 0 weeks.   Full description of the numbers here: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05/24/489973/paid-maternity-leave-us/

Graphic shows a ring with the weeks of paid maternity leave for various countries, highlighting the fact that the United States lags behind at 0 weeks. Full description of the numbers here: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05/24/489973/paid-maternity-leave-us/

And it reminded me of a story…

Many years ago, I won an women in computing scholarship that helped support my PhD research. It was from a large US-based company who puts a lot of work into supporting women in computing, and I owe them great thanks, but I won’t name them because this story is a bit embarrassing to them. Even a group doing their best by women in computing can make a funny mis-step!

The setting: Their team had organized a scholars retreat at their office in a major US city, including a series of interesting talks from women at the company, including both technical and more social talks. It was an amazing trip, except for one moment: One of the ladies speaking to us started extolling the virtues of their generous 6-week maternity leave policy. At least, as you can see from the graphic above, it’s generous by US standards…

But we were a group of young women from Canada. The scholarship winners started looking at each other. Should we say something? Finally, one of the students put up her hand: “You should probably know that Canada has a 50 week maternity leave policy…”

What followed was a highly amusing few minutes where a whole lot of women at this tech company learned a fascinating new thing about parenting in Canada. And an adorably awkward recovery of “well, I guess maybe those of you planning to have kids soon will be excited to know about our new Canadian office!”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s heard stuff like this at recruiting events, so tell me: what amusing (or not so amusing!) gaffes have you heard from companies eager to recruit more women?

And, as the subject says, this is an open thread, so feel free to add comments on any subject at all, including past posts, things we haven’t posted on, what you’ve been thinking or doing, etc as long as they follow our comment policy.

Give Me A Linkspam, Ginger Ale On The Side (17 March 2015)

  • What Women Want in Women Characters | Muddy Colors: “For now, I’m going to give you a flood of examples of women characters in fantasy art — many infamous for being depictions unwelcoming to women — that have been redesigned by the professional artists in the Women in Fantasy Illustration group.”
  • How our Engineering Departments are Killing Diversity: Introduction | Kate Heddleston: “Women in tech are the canary in the coal mine. Normally when the canary in the coal mine starts dying you know the environment is toxic and you should get the hell out. Instead, the tech industry is looking at the canary, wondering why it can’t breathe, saying “Lean in, canary. Lean in!” When one canary dies they get a new one because getting more canaries is how you fix the lack of canaries, right? Except the problem is that there isn’t enough oxygen in the coal mine, not that there are too few canaries.”
  • ▶ Anita Sarkeesian: ‘What I Couldn’t Say’ (All About Women 2015) – YouTube: “What I couldn’t say is: ‘fuck you’.” Video of Anita Sarkeesian speaking at All About Women 2015. Warnings for recounting of death threats and harassment, and response to those.
  • ASU project combats online threats toward women, girls | ASU News: “The ASU project responds by creating an open, accessible set of tools for combating harassment. Additionally, the group will connect industry, policymakers, academics and community activists to facilitate communal response to abuse. The group will publish tools and tips in a digital format, and will host in-person and virtual events to produce and share the resources.”
  • After 25 Years at Dark Horse, Retiring Schutz Explains Why She’s Done Chasing Deadlines | Comic Book Resources: “Announcing her retirement in our exclusive interview, Schutz spoke with CBR about the decision and her career, from her comic shop beginnings to joining Dark Horse and helping grow the company into the publisher it is today. While there is much to be said, we’ll let Schutz explain it in her own words as we look back on her work, her decision to retire, and her hopes for Dark Horse and the industry as a whole.”

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Thanks to everyone who suggested links.