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.

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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.

Do You Wanna Build A Linkspam? (19 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).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Quick hit: #ThisTweetCalledMyBack

Who gets to claim the title “activist”, and who quietly does the work that’s needed for activist movements to succeed while getting simultaneously derided and appropriated from?

A collective of, in their own words, “Black Women, AfroIndigenous and women of color” have issued a statement on how they’re being treated by white feminism, academia, the mainstream media, and the rest of the social-justice-industrial complex:

As an online collective of Black, AfroIndigenous, and NDN women, we have created an entire framework with which to understand gender violence and racial hierarchy in a global and U.S. context. In order to do this however, we have had to shake up a few existing narratives, just like K. Michelle and her infamous table rumble on Love & Hip Hop.

The response has been sometimes loving, but in most cases we’ve faced nothing but pushback in the form of trolls, stalking. We’ve, at separate turns, been stopped and detained crossing international borders and questioned about our work, been tailed and targeted by police, had our livelihoods threatened with calls to our job, been threatened with rape on Twitter itself, faced triggering PTSD, and trudged the physical burden of all of this abuse. This has all occurred while we see our work take wings and inform an entire movement. A movement that also refuses to make space for us while frequently joining in the naming of us as “Toxic Twitter.”

Read the statement from @tgirlinterruptd, @chiefelk, @bad_dominicana, @aurabogado, @so_treu, @blackamazon, @thetrudz, as well as #ThisTweetCalledMyBack on Twitter, for a critical perspective on the role of intersecting racism and sexism in how activist work is valued. If you’ve ever been dismissed as “just an Internet activist” or told to get off your computer and out in the streets, then you need to read this essay. If you’ve ever dismissed someone else as all talk, and no action, not like those real activists who are running big street protests, then you need to read this essay. And if both are true for you, then you need to read this essay.

You Can’t Hurry Linkspam (14 December 2014)

  • Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo | Medium (December 8): Margaret Hamilton “was all of 31 when the Apollo 11 lunar module landed on the moon, running her code. (Apollo 11 was able to land at all only because she designed the software robustly enough to handle buffer overflows and cycle-stealing.)”
  • Pick Up Artist Simulator Web Game Is Surprisingly the Greatest Thing | The Mary Sue (December 12): “The game is a tongue-in-cheek look at how slimy and transparent these dumb tactics are and that some of them might get you f***ing maced—and you’d deserve it.”
  • On Interviewing as a Junior Dev | Liz Rush (December 8): “I wanted to share my interviewing and job hunting story with you along with what I’ve learned about good hiring. My peers and I have become a de facto curiosity as the first women to graduate Ada. While we all had different experiences interviewing for our first real dev roles, we are also a great subject to reflect on what it’s like to try to get a job as women, as alternative learners, as minorities, and as new talent.”
  • Women In Science Postcards | Etsy: Gift idea
  • Encyclopedia Frown | Slate (December 11): CW: Discussion of harassment “With the Arbitration Committee opting only to ban the one woman in the dispute despite her behavior being no worse than that of the men, it’s hard not to see this as a setback to Wikipedia’s efforts to rectify its massive gender gap.”
  • Walter Lewin, the art of teaching, and physics’ gender problem | Medium (December 10): “I suspect, though I cannot prove, that as soon as you decide that performance in your field is due mostly to some kind of innate ability, you stop respecting diversity in many ways. You stop respecting diversity of thought, because you’ve just picked one learning style and decided that it’s the only one worth teaching to. And I suspect — although, again, I cannot prove — that you stop respecting diversity of gender or race. After all, if success is all about some kind of innate ability, then there must be some reason why everyone who exhibits it looks the same.”
  • Solidarity against online harassment | Tor (December 12): “We do high-profile work, and over the past years, many of us have been the targets of online harassment. The current incidents come at a time when suspicion, slander, and threats are endemic to the online world. They create an environment where the malicious feel safe and the misguided feel justified in striking out online with a thousand blows. Under such attacks, many people have suffered — especially women who speak up online. Women who work on Tor are targeted, degraded, minimized and endure serious, frightening threats.
    This is the status quo for a large part of the internet. We will not accept it.”
  • How to Uphold White Supremacy by Focusing on Diversity and Inclusion | Model View Culture (December 10): “Liberalism as an ideology deems equal rights and equal treatment as a higher priority than  material justice, or as an effective means towards  it. Its presumptions of equality are false, as individualist equality may be written into law and policy while material inequality thrives. It effectively abstracts and obscures power dynamics along lines of race, class, and gender.”
  • Codes of Conduct: When Being Excellent is Not Enough | Model View Culture (December 10): “the most common argument from organizers who opposed codes of conduct ran something like this: since we are all professionals sharing mutual respect for one another, there is no need to add layers of bureaucracy to enforce standards that already exist informally.”
  • You Are What You Wear: The Dangerous Lessons Kids Learn From Sexist T-Shirts | Huff Post Women (December 3): “Even subtle messaging about girls’ and boys’ roles — in the media, in society and on clothing — affects the way kids see themselves.”
  • At a geek feminist meet-up in Ballarat | Elephant Woman (December 12): “the magic of the weekend wasn’t so much in the ideas as it was about the alchemy of the whole experience. Women coming together to talk about problems and coming up with solutions; women who identified as being feminists as well as being geeks of various kinds.”

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.

Digital Millenium Linkspam Act (12 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).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Linkspam arrived on time, was as described (December 9 2014)

  • Why women are leaving the tech industry in droves | LA Times (December 5): “In 2008, the Harvard Business Review published a landmark report on women in tech, “The Athena Factor,” which found that the mid-career point is the most dangerous time for women. Just as their male colleagues’ careers are taking off, women’s start to stall, with those who’ve reached the beginning ranks of management reporting feeling blocked in moving up because they don’t have a mentor, a sponsor or a road map.”
  • CNN’s Van Jones Speaks on Tech’s Digital “Cotton Pickers” | Re/code (December 4): “you deserve to be more than just digital cotton pickers in the information age. You need to be uploading and not downloading. Your genius should be tapped.”
  • Hacked documents reveal a Hollywood studio’s stunning gender and race gap | Fusion (December 1): According to leaked data, “the upper pay echelon of Sony Pictures is 94 percent male, and 88 percent white.”
  • Does Sex Make Science Fiction “Soft?” | Uncanny Magazine (November/December Issue): “How much kissing and flirting can a story take before it doesn’t deserve to be called science fiction any more? Yes, that was a trick question.”
  • On the 25th Anniversary of École Polytechnique | Julie Pagano (December 6): “This event is notable to me and often thought about because it is a reminder that people do exist who not only intend harm against women, but will actually carry it out. This isn’t an isolated incident — another mass killing targeting women happened this year in California. Many smaller incidents happen all the time. I think about it often. I can’t not.” Content notice: violence, violence against women, mass shooting
  • Programmers: Please don’t ever say this to beginners … | Philip Guo (November): “Haha, psssh, PHP is so dumb. You should learn Ruby on Rails, deploy on Heroku, and code in Vim. TextMate is for n00bs. Oh, then move onto some Node.js, that’s sweeeeet. non-blocking I/O w000000t.” Why expert coders can be crappy teachers.
  • My Career is not about Stopping Gamergate | Space Channel 6 (December 7:) “This is the thankless task I’ve signed up for. If I were being honest – I’m more than a little resentful. The vast majority of our male-dominated games press wrote a single piece condemning Gamergate and has been radio silent ever since. The publishers are silent, the console makers are silent. And so, Anita, Zoe, Randi and myself are out here doing the majority of the work, while everyone whines about wanting it to be over.”
  • Infographic: Gender Gap – Women in Technology | Lucidworks (December 4): “Here’s a snapshot of the gender gap in technology and how it compares to the rest of the workforce – and why we should reprogram the gender balance”

  •  

    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 Jargon File (December 7 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.

    Let none of us pretend

    Content Note: This post deals with the École Polytechnique massacre and violence against women.

    A black plaque engraved with the names of the women who died in the Ecole Polytechnique massacre

    Today marks 25 years since 14 women were killed in an act of sickening violence at the École Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They were targeted for being women and for being engineers.

    • Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
    • Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
    • Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
    • Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
    • Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
    • Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
    • Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
    • Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
    • Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
    • Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
    • Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
    • Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
    • Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
    • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

    The man who murdered Bergeron, Colgan, Croteau, Daigneault, Edward, Haviernick, Laganière, Leclair, Lemay, Pelletier, Richard, St-Arneault, Turcotte, and Klucznik-Widajewicz said — before he killed himself — “I am fighting feminism”.

    “And those of us who know what went before can come again
    Must ring the bells of morning”
    Stephen Fearing