Tag Archives: clothes

Wall of Spam, by freezelight on Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

I’m too pretty to linkspam (2nd September, 2011)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious, freelish.us or pinboard.in 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.

Wall of Spam, by freezelight on Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

The performer formerly known as Linkspam (31st August, 2011)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious, freelish.us or pinboard.in 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.

When being professional means dressing in men’s clothes

This is an Ask a Geek Feminist question for our commenters:

I work in a research lab with about 15 employees. There are two women, and administrative assistant and me (an engineer) we are getting ready for a big design review and someone suggested we get shirts that we can all wear to match for the big presentation. The problem is that there is a local style of shirt that men wear but women do not typically, the woman equivalent of the shirt is usually sleeveless and sometimes skimpy and not work appropriate. I asked that we not do the local shirt because it wouldn’t really work for me and instead do polo shirts. When I made the request one of my co-workers suggest another local dress that is associated with old women and everyone laughed. I have just found out that the decision was made and we are buying the local shirt and I am supposed to just get a men’s small (they don’t make them in women’s sizes). If I don’t wear the shirt I won’t look like part of the team but I feel like my lab had the chance to try to be inclusive but chose not to. The other woman isn’t happy about it either but she doesn’t have to do a professional presentation. What do I do? I could dress professionally in my own clothes but then what do I say when a customer asks why I don’t match? Do I just put on the men’s shirt?

Everyone gets a linkspam! (27th January, 2011)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the geekfeminism tag on delicious 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 compiler doesn’t care what you’re wearing

When not making music and splattering it unceremoniously across the Internet, Lindsey Kuper braindumps on her blog about life as a computer science Ph.D. student and human being. It took her fully half an hour to write this two-sentence bio, but it would have taken longer without Emacs.

This post originally appeared at her blog.

I’ve talked to a few women who’ve said that they fear they won’t be taken seriously as computer professionals if they dress in a “girly” way. I used to think that I was immune to that fear. But two weeks after my job started at GrammaTech, I looked at my closet and pushed everything I’d worn in the last two weeks to the left and everything I hadn’t worn to the right. On the left were jeans and t-shirts and gray and black and brown. On the right were dresses and bright green and bright blue and pink and floral prints. I was very surprised. I took a picture of what it looked like so that I wouldn’t forget.

I realized that what I thought my clothes looked like, based on what was hanging in my closet, was completely different from what my clothes looked like to other people in practice. I clearly liked the dresses and the floral prints and the bright colors, or I wouldn’t have had them in my closet — but I wasn’t wearing them, because on any given day, they seemed like the wrong thing to wear. I realized that I feared not being taken seriously by my co-workers if I wore floral dresses to work. I decided to call bullshit on that. After all, as Kathy Sierra points out, the compiler doesn’t care what you’re wearing.

Of course, there are a lot of women programmers who choose not to wear girly clothes because they don’t want to wear girly clothes, not because they’re afraid to do it. And a lot of the time, that’s me. In 2008, when I was living in Portland, someone I knew was hesitant to wear her preferred everyday outfit, a skirt, to OSCON out of concern about not being taken seriously by people there. Eventually, she did wear the skirt, and a friend of hers congratulated her on being brave enough to wear the clothes she liked to wear. I remember standing there listening to their conversation and feeling rather irked. I, too, was at OSCON and wearing the clothes I liked to wear, but because my clothes happened to be a t-shirt and thrift-store sneakers and jeans, nobody seemed to be congratulating me. It made me wonder, briefly, if I was less brave than the woman in the skirt — or if anyone at OSCON was concluding from my clothes that I was less brave. In retrospect, I don’t think anyone was. Bravery is extremely personal. One person’s brave act could be a neutral or cowardly act for someone else. And certainly the idea that one’s bravery can be determined from one’s appearance is completely senseless.

Call for guest posts: appearance/presentation issues

Some comments on both Kylie’s post and Terri’s latest post suggest that this blog should really is overdue to host discussions on geek women who are oppressed or trapped by or feeling policed about issues to do with: body image, femininity, gender presentation and similar, or who want to question and deconstruct them, or opt-out.

I know it’s a cop-out to say “we’d welcome guest posts”, but here’s why I feel it’s appropriate in this case: our bloggers who are most sensitive to these issues from personal experience aren’t able to be public about it in this venue at this time, or don’t feel that they can deal with the issue sensitively enough or analytically enough for a satisfying respectful discussion with others. So maybe I should say: we need guest posts to address these issues in a satisfying way, and we’re sorry that we can’t properly address it otherwise (at this time, at least).

If you would like to guest-post on this issue, leave a comment here or on the latest Open thread (you’re always welcome to offer a guest post on an Open thread). Otherwise if you’d like to share links, analysis and resources on these issues, or offer shorter comments, or angles that you’d like addressed on this blog by other writers, please comment.

Linkspam that differentiates me from a doormat (20th May, 2010)

  • Hollaback, the websites for fighting back against street harassment, are raising money for an iPhone app allowing posting of harassment events and harassers’ images. Find out more and donate at ihollaback.org. (Via Valerie Aurora.) They need donations by May 28 in order to get any money at all.
  • The Climate at UW-Madison: Begins Sunny and Warm, Ends Chilly: a summary of the results of interviews with nine female faculty members who left the University of Wisconsin-Madison and seven faculty members presently employed at the UW. The interviews were conducted on behalf of the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI).
  • ThinkGeek’s Heroine t-shirt series includes an Ada Lovelace tee.
  • Erika Hall writes An Open Letter to Our Industry: So, hey, there has been a renewed kerfuffle on teh Internets about who is included in speaker lists and bylines and why… Excellent… No one should feel comfortable with the current state of things. That state being seeing the same faces —of typically white, typically dudes—again, and again, and again.
  • A Woman’s Toolkit for Seeking a Raise: interesting discusion in the New York Times of much of the same stuff as Women Don't Ask covers – nice to see it in the mainstream press.
  • David Gómez-Rosado of Want magazine writes with Public thanks… And public apology: And painful because it comes from people that are 100% right and we were 100% wrong. In fact, we were left speechless with little to say in our defense other than shut up, bow our heads in dismay, and sincerely apologize. The issue at hand (pointed by several respected and celebrated professionals in the user experience community) is the total lack of presence of women in this our first issue.
  • How the sex bias prevails: transgendered scientists Ben Barres and Joan Roughgarden recount their experiences with how their perceived gender influenced their scientific careers and the differences after they transitioned.
  • Broadband makes women happy: Though men are stereotyped as gadget hounds, information technology actually brings more happiness to women worldwide.

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism†to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.

You’re not gonna reach my linkspam (31st March, 2010)

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism†to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.