Tag Archives: geeky music

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.”

 


 

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Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Quick hit: “I’ll fight them as an engineer”

Thanks to a backchannel comment earlier, I had the thought that Peggy Seeger wrote a way better version of Lean In back in 1970, when Sheryl Sandberg was a baby. For those who didn’t spend their teen years listening to seventies folk music when all their peers were listening to rock and/or roll, here’s her song “I’m Gonna Be an Engineer”, with a bonus animation by Ken Wong:

Excerpt:

Oh, but now the times are harder and me Jimmy’s got the sack;
I went down to Vicker’s, they were glad to have me back.
But I’m a third-class citizen, my wages tell me that
But I’m a first-class engineer!

The boss he says “We pay you as a lady,
You only got the job because I can’t afford a man,
With you I keep the profits high as may be,
You’re just a cheaper pair of hands.”

Well, I listened to my mother and I joined a typing pool
Listened to my lover and I put him through his school
If I listen to the boss, I’m just a bloody fool
And an underpaid engineer
I been a sucker ever since I was a baby
As a daughter, as a mother, as a lover, as a dear
But I’ll fight them as a woman, not a lady
I’ll fight them as an engineer!

44 years later, Australian businessperson Evan Thornley — who was six years old when Seeger wrote “I’m Gonna Be an Engineer” — presented a slide at a startup conference that said: “Women: like men, only cheaper.”

The same week, Ashe Dryden wrote:

In a world where a business’s bottom-line comes before anything else, industries profit from the unequal treatment of their employees. Marginalized people often have to go above and beyond the work being done by their more privileged coworkers to receive the same recognition. The problem is readily apparent for women of color, who make between 10 and 53% less than their white male counterparts. The situation is such that compensating people equally is seen as a radical act. In maintaining an undervalued workforce, businesses create even more profit.

(Emphasis author’s.)

Thanks to Maco for reminding me both that the song exists and of how timely it is almost half a century later. There’s some good news, though: Peggy Seeger is alive and well, and still performing and releasing music. She turns 80 years old next year and according to her Twitter bio, she’s openly bi and poly. (Footnote: happy Bisexual Awareness Week! Yes, we get a whole week now.)

Open thread: never say “fake geek” again!

Hello again! Hopefully everyone is enjoying our newly working blog (no one is seeing regular 503 errors right? RIGHT? no seriously, let us know if you are). We’re celebrating with an open thread for comments on any subject fitting our policy!

Feature item for this open thread is Nothing to Prove (subtitled version available in Amara) by geek sister musicians The Doubleclicks. The band talk about the song and video on their blog. Additional images can be submitted on geekgirlvideo.tumblr.com. Transcript at the bottom of this post.

(
{“video_url”: “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4Rjy5yW1gQ”}
)

Various reminders:

  • (Re-)Follow us on Twitter! Our new, working, Twitter handle is @GeekFeminismOrg (follow); we’ve permanently lost access to @geekfeminism.
  • Sharing links: we no longer can access links for linkspams submitted via delicious.com. Currently most of our regular linkspam submitters are signed up to Pinboard.

About open threads: open threads are for 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 it follows our comment policy. We’re always looking for fluffy, fun, silly, cute or beautiful open thread starters, please post links to Pinboard with the “gffun” tag.

Partial transcription of video:

Transcriber’s note: the video clip consists of many short videos of a geek or sometimes two geeks holding up a sign to the camera. for time reasons, I am only transcribing the signs, not giving a description of people’s appearance or their surroundings, other than noting geeks who appear to me to be men. I’m aware that several of them are geek celebrities, but I haven’t looked them up. Signs are in square braces.

[Opening credits: “Nothing to Prove”, a music video by the Doubleclicks.]

I entered this scene through rejection and honesty

[Two people: Hi there! We are geek girls.]
[I started playing DnD in 6th grade. I never stopped.]

Nerds weren’t mean, they were weird and that worked for me

[I learned to read with comic books.]
[I’ve been a gamer since before I can remember.]

After 10 years of teasing when social skills failed me

[I grew my hair out / so I could dress up as Princess Leia.]

Dungeons & Dragons cured all that ailed me

[I played Myst when it was released. I was 11. It was the GREATEST DAY OF MY LIFE!]

We read books, we played games, we made art, we watched Lost

[My Transformers played with my Cabbage Patch Kids.]
[I received my first console when I was nine years old.]

We said things like “D20″, “shipping” and “Mana cost”

[My regular Saturday night “date” was the 5th doctor.]
[Comics taught me women can be beautiful & powerful.]

It felt good to be myself, not being mocked

[Founder and president of my high school Star Trek fan club.]
[I spend HUNDREDS of hours on cosplay.]

Still self-conscious, though, we whispered things about jocks

[Adult and child: I’m raising the next generation of Geek Girls!]
[Accounting associate by day, Elf Ranger by night.]

But one day, you grow up, come into your own

[I was obsessed with Star Trek: The Next Generation and had a super huge crush on Jonathan Frakes. / Now we’re friends. It’s weird.]

Now geek’s not rejection – it’s a label I own

[I write code for particle accelerators.]
[I’m in ur HOUSE OF IDEAS writin ur COMICS.]

Then ignorant haters come to prove me wrong

[Two people: being a geek girl is really awesome / … except when it isn’t.]

Tell me I’m not nerdy enough to belong

[I love video games but BOYS tell me I’m not a REAL GAMER.]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[That look of surprise when I talk about Star Trek? It gets old.]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[Why are you surprised I want to be an ASTRONAUT when I grow up?]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[I’m a SCIENTIST not a secretary.]

(rising music)

[I own a comic + game shop but people just assume I’m humoring my geek husband.]

Fake Geek Girl test – that’s a funny one, go ahead

[People say I only play video games because of my boyfriend but I owned over 200 games before I even met him!]

How many comic books are there I haven’t read?

[I work at a comic book store. Male customers tend to ignore me completely or ask if there is a man around to help them.]

I know it feels good to have a contest you win

[Being ASIAN and a GEEK doesn’t mean I have to like ANIME.]

It would feel even better if I wanted in

[I was told I traded my cleavage for free comics.]

So women aren’t geeks, so is that your conclusion?

[I have to use a gender-neutral pen-name just to be respected.]

That this is some secret club based on exclusion?

[I was told I “sound smart for a girl in a pink skirt.”]

12-year-old dorks would say you’re being selfish

[A con vendor told me that the smaller dice sets were for women to wear and show off (accessories). The regular ones were for men to, you know, play games with.]

And then they’d go write in their journals in Elvish

[Two people: Here’s a message for the haters, elitists and bullies / from us, the geek girls and our friends]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[Man: No one gets to tell you how to be a geek.]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[Man: If someone has to pass a test to hang out with you / YOU’RE the problem. ]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[You think I do this for your approval? Mwa ha ha. / Get over yourself.]

(instrumental)

[Man: There are no fake geeks / … only real jerks.]
[Who died and made you Batman?! Wait. Was it your parents? / In that case I’m very sorry. / Never mind.]
[I don’t need you to tell me how much I like anything.]
[We’ve both been ridiculed for our hobbies. Be supportive. We’re on the same side.]

I’ve got cred but honestly, I shouldn’t need it

[I don’t need to go to a con to be a geek. I am & I haven’t.]

This world needs all kinds of folks to complete it

[Please don’t let my gender turn you into an elitist. We love the same things for the same reasons.]

You’ve got gamers, and artists and comic subscribers

[Don’t tell my daughters that Lego, Robots and Superheroes are for boys.]

Cosplayers, crafters and fan-fiction writers

[Geek equality equals geekuality now!]

You can stop – never say “fake geek” again

[I was a geek before I saw a cult film or played a game. I don’t need your approval in the end.]

Our club needs no bouncers – all who want in get in

[Be respectful and I won’t eat you.]

But go ahead, if you want, to own that role fully

[Men: Staring ≠ respecting. Men are women too!]

I ain’t got nothing to prove to a bully!

[I’m a geek and I’m awesome. / And I don’t need your permission.]

(instrumental)

[DON’T PANIC.]
[Man: Don’t be a dick.]
[I’m older than ‘your Mom’ and I still love MMORPGs!]
[I’m a geek. / Search your heart. You know it to be true.]
[I founded a camp to teach girls how to program.]
[I am a cardboard-flipping card gamer.]
[You can’t take the geek from me.]
[Buuugs!]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[I’m a geek!]
[I am a geek! (and I am good at sports)]
[I’m a geek!]
[I’m a geek]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[I’m a geek!]
[I am a RPG nerd!]
[I am a geek!]
[I’m a geek ♥]

I’ve got nothing to prove

[I’m a geek]
[Man: I will do anything for $5]
[I am a costume geek!]

(instrumental)

[I cosplay for attention. LOL NOT.]
[I’m me. NERD.]
[I’m a geek!]
[I’m a fraking NERD!]
[I’m a cosplayer.]
[(sign held off-screen)]
[I’m a NERD.]
[I am a geek grrl!]
[I am a geek]
[I’m a geek!]
[I am a GEEK]
[I am a GEEK!]
[I am a tabletop geek girl!]
[I’m a / Browncoat / Comic book collator / Convention panelist / Tabletop gamer / Fanfic writer / Geek]
[I solved the [Rubik’s] cube in 36 seconds on TV 30 years ago. Now I publish the card game Fluxx.]
[I just knew that one day Star Trek would be cool. Take that EVERYONE from junior high!]
[I turned nerd watching the 90s Xmen with my Dad.]
[Child and adult,: I am a geek girl in training. I love the Science Channel. / I am a scifi/fantasy book, gadget, games (before kids), science and technology, artsy fartsy geek. aka a general all-purpose geek girl.]
[Trek-obsessed cosplaying grammarian librarian.]
[I got my husband into GAMING.]
[I am a geek!]
[It’s not easy. But I’m a geek.]
[I crochet my own Elder Gods!]
[I have been playing video games for almost 28 years!]
[Two people: Geek friends = great friends!]
[When I ran a two-week line up for the first Star Wars prequel, my homeroom teacher called me an EMBARRASSMENT and said I was ruining my school’s reputation.]
[My Mom let me read her copy of The Jedi Academy trilogy when I was 10!]
[I was born making Vulcan hands.]
[I often contemplate the merits of a Hogwards education.]
[I got my PhD in electrical engineering with a research focus in computational neuroscience.]
[I am a Wizard, Jedi, Scooby, Xman, Baker Street Irregular, Companion, Brownvoat, Starfleet Officer, Dread Pirate, Walker, Wizard, Geek.]
[Ich bin ein Aussenseitern.]
[I’m geeky enough for me.]
[I teach robotics to kids, make my own cosplays, and I work as a professional NPC at my local comic book store. (And I watch lots of geek TV shows.)]
[I was the one who introduced my fiancé to D&D. To me he is the newbie.]
[I was BORN pulling things apart & putting them back together. Now I do science on a boat. #geekforlife]
[Write fanfiction. Do cute and sexy cosplay. BE YOURSELF. Do what you want.]
[Adult and child: I can be a ballerina AND kill cylons! / Why are you surprised I want to be an ASTRONAUT when I grow up?]
[When I was six my family brought me to PAX. I loved it!]
[I said I liked Illusion of Gaia. He asked me how many red jewels the game contained.]
[Chem teacher told me I would never make a good SCIENTIST. I start my PhD in biology in September.]
[Don’t worry if you haven’t read, watched and played everything, given time you will explore!]
[In high school and university guys were shocked that I played video games and read sci-fi/fantasy books.]
[I am a geek! YAY!]

Haters are gonna hate!

[Two people: Geek girls are awesome and we are not going away! / Deal with it.]

(credits roll)

Transcript notes: subtitling used the Amara tool, lyrics are available in the Youtube description for the video. In order to capture the signs towards the end that are only displayed for two frames, I downloaded the video with youtube-dl and stepped through it frame-by-frame using Totem and Máirín Duffy’s instructions for frame stepping.

bill-nye

Open thread: Bill Nye the Music Guy

I found this great source of Bill Nye music videos and this one made me laugh:

I don’t know if he’s known world-wide, but the Bill Nye The Science Guy was an inordinately popular kids’ science show in North America when I was still in public school.

User NyeTunes on youtube has uploaded a large number of music videos from the show, so if you’re not as amused by rocks as I am, go find the one you like best and let us know in the comments!

This is an open thread, so nothing is off-topic here as long as you stay within our comment guidelines. We have these open threads so that you can comment on older posts, get in touch with us to ask questions or suggest links, etc. Feel free to reminisce about great educational TV!

Roll a D6

As a tabletop gamer who carries dice in her bag, I’m highly amused by this d&d roleplaying parody of the Far East Movement’s “Like a G6″ :

Roll a D6 from Connor Anderson on Vimeo.

I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the Far East Movement even un-parodied, mostly because of Rocketeer, but even She Owns the Night sounds to me like a “geek girl loves to dance” kinda anthem:

The only question is,
Watchu know about these stereotypes?
FM, come on.

So innocent you can tell by the clothes,
College girl with a 4.0,
Good girl by day,
Damn, who would have known?

Some reasons I’m looking forwards to PAX East

A few Penny Arcade fans with little grasp of basic human decency and even less grasp of basic grammar and spelling have really been making for an unpleasant week. The last linkspam has related links if you’re curious. It’s not pretty.

BUT… I actually have tickets for PAX East. I decided to go long before this whole debacle because I’ve enjoyed PAX prime in the past, and a friend of mine has had an incredibly rough year so a bunch of us planned the trip partially as a present to her. She’s much more important to me than a bunch of jerks are, so backing out is not an option for me.

Rather than let the actions of a few people ruin something I enjoy, I’m going to step away from that part of things and talk about why I’m still excited about the trip.

  1. Jane McGonigal is a keynote speaker! She’s done some amazing work on gaming and how it can be used to make more real-world impact, and when I was still teaching game design, I’d often talk about her work with my students. She’s an awesome female game designer and an inspiring speaker. I’ve watched her TED talk, and I’m totally stoked about seeing her keynote.
  2. Angry Birds! My friend and I have been crocheting angry birds and greedy pigs from the game Angry Birds to use for playing line games with strangers. We’ll set up some structures with the pigs and offer up birds to knock them over. Or maybe we’ll just make angry bird noises and toss them into crowd to see what happens (we’re hoping to have a bunch to give away!) Line games are a real feature at PAX, since you do spend a lot of time waiting in line, and in previous years my group has had a ball meeting strangers next to us in line and playing DS games or just chatting. Honestly, I’m not usually a fan of waiting, but it makes a break from the noisier show floor and a great excuse to meet people who are at least interested in the same panel.
  3. Okay, I’m not done with the Angry Birds thing yet. Check out this partially finished amigurumi cutie I made while hashing out a pattern for smaller birds!

    Not so angry bird amigurumi

    Not so angry bird amigurumi
    by Terriko.

    He’s too little to be angry!

    Actually, I’ve been having way too much fun making geeky amigurumi lately. Check out kirby’s epic yarn yawn and the lemmings I made for my mother (who is totally a hardcore gamer when it comes to Lemmings.) And I even mailed a friend a bob-omb. (“Can I have your new address?” “Are you going to send me a bomb?”) I tend to wing it a lot when making things, but Nerdigurumi is a great place to start if you want geeky patterns.

  4. Awesome friends! I’ve got a nicely-sized gang of friends going, so if I’m feeling shy I don’t have to talk to anyone I don’t know. I’m particularly looking forwards to vacationing with this year’s party, and I expect those of us travelling together will have a total blast in transit too.
  5. Concerts! With geeky music! I love live music, but often shows are marred by drunken morons. However, on top of not allowing booth babes, PAX also has all-ages evening shows all ages so there’s no booze. Yeay for feeling safer and not having to deal with drunks who bash into me! Plus thanks to the popularity of music games, you can’t beat a gamer crowd for ability to clap in time and sing in tune. (It totally freaked me out the first time I heard everyone *actually* clapping in unison.) And I’m still amused by the Nintendo DSes being used in place of lighters/cell phones:

    Rock show DS

    Rock show DS
    by Terriko.

  6. New games! I love getting to try new demos and poke around games I maybe wouldn’t have tried except that there happened to be a controller free. I often wind up with some beta keys to share, too, so I can do things like check out the big lego massively multiplayer game in my own time and even with friends. And it’s not just computer and console games: I love walking into the board game rooms and immediately having someone flag us down to try something out. “You’ve got to try this game! It’s called ‘We didn’t playtest this at all!'” (turns out it’s a fun, quick, if exceptionally silly card game!)
  7. Swag! I got a dozen T-shirts at PAX prime in 2010, and some of them even fit me beautifully! Other favourites include posters, fun buttons, cute plushies and even an amazing artbook from the Guild Wars 2 team. Last time I brought back a paper zombie cone (from Plants Vs Zombies) to give to a young girl who I know loved the game.
    safety cones plus zombie safety cones

    safety cones plus zombie safety cones
    by Solarbird.
  8. Costumes and gamer geek wear! We probably aren’t going to have any big costumes ourselves this year, but it’s a great excuse to wear goofy hats, and I love seeing what other people have done. Check out the koopa backpack I made for last time:

    Incomplete winged koopa backpack

    Incomplete winged koopa backpack
    by Terriko.

    It’s neat to see people showing the world what games they enjoy.

So there’s a few reasons and I’m feeling better already. Anyone got any upcoming events you’re excited about? Anyone planning to go to the first GirlGeekCon in the fall which promises to be a potential alternative for women who (understandably) might prefer to give PAX a miss? Anyone been making neat amigurumi or other geeky toys and want to share? Let me know.

NOTE: I’m really serious about wanting this post to be about fun stuff: a unicorn chaser to this week for me. So please, you want to be negative, try another post. The latest linkspam may be an appropriate place for such things. They will not be published on this post.

G33k & G4M3R Girls: You’re doing it wrong.

Metaneira is a 30 year old female currently in school for a master’s in public administration focusing on the non-profit sector. Meta has been gaming since she could hold a joystick, and has been blogging in one form or another since 1999. She currently co-hosts a site about mages and feminist issues in World of Warcraft at www.empoweredfire.com.

This post originally appeared at Empowered Fire.

By now you may have seen the video “G33k & G4M3R Girls,” a parody of Katy Perry’s “California Girls” written by a few women involved with geek culture. (If you haven’t, you can see it here: while safe for work, the video features women very scantily clad and has an aggressively cloying auto-tuned soundtrack. Watch at your own risk.) The four women — Milynn Sarley, Clare Grant, Rileah Vanderbilt, and Michele Boyd — form “Team Unicorn” and were interviewed by the Official Star Wars Blog about the video. The author of the article says the ladies answer as one unit “cause that’s how they roll.” Fine: “Team Unicorn” it is. Team Unicorn: you’re doing it wrong.

Now, let me get a few things straight: I’m a geek. I’m a gamer. And I’m a woman. But none of those things are me: they are just parts of the whole. Having my entire personality boiled down to a list of nerdy references I get or things I enjoy doing is kind of absurd, but this is what the video promotes. From the very start, Seth Green asks, “Hello friends… don’t you want to meet a nice girl?” The video is not aimed at the women it is purporting to celebrate: it is straight-up pandering to the largely sexist, male-centric geek subculture. It is geek women served up for the male gaze on a shiny latex platter. This is not empowering.

Continue reading

Geeky. Black. Female. Android.

This is cross-posted at Restructure!

In the futuristic city of Metropolis, Cindi Mayweather, a.k.a. Android # 57821, falls in love with a human named Anthony Greendown. As a result, the Star Commission schedules for her immediate disassembly. Cindi Mayweather hides in the Neon Valley Street District, while card-carrying android bounty hunters are urged to capture her for a reward. The Droid Control Marshalls forbid the bounty hunters from using phasers that day; they can only use chainsaws and electro-daggers.

Janelle Monáe, Metropolis. Suite I, The Chase. XOOO The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monae. Suites II and III. XXXO

Cindi Mayweather is actually the alter-ego of Janelle Monáe, an underrated, multi-talented American recording artist, and apparent science fiction geek. Jason Heller of sci-fl/fantasy site Tor writes of Monáe:

Monáe herself has said how indebted to the SF canon she is: In interviews she’s gushed about Philip K. Dick, The Matrix, Metropolis (a film she pays visual tribute to on the cover of The ArchAndroid), and most often Octavia E. Butler, a visionary writer whose ethnocentric SF clearly marks her as Monáe’s aesthetic godmother. […] Monáe isn’t dabbling in SF. She takes the stuff passionately and seriously.

In her lyrics, Monáe alludes to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, kryptonite, and thinks of herself as “something like a Terminator“. (On the other hand, her lyrics also include some ableist (and nonsensical) phrases like, “shake it like schizo”.)

From her first album, Metropolis, the music video for “Many Moons” is about an Annual Android Auction featuring a performance by Cindi Mayweather, in which Monáe dances erratically and does the moonwalk:

If you liked that video and want more highly-polished videos by Monáe, check out “Tightrope”, which is not sci-fi-themed but has fantasy elements and gender-liberating dancing, as well as the trailer for The ArchAndroid, in which the camera pans around a futuristic city-scape that turns out to be Monáe’s hat.


Related links (thanks, yatima):

Ada makes the machines sing

Remember the Ubuntu Women World Play Day Competition that I posted about a while ago?

The entries have now closed and voting has opened.

If you need some inspiration to vote:

If you’re wondering what the soundtrack is, it is a free download released by The Crystalline Effect to honor Ada Lovelace for this year’s Ada Lovelace Day. I discovered it this week when searching for a track to compliment the competition montage, and have fallen somewhat in love with it.