- Gender gap in pay explained by choice of major
- Roll call: Women in Python. If you’re a woman who uses Python, go let Pam know!
- Notes from the DrupalChix panel at DrupalCampLA last weekend
- A big warning flag on “District 9″ for some major RaceFail and ancillary GenderFail (see comments). Previously: a promotional competition for the movie was open to men only.
- Johanna at Comics Worth Reading Reviews Marvel Divas #2: “This is actually pretty good.” (Background on the wiki.)
- Sarah Mei on Teaching Ruby to high school girls
- Simone Peterson Hruda: Reflections on Black Women in Engineering via the Women in Science blog.
- Belatedly, also at the Women in Science blog: Women of the Apollo Program
Fairly recent items from around the web:
- The Hathor Legacy reviews and recommends “Green” by Jay Lake, a new fantasy novel about a young, bisexual woman of colour.
- K. Tempest Bradford on Creating Better Magazines (and Anthologies): “The present and the future of the genre and the community is not just heterosexual, able-bodied, upper or middle-class American or British white males. The future of SF is made up of women and people of color, and people of various cultures and classes, and LGBT folks, and non-Americans and non-Western nationalities (China, India, the Philippines, to name just three).”
- Editorial work is hard, asshole. “This response to Tempest’s post (above) reads like a list of things I wish had thought to put on the tips for finding women speakers.” – Skud
- Trigger warning Harriet Jacobs of Fugitivus recounts in Two More Things how a fellow D&D roleplayer of allegedly liberal beliefs made constant misogynist jokes in character.
- Socialogical Images: a collection of items related to gender and science/tech topics.
- OTW: two early fan-written Star Trek novels by Jane Land are now available online through the Open Doors project. “Kista (1986), a novel about Christine Chapel, was described by the author as, ‘an attempt to rescue one of Star Trek’s female characters from an artificially-imposed case of foolishness.’”
- The nonprofit scifi/fantasy magazine Strange Horizons needs to raise about $5500 more in its annual fund drive. Â One of the most women-friendly pro markets in our genre: the editors publish more fiction by female than male authors, and have been considering gender issues in SF publishing for a while.
- Girls have less free time to play video games than boys do. Â ”Our findings suggest that one reason women play fewer games than men is because they are required to fulfill more obligatory activities, leaving them less available leisure time.” Â Comments from Amanda Marcotte and Hugo Schwyzer. Â How many girls get as much free, unstructured time to game and hack as their male counterparts?
- Blogger rawlesÂ suggests that it’s more empowering to see Nyota Uhura get the guy in the new Trek movie than it was for her to be single in the original series. Â In mainstream media, “[t]his near total invisibility [of black women] is perhaps the very first thing that I think needs to be understood in any feminist discourse about Uhura, but it seems to be the last thing most people talk about.”
Again, if you see something geek-feminist that we should link to in the next roundup, drop us a comment.
This week’s science fiction Fail came to us courtesy of a husband-and-wife team: L. Jagi Lamplighter and John C. Wright. Yesterday Skud linked to Jagi’s post-Writercon rant in favour of colourblindness – that is, the practice of not even acknowledging race. The trouble with this position is that it assumes a white default. Today, interestingly, Jagi has apologized to Karnythia and has retracted some of her more egregious positions. That’s a relief, especially as she also mentions she and her husband are in the process of adopting from China.
Unfortunately Jagi’s epiphany coincides with her husband having a highly public and somewhat disturbed meltdown over gay sex. To me, the most perplexing part was this:
Odd as it sounds, I was fully loyal to the sexual revolution as an idea. Then someone tried to convince me that two lesbians licking each other in the crotch was the same in all ways, just as sacred, just as romantic, just as normal, just as beautiful as Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Iseult, Micky and Minnie, Adam and Eve, Jove and Juno, Father Sky and Mother Earth, me and my wife.
Romeo and Juliet: normal? Micky (sic) and Minnie: sacred? (For that matter, oral sex: gross?) But leaving all that aside, what this makes clear to me is how difficult it can be to separate the strands of sexism, homophobia and racism, especially within a given social milieu. Jagi mentions John’s views on race to support her own; John holds up his marriage to Jagi as the ideal to which all of us sexual perverts out here ought to aspire. The comments threads are polarized between their supporters and their angry opponents, with supporters frequently attacking opponents for failing to be sufficiently polite. With the possible exception of Jagi on colourblindness, few minds are changed.
It’s all fairly depressing for your average liberal progressive SF fan (1), but it serves as a salutary reminder of what can happen when people carve out little enclaves for themselves where they can take positions they believe are brave and iconoclastic, and everyone around them provides positive reinforcement. That is, they can fall prey to all kinds of cruel ideas.
Let’s (2) not do that. Let’s not be those people. Let’s think hard about intersectionality, and remind ourselves that while we struggle in one context, as women or feminists or mothers, we’re often hugely privileged in other contexts, as technically adept or educated or white or heterosexual or able-bodied or young or some world-historical jackpot combination of the above. Oppression’s not good for much, but if it doesn’t teach us compassion for people who are differently or multiply oppressed, we’re just not paying attention. The effort is going to suck. It’s going to drain our energy and, for some of us, use up scarce spoons. We’re going to make mistakes and show our asses, but we’re geeks, right? I have faith in us. I just know we can fail better than this.
Edited to add:
(1) That subset of SF fans who happen to be liberal and progressive; clearly, not all SF fans are either.
(2) By “us” here I mean the aforementioned liberal progressive SF fans.