Tag Archives: pronouns

Link Us Something Please (8 February 2015)

  • Computational Linguistics Reveals How Wikipedia Articles Are Biased Against Women | MIT Technology Review (February 2): “various researchers have kept a close eye on the way the gender bias among editors may be filtering through to the articles in the encyclopedia itself. Today, Claudia Wagner at the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, Germany, and pals at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and the University of Koblenz-Landau, say they have found evidence of serious bias in Wikipedia entries about women, suggesting that gender bias may be more deep-seated and engrained than previously imagined.”
  • Here’s What It’s Like For A Woman To Send a Job Rejection To A Man | Jolene Creighton on Medium (February 2): “Why we rejected him… Simply put, he’s not a science writer. That’s the only consideration that factored into our decision. Looking at his impressive list of publications, there isn’t anything even remotely on science. At least, nothing that I have seen. Admittedly, I didn’t look up every single publication. But either way, if not being a science writer isn’t a good enough reason for you, here are a few other reasons that we could have rejected him.”
  • #28DaysOfBlackCosplay: More Than Just A Hashtag | Black Girl Nerds (February 5): “Jamie: Why is cosplay so important to the blerd (black nerd) community?
    Chaka: As Black nerds, it’s important for us to see images of each other. Things are starting to get better, but we still have so few characters of color in our comics, video games, anime, manga and movies. It can be disheartening, never seeing anyone who looks like you in the media you love so much. Being able to physically see Black cosplayers out at cons, literally wearing their fandom on their sleeves is just so intensely satisfying on a level I may not ever be able to accurately describe.”
  • How Using ‘They’ as a Singular Pronoun Can Change the World | Feministing (February 3): “using singular they is far more than a way to respect friends who have gender identities outside the binary. Singular they has exciting potential to be part of a radical shift in the dominant gender culture. Changing the culture may seem like a mighty task for one little pronoun. But actually, it wouldn’t be the first time that a pronoun was near the center of a momentous cultural shift.”
  • [warning for discussion of abuse and suicide] Twitter CEO Dick Costolo finally admits the obvious: Site has failed users on abuse | Washington Post (February 5): “Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo has never deigned to address rampant harassment on his platform, despite the frequency with which that subject makes the news. But on Wednesday, in the wake of a blockbuster radio piece by the feminist writer Lindy West, Costolo at last admitted to a fatal flaw of his platform that hundreds of critics and troll-battered tweeters have pointed out already: Twitter has become an ideal platform for harassment, in large part because the site has done so little to combat it. “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” Costolo wrote, in a company memo obtained by the Verge. “
  • Is the Professor Bossy or Brilliant? Much Depends on Gender | Claire Miller at New York Times (February 6):”Benjamin Schmidt, a Northeastern University history professor, says he built the chart using data from 14 million student reviews on the Rate My Professors site. It allows you to search for any word to see how often it appeared in reviews and how it broke down by gender and department. The chart makes vivid unconscious biases. The implications go well beyond professors and college students, to anyone who gives or receives feedback or performance reviews.”

More articles about that Newsweek story and lead illustration:

  • Fighting Sexism In Silicon Valley | TechCrunch (January 30): “As they start or join startups that are looking for funding, I sincerely hope that millennials will apply their unique ethos to their funding strategies and career decisions. I hope they seek out and partner with VCs who share their same values about gender diversity, who are unafraid to invest in woman-led startups, and who have women on staff throughout their ranks. I hope they will embrace the diversity that helps to define their generation.”
  • Newsweek, Allies, and Critique | Ellen’s Blog (January 30): “It’s crucial that we critique public statements on this issue. There aren’t many people who are willing to speak up, so the few voices are amplified to an unreasonable degree. This means we lack a broad, nuanced perspective that could propel us forward. If you’re speaking for a group, you should be anxious to hear how their perspective differs. You should also encourage new voices.”
  • Ethical Issues in the Online World | Santa Clara University (February 5): “Ironically, though the article itself focuses on the story of one particular startup founded by two women to illustrate the problem of gender discrimination in Silicon Valley, the reader has to scroll down quite a ways before getting to a photo of those two women entrepreneurs. What if those two real women had been on the cover? Their experiences were apparently seen as interesting and representative enough to illustrate the broader issue, but their faces weren’t. Instead, the key image of the piece (which, the cliché goes, is worth a thousand words), gives voice to those who demean such women.”
  • Quiet, Ladies. @Wadhwa is Speaking Now | Amelia Greenhall (February 3): “What can Vivek Wadhwa do if he wants to ACTUALLY help women in tech? To start, Wadhwa needs to shut up about women in tech already! (And forever, preferably. Should we start #stopWadhwa2015?) When reporters call him about women in tech, he should suggest that they speak to an actual woman in tech on the topic instead – perhaps any of the women he has invited to come visit him at his office. We women are waiting for the email that says, “Vivek recommended I speak to you instead, because you are more qualified.” Vivek could donate twice the funds raised by the women in tech book to actual tech feminist non-profits. He could credit the women interviewed in the book by asking permission to put their names and links to their work on the book’s website. He could advocate for the creation of a gender studies faculty position at Singularity University. He could talk about something (anything!) that he has actual experience with, other than women in tech. May that day come soon!”

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.

Happy New Linkspam! (30 December 2013)

  • Indian Ad Turns the Male Gaze Back on Itself and it’s Awesome | Bustle (19 Dec 2013): “Prominent Asian film school Whistling Woods International released a YouTube video on Monday, exactly one year after the horrific rape case in Delhi that became international news and drew global attention to violence against women in India, that turns the tables on men who ogle women in public. The film shows four scenarios where women are subjected to the ever-pervasive male gaze while going about their daily lives, whether talking with friends or just riding the bus. But then a reflective surface, be it sunglasses or a necklace, turns these gazes back on the men themselves.”
  • When “Life Hacking” Is Really White Privilege | jendziura, Medium (19 Dec, 2013): “James Altucher recently posted a short piece on Quora entitled, How to Break All the Rules and Get Everything You Want. He has written an article about “getting everything you want.” He has actually written an article about white privilege. (And probably class privilege, and male privilege, and maybe some others.) There are many people in this country for whom it is exceedingly dangerous to assume that if you aren’t angry, there’s no reason for anyone to be angry at you.”
  • When is “guys” gender neutral? I did a survey! | Julia Evans (27 Dec 2013): “The other day I was having a discussion with someone about whether or not “guys” was a gender-neutral term. This person said “my friends totally think it is!”, and I verified with my friends, who totally said it wasn’t. Not the best grounds for a discussion. So I ran a slightly-more-scientific survey.”
  • What Makes Girls Fall In Love With Computers And Code? | Colleen Taylor, TechCrunch (29 Dec 2013): “So perhaps the best way to get a girl interested in computers is simply to put them in front of her as often and as early in life as we do for her male counterparts — and even more importantly, encourage her to approach computers as a producer, rather than as a consumer.”
  • It’s Not “Too Late” for Female Hackers | Katie Siegel, Medium (29 Dec 2013): “The fact is, most women and minorities are currently entering the field in high school or college. And yes, this is a problem. But it certainly should not be a death sentence for entrepreneurial aspirations. When the head of Y Combinator, arguably the best and most selective tech startup accelerator, claims that “it’s already too late” for those who began hacking past middle school to ever start a company, he is no longer critiquing CS education. Instead, he is emulating Silicon Valley’s deeply-held bias against a group of people typically composed of females and racial minorities: those who do not fit the stereotype of the “typical hacker.””
  • Paul Graham Isn’t Keeping Women Out of Tech – From Y Combinators’ Newest All Female Company | Lauren Kay & Katie Bambino, The Dating Ring (28 Dec 2013): “Paul Graham is right in that there is a huge problem 10 years upstream of us. Real societal and educational changes need to be made before Y Combinator is going to have any chance of having a truly diversified class. But that doesn’t give us free rein to ignore the problems that exist in universities, accelerators, tech companies and venture capital. These pieces of the funnel need to be thoroughly analysed and optimized for inclusion.”
  • Hello Pronoun Stickers | Not Actually a Pirate (29 Dec 2013): “The stickers read “Hello, address me as:_________, Please use: ________”, allowing you to declare your name of choice and preferred pronouns immediately upon meeting people.”
  • Where Do You Learn Your Cultural Traditions? |  s.e. smith (23 Dec 2013): “It got me thinking about cultural knowledge, these small things that we just assume people know by virtue of living in and interacting with a culture; I can’t tell you who’s told me these things about weddings and why I know these rules, just as I couldn’t tell you the cultural rules for weddings based in other cultures and held in other nations. I’d have to ask someone, and that person likely wouldn’t think of some very basic rules because they’re so second nature, it wouldn’t occur to them to mention them.”
  • Combating Sexual Harassment in Tech | Alexandra Garretón, MissionLocal (23 Dec 2013): “The coed members of Noisebridge, a collective workspace, agreed [“It has become abundantly clear to most women in the space that ‘Be Excellent’ has failed us.”]. In late September it became one of more than 100 hackerspaces, tech conferences and meetups since 2010 to impose an anti-harassment policy from the Ada Initiative, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that supports women in tech. The idea is “no jerks welcome.””

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.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.