Background: Drupal is a kind of CMS (content management system); itâ€™s a particularly powerful and versatile platform for building and managing websites. It is free and open source, which means that you donâ€™t have to pay to use it, and anyone can help work on it. Thereâ€™s a very large and international community of people who use and work on Drupal, and like the wider tech community, itâ€™s dominated by white straight cis men. Open Source people, and Drupal people in particular, pride themselves on having a â€œdoacracyâ€â€”a community that values getting stuff done above traditional authority. This could create a beginner-friendly, non-hierarchical environment of subversion and experimentation. In practice we just have white straight cis men getting SUPER DEFENSIVE at the suggestion that maybe they got where they are not only by the sweat of their brow, and shouting down any mention of patriarchy, racism, or any other systemic oppression when people run the numbers and get to wondering why thereâ€™s so little minority representation in Open Source.
There is a nice summary of the podcast at the link, and my transcript is below the fold. Iâ€™ve added links to give context to some of the references Jack and the interviewer make.
The first post I made on geekfeminism.org mentioned that Ada Lovelace Day was approaching. That day, March 24th, is now merely hours away.
Celebrated for the first time last year, Ada Lovelace Day is a day when those of us who curate blogs take the time to write about women in IT and Science fields whom we respect and whose achievements we believe are deserving of acknowledgement.
Get your writing hats on!
[From Mary: Also, as you make your Ada Lovelace Day posts, feel free to comment on this thread with a link to your post and a short excerpt. You can also add your post to your profile once you've pledged at findingada.com.]
It’s amazingly creepy and perturbing. I was reminded of how women in particular are often expected to smile or look actively happy. But further than that, a sort of relentless pressure for self-improvement. McCarthy’s video of the Happiness Hat didn’t make me think, “Oh, if I smile more I might be happier”. Instead it reminded me of the concept of hegemony as “the gun inside your head”. Police your thoughts… or else your conscience will prick you – along with the scary hat spike!
Lauren McCarthy has made a lot of other cool stuff. Take a look. From her bio: “Her work explores the structures and systems of social interactions, identity, and self-representation. She is interested in the slightly uncomfortable moments when patterns are shifted, expectations are broken, and participants become aware of the system. Her work takes any form necessary: video, performance, software, internet art, interactive objects and environments, and media installations.”