The weather up here is fine

I’m Mary Gardiner. It’s also the name I am best known by in geekland: I go by lots of names online and can’t commit to any of them.

If asked about my geekdom I tend to talk about Free Software, which I occasionally write and generally am steeped in in various ways. Eventually I will also remember that I’m a PhD student in a computer science program. If asked about my feminism, I guess the most constant thing is that the question about not calling myself a feminist never made a lot of sense. Maybe it’s a literalist geek thing: if there’s a label for supporting ending of oppression of and discrimination against women, and I believe in so doing, doesn’t the label apply?

I currently like to count myself as two people whenever a vote is or might conceivably be called for: in four months or a bit longer I will be a geek feminist mother for the first time. Otherwise, the most immediate thing that I’m thinking about is intersectionality, and the fact that this is a recent thing and not a core part of my self should tell you how privileged I am: white, young, able-bodied, tertiary educated, heterosexual, among other things. I even have a slightly rare trait which is privileged because it’s more common in male bodies: I’m very tall (tall enough that I’d still be quite a tall man, tall enough that I know what its like to be the tallest person in a medium-sized room) and the things in the world that are built for average men to reach, lift, manipulate and control are right there in arm’s reach for me too.

I hope to learn a lot here about geekdom, feminism, and other things.

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About Mary

Mary is a women in tech activist, a programmer, a writer, and a sometime computational linguist. She writes at Her previous projects include co-founding the Ada Initiative and major contributions to the Geek Feminism blog. She's @me_gardiner on Twitter.

One thought on “The weather up here is fine

  1. Yatima

    I’ve also come late and brutally to an awareness of intersectionality, reflecting my own straight white able-bodied tertiary-educated privilege. It’s been a long year for me as I try to dismantle some of my blinkers around race especially. Right now I am wading through the latest round of fail from ReaderCon and WorldCon (linked from Skud’s post); makes it clearer than ever to me that Fail Is A Feminist Issue.

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