Open source needs you!

While there are probably as many avenues into open source as there are open source contributors, two interesting programs are gearing up in March 2016 and I want to draw your attention to them. These both offer routes for new contributors who’d like to be paid, as well as opportunities for people and communities interested in mentoring.

Outreachy

Outreachy helps people from groups underrepresented in free and open source software get involved. We provide a supportive community for beginning to contribute any time throughout the year and offer focused internship opportunities twice a year with a number of free software organizations.

Currently, internships are open internationally to women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people. Additionally, they are open to residents and nationals of the United States of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. We are planning to expand the program to more participants from underrepresented backgrounds in the future.

Applications for the program are now open and the deadline for applying is March 22, 2016. Free and open source software organizations and supporting companies are invited to express interest in sponsoring the program this round by March 22.

Read more about Outreachy and get application/sponsoship information on the Outreachy website. One thing that I think is really nice about Outreachy is that it is an internship that is not limited to students and recent graduates but instead focuses on underrepresented communities. I’ve never participated, but students and mentors alike have told me that it is a great program that fosters a deeper mentoring connection than many similar programs. I particularly love how communities around Outreachy really go out of their way to help the interns network and get access to job opportunities.

On a personal note, the Python Software Foundation currently has money that could be earmarked for Outreachy but insufficient mentorship available to sponsor an Outreachy intern. If you’re an experienced mentor and Python contributor, or willing to volunteer as an administrator who could try to entice and coordinate such people, please drop me a line at terri(at)toybox.ca and I’ll try to get you connected to the right folk.

Google Summer of Code

GSoC2016Logo: a sun containing the characters "</>" with the words "Google Summer of Code" beside it

11 years, 103 countries, 515 open source organizations, 11,000 students.
Over 50 million lines of code.

Spend your summer break writing code and learning about open source development while earning money! Accepted students work with a mentor and become a part of the open source community. Many become lifetime open source developers! The 2016 student application window is March 14th to 25th.

Google Summer of Code is open to post-secondary students, age 18 and older in most countries.

You can read more about it on the Google Summer of Code website. It’s a pretty neat program: Google chooses a set of open source organizations to participate each year (2016’s orgs should be chosen by the time this post goes up!), then those organizations in turn get slots and choose students who they’re willing to mentor. Google pays the students, the open source groups provide the mentoring, and the students provide code and fresh ideas.

I’ve been involved with GSoC for a number of years, as a mentor for GNU Mailman, I did a few years as a mentor and administrator for Systers (a women in computing organization; I no longer mentor for them because the time commitment wasn’t possible), and the past few years I’ve been the organization administrator for the Python Software Foundation. It’s a great program that has really had a huge impact on the open source communities who participate — I’m particularly proud of one of my students with Mailman who went on to become one of our more active core contributors.

Interested in participating as a student?

If you haven’t participated in the program, you may not know that the largest group of applicants are young men from India, in part because many Indian colleges actively encourage their students to apply. So if you’re someone who is not a young man from India, you’ll be a minority in this context! Many open source projects are especially eager to talk to students in other time zones (sometimes there are mentors who go idle because no students are available to work to their schedules!) and with different academic backgrounds, so this can be a chance to really stand out.

Here on the Geek Feminism Blog, we’ve talked about GSoC quite a few times. Here’s two posts that might be useful to you:

In my role as Python org admin, there are two questions I hear more than any others, so they’re part of our FAQ. Since they might be useful to others, here are some links:

We need mentors too!

Both Outreachy and GSoC groups are actively recruiting mentors right now. If you’re involved with a open source project that’s participating and willing to spend some mentoring time, these are both structured programs that can be great ways to give back to your open source community.

If your project isn’t contributing, there’s still time to sign yourselves up for Outreachy! And although GSoC mentoring organization applications have closed, there may still be opportunities for new mentors who are willing to learn a new project or participate as a “sub org” under the umbrella of a larger organization.

Not in a position to mentor? Cheer on the students, advertise the program, or use this as an excuse to learn a new project and follow along with the incoming students as they learn!

Quick hit: Matching challenge to help WisCon Member Assistance Fund, ends tomorrow

I have been to WisCon, the world’s oldest feminist scifi convention, several times and I am going again this year (May 27-30, 2016, Madison, Wisconsin, USA). I love the smart, funny conversations, the great accessibility, the feeling of a space that’s majority-feminine and majority-feminist, and the relevant sessions. WisCon continues to influence the geek feminist community by trying to lead as a hospitable, feminist event, and publicly working through its failures and missteps.

WisCon has a Member Assistance Fund to help people who need financial help to attend the con. Longtime WisCon participant and fan Jed Hartman is donating to the Member Assistance Fund — and, till tomorrow, he’s matching donations up to USD $2500.

…this year, the Fund got a lot more requests than it ever has before, and even after last week’s great fundraising effort, the Fund ended up $5000 short of being able to help everyone who qualified.

So let’s fix that. This week, I will personally match every donation to the Member Assistance Fund, dollar-for-dollar, up to $2500. In particular, that means that if y’all collectively put in $2500 by the end of the day on Saturday the 27th … then I will put in the other $2500, and together we can provide financial aid to everyone who qualified.

Donations of any size are welcome! And, as of yesterday, we’re nearly halfway to the goal. To donate, go to the WisCon blog and click the Donate button.

Interview: Authors of the paper “Women’s Representation in Mathematics Subfields”

Right now, you can read a preliminary draft of a paper analyzing women’s representation in subfields of mathematics. The abstract:

We use data from papers posted to the Mathematics section of the arXiv to explore the representation of women in mathematics research. We show that women are under-represented as authors of mathematics papers on the arXiv, even in comparison to the proportion of women who hold full-time positions in mathematics departments. However, some subfields have much greater participation than others.

The authors, Dr. Abra Brisbin and Dr. Ursula Whitcher, are both scientists at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. I interviewed Dr. Whitcher about their methodology, findings, and further hypotheses, and about the additional burden of doing diversity work in the sciences.

Continue reading

I’ll Make Him A Linkspam He Can’t Refuse (24 February 2016)

  • Only 88 tech startups are run by black women | Sara Ashley O’Brien at CNN Money (17 February): “There are a paltry number of black women running tech startups. And there’s an incredible dearth of money flowing to the few who are.
    That’s according to #ProjectDiane, a new study that examines the state of black female entrepreneurship. While big tech firms have pledged to be more transparent about their diversity stats — releasing annual reports to benchmark their progress — that same transparency is still rare in the venture capital world.”
  • What Shipping Richonne Taught Me About Racism | The Black Feminist Geek (22 February): “Last night on The Walking Dead, Rick and Michonne finally got together […] the suggestion of a Rick/Michonne power couple has been met with confusion and incredulity, not to mention outright animosity at times. And during all these years of shipping Richonne, I’ve learned an awful lot about racism as it manifests itself in fandom.”
  • Wikimedia timeline of recent events | Molly White (22 February):”The Wikimedia Foundation has recently suffered from lack of communication with the editing community, poor transparency, and sudden loss of staff members. Some of these issues center around the recent Wikimedia Discovery efforts, some seem to stem from senior leadership. Unrest and discontent has been visible both within the editing community and the Wikimedia Foundation itself. This timeline […] will be updated as more events unfold or come to light.”
  • The Signpost: Shit I cannot believe we had to fucking write this month | Emily Temple-Wood at Wikipedia (17 February): “Welcome to this new column, which highlights awesome articles and other content created or expanded to fight systemic bias in the previous month! This first column will highlight content created in the first two months of 2016, because why the fuck not. People wrote some great stuff: This month in systemic bias, we had to write a whole bunch of shit that should have been written forever ago and generally made the world a better place. Go read these articles and learn about some badass people.”
  • Does The Design Industry Need A Women-Only Platform To Promote Equality? | Diana Budds at Co.Design (3 February): “Tech and finance are frequently cited as the most notorious culprits, but virtually every industry suffers from gender inequality. Design is no exception. A recent poll from O’Reilly found that women in the design industry earned $14,000 less on average than their male counterparts, and the U.S. Census found that female architects earned about 20% less than male architects. To combat the problem, Malmö, Sweden–based Terese Alstin established No Sir, an e-commerce platform built to promote the work of female designers.”
  • Ruby, Codes of Conduct, and Integrity | Betsy Haibel (17 February): “Whenever an event or a community adopts a CoC, there’s tension between the need to respect existing work and the need to build something organic. Strong codes of conduct codify community norms; a copypastaed CoC that doesn’t reflect community leaders’ actual values will inevitably be poorly and/or unevenly enforced, which makes communities less safe.”
  • Mark Oshiro’s post about the “persistent and pervasive racial and sexual abuse/harassment [he] was the victim of at ConQuesT” [warning for discussion of racism, sexual harassment, abuse]
    • Facebook post by Mark Does Stuff (21 February): “Over the past nine months or so, the events of my weekend at ConQuesT 46 have haunted me, and recent events inspired me to finally talk about my experience.”
    • Expect More From Your Regional ConCom | K Tempest Bradford (21 February): “There are so many conversations going on right now sparked by Mark Oshiro’s report[1] detailing what happened to him at last year’s ConQuesT convention that it’s hard to just focus in on one aspect to talk about[2]. There is one thing I want to jump in and speak about right away, which is what should be expected of con staff and ConComs.”

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, 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.

Linkspam Crossing

  • Where’s Rey? | Sweatpants & Coffee (January 19): “Would your son want to play with an action figure of Rey, the central figure in the latest Star Wars film? Would your daughter? It’s too bad they don’t have the choice; Hasbro, among other toymakers, left out the one key female figure in their The Force Awakens game sets. Hasbro says it was to preserve plot secrets, but an industry insider said the choice was deliberate. The insider, who spoke to Sweatpants & Coffee on condition of anonymity, said the decision to exclude Rey was based on marketing assumptions and not for plot reasons.”
  • How The Media Continues To Sell Out Victims Of Abuse | The Establishment (February 17): “[Zoe Quinn’s work] isn’t “profiting”—it’s making the best out of a disaster, eating the locusts that have devoured your crops and telling yourself you can get used to the taste. And whose fault is it? Well, it’s the fault of an angry ex who understands the Internet well and admits to carefully engineering his words to make his screed about what a terrible person his former girlfriend was go viral among people who hate her. But it’s also our fault. My fault. The fault of people like me who make a living writing about things and drawing attention to them and acting like that, in and of itself, makes a difference.”
  • 10 Movies You Should See That Pass The ”DuVernay Test” | Refinery29 (February 3): “Named for Selma director Ava Duvernay, it’s a test to see if a movie presents substantive depictions of people of color. While the Bechdel test has certain boxes that need to be checked off, the DuVernay test is broader. Dargis explained that, in films which pass the test, “African-Americans and other minorities have fully realized lives rather than serve as scenery in white stories.””
  • 2016 Dancecard & On Semi-Recent Events | Samantha Marshall: “Being a marginalized person in tech and a regular conference speaker is really rough. It requires a lot of energy to get on the level of everyone else around you that fits into the stereotypical “middle-class white dude” tech speaker. People don’t take you seriously and will drastically underestimate what you know or can offer that could be useful to them. It requires more energy to arrive at the same place, then you also need energy to face the harassment and exclusionary behavior that will inevitably manifest at events.”
  • If you worry about your health and like to exercise I recommend about informing on waist training for beginners which is a great way to stay in shape.

  • Women in STEM and Steven Universe | /r/stevenuniverse (February 18): “It’s good to see a show promoting women going into these fields without portraying them as shy bookish types in high school. These are individuals who are confident in their abilities and display a level of professionalism expected of them without any sort of bias based on gender.”
  • Long Live Zoë Quinn, The Nerd Hero We Deserve | Autostraddle (February 13): “What’s so frustrating—and perhaps why Quinn’s harassment is so resonant with so many women I speak to—is that G-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is nothing new. It’s simply a new way of doing an old thing, of harassing women. The idea of the “good victim” that Quinn suggests has been around for ages as a way of discrediting those that report abuse.”
  • In Conversation With bell hooks and Emma Watson | Paper (February 18): “Emma Watson’s stirring speech at the United Nations. Emma’s moving words and her work promoting gender equality through the UN’s HeForShe movement provided the first real introduction to the concept for many young women (and men). For her part, the actress says she’s identified as a feminist since she was a kid, but she also credits writer, artist, intellectual, and feminist icon bell hooks, author of Feminism is for Everybody among many other key texts, with inspiring her and helping shape her understanding and beliefs through her essays, books, and videos. And as for bell she says she is equally as inspired by Emma.”
  • How Shari Steele aims to take the Tor Project mainstream | The Daily Dot (February 16): “Steele’s job is to transform Tor’s image in the public eye, build its organization, and convince the world that strong privacy—not the weak kind you get through tweaking your Facebook settings—is a necessity in the 21st century.”
  • The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture | Dating Tips for the Feminist Man: : Attachment theory, neuroscience, etc. “In Ursula K. Leguin’s book Gifts, an entire culture lives by the rule of what they call ‘gifts’ – powers to do harm – possessed by certain of its members. … By the book’s end, the child at its centre has struggled, against all signs in his culture, to realize something profound and fundamental. … He finally asks his sister and closest confident: what if we are using our gifts backwards? To harm instead of to help? What if they were meant to be used the other way around?”
  • 70 years ago, six Philly women became the world’s first digital computer programmers | PhillyVoice (February 11): “Without any real training, they learned what it took to make ENIAC work – and made it a humming success. Their contributions were overlooked for decades.”
  • 14 graphic novels and comics every woman should read | Cosmopolitan (January 26): Webcomics, illustrated, by/for/about women.
  • Overrated Men | Inside Higher Ed (February 12): Study finds bias in how male students view female STEM students.

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, 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.

WTL (Willingness To Linkspam)

  • Open Source Gendercodes: “”Open Source Gendercodes” is a sci//art project attempting to create an open source sex hormone production platform for gender-hackers and trans people.. Such biotechnologies will enable people to grow companion plants in their homes for hormone therapy.”
  • Slack sent four black female engineers to accept an award and make a statement on diversity | Quartz (February 10): “As Slack’s founder and CEO, Stewart Butterfield has been the face of the enterprise chat app. But when the company won an award for fastest rising startup at TechCrunch’s annual tech awards show Feb. 8, it wasn’t Butterfield who took the stage but four black women: Megan Anctil, Erica Baker, Kiné Camara, and Duretti Hirpa.”
  • I think my biggest “huh” moment… | David J Prokopetz on Tumblr (January 4): “I think my biggest “huh” moment with respect to gender roles is when it was pointed out to me that your typical “geek” is just as hypermasculine as your typical “jock” when you look at it from the right angle.”
  • Why I Just Dropped The Harassment Charges Against The Man Who Started GamerGate | unburnt witch (February 10): “I’m tired. I have been trying to pick up the pieces of my life for almost two years at this point, and I’ve done a lot of healing, a lot of building what I feel like are more workable pushes to improve the lives of people being abused online, and a lot of self-improvement. I’m getting to a place where I’m kind of ok even while the abuse hasn’t slowed down. But every time I have to touch this festering part of my life, it drains the energy out of me. I have less energy to do casework at Crash, less energy to meet with tech partners to tell them how to do better and the ways they’re fucking up, less energy to make my goofy video games about feelings and farts, less energy for my friends and family and loved ones that have been helplessly watching me torn apart by this man for years.”
  • More Than Binary: Inclusive Gender Collection and You | PyCon 2016 in Portland, OR (February): “Many people identify their gender in many ways. So why do we build systems to capture accurate gender information with a dropdown that only lists “male” and “female”? This talk covers why you might want to consider alternative ways of selecting gender for your users, a brief overview of the current best practices, issues addressed by my project Gender Amender, and why more work needs to be done.”
  • Gender Bias in Open Source: Pull Request Acceptance of Women Versus Men | PeerJ (February 9):  An academic article that finds women are more likely to have their pull requests accepted in general but less likely to be accepted if they’re known to be women. Ars Technica has a writeup, but it buries the lede.
  • An Archive of Their Own: A Case Study of Feminist HCI and Values in Design (CHI 2016) | Casey Fiesler (February 9): “For years, I’ve been bringing up the fan fiction site Archive of Our Own (AO3) to folks in the HCI community, as a cool example of two things: (1) an amazingly successful open source project designed and built mostly by women; and (2) thoughtful incorporation of existing community norms into design. […] How did these design decisions come to be, and what makes AO3 so successful? Are there lessons to be learned for how we can build social norms into technology design? And as we unpacked these issues, what we found was that an underlying commitment to core feminist values (like agency, inclusivity, diversity, empowerment) were part of this picture – it turns out that AO3 is an amazing case study of feminist HCI in action.” More information can be found on their Tumblr.
  • The Woman Who Makes Prosthetic Pinkies for Ex-Yakuza Members | VICE Motherboard (February 9): “The woman was Yukako Fukushima, a prosthetics maker, who—aside from making regular prosthetics—has for over a decade made hundreds of fake pinkies for ex-yakuza members wishing to leave gang life behind and find regular jobs. Usually one of Fukushima’s fingers costs 180,000 yen ($1490), but she provides ex-yakuza in difficult financial situations with a discount.”

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, 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.

Liberty, equality, linkspam (9 February 2016)

  • the problem of language | b. binaohan on Medium (February 8): “All of this, at the end, has me thinking about instruction, leaky pipelines, and diversity in tech. In a lot of ways, I represent a perfect example of the convergence of socio-economic factors that make pipes leaky. Based on my age and interests, I *could’ve* been one of those “I taught myself how to code as a teen and spent two years in college then dropped out to make lots of money” types. But I was poor, trans, gay, not-white-enough, and life got in the way”
  • Meet Marvel’s Newest Comic Series About a Badass Superhero You Already Love | PopSugar (February 8): “”I have an 11-year-old daughter. She is a huge comics nerd,” said Cain. “There are a ton of girls her age who read comics. But the industry loses a lot of them in middle school. Maybe because they’re generally mortified. Or maybe they catch on that there’s not as much for them as they thought there was.” Hopefully Mockingbird is just what they need to retain their love of comics.”
  • FilterScout | Civic Workbench: “FilterScout is a browser extension allows User to set rules for content display, muting unwanted content on the Web, including social media websites. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, newspapers, blogs can be filtered.”… “We’re mitigating one vector for abuse so that people can continue to engage with communities and (we hope) build communities where abuse isn’t normal.”
  • Library publishing and diversity values | College and Research Libraries News (February): “What are the consequences of this lack of diversity in publishing, librarianship, and faculty? We know already that privilege can bias access to material, which is part of why the open access movement exists, to alleviate the barriers that cost can create for researchers. However, one possible consequence is a feedback loop in scholarship that privileges and publishes the majority voice, which is often white and male.”
  • An R update | Adventures in Data (February 2): “what I need is the confidence that the system will work not just forme, who knows some of the R Foundation and Core folks in a passing way, but for people who don’t. That we actually have a way of handling these kinds of problems in the future, that is scalable and generalisable and not based on who you know.”
  • When life gives you lemons, make science | Adventures in Data (February 5): “If you’re going to harass people for science bear in mind that they may science your harassment. Happy browsing to all. And remember, kids: nobody likes total strangers offering their very important opinion about how you are totally wrong. So, please: don’t be that stranger.”

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, 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.

Linkspam On. Linkspam Off. (5 February 2016)

  • Fathers: maybe stop mentioning your daughters to earn credibility on women’s issues | Medium: “We have to take our time and earn trust. We have to show up to those women’s meetings — and listen. We have to volunteer to do the busy work it takes to make diversity initiatives run. We’ve got to apologize when we mess up. We have to make our workplaces more hospitable to all kinds of people. We have to hire marginalized people. And we’ve got to read, read, read all we can to make sure we know what we are talking about and never stop because we probably still don’t. Our daughters are awesome. But at work, lets make things better for everyone.”
  • Dear White Women in Tech: Here’s a Thought — Follow Your Own Advice by Riley H | Model View Culture: “Instead of being useful to us, all I see is that white women are quite happy to talk at all-white panels and call it diversity in tech and gaming. You’re happy to use the means afforded to you for being white to play a good game and make a good face while doing nothing meaningful for women of color. You’re screaming and shouting all day about your own shallow versions of feminism while the women of color you claim to represent are trying to simultaneously hold their heads up to stay above water, and down to avoid choking on smoke.”
  • How startups can create a culture of inclusiveness | The Globe and Mail: “As a young female in a leadership position at a successful tech startup, who also happens to be visibly religious, I know a thing or two about representing minorities in the workplace. After years of hearing and reading about the lack of diversity in startups and personally encountering what seem like isolated incidents, I’ve noticed a very real pattern of exclusivity. Here are a few things I’ve learned during my career at several Toronto startups on building a workplace culture that is collaborative, inclusive, and one that can help accelerate the growth of your company.”
  • This 2014 Sci-Fi Novel Eerily Anticipated the Zika Virus | Slate: “There is a better science fiction analog to the Zika crisis: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, by Meg Elison, which was published in 2014 In Children of Men, abortion and birth control are rendered moot; in The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, birth control and a woman’s right to bodily autonomy are central to the plot.”
  • Let’s Talk About The Other Atheist Movement | Godlessness in Theory: “Over the last twenty-four hours, with media fixated on Dawkins’ absence from one upcoming convention, atheists have been gathered at another in Houston. The Secular Social Justice conference, sponsored jointly by half a dozen orgs, highlights ‘the lived experiences, cultural context, shared struggle and social history of secular humanist people of color’. Sessions address the humanist history of hip hop, the new atheism’s imperialist mission and the lack of secular scaffolds for communities of colour in the working class US, whether for black single mothers or recently released incarcerees. Perhaps we could talk about this?”
  • Computer Science, Meet Humanities: in New Majors, Opposites Attract | Chronicle of Higher Education: “She chose Stanford University, where she became one of the first students in a new major there called CS+Music, part of a pilot program informally known as CS+X.Its goal is to put students in a middle ground, between computer science and any of 14 disciplines in the humanities, including history, art, and classics. And it reduces the number of required hours that students would normally take in a double major in those subjects.”

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, 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.

Stand by your linkspam (1 February 2016)

  • Down and out in statistical computing | Adventures in Data (February 1): “So: unintentionally offensive variable name leads to a patch and the indication that it is much more than one person finding it offensive, leads to the President of the R Foundation dismissing the concerns as “shit-disturbing” and punishing the people who surfaced said concern.”
  • The week I made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Science List | Sarah Guthals on Medium (January 10): “When being nominated or recognized for my efforts, it’s not that I’m the best, or the one that should get the recognition, but I am one of the people that should be recognized, and that recognition could allow me to highlight all of the other people and efforts that have contributed to me being able to continue making my efforts towards helping others.”
  • How to stop the sexual harassment of women in science: reboot the system | The Conversation (January 28): “we don’t need to wait for journalists and politicians to shine a spotlight on more individual cases of harassment. It’s time individual researchers, science managers, departments and institutions made the commitment to reboot science and wipe out harassment.”
  • The “Women in Tech” movement is full of victim blaming bullshit | Life Tips (January 14): “It is time to focus the work on holding the men in charge accountable- not just trying to do things to “help women”.”
  • Names and Harvard | Adventures in Renaming (January 26): “If Harvard can be so on the ball with preferred names, why can’t anyone else? Why can’t PayPal let me decide what name I want to show on Paypal.Me rather than plastering my full name? Why can’t I have my debit card show the name I’d rather overly-friendly cashiers call me? And why is Facebook still being fussy over names? Just one quick note to the administrators (maybe not even that), and done. Easy.”
  • Plug In With The DIY Tech Superstar Of Adafruit Industries: BUST Interview | Bust Magazine (January 21): “While still a student, she built an mp3 player from scratch “for fun.” And after her classmates took notice, Fried began selling her own DIY kits. Today, Adafruit occupies a 15,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in N.Y.C., and Fried hosts weekly web hangouts where she answers tech questions and interacts with makers of all skill levels.”
  • Lady Science | Slate (January 25): “sexism isn’t a women’s problem, it’s a problem for everyone. Also it helps if men speak up, because men who might be a part of the problem will tend to listen to other men more than women. Ironic, but once this idea gets traction with them that problem itself might diminish.”

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, 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.

The Law of Conservation of Linkspam (22 January 2016)

  • RC Start: Free one-on-one mentorship for new programmers | Recurse Center: “With RC Start, if you’re a new programmer, you can now get advice, pair program, have your code reviewed, and receive other support in becoming a better programmer – all without having to quit your job or pay thousands of dollars.”
  • The NASA Engineer on a Feminist Voyage | YouTube: (Video, November 2015) “Broadly spends “A Day With” Denisse Arranda, Venezuelan transplant, Virginia Beach resident, dance enthusiast, and top NASA engineer. With a major project on the horizon, and a husband far far away, Denisse’s life requires tight choreography.”
  • Gender Bias Simulator: “The simulation projects gender ratios for a theoretical company with eight hierarchical tiers, starting at entry-level (level 1) and proceeding to executive level (level 8). Gender bias is reflected in performance-review scores, which are used to determine who stays, who leaves, and who gets promoted.”
  • It’s not your fault. | Medium: “A recent study reported that 60% of women in Silicon Valley have been sexually harassed. Of those, 65% have received advances directly from a superior. These statistics caught me by surprise, though they probably shouldn’t have — I am one of them.”
  • Face-Palming Over Apple’s Diversity | Autostraddle: “Apple seems to truly believe that its vast plethora of Diversity & Inclusion efforts — and they are impressive, with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in helping NCWIT launch Latinas in Technology, providing scholarships to and hiring from public and private HBCUs, and doing their darnedest to inspire kids from an early age with unfettered access to hands-on STEM programs — gives them a pass to gloss over the severe lack of parity at the top.”
  • Hello Barbie isn’t just creepy. She is also pretty sexist. | Fusion: “Hello Barbie is programmed with eight different phrases to strike up a conversation about style, while she’s programmed with just one for computers. Sure she is also programmed to say she loves math and science, but while math is “cool,” fashion, according to Barbie, is so much more.”
  • Beware the Rule-Following Coworker, Harvard Study Warns | The Washington Post: : “In the continuum of toxic workers, there are those who are simply annoying and might just be a bad fit for an organization. At the other end are those who engage in harassment, bullying, fraud, theft or even violence in the workplace. The study zeroed in on those at the most extreme of the extreme who were fired for their toxic behavior.”
  • How One Man Tried to Write Women Out of CRISPR, the Biggest Biotech Innovation in Decades | Jezebel: “That Lander would attempt to write the definitive history of the development of a groundbreaking, potentially Nobel Prize-worthy technology, especially while in the midst of a legal battle surrounding exactly that, struck many as a bald-faced attempt at excising, in this case, the contribution of women from the scientific record.”
  • When Teamwork Doesn’t Work For Women | New York Times: “Ms. Sarsons discovered one group of female economists who enjoyed the same career success as men: those who work alone. Specifically, she says that “women who solo author everything have roughly the same chance of receiving tenure as a man.” So any gender differences must be because of the differential treatment of men and women who work collaboratively.”

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