I liked their earlier linkspams better (12 January 2016)

  • Science and gender: Scientists must work harder on equality | Nature (December 21 2015): “Every major criterion on which scientists are evaluated, for hiring, promotion, talk invitations or prizes, has been shown to be biased in favour of (white) men. These include authorship credit, paper citations, funding, recruitment, mentoring and tenure. For example, although women publish fewer papers than men, there is some evidence that on average they are longer and more complete, and that this difference vanishes if one corrects for funding level and research-group size.”
  • Power of Asian superheroes | The Malaysian Insider (January 7 2016): “We grew up with window books – stories through which we learnt about other worlds, especially white, Western worlds with fireplaces, summer holidays, marmalade, garages and frocks. Only recently have we begun encountering mirror books – stories in which we see ourselves and our worlds reflected. From the 1990s up to a few years ago, we grew up in Malaysia, but we never saw ourselves or characters like us in storybooks.”
  • If You Give a Librarian a Cookie… | Rule Number One: A Library Blog (January 5 2016): “what other parts of ourselves do we have to deny in order to be taken seriously in the workplace? Is it worth it? What does it mean to elide parts of yourself so that you aren’t just described as “the girl who bakes”? At what point does my work speak for itself and I don’t have to worry about this anymore?”
  • Let’s End the False War Between Free Speech and Hate Speech | Re/Code (January 7 2016): “If you loudly tell a woman she deserves to be raped for speaking her mind on any subject in the public square, at a party or at work, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get ejected from there and, at the very least, you’ll be subject to much-deserved derision and censure. Not so on the Internet, where such talk is all too common and much too tolerated. Which is why Intel, Vox Media, Re/code and the Born This Way Foundation are coming together to co-create Hack Harassment (#hackharassment), a new, collaborative initiative to fight online harassment and provide safer, more inclusive online experiences.”
  • A surprisingly difficult question for Facebook: Do I have boobs now? | The Guardian (November 3 2015): “While the censorship of women’s breasts in western culture did not begin with Facebook and Instagram, the #FreeTheNipple and #DoIHaveBoobsNow campaigns argue social media companies should use their power and influence to instigate change.”

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 Linkspam Awakens (5 January 2016)

  • Our Turn: The trouble with whiteboard interviews | Concord Monitor (December 20): “The trend toward “whiteboard interviews” constitutes a form of hazing, bound to attract only certain personalities and demographics to tech jobs. Members of stereotyped groups such as women and people of color are particularly vulnerable to the use of this interview technique in fields dominated by white males. This vulnerability is backed by years of research in psychology but is currently ignored by tech companies.”
  • [CW: descriptions of harassment] The House That Silence Built: Harassment in the Comics Industry | Comics Alliance (December 21): “If multiple reports of harassment and even assault aren’t enough for a publisher to take meaningful action (and I do mean firing here; the consequence for assaulting someone at an industry event should be losing your job, and that should not be a controversial stance) we can only imagine what smaller indignities and attitudes women and men face in this industry.”
  • [CW: descriptions of harassment] The Developer Formerly Known as FreeBSDGirl | Randi.io (December 31): “When someone has to leave an IRC channel and stop going to conferences because they are scared of a person, this is a sign that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. It’s rare for people to speak up about negative behavior. If one person is uncomfortable, chances are that there’s more community members who are having issues with them but not speaking up.”
  • Where do you get your news? A question for intersectional feminists | The TapestryMaker Blog (January 4): “What I’d really like is something that’s been designed with an explicit goal of diversity, run by a woman-led organization where the software has been designed and implemented mostly by women and where the majority of the content comes from women and the people involved are intersectional feminists and/or womanists.”
  • Falsehoods Programmers believe about Gender | Alon Altman on Medium (December 29): “In this post I will expand on things assumed to be true about gender”
  • Why Feminist Criticism Is Necessary for Video Games as an Art Form |The Mary Sue (December 24): “What I find especially bizarre about anti-feminist gamers is that they are harming the case that video games are art. In fighting feminist criticism, they were also trying to stop gaming reaching an important milestone. Other art forms had their feminists, so why not video games? The anti-feminist gamers wanted their hobby to be treated as an art form, but were not willing to allow the scrutiny that came with that distinction.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers ahead

  • Rey is not a role model for little girls (major spoilers ahead) | Mike Adamick (December 21): “No, Rey is not the perfect role model for little girls. She’s a role model for boys. Indeed, she’s the perfect role model for little boys, and a whole bunch of supposedly grown ass men as well. She’s the role model they need. Frankly, she’s the role model our expanding universe of epic sexist bullshittery needs.”
  • A List of All the Asians in The Force Awakens, and Why Representation Matters | The Mary Sue (December 23): “this is how good it can feel to see someone like yourself represented on screen. Finding someone I finally, truly identified with was such a huge moment for me. Sure, I can find bits and pieces of myself in other characters, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look up to a few fictional characters as role models, but this is different, you see.”

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 for President (23 December 2015)

  • The Importance of Feminism in Pop Culture, Republican Debate Edition | Satiricalifragilistic: “What I will say is that what we see in media has a huge effect not only on how we live our individual lives, but on what we perceive is the “normal,” default experince with which everyone is supposed to identify, and that the populace at large is assumed to support. A remark like Christie’s takes as its starting assumption that the American voter expects a “normal” family to have a working father and a mother who focuses on the children, and that the roles of these two (heterosexual & married) parents are distinct from each other.”
  • This Is Why You Don’t Have a Girlfriend: The Story of a Nerdy Lady Dating Online | The Mary Sue: “I have met quite a few lovely guys who identify as geeks, dweebs, nerds, or fanboys, and who have conversed with me as a person first and foremost. All I’m asking is that you think about the message you’re sending when you approach a woman whether for romantic reasons or for friendship. By questioning the very thing that might have attracted you to her, you ruin any chance of finding out if she might be interested in you the human being and not just you the nerd.”
  • The False Promise of Meritocracy | The Atlantic: (December 3) “American beliefs about the rightness of meritocratic ideals often leads to the belief that those ideals are what guides society. But research shows that a real commitment to meritocracy requires understanding that America hasn’t gotten there—at least not yet. It is this insight that leads to the adoption of practices that will ultimately result in a society where merit truly does equal ability + effort.”
  • Nerd Culture is Not a Contest | The Mary Sue: “None of us has any right to judge the legitimacy of anyone else’s level of geek. Fandom isn’t a contest, and the sooner we stop treating it that way, the sooner we can go back to arguing over real issues like whether we need a Miles Morales Spider-Man movie more than another Peter Parker one*.”
  • Gameplay | Rookie: “Naomi McArthur and Kristina Swanenburg, two researchers and game designers at Riot (their official titles are “behavioral scientists”), sat down with me to answer some questions about stymying harassment through design and trying to initiate friendships in online spaces where people are anonymous.”
  • Contempt Culture | The Particular Finest: “This was a bombshell. I’d been loudly criticising the language and, through that criticism, implying that people using the language weren’t as good me, weren’t good programmers. And suddenly I was thinking about all the myriad ways that someone with that background would feel othered by me, like they didn’t belong and weren’t welcome in the communities I was a part of. All of the ways in which I was actively participating in the exclusion of women from STEM.”
  • Blog: My First Ever Tech(ish) Conference | Peerlyst: “When the session ended, I approached the woman to thank her for asking a question in what was clearly an unsupportive environment. I found her surrounded by a small group of women who echoed my support – and surprise – about the crowd’s reaction. “
  • #HackAHairDryer: another attempt to make science appeal to women falls flat | The Guardian: (December 10) “With all this talk about how to get girls interested in science and maths, it should not be forgotten that the job does not end there. In my field of the academic life sciences, unlike in engineering and the physical sciences, early interest and recruitment isn’t the problem, with gender parity at the PhD levels and even into the early postdoctoral trainee years. It is retention that’s the issue: fewer than 20% of biology professors are women. It’s not just academia that suffers from this problem: the percentages of women in leadership positions in biotech is even lower.”

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.

Bacon, linkspam, and tomato (18 December 2015)

  • Diversity is making DC Comics great again | Vox (October 19): “”At the end of the day, [diversity] was just critical for us,” co-publisher Jim Lee told me. “This is something that we’ve been working on for years. We acknowledged that it was an issue. We could be doing a better job of it, and this is the first step toward that eventual goal.””
  • Nerd Culture is Not a Contest | She Geeks (December 14): “The “place” for women in geek culture (or any culture for that matter) is the same today as it has always been: Wherever the hell we want. There is no more a “place” for women than there is a specific “place” for men in geek culture.”
  • Content warning: descriptions of online harassment The Serial Swatter | The New York Times (November 24): “After being attacked, several victims reached out to Twitch, asking for information that they could give to detectives or for advice on how to protect themselves from further abuse.”
  • Sixteen years ago… | Jen Myers (December 17): “Suddenly, it occurred to me that I wasn’t alone, or at least didn’t always have to be. That maybe, out there in the larger world beyond an Ohio small town, there were still big new stories to be told, and even weird girls could tell them. Maybe they could even be in them.”
  • Pulling the Thread of Unsafe Spaces: Part 1 | Tim’s Journal (December 16): “When your boss (or your boss’s boss’s boss, or someone acting on that person’s behalf) grants you permission to bring your whole self to work, what’s the subtext?”
  • Finding support as a new senior (woman) leader | Lara Hogan (December 16): “As a female Senior Engineering Manager at a tech company, I’m in a weird spot. There are lots of women role models ahead of me who I look up to, and who I’m fortunate enough to call mentors. There are a bunch of women who I mentor, too, and many more women just entering the industry. However, I’ve found it difficult to find peers.”
  • Poker, Wikipedia, and the Singular They | Waxy (December 11): “Grammar manuals and copy editors may be slow to adapt to how the rest of the world uses language, but the increasing popularity of “they” reflects an increasingly gender-inclusive culture.”
  • Lowering the bar | Moishe’s Blog (December 16): “So, there are white men in positions of power (building an engineering org, deciding who to fund) implying that hiring diverse candidates means that some “bar” has to be “lowered.” Going back to Gould’s thesis, this is alarming in a) the false implication that diverse populations somehow don’t meet b) some reified “bar” that’s a projection of a mind-bogglingly complex set of traits which can basically really only be guessed at, with varying but generally low degrees of accuracy.”
  • Carrie Fisher’s press tour for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been spectacular — and revolutionary | Vox (December 14): “as she prepares the world to see her as General Leia in The Force Awakens, Fisher is doing the whole rigmarole with not just a wink, but an uncanny way of dismantling what’s expected of her.”
  • What’s the Best Holiday Gift You Can Give? Fanfiction! | Tor.com (December 14): “Like a Secret Santa, participants are assigned to one another and try to come up with something that matches the recipient’s likes and personality. Unlike a Secret Santa, everyone is giving the same gift: a new piece of writing crafted for the special occasion.”

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: it’s what’s for dinner. (11 December 2015)

  • Reframing the Responsibility Narrative Around Online Harassment | The Daily Beast: [content note: article has an alternate headline] “This is the root of victim blaming. Harassers’ responsibility for awful actions are eroded, such that a false image of power lies with the recipient of abuse. Instead of confronting harassers and abusers, people blame targets for taking action in response to abuse—to protect themselves and others, as in Ford’s case. “You got a man fired!” instead of “That’s what happens when you’re a jerk to someone.””
  • Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): | A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment: “This guide is for anyone who fears they might be targeted, or who is already under attack, for speaking their mind online, but is especially designed for women, people of color, trans and genderqueer people, and everyone else whose existing oppressions are made worse by digital violence. It details best security practices for social media, email, online gaming, website platforms, and ensuring privacy of personal information online, as well as the documentation and reporting of harassment, and caring for yourself emotionally during an online attack. You don’t need any specialized knowledge to use this guide – just basic computer and internet skills.”
  • Confidence Through Feedback, or Why Imposter Syndrome is the Wrong Metaphor | Beth Andres-Beck: “Without feedback, there are three options: I can believe, without evidence, that I am an awesome programmer.  I can believe, without evidence, that I am a terrible programmer and quit to go do something else.  Or finally, I can believe, without evidence, that I am a terrible programmer somehow successfully pretending to be an awesome programmer.”
  • Please stop asking women to prove they can do science | Scientific American Blog Network: “The other half of the problem is that so many people are content thinking that they can discount women in these roles. Ignore them. Not hire them. Belittle them. And with no repercussions. As much as we should celebrate women in science, we must also shame the antiquated views that started this problem in the first place.”
  • The New Intimacy Economy | Thoughts on Media – Medium: : “Pretending at closeness is really the only way forward for anyone who wants to make money on the internet. As such, watch as organizations pretend, with increasing intensity, that they are individuals. Start counting how many times platforms, services and websites entreat you in human voices, with awkward humor, for money. Watch as the things we expect to be invisible, utilitarian, start oozing emojis and winky-smileys. Even Silicon Valley, global epicenter of whitewashed empathy voids and 1-percenter sci-fi wank fantasies, is going to pretend it cares about you. Especially Silicon Valley. Ugh.”
  • Meet Three Straddlers in STEM: Bessie, Adrienne and Thacher | Autostraddle: “You all know how much I love talking about women in STEM. But do you know what I like even better? Talking to women in STEM! So for today, I thought I’d take some time to talk with a few kickass, super smart Straddlers who are crushing it in their respective fields: Bessie, Adrienne and Thacher.”
  • Working together on the problem of online harassment in Wikimedia communities | Wikimedia blog: “We hope that this work will lead towards a better understanding of how misanthropy in all its forms—misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and the many other types of hatred some humans harbor for others—manifests in our movement, and how it can be countered.”

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.

Harry Potter and the Linkspam of Fire

  • Hey, Audiobooks, That’s Not What Women Sound Like | BookRiot (Dec 2): “I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I average a little over one a week, thanks to my commute. Like a lot of audiobook listeners, I have very strong opinions about what makes a good reader. Depending on the reader and the production, an audiobook performance can range from a one-man play with voices of all kinds to a mellow reading that’s almost too monotonous. The reader matters, but how they read matters more. And there’s one kind of reader that I can no longer tolerate: the male reader who “puts on” a female voice. You know the one I’m talking about.”
  • Fallout 4 and Gender Roles | The Mary Sue (Dec 3): “The Fallout franchise, being heavily influenced by the imagery and iconography of 50’s and 60’s Americana, has always been rather tongue-in-cheek with its presentation of traditional gender roles. Or, as my professor put it: “It’s like the Stepford wives meets Terminator.” As apt a description of the series as I’ve ever heard.”
  • My “Theory” of Codes of Conduct | Almost Diamonds (Dec 7): Stephanie Zvan takes down a misguided theory on codes of conduct by offering more reasons why cones of conduct are useful and necessary.
  • Clementine Ford: Why I reported hotel supervisor Michael Nolan’s abusive comment to his employer | Daily Life (Dec 1): “None of these reactions are surprising. For all their bleating about freedom of speech, these people don’t seem to know what it actually means. It is not the glorious, consequence-free paradise they imagine in which they get to say whatever they like to whomever they like while enjoying the luxury of that person silently taking it with no pushback.”

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.

Secret Agent Linkspam (1 December 2015)

  • How Period Trackers Have Changed Girl Culture | The New York Times (November 12):  “When you see a technology that someone has developed specifically for you as a woman, it really legitimizes talking about your periods and thinking about them,” said Shuangyi “E.E.” Hou, 24, a product designer in San Francisco for apps and websites who has used a period tracker app for over a year. “If we as a society say women should be checking in on their periods, and we give them permission to talk about it, I’m convinced it will be beneficial for women’s health.””
  • The hidden costs of tech diversity efforts | Adrienne Porter Felt on Medium (November 23): “Mentorship takes time that otherwise would be spent on engineering, rest, or family. Sometimes mentorship events are multi-day affairs that require preparation and travel from the speakers. Regardless of the format, it’s also typically work that requires emotional labor. And all of this work is expected to be done for free, as a favor to the community.
    What else can we do?”
  • Can computers be racist? Big data, inequality, and discrimination | Ford Foundation (November 18): “while we’re lead to believe that data doesn’t lie—and therefore, that algorithms that analyze the data can’t be prejudiced—that isn’t always true. The origin of the prejudice is not necessarily embedded in the algorithm itself: Rather, it is in the models used to process massive amounts of available data and the adaptive nature of the algorithm. As an adaptive algorithm is used, it can learn societal biases it observes.”
  • Your Pipeline Argument Is Bullshit | Don’t Lean In. Lean Angry. (August 2): “Your pipeline argument is bullshit. Stop using it. Spend some time on this question: Where did all the senior women go and what are we doing to increase the representation of senior women now?…Your goal is to get at least 25% in senior roles. Not overall representation. Senior roles. Because those women exist.”
  • Hey White Women- Stop Championing Diversity In Tech | Lyn Muldrow on Medium (November 27): “Ask yourself — when you stand up on stage to talk about the “problem” with exclusionary practices, are you only considering yourself as the one being excluded? Are you truly, honestly thinking about the little black and latina girls who aren’t a part of the Women In Tech movement, aside from programs that have been exclusively created to cater to them? Because most times I join a thing about women in tech, I’m one of very few black women there. WHY?”
  • Women, minorities, and the Manhattan Project | The Nuclear Secrecy Project (November 27): “more women worked on the bomb than worked on the program to get Americans on the Moon. Why such a disparity? Because during World War II, the need for scientific labor was desperate and spread among many projects. It’s hard to be a bigot when you need every ounce of brainpower and labor you can get, and indeed World War II is famous overall for its movement of women into spaces they had previously been excluded (i.e. Rosie the Riveter).”
  • Why Hackers Must Welcome Social Justice Advocates | Coraline Ada Ehmke on Medium (November 27):  “social justice advocates are not an external force acting on the open source movement; rather, they represent the voices of people within the community who are rarely heard. They are working to improve the state of open source from the inside.”
  • What is hacker culture? | Matthew Garrett (November 29): “we will win because free software is accessible to more of society than proprietary software. And for that to be true, it must be possible for our communities to be accessible to anybody who can contribute, regardless of their background.”

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.

I link, therefore I spam


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.

Board of Directors Elections and Shake-ups at the Organization for Transformative Works: A Rundown

Most of this post is repurposed from a Metafilter Front Page Post made by the author of this GF post.

The Organization for Transformative Works, a fan-run organization that hosts significant fandom-culture projects including Archive of Our Own, one of the biggest fanfiction archives around, fandom history wiki FanLore, and peer-reviewed academic/aca-fan journal Transformative Works and Cultures, just had their 2015 Board elections, the first since 2011 – and, like its predecessor, was very contentious before, during, and after the election.

OTW had faced years of complaints about poor management, particularly with finances. This motivated 6 active OTW volunteers who’d never served on the board before – Matty Bowers, Aline Carrão, Atiya Hakeem, Katarina Harju, Alex Tisher, and Daniel Lamsonto run on a campaign of reform, better management, and greater transparency.

The other two nominees, Andrea Horbinski and Nikisha Sanders, were incumbent Board members – until Sanders was suddenly declared ineligible because of her resignation from staff roles at OTW. Sanders refutes the allegations, saying that she did notresign from all roles but was instead dismissed by the Board. Lemson withdrew his nomination soon after (while he was a friend of Sanders, it is unclear how much of his withdrawal was motivated by recent events), and the remaining nominees, minus Horbinski,condemned the Board’s actions, citing a significant conflict of interest.

Hakeem and Bowers won the top two spots in the election, and thus were elected into the two available seats on the Board. In an unexpected public meeting, and with no advance notice, the Board near-unanimously voted to appoint Horbinski to the previously-unavailable third chair of the Board. One member abstained, one was not present, and Horbinski voted on her appointment without declaring conflict of interest. There was significant outcry about this decision, with the OTW Elections committee pointing out that Horbinski had come in dead last in the elections and that this move was breaking precedent, and a vote of no confidence was called.

Very recently, the entire current board has resigned, with only Hakeem and Bowers remaining. They have pledged to maintain operations and publish a budget (one of the membership’s most significant demands) as soon as possible.

While Archive of Our Own has stated that operations will not be affected by current events at its parent organization, fans are understandably worried about the state of their fanwork and are calling on their fellow fans to back up their work. Daily Dot reporter Aja Romano, who had previously served on a committee at OTW, remarks that their caution about instability is not entirely unfounded, drawing parallels with the shutdown of the Ada Initiative soon after the departure of their Executive Director. (Interestingly, Horbinski was also on the Board of Directors for the Ada Initiative).

Metafilter commenter ErisLordFreedom notes these issues are relatively unsurprising, particularly around the budget:

The budget issue is a longstanding thing, and comes naturally from the growth out of “we have an awesome idea–let’s make an archive and other fun fannish things! Um, give us money for this!” and, as Franzi said at one point, “AO3 is Magic Mike and fandom’s been making it rain money.” At first, there was no budget because there was no plan–there were a bunch of fans who wanted an archive they owned, not subject to LJ’s caving to special interest groups or bogus Hollywood DMCA takedown notices. They had some practice with archive coding, with server software and hardware, and–rare among nonprofits–a legal team.

There was no point in making a budget before they ran into expenses, though; they didn’t want to spend another couple of years running financial plans and learning how nonprofits worked–they had talented people and people willing to throw money at them (with substantial overlap), and so decided to just do it–make an org, start an archive, and so on.

They knew that whatever plan they came up with, wouldn’t scale well, and there’d need to be org-wide adjustments as they grew. They’ve now hit that point. […]

Now they have more money, all their rough initial goals have been met […] and… they have to decide on specific goals with deadlines next. Is hard, switching from, “let us make ALL THE AWESOME!” to “we shall make X features on the archive by Y date.”

[…]

I think the lack of transparency comes from a belief that “this is complicated; the random-teenage tumblr fanbase wouldn’t understand, and we don’t want to deal with a bunch of stupid drama accusations every time we spend money on something some fan doesn’t think is necessary.” I think it’s likely there’s a tiny bit of shady dealing with the money–rounding up on expenses and all that, approvals given after the fact, etc.–but not at a level that hurts any of the org’s actual workings.

But it *will* be at that level if it doesn’t change, because they’ve gotten big enough to need an actual administrative infrastructure, instead of “we’ll record the chat meetings and someone will make notes.” And that shift is a big change, and not fun (and even less fun to explain to the public), and I understand why they were dragging their feet–and even why they wanted to keep the people they know and trust involved with the process.

Further links to discussion can be found in this round-up post, and this unofficial blog has served as a useful resource on the elections.

Bringing Balance to the Force: The Women of Star Wars Episode VII

This is a guest post by Lydia Huxley, a writer who loves playing music or a musician who loves writing. Is there a difference?

Upon looking at the recently-released theatrical poster for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, one character stands out more than the others. Part of it is because she’s located at the very middle of the poster: a place typically reserved for the star. Part of it is because she is – well …a she. Daisy Ridley’s character, Rey, is the first woman to fill such a spot in the previously male-dominated franchise. In the previous six films there have been a total of two women in major roles: Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and Natalie Portman as Padmé. And these are supporting roles!

Ridley is not the only actress to land a major role for the latest installment of the sci-fi series. She will be joined by Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Lupita Nyong’o voicing and motion capturing Maz Kanata, and Carrie Fisher returning as Princess Leia. With the exception of Leia, almost nothing is known about these characters, but all four appear on the theatrical poster so it’s a safe bet that they will be integral to the plot. Four women in major roles? In one movie? That’s double the number in the previous two trilogies combined.

Continue reading