On being harassed: a little GF history and some current events. Trigger warning for discussion of and graphic examples of threatening online harassment. The other day Mary posted Online harassment as a daily hazard, linking to s.e. smith’s On blogging, threats, and silence. I thought I might take the opportunity to talk about my experiences since starting the Geek Feminism blog in 2009, if only as another example to add to the long list we already have. In early 2009 I wrote a series of blog posts on my personal blog, celebrating the achievements of Dreamwidth and the Organization for Transformative Works’ Archive Of Our Own (AO3), two open source projects that launched into beta around that time, and that had large, majority-female developer communities.
'We Are the Future Cunt': CyberFeminism in the 90s. CyberFeminism \\ˈsī-bərˈfe-mə-ni-zəm \\ : A wave of thought, criticism, and art that emerged in the early 1990s, galvanizing a generation of feminists, before bursting along with the dot-com bubble.
The term was coined simultaneously by the British cultural theorist Sadie Plant and the Australian art collective VNS Matrix in 1991, during the heady upwelling of cyberculture—that crucial moment in which the connective technology of the Internet was moving into the public sphere. Rosie Stephenson: The Woman Who Wrote Over Three Thousand Articles on Wikipedia On June 4, 2007, Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight was reading a book at her son's apartment in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Halfway through the reading, she decided to find out more about the publisher of the book, Book League of America, on the internet. She ran a google search, but could not find much information. Then she searched within Wikipedia and found that there was no article about the book league. Instantly, three thoughts crossed her mind. First of all, she saw the knowledge gap in Wikipedia, a missing article about the Book League of America.
That moment changed her life and the lives of many knowledge-seekers who go to Wikipedia to read her articles. At 90, she's designing tech for aging boomers. Listen Story audio In Silicon Valley's youth-obsessed culture, 40-year-olds get plastic surgery to fit in.
But IDEO, the firm that famously developed the first mouse for Apple, has a 90-year-old designer on staff. Barbara Beskind says her age is an advantage. Meet 'digital nun': the Sister funding her monastery through her apps. It was at her first monastery, Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester, which had its own printing press, that she became interested in technology.
“I was working in the monastery printing room when we were changing from letterpress to offset litho,” she tells me. “Of course back in the 80s printers were some of the most technologically-advanced people in the world because they were all using Apple Macs and phototypesetting and so forth. And so I got interested in the computer side of things, and naturally that led to my urging the community [at the monastery] to get a website done, which we did in the 1990s.”
Futurism Needs More Women. In the future, everyone’s going to have a robot assistant.
That’s the story, at least. And as part of that long-running narrative, Facebook just launched its virtual assistant. Online harassment as a daily hazard: when trolls feed themselves. Trigger warning for discussion of and graphic examples of threatening online harassment.
Seen s.e. smith’s post on blogging and harassment yet? Online Harassment and the Cruel Paradox of Being a Woman on Social Media. If you haven’t read Amanda Hess’ “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet” yet, please do.
The Pacific Standard piece is an essential exploration of what it’s like to be a woman online, describing Hess’ experiences with Internet harassment in chilling detail. From the moment a Palm Springs cop naïvely asks the author, “What’s Twitter? ,” she builds a convincing case for women’s right to, and need for, more effective protection against people like Twitter user @headlessfemalepig, the latest of Hess’s many online harassers.
Hess’ story points out a reality for women that’s as pervasive as it is unacknowledged: every time we enter a public space, we’re putting ourselves at risk, and that’s now as true for the internet as the street. We’re taught to brush off creepy OKCupid advances and anonymous Tumblr messages the way we’re taught to inure ourselves to catcalling and other forms of unwanted attention. She’s Just an Attention Whore. I was having a discussion recently with a friend about women in comics, which led to talking about female gamers.
The conversation was going well until my friend (who I always considered a pretty not sexist guy) said this: “There are two types of female gamers: ones who actually like games, and ones who are just trying to get attention.” This comment set me off, we had an argument about it, and it didn’t end well. But that’s another story for another time (or not). The point of this post is to bring the underlying idea of this comment to light.
That idea being that women who admit that they’re women online or while gaming are just attention whores. Meet the most famous woman in computing you've probably never heard of. Ada Lovelace was born famous: the daughter of celebrated poet Lord Byron.
Often considered the world’s first real rockstar, Byron’s wild lifestyle and sexual exploits helped define modern celebrity. Ada’s mom wanted none of it. To prevent her child from acquiring her dad’s crazy temperament, she banned poetry and educated her daughter strictly in the logic of mathematics. Stuck in the Middle On Being Neither an Abused, Nor Ultra-elite, Woman in Tech. Stuck in the MiddleOn Being Neither an Abused, Nor Ultra-elite, Woman in Tech.
TRK - Lighten Up. 21 March 2012 Recently, I was asked why a woman that loves coding would ever leave the field. It's true: at one point in my life, I decided that coding would be something I'd do only in private. I was only slowly pulled back into the fold. Let me tell you, I love coding. Been doing it since before I hit puberty. In short, I got tired of being told to 'lighten up.' Let none of us pretend. Content Note: This post deals with the École Polytechnique massacre and violence against women.
Today marks 25 years since 14 women were killed in an act of sickening violence at the École Polytechnique engineering school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Support for Black Humanity in Tech by Anonymous Author. There’s a revolution happening in this country and across the globe. Hashtags of #BlackLivesMatter, cries of “Hands up, don’t shoot!” , and chants of “I can’t breathe!” Have been echoing through the streets and bouncing around my mind over the past few weeks. But you wouldn’t know it if you work in tech or maybe Corporate America in general. Impostor Syndrome: Part 1 of 4. The pseudo-science and pseudo-feminism of Women Don't Ask.
“You should read this book,” a friend told me. “It says that women don’t make as much as men because they don’t negotiate their salaries.” Leveling both sides of the playing field. Leveling both sides of the playing field It seems like every day I’m getting invited to a class on negotiation skills for women or a seminar about how women can have work-life balance or a colloquium, you guessed it, for women about unconscious bias.
Women's Economic Opportunity Index. Flickering the Gaslight: Tactics of Organized Online Harassment by Gersande La Flèche. Abuse, Boundaries, and Magical Thinking: A Guest Post by Piny. I know, I'll solve this abusive situation by asking myself "What would Newsies do? " . - “There’s a form of mental torture called... Ally Smells: Boundaries. Liss Says Stuff #3: The Devil's Advocate. [Content Note: Emotional auditing.] Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo. Choose your battles, pick your weapons and ask yourself if you're up for it. #280: “How do I get rid of my Facebook stalker without being mean about it?”
The Limitations of Womanhood in Fantasy (and everywhere else, but for now, fantasy) One of my favorite manga is a shoujo (girls’) comedy serial called Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge (YNS), sold in the US as The Wallflower. Gale Simone to writers: Keep the hell up. When the idea of an Incredible Hulk reboot came up at a recent John August/ Craig Mazin Scriptntoes podcast, their guest screenwriter David S. The Careless Language Of Sexual Violence.
There are crimes and then there are crimes and then there are atrocities. Enter Ye Myne Mystic World of Gayng-Raype: What the “R” Stands for in “George R.R. Martin” The Female Angst, Part 1: Anaïs Nin. The Female Angst, Part 2: Joan Didion & Dory Previn.