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.

1 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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