Geek Feminism scholarships

Valerie Aurora liked Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever’s book Women Don’t Ask so much that for a number of years she ran the Valerie Aurora Women in Computing Book Scholarship, buying or contributing towards women’s purchases of the book.

I wondered if other people would be interested in doing the same. If there’s a book or work on feminism, diversity or geek variants thereof that you think readers of this blog would really benefit from, consider founding your own scholarship and let me know in comments here. Depending on response, I’ll put up a second post with a list of scholarships, and perhaps re-run this every six months or so.

Leave a comment here to offer a scholarship. Things I need to know:

  1. The name of your scholarship.
  2. What books (media, texts) your scholarship is for, and why people should read (view etc) it.
  3. What your contribution will be: will it be a copy you’ll ship to them (any limits on where?), a gift voucher from a retailer for its value or some portion of its value?
  4. Is your offer for particular applicants? For example, is it for women? (A few notes here: I would strongly encourage you to rely on self-identification on this, and also if you’re thinking about gender restrictions, consider non-binary gender identifications.)
  5. Any firm expiry or limitations (for example, expires end of 2009, limited to 10 copies…). You can of course withdraw your scholarship at any time.
  6. How people should contact you in order to take up a scholarship. You do need to provide some way of being directly contacted: I will put up a post listing the different scholarships and linking to their webpages or providing other contact details for them, but I won’t handle correspondence for you. Setting up a webpage would be be best, that way you can update it when your offer expires.
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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.

5 thoughts on “Geek Feminism scholarships

  1. Eivind Kjørstad

    Interestingly, a scholarship such as this would be in violation of the law on equal rights in my jurisdiction — arbitrarily restricting the eligible receivers of a scholarship on the basis of sex (or race, religion, sexual orientation, a few other things) isn’t allowed.

    Offcourse, that could be fixed by offering the books to takers of both sex — I’m sure many of us men could do well with a bit of reading too.

    1. Mary Post author

      I assume ‘this’ in “a scholarship such as this” means Valerie’s scholarship? Question 4 in my post is not supposed to require or even encourage anyone to restrict their offer, just to note that it’s possible some people may wish to do so and that they should be clear about it.

      Re “both sex[es]”, this might be better phrased as “any gender identification”: there are in fact considerably more than two such.

      1. Eivind Kjørstad

        Yeah, that’s what I meant, scholarships that “buy books for women” are a problem, whereas scholarships that buy “books on feminisms for anyone” aren’t.

        There’s an exception though, so now that I think about it, either would probably be okay. The thing is; you’re allowed to discriminate, if you demonstrably do so in order to -further- equal rights.

        For example, you’re allowed to prefer females engineers, or male nurses, over equally qualified applicants of the oposite sex, since encouraging more male nurses, or more female engineers, furthers equality.

        By the same logic, a scholarship intended to encourage women to do better at salary-negotiations and/or computer-science would be okay.

  2. Skud

    I’ve been meaning to offer people copies of Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing for a while, so this is a good opportunity.

    I will send up to 5 copies a month of the book to anyone, worldwide, until further notice. Copies may be new or second-hand.

    To claim, email me at with your postal address. All I ask is that you read it. I’d love it if you could post a review somewhere (your blog, a pertinent mailing list, etc) and/or pass it on to someone else to read when you’re done, but this is not required.

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