I’ll be post-linkspam in the post-patriarchy (30 April 2013)

  • How One College Is Closing The Computer Science Gender Gap: “There are still relatively few women in tech. Maria Klawe wants to change that. As president of Harvey Mudd College, a science and engineering school in Southern California, she’s had stunning success getting more women involved in computing.”
  • Calling All Hackers: “Hackers treat the paradigm of “some people are in charge and some people aren’t” as social damage, and they invent ways to route around it.”
  • Reviews, Genre, and Gender ? Radish Reviews: In the recent dustup over whether female-authored SF/F books get reviewed, an entire review outlet was left out because its bread and butter is romance-novel reviews, even though its SF/F reviews are not limited to romance.
  • Feminist Hackerspaces as Safer Spaces?: “In the case of feminist hackerspaces, such safer spaces are not only about safer speaking spaces, but also safer making and trying spaces.”
  • Tech companies that only hire men: Quotes from job descriptions that specify gender. Really??
  • For all the women I have loved who were dragged through the mud: “I’ve read a lot of great essays about how fandom is female-majority and creates a female gaze and a safe space for women and etc. But spend five minutes in fandom and you’ll have an unsettling question. Why does a female-majority, feminist culture hate female characters so much?”
  • little girls R better at designing heroes than you: Superheroes based on costumes worn by little girls.
  • Journalists don?t understand Wikipedia sometimes: “Thus, a well-meaning attempt to include women in the main categorization for American novelists (where many of them were never listed in the first place) may result in women writers no longer being easily identifiable to those who might want to find them.”
  • Dropcam’s Beef with Brogramming, Late Nights, and Free Dinners: “[M]any startups in Silicon Valley, especially the ones I was familiar with, would only hire young, male programmers, people who didn’t have families and weren’t going to have kids in the next few years… We do maternity and paternity leave and all of the things that used to be things that only big, mature companies did. That has allowed us to hire from a bigger group of people than we would be able to if we were part of the brogrammer culture.”
  • Women Are Earning Greater Share of STEM Degrees, but Doctorates Remain Gender-Skewed: “Possible explanations include gender bias, the prospect of short-term postdoctoral jobs that complicate child rearing, and a lack of role models.”
  • Bacon is Bad For You: A talk about developer monoculture and how it puts all of us (even the vegans) at risk.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious or pinboard.in 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.

10 thoughts on “I’ll be post-linkspam in the post-patriarchy (30 April 2013)

  1. iiii

    Liz Henry wrote before she finished researching. See the comments on her post, and also

    I’ve been reading along on the relevant “Talk” pages at wikipedia. There’s one guy who did a whole lot of shifting of women’s pages, and the narrative he presents is pretty much, “The category of American novelists was too large, so I started moving women out. An oversized category is a Real Problem that Must Be Fixed, and asymmetrical categorization based solely on gender is an unproblematic way to fix it.”

    Can we stop calling people like that guy – who practice and defend open discrimination – “well-meaning”? At this late date, I think the best they can claim is willful blindness.

    1. Tim Chevalier

      It’s possible that that’s true (as in, your first sentence), but most of the comments were simply attacking Liz for questioning others’ assumptions, and were non-fact-based. So it was hard for me to get anything out of the comments. As well, no one (as far as I know) has addressed her final point that “not seeing gender” is not necessarily a helpful thing.

      1. tekanji

        The thing is, the fix to the problem of “not seeing gender” is NOT to reaffirm female as a marked state. Having women be set up as “woman novelists” while men are just “novelists” sets women a

      2. tekanji

        The thing is, the fix to the problem of “not seeing gender” is NOT to reaffirm female as a marked state. Having women be set up as “woman novelists” while men are just “novelists” sets women apart in a way that reinforces their inferior status.

        I’d say more, but my iPhone can’t handle typing comments on this site and the mobile version is STILL broken.

  2. MadGastronomer

    That second piece is absolute crap. Valorization of hackers as inherently pro-social-justice when that’s plainly not the case en masse. Hackers are no more inherently against privilege — especially their own — than anybody else.

    I’m a non-STEM geek. In college, I gave learning Python a try, on my own, from books. I had one male hacker friend who was really enthusiastic about me learning. Every single other hacker I encountered — all men — cracked on me for it. Hard.

    Just. Argh. So counter-factual and self-congratulatory I can’t stand it.

    1. Shauna

      I agree about the second piece.

      That said, it links to Bret Victor as social justice advocate. (Which, I can’t find anything about that on his site – but he is a hacker, so I guess he’s one inherently.) Anyway, Victor’s got some amazing articles, such as The Ladder of Abstraction. Just thought I’d mention that, so folks could get *something* out of reading that essay.

    2. Trix

      Word. The smugness of these kinds of pieces is infuriating. No, just because you’re not a jock and got pissed on by other guys for playing with your computers as a kid doesn’t make you automatically undermine the Establishment by playing with computers as an adult.

      And the articles/books that valorise the actions of hackers in the 80s/90s are often incredibly ahistoric. What those guys often did was vandalism, if not outright criminal. And not just “cute criminal” in terms of phreaking a few phone lines with your cute blue box.

    3. Dorothea

      Huh. I read it as INTENTIONALLY counter-factual. As satire intended to cause useful cognitive dissonance. And as such, I rather enjoyed it.

      1. MadGastronomer

        Poe’s Law, I guess. I’ve seen too many geek boys say things too much like that to take it as satire.

        1. Dorothea

          I admit that my reading was probably colored by being in the middle of writing an intentionally counterfactual satire of my own (on a completely unrelated subject).

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