Take the Linkspam and Run (29 March 2015)

  • On Being a Badass | New York Magazine – The Cut (March 1): “It strikes me that as women continue to break into traditionally masculine professions and defend their right to exist in unsafe spaces, the rest of us have a responsibility to do more than cheer them from the sidelines. We should also make clear that we understand this work is hard, that it often takes an emotional toll, that there are no easy answers, and that, when they acknowledge their feelings and admit their struggles, they’re all the more badass for it.”
  • Robot-Building 6-Year-Old Girls Talking Tech With Obama Is the Best Thing You’ll See All Week | Mother Jones (March 24): “The 6-year-olds from Tulsa’s Girl Scout Troup 411 were the youngest inventors selected to present at this year’s fair. Inspired by conversations with a librarian and one of the girls’ grandmas, they built a mechanical Lego contraption that can turn pages, to help patients with mobility issues read books.”
  • A Comics Creator Harassed Me On Twitter and I Don’t Want to Say His Name | Women Write About Comics (March 21): “I have a history with stalking, or rather, stalking has a history with me. He couldn’t have known that, our unnamed comic creator, when he decided to make my Twitter life as miserable as his own pathetic heart. He couldn’t have known much about me, or what hurts me, besides the obvious things that hurt all of us. But equally, he couldn’t have known that I DIDN’T have a stalker, a past that, like so many women, includes abuse. He did know, you know, that I am human. That every. Last. Person. You interact with on the internet, is human too.”
  • The divine witches of cyberspace | Boing Boing Offworld (March 24): “There is also a uniquely feminist layer to the digital fortunetelling space—it can offer a safe haven in the technology world, where smooth futures are far less certain for some as for others. Stone suggests that astrology and witchcraft have always, throughout history, offered ways for marginalized people to understand the world, even while white patriarchy, capitalism and their associated religious movements rutted up alongside and over them.”
  • Content warning: descriptions of sexual assault and harassment Sexism in Tech: Don’t Ask Me Unless You’re Ready To Call Somebody a Whistleblower | @katylevinson on Medium (March 8): “You’re tired of hearing about this “women in tech” stuff, and we’re tired of living it, but there are some big issues here, and we’re not going to solve them by pretending they don’t exist because we’re bored or afraid of them. We need serious discussions, and we have to have educated opinions about what’s wrong and how to fix it. We need to mull these ideas around until we come to some combination of hard data and cultural consensus before we can get meaningful change.”
  • The 5 Biases Pushing Women Out of STEM | Harvard Business Review (March 24): “We conducted in-depth interviews with 60 female scientists and surveyed 557 female scientists, both with help from the Association for Women in Science. These studies provide an important picture of how gender bias plays out in everyday workplace interactions. My previous research has shown that there are four major patterns of bias women face at work. This new study emphasizes that women of color experience these to different degrees, and in different ways. Black women also face a fifth type of bias.”
  • How Silicon Valley Can Change Its Culture to Attract More Women | The New Yorker (March 26): “She also sees value in talking about her own experiences as a woman engineer who presents in a “feminine” manner—not to suggest that all female engineers should wear floral dresses and speak softly, like she does, but to promote it as no less valid than turning up at work in a hoodie and jeans and using a loud voice.”
  • A Note on Call-Out Culture | Briarpatch Magazine (March 2): “There are ways of calling people out that are compassionate and creative, and that recognize the whole individual instead of viewing them simply as representations of the systems from which they benefit. Paying attention to these other contexts will mean refusing to unleash all of our very real trauma onto the psyches of those we imagine to only represent the systems that oppress us. Given the nature of online social networks, call-outs are not going away any time soon. But reminding ourselves of what a call-out is meant to accomplish will go a long way toward creating the kinds of substantial, material changes in people’s behaviour – and in community dynamics – that we envision and need.”
  • Salesforce CEO Says Company Is ‘Canceling All Programs’ In Indiana Over LGBT Discrimination Fears | CBS San Francisco (March 26): “Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says he doesn’t want his employees subjected to discrimination as part of their work for the San Francisco-based company, and he is cancelling all required travel to the state of Indiana following the signing of a religious freedom law that some say allows business to exclude gay customers.”
  • A Fish Is the Last to Discover Water: Impressions From the Ellen Pao Trial | Re/code (March 26): “I can imagine that as the little injustices built up, she compartmentalized and moved on. That’s the easier path. It might not have occurred to her in real time that there should be a policy in place, for example. I know many women in high-powered positions who have not reported incidents or didn’t want to rock the boat. It can be the benefit of reflection on the totality of the situation that provides clarity.”
  • CASSIUS – Issue #1 | Kickstarter “Inspired by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the events of history, Cassius is set in a Roman-esque universe centered around the collection of states know as Latium. The story follows our heroine Junia, who belongs to the Latium state of Cyrentha, and believes herself to be no more than ordinary. But one single act of violence suddenly thrusts Junia into a world of politics, betrayal, greed, bloodshed, and fate – and Junia must overcome it all if she is to survive.”
  • Philosophy has to be about more than white men | The Guardian (March 23): “Imagine a future where a student interested in, say, humanism, encounters a global range of thinking on the topic and not a narrow, regional one. Such a creative, fertile environment is not only possible but it is the only one that can return philosophy to its worthy purpose, namely the investigation of all human existence.”

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, Delicious 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.