Linkspam for President (23 December 2015)

  • The Importance of Feminism in Pop Culture, Republican Debate Edition | Satiricalifragilistic: “What I will say is that what we see in media has a huge effect not only on how we live our individual lives, but on what we perceive is the “normal,” default experince with which everyone is supposed to identify, and that the populace at large is assumed to support. A remark like Christie’s takes as its starting assumption that the American voter expects a “normal” family to have a working father and a mother who focuses on the children, and that the roles of these two (heterosexual & married) parents are distinct from each other.”
  • This Is Why You Don’t Have a Girlfriend: The Story of a Nerdy Lady Dating Online | The Mary Sue: “I have met quite a few lovely guys who identify as geeks, dweebs, nerds, or fanboys, and who have conversed with me as a person first and foremost. All I’m asking is that you think about the message you’re sending when you approach a woman whether for romantic reasons or for friendship. By questioning the very thing that might have attracted you to her, you ruin any chance of finding out if she might be interested in you the human being and not just you the nerd.”
  • The False Promise of Meritocracy | The Atlantic: (December 3) “American beliefs about the rightness of meritocratic ideals often leads to the belief that those ideals are what guides society. But research shows that a real commitment to meritocracy requires understanding that America hasn’t gotten there—at least not yet. It is this insight that leads to the adoption of practices that will ultimately result in a society where merit truly does equal ability + effort.”
  • Nerd Culture is Not a Contest | The Mary Sue: “None of us has any right to judge the legitimacy of anyone else’s level of geek. Fandom isn’t a contest, and the sooner we stop treating it that way, the sooner we can go back to arguing over real issues like whether we need a Miles Morales Spider-Man movie more than another Peter Parker one*.”
  • Gameplay | Rookie: “Naomi McArthur and Kristina Swanenburg, two researchers and game designers at Riot (their official titles are “behavioral scientists”), sat down with me to answer some questions about stymying harassment through design and trying to initiate friendships in online spaces where people are anonymous.”
  • Contempt Culture | The Particular Finest: “This was a bombshell. I’d been loudly criticising the language and, through that criticism, implying that people using the language weren’t as good me, weren’t good programmers. And suddenly I was thinking about all the myriad ways that someone with that background would feel othered by me, like they didn’t belong and weren’t welcome in the communities I was a part of. All of the ways in which I was actively participating in the exclusion of women from STEM.”
  • Blog: My First Ever Tech(ish) Conference | Peerlyst: “When the session ended, I approached the woman to thank her for asking a question in what was clearly an unsupportive environment. I found her surrounded by a small group of women who echoed my support – and surprise – about the crowd’s reaction. “
  • #HackAHairDryer: another attempt to make science appeal to women falls flat | The Guardian: (December 10) “With all this talk about how to get girls interested in science and maths, it should not be forgotten that the job does not end there. In my field of the academic life sciences, unlike in engineering and the physical sciences, early interest and recruitment isn’t the problem, with gender parity at the PhD levels and even into the early postdoctoral trainee years. It is retention that’s the issue: fewer than 20% of biology professors are women. It’s not just academia that suffers from this problem: the percentages of women in leadership positions in biotech is even lower.”

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

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