- Computational Linguistics Reveals How Wikipedia Articles Are Biased Against Women | MIT Technology Review (February 2): “various researchers have kept a close eye on the way the gender bias among editors may be filtering through to the articles in the encyclopedia itself. Today, Claudia Wagner at the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne, Germany, and pals at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and the University of Koblenz-Landau, say they have found evidence of serious bias in Wikipedia entries about women, suggesting that gender bias may be more deep-seated and engrained than previously imagined.”
- Here’s What It’s Like For A Woman To Send a Job Rejection To A Man | Jolene Creighton on Medium (February 2): “Why we rejected him… Simply put, he’s not a science writer. That’s the only consideration that factored into our decision. Looking at his impressive list of publications, there isn’t anything even remotely on science. At least, nothing that I have seen. Admittedly, I didn’t look up every single publication. But either way, if not being a science writer isn’t a good enough reason for you, here are a few other reasons that we could have rejected him.”
- #28DaysOfBlackCosplay: More Than Just A Hashtag | Black Girl Nerds (February 5): “Jamie: Why is cosplay so important to the blerd (black nerd) community?
Chaka: As Black nerds, it’s important for us to see images of each other. Things are starting to get better, but we still have so few characters of color in our comics, video games, anime, manga and movies. It can be disheartening, never seeing anyone who looks like you in the media you love so much. Being able to physically see Black cosplayers out at cons, literally wearing their fandom on their sleeves is just so intensely satisfying on a level I may not ever be able to accurately describe.”
- How Using ‘They’ as a Singular Pronoun Can Change the World | Feministing (February 3): “using singular they is far more than a way to respect friends who have gender identities outside the binary. Singular they has exciting potential to be part of a radical shift in the dominant gender culture. Changing the culture may seem like a mighty task for one little pronoun. But actually, it wouldn’t be the first time that a pronoun was near the center of a momentous cultural shift.”
- [warning for discussion of abuse and suicide] Twitter CEO Dick Costolo finally admits the obvious: Site has failed users on abuse | Washington Post (February 5): “Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo has never deigned to address rampant harassment on his platform, despite the frequency with which that subject makes the news. But on Wednesday, in the wake of a blockbuster radio piece by the feminist writer Lindy West, Costolo at last admitted to a fatal flaw of his platform that hundreds of critics and troll-battered tweeters have pointed out already: Twitter has become an ideal platform for harassment, in large part because the site has done so little to combat it. “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” Costolo wrote, in a company memo obtained by the Verge. “
- Is the Professor Bossy or Brilliant? Much Depends on Gender | Claire Miller at New York Times (February 6):”Benjamin Schmidt, a Northeastern University history professor, says he built the chart using data from 14 million student reviews on the Rate My Professors site. It allows you to search for any word to see how often it appeared in reviews and how it broke down by gender and department. The chart makes vivid unconscious biases. The implications go well beyond professors and college students, to anyone who gives or receives feedback or performance reviews.”
More articles about that Newsweek story and lead illustration:
- Fighting Sexism In Silicon Valley | TechCrunch (January 30): “As they start or join startups that are looking for funding, I sincerely hope that millennials will apply their unique ethos to their funding strategies and career decisions. I hope they seek out and partner with VCs who share their same values about gender diversity, who are unafraid to invest in woman-led startups, and who have women on staff throughout their ranks. I hope they will embrace the diversity that helps to define their generation.”
- Newsweek, Allies, and Critique | Ellen’s Blog (January 30): “It’s crucial that we critique public statements on this issue. There aren’t many people who are willing to speak up, so the few voices are amplified to an unreasonable degree. This means we lack a broad, nuanced perspective that could propel us forward. If you’re speaking for a group, you should be anxious to hear how their perspective differs. You should also encourage new voices.”
- Ethical Issues in the Online World | Santa Clara University (February 5): “Ironically, though the article itself focuses on the story of one particular startup founded by two women to illustrate the problem of gender discrimination in Silicon Valley, the reader has to scroll down quite a ways before getting to a photo of those two women entrepreneurs. What if those two real women had been on the cover? Their experiences were apparently seen as interesting and representative enough to illustrate the broader issue, but their faces weren’t. Instead, the key image of the piece (which, the cliché goes, is worth a thousand words), gives voice to those who demean such women.”
- Quiet, Ladies. @Wadhwa is Speaking Now | Amelia Greenhall (February 3): “What can Vivek Wadhwa do if he wants to ACTUALLY help women in tech? To start, Wadhwa needs to shut up about women in tech already! (And forever, preferably. Should we start #stopWadhwa2015?) When reporters call him about women in tech, he should suggest that they speak to an actual woman in tech on the topic instead – perhaps any of the women he has invited to come visit him at his office. We women are waiting for the email that says, “Vivek recommended I speak to you instead, because you are more qualified.” Vivek could donate twice the funds raised by the women in tech book to actual tech feminist non-profits. He could credit the women interviewed in the book by asking permission to put their names and links to their work on the book’s website. He could advocate for the creation of a gender studies faculty position at Singularity University. He could talk about something (anything!) that he has actual experience with, other than women in tech. May that day come soon!”
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