There's this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women's issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren't there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren't you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you're being rational about this? Every. Single. Time. And every single time I get frustrated. Why don't they get it? I think I've figured out why. They don't know. They don't know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing. [slhuffpo]
Throughout our lives, women hear insidious, often-conflicting messages about what it means to be a woman, about how we should act, talk and look. [more inside]
On Gawker's Problem with Women. A former staff writer describes how a media company founded on whistleblowing and radical transparency failed its female employees.
When it comes to human resilience, our culture has grand ideas about the nobility of hardship and suffering. “The world breaks every one, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places,” Ernest Hemingway wrote. And certainly, I became the woman I am today, for better and worse, because of the hardships I have endured. If I had to choose, though, I would prefer to have not lost my sense of safety in the way I did.--Roxane Gay on Safe Spaces
Marissa Mayer will take two weeks of maternity leave following the birth of her twins. In 2013, Mayer changed Yahoo policies to allow more generous family leave. New mothers can take 16 weeks of paid leave, while fathers are offered 8 weeks. However, when it comes to her own pregnancy with twins, she has announced she will keep working straight through the pregnancy, and will only take two weeks of leave after the birth. How much obligation does she have as a role model, and how much of the scrutiny around her choices is sexist in itself? [more inside]
"Gals/other marginalized folks: what was your 1st brush (in music industry, journalism, scene) w/ idea that you didn't 'count'?" This tweet from Jessica Hopper kicked off a thread that lasted 2 days, with over 400 stories being shared. Storify of the full thread. Trigger warning for sexism, harrassment, rape.
The Guardian view on Amnesty International’s call to decriminalise sex work: divisive and distracting - "Obviously, Amnesty is right to say that sex workers have human rights and that these should be respected. But many Amnesty supporters believe that the trade itself tends to corrupt or to violate these rights, except for a lucky few participants. The broadest coalitions unite around the narrowest agendas. A call to decriminalise sex work is a distraction from Amnesty’s core mission, and dangerous to it too."
Depiction vs. Endorsement and Sexism in GoT: How Game of Thrones presents a sexist narrative when A Song of Ice and Fire doesn’t (spoilers through GoT 5x03 and the books). "The world in which Martin set his A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) is a terribly sexist one. But George R.R. Martin is not sexist. The books are not sexist. The show…is. And here’s why: where Martin actively forces the reader to address the problematic treatment of women in his series head-on as an overarching theme, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss (D&D) actively incorporate sexist tropes and demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the source material." [more inside]
You are first a wife and a mother. Go to the Doll House. Sexism was conceived in 1971 by Carolyn Houger, (interview at link) a resident of Seattle, Washington. With the creation of Sexism, Houger hoped to “bring out the humor in the Women’s Liberation movement.” The idea for the game came to Houger after her four-year-old daughter returned home after playing the card game “Old Maid” with her friends and made the statement, “wouldn’t it be terrible to be an old maid?” [more inside]
Just don't do it:
What this advice boils down to is ‘talk like a man’. The writer doesn’t even try to argue that there’s some inherent reason to prefer ‘less body language’ (whatever that means) to more. It’s preferable simply because it’s what men are said to do. Men are more successful in the workplace, so if women want to emulate their success, the trick is to mimic their behaviour.[more inside]
Sir Tim Hunt FRS, who received the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2001 for "discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle" has resigned from his positions as Honorary Professor at University College London and member of the Royal Society's Biological Sciences Awards Committee after making controversial comments at the 2015 World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul. He said: "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls ... three things happen when they are in the lab ... You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry." [more inside]
After last month's vow to curb targeted harassment and make the site a safer platform for all users, the admins of Reddit began making good on that promise yesterday by banning five offensive subreddits deemed guilty of doxxing, brigading, and otherwise tormenting others, including /r/fatpeoplehate -- a militantly anti-HAES forum whose attacks had recently extended to the admins of popular image host Imgur. In reaction, the 150K subscribers of FPH and their sympathizers in other fringe subreddits went on a rampage, creating countless clones (all banned), filling the front page with hate posts, and disregarding the veneer of free-speech activism to viciously slander Reddit CEO Ellen Pao personally. The dissenters advocate a mass exodus of the hate subs to Voat.co [obligatory_wonka.gif], a moderation-free clone of Reddit that has already crashed under the traffic. Ongoing coverage by the enlightened popcorn-munchers of SubredditDrama. [more inside]
Jane Marie says, "Don't tell me not to get a fucking neck tattoo." Second generation tattooer Tim Hendricks responds: "Holding a job at a shop that has a long standing good reputation means that you have to follow by certain unwritten laws, a code of ‘tattoo ethics’ if you will. One of these codes is to try and be a good judge of whether or not someone might regret a tattoo or not." [more inside]
...can I help you with that? PLOS (The Public Library of Science) gets rid of reviewer and editor as a result of sexist statements, from Science Insider; Retraction Watch's summary. Here's the direct link to the apology and update on peer review policy from the PLOS ONE blog. Finally, this story gets the BuzzFeed treatment, plus some of the scientific community's responses using the hashtag AddMaleAuthorGate (additional examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, and the Microsoft Assistant paperclip: 5)
"The Whitney museum says, 'Isn't it wonderful – we have 30% women in the new collection!'" says the activist known as Frida Kahlo. "And we're saying, why is that something to be happy about – 30%? Where is the other 20?" The Guerrilla Girls: 30 years of punking art world sexism (Emma Brockes, The Guardian); previously on MetaFilter.
Coding Like a Girl - sailor mercury at Medium:
"Apparently, presenting as feminine makes you look like a beginner. It is very frustrating that I will either look like not a programmer or look like a permanent beginner because I have programmed since age 8. I have basically always wanted to be a programmer. I received undergrad and grad degrees from MIT. I’ve worked as a visiting researcher in Honda’s humanoid robotics division on machine learning algorithms for ASIMO.[more inside]
"I don’t think that any of these things make me a better programmer; I list them because I am pretty sure that if i were a white man with these credentials or even less than these credentials no one would doubt my programmer status."
Who Farts? And Who Cares? "Sociologists Martin Weinberg and Colin Williams wanted to know. They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting and pooping. They published their results in an article called Fecal Matters. They discovered that everybody farts and everybody cares, but not everyone cares all the time or equally." [more inside]
"Instead, most current systems, almost without fail, do the opposite. Moderators responsible for content and complaints, regardless of gender, are making decisions based not just on the information they are reviewing, but on the way in which the information flows – linear, acontextual and isolated from other incidents. They are reliant, despite their best efforts, on technical systems that provide insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope. In addition, they lack specific training in trauma (their own or users) and in understanding gender-based violence. " -- "Silicon Valley sexism: why it matters that the internet is made by men, for men", by Soraya Chemaly, The New Statesman
"A man who doesn’t help is 'busy'; a woman is 'selfish'." Regardless of your opinion of the advice Sheryl Sandberg gives to women in this article, it has some interesting (and disheartening) statistics about how the majority of "office housework" is expected to fall to women:
In a study led by the New York University psychologist Madeline Heilman, participants evaluated the performance of a male or female employee who did or did not stay late to help colleagues prepare for an important meeting. For staying late and helping, a man was rated 14 percent more favorably than a woman. When both declined, a woman was rated 12 percent lower than a man. Over and over, after giving identical help, a man was significantly more likely to be recommended for promotions, important projects, raises and bonuses. A woman had to help just to get the same rating as a man who didn’t help ... When men do help, they are more likely to do so in public, while women help more behind the scenes. Studies demonstrate that men are more likely to contribute with visible behaviors — like showing up at optional meetings — while women engage more privately in time-consuming activities like assisting others and mentoring colleagues. As the Simmons College management professor Joyce K. Fletcher noted, women’s communal contributions tend simply to “disappear.”
"The main reason I got so involved with the Internet is because it was safety and sanctuary in a hostile world. I was heavily bullied in school due to racial tension — most of the teachers were hostile instigators or at least uncaring. I didn't really have a lot of space to express myself, because I was constantly told that my existence was wrong. I didn't really learn a lot from the Malaysian education system: most of it was already decades old." [more inside]
"For many men, beauty, coolness, [and] desirability are gifts they alone can bestow upon women. They get baffled, even aggressive when you show you've known you possess those things all along." (BuzzFeed, trigger warning for hate speech) [more inside]
India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger
She's a not a superhero in the comic book tradition. Her power is the power of persuasion and the power of an idea. She's riding the tiger all over India and creating a movement [to] deal with sexual violence.
The lethal combination of being a woman and having an opinion is a recipe for a troll cocktail. Modeled after Jimmy Kimmel's Celebrities Read Mean Tweets, this short YouTube video shows how women who challenge the status quo are treated online on a daily basis. [more inside]
"Go say hi to other dudes if you need to so bad." Twitter reacts to claims that men who street harass women are "just saying hi." [more inside]
Microsoft CEO to women: Don't ask for a raise. CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration and told women to use their "super powers" to get raises. [more inside]
When words fail: women, science, and women-in-science – [Trigger warning for this and all following links] by Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill):
The seminars, workshops, blogs, op-eds, research, policy papers, luncheons, and happy hour discussions are all valuable, and important, and they need to continue. But when the beer is drunk, and the pizza gone cold, and the printed articles relegated to the recycling bin, we are left with words: words written by us and about us, spoken in confidence, tossed like poisoned barbs in the comments sections, smoldering as craters in our in-boxes, pounding in our ears when we run it out at the gym.[more inside]
I’m sorry, you guys, but words are not enough. Not anymore.
This is Science Magazine; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter", by Jia You. The list has 46 men and 4 women. [more inside]
It's a sex crime. "It is not on the (usually, but not always, female) victim to take 'enough' measures to protect herself but rather on the (usually, but not always, male) victimizer to choose not to commit said sex crime. That notion was lost on the Disney Channel back in 2007. They treated Vanessa Hudgens like a sinful child after personal nudes were leaked and stated that 'Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she’s learned a valuable lesson.' "
Flowchart: Should you catcall her? From playboy.com. Flowchart designed by @sheastrauss. Link is NSFW (images) if you scroll all the way to the footer, or drawn silhouettes of women in the flowchart are problematic. Slightly NSFW text.
Robot Hugs: a comic on harassment Leigh Alexander: But what can be done? to combat online sexism [more inside]
Why Silicon Valley Needs The Coder Grrrls Of Double Union, The Feminist Hacker Space
The lack of women in the tech world isn't just a pipeline problem--it's one of rampant sexism. Enter the haven of Double Union.[more inside]
The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry. "It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
A microaggression is defined as "a question, a comment, even an intended compliment, sometimes, that nevertheless suggests something demeaning." (More from NPR.) The Microaggressions Tumblr publishes experiences with all kinds of microaggressions. [more inside]
Hollywood is tough on older women -- it's like they're filed away in a folder simply marked "old" — and it’s a problem their male counterparts rarely have to contend with. To prove it, we’ve rounded up some recent examples of age-inappropriate casting, then imagined what would happen if some of these believability-busting pairings got a gender flip. [more inside]
The Ping Pong Theory of Tech Sexism by Ariel Schrag. A web comic about the subtleties of workplace sexism in male-dominated industries.
35 Practical Tools for Men to Further Feminist Revolution: "This list entails suggestions for some practical tools all men can apply in their day-to-day lives to foster equality in their relationships with women, and to contribute to a culture where women feel less burdened, unsafe, and disrespected." [more inside]
Anita Sarkeesian has released the third video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. It's an exhaustive (and exhausting) look at how women have been used as background decorations in video games for the last three decades. [previously]
Julianne Ross asks: Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? Amy McCarthy asks a similar question: Why do all our young adult heroines look the same? Mandy Stewart also offers up her own advice: Be Divergent and Other Lessons for My Daughter. Interview with Veronica Roth on her book 'Insurgent' and feminism. [more inside]
On what seems to be just another ordinary day, a man is exposed to sexism and sexual violence in a society ruled by women. [SLYT; NSFW; Nudity; Sexual violence]
In the wake of a questionable article about feminist programming languages, a group of trolls leapt on the idea to create a parodic implementation. GitHub promptly removed the code repository, as did BitBucket, but the latter restored it amid the controversy. More commentary from Slashdot and Twitter.
Recently Emily Graslie, of the fantastic natural history tumblr and youtube series TheBrainScoop, was asked a question about whether she had personally experienced sexism in her field. Her response is fucking amazing.
Inside is her goldmine of awesome female science educators online with channels that focus on Science Technology Engineering and Math. My work day is fucked.[more inside]
Jackson Katz, Phd, is an anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media and masculinities. An author, filmmaker, educator and social theorist, Katz has worked in gender violence prevention work with diverse groups of men and boys in sports culture and the military, and has pioneered work in critical media literacy. Katz is the creator and co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which advocates the 'bystander approach' to sexual and domestic violence prevention. [more inside]
Jennifer Sky, a former model/actress, recently published a NYT op-ed about her recurring role as Amarice in Xena: Warrior Princess, stating, "Gender was not relevant in the Xenaverse." Her perspective has been met with some contention.
Elizabeth Simins is an illustrator and a gamer. The latter wasn't always easy, though, which she illustrates in a four-part comic on growing up as a girl gamer.
The National Archives' Media Matters blog recently highlighted several newly digitized military etiquette training films from the late 60s and early 70s. These included a series of three films aimed at the difficult intersection of military service and gender dynamics for the members of the Women's Army Corps: The Pleasure of Your Company (background post), Mind Your Military Manners, and Look Like a Winner (background post). Bonus film for the guys: How to Succeed with Brunettes.
A 21 year old man was arrested for tweeting rape threats. The target of the tweets, Caroline Criado-Perez, had successfully campaigned to have a woman (Jane Austen) shown on the UK's new 10 pound note, and has been subsequently receiving incessant rape and death threats via twitter, a violation of UK law. Twitter's Terms of Service are being repeatedly and flagrantly violated in this episode, and the company appears to be having issues responding to a backlog of reports; it responded to Criado-Perez only that she take the matter to the police. This resulted in shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper asking Twitter to review its policies for handling abuse complaints. [more inside]
David Gaider, senior writer at Bioware, delivers a talk on sex, sexuality, and sexism in video games and the gaming industry at the 2013 Game Developers Conference. (single-link 49-minute video)
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