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If you can't see it, you can't be it

With WrestleMania 31 mere hours away, let's talk about representation in pro wrestling. And really, lessons that apply for any form of entertainment.
If you don’t use positive representation to speak to new fans who look different, who act different, who have new ideas, you’ll never have new fans at all.
If You Can't See It, You Can't Be It: The Importance of Representation in Modern Day Wrestling [more inside]
posted by misskaz on Mar 29, 2015 - 5 comments

What Women Want in Women Characters

Women Characters Redesigned by Women SFF Artists
As I said, I’m going to be discussing this at length in my next post. For now, I’m going to give you a flood of examples of women characters in fantasy art — many infamous for being depictions unwelcoming to women — that have been redesigned by the professional artists in the Women in Fantasy Illustration group. Each woman’s point of view is different, and the redesigns reveal what is most important to that woman, whether it’s realistic body armor, or it’s making sure the woman has a narrative and agency of her own. There is no one right way to depict a woman character, and it is not as simple as "cover her up more" because, as you'll see, some of these redesigns are sexier than the original. And I have found through my own work that you CAN absolutely have a single depiction of a character that is sexy and empowering to all genders. As I said, more on that next post.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Mar 29, 2015 - 40 comments

White Women, Black Hairstyles

It almost sounds like the opening line to a joke: A young black woman takes a bunch of middle-aged white women who she doesn’t know in Woodstock, N.Y., to a black salon, gives them a new “black” hairdo, and then takes their portrait.
posted by DirtyOldTown on Mar 29, 2015 - 21 comments

Five Biases Pushing Women out of STEM

By now, we’ve all heard about the low numbers of American women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). My own new research, co-authored with Kathrine W. Phillips and Erika V. Hall, indicates that bias, not pipeline issues or personal choices, pushes women out of science – and that bias plays out differently depending on a woman’s race or ethnicity.
posted by sciatrix on Mar 28, 2015 - 15 comments

What is up with bra sizing, anyway?

In recent years, many women will have noticed new articles insisting that most of us wear bras that don't fit and that women should measure themselves in a new way. But the sizes that are easily and cheaply available to women are nowhere near the sizes that these experts insist women should be wearing. How did this state of affairs come to be? It turns out the answer lies in the history of bra manufacture. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix on Mar 27, 2015 - 69 comments

The biggest challenge for a woman working in construction? Bathrooms.

Twenty Questions for Women in Construction was a series of blog posts about female construction workers in NYC which ran on Huffington Post in 2013. Kicking off the series was the article A Day in the Life of a Woman in Construction by Ana Taveras. Many of the respondents to the Twenty Questions series are graduates of Nontraditional Employment for Women. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Mar 26, 2015 - 41 comments

I almost entirely removed the words "no" and "don't" from my vocabulary.

Criticism and Ineffective Feedback, blog post by Kate Heddleston [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 23, 2015 - 66 comments

In A League Of Their Own

In honour of Women's History Month*, Vibe has been doing brief interviews with "a woman who has made her living by doing exactly what she wants." [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Mar 22, 2015 - 3 comments

It’s like sexual release that’s allowed

Hysteria and Teenage Girls - How Justin Bieber, The Beatles, Morrissey, Franz Liszt, the Salem Witch Trials and the invention of the vibrator might all be related.
posted by jillithd on Mar 20, 2015 - 18 comments

100 Years of Beauty

In Cut.com's new video series, a model runs through iconic makeup and hairstyle looks of her country for each decade from 1910 to 2010. This is an ongoing series, but there are now four videos up: one each for Anglo-American and African-American women, one for Iranian women, and one for Korean women. [more inside]
posted by sciatrix on Mar 17, 2015 - 24 comments

being unable to achieve the impossible: keeping everybody happy

Creating just online social spaces - Aria Stewart, Geek Feminism
"The last two months have seen two Slack chats start to support marginalized groups in the technology field, LGBTQ* Technology and Women in Technology, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about how to run the spaces effectively, not just being a place for those who it says on the tin, but to support, encourage and not be terrible to people who are marginalized in other ways than the one the particular group is trying to represent. "This is a sort of how-to guide for creating a social Slack that is inclusive and just, and a lot of of this will apply to other styles and mediums for interaction."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 16, 2015 - 4 comments

"To all the men who turned their misogyny into a game"

"What I couldn't say" by Anita Sarkeesian, part of the "What I couldn't say" session at the All About Women Festival at the Sydney Opera House this week [more inside]
posted by hydropsyche on Mar 12, 2015 - 77 comments

What can we do better as a community in these cases?

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.

"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."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 12, 2015 - 126 comments

"The most important thing I did was listen."

What's the scariest thing in the world? Ask your teenage daughter. Ninja Pizza Girl is a game from independent game studio Disparity Games.
I’m pitching my idea for "baddies" to the Disparity Games design think tank. It consists of me, my wife and however many of our daughters happen to be in the room at the time.… Raven looks up. "Robots aren’t scary Dad.… Zombies aren’t scary either."

I’m getting a little tetchy with this unreceptive design group. I ask Raven, "So what are teenage girls scared of?"

Raven thinks for a moment. She looks sad. "Other teenagers," she says.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Mar 12, 2015 - 6 comments

Creating breasts that look and move naturally in games

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong.) NSFW. (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 11, 2015 - 91 comments

Women of the Supreme Court in Lego

The women justices of the Supreme Court, represented in Lego. More pictures here. Not a commercially available set, unfortunately, but a custom design by Maia Weinstock. Maia's other Lego projects include scientists, album covers, and this infographic on gender representation in minifigs.
posted by Metroid Baby on Mar 9, 2015 - 13 comments

Women working with music technology

There's somehow a notion out there that women don't make their own electronic music. In a recent interview with Bjork in Pitchfork, she brought up an instance of sexism she's dealt with for decades: journalists hardly ever credit her with composing and producing her own music. Since she's not being photographed in the studio working at her computer, the men she collaborates with end up getting all the credit. She cites MIA and Missy Elliott as other examples of this phenomenon. The tumblr female:pressure attempts to counteract this. "Here we offer a visual catalogue of female producers, DJ’s, media artists and electronic music Performers at work. These are not our press photos. This is a collective effort to demonstrate women and their use of technology in music and media production." It's also just a fantastic collection of electronic musicians, many of whom have been overlooked. Further discussion from Create Digital Music.
posted by naju on Mar 9, 2015 - 42 comments

Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?

As openDemocracy.net focuses on women's voices for International Women's Day, Dawn Foster argues that we need to have a conversation about the unpaid labour that women are expected to do, and the impact it has on their lives. She presents us with some interesting statistics from the UK about the economic value of the unpaid (and often unnoticed) work that women carry out both in and around their paid jobs. [more inside]
posted by averysmallcat on Mar 8, 2015 - 57 comments

"We need to challenge the assumption that more is always better"

Recline, don’t ‘Lean In’ (Why I hate Sheryl Sandberg)
Sheryl, have you ever stopped to consider that all this “leaning in” is ruining life for the rest of us?

Long ago, before Sandberg’s book “Lean In” convinced me to change my ways, I had a life. I had friends, family, children. I had hobbies. I had a job, too, of course, but I also took occasional vacations, knocked off work at a sensible hour and got eight hours of sleep each night.

Then I read “Lean In” and realized that I was self-sabotaging slacker.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Mar 8, 2015 - 48 comments

Women of Aviation Week: March 2-8

Since the 1980s, the female pilot population has been stagnating at unbearably low levels. Out of more than 1 million pilots worldwide, there are only 50,000 female pilots. Other technical fields in the air and space industry are equally lacking female presence. Women of Aviation Week Worldwide celebrates women's aviation history and encourages girls and women to get out and 'be the majority' at your local aviation site. [more inside]
posted by what's her name on Mar 7, 2015 - 20 comments

'I like art by men better.'

New York Magazine on MoMA's identity politics and gender balance. Art Basel Miami Beach gender balance by the numbers. The White Review on gender balance in the London gallery scene. Georg Baselitz in Der Spiegel:
As always, the market is right. [...] Women simply don't pass the test. The market test, the value test. Women don't paint very well. It's a fact.
Collectors still pay more for male artists. [previously]
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 7, 2015 - 29 comments

“We give our pain meaning, and that meaning alters our experience.”

Wounded Women by Jessa Crispin [Boston Review] The assumption of female vulnerability threatens to invigorate the sexist evils it aims to combat.
posted by Fizz on Mar 6, 2015 - 27 comments

It's Never OK

Today, the Ontario Government released a video called #WhoWillYouHelp (TW; potentially triggering scenes in video relating to sexual assault) as part of the $41-million It's Never OK action plan to end sexual assault and harassment within the province. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Mar 6, 2015 - 14 comments

"Being a grown-up is highly overrated"

Never Give Up, Never Surrender: Cosplay After 40
My name is Phaedra Cook, I am 46 years old and I’m a cosplayer. That sounds like some kind of intro to a confession at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, doesn’t it? There are certain types of people who would like me to have a sense of shame about my hobby, but that’s not going to happen.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Mar 5, 2015 - 43 comments

On Being a Badass

Friedman's editorial in "The Cut" about what it means to be a badass woman If we can call any woman a badass, we can surely call Mac McClelland one. An international journalist who has traveled to and extensively reported on crisis situations, McClelland has recently published the book Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story. Friedman explores what we mean when we call her a "badass." [more inside]
posted by amanda on Mar 4, 2015 - 16 comments

How period trackers presume/impose heterosexuality, fertility, feminity

Maggie Delano discusses the crushing assumption of heterosexual fertility planning written into the very code of period tracking apps. A participant in the Quantified Self movement (described here by the wonderful Whitney Erin Boesel), Delano articulates for us the often-hidden, unique needs of women who are infertile or partnered with women, trans men and those not sexually active. I felt keenly her frustration at the way period trackers can never be 'neutral' or customisable outside of certain prescribed limitations, which have nothing to do with usability and everything to do with cultural expectations.
posted by averysmallcat on Mar 2, 2015 - 99 comments

Fewer Women Run Big Companies Than Men Named John

Fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John, a sure indicator that the glass ceiling remains firmly in place in corporate America. Among chief executives of S&P 1500 firms, for each woman, there are four men named John, Robert, William or James. We’re calling this ratio the Glass Ceiling Index. (SLNYT, inspired by a 2-page PDF report from Ernst & Young which computed analogous numbers for board directors.) [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen on Mar 2, 2015 - 22 comments

Violin videos: Women playing music written by women

Each video inside depicts at least one woman playing Western art music composed by a woman, on a violin. Most of the videos include other performers and other instruments as well. Before you can perform the music of women composers, first you have to find it. Links are included to some sheet music and recordings of violin music by women composers. [more inside]
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck on Mar 1, 2015 - 10 comments

On pregnancy, waiting and the malleability of time

"I am waiting for my baby, waiting for summer, waiting for knowledge, but the waiting itself becomes the knowledge and then, even as I am so hungry for transition I am practically clawing out of my skin, I begin to mourn and maybe to fear the fading of this particular consciousness: the Zen state, the acid trip of gestation, and its changed relationship to time."
posted by averysmallcat on Mar 1, 2015 - 10 comments

TL;DR Minorities in Hollywood are underrepresented on every front

"We don't want them to see diversity as a burden or a moral obligation. We want them to see it as a business imperative."
UCLA’s Bunche Center for African American Studies has released its 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping The Script [PDF]. The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive story (with lots of sidebars.)
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 26, 2015 - 3 comments

miscarriage invisibility

a lost possibility: women on miscarriage (an open discussion on a topic that nobody talks about) [more inside]
posted by flex on Feb 18, 2015 - 51 comments

"I wanted to start with this quote because it just - ugh..."

Mansplaining 101: Cisadmin Edition - Marni Cohen, Puppet Labs at Velocity Conference [SLYT]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 16, 2015 - 15 comments

Child Bride Mother

In Guatemala, the legal age of marriage is 14 with parental consent, but in Petén, in the northern part of the country, the law seems to be more of a suggestion. Underage brides are everywhere. They parade endlessly through Petén’s hospital in San Benito, seeking medical care. Most have traveled from the villages along the mud-soaked roads that flow out in all directions. I visited almost a dozen of these villages to meet some of the child brides of Petén for the latest Too Young to Wed transmedia project, this one a partnership with the United Nations Population Fund. Guatemala was the 10th country I had worked in documenting the issue of child marriage since 2003, after a chance encounter with several young brides in Afghanistan.
posted by josher71 on Feb 10, 2015 - 4 comments

insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope

"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
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 9, 2015 - 25 comments

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Women Doing ‘Office Housework’

"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.”

posted by Librarypt on Feb 7, 2015 - 81 comments

The Magnificent Spinster

30 of the Best Pop Culture Spinsters Elisabeth Donnelly presents "our 30 favorite writers, artists, and fictional characters who show the freedom that comes from living an unmarried life — female characters who are defined by their wants and desires, and not characterized through the simple scrim of their relationships." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 3, 2015 - 72 comments

Parsing reports on murdered and missing indigenous women

Parsing reports on murdered and missing indigenous women [via mefi projects]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Feb 3, 2015 - 20 comments

Je Suis Newsweek?*

The 5000 word cover story on "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women" in Newsweek is getting a lot of attention, but mostly for the illustration on the cover, which very simply (or simplistically) depicts high-tech sexism, and which writers like Rachel Sklar and Alexia Tsotsis consider to be sexist itself.
Responding to Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast**, article author Nina Burleigh says "It’s provocative because it quite powerfully and accurately depicts the disgusting behavior and attitudes toward women that dozens of women in tech described to me and that tens of thousands more must navigate on a daily basis, to the detriment of their professional advancement." [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 30, 2015 - 73 comments

Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Wikipedia and Gamergate. 💻

Infamous. Thoughtless. Careless. Mark Bernstein on recent editorial decisions at Wikipedia: "The infamous draft decision of Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee (ArbCom) on Gamergate is worse than a crime. It’s a blunder that threatens to disgrace the internet." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 24, 2015 - 390 comments

if, however, the solution requires deep collaboration, EQ trumps IQ

the secret to smart groups isn't smart peopleit's women
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jan 19, 2015 - 30 comments

"Well, I dunno. You have a crazy-ass job, sir."

The Alabama legislature has introduced a unique dimension to the debate over reproductive rights in the United States: the allocation of state funds to provide lawyers to fetuses in abortion cases involving minors seeking an exemption from parental notification laws. The appointment of fetal guardians ad litem is enumerated in House bill HB 494, which went into effect on July 1, 2014.

Last week, Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams -- recently named one of TIME's 12 New Faces of Black Leadership -- sat down to interview one of the lawyers, Montgomery civil rights attorney Julian McPhillips, about some of the ramifications of HB 494: The Unborn Ultimatum. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jan 18, 2015 - 105 comments

dating while autistic

"are you angry with me?": dating as an autistic woman
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jan 16, 2015 - 73 comments

All hail the complicated woman: the 2015 Golden Globes

"As Maggie Gyllenhaal put it in accepting an award for her performance in 'The Honorable Woman': 'What I see, actually, are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not. And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film.'" The 'strong female character' is dead. All hail the complicated woman., by Alyssa Rosenberg for The Washington Post. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 14, 2015 - 13 comments

This Girl Can

"It's a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets." Aiming to inspire more women to be active without fear of judgment, the This Girl Can campaign features British women of different ages and sizes working out, getting sweaty, and enjoying it.
posted by Metroid Baby on Jan 14, 2015 - 35 comments

You aint tht good luv

"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]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 12, 2015 - 119 comments

The Ancient Greeks were, I'm afraid, faceist.

"A rather different story though when it comes to the female of the species. Hesiod - an 8th/7th Century BC author whose works were as close as the Greeks got to a bible - described the first created woman simply as kalon kakon – 'the beautiful-evil thing'. She was evil because she was beautiful, and beautiful because she was evil. Being a good-looking man was fundamentally good news. Being a handsome woman, by definition, spelt trouble." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 10, 2015 - 30 comments

How Women of Color Are Driving Entrepreneurship in the US

Women of color are a principal force behind one of the most important components of America’s current marketplace and our nation’s future economy: entrepreneurship. Today, women of color are the majority owners of close to one-third of all women-owned firms in the nation. Increased access to business capital—including microenterprises, venture-capital-funded firms, and crowd funding—has helped the number of women entrepreneurs grow substantially. But women of color face significant obstacles in starting their own businesses, leading to the question of why so many of them turn to entrepreneurship. The growth of women of color as business owners is part of a long-term trend, but the question of why this trend is occurring is often left unanswered. Looking at the alternative to entrepreneurship—the traditional workplace—sheds light on some of the reasons.

posted by infini on Jan 9, 2015 - 9 comments

'the Senate women are not a caucus, but a zone of civility'

The Secret History of Women in the Senate
posted by anastasiav on Jan 6, 2015 - 17 comments

2014 has taught us that a critical mass of people want to talk feminism

"From a seven-year-old who took on a supermarket to the girls who stood up to authority against violence, racism and inequality, these girls make the future look bright." Laura Bates looks back at a year of young feminist action in the Guardian piece, "2014: a year of brave, inspiring, young feminists". More feminism year-in-reviews below the fold. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 29, 2014 - 18 comments

We have joy, We have fun, We have X-rays in the Sun

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), an X-ray telescope designed to observe deep space, has been used to capture images of X-rays streaming off the Sun for the first time. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets on Dec 23, 2014 - 11 comments

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