It’s been a loooong time since I posted some good reading.
- 5 Things I Learned as the Internet’s Most Hated Person | Cracked.com
- "I watched every avenue of social media suddenly blow up with messages of abject hatred from thousands of strangers. For the first five days, I couldn't sleep. Every time I would start to doze off, I'd be shocked awake from half-asleep nightmares about everyone I love buying into the mob's bullshit and abandoning me. The ceaseless barrage of random people sending you disgusting shit is initially impossible to drown out — it was constant, loud, and it became my life."
- They Are Not Trolls. They Are Men. | Make Me a Sammich
- "By calling these people “trolls,” we are basically letting them off the hook. It’s a lot like the “boys will be boys” mentality that helps to keep rape culture thriving, but it’s also different, because boys are expected to be human. By calling these people “trolls,” we relegate them to non-human status, and we make it clear that we don’t expect them to live up to the same behavioral standards as human beings." Continue reading Good reads →
A colleague sent an email to our department yesterday that opened with the line, “Other tip offs that our computers are like women…”
What followed was pretty (and predictably) contemptible; four bullet points of absurd stereotypes, ostensibly humorous, comparing computers to women.
I was… quite upset. I debated how or if to talk to the coworker, and ultimately decided to have the conversation when another colleague was like, “Hey, don’t send stuff like that!”
So we talked. I was still hand-shakingly upset, so I didn’t press the points I should have. Instead, I listened to the “ask anyone who knows me; I’m not a sexist” thing, the “I don’t do sexist things” thing, and the “actions should speak louder than words” thing. They did sincerely apologize for offending me. I did not go into the idea of feeling contemptuous rather than offended. I was pretty much all the things.
Unfortunately, I think what they came away with was, “Melissa is sensitive about these things and I should keep that in mind because I’m an empathetic person.”
I don’t think I did a good job of explaining that this wasn’t about whether they as an individual are sexist or not. It’s about the environment emails like that produce. The fact that I can be sitting at work, and apropos of nothing receive an email full of denigrating stereotypes about a category of people?
That’s a damn problem.
I’ve been (relatively) all over the twitter space lately on the social justice tip. I’ve started following some new and amazing folks in the last couple months, including Ashe Dryden, Julie Pagano, and Justine Arreche, who are probably the first folks I’ve followed who are specifically interested in social justice within the tech community/industry.
Mutual following of these folks led to some fun discussions with a former colleague on considerations like, “How often can I call my colleagues out on *ist behavior and still get invites out to lunch? Once in three occurrences?”
After all, no one likes a feminazi.
The first two links come from Pagano’s “101 off limits” piece, and all are great reference articles to pass around.
- Don’t mistake expressing contempt for taking offense
- "I’m not offended by those words. I’m contemptuous of those words, and I’m letting you know that using them just made me think less of you – less admiration, less trust, less enjoyment in your company. I don’t hold you personally in the same contempt as I do the words that you just used, at least not yet. Whether I end up doing that depends on how you react to having your word choices challenged."
- Shakesville: Rape Culture 101
- "It is not a definition for which they're looking; not really. It's a description. It's something substantive enough to reach out and touch, in all its ugly, heaving, menacing grotesquery."
- The Male Privilege Checklist
- A very… gently-written article on example of male privilege in our culture.
People, Systems, and the Game of Monopoly
A very accessible description and discussion of the system of white privilege. Love it.
From that speaker’s blog:
- Women Are Not Guys | UNRAVELING THE KNOT
- "But then there are things that are stranger still because we know they aren’t true even as we act as though they are. I am referring, of course, to the practice of calling women ‘guys’."
Love it, especially Thought Experiment #2.
Last but not least, how I feel after a trying day of biting my tongue: