Friday, May 8, 2015

Words Beget Violence

‎Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.
Margaret Atwood

Trigger warnings apply to this post, for discussion of violence.

There are a number of topics that I prefer not to talk about. That I circle around, suggesting but not quite saying. Hashtag activism, the personal and political, promoting intercultural dialogue.

As an adult military child, I sometimes read articles about military families and military culture.

Let me begin, again, with a story, a story that leads to history:

I’m going to tell you a story about llamas. It will be like every other story you’ve ever heard about llamas: how they are covered in fine scales; how they eat their young if not raised properly; and how, at the end of their lives, they hurl themselves – lemming-like- over cliffs to drown in the surging sea. They are, at heart, sea creatures, birthed from the sea, married to it like the fishing people who make their livelihood there. [1]
It's from a critical piece by Kameron Hurley, "'We Have Always Fought': Challenging the 'Women, Cattle and Slaves' Narrative" about how we don't see the stories that don't fit our narrative. If every story we hear is about scaly llamas, then we forget about the actual hairy llamas that we have seen.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Incentivizing Understanding of Customer Needs

One of the issues with diversity & inclusion discussions, is that it can often create cognitive dissonance.

One example of cognitive dissonance played out during the 1990's, at a time when I had taken to reading Parade magazine from the Sunday paper. The Time Everyone “Corrected” the World’s Smartest Woman. Marilyn Vos Savant posts the published material here: Game Show Problem .

To me, the thousands of letters Ms. Vos Savant received are an early prelude to the Internet dog-piling culture we see today. Some of the letters seem as if they could have come straight from Derailing for Dummies.

In Long Fuse, Big Bang, Haseltine discussed a behavioral conditioning box:

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pointers to GaslightingDuo Conversation

A very short post today. I hadn't written about it on my blog yet.

Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci are two academics, who have been writing papers together for a very long time. I did a search on Google Scholar, and found them working together in 1997.

Both October of last year and this spring, they have published papers and written news articles suggesting that academic sexism is a myth.

Karen James' Storify has the details, links to articles, links to responses, hashtags being used for the discussions, links to the previous discussions in October, etc.

There is a term used in psychology, called Gaslighting. One of my first encounters with the term was from this article, A Message to Women From a Man: You are not "Crazy".

In February, I wrote "Creating Context and Background" to provide my readers with just a taste of the history that has been occurring with feminism and the internet. It's been very clear since long before #YesAllWomen, GamerGate, or #Shirtstorm that there is a segment of the population working in opposition to diversity and inclusion.

The articles from Ceci and Williams feed that phenomenon, and have earned them the hashtag #GaslightingDuo.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Myths & Guessing vs. Data-Driven Solutions

When I started blogging, my intent was never to be a current-news blog. I prefer to present a well-thought-out and researched post over an insta-pundit thinkpiece. That said, attempting the discipline of blogging everyday has shifted things a little, as I've tended to write more about recent Twitter and Facebook discussions.

While this post IS inspired by a recent Twitter discussion (#DiversityJC chat yesterday), the data in it is old news. On October 8, 2014, as part of the annual Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Women In Computing, they had a panel of Men as Allies as a plenary session.

I was not present at the conference. I have yet to go the the GHC, although I hope to at some point. What I have read from accounts is that, as a plenary session, the Men as Allies panel was the only event occurring at the conference at that time. There were no concurrent sessions for women to "vote with their feet."

A hashtag was developed for the event, #ghcmanwatch, and there is a storify of those tweets.

I can say that there was follow-up, at least one of the men met with women later, to listen to their inputs instead of telling them what he thought.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May the Fourth...

... be with You!

What self-respecting Geek can pass up a pun like that? It's a great day to celebrate our love for Star Wars.

On Friday, the Twitter weekly #SciFiChat discussed Geeky holidays. It wasn't until the end of the chat that I realized it was on account of this Punny holiday.

Being a geek, I've put quite a few on my blogging calendar, intending to mark them. As I started journaling about a taxonomy of Geek holidays this morning, I realized that while several (Pi Day, Yuri's Night, Star Wars Day) have become popular and well-known around the internet, many "holidays" are more personal.

Similar to the GeekFeminism page, I take a broad view of what interests make a "Geek":