Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop talks about creepy, sexist, internet comments, what it’s like to be a woman in STEM related internet content creation, and what we can (begin) to do about it.
[This post has been completely re-written, so if some of the earlier comments seem to be referring to things that aren't here, that's because they are. Thanks to Sam B for pointing out the plagiarism issue and to Rachel for helping me find the end of the article...because it's been just that kind of day for me.]
This weekend I stumbled onto the site It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, and found a graphic explaining the different aspects of sex, sexuality, and gender.
It turns out that site’s creator, Sam Killermann, plagiarized that graphic, and now has thrown a bunch of intellectual property stamps on it, and has even included it in a book he made. (Though you can get the book for free. But he has still made money off of all this.)
As awesome as it is to have people want to be cis straight while male allies, we have to as allies constantly keep vigilant that we are not blocking out the voices of the people we are trying to support with our own. Otherwise we are undermining the very project we are trying to help. And one thing you notice sort of quickly from Killermann’s projects is that you see a lot of him, and hear a lot of his voice but you don’t see or hear a lot of specific people that he is advocating for.
So again, here are some of their voices, specifically on his plagiarism. (Same link as above.)
And here is one of the earlier gingerbread persons:
Some parts of Killerman’s projects still have merit: the comment thread on this post has some good stuff in it. But I think legitimately, some people will not want to visit his websites.
As Laverne Cox said when this issue of plagiarism was brought to her attention,
“…those who lay the groundwork don’t often get the credit. The universe is trying to tell me something. We cannot silence the voices of those doing the hard work so that we can flourish.”
(Sorry I can’t find the exact tweet. This is also in the storify post linked above.)
That is, without respect for the people we are trying to support, our support is hollow.
From Cisnormativity (the Storify OP):
Without that respect, any work done in the name of social justice isn’t actually the practice of social justice. It’s erasure. It’s a tossing of the most marginal people from the bus of acceptance, enfranchisement, and citizenship. It’s the theft of lived experiences. It’s why intersectionally marginalized people along multiple axes still cannot reach so many of their dreams, their potentials, or their hopes .
On a Morning Joe broadcast from 2007, Mika Brzezinski became indignant when her producer tried to have her to lead the news with a story about Paris Hilton getting out of prison, as opposed to talking about the Iraq war, among other things. (There is also something worth saying here about why Paris Hilton is taken to be especially unfit and undeserving of attention in the news, and why an anchorwomen is pissed to be covering such a story.)
You can watch a few clips edited together here of her two co-anchors then telling her to “take control” of her job, to not use her producer’s commands as a cop out, and to make her own lead…and then proceed to ignore her commands, physically control her actions, and make light of her indignation over lax journalistic standards. The editing may be making the interactions look more disrespectful than they actually were, since there is usually is a lot of bantering on the show. But even granting that, grabbing a lighter from someone’s hand belies your insistence that they should take charge. Even if Brzezinski didn’t feel disrespected by her colleagues, their actions have such a weird patronizing undercurrent to them. (I’m sure someone somewhere can describe this with more exact philosophy-speak.)
Here’s an article written shortly after the newscast aired. And here’s a previous Fem Phil post from 2012 about another incidence where Scarborough claims that he respects Brezinski while his actions cast doubt on that point.
Read about how the hashtag got started here.
“The hashtag was originally coined by blogger Mikki Kendall during a Twitter debate about Hugo Schwyzer, an American academic and self-described “male feminist”. Schwyzer has been accused of harassing non-white female bloggers and recently wrote that his critics drove him offline.”
You can also read tweets with the hashtag here.
And you can see a Jezebel article here where many people in the comments call out the blog for praising the hashtag but erasing the WoC who created it.
Check out the #inspiringwomen hashtag on twitter today.
Read about it here. (Thanks, Mr Jender!)
What do people think of this matrix of people who criticize / hate on you?
Check out the link for more of an explanation.
The general rule of thumb? When you receive negative feedback that falls into one of the top two quadrants—from experts or people who care about you who are engaging with and rationally critiquing your work—you should probably take their comments to heart. When you receive negative feedback that falls into the bottom two quadrants, you should just let it roll off your back and just keep doin’ you.
…We want 15 year olds (and journalists) to be able to tell the difference between contraceptive pills you take daily (which come in packages of 28) and emergency contraceptive pills (packages of 2).
We’re fine since we don’t have an admin who uses the name “admin”, but in any case, it’s good to occasionally have a reminder of why simple, short passwords (and handles) are a very bad idea:
Security analysts have detected an ongoing attack that uses a huge number of computers from across the Internet to commandeer servers that run the WordPress blogging application.
According to CloudFlare’s Prince, the distributed attacks are attempting to brute force the administrative portals of WordPress servers, employing the username “admin” and 1,000 or so common passwords.
There is currently a significant attack being launched at a large number of WordPress blogs across the Internet. The attacker is brute force attacking the WordPress administrative portals, using the username “admin” and trying thousands of passwords. It appears a botnet is being used to launch the attack and more than tens of thousands of unique IP addresses have been recorded attempting to hack WordPress installs.
Article here. (NSFW warning)
When asked about the Topless Jihad protest, Amina Tyler said,
” I am against. Everyone will think that I encouraged their actions. They have insulted all Muslims everywhere and it’s not acceptable.”
When asked what she thought of the reaction to her topless photograph, Amina replied: “At the moment I don’t regret what I did. But I do not know what the future holds.”
As to whether she supports Femen “whatever happens”, she says: “Until I’m 80-years-old. Because they are true feminists.”
Femen contacted Huffingtion Post UK and responded to Amina’s comments,
“It’s clear to us that she was not speaking freely. We know that she’s been constantly under the supervision of her family, and, as far as we know, they’ve been making her take some sort of anti-depressants, which could account for her halting speech. That Tyler incorrectly described Femen’s mosque protest proves to us that she has no independent access to the media. Her family is telling her things to make her stop her ‘playing around at being free.’ That she’s at home with her family in no way means she’s free or safe.”
Granted, Femen could be partially right about Amina being under supervision. But if Amina is not speaking freely, why would she have been allowed to say that she’ll support Femen until she’s 80 and that she didn’t regret what she did? I don’t want to unreservedly assume that Femen is so narrow-minded and arrogant that they are reflexively taking a fellow feminist’s criticism of their protest as evidence of her not being in her right mind, but holy hell, it sure does look that way. Unless there are big chunks of information missing from this report, this amplifies the criticisms of how Femen is engaging with the women they are trying to be in solidarity with.