Hollaback App

The awesome Hollaback has i-phone app and droid apps!

Hollaback! is a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology. Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence and one of the least legislated against. Comments from “You’d look good on me” to groping, flashing and assault are a daily, global reality for women and LGBTQ individuals. But it is rarely reported, and it’s culturally accepted as ‘the price you pay’ for being a woman or for being gay. At Hollaback!, we don’t buy it.
We believe that everyone has a right to feel safe and confident without being objectified. Sexual harassment is a gateway crime that creates a cultural environment that makes gender-based violence OK. There exists a clear legal framework to reproach sexual harassment and abuse in the home and at work, but when it comes to the streets—all bets are off. This gap isn’t because street harassment hurts any less, it’s because there hasn’t been a solution. Until now. The explosion of mobile technology has given us an unprecedented opportunity to end street harassment—and with it, the opportunity to take on one of the final new frontiers for women’s rights around the word.
By collecting women and LGBTQ folks’ stories and pictures in a safe and share-able way with our very own mobile phone applications, Hollaback! is creating a crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment. Hollaback! breaks the silence that has perpetuated sexual violence internationally, asserts that any and all gender-based violence is unacceptable, and creates a world where we have an option—and, more importantly—a response.

Via Boing Boing Thanks, Mr Jender!

We need YOU to write for wikipedia

Wikipedia is overwhelmingly written by men. And Wikipedia knows this is a problem.

Sue Gardner, the executive director of the [Wikimedia] foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women.

Her effort is not diversity for diversity’s sake, she says. “This is about wanting to ensure that the encyclopedia is as good as it could be,” Ms. Gardner said in an interview on Thursday. “The difference between Wikipedia and other editorially created products is that Wikipedians are not professionals, they are only asked to bring what they know.”

“Everyone brings their crumb of information to the table,” she said. “If they are not at the table, we don’t benefit from their crumb.”

Wonderful to see the problem laid out so clearly. (Great example for teaching social epistemology as well!) And now, we should all go become part of the solution. (Yes, even if you’re not a woman, you’re the sort of person who reads this blog, so I’m betting your perspective is also under-represented.)

UPDATE: Here are instructions on contributing. It’s really very easy– go do it!

Domestic violence victim’s compensation cut because she was “conditioned” to it

Domestic violence experts fear a court ruling that slashed a battered woman’s compensation payment because she was “conditioned” to domestic violence by her husband will deter other victims from taking legal action.
Diane Mangan, chief executive of the 24-hour helpline DV Connect, said the decision to reduce the payout because of the woman’s predisposition to mental stress from previous domestic violence only served to “diminish” her traumatic experience.

For more, go here. (Thanks, J-Bro.)

Query from Reader

Query from a reader in the UK (where, as they allude to, there are actually close to equal numbers at the undergraduate level):

In all areas of philosophy above the undergraduate student level there is a gender imbalance. But in certain areas there is a huge gender imbalance. I am trying to organise workshops in the areas of experimental philosophy and contrastive explanation. We are seriously short of female philosophers who could participate. This is particularly awkward in Europe as the European Science Foundation requires 33 per cent of participants in their workshops to be ‘of either gender’. That does strike me as a very modest requirement. But it is a tough one to meet! Anyone out there who could help us to secure more balanced participation at such an event?

My first suggestion would be to contact some of the women who write for the experimental philosophy blog, here. But I don’t have any helpful thoughts about contrastive explanation.

Another thought: good for the EU, caring and doing something about gender balance!!

Any suggestions to help our reader?

The Sunday cat is completely shocked!

I can has cheezburger has brought in supporting funds of 30 million dollars!  And all it does it make fun of cats.  Here’s the story; actually, it’s the whole network that has scored.  The network includes tons of blogs, which amount to an empire.  Still….

I can has cheezburger is also a channel on youtube.  Having discovered it, we want to share with you another visual metaphor for a philosophical discussion:

Stoning of couple in Kunduz

I opened my newspaper this morning to graphic images from a filmed stoning to death of a couple accused of adultery.  The film has been making the rounds of the major news outlets, perhaps because, as the Toronto Star notes, the stoning  is “the first to be documented on film since the Taliban were ousted from power.”  A warning is in order before you click the link; the video is unsparing in its detail, and very difficult to watch.  I opted for a news outlet that at least keeps the video paused unless the viewer clicks to launch it.  Some news sites (such as the Telegraph) immediately launch the video upon arrival.

I hesitate to even post this.  The sight of these images tears at the soul.  But as it happens, today was my annual class in which I explained to students that I was providing a non-required screening of a documentary on torture for their viewing, because I didn’t want our discussion of torture as a moral issue to be an entirely abstract or hypothetical discussion.  We should employ our abstractions and hypotheticals, yes, but I was adamant that we must also attend to the fact that torture happens to embodied individuals.

Perhaps I’ve seen too much cruelty today.  Perhaps I’m completely wrong that one must at least look.  Perhaps I’m just tired.  Readers are welcome to criticize (as constructively as you can, please) my decision to post this.  I felt all day that in a way I wish I had never seen the still photos in the paper.  Then I went and gave that presentation to my kids.  Am I full of it?