Cards Against Humanity restoring my faith in humanity

The supremely popular and totally inappropriate game to play around your parents Cards Against Humanity has teamed up with SMBC to create the Science Ambassador Scholorship.

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The scholarship according to it’s website offers a “full-ride scholarship for women seeking undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math.”

The other badass thing about this scholarship is that it defines women as “” Applicants can be in high school or college, and must identify as women in a way that’s significant to them. ”

It’s almost like this gender thing really isn’t that hard after all.

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Anita Sarkeesian finally get’s to say fuck you

“I’m angry that I’m expected to accept online harassment as the price of being a women with an opinion”

It’s kind of depressing that she had to go all the way to the Australian All About Women festival to be able to say this. It’s depressing that I know all I have to do to get some trolls on my twitter feed is tweet this woman’s name.

Come on dudes, all we’re trying to say is we don’t feel safe in the world largely because of the actions of men. Why can’t you hear us?

The Internet is a Lonely Place

“We were there too, the other geeks and weird kids whose lives were hellish at school, who escaped into books and computers, who stayed up all night scanning obscure forums, looking for transcendence, dreaming of elsewhere. We were there too, but you didn’t see us, because we were girls. And the costs of being the geek were the same for us, right down to the sexual frustration, the yearning, the being laughed at, the loneliness. […] We had to fight the same battles you did, only harder, because we were women and we also had to fight sexism, some of it from you, and when we went looking for other weird kids to join our gang, we were told we weren’t ‘real geeks’ because we were girls.” ― Laurie Penny, Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet

If you haven’t been reading Laurie Penny’s books and her blog Penny Red fix that now. I read this quote as it appears in Penny’s book Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution and it struck me really hard. It described how alone I felt in middle school. I once read an article by a friend about how accepting and amazing nerd culture was because everyone was a little weird and finally they had this place to belong and it hurt to have to tell him that I never felt that acceptance. I love going to comic con but I still brace myself for the dude that thinks I’m there for my boyfriend. Going to comic shops still means I have to listen to a well meaning dude explain comics I’ve already read to me. The loneliness I was used to. Same with feeling like I didn’t belong but it hurts more from nerds because they should be my people. Getting told I’m not a real gamer because I play “girl games” stings a lot more than a jock calling me a bitch. Being a girl means constantly having to fight to belong and I’m so fucking sick of fighting.

How Anon Culture feeds GamerGate

I’ve been avoiding mentioning the dreaded G word because saying it feels like chucking a basketball at a hornets nest and I haven’t felt up to dealing with rape threats this month. But I’m big on the idea that you can not fight something until you understand it and this storify from A Man In Black’s twitter is one of the best explanations of how this crap becomes acceptable that I’ve read yet. Now obviously this doesn’t cover every part of GG, there’s a lot about institutionalized sexism that just isn’t going to fit into 140 character sentences. There’s a lot of necessary critique going on about how women are treated online that takes a lot of factors into account. But this is an important piece of the what the fuck is wrong with these people puzzle that needs to be included in our discussion of cybersexism.

Ursula K. Le Guin is one badass 85 year old

In case you missed it, Ursula K. Le Guin made literary headlines  with her speech at the 65th annual National Book Awards.

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As I spend a good portion of my IRL time actively trying to fight the damage our current capitalist system is doing you can imagine how giddy this quote made me. But the octogenarian wasn’t done yet she had a few more stones to chuck in an interview with the Cannon Beach Gazette she called out Amazon pretty fucking fiercely.

Asked if she believes Amazon does more harm than good, she said, “Amazon is not doing good to American literature at this point.”

However, she recognizes that “Amazon is a notoriously flexible company” that may very well change its ways. “I wish it was as simple as just being anti-Amazon. It’s like trying to be anti-Google: You can’t be,” she said…

Amazon is “doing nothing but making money from it,” she said. “They have no other relationship to literature. It’s just a money cow.”

Has Le Guin herself ever been forced to compromise her artistic vision or accept interference from such “profiteers”?

“No, but I’ve been invited to sell my soul,” she said, laughing.

Ursula has always been a writer I admire but her current bout of intelligently calling out bullshit has landed her squarely on my women I want to be like when I’m old list. If theres one thing we need more of in the world it’s people willing to challenge that which seems unchangeable.

Why exactly did Barbie Surprise you

I really wish my first reaction to the new Barbie about coding being ridiculously sexist was shock. Look people this is still Barbie, what about her makes you think she’s on the feminist ball? I know you can make a look at all those jobs she’s had argument but at the end of the day we all know those jobs are more about selling outfits than empowering girls. Don’t believe me? Then why does Doctor Barbie wear high heels?

Anyway in case FB has yet to inform you Mattel put out and doosy of a picture book called Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer.  It contains jems like this.

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The book continues to the obvious lesson that if girls want to use computers they need help from boys. It’s facepalmingly bad in places.  Here’s why I’m not shocked. I’m appalled, and disappointed but not shocked.

It’s not even a secret anymore that women in the tech industry are abused so badly they LEAVE. Two different women who work in the games industry (the very thing Barbie wants to do) were threatened with rape and murder and forced to leave their homes. A different woman was Doxxed just because she said she was scared. What exactly was it about our current culture that made anyone think a book could come out about girls and tech and not be terrible?

Children’s media especially has to get through a lot of gatekeepers and they for the most part aren’t the liberal parents we’d all like them to be. Those gatekeepers sometimes have views that make most of us cringe at the Thanksgiving table because Crazy Aunt Maude is talking again. When the media run by our generation can’t even handle this topic without literally police being called how can we expect anyone else to do better?

It’s why I take feminist issues in things so seriously because we are no where near the point where a book like this is shocking, it was just Wednesday.