Year in Review 2014
It’s not particularly uplifting, but I thought it was useful to review my year. As is often the case, I’m too lazy for longform, so here’s some lists. I’ll save my hopes for next year for a future post.
Community (or not)
I did community work, organizing, and activism in the tech community, both in person and online, for roughly the last three years. It took a toll. This was my last year.
- Several bad things that happened in 2013 still stick with me. I cannot forget, and I have been given no reason to forgive.
- Attempts to hold people in positions of power accountable for bad behavior ended poorly precisely because of said power.
- Arguments about code of conducts repeated themselves over and over because every white dude seems to think he deserves an explanation from first principles.
- The gittip crisis happened. Gittip and others impacted by the ego and ideology of its quasi-benevolent dictator still haven’t recovered. I doubt they will. E.g. they’re getting a lot of flak this week for being disinterested in moderating their community.
- The harassment of myself and people I care about escalated and became more real for me this year. In April, I wrote Abuse as DDoS. It’s a pretty accurate picture of what the year looked like for some people.
- As my follower count rose, twitter stopped being a fun place both because of active harassers and supposedly well-intentioned people with very shitty boundaries. My attempts to set boundaries were ignored because people suck.
- I quit public twitter and deleted my account.
- I stepped down as the chapter leader of Girl Develop It Pittsburgh.
- I quit the tech community. It didn’t deserve my effort any more. It wasn’t worth killing myself for such a broken, toxic place. The “meritocracy” deserves itself.
Leaving the tech community has been really healthy for me. I have time now for other things that make me happy and fill my time. I have time for self-care. I will be focusing on that more next year.
- I volunteer with the cats at a local animal rescue. They are adorable, and people should give them forever homes.
- I tried yoga and liked it (except hot yoga. hot yoga is HELL ON EARTH).
- I snuggled a bunch with my two cats and watched stupid tv.
- I started getting back into film, which I had lost interest in for a while.
Writing, comics, and other creative work
- I created a home for the firebees where I occasionally put up comics and other art.
- I am proud of coining the phrase “Fuck a culture that sacrifices women on the altar of men’s hurt feelings.”
- I wrote a lot about allies including: a quiz to help identify bad allies, some “ally smells” to be avoided, and a resource for people who want to be allies.
- I transcribed and annotated the terrible male allies panel from this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration.
- I contributed several times to Model View Culture (some writing, some comics, some attributed, some anonymous). I am so happy to contribute to such an important and valuable publication. Shanley is a fantastic editor that brings out the best in my writing.
- I started writing (mostly) weekly dispatches. I’m taking a little holiday break, but I’ll begin again in a few weeks.
- Overall, I wrote 40 posts, sent 15 dispatches, and created 8 pieces of art for the firebees.
The top 5 most popular posts on my blog from this year are:
- Life and Times of a Tech Feminist Killjoy: You Can’t Go Back & There’s No End in Sight – 2014-10-10
- So You Want to Be an Ally – 2014-05-10
- Bad Ally Quiz – 2014-02-26
- Blast from the Past: Interviewing Women Candidates – 2014-01-30
- I gave my first ever keynote at Open Source Bridge.
- I gave my impostor syndrome talk at PyCon. The video has over 7,000 hits, and I am so happy that it is helping people.
- I think it’s about time to retire the impostor syndrome talk.
- I worked on supporting new speakers through a talk and a workshop. The materials are free to share non-commercially with attribution. At least one person has already reworked them to use in another workshop. I encourage others to do the same.
- I still work at Google.
- I got a promotion.
- I still enjoy the team I work with both for being good programmers and pleasant people to work with.
- I desperately wish I got more time off. Sadly, 15 days is pretty good for the US, but it’s not as much as I would like for self-care.
Holy fuck, everything is terrible and broken. This year was like bad news after wave of bad news in a tidal wave of doom. I am not going to list it all out here. I have nothing productive to add.
This was mostly a really bad year for me, but things getting that bad pushed me to make some important decisions. I am proud of myself for stepping away from toxic situations and setting myself up for things to be better next year.