Firebee Dispatch #6: There is a light that never goes out

date2014-09-19
6 min read

I’m still deep in the busy season at work, so content is a little light this week.

What I’m Up To

  • Work continues to be super-busy. ::dies::
  • Next week, I’m teaching a workshop for beginners about speaking at tech events.
  • The Myth of Magical Futures by Kate Losse. She does a great job of dissecting the many problems with a recent comment by Peter Thiel that the solution to misogyny in tech is “more women founders.”

[The] idea of women founders as a solution to tech misogyny also makes existing male founders and investors unaccountable for misogyny as it exists today.

THIS BIT RIGHT HERE IS EVERYTHING (emphasis mine).

This is why many powerful people in tech can only conceive moves to “change” the industry in terms of magical futures like “more women founders” or “getting young girls to code”. The women working in the industry right now are being written off in favor of these magical futures, and as long as this is the case, the now of tech (whether the now is today or twenty years from today) will be unchanged.

  • My Feminism Starts 300 Years Ago at Colorlines. An interview with Tressie McMillan Cottom at Feminism for What? Equality in the Workplace after Lean In, a conference run by Baffler.

A lot of corporate capitalist feminism begins with the idea that feminism is always starting on the day the person discovered feminism. [But] my feminism can’t start when you discover it, I need mine to start 300 years ago.

In the News

This Week in Sexism

  • The Shermer Allegations: Some Considerations for Those to Whom This Is a Nasty Shock by Dana Hunter at Freethought Blogs (content notice for discussions of abuse and sexual assault). The skeptic/atheist communities have just as many, if not more, problems than the tech industry. There’s a reason I distanced myself years ago. I remember being warned about Shermer when I was in the community, especially when I was planning to go to TAM 8. This is not new. People have been whispering about it for years.

My Writing

I started a new series named Life and Times of a Tech Feminist Killjoy.

I think about the death by a thousand paper cuts more often than I like. I want to reflect on what I wrote and what has happened in the time since then.

So far, I have written two entries in the series. I plan to write at least a few more in the coming weeks.

Our stories are not our own. Not while there is a headline to be had. Not while we can be used as click bait. We stop being people and become a commodity to take advantage of. A spectacle to gawk at.

The thing about working in tech is that it’s rarely just your current job. I had jobs before this one, and I will likely have jobs after. This pleasant job seems like an outlier, and working in tech has never just been about the job. You are expected to go above and beyond to be truly successful.

Firebees

The firebees are still on hiatus during my busy time at work. In the mean time, check out the store for swag. There is a new “firebee trio” design as of today.

red tshirt with three bees shooting fire

Miscellany

  • Rejected Princesses — A series of illustrations of women whose stories wouldn’t make the cut for animated kids’ movies, illustrated in a contemporary animation style.
  • 25 Famous Women on Childlessness from NyMag. As a childfree woman, I found this kind of interesting, but certainly don’t agree with all of them. I think this is my favorite.

I’m not that big a fan of marriage as an institution, and I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.
— Marisa Tomei

  • Dispatch title from “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths [youtube]

Promotion

In this section, I promote events, fundraisers, organizations, and other things that I think are worthwhile.

Donations Needed

If you have some disposable income, please consider donating to causes listed in this section. I have donated to all items listed here because I want to put my money where my mouth is when suggesting others do so.

  • Growstuff via indiegogo. Help build an open database for food growers everywhere. Check out last week’s dispatch for more details about why Growstuff is awesome. To encourage donations, I will release adorable pictures of Leon in a silly costume at each $5k milestone.
  • Ada Initiative. The Ada Initiative has made record progress for women in open tech/culture in 2014. They are asking for donations before October 8th to support programs for the next year. The Ada Initiative does awesome things like running Ada Camp, providing training on topics like impostor syndrome and how to be a good ally, and promoting codes of conduct.