Firebee Dispatch #8: And you don't even feel a thing

date2014-10-04
7 min read

Sorry the dispatch is late again this week and pretty light on content. Work continues to be busy. It will improve after Thanksgiving.

Table of Contents

What I’m Up To

  • The closer I get to the holiday shopping season, the busier work gets. I may spontaneously combust a few weeks before Black Friday.

Rant of the Week

Let’s continue last week’s rant about men inappropriately being involved in and centered in discussions about women in tech.

This year, Grace Hopper Celebration, is having a Male Allies Plenary Panel. It includes the CEO of GoDaddy. For those not famliar with the event, it is a huge conference focused on women in tech. The vast overwhelming majority of attendees are women.

In this panel, we will hear from men who have been advocates for women technologists, who have been on the front-lines of culture change in technology-based companies. They will share what they have learned as they have leaned in to the challenge of creating workplaces that are fair and equitable.

I am going to leave you with my bad ally quiz and your own thoughts to figure out why this is problematic. If you want a more detailed analysis, Cate Huston has a post on the topic.

Rants of the Month

October is here and with it some regular rants. I’ll keep it short this week, but may expand in the other dispatches this month.

Halloween

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. That being said…DO NOT USE HALLOWEEN TO DRESS UP AS ANOTHER CULTURE OR RACE. DO NOT DO IT. IT IS APPROPRIATION AT BEST, AND RACIST AS FUCK AT WORST. JUST DON’T.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I don’t get the awareness push at this point because most people are well aware of breast cancer (or at least they are in the US where the awareness campaigns are in full swing). That being said, awareness can improve donations to help with things like research, detection, treatment, and support for people with cancer and their families, so it can do a lot of good. However, please keep in mind that a lot of that pink stuff sends pennies on the dollar (and sometimes literally nothing) to these causes. There is a special place in hell for people and companies that profit off of cancer.

I encourage donations to places like Planned Parenthood. They help people (particularly poor people) get the health care and screenings necessary for early detection and treatment of health issues like breast cancer and cervical cancer.

I believe comparison of cultures, countries and continents is important in gaining understanding of how this systematic-bullsquishy works; what I don’t believe in is quantifying someone’s pain or being comparative in someone’s hurt. The word “subtle” absolutely and aggressively does this, thus keeping the oppressor oppressing.

Telling men that they should care about gender inequality because of how much it hurts them, centralizes men and their well-being in a movement built by women for our survival in a world that degrades and dehumanizes us daily. […][the] people with the most privilege are constantly being centralized this way in conversations about oppression and it needs to stop.

The truth is that women are whole, complete people, regardless of our status in the lives of men. This is what men should hear, over and over again. This is what everyone should hear, every day.

In the News

Under a new law that went into effect this summer, minors who are seeking to bypass their parents’ consent to get an abortion are essentially put on trial. The state is allowed to appoint a lawyer for their fetus and call witnesses to testify about the teenager’s character.

  • I am generally behind on the news this week, and didn’t have time to catch up before I sent out the dispatch. :(

Mass Media Musings

Television

Scandal

Season 4 of Scandal just started. Despite last season going off the rails a bit and having some really shitty triggering content, I continue to watch. There may be some vague spoilers below.

  • Jake and Mellie are both just as over the Fitz and Olivia thing as I am. Thumbs up to them for not believing it for a second when their respective partners claim they won’t repeat history for the billionth time.
  • I kind of love a Mellie that finally does not give a single fuck about the White House and Fitz, but it’s also heartbreaking how she had to get there.
  • “A broken heart is a broken heart. To take a measure is cruelty.” — quote of the week

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is finally on Netflix instant watch, so I am rewatching it to soothe myself with nostalgia. So far, I’m about halfway through season 1. Below are some random comments.

  • Dean is a lot creepier than I remember. I’ll be over here waiting for Jess to show up.
  • The cheeky dialogue still holds up really well.
  • Emily Gilmore is THE WORST.
  • I totally had a classmate like Paris when I was in school. She literally threw a temper tantrum when I was higher ranked than her for a semester. She tried to harass the gym teacher into giving her a higher grade, so she’d be bumped above me. I am not kidding.
  • Melissa McCarthy is underutilized thus far --- mostly there for physical gags. If I recall correctly, she gets better screen time as the show progresses. I do appreciate that she is adorable, and her weight is not commented on at all (or at least not that I can recall).
  • Luke is kind of an adorable gruff dude who seems to manage to be mostly a good guy, but I worry that behind that baseball cap and flannel he’s thinking about Lorelai friendzoning him.

My Writing

In case you missed it last week, I shared materials from my “Speaking at Tech Events for Beginners” workshop. You can find materials from the workshop, including slides and a worksheet, on my speaking page.

Miscellany

Promotion

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