Look, I’ve faced down misogyny in tech before. I think a lot about what I am and what that means and how I define myself. I deal with a life lived with a man’s name. I’m a minority in multiple ways, and sometimes that gets me down, but I also feel that, in many ways, open source gets things very right.
So now that you’ve read everything I’ve said in the last couple years about this, what do I have to say that’s new? What can I say that Stephanie Leary didn’t say better? Can I provide a POV vastly different from Chris Ford? Am I more poignant than Grimes, when she wants to be treated like a person.
I read the WPMUorg post “Where are the women in WordPrees?” too. Unlike my friends Shannon Smith and Siobhan McKewon, I was neither interviewed for this nor asked about it nor mentioned in the article itself. And I don’t really find that a personal slight. I’ve been left out of things in the WP community lists like this before (most notable would be where two WP news sites mentioned someone else who was raising money to go to WordCamp San Francisco last year but did not mention me, even as a successful ‘Look, she just did this too). Shit like this happens. I try not to take it personally, though I will say you lose a lot of my respect when I can spot holes like this in your research. They forgot HELEN for fuck’s sake. (Okay, maybe my feelers are a little bruised about being omitted… I’ll live.)
What do I think about all this for realzies, no takebacks, pinky swear?
Society is still pretty fucked up.
That’s what the problem is. It’s not tech, and it’s not WP, and it’s not school. It’s all these things to one degree or another. It’s why I picked the post title that I did. The idea that a women who shows cleavage gets powers is stupid, but it’s sadly valid in a lot of ways. There’s a reason shit like Boobquake (anniversary tomorrow!) was hilarious. Yes, cleavage causes earthquakes and gayness causes hurricanes.
Our society is growing, and it’s changing, and it’s learning. But it’s doing it in a way that feels real slow until someone points out to you that the Stonewall riots were in 1969. Or that Brown vs Board of Education happened in 1952. How about how women only got the right to vote in the US in 1920 (by the way, I cannot WAIT for the centennial party in 2020).
My point is that we’ve learned that separate but equal is a lie. We’ve learned that different people are different. We’ve learned that different societies are different. And the last hundred years have been fucking amazing with change and growth. And the point is that the problem is the world in general. It’s not just religion — some of my super religious friends are the most enlightened people I know, and some of my atheist friends are shockingly sexist — asshollery knows no limits. It’s not just technology or gaming or comics or writing or anything else. It’s everything. It’s all of it. All the time.
And the only way I know of to change it is to keep changing. Keep encouraging people who weren’t as lucky as I am, who didn’t have my opportunities and background and support. That’s why I taught at the Learn WP Workshops for Women, and why I do support women-only training. In some cases, for some women, it’s needed. Not everyone, but some, and I hate when people say “Well I didn’t have a problem, so it’s not needed.” because If you did have a problem somewhere down the line, if you were put off, this is only making it worse.
Every single day, someone is told they cannot do or be a certain thing because they are another thing.
Let’s stop that, shall we?
Let’s encourage people, tell them they can, and when you see someone who hits a roadblock because someone else back up the way told them “Girls can’t do math” or “Southerners can’t write well” or “Men can’t bake” take the time to tell them that they can too, and help them learn how.
That’s just what I think.
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