The Great Geek Sexism Debate
This post from io9 editor Annalee Newitz presents the rare opportunity to post something that addresses all three of my Simsian Review themes. In it, she presents episodes in three recent, major geek cons where gender disparities in publishing, atheism, and hacking (respectively) were on display.
Sexism in geek culture presents an interesting challenge. Somehow, geeks have made headway in moving from a denigrated position to one of power quite easily, at least compared to attempts to undermine male hegemony and obstinacy in any number of fields. Among geeks, I often find myself having to point out inappropriate comments or actions but I notice less resistance than with non-geeks. Of course, this amounts to anecdotal, and thus useless, evidence. Still, sexism among geeks is shocking in a way that it is not among business entrepreneurs. Perhaps this is just cognitive bias, as I obviously fit more easily into the former camp rather than the latter. History is replete with disadvantaged groups simultaneously seeking equality and instances of groups fighting each other as they also fight against existing power are always discouraging. I am thinking primarily of disparate worker rights groups fighting each other at the same time that they fight for extended rights and abolitionists and suffragettes at odd with one another. This is hardly the topic being addressed by Ms. Newitz, but I can’t help but feel disheartened when I see a group left out of the progress of a larger set to which they belong.
All of that said, please click-through and read.
What the New Yorker and Tin House science fiction issues tell us about the state of SF
io9 has a great review of the Tin House science issue and The New Yorker science fiction issue. I can’t wait to get my copy of the latter, though the review and table of contents have already given me minor reasons to pause and accept that I cannot be really satisfied.
I’ve been mulling over the idea of making this tumblog less of a personal interest link-dump and, thus, a bit more directed. To that end, I think that I have a set of three themes to which I’d like to dedicate my postings.
- Gender studies – this could, at the outside, mean posts geared at a single gender-identification group. However, it might simply mean egregious mistakes made the world over by one group against another. I know I’ve left this vague, but it’s purposeful, as you’ll see with the rest of the themes.
- IT Security – Long time followers will already know this is a topic of interest for me. I frequently post items about online privacy, information security, online identity, etc. It’s an important issue to me, and one that can certainly intersect with the previous.
- Literature – I won’t go into this except to say that it’s what I study, it’s what I love, know, and breathe. For me, it connects to the previous two in increasingly complex way.
The point of redirecting the tumblog is two-fold:
- Thematic tumblog are more interesting for everyone. They are more interesting for me because they mean fewer, more direct posts with a greater chance of insight. Rather than posting a headline, I’ve like to contribute to a conversation. They’re more interesting for readers because link-dumps become old. Honestly, the only people who love link-dumps are friends of the editor. I have few close friends on Tumblr, so…
- I’ve posted less on Tumblr since I joined Twitter (> 1 year ago). This would seem to fly in the face of the previous point. By posting less, it might seem there is less need for me to cut down on posts and thus given greater attention to the posts I make. Instead, being on Twitter has led to me giving less attention to the posts I make here. There are a few less per day, but those posted have less chance of commentary. Again, this leads to the link-dumping I’ve done for ages. (Note: If you dig the link-dumping, no worries. Follow @simsian)
I would love feedback on what you think. I’m planning to change the header of this Tumblog on 1 June and start with the new “rules” then.