azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
I am gathering evidence for my qualifications as Wonder Admin. This includes my principles for group catering, and surely more. (Anybody know of anything I should include offhand? Or topics for more Admin Storytime with Azz?)

Dinner with Purple and Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly. Next week is first Friday, so next week I'll see less of Purple. This weekend is unlikely to be greatly sociable on Purple's part, as he's pretty zonked.

Purple was running late. I didn't run afoul of feetball traffic. We poked Purple gently about his phone. It had been a long week. Purple diverted the discussion to his couch. (On which he has sat naked, he points out. I continue to react convincingly.)

The sweet potato fries with the marshmallows and so forth were stared at as an abomination. We did not get them. We did not have silverware, either. I was best-positioned to stare down a server, so I did that. "Wedgie" in terms of food just sounds wrong.

I don't have dates for the next set of medical shenanigans, but the next round of appointment-giving is due to start next week. Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this turned into a discussion of how large a Yule tree I could actually become a stand for, assuming the Yule tree went where no Yule tree should go, and not considering the actual weight of the tree, just the size of the trunk.

Purple has commenced conveying greetings to a remote party, on the idea that the remote party is likely to remain present for quite some time. He also made some truly terribly filthy joke which I wish I could remember; I had to roll a will save against telling him I loved him for that. I'm sure he'll make it again at some point.

[personal profile] norabombay and I were talking about the literally years of training that goes into the generally-women's skill box towards taking good selfies. I was thinking about it on the drive to dinner, and because of the ubiquitous nature of Beauty Culture, one of the unacknowledged skills that most little girls learn is how to make a pretty face in a mirror.

There's all this time spent staring at your face in the mirror and making it do things, making horrible faces and faces of every emotion and looking at expressions from multiple angles to see which expression is best for what viewing angle. But because it's part of the general background noise of being groomed to become a woman in Beauty Culture, it's simultaneously assumed as a given, and the level of effort and hours consumed are dismissed as important, because of course it's not important, it's just vanity.

I have no idea what my genuine, first-reaction smile like I would have smiled as an un-self-conscious toddler would feel like, now.
I may still have it.
I may not.
I don't know.

I do know that my smile, the way I hold my mouth, the way I hold my face -- all of these are the result of extensive training and experimentation, all with the aim of either "being beautiful", or with the aim of not getting picked on at school, or the aim of Not Looking Funny, or getting Bugs to stop being a dick. (Bugs was the freshman year boyfriend who drummed on my head. Resting Bitch Face wasn't a thing when I was a freshman, or he would have told me that I had it. He did tell me that my neutral face looked cranky, or angry, or something, and that I should hold my face with a slight smile at all times, because that would make me look more pleasant. And to this day, my "neutral" face is not actually neutral. It is a very slight smile, to turn my natural frown into a straight line.)

So, yes, it should not in fact surprise me that when someone who has not been immersed in Beauty Culture since the age of knowing the difference between boys and girls goes to take a selfie, that maybe it doesn't come out so great.
azurelunatic: A baji-naji symbol.  (baji-naji)
In 1999, I was trying college for the first time. (It wouldn't end well, but that was another story.) I was still a Duct Tape Sword Guy, so I had a smallish duct tape sword. It had become a little battered, but my dear friends BJ and Shawn had given it to me, so it had sentimental value. One night I was up late, hanging out with the midnight crowd down in the lobby. I had my duct tape sword with me.

"Hey, can I see that?" some guy asked. He seemed friendly, I'd seen him around, and some of the other guys had had a go with the duct tape sword. I handed it over.

He snapped the duct tape sword over his knee and walked off.

In 2003-ish, I'd broken up with a boyfriend but we were still on good terms, and I'd made friends with lady he was seeing off and on. He babysat for my roommate's kindergarten-ish age kid when there weren't any adults of the household available. He sometimes played around on my computer while he was over.

One day his lady friend IMed me to let me know that while he was on my computer, he'd seen a chat log between her and me that I'd saved to my journal (as was my habit, since I made up for a somewhat flaky memory with electronics, and my journal was the least likely to die a horrible electronic death). He'd read the chat log, broken into her journal, given himself access to a filtered entry of hers, left a wounded comment on the entry, and showed himself out again.

Some years ago, I was having a casual conversation with a close friend. The topic of a mutual mentor came up. "Do you think he's a good man?" they asked me out of the blue. I replied, hedging slightly over a particular character flaw, but I eventually said that I thought he was a good man.

My friend sort of drew up short. "... You don't know," they realized.

At which point I learned some things about this mentor which I will never unlearn.

I thought the social contract would protect my sports equipment. I had no clue that my ex-boyfriend would betray my trust to betray his girlfriend's trust in that way. I had never dreamed that this mentor would have done anything of that sort or to that scale.

I was looking, just now, for the account that someone I know wrote about a conversation she tends to have with friends with kids. The toddler is reluctant to interact, and the parent encourages, apologizes. "Oh, no need to apologize, it's healthy." "Oh, it's not like you're a stranger..." "Fun fact-- ... oh, you didn't know..."

Humans tend to hold on hard to the idea that since you can spot some untrustworthy dickweeds from a mile away, it follows that you should be able to spot most untrustworthy dickweeds with enough observation and vigilance. Never mind that false positives crowd the field, and people are quick to reassure you: Oh, he's fine, he's my friend, he's okay, I'm safe around him so you're safe around him. Never mind that sometimes it's just chance, and a disinclination to carry textbooks, that keeps you from being alone and unobserved in the presence of the wrong person.

Every assessment of trust I make carries two values: my trust of that person on that axis, and my confidence in my assessment.

I trust that this dude will not be extraordinarily reckless with my sword; he probably won't use it to stab passing strangers, but he might whack at me or these guys a bit. Confidence: well, I've only seen him in passing and for a grand total of about 5 minutes, but he doesn't look like a jerk. Call it 60%?

I trust that my ex will take good care of my nephew, and won't allow the apartment to get trashed while I'm gone. I trust that he won't install malware on my laptop. Confidence: we were together for a couple months and I still wanted to keep him as a friend even though the spark wasn't there, so 95%.

I trust that this guy will be a good mentor and teach my group lots of important things about technology. He will probably not straight-up murder us, if the class pisses him off we'll have enough warning to get out of there. Confidence: there have been no previous reports of murder, and he seems friendly when he's having a good day. 80%.

I was right. He didn't stab anybody with my sword. He didn't neglect my nephew or let the cat trash the apartment or install malware. He did teach us a lot of things, and he didn't murder anybody. And I never saw any of it coming.

There have been plenty of people who showed obvious warning signs, and some of them, I never offered the chance to betray my trust. Dude with a history of cheating, perhaps we should not date. Dude who is making various generally violent comments and leering at me on the bus, maybe I'm not going to show you what my actual bus stop is. Girl with the history of bullying, like hell am I going to tell you something personal about myself just because you asked me.

It's the ones who surprise you that you worry about, after.

So there I am at work, and there's a thing and it looks like a little red flag, waving in the breeze. Not a big one, not the sort of banner that you can grab a handful of and wave it at all your friends and say "This is a flag, it's made of nylon or something, it's really shiny and thin and bright red and it will wave in the breeze if you can find a pole to run it up. This is a flag, and it's red." Just a little one. It might even be orange, or brown. You can't quite tell.

What if he turned out to be untrustworthy? says the back of the head, listing off the times that someone with no apparent red flags fucked up your life, for hours or days or years. What accesses does this guy have? What are his powers? How easy would it be to defeat him? You discount the protestations of trust from people who know him, even if they do have a pretty convincing reason for that flag to be there legitimately. You once defended someone who proved themselves unworthy of it. Some people may hide the flags around their friends, and the ones who hide it are more dangerous, because they know what they're doing.

What's the realistic worst-case scenario? the little voice presses. How screwed are we?
azurelunatic: panic button.  (panic)
So today I also had one of those terrifyingly emotionally naked philosophical-disagreement-except-for-me-it's-less-abstract conversations with Purple, one of the ones that I would not be having in the slightest with someone, except that I trust his intentions toward me, I trust that he generally views women as people, I trust he never intends to hurt me, and I know when he hurts me he is sorry and tries to help in ways which are legitimately helpful. (And I think we're both of us sufficiently grown-up and not all raw nerve endings and have a much more formal and decorous relationship that he's only managed the emotional equivalent of an accidental whack to the funnybone every now and then; with Darkside some 14-ish years ago I was gutted and tearstained practically once a week. Plus that time Darkside literally put a finger up my nose by accident, which was not exactly painful but was completely undignified.)

We started out at (which someone in a chat had shared largely on strength of the slug), went into high standards, went through some specifics related to scarcity of women in tech, then got into the aforementioned philosophical disagreement. I know I'm being vague. He was very respectful of my emotional labor and thanked me for the screed he knew I was in the process of typing, before I'd sent it. ;) It was a bonding experience, and it took a turn for the somewhat unexpected when the phrase "take offense" came up.

I asked him to unpack what that meant to him, since it's a phrase that has some substantially different meanings to various people, and to be quite honest I often find it dismissive of the actual problem. While he was composing his message about duration, and the offense is the ones that stick with you a while and bother you, I was breaking it down Inside Out style, and mentioned that while one of the common connotations involves surprise and disgust and maybe some anger, what I typically felt when something "offensive" happened was maybe less surprise, certainly disgust, probably anger, and fear.

The fear surprised the fuck out of him.

It shortly became apparent to me that I needed to establish a baseline.

I said that at a conference like Open Source Bridge, I was about 99% confident in my safety. At work, in this workplace, about 95%. At work late (not in his presence), 90%. (I did not mention that his presence is a significant booster.) Familiar grocery store, about 80%. He was nodding along, with a wince at the drop for grocery store. Same grocery store's parking lot, poorly lit, 75%. He seemed a bit startled: oh, the grocery store number was inside the store? Yeep.

16th and Mission BART (outside), 55% (and here being tall, fat, white, armed*, and not on wheels gives me a bit of a buff vs. a woman who lacks some of those). (BART elevator *entirely* depends who's on it with me so I didn't rate it, but I do have 5 9s of confidence that I will encounter some pee there.) DEFcon, no greater than 45% confidence in my general safety, which is why I don't even think about attending. He agreed that personal safety there seemed ... spotty, and mentioned that even as a guy, he would want an experienced buddy at least the first time he went. (I don't believe he's been, either.)

* For the purposes of the mean streets of San Francisco, my mobility cane doubles as a weapon.

Then I rated general tech conferences (not Open Source Bridge) as 75%, which surprised him: we'd been aligning pretty well on most of these (except apparently the grocery store vs. parking lot). Similar to work, as a white technical guy, he would have a 95% expectation of safety at a random technical conference.

I did start unpacking my threat assessment of any given man. I feel like I am more physically confident than a less heavy and less strong woman, because for most (not obviously super-buff, not obviously armed) men under about 175lbs, my physical threat assessment is generally "meh, I could sit on him." (I find this assessment hilarious.) Also my old college roommate Sis taught me to walk with the confidence of the well-armed, and that tends to deter guys looking for easy prey.

Sadly for the discussion, because it was super fascinating and I want to continue unpacking my risk and threat assessments (including the fact that with individual guys it's not necessarily "how likely is he to do something bad" but "how much trouble am I in if he decides to do something bad"), Purple had a pre-existing appointment for dinner with one of the unfamiliar guys who'd been at lunch. I look forward to establishing to a greater number of oblivious tech bros that in fact that women tend to carry a substantial fear burden, and tech does not generally provide a shelter from that fear.

It's one of those invisible things that I don't tend to discuss with *sigh* sadly Purple specifically, because most of the time I feel like I have a lower fear burden than the average woman, and the last time it spiked because of a situation in the workplace, he tried to be supportive because he could see that I was in distress, but he didn't understand it and very clearly communicated that he felt I was freaking out over what was essentially nothing.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
The switch in my head is not in the position that I previously put it. This is not optimal.

Things are returning to, if not normal, than at least sensible, with the return of my manager. She simultaneously creates motion and stability. She is our rudder. She is also simultaneously trying to be both herself and my grandmanager, because he is out sick and basically won't be back until November. (I don't have details.)

Today I sent a bug report to Office Depot, about their website. It's just a corner case, and technically it's already being caught by their thingies, but it could be handled better.

Read more... )

Today is my virtual nephew's birthday. Congratulations, dude!

It's starting to feel like fall, which means I'm starting to feel acutely alive again.

Purple still has his beard. I am pleased. I attempted to explain the current state of my brain. I am moderately faceblind: it takes me a certain amount of concerted study to learn someone's face (and match that face with a name). Read more... )

There was some disagreement about whether the TV/monitor belonging to my department and plugged into a dubiously tethered Mac Mini is a bigscreen or not. My line for "bigscreen" is, of a flatscreen, whether or not I can reasonably carry it by myself. I cannot with this. So even though it is only 37 usable inches, I think it big. Everything I can carry is small. I don't have a "medium" range. Purple, with his "60 inches of fun" tv, disagrees with me. :-P

I brought up the matter of the nightshift security guard who had alarmed me by greeting me with "hey, beautiful" two weeks ago at my 1:1 with my manager. She immediately went facepalm-equivalent. Having talked it out some previously, I went on to detail that an engineer or someone doing this, I would feel much more comfortable about going "hey, handsome", or "no thank you". But in the case of a security guard, exactly who you gonna call?

I mentioned in #cupcake; lb evidenced relief. Purple sent me a vaguely baffled PM. He trusted that the security guard factor made it worse because I said it was, but he still didn't understand why.

We talked about it for a while. For me, the horror strikes at the "Who you gonna call?" moment. There were, I said, a lot of different shades of discomfort. (And simultaneously, Purple and I both arrived at the number 50 just out of the grey blue, though he was the first to say it. Bonding moment over our terrible, terrible senses of humor.) Read more... )

Later, there was a conversational reason to mention power dynamics, and Purple mentioned that some people discovered that they had a kink for same (having observed some of the people he knew saying "ugh power dynamics bad" and then ...) and I mentioned that this was one of the factors in my thing for Shawn. "But that would mean that you ... looked up to him?" Purple said in deep bafflement. And a new take on the air taser incident. )

From there we digressed into my dad's taser binder, and his dad's acid-tipped darts. These men should never meet.

I realized I should probably hit the restroom before hitting the road. (Insert digression about fruitless hobbies involving punching the wrong things.) When I came back out, Purple was milling around my team's lobby like an aimless pinball, and the drawer adjacent to the big uncomfortably large to move by yourself screen (currently showing the Non-Boring Manager's choice, our standards page) was a little more ajar than I'd left it.

"Fuck single-sign-on," Purple declared, and began to castigate the new helpdesk software in stronger terms than I'd heard him complain about it previously. It was terrible! You had to sign in to even see the front page!

I looked at the monitor, looked back at him, and began to snicker.

"You'd have to leave yourself signed in if you wanted to leave it up there!" he complained. "You could at least go to the front page on the old one!"

Dear sweet Purple. I went over, fiddled about with the keyboard a little, and re-arranged things so the drawer would close better. (And if my fingers happened to hit command-T, http://[], enter while I was fumbling about with it, well, that was just an unfortunate coincidence, eh? How clumsy of me.)
azurelunatic: "So after we shot up the police station and set the habitat on fire, what did we do for an encore?"  (encore)
It turns out that learning at 2am or so that Kat's and my proposal for a talk at Open Source Bridge was approved will delay my bedtime a bit. Just a wee bit. I woke up in the middle of my sleep cycle to plot a bit with Kat. I am delighted. Stage fright has not actually walloped me (yet) so I am pretty giddy and also overflowing with words from one or another of the screeds I'm writing at any given moment.

I noticed last night at work that the bottle of cherry-lime cough coffee syrup had migrated back into view: it had joined the rank of coffee condiments in the kitchen corner. The level of syrup is down to three or four fingers. Even if it's a garlic wine incident, eventually people will finish it and then it will be gone. (I shared the story of "blak" with Purple. He is a person who will take his friends' words when something is too horrible, though if the general public says something's horrible, he may try anyway due to his opinions of the good taste and common sense of the general public.)

My 1:1 meetings with my manager have been shuffled up due to various schedule-bits and such; they're now Monday afternoons late-ish, rather than Tuesday afternoons shortly after lunch. They're also down in the depths of the new building near our new corner. It's not as bowel-y as it sounds, because there's a perfectly good door with windows right nearby.

To illustrate how much of a problem my manager telling me to file tickets about things wasn't, I gave her the illustration about my shower-thoughts on that professional conference session video comment moderation policy I was thinking about, with Avengers as examples. I started describing the feedback on Pepper's impeccably put-together presentation, to my manager's howls of laughter.

Today, after lunch I cruised by the ergonomics lab, and got myself measured for the proper standing desk height. The answer is in fact apparently 42 (inches).

The fucking database has improved, amazingly! Now, when you try to upload something and the upload fails, you get a (poorly spelled, but we can't have everything) error message saying which lines it had choked on and vaguely why. This resulted in me dancing in to Purple's office and beaming at him and explaining that the world was not made of fail, and then dancing off to wash my coffee cup.

My (iced) coffee cup now no longer sufficiently insulates its bottom. This is because I tried washing it with water that was much too hot for the plastic. Alas.

One of the screeds of the moment is entitled "Our Dick Jokes are Different", and should probably come with a TvTropes warning, because that title is straight out of the Our Monsters are Different (TVTROPES!!!!) index. Sometimes the people who are important in my life are very wrong. When that happens, the best idea is to let me screed from a safe distance. We'll see exactly how much research this particular screed takes. I <> you very much, my good friend, but you are still wrong, both off and on the internet.

We still don't know collective moving date for sure. Maybe tomorrow we'll know.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Background: So there's a current up-in-arms regarding really skeevy crap on Twitter. It goes like this:

Someone (often female) says something that gets the attention of abusive asshats.
Abusive asshats (often male) say things on Twitter that are entirely possibly legally actionable.
Their target complains, usually to Twitter, with screenshots and links.
Support volume being what it has to be, it takes a while to get notice.
The abusive asshat cleans up their account in the interim.
Twitter comes back and says that Abusive Asshat's account is "not currently in violation" of Twitter's terms of service.
This is remarkably unhelpful to the person who's been the target of all this abuse.


I have never been a member of LiveJournal's Abuse Prevention team. I am not a member of Dreamwidth's Terms of Service team. (I am a Dreamwidth spamwhacker, which is a partner department.)

From my experience in conversing with various then-current and former members of LiveJournal's Abuse team, I can say quite firmly that accepting accuser-sourced screenshots of content that is against the Terms of Service of a website is not, and can never be, a form of evidence that can be solely admissable when enacting penalties against an offending account.

Why? Screenshots can be faked.

I am as certain as I can be without having been personally there and witnessed the whole thing go down that 99% of the women on Twitter reporting that jacked-up asshats are promising to enact various forms of appalling violence to them (most of it rapey) have legit complaints. I've seen enough of it happening to know that it's happening and not being exaggerated a large majority of the time. It's got to be against the rules.

But the jackholes in question are sometimes canny enough to make their violations disappear from their Twitter accounts before it gets taken official notice of, and then all Twitter has is the word of the complainant and the screenshot.

There's a technical solution for this, and it's not a "report abuse" button that can be gamed by someone with a huge following on their side.

The technical solution for this is a "preserve and report tweet" button that caches the offending tweet on Twitter's servers, and initiates the reporting process, where the complainant fills out the appropriate forms, making reference to the secured and admissible cached tweet.

After this, no matter if the offender cleans up his account, there is still a record that he said this thing, assuming someone initiated the reporting process. Furthermore, the complainant could be given a Twitter case number to give to law enforcement, and law enforcement could then request testimony from Twitter that the offending tweet was made, in case it's something deserving of criminal or civil charges. The cached copy would remain accessible to Twitter's speaker-to-cops department even after Twitter suspended the account for violations.
azurelunatic: Vivid pink wild rose.  (wild rose)
Apparently I have strong feeling about legs. That's what I discovered after finding that Britney Spears, who is [ profile] norabombay's perfect-template-for-all-your-imaginative-projection-needs pop diva of choice, consented to release pre-Photoshop photos along with their post-touchup incarnations.

I'm not entirely sure how it was that I found my way to the Daily Mail article on the pictures, but that's where I wound up. And sometimes it's not just "don't read the comments", but "don't read the article's commentary". Tucked in a short list of things that were digitally removed, I found:

Imperfections that can be clearly seen in the un-airbrushed shot include [...] her larger thighs ...

It wasn't quite seeing red, perhaps more of a lurid pink*. Whatever the other problems Britney has, embodies, and/or inflicts on the world, please acknowledge a few things about her.

She is an entertainer.
She dances.
She rehearses the routines for each performance, whether it's to be a stage performance, a music video performance, or g-d knows what kind of performance.
She performs the routines for her music videos, which of course include multiple takes to get stuff right.
She performs live shows on stage.
She is a healthy young woman, able-bodied and clearly capable of withstanding hours of physically demanding rehearsal and/or performance on a daily basis.

Britney Spears is, if she is nothing else, an athlete who trains regularly for her job. She has muscular calves and thighs, like any other athlete who spends that much time engaged in a leg-intensive sport would have. She does not have the same legs that a woman of average build who takes part in ordinary activity but is not an athlete, has. She does not have the same legs that a very slender woman has. She does not even have the same legs that a plump woman who is not an athlete has.

Dear Daily Mail, classifying the proud muscular calves and thighs of a dancer as an "imperfection" does not even remotely help the issue that your article was trying to address, the impossible standards that women's attractiveness is held to. Even as you decry it, you're buying into it. Those legs are not actually fat. A good half of the leg-related photoshoppery, possibly more, looks to have gone into removing muscle mass, smoothing over muscle definition, making a flexible and strong woman look like a mass-produced, unathletic little dolly.

Stop doing this. Stop buying into the concept that every woman's ideal of beauty is the same. All of the types of women -- athletic, average, slender, plump, and more -- can have beautiful legs, and their legs will look different. Stop believing that beauty and femininity excludes obvious physical strength. It's all well and good that you're waving these pictures and decrying the concept that women are being held up to an impossible standard**, and that the standard is unhealthy, unrealistic, and damaging. But you're still implicitly reinforcing that this impossible standard is beauty, that women who fall outside of it also fall short; that they are authentic but less than beautiful. Don't fall into that trap.

Strength with grace is inherently beautiful. Don't even begin to attempt to tell me that you think it's not.

*I'm getting a lot of mileage out of that phrase today. Also, I dearly want more clothing in that color.

**[18:58] <cadenzamuse> although I still have this difficult-to-articulate niggling difficulty with Dove's campaign
Read more... )
azurelunatic: Pool noodle inscribed with "Frickin' Clue Bat" (frickin' clue bat)
Apparently my best friend is Kryptonite to any given depressive episode. )

Sleep. )

6:55 PM 4/12/2010
Today MissKat had to reassure [personal profile] stonebridge that he did not remind her of a whale penis. (Or, I assume, an orca penis.)

8:25 AM 4/13/2010
A friend had a bit of a rant on the topic of a woman changing her name upon marriage -- in some cases, her whole previous identity goes up *poof*. The naming of people is serious business, especially in the internet age, where your name is not just what people call you, but where you are, how people recognize you as yourself, and of course your clan identity. On Facebook, if you don't include previous names of yours, people who knew you then may not be able to find you. (Note that this isn't always a *bad* thing.) But continuity of identity is an important thing that one doesn't generally brush aside lightly, and if the name is a major component of your identifiable self...

And I looked at that rant and realized that actually I was not as averse to changing my name upon marriage as I had been in 2000. If I got married to someone and I liked their surname and family, I would happily change mine. That shocked me to no end. Why? What had changed?

In the comments, there were stories about women who had changed their names at the beginnings of their careers, and women who had declined to change their names while their careers were in full swing: women whose names were their brands, women who would not and could not and chose not to weather the problems of changing a name, changing a brand, when they'd already invested so much time and energy into being and promoting that name.

I haven't invested that much identity and worth into my surname in the last decade. Since moving onto the internet, I have been fully inhabiting this name instead.

I tried on the idea. If I was planning to get married, and my spouse-to-be tried to insist that I had to change my username after getting married? My response was immediate and furious. "...first they'd see my middle finger, then they'd see my naked ring finger, then they'd see the outside of my door. This is my name and it is not negotiable."

5:01 PM 4/14/2010
Enjoyed a dip in the hot tub for the first time in far too long. Sadly, it was more of a swimming temperature than a hot-tubbing temperature. Embarking on Yet Another Dan Simmons Adventure: this time it's Ilium.

Cautiously thinking that diurnal may be back for a while.
azurelunatic: "#dw (yes, we can)" and a clenched fist (#dw)
Related to my Why I think Dreamwidth is a special Free/Libre Open Source Software Development Environment entry, and already linked from the comments there: [personal profile] marcelle42 is writing a paper and looking for Dreamwidth developers:

Since there have been recent upsets with academics barging into fandom, and this is on the fringes, I feel it vaguely necessary for me to offer reassurance: [personal profile] marcelle42/[ profile] marcelle42 has been around and about in DW volunteer circles forever, and prior to that in LJ volunteer circles. She is known to me, and she is solid. If we were local we would probably be drinking buddies or something.

She is looking to interview DW devs (and possibly other people familiar with DW's development culture) to learn about it, in order to attempt to determine what it is about Dreamwidth development that either attracts female developers, or (heh) does not repel female developers.
azurelunatic: Log book entry from Adm. Hopper's command: "Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay. First actual case of bug being found" (bug)
(repost due to failure of link the first time out)

So, which of the following linked quotes are the most offensively sexist and simultaneously evocative of the general state of the worst parts of greater geek culture, and particularly the Free/Libre Open Source Software bits?

Poll #2656 Which of the following offensively sexist quotes is the worst?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 37

Don't vote for all of them, please, even if they're all the worst.

View Answers

3 (8.1%)

18 (48.6%)

6 (16.2%)

18 (48.6%)

0 (0.0%)

3 (8.1%)

5 (13.5%)

0 (0.0%)

22 (59.5%)

0 (0.0%)

25 (67.6%)

5 (13.5%)

20 (54.1%)

0 (0.0%)

18 (48.6%)

4 (10.8%)

18 (48.6%)

20 (54.1%)

9 (24.3%)

10 (27.0%)

5 (13.5%)

20 (54.1%)

19 (51.4%)

If you have a worse one, go ahead and leave it in the comments. It needn't necessarily be from, but it should be from some major qdb.

(LJ readers, this poll is part of my preparations for a meta-essay about Dreamwidth development culture. Participate if you feel like it.)
azurelunatic: "for who could ever learn to love a beast?" The Beast by the window in the rain.  (Beast)
A page I got linked to the other day: Cat-Calling, "Bystander Sexism," and How Sexual Harassment Hurts Men. The article addresses male-on-female harassment; this is hardly the only form of sexual harassment, but it is by far the most common. (If someone wants to write up a thing, or has resources about female-on-male, female-on-female, male-on-male, and assorted forms of transphobic harassment, feel free to link to the resource or whatever you posted in comments.)

The article is the sort that immediately makes me say "Oh yes, exactly this", but it's also the sort that makes me look at it and realize that there are some audiences who will read it and Just Not Get It, because they've never experienced it for themselves, and never had it explained.

Reiterating from the article: when a man makes a public sexist comment to a woman, even if he means it in good fun, but the woman takes it as a sexist comment, not only does it have an effect on the woman it was directed at, but all the women who witnessed it are affected.

Specifically, women who witness sexual harassment done unto other women are likelier to mentally place themselves in that woman's shoes, identify with them, think how likely it is that they could have been the recipient of this, and add another tallymark to whatever score they may be keeping on the topic of "Men Suck". Not just "gods, that guy's an asshole", but "that guy's an asshole and he's not the only one, and it is increasingly hard to tell the assholes from the decent men." It may even be "It's so amazingly hard to tell the assholes from the decent men that it's safest to assume that all men are assholes until proven otherwise."

This directly affects the ability of decently-behaving men to strike up a perfectly innocent conversation with a woman, let alone get a date. Have you heard the term "Schrodinger's rapist"? It's the sort of thing that can make a decent guy fume: you've never had evil intent in your life, you've never acted on a sketchy impulse, and yet you're part of a larger class that's greeted with distrust and fear, and it may be no direct fault of your own.

But are you or is someone you know actually part of the problem? )

In short: Don't be that guy. Don't let your friends be that guy. Don't encourage that guy. Don't let your friends encourage that guy. Avoid associating with that guy if you can. And maybe, once guys in general stop letting that guy get away with it, the general reputation of men will improve.

This is also informed by the following excellent resources and narratives:
Read more... )
azurelunatic: "Fangirl": <user name="azurelunatic"> and a folding fan.  (fangirl)
[ profile] metafandom just exploded in feminism, so I wound up over at [ profile] commodorified's LJ again, to join in the discussion.

I think I'll quibble about semantics. Feminism is the fight for equal legal rights (and with them, responsibilities) for women, and the attendant social battle for the possibility of equal social position, especially where gender intersects with the business world.

Coming bundled with feminism are activists, who fight for said rights. Sometimes this includes militant radical activists. And when gender issues come up, sometimes this means militant radical activist misandrists. (Hooray for the lunatic fringe of any legitimate movement!)

I am not a fan of militant radical activist misandrists; they generally cause me to either back away slowly or run screaming. I'm none too fond of the domestic passive-aggressive misandrist either.

Feminism should be the positive side of the backlash against misogyny and rigid gender roles. Misandry is the shadow side. But all too often, people say "feminist" and mean "psychotic misandrist". It may be too late now, but please, please, please, separate the legal and social movement of equal rights (and responsibilities) from some of the (scary!) people in it.

Because of said scary people, there's been a backlash against the spectrum of psychotic militant radical activist misandrists. Hiding in that backlash are reactionary misogynists, who not only object to scary militant radical misandry, but also to women breaking free of the traditional societal mold and doing their own thing. (Okay, maybe not "hiding in" so much as "creating it as a front and trying to attract feminists who dislike misandry for deniability purposes", but same general effect.)

Objecting to misandrists is a legitimate position. I don't much care for misandrists, whether they come screaming for women's rights and acting up in public, or whether they're an aproned homemaker with five kids and nothing but loathing for her husband and all other men. I think that anyone with that much hatred for one of the two primary genders on this planet has more problems than I'm ever going to care to touch, let alone try to fix (unless I'm called to say or do something, which is another story).

I think that it's an excellent step for feminism that reactionary misogynists feel that they have to hide behind the objection to misandry. They're in retreat now, and looking more and more like the outdated fools they are every single day. They have no legitimate leg to stand on, so they're relying on stirring up confusion about where the lines between misandry and feminism actually lie. That kind of confusion can be dispelled by being crystal clear and pedantic about words, and calling a reactionary misogynist a reactionary misogynist when one sees one.

(Next up on the revolution front: once women have equal social as well as legal right to do whatever they please that any man can do, men are going to start the revolution to be accepted as homemakers. But that one will probably wait until the power imbalance corrects itself more, and maybe it will be a non-issue by then and we'll be on to the next big thing. [ profile] tygerr, you are as always very good about pointing out misandry when you see it and calling it for what it is; I wouldn't even be aware of it as an issue without you pointing things out.)


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