Tag Archives: sexism

A First Step to Ending Harassment at Conferences

At the beginning of this month, I was appointed to the Humanists of Florida Association’s board of directors. It’s pretty awesome (and, yeah, I’m the youngest board member). This occurred just in time for me to take a major role in organizing our annual conference coming up this fall. We’ve got a great speakers list and I’m really excited about it.

Recently, as some of you may know, there has been a lot of talk about sexual harassment at conferences [see 12, 3]. One of the ways suggested to make conferences safer and more comfortable for women is to introduce an anti-harassment policy at conferences. So, that’s what I’ve done for this upcoming HFA conference. This policy will be in every packet handed out to attendees and it will also be given to speakers. I cannot describe how happy I am to be in a position to effect some real change in our community and I hope that every participant at our conference feels safe and welcome.

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Weekly Links: Volume 13

Hello world! I’m finally doing another Weekly Links! I’ve been busier than I ever thought I could be lately but I’m on spring break right now so I actually have the time to take care of my blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to find time (or make time) during the rest of this semester. If not, well, there’s lots of internet out there and I’ll just have to accept the fact that I’m not a very good blogger. But right now it’s link time!

  • This short story seems very believable with all the recent news in the war on women.
  • Skeptical about this “Kony 2012″ thing? Well, you have reason to be. Crommunist is also skeptical about it, as well as being skeptical about the skeptics.
  • More sexist, idiotic shirts. This time from Sears.
  • American Atheists is having some billboard trouble. First with one in Pennsylvania, then with a Hebrew one in New York.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center takes notice of the misogyny in the so-called Mens Rights Movement.
  • xkcd will tell you how to deal with those pesky “Pickup Artists”. It also explains the “friend zone”.
  • Check out DefendRush.org (yes, that Rush).
  • Above: Neil deGrasse Tyson testifying before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee on Wednesday. If you would rather read his remarks in full, go here.

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Weekly Links: Volume 9

Ah, the semester has begun and I’m getting back into the swing of things. But even with classes starting again (as well as my campus Freethinkers group, which I’m partly in charge of now!) I didn’t forget the links. So here they are!

  • How would you like a Santorum Salad? (If that doesn’t make you giggle, then maybe you haven’t heard what the current definition of Santorum is.)
  • Have you seen the Brick Bible? Well, this Catholic woman just did, and she does not approve.
  • Oh Reddit, why are you so awful?
  • This woman hasn’t personally experienced sexism in the skeptic/atheist community, therefore all women who say that have are just asking for special treatment. *sigh* Like we haven’t heard this shit before. The Blag Hag has a great article in response. Another good article on the topic from one of the Skepchicks.
  • Ready to be offended on every level? Well, if not, don’t watch “Work It”.
  • Frat guy sends out an email out about how to get sexpie from womentargets (trigger warning for rape culture and a genuinely awful human being).
  • How do you all feel about this controversial new PSA targeting obese children? Please share your opinions on this topic in the comments (I’m curious about what you all will have to say).
  • Above: Have I mentioned that I love science based humor? Well, I do. [via Memebase]

Now, go enjoy your weekend! And I’ll be Occupying (there’s a big event coming with my local Occupy early next week).

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Weekly Links: Volume 4

Still deflating from Thanksgiving noms? Well, sit back, relax, and click on some links.

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Even Feminists Can Miss Sexism

This comic has been making the rounds because it’s pretty cute and makes a good point. However, some people noticed something in it. If you’ll take a look at the original comic, you may notice that one bunny (the irrational one) has on a dress and has pink speech bubbles, while the other (rational) bunny has on pants and has blue speech bubbles. I’m pretty sure most people in the western world can agree that these are fairly clear indicators of gender (not that they should be, just that they are in our culture). But apparently they’re not clear enough for a lot of people in this thread from Pharyngula, including PZ himself. As PZ Myers puts it:

Of all the…dear god, they are cute little toy bunnies. I refuse to consider their sex until they are stripped, flipped over, and I get to poke around with a teeny-tiny toy speculum.

That’s perfectly reasonable. I know that when I see a person in female clothes (in a way that indicates that’s what they normally wear, or they’re not cross dressing for fun) I ask that person to show me their genitalia before I accept that s/he’s female [/snark]. But how about we keep this in terms of toys: gender among dolls is generally indicated by clothing (e.g. female = dresses and pink; male = pants and blue); toy makers usually don’t like to make miniature genitalia on their children’s toys.

So, after everyone had moved beyond debating weather or not these bunnies have genders, we move on to the next annoying argument: Well, maybe the artist just picked gender at random (it’s a 50/50 chance, hurr durr derp). First of all, even if they did pick at random, that doesn’t mean that subconscious sexism didn’t play a role in the choice. Secondly, there’s no reason one had to be male and one had to be female. Both could have been male, or both could have been female. Or they could have had no gender identification at all: no clothes and different color bubbles would be easy enough. But apparently that would take out all the “visually interesting elements“.

Now, some of you might be wondering why I’m concerned about the reaction of people on the internet (SIWOTI syndrome?). Well, the problem lies in the fact that some of these arguments were made by PZ Myers, owner of Pharyngula and a feminist to boot, not some random MRA troll. I don’t want you all to be getting too up in arms about my criticism of PZ, though. I agree with PZ most of the time and I love Pharyngula (I spend way too much time there!). But no one is above this kind of criticism (or any kind of reasonable criticism). But I certainly wouldn’t want this to turn into an Elevatorgate situation. However, it shouldn’t. It was revealed that the artist who created this comic is a sexist ass! And PZ changed his mind about it when this new evidence came to light (because that’s what awesome people do).

This whole thing just goes to show that even feminists can miss sexism sometimes.

I’d like to end this post on something that a commenter said over there that I thought summed this up pretty well:

Nude adorable toy bunnies, green/yellow/purple/peach speech bubbles, and we’d have all agreed on a cute comic being pretty excellent.

Sexism is why we can’t have nice things.

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