Friday, August 01, 2014

Weekend Reading: The Mishmash Edition

I have even less time to write the text around my links than usual, because in just a couple hours, I'll be heading off to Yuma to meet my parents and collect my kids, who have been enjoying a week of being spoiled by their grandparents while Mr. Snarky and I have been enjoying a week of doing things in the evenings. Kayaking! Rollerblading! Beer-tasting! It has been fun, but weird. I'll probably write a full post on it at some point. The original plan was for my parents to bring them all the way back to San Diego, but that plan had to be changed for very good reasons... so Mr. Snarky and I are leaving soon to make the three hour drive to Yuma.

But I couldn't deprive you of your weekend reading! So here are a bunch of links, with no real attempt to tie them together.

If you some how managed to miss Michel Martin's wonderful piece about balancing work and motherhood while black, go fix that now.

Do you remember reading Susan Faludi's Backlash when it came out? I do. I somehow missed that Matter is doing a book club on it, but found out when Roxane Gay was one of the people discussing chapter 2. She is such a smart commentator on life, the universe, and everything... and particularly on gender politics. So I read it, and now I'm halfway thinking I'll reread the book. Or maybe I'll just read more of the book club entries. I don't know. I've got a lot of gender related angst right now, and I haven't decided if I should engage it and try to slay that dragon and come out a wise old woman or if I should ignore it for another 10 years or so. (But: I am anxiously awaiting the day that my pre-ordered copy of Gay's upcoming book, Bad Feminist, hits my Kindle. Maybe that will be the book that makes me wise? Or at least sets me on the right path? Regardless, it is certain to be a great read, because she writes so incredibly well.)

But I have at least stopped avoiding all the stories about sexism in tech. Wired had a good one this week about raising venture capital while female. I'm more comfortable than ever with my bootstrapping strategy.

And then, of course, there is the Twitter harassment problem. Or really, the online harassment problem. Have you ever seen the People of Color in European Art History tumblr? It is awesome. But some people on Reddit don't think so, and they're being assholes about it. One one hand, I am blown away that a tumblr merely showing the historical record about the existence of people of color in Europe in historical times would get people so upset. On the other hand, of course it does.

Reddit is an internet subculture that really, really prioritizes "free speech." And hey, I'm all for free speech. But threats and harassment aren't "free speech." And people who defend them as such are telling women and people of color and LGBTQ people that they prioritize some asshole's right to say whatever he wants, however he wants over our right to express ideas and opinions, because if I have a reasonable fear that saying something is likely to bring down a torrent of rape threats or threats against my kids, none of which will be taken seriously unless god forbid someone actually acts on one of them... I am not really free to express my ideas and opinions. I know this is a complicated subject and it is hard to figure out where to draw the line, and I don't have time for a full-fledged rant and/or discussion of it right now. But here are a couple of points I made on Twitter:

I mean, if we don't expect someone with literal 24/7 armed protection to just shrug off threats on the internet, why are the rest of us expected to do that?

People who have served on hiring committees probably know deep down that the hiring bias part of this article about the impact of names is true, even if they would rather believe it isn't.

Arthur Chu wrote a great piece about being asked to speak in a Chinese accent.

This beautiful piece about losing two partners to cancer made me cry. But it is worth it, so read it anyway.

I found a great new podcast! If you are a podcast aficionado, check out Snap Judgment. It has the most amazing stories.

Also Lego's women scientist set is out.

Finally- I know this house!

Oh, and a postscript: if you missed my previous post about my second online home, check it out now. The clock is ticking on when I'll remove the link.

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