“If you write software that enables harassment and stalking, or makes it difficult for users to protect their personal information, you’re disproportionately driving women off of your platform or making them do extra work. Respecting user’s privacy and emphasizing consent in software design is fundamentally an issue of equality — not just gender, but across the board.” –Kat, “Ways Men in Tech are Unintentionally Sexist”
Her entire piece should be required reading, but that piece in particular really grabbed me when Joel pointed to it.
“Movies, and what women do in and to them, are better than the Academy seemed to realize. The same could be said about a lot of women in a lot of jobs. And women can’t forget it.” –Amy Davidson
“I think that kasdayeh is right about geek culture, but there’s an important facet of that she left out: lack of education about society. Guys on Reddit are very typically coming from STEM fields – a lot of engineers, a lot of programmers. I really think the complete lack of basic understanding of social justice on Reddit, the lack of understanding of how past oppression continues to exert force on the present, is reflective of a larger failure of a good humanities education. It’s reflective of the increasing early specialization we require of college and even high school kids. Their STEM curriculums don’t require much of a humanities or social science foundation, so they grow up completely unequipped with the tools required to think critically about society, and totally unaware of how social structures shape everyone’s lives – and it’s especially invisible to them as mostly white, middle-class, straight males, who are told their experience and identity is the “default.””
Textrovert’s thoughtful analysis is tempting, and you should read all of it, but I wonder… is it possible for any of us (STEM or not) to truly be “totally unaware of how social structures shape everyone’s lives”? Especially considering how pervasive these topics are online, how easy it is to access the perspectives of different kinds of people online? I’d want to counter-point that anyone so deeply immersed in the more analytical and scientific fields must also be curious enough to read and observe, even if they’re aren’t studying it critically in their respective programs.