[ed: You can read the article online, page 26, though it is it flipbook style. A direct link will be forthcoming next week.]
While I’ve known this was coming for months, and I’ve had an advanced copy for a few weeks now, today the official copy was slide into my mailbox. As it is now out in the wild, I wanted to address some things that are bothering me since the final edit a few months ago.
Most importantly: the article is horribly flawed.
After the panel at Midwinter, when it became clear other voices were not allowed to participate in the conversation including people of color, those who do not prescribe to binary definitions of gender, and other marginalised groups, I panicked. I panicked because I did not want to present myself as the privileged, white lady feminist role of speaking for all when I was only speaking for myself. I panicked because it is important to me that others get to be a part of the discussion to, not just me.
I contacted my editor straight away and pitched an idea of less on women being marginalized and more on other types of oppression within the library technology world.
The editors felt, and I vehemently disagreed, that the focus should remain only on women in technology since that was my experience. While that is my experience, it is not the only experience that exists of the oppression and marginalization that happens to those who do not fit the white, male, able construct. I wanted to bring awareness.
That idea was rejected.
I was talked back into writing on a singular point of view with the idea more of this line of thinking could potentially come forward, hopefully by others coming to the discussion too. I agreed. I did not fight harder to be more inclusive and that embarrasses me.
I decided if I couldn’t write the article I wanted to write, I would at least be more inclusive with my language.
That language was changed and or edited out.
It’s interesting to be excited and proud creating a THING and so horribly defeatist that I didn’t do enough for that THING.
In order to work at dismantling the system, we need to make sure we are being inclusive. I was not inclusive in my piece and for that I’m deeply apologetic. My privilege was definitely showing because I could have fought harder, not written it but wrote about it somewhere else, and more. That shames me. With the upcoming book, and pieces, I will do better.
Speaking of books, as some of you already know, Sarah Houghton and I are co-editing a book on this very topic, and one of the things we’ve been doing has been inviting people (and they have been accepting — yay!) from all over the human spectrum to make sure we can get as many diverse voices into the conversation as possible. It is going to be amazing and I cannot wait until we get it published.
Update: After this was published, I was notified by an anonymous person, who has done some live blogging for American Libraries magazine, that they approached the magazine to invite panelists from the Midwinter libtechgender session to write in depth about the topics that were being discussed as the live blogging was only covering the topic at a blush. AmLib invited the blogger to extend invites to the panelists to write in as “letters to the editors” with the addendum that I, yes Lisa Rabey, would be covering these very topics in my piece and they felt I was qualified enough to write on topics I have no business writing about. Wrap this up to my panic phone call to my editor around the same time and what transpired from that conversation, it seems pretty clear to me AmLib has no intention on actually working to promote the conversation forward or by making sure that others are invited to the conversation in the first place.