mechanical repetition of previously received ideas or images

I got tiara'd by Val.
I got tiara’d by Val.

 

Dear Internet,

It’s been, as the youths say, a hella of a week. I have found snatches of conversation happening and it’s interesting how people not in the mix are putting themselves in the mix. My co-conspirator in these matters and I agreed for the time being to not discuss things publicly until we have a final resolution. In short, unless you’ve heard from one of us direct on the matter, doubt the veracity of the comment.

What was kind of hilarious about this coming to light was when I found out, I was minutes away from entering a meeting with a lawyer about another, non-related, legal matter. And my period also started in FULL BLOODY REVENGE.

So yes, it really is all about my vagina. Pay heed to the Mother Earth Goddess for she will fuck shit up.

As I already mentioned earlier this week, my piece in American Libraries came out and I’ve received my first MRA fan mail, and then the usual unfollowing on Twitter by people who thought I was shaming the troll. So, yay for that! I also found out  my piece is on the agenda for discussion at the Feminist Task Force meeting happening at ALA in June, which is tres super cool.

The response I’ve been getting has been, other than the obvious trolls, really awesome. I’ve been retweeting all the kind words people have been throwing at me and while I can probably never say this enough: Thank you all for your support.

(As an aside, I found out today some kind anonymous benefactor suggested to my pal Val, who spearheads #ProjectTira, nina and I were deserving of our own tiaras for the good work we’ve been doing. Ironically, Val had just sent me my birthday tiara (see blog image) and now another one is in the works for me. But seriously, go read up on #ProjectTiara, recommend yourself or someone you feel is deserving, or even better, donate to the project! Val is closing in on having sent nearly 100 tiaras in the last few months as the response has been overwhelming. And seriously? I had no idea wearing a tiara could make you feel so powerful. I’m totally okay with using a tool for a clutch right now.)

With so much going on, what this week really showed me was my own strength. I was commenting to a friend at lunch a few days ago not a single person has asked if I knew this was the path that was going to happen, would I have done things differently. The answer immediately came to mind was obviously ” no.”

Said friend said the reason why people haven’t asked that question is because they know me well enough to know I wouldn’t have changed the route I headed on. And I will tell you that pleased me more than punch I could hold true to my faith in what I was doing was right and even with hindsight, I still would have made those same decisions.

This was an important self-confirmation of how I viewed myself internally and what I projected on to the world were both one and the same. Justice and righting the wrongs are becoming my passions and getting external acknowledgement made me secure in that faith what I was doing was right.

I also self-confirmed the value of loyalty within myself. I could have thrown a lot of people under the bus, I could have broken a lot of confidences to save my own ass, but I could not in good conscious do that to the people depending on me.

I remark this because in this past week, people have done this to me without even a blink in a eye.  There were many who publicly offered support, but when supported was requested,  had a list a mile long of why they couldn’t do it. Even better, people I expected support from didn’t so much as move a fucking inch in either mine or nina’s direction.

That was painful to experience. The whisper network who fueled the fire were the first to fade away. I believed, naively, those holding the match would also have a bucket of sand for the dousing. My own mistake, one I will not make again in the future.

I would have made a shitty lawyer and even a worse politician, but there are ways I’m finally learning how to work the system to get things equalized, even just a little.

I can’t be too entirely boastful. There have been times this week when I wanted to crawl away from everything and just forgot what was going on. I cursed my big mouth and my tenacity to keep asking hard questions expecting them to change the world. I felt myself dip low as mania broke before rising again, but I held on with what I could to make it through. That was hard. Really hard. I grab at anything in desperation to right myself and to push forward. Drawing from this weeks experiences, and my reactions, have made me really proud. I will be holding on to that feeling for as long as I can, for I know I will need to draw from it wholly to live.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 1999

Code of Conduct, Code4Lib, Lib Tech Gender, and My Vagina – Oh my!

Judith Beheading Holofrenes by Caravaggio
Judith Beheading Holofrenes by Caravaggio

 

Dear Internet,

Before I go forward, I must warn you the bloodwolves have arrived at House Rabey yesterday and I’m feeling a leetle like the above image.

This week has been insane as I prep for an author’s lecture and Q & A at the college that I organized, getting started on one of my departments accreditation process (well there went holiday break!) and a whole other load of work and personal stuff. I haven’t had time to do much of anything and I’m thankful I took Friday off or else I would die from exhaustion. Good job, me!

Before ALA’s annual conference happened this summer, several people linked me to a conversation at a public librarian Facebook group that started out with asking about hooking up at the conference and the conversation, of course, degraded from there.  I made my views  fairly well known on the topic.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 11.13.01 PM

It took nearly 5 months after I started making the noise, and in ALA parlance that is ultra fast, but ALA FINALLY has a Code of Conduct in place. Huz-fucking-zah! Andromeda Yelton wrote up a really great piece on the whole process.

Since talking about my vag has become one of my favorite topics, here are other things going on this week in that area:

  • I massively updated the landing page for #libtechwomen/#libtechgender that I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I’ve pulled everything I’ve written into one tidy location. If you have any links or suggestions you think I should add, let me know.
  • I’ve just put together the proposal for a Librarianship, Technology, Gender pre-conference at Code4Lib. If you’re planning on attending this year, might I suggest you sign up?
  • I’ve been approached by a in-profession magazine and a book publisher to start putting my words to print. This is SEEKRIT for the moment, but I will reveal when I can on both topics.

Now I slumber.

x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe:

Librarians, Gender, and Tech: Moving the Conversation Forward

"Woman teaching geometry" Illustration at the beginning of a medieval translation of Euclid's Elements (c. 1310 AD) via Wikipedia CC.
“Woman teaching geometry”
Illustration at the beginning of a medieval translation of Euclid’s Elements (c. 1310 AD) via Wikipedia CC.

Dear Internet,

Nearly a year ago, there was a small explosion over a post I had written on why men should not write about gender and technology, which stemmed from conversations that were being held simultaneously over several similar mailing lists and blog posts.  At the end of the post, I had proposed in the following to help keep the conversation flowing:

  • Donate to the Ada Intiative.
  • Start/chair an interest group for women in technology in LITA, the technology arm of ALA
  • Start a GeekGirl Dinner in your area.
  • Use Meetup.com to start/find groups in your interests (there were loads of Women in Technology interest groups on MeetUp).
  • Depending on where you work, what you do; start off-site initiative for women to have a hack-a-thon
  • Find local hackerspace communities to start a women’s initiative
  • Use professional conferences to propose panels/groups/discussions to get more people aware but also to pay it forward
  • Create a women in tech book club at local bar/coffee house
  • Donate time to do mentoring to high school and middle school girls
  • Donate to or become a sponsor for a nearby women’s conference, like GeekGirlCon

In keeping with the spirit of my suggestions, this week I presented with a load of great people on gender, technology, and libraries at Internet Librarian.

Twenty four hours later, I was publicly sexually harassed. Like I said, the irony was not lost on me.

Now that the conference is over, I am home and I have had a few days to simmer on the events of the week, I’ve decided to take up the mantel permanently on the topic. My reasoning for this is layered, but primary cause is I don’t think we’re doing enough in the profession to bring this to the forefront of our mind. I only tend to write about it when something has happened either to me or I’ve become impassioned for another and my opinion must be heard! I’ve noticed that others seem to act the same way, thus the discussion tends to dip and rise depending on what is getting peoples ganders up at the moment.

I was curious as to how others are discussing it within the profession, so here are a few examples of how we’re not addressing this topic:

  • A search of “sexual harassment” in American Libraries turns up only 23results, most on opinions on events occurring in the late ’90s and on public court cases
  • A search of “gender technology” in American LIbraries Magazine turns up 27 results, much on the concentration on gender in the classroom
  • ITAL, the journal for LITA, has no results on “sexual harassment,” and two results on “gender,” one of which about the financial disparity between men and women and discussion on the roles of women in technology, which is low, in a profession where the role of women is high
  • Code4Lib Journal has no mention of “sexual harassment” in its journal, and “gender” brings up conference reports on forums on inclusion and diversity. To be fair, a lot of the big discussions happen on their mailing list, but that doesn’t entirely erase the fact there is no discussion happening in their journal
  • As far as I can find, until now, there is no known topic or panel of women, technology, or gender that have taken place on local or national forums in terms of panels, posters, or discussions at conferences
  • There was no known Code of Conduct at ALA Annual 2013, or any other ALA related conference. When I asked and asked, I was constantly told this was a “topic of discussion” stretching back for many years but no one was actively working on it because it was assumed it was not needed. Thanks to Andromeda Yelton, who rocks my little socks, and others who helped get this out of the discussion period and into the actual tangible thing. Hopefully this will be taken up by other arms of ALA for their future conferences.

Then there is always the other side of sexual harassment — the side of men being harassed by women. I had a conversation with a male librarian while at Internet Librarian who regaled me of stories of sexual harassment occurring towards him while at conferences, meetings, and the like. Now what is interesting is social convention states that as a male, he’s supposed to not only take it, but be flattered by the attention. Why are we also not discussing this?

Another intriguing thing about this topic is the fact the discussion seems to be happening all over and around librarianship, via national outlets and personal blogs, but not within the profession itself. Some good examples of these conversations that give a lot of food for thought are:

Now some of the above writers are librarians, others are not, so when I say “within the profession itself,” I explicitly mean within professional journals, organizations, and conferences.

Now this post is meandering all over the place, but lets add more on what to do to keep the conversation going:

  • Started near the end of 2012, I formed LibTechWomen with Becky Yoose, Bohyun Kim,  Andromeda Yelton, and many other awesome people as a way to create a safe space for women and their allies to talk about these and every other issue under the sun. You can find us, mainly, via Facebook, Twitter as @libtechwomen and #libtechwomen, and GoogleGroups.
  • A national summit, Leadership-Technology-Gender, is happening at the end of Electronic Resources & Libraries conference in March, 2014. Great start, but we need to keep this at  local level as well
  • Start doing panels, proposals, forums, Q&As at at library related conferences, local and specialized
  • Use this topic as a launch pad for discussion in your classes. (Thanks, Nick!)
  • Start implementing a Codes of Conduct1 at your conferences, meetings, and other large gatherings
  • Start writing on this topic on a regular basis both in personal blogs AND professional journals, most specifically NOT just when something happens
  • Push this topic on Twitter using #libtechgender

Over on my professional site, I’ve started to curate all of this into a page of its own. You can track the updates by subscribing to the tag here when I write a new article or checking the page manually or subscribing to the page’s RSS feed to get updates when the page itself is updated.

As always, I have obviously not covered everything so if you have an article, link to an already happened or upcoming panel, or whatever, please feel free to drop a comment below or contact me.

I also encourage discussion on this topic from all perspectives, as more voices the better, whether here, your own blog, or on Twitter using #libtechgender. But please keep it civil.

xoxo,
Lisa


1. I’m going to be writing more on this topic at a later date, as I think this is just as important as talking about sexual harassment and women in library technology

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012