This Is Why
I would like to start this post by saying that I am floored by the amount of attention my post on Monday received. I would like to thank my followers on Twitter, the communities on Reddit (though I have mixed feelings about being so popular on the Men’s Rights subreddit), Nixie’s Revision 3 and YouTube followers, Y-Combinator, Rikki Endsley, Leslie Hawthorn, Laura Czajkowski, GeekFeminism.org, Linux Magazine and especially Felicia Day (I fangirled a little, seeing that) for sharing my post and contributing their thoughts. [Edit: Rikki Endsley has posted a fabulous follow-up blog. You can find it here.]
I wrote about the experiences Nixie and I had specifically because they were sex-negative, body-policing, and they were very, VERY close to slut-shaming. In return, some of my critics have used language that mirrors language used in victim blaming. When one considers these experiences and the fact that the Open Source community, and the STEM studies as a larger community, are still having a difficult time attracting women and minorities, you may draw some correlation. I certainly did. When new faces and new voices are attacked, or made to feel unwelcome, because they do not fit into the current ideal of the community, then the community has failed. I felt unwelcome in 2011, and Nixie felt unwelcome in 2012.
I used the term “geek feminism” because those experiences were couched in language found on the Geek Feminism wikia page. While I understand that these experiences do not represent the geek feminist community as a whole, they should not be discounted. As you can see from members of your FOSS community, our experiences were not unique.
For those of you that poked around a little further than that one post, you realize that aside from being hosted at WordPress, my blog has nothing to do with FOSS. Nothing. I have attended OSCON for the past two years because people who are near and dear to me, like Nixie and Fiance, are heavily involved in Open Source. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I do hope that by speaking out about our experiences, Nixie and I have helped make the Open Source community a little more welcoming for the next generation of young girls who may be interested in FOSS. At most, you can expect maybe one post in a hundred to reference the Open Source community.
Nice Girls Like Sex Too is about creating a sex-positive culture for young people, but especially for young women.
Take a look at my tag cloud. That is what I am here for.
I am trying, in my own little way, to build a world where a 16 year old girl can ask her parents or her physician about her interest in sex without fear of judgement. Where teenagers don’t feel shame in taking the free condoms in the nurse’s office at school. Where dating more than one person doesn’t automatically earn a young woman the term “slut”. Where being harassed for the crime of being female while walking down the street is not normal.
I want to see a world where a teenage girl can enter the STEM studies and not be judged more harshly than her peers just because her outfit of choice includes frilly dresses. Don’t you?
Posted on August 2, 2012, in Personal Stories, Sex Positive and tagged celebrities, dating, health, LGBTQ, politics, rape culture, relationships, safer sex, self confidence, Sex, society, women. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.