Viewed from one angle, the rise of get-girls-to-code initiatives is progressive and feminist. Many people involved in the movement are certainly progressive feminists themselves, and many women have benefited from these initiatives. But there are other ways to look at it too. Women are generally cheaper, to other workers’ dismay. “Introducing women into a discipline can be seen as empowerment for women,” says Ensmenger. “But it is often seen by men as a reduction of their status. Because, historically speaking, the more women in a profession, the lower-paid it is.”
Hicks, the computing historian, can’t stand it when people tout coding camps as a solution to technology’s gender problem. “I think these initiatives are well-meaning, but they totally misunderstand the problem. The pipeline is not the problem; the meritocracy is the problem. The idea that we’ll just stuff people into the pipeline assumes a meritocracy that does not exist.”
Ironically, says Hicks, these coding initiatives are, consciously or not, betting on their graduates’ failure. If boot camp graduates succeed, they’ll flood the market, devaluing the entire profession. “If you can be the exception who becomes successful, then you can take advantage of all the gatekeeping mechanisms,” says Hicks. “But if you aren’t the exception, and the gatekeeping starts to fall away, then the profession becomes less prestigious.”
Helen Rosner: 20 Things Men Can Do RTFN to Support Women, Beyond Just Literally Ceasing to Sexually Harass Us
If you’re a man unsure of what you can do right now to support women, instant changes you can make this very second in your daily life that will make life better for women (and, bonus, for men too!), here you go.
Andy Beta: Yvonne Turner Helped Invent House Music—So Why Does No One Know Her Name? (Pitchfork)
Evan Turner was actually Yvonne Turner, who had a prolific, if abridged, career as a producer, mixer, and remixer. Being erroneously credited was just the beginning: On subsequent pressings of “Music Is the Answer,” her name was left off altogether. These kinds of mistakes and misprints make piecing together Turner's discography especially tricky. She was often relegated to the small print on a record, bumped to associate or co-producer status, marked as mixer instead of remixer. In dance music, it's assumed that the singer is secondary to the producer in the creative process, but the inverse is true for Turner. Many male vocalists she worked with—be it Abrams, Willie Colón, or Arnold Jarvis—got credit for the music.
Lili Loofbourow: The Kavanaugh Accusation Has Men More Afraid Than Ever (Slate)
It’s useful to have naked misogyny out in the open. It is now clear, and no exaggeration at all, that a significant percentage of men—most of them Republicans—believe that a guy’s right to a few minutes of “action” justifies causing people who happen to be women physical pain, lifelong trauma, or any combination of the two. They’ve decided—at a moment when they could easily have accepted Kavanaugh’s denial—that something larger was at stake: namely, the right to do as they please, freely, regardless of who gets hurt. Rather than deny male malfeasance, they’ll defend it. Their logic could not be more naked or more self-serving: Men should get to escape consequences for youthful “indiscretions” like assault, but women should not—especially if the consequence is a pregnancy. And this perspective extends 100 percent to the way they wish the legal system to work: Harms suffered by women do not rate consideration, much less punishment. (I recommend Googling the mortality rate for women when abortion was illegal.)
Lacey Donohue: Against Their Will, Men Learned Something Yesterday (Hmm Daily)
On men’s reaction to the Kavanaugh hearing.
Yesterday, many women wept and tweeted about weeping, but the men seemed to be taking it even harder, to be shaken by it, broken even.
And they seemed to be broken because, perhaps, for the first time ever, they had to face the reality of what existence is like for all the women in their lives. They had to understand that every bit of progressive advice they’ve given women at bars, over dinner tables, in annual reviews, or under covers didn’t fucking matter. It meant that those firm conversations filled with directives—we all know what they sound like—to just “ask for that raise,” or just “go to HR and tell on your boss,” or “OK, if I’m being honest, what’s wrong with you is that you apologize too much” actually carry no weight.
Because yesterday, the liberal men saw that a woman can take their advice, march into a room, and tell her truth, and she can walk out of the room
Kath Barbadoro: I Think About This a Lot: Salman Rushdie Calling a Woman ‘Gorgeous and Hottt’
It doesn’t matter who you are, horniness makes fools of us all. In the right context, the revelation of that vulnerability can be almost sacred in its intimacy. But in a society that unconditionally gratifies powerful men and derides sexual women, it’s easy for that desire to get turned inside out, to become weaponized against its object.
The brogrammer becomes the flat, oppressive ideal, and the fact that "bro" was originally a term of complex, critical affection within a community is lost, replaced by a distorting mirror in which people see themselves reflected as comic Hollywood caricatures, while disavowing their own, very real participation in what remain very real cultural issues.
Jonathan McIntosh: Playing with privilege: the invisible benefits of gaming while male (Polygon)
Working towards solutions requires that, as male gamers, we become aware of the ways in which we unconsciously benefit from sexism. We can't work to fix something unless we first see and understand its effects. When women as a group are systematically targeted by discrimination, it means that men are elevated by default.
Amanda Hess: Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet (Pacific Standard)
Ignore the barrage of violent threats and harassing messages that confront you online every day.” That’s what women are told. But these relentless messages are an assault on women’s careers, their psychological bandwidth, and their freedom to live online. We have been thinking about Internet harassment all wrong.
Kat Stoeffel: It’s Okay to Hate the Kickstarter ‘Rape Manual’ (NY Mag)
Bustillos hopes that a nonjudgmental dialogue with Hoinsky will help us discover an ethical form of seduction. I doubt it. If a woman must be seduced, either (a) the desire is not mutual and she is in fact being coerced (he is waiting until she is weary enough, drunk enough, or feels guilty enough for leading him on), or (b) the desire is mutual but she can’t express it, for any number of sexist social reasons.
Lindsay Zoladz: Not Every Girl Is a Riot Grrrl (Pitchfork)
Many musicians express a complex relationship with the term 'riot grrrl'--
a reverence for the movement's origins but also frustrations about the difficulty of escaping the limits of gendered language.