Feminism: The Time You Spend Being Consistently Aware of Danger Is Time You Don’t Get to Spend Being Happy

I want to link you to No Safe Place {PBS} and also
Rape Culture {Lipstick Feminists}, mainly because it seems a good way to explain to (cisgendered) men what it’s like to be raised as a woman in our present society – to have a consistent low-grade fear and to be told that if we don’t have that fear (if we’re willing to walk out of our house at night without an escort), terrible things will happen to us.

We may be afraid of strangers, but it is the most intimate of strangers — a husband, a lover, a friend — who is most likely to hurt us. According to a U.S. Justice Department study, two-thirds of violent attacks against women are committed by someone the woman knows. Can we ever be too wary?

A woman’s worst nightmare? That’s pretty easy. Novelist Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men feel threatened by women, he answered, “They are afraid women will laugh at them.” When she asked a group of women why they feel threatened by men, they said, “We’re afraid of being killed.”

If you ask a woman what she is afraid of and what she does to protect herself, she’ll give you a list of specifics. Ask a man the same question, and he might not understand what you mean. While we were working on our documentary, we conducted an informal survey, asking that very question to men and women. Their answers were enlightening. Typically, women were afraid of physical violence or they were afraid for their children’s safety. … Men, on the other hand, tended to be more afraid of failure or being humiliated.

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Feminism: Street Harassment

The thing about sexual/street harassment in general is entitlement. Men will sometimes tell me that I shouldn’t get angry about street harassment because I am just being told that I look nice. And when they tell me this, I can hear fear in their voice – and what they are afraid of, is that someone will say they are harassing someone on accident. So let me say this: harassing someone is not an accident. The only way you can possibly sexually harass someone ‘on accident’ is if you genuinely believe that that person owes you sex. Probably for the egregious kindness you’ve done them by … them existing and being somewhere in your vicinity. And if that is the case, you have a lot more problems than poor you terrorizing someone just because you think they don’t deserve rights ‘on accident’. How un-fucking-fair.

There is a difference between being hit on and being harassed. I promise. And the difference is whether or not the other person thinks you owe them jack-shit. I’ve been told I was pretty by strangers and was flattered, but when someone comes up to you and makes it clear you fucking owe them your time, your attention, sex or empathy, then that is harassment. And you know what? I don’t owe you jack shit.

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Feminism: Rape and Physical Assault

Rape is sex without consent.

Rape is not something that happens in dark alleys to women who have the gall to go outside by themselves. Rape victims are not categorically broken, or crying, or beaten. Actually, just to be really clear, physical assault is a different crime than rape. Sometimes they occur at the same time, the same way sometimes, during a mugging, physical assault and robbery occur at the same time. But a person can be raped without being punched in the face. those are two different things.

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CS/UX: Food Math

Find three foods such that every pair goes together, but all three do not

I personally think this question makes an excellent party game. The correct answer, of course, is that there is no answer, people’s personal tastes vary much too wildly… but that is also no fun!

Answers from famous people:

Richard Feynman has allegedly suggested tea + milk + lemon as a solution to this puzzle. (Of course, I’m not sure milk + lemon works).

Dear George Hart,

May I tell you that your question is wrong, and this is why there is no
solution.

Indeed, there is a myth called “food pairing”, but it is not scientific, as
food appreciation is a question of art… and art always espapes (aesthetics)
laws.

Moreover, think of Munster Cheese, durian fruits, hot brain of apes in
skulls… If someone had it when young, it’s good!

Finally, an anecdote: I asked once to my friend Pierre Gagnaire if he would
be able to mix the impossible pair camembert cheese+raspberries… and he
did it at once. The recipe is in my book “Cooking, a quintessential art”, at
California University Press. Moreover, in this case, you need absolutely a
poor camembert to get a “good” result. A discussion is given also in the
final chapter of my book “Building a meal” (Columbia University Press)

Best regards
Hervé This

(repost from George Hart)

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Women in CS: No, I Mean We Need More HOT Girls in CS

Geek Girls and Self-objectification

Daniel Floyd

{Video Games and the Female Audience: Youtube}

So it is apparent to me that there are 2 real issues with this formulation of “sexy geek (girls)” and female video game characters and much of the discourse around wanting more women in CS.

1. There are a lot of instances where it is made clear to women in that they are only welcome if they are attractive (and sometimes, appear sexually available to the ‘real’ members of that group), and that their only purpose for being there, their role, is as a potentially sexual partner and/or decoration for the ‘real’ (male) members of that group – which sends a very direct message that could give a rats ass if they have any female [players/developers/attendees].
And for some women this means outright exclusion (if you’re not male you’re not a real gamer, and if you’re not attractive then what are you doing here?). And for some people it offers a shit-tastic choice (tits or GTFO).

Let’s assume you choose option B. (And as someone said in the first article, that character you want to cosplay has pretty good odds of being hypersexualized already). You get to your con, people want to pose with you – if you’re lucky in genetics, then you’re accepted no problems (provided you are willing to spend most of your time at the con being appraised based on your sexual value and possibly sexually harassed), right? Not so much.

This issue is compounded by all the slut-shaming that happens in our society:

2. There is a larger societal issues that forces women to chose between being attractive / sexual and having the opportunity of being considered intelligent, capable, moral, worthy, or as if they have any relevant traits besides being sexy.
Notice how Daniel Floyd, above, says of the girls posing naked with joysticks ‘we know they’re not real gamers’.
Bruce Wayne’s cover is to be an overtly sexual rich boy, but he is able to do that without it invalidating his strength or morality as batman – and without objectifying him, of course. Image how a female character with the same cover would be treated…

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