I’ll admit that I post this in frustration. I’ve been watching several prominent conversations on social media that seem to argue (from the distance that is always social media) that everyday misogyny is ok, that gendered/sexed derogatory language is a cute example for corpus analysis, and that there just aren’t any good women out there doing “hard core” code work we can point to (I don’t support that formulation, nor the idea that all people need to code – but it’s dumb to say there isn’t anyone out there doing it already).
Then came Scott Weingart’s annual analysis of the Digital Humanities conference, in which he observes that 1% of authors selected “gender” and 10% selected “cultural studies” as topics in their presentations. I’m grateful for the work that Scott does on this, but every year I feel like I need a drink to read it, and then maybe two after. As Scott notes, not only are topics a concern, but since he’s been doing the analysis the percentage of women presenting has held steady at roughly 1/3. As he put it “The fact that the status is pretty quo is worthy of note, because many were hoping that a global DH would seem more diverse, or appreciably different, in some way.”
Yeah, that’s an understatement.
So, I’m not going to sugar coat this – in addition to “congratulations you have an all-male panel” and the new “Congrats, you did not cite any feminist work” – we could now have a “congratulations, you have all male programmers”. I don’t have time to start that tumblr, because I’m getting ready to go talk about online misogyny. But please, feel free to take that idea and run with it.
For now, here’s a starter guide for all of those who would like to do better and include the many talented people who do codework within Digital Humanities who don’t identify as men. This is a tactical response to a crap situation and was a collaborative, distributed effort accomplished in under 24 hours. Please feel free to add more people in the comments and I’ll move them up as time allows.
Cait Sydney Pickens
Wendy H.K. Chun
The 551 people on this list: https://twitter.com/jeresig/lists/women-who-code/members and
The 317 people on this list:https://twitter.com/BecomingDataSci/lists/women-in-data-science/members
From comments (thanks and keep ’em coming!:)
Rebecca Sutton Koeser