Many Links for a Friday


Whitewashing, Racebending, and Why “We’re All Human” is Bullshit — I am putting this first for a reason. READ IT.

John Carter is from Mars, and Women are Nowhere in Sight — So apparently the female character in John Carter… does stuff? Is active? You wouldn’t know she even existed going by the trailers. Marketing fail.

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

Cookie of the Week: Chad Whitacre — Came up with a name for something that was dumb; got called out on dumbness; apologised and changed the name. Win.

Female Students Wary of Engineering Workplace — “Women who have internships or jobs find they are too often relegated to ‘female’ roles of note-taker, organizer or manager…” and “a fair amount of the older men in my working environment treat me like I know nothing and I’m only working there because my dad works there.”

Etsy Hacker Grants: Supporting Women in Technology — in conjunction with Hacker School, Etsy is announcing a new scholarship and sponsorship program for women in technology

Visualizing What it Takes to be a Woman in the Tech Industry: An Infographic

Internet Entrepreneurship is getting Arab Women into the Business World — “Adbullah Alghadouni is CEO of the, a Saudi-Arabian site aimed at helping women find jobs in a nation where they are not legally allowed to drive.”

In a letter from a little girl to Albert Einstein:

I forgot to tell you, in my last letter, that I was a girl. I mean I am a girl. I have always regretted this a great deal, but by now I have become more or less resigned to the fact.

Anyway, I hate dresses and dances and all the kind of rot girls usually like. I much prefer horses and riding. Long ago, before I wanted to become a scientist, I wanted to be a jockey and ride horses in races. But that was ages ago, now. I hope you will not think any the less of me for being a girl!

And Einstein responded:

I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind. There is no reason for it.



Women at Gaming Events — A positive note on women at gaming events: Seems there are more! And not just women, but families! Kind of awesome.

Titular Characters and Gendered Titles — “… when I hear the term ‘Lady Captain’, I hear an unnecessary gendering of my character whose gender was never in question anyway.”

MTG Tournament Participants Not Immune to Sexism — Excuse me while I recover from the shock.

Network of Video Game Creators Tries to Equal the Playing Field — “They just assume the woman at one of these events isn’t a game developer in her own right but just there as somebody’s girlfriend… We need to get reality to catch up.”

Bastion and Men as Automatic Protagonists — Why all the characters with stories and motivations gots to be mens, and the one lady character is just a prop? Spoilers for Bastion within.


Sharing my Own Privileged Dumbassery — I feel like it’s been a little while since we’ve talked about how awesome Jim Hines is. Let’s talk about that! He’s awesome!

The Problem is Not the Books — Oldie but a goodie. When people cry about how there are no books for boys to read, maybe let us ask ourselves why we think boys can’t read books about girls (but girls can read books about boys).

Cover Trends and the Female Body — “In thinking about these covers and thinking a lot more about the notion of gendering books, I’ve really found myself finding fault with a lot of ya covers. More specifically, the ones marketed to teen girls.”

The BSFA Awards — So, that happened, and Meaney happened, and it’s worth reading and chasing the links, just to know. It’s also a happy-making to know that apparently many people simply walked out of the award ceremony in protest. That pleases me.


Newcastle Ad: Brewer’s Hands — So, I think what they wanted to say, if I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here, is that they don’t need to use scantily clad women to sell their beer? Maybe? Eh, who am I kidding, they’re sexist assholes too. Great going, beer!

The New Aesthetics of the Male Gaze — An interesting take on New Aesthetic, surveillance, and male gaze.

ok lets see if that thing with glasses chicks suddenly becoming super weird feminine when they whip off their glasses works — hilarity ensues

Why Rape Jokes Are Never Okay — They’re just not, mkay?

Daily Sloth

Hm. How interesting.

Many Links for a Tuesday

Emptying the link coffers. This is just part of it, I don’t want to drown you in links.


Is Game of Thrones Too White? — by Saladin Ahmed

Step Into My Film School: The Importane of Casting In Breaking Open Movie Stereotypes — This is what internalized –isms looks like.

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

NASA Girls, New Mentoring Program — Eligible girls in grades 5-8 can apply to be selected in this program where they will be mentored one-on-one by a woman working at NASA.

Abandoned by Facebook and Foursquare; Creepy, Stalker-Enabling App “Girls Around Me” is Pulled by Developer — This is just gross and I’m so glad it was pulled. I can’t believe it was ever approved in the first place.


There’s No Such Thing as a Good Stereotype — Discussing why stereotypes of positive qualities are still a bad thing.

We’re All the Same Deep Down — Why this statement of how we’re “all the same, really” kind of misses the point.

Evil Straight White Dude — Why opening your comments with “I’m just a straight white guy so you’ll probably ignore what I have to say” is really really stupid.


Mists of Panderia: First Impressions and Nitpicks — World of Warcraft’s new expansion and — surprise!! — sexism.

The Unsung Female Game Designers of Japan — My favorite part? There’s only pictures of the games they made!


Grammar Tip: Woman vs Female — Apparently it’s hard for some people to know when to use “woman” and when to use “female.” Spoilers: one is a noun, one is an adjective.

Misogyny Isn’t Caused by Male Horniness — There was this Cracked article recently about how men are trained to hate women, which kind of missed the mark for me, and thankfully there’s a writeup as to why.

Daily Sloth

April! The month of sloths!

How Not to Encourage Women to Play Games: Prime World Edition

Prime World offers discounts to women, encourages mixed-gender play

What. The. Hell.

The developer says that it wants to introduce the League of Legends-style game and the MOBA genre (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) “not only to hardcore players who already love it, but to their friends who might be more casual, and of course to their sisters and girlfriends who may not be as hardcore.”

Oh, of course.

Some details from the PA report:

  • Female players playing male avatars don’t get these bonuses. Female players must play female avatars. Because while they want lady players playing, they also want those lady players to be identifiable because otherwise what’s the point? Dudes want to know if they’re playing with ladies.
  • Oh, and when you’re in mixed-gender play, you apparently get this awesome defense buff. For, I guess, protecting women. Because women need protecting, yanno.
  • “When boys gather around to play games just with each other, it’s not really social. When girls gather around just to chat, it’s not very social.” Yes. People interacting isn’t social. Also gender stereotypes. Wow.
  • And of course, let us not forget that this is some heteronormative, gender-binary, stereotypical crap going on right hurr.

You want more women playing your games? It’s pretty easy, actually: cut this pandering bullshit, check your product for sexism (if you cannot identify any sexism in your product, I recommend hiring a feminist, just to be sure), and monitor your community with an iron fist. When someone pulls any vile, sexist nonsense, boot them from your community. Women will feel welcome, and will feel all right dragging their friends into the game, knowing they’re in a safe environment. You may think booting someone is bad for your sales in the short-term, but if your goal is building a mixed-gender community, you’ll be better off in the long run.

But I guess it’s easier to just call it ladies nite up in your game and kick back, amirite?

Tagged , , ,

Daily Otter

“Here, let me show you this cute otter.” — An otter.

Remember, next week starts SLOTH MONTH! A month of awesome sloths! SLOTHSOME!

Many Links for a Friday

Couple of book-keepy things:

  • If you are on the Facebook, and you like Team Valkyrie, perhaps you could like it on Facebook?
  • If you are on tumblr, you should know, we are on tumblr too.
  • If you tweet, and want to tweet at us, we’re on twitter.
  • Note that we actually do respond to tweets and questions and stuff on the Facebook, and comments make us happy and make us post more.
  • Also, since we’re about to start a new month, that means we’re about to start a new series of cute animal pictures. April is for Sloths. So say we all.

Okay, now onto linkspam.

STEM – Science Technology Engineering Math

What’s the Big Deal? — “Over the course of this internet argument, I had several well-meaning and curious guys reach out to me to try and understand what all the fuss was about. They seemed like good people, but they were missing something about what it means to be sexist. … So I’m going to take a shot at explaining.”

On Women in Tech — My favorite quote from this is the header “Frats Preserve Tradition, Startups Disrupt it”

Rachel Graham, The Jane Goodall of Sharks — Awesome!

Women in physics: A Tale of Limits — Really long, lots of data, kind of depressing, but good knowledge, because knowledge and understanding can lead to action.

Some Things to Think About Before You Exhort Everyone to Code — Why telling minorities “just learn to code!” doesn’t really work.

Amalie Noether, The Most Significant Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of


Show, don’t tell: why they need to be there — On the importance of diversity of main characters in fiction, and what it means to readers

You Don’t Read Women Authors, Do You?

Should science fiction and fantasy do more than entertain? — Opens with the image caption of “Poor representations … The 2012 film John Carter continues to rely on racial sterotypes to establish the ‘otherness’ of its alien characters.” and goes from there. Comments are mixed.


On being the “face of the community” while female


Geeks Respond to Their Friend Coming Out — Kind of awesome, read the whole thing.

Surprise! I’m Not a Booth Babe


I’m introducing a new linkspam category because I think we need it. Reality is ugly, folks.

NOM Strategy: Divide ‘Blacks’ and ‘Latinos’ Against ‘Gays’ to Get Critical Votes — So, this happened. Excuse me while I deal with this surprise.

Women’s Media Center’s Media Guide for Gender Neutral Coverage of Women Candidates and Politicians — Because we really need this, as pathetic as that is.

Ellen Oh, YA Book Covers, and the Race Discussion (Still?)

So we’re still talking about having characters of color be featured on book covers. Still. You’d think by now we’d be past this. I mean, with all that noise around Liar and Magic Under Glass we might have learned a little something. We might have grown as an industry. Right?


For the unfamiliar, in recent YA publishing history, there have been two (of several) kerfuffles where a book about a character of color featured a white girl on its cover. Both Larbalestier’s Liar and Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass both suffered from what we call “whitewashing.” In both cases we have a happy-ish ending, because after a fuss was raised, the covers were fixed to accurately reflect the contents of the book. But the fact that we even had to go there kind of sucks.

And the discussion still isn’t over. Ellen Oh has noticed that, if you hit the YA section of the bookstore, if there’s a girl on the cover, she’s a pretty, thin, white girl, ninety-nine times out of one hundred. (There’s a bonus problem Oh doesn’t mention, where a lot of these girls are also passively post and/or dead, but that’s a rant of a different color.) She refers to the Best YA Book Covers List on Goodreads as evidence of this.

Putting pretty white girls on all your book covers is the book equivalent of what all our fashion magazines do. An idealization of beauty that is unrealistic and dangerous to our youth.

The problem isn’t one instance, the problem is the norm. One single book cover isn’t a sin. But a wall of book covers that all look near-identical is. Idealizing a specific image of beauty at the expense of others is not healthy, ever. Not seeing representations of yourself in media, ever, has this slow and subtle buildup, worse for some than for others.

What really kills me is the excuse I often hear touted about. “Black covers don’t sell.” I’ve heard this only anecdotally, but so many times, from so many sources, both within and outside of YA. This is a problem that exists in all publishing, it seems. I suggest you read NK Jeminsin’s post Don’t Put My Book in the African-American Section.

So basically, books with people of color on them rarely exist because they “don’t sell.” Even when the person inside the book is a person of color, the cover can’t reflect that. And when the book is about people of color, and the person on the cover is a person of color, they get shuffled off to the various ethnic-book sections, because white people don’t buy black books, and the majority of people who buy books are white.

People. It’s twenty-fucking-twelve. Can we please at least pretend we’ve matured as a society?