posts about or somewhat related to ‘gender’

Welcome to the world’s largest online repository of structured, multilingual, usage-based hate speech.

Welcome message from Hatebase.org, a project created by Canadian-based Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention.

Via Hatebase

Hatebase was built to assist government agencies, NGOs, research organizations and other philanthropic individuals and groups use hate speech as a predictor for regional violence. Language-based classification, or symbolization, is one of a handful of quantifiable steps toward genocide

The site maps incidents of hate speech, structures them across language and type, and invites people to contribute.

Developers can access the Hatebase API here.

Well, Project X may now be called Vox, but the great VC-backed media blitz of 2014 is staffed up and soft-launching, and it looks a lot more like Projects XY. Indeed, it’s impossible not to notice that in the Bitcoin rush to revolutionize journalism, the protagonists are almost exclusively – and increasingly – male and white.

To be sure, the internet has presented journalists with an extraordinary opportunity to remake their own profession. And the rhetoric of the new wave of creativity in journalism is spattered with words that denote transformation. But the new micro-institutions of journalism already bear the hallmarks of the restrictive heritage they abandoned with such glee. At the risk of being the old bat in the back, allow me to quote Faye Dunaway’s character from Network: “Look, all I’m saying is if you’re going to hustle, at least do it right.”

To Alyssa Royse, a sex and relationships blogger, for saying that she hated The Dark Knight: “you are clearly retarded, i hope someone shoots then rapes you.” To Kathy Sierra, a technology writer, for blogging about software, coding, and design: “i hope someone slits your throat and cums down your gob.” To Lindy West, a writer at the women’s website Jezebel, for critiquing a comedian’s rape joke: “I just want to rape her with a traffic cone.” To Rebecca Watson, an atheist commentator, for blogging about sexism in the skeptic community: “If I lived in Boston I’d put a bullet in your brain.” To Catherine Mayer, a journalist at Time magazine, for no particular reason: “A BOMB HAS BEEN PLACED OUTSIDE YOUR HOME. IT WILL GO OFF AT EXACTLY 10:47 PM ON A TIMER AND TRIGGER DESTROYING EVERYTHING.”

Amanda Hess, Pacific Standard. Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.

Find time. Read this:

But no matter how hard we attempt to ignore it, this type of gendered harassment — and the sheer volume of it — has severe implications for women’s status on the Internet. Threats of rape, death, and stalking can overpower our emotional bandwidth, take up our time, and cost us money through legal fees, online protection services, and missed wages. I’ve spent countless hours over the past four years logging the online activity of one particularly committed cyberstalker, just in case. And as the Internet becomes increasingly central to the human experience, the ability of women to live and work freely online will be shaped, and too often limited, by the technology companies that host these threats, the constellation of local and federal law enforcement officers who investigate them, and the popular commentators who dismiss them—all arenas that remain dominated by men, many of whom have little personal understanding of what women face online every day.

Take, for example, the case of Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing:

When rape and death threats first started pouring into her inbox, she vacated her apartment for a week, changed her bank accounts, and got a new cell number. When the next wave of threats came, she got in touch with law enforcement officials, who warned her that though the men emailing her were unlikely to follow through on their threats, the level of vitriol indicated that she should be vigilant for a far less identifiable threat: silent “hunters” who lurk behind the tweeting “hollerers.” The FBI advised Valenti to leave her home until the threats blew over, to never walk outside of her apartment alone, and to keep aware of any cars or men who might show up repeatedly outside her door. “It was totally impossible advice,” she says. “You have to be paranoid about everything. You can’t just not be in a public place.”

Along with the psychological, emotional and professional toll such trolling takes, Hess’ article also explores the role technology platforms (could) play in alleviating abuse, law enforcement issues around cyberstalking, the sociology of online and offline spaces and much much more.

New Gender Options for Facebook Users →

Facebook users have been long been lobbying for gender options on their profiles beyond “male” and “female”, and the idea has been percolating at in-house for the last year. After consulting with leading gay and transgender activists, Facebook has come up with a list of 50 different terms  people can use to identify their gender, as well as 3 pronoun choices, reports AP.  

What it means for advertising?

At this point, Facebook targets advertising according to male or female genders. For those who change to something neutral, ads will be targeted based on the pronoun they select for themselves. Unlike getting engaged or married, changing gender is not registered as a “life event” on the site and won’t post on timelines. Therefore, Facebook said advertisers cannot target ads to those who declare themselves transgender or recently changed their gender.

Full story here.

#NotYourNarrative

Related: The danger of a single story, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, via TED.

Interviewing Survivors of Gender-Based Violence
Yesterday say the end of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, an annual event that sees focused, worldwide attention on issues surrounding gender-based violence.
An interesting starting point if you weren’t along for the ride comes from Evidence & Influence Micromagazine. It asked the filmmakers Bishakha Datta and Nancy Schwartzman, along with members of Tactical Tech to create a list of films they’d use if they were teaching a course on gender. They came up with 25.
WITNESS, a non-profit that teaches activists and organizations how to use video to document human rights abuses, took a different tact. Its participation in the #16Days Campaign included the release of a six-part video companion to a guide on conducting interviews with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
The guide and the videos walk readers and viewers through security issues such as risk considerations of those being interviewed and the importance of informed consent, along with practical tips on preparing the interviewee and preparing for the interviewee by understanding the psychology effects and trauma a survivor may feel.
If GBV issues are your beat, you’re a documentarian focusing on the issue or an activist campaigning around gender violence, spend some time with these resources. One of the most important takeaways: stories such as these are not “gets.” They are a survivor’s story, not a reporter’s or a documentarian’s, and they need to be treated as such.
Meantime, big congratulations to all organizations around the world whose years-long campaigning around this issue is so vital.
Disclosure: I’m Digital Lead at WITNESS and played a part in putting these resources together. — Michael
Image: Title page, Conducting Safe, Effective and Ethical Interviews With Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, via WITNESS.

Interviewing Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

Yesterday say the end of this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, an annual event that sees focused, worldwide attention on issues surrounding gender-based violence.

An interesting starting point if you weren’t along for the ride comes from Evidence & Influence Micromagazine. It asked the filmmakers Bishakha Datta and Nancy Schwartzman, along with members of Tactical Tech to create a list of films they’d use if they were teaching a course on gender. They came up with 25.

WITNESS, a non-profit that teaches activists and organizations how to use video to document human rights abuses, took a different tact. Its participation in the #16Days Campaign included the release of a six-part video companion to a guide on conducting interviews with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

The guide and the videos walk readers and viewers through security issues such as risk considerations of those being interviewed and the importance of informed consent, along with practical tips on preparing the interviewee and preparing for the interviewee by understanding the psychology effects and trauma a survivor may feel.

If GBV issues are your beat, you’re a documentarian focusing on the issue or an activist campaigning around gender violence, spend some time with these resources. One of the most important takeaways: stories such as these are not “gets.” They are a survivor’s story, not a reporter’s or a documentarian’s, and they need to be treated as such.

Meantime, big congratulations to all organizations around the world whose years-long campaigning around this issue is so vital.

Disclosure: I’m Digital Lead at WITNESS and played a part in putting these resources together. — Michael

Image: Title page, Conducting Safe, Effective and Ethical Interviews With Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, via WITNESS.

Six of the seven shows analyzed — This Week, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press, State of the Union, and Up — have hosted white men at a significantly higher rate than their 31 percent portion of the population. Melissa Harris-Perry provided the greatest diversity among guests, providing a much higher rate of white women and African-American guests than the other programs; Up also hosted a higher percentage of people from those demographics than CNN or the broadcast programs. Latino, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern guests have been largely absent from the Sunday shows. Native Americans fared even worse, with only two appearances (one on Melissa Harris-Perry and one on Up) out of a total of 2,436 appearances over the nine-month period studied.

White Men Were An Even Larger Proportion Of Solo Interviews. On the broadcast Sunday shows and CNN, white men were most often hosted for one-on-one interviews by a significant margin. 75 percent of Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday solo interview subjects were white men. Once again, only Melissa Harris-Perry demonstrated any reasonable diversity in this measure. Guests who were Latino, Asian-American, or Middle Eastern were hardly present at all. No Native American has received a one-on-one interview this year. Up did not have enough solo interviews in the period studied to be included in the comparison.

Media Matters for America, Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative.

Read through for CNN’s gender problem and the overall ideological tilt toward conservative (read: Republican) guests.

Bollywood’s Female Journalists

In a recent article in India Today, Vinayak Chakravorty argues that a new trend in Bollywood is the featuring of female actresses as journalists—a departure from the old days, when the typical journalist-on-screen set-up was a dramatic, male-dominated hero-vs-villain tale. Today, he points out through a series of examples, the on-screen journalist is most often a woman. Directors interviewed for the piece argue that it’s because the movies are inspired by the real women on journalistic frontlines. They reflect reality. What goes unsaid, however, is that until now, most of these portrayals of women have been fairly fluffy. Chakravorty writes:

What goes unsaid is the idea adds to the glam quotient. While the hero is busy saving the world, he needs an emotional prop. Plus, an account of drama seen through the female eye can be more analytical.

If the war correspondent in Madras Cafe managed to be in sync with the brutal reality the film exposed, she was still playing second fiddle to the hero, as is the case with most such depictions.

The article does point out that this stereotype is slowly beginning to change, or at least, directors are willing to be cognizant of it, and be careful to craft intelligent portrayals of the female journalist, attempting to give them strong roles above and beyond the typical female love interest for an on-screen hero.

In a post on Brown Girl, the South Asian American magazine for young women, Antara Mason appreciates this transformation:

This more realistic view of girls in the workforce is fantastic. In a post-Delhi Rape Case India, this change could not come sooner. We need to see more strong women on screen, not to mention more respect for journalism on screen. Apart from that, the more women are seen being taken professionally and seriously on screen, the more respect they will earn in the real world because of the effect media has on society.

FJP: Here’s a thought. I haven’t seen enough Bollywood journalista films to know how this evolving portrayal of women journalists actually plays out, but simply presenting women in strong and independent leading roles seems like a solution that is driven by the same impulse that created the glam-doll phenomenon in the first place. In my mind, female-journalist-as-heroine is in danger of being just as one-dimensional as female-journalist-as-love-interest, especially if the parameters of heroism are of typical Bollywood-style: dramatic, and based on a very simple definition of power: victory. 

If, however, the strength of female journalists is portrayed in a nuanced manner, one that takes into account the realities of being a female journalist in India’s rapidly evolving professional universe, movies can have an incredibly powerful impact. Here’s an example: some weeks ago, the Times published this piece on the evolution of journalism in India and the precarious situations women journalists find themselves in on account of being women in male-centric society. It’s a fear of harassment that is valid, that media organizations need to acknowledge, and women ought to speak about without shame, argues, Ashima Narain, photo editor of National Geographic Traveler. It sounds like Bollywood has a chance to cast light on such realities: the fear, and the courage to speak about it and overcome it, which in turn could re-cast heroism as something more powerful and more nuanced than good-guy (or girl) beating bad-guy.—Jihii

Popularity Comes When “B.O.” Goes

You learn a lot about a culture from its advertising. Take, for instance, this 1934 ad for Lifebuoy, a soap that “guards daintiness” as it protects women against unseemly odors.

Equally cringeworthy, it appears alongside “Hepburn Needed Those Spankings,” an article about Katharine Hepburn in Movie Classic, a studio-produced fan magazine.

And I am not advising younger women (or any woman) to tough it out. You can lash back, which I have done too often and which has rarely served me well. You can quit and look for other jobs, which is sometimes a very good idea. But the prejudice will follow you. What will save you is tacking into the love of the work, into the desire that brought you there in the first place. This creates a suspension of time, opens a spacious room of your own in which you can walk around and consider your response. Staring prejudice in the face imposes a cruel discipline: to structure your anger, to achieve a certain dignity, an angry dignity.

Women Who Inspire

Vivek Wadhwa recently wrote:

Women are primed to lead in this new era. Girls now match boys in mathematical achievement. In the U.S., 140 women enroll in higher education for every 100 men. Women earn more than 50 percent of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and nearly 50 percent of all doctorates. Women’s participation in business and MBA programs has grown more than five-fold since the 1970s, and the increase in the number of engineering degrees granted to women has grown almost tenfold.

With that in mind, today being International Women’s Day and its theme being The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum, we were going to put together a top ten list of women in media tech. So we started compiling. And then we stopped. Because, really, this doesn’t do any good.

It leaves people out, it’s arbitrary and there’s more that can be said. So instead, here’s a slightly wider net that includes things to read by, about and for women in media tech:

So, with the caveat that no list is adequate, we hope that clicking through and reading about the individuals found here leads to searching out many more who inspire.

In particular, do seek out those who work in and on smaller spaces and places. There are many and learning what they do and how they do it is oftentimes beautifully humbling.

Meantime, happy Women’s Day. — The FJP.

If advertising is meant to be aspirational, these ads [in men’s magazines] are presenting a pretty sad version of what American men can aspire to be. And advertisers aren’t selling this hyper-masculine ideal to just any man: They’re specifically targeting the younger, poorer, less-educated guys in the supermarket aisle. In the latest issue of the journal Sex Roles, a trio of psychologists at the University of Manitoba analyzed the advertising images in a slate of magazines targeted at men, from Fortune to Field and Stream. They counted up the ads that depict men as violent, calloused, tough, dangerous, and sexually aggressive—what the researchers call “hyper-masculine”—then indexed them with the magazine’s target demographics. Hyper-masculine images, the researchers found, are more likely to be sold to adolescents, who find higher “peer group support” for manly-man behaviors. They’re also sold to working-class men, who are “embedded in enduring social and economic structures in which they experience powerlessness and lack of access to resources” like political power, social respect, and wealth, and so turn to more widely accessible measures of masculine worth—like “physical strength and aggression.”

Congratulations Tom Tomorrow

Tom Tomorrow (nee, Dan Perkins) won the annual Herblock Prize for excellence in editorial cartooning.

Tomorrow’s This Modern World appears in about eighty newspapers and sites across the country, he’s authored ten anthologies and worked with Pearl Jam on their album art.

As the Herb Block Foundation notes: “[Tomorrow] has also been awarded the first place Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Journalism, the first place Society of Professional Journalists’ James Madison Freedom of Information Award, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and the Association for Education in Journalism Professional Freedom and Responsiblity Award.”

He currently edits the Daily Kos’ comics section.

Images: Panels from “A Controversy Erupts”, February 2012, by Tom Tomorrow.