Mar 24 2010

Happy Ada Lovelace Day

Hedy Lamarr

Today is International Ada Lovelace Day, a day of blogging in celebration of women in science and technology. I’ve blogged a few times before about women in these areas including the myth of the computer science gene and women and open source.

So in honour of the day I want to say a little bit about Hedy Lamarr, an actor and engineer who helped invent an early form of spread spectrum communications technology, the basis for Wi-Fi.

She led a pretty amazing life and is one of the reasons I am writing this blog on my lap-top on my sofa (well, her and my utter laziness)

10 Facts about her:

  1. Born in 1914 in Vienna, her name was Hedwig
  2. Her mother was a pianist and her father a bank director.
  3. Her film career was stifled by her controlling husband, an arms manufacturer, so instead she set about learning about military technology.
  4. Although her husband was half-Jewish (she was also Jewish), he hung out with Hitler and Mussolini. This obviously didn’t sit easy with her and so she disguised herself as one of the maids and fled to Paris where she got a divorce and moved on to London.
  5. He was the first of six husbands.
  6. In London and then Hollywood, she went back to making films but got into developing a secret communication system with her neighbour, the avant garde composer George Antheil, after getting into a conversation about radio controlled torpedos.
  7. Her idea of “frequency hopping” was completely new and Antheil’s contribution was the suggested device for synchronization.
  8. It was ahead of its time but ended up becoming the basis of modern spread-spectrum communication technology such as most WiFi networks.
  9. She died in 2000 and in 2003, Boeing ran an ad campaign featuring her as a woman of science, not referring to her acting career.
  10. In 2005, the first ‘Inventors Day’ was held in German-speaking countries on 9 November, her birthday.

I think, I think I love her.

Nov 4 2009

Time to talk periods

This was originally posted at The Lay Scientist.

A while ago I wrote a post at Vagina Dentata about periods. I was sick of menstruation being a hidden and taboo issue and one that we as a Western society fail to talk about. That post got the biggest response I have had both in terms of comments on the blog and in person from women and men alike.

This response included a great post from Arikia (The Millikan Daily) about tampon scarcity in Brooklyn – yep land of the free, with not a red mouse between them.

My main point was that ‘having the painters and decorators in’ was a feature of pretty much every woman’s life for most of her life. We’re all blobbing, so why is it so rarely talked about? Because it’s dirty that’s why – Biblically unclean.

Girls and boys are rarely told about the ‘stuff’ that happens to the opposite sex during puberty and beyond. It leads to fear, misunderstanding, shame and repulsion. The natural functions of women have for millennia resulted in the notion of women as fundamentally filthy (and not in a good smutty way). If you touch a woman during her monthly period you will be unclean till evening (Leviticus, which is all about the periods, and sleeping with animals). It has spawned a fascination and abhorrence with female functions and feminine ‘dirt’.

But this means that an important and recurring aspect of women’s lives doesn’t get discussed. There are gruesome facts about perioding that rarely get mentioned: that you shit differently, sometimes it hurts so much you vomit, it can make you uncoordinated and bump into things/knock things over, your breasts can swell and hurt, you get incredibly hot at night and can’t sleep, you get water-retention and go up a dress-size (BTW these things don’t happen every time or all at once, that would be really inconvenient).

All women have had to make make-shift sanitary towels out of bog-roll at one time or other. We’ve all had to get blood stains out of our favourite pants and jeans. We all have stories about when we found out about what periods were, when we started, the chats with our mothers, sisters or teachers. But those chats were always hushed and never involved men.

But since that blog post I’ve come across some more interesting posts and issues. I was writing from my own experience and so very much contextualised what I was saying as being a ‘Western’ issue. But of course it isn’t. While the period taboo is a pain in the vadge in the UK, it is a serious developmental problem in poorer countries around the world.

This is a brilliant campaigning film by the Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) program which helps local women in developing countries “jump-start their own businesses to manufacture and distribute affordable, quality, and eco-friendly sanitary pads.”

So it seems ‘menstrual silence’ can lead to girls missing out on school and women missing out on an income.

This reminded me of the equally excellent Dignity! Period campaign in Zimbabwe where one of the added consequences of the economic crisis is that women cannot afford sanitary products. This in turn affects their health, education and threatens their dignity. For many ordinary women sanitary products are a ‘luxury’ that they can no longer afford or access, as many manufacturers have fled Zimbabwe causing shortages of the products.

The common factor in the UK, US, Zimbabwe and Uganda is the ‘menstrual silence’. How many times do sanitary products get talked about in terms of human necessity? We have broken the taboo on talking about condoms (Vatican notwithstanding) in order to address HIV/AIDs, we need to break the taboo on periods to talk about the very real affect that they have on women’s lives and health and the very real need that women have for sanitary towels and tampons.

These aren’t luxuries. I don’t feel like I’m indulging myself when I buy them (even though I’m likely to be buying 5kgs of chocolate at the same time). And the thought of having to fashion a towel out of leaves and rags while having limited or no access to toilets and/or cleaning facilities is too grim to contemplate.

And if you think I’m being prim by suggesting that tampons/towels are a human necessity – you think about bleeding (including blood clots and womb lining) for a week into what is already a warm, moist, bacteria-loving area covered in hair and consider not being able to keep that clean. Then think about that taking place in a hot climate where you have to walk a lot. Is this seeming like an issue now? If so, go and donate to:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research blog is a thing of wonder and introduced me to SHE.

Sep 5 2009

New "Scientist" at it again

[Jessica Drew was down with the spiders, that’s radiation for you]

At the risk of copyright infringement, I would like to quote directly from the BBC story on girls being afraid of spiders. This is a report on an article in the New Scientist which has a worrying habit of reproducing this kind of shite.

A new study in the US suggests that women have a genetic aversion to dangerous animals, such as spiders.

Let’s focus on the words ‘genetic aversion’, what kind of evidence do you think you would need to establish a ‘genetic aversion’? I would, for example, expect a geneticist to perhaps be involved in the research or maybe for it to be a twin-based study. But…

The research, published in the New Scientist, says women are born with character traits that were ingrained in our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

FACT. This research PROVES that women (i.e. all) are born with character traits (presuming manifesting in behaviours) that were ingrained (genetically pre-programmed?) in our hunter-gatherer ancestors (a catch-all term but where our character traits were cemented and untouched by 10,000 years of agricultural and pastoral society). Again, for this assertion I would expect an archeologist, palentologist, ethnographer, paleoanthropologist, or someone with some understanding of prehistoric societies to be involved in this research.

Previous research suggested women were actually up to four times more likely to be afraid of creatures like spiders.

Previous research. Not this research. Not credited research. Just other research.

The new research was headed up by developmental psychologist, Dr David Rakison, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, 10 baby girls, and 10 baby boys were subjected to a number of pictures of spiders to gauge their reactions.

OK, so let’s recap shall we: no geneticist, no archeologist, no paleontologist, no ethnographer, no paleoanthropologist. A study on 20 babies where they GAUGED their REACTIONS to PICTURES.

A sample of 20 individuals who cannot adequately communicate were show pictures of things that they may have never seen before and the claim is that this research shows that women have a genetic aversion to dangerous animals.


First the babies were shown a picture of a spider with a fearful human face, followed by images of a spider paired with a happy face – alongside an image of a flower twinned with a fearful face.

This is supposed to be science. They are showing babies pictures of spiders with happy and sad faces (learnt behaviour) and stating that this in any way contributes to evidence for genetic aversion.


The results showed that the girls – some as young as 11 months old – looked longer at the picture of the happy face with a spider than the boys, who looked at both images for an equal time.

The researchers concluded that the young girls were confused as to why someone would be happy to be twinned with a spider, and were quick to associate pictures of arachnids with fear.

The boys, it seems, remained totally indifferent emotionally.

“The researchers concluded that the girls were confused”. Seriously, why do these people bother working in a university when they could just prop up a bar somewhere shouting “I reckon…” into the air? Oh yeah, its on the BBC website…

I particularly like the caveat “it seems” in the last sentence. Because of course they don’t know, they weren’t even measuring heartbeat never mind any other tests of emotion. They just reckon.


Mr Rakison attributes this genetic predisposition to behavioural traits inherent in our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Men, he purports, were the greater natural risk takers, the ones who took greater risks were more successful when going out to hunt for food.

With women, in their role as natural child protectors, it made sense for them to be more cautious of animals such as snakes or spiders, Mr Rakison adds.

By contrast, the research concludes that modern phobias such as the fear of hospitals – or that of flying – show no differences between the sexes.

Only at this stage in the article do words like ‘attributes’ or ‘purports’ come into play. It is interesting to compare what Dr Rakison is quoted as saying above and what he says when he is interviewed on the BBC’s The World Today. The interview is worth listening to for the vox pops they do with a few women at the beginning (none of whom are afraid of spiders) where one says she’s not frightened of spiders but is of men. Anyway, Mr Rakison says in his interview explicitly that this is a learnt response and that “its not that we’re born with the fear”.

Also the study is published in Evolution and Human Behaviour and is about fear learning.

So where does the ‘genetic’ and ‘hunter-gatherer’ bullshit come from? It’s made up. It had no basis. It’s just a cultural meme perpetuated by repetition. I’m not saying that humans do not have ‘instincts’ or that everything is environmental. I’m saying that the hunter-gatherer concept pisses me off. It invokes an image of big strong men hunting mammoths and home-bound women collecting berries which feeds cultural stereotypes about male and female characteristics which are false.

Apparently Dr Rakison thinks men are greater risk takers despite later stating that the is no gender difference in things like the fear of flying.

And on the point that this was a study of 20 babies, I came across this fascinating article in The Psychologist about psychology’s problematic relationship with empiricism.

Oh, and this was another one for #bullshitbingo and its sister game #BSbingo (bad science bingo).

Sep 4 2009

periods. Periods. PERIODS. P.E.R.I.O.D.S.

Carrie, the period horror film

It is about time, in human evolution – in Western society’s evolution – that we started talking about periods. We talk, joke and laugh about shitting, farting and puking but not about women bleeding for a week a month. Why? Because it’s dirty that’s why – Biblically unclean.

We don’t talk about menstruation – and by ‘we’ I definitely mean men AND women – yet pretty much all women do it all the time. Its something that looms large in our lives. We fear, expect and will it when it starts. It mortifies us when it leaks. It ruins romantic weekends and when you’re in an intimate relationship with a woman it is something you both have to bear (x2 for lesbians).

This post has been inspired by a conversation I have just come from in the pub with two men (can you tell?). They took it well. One of them admitted that the first time he spoke about periods at the age of 8-ish he said he was confused about the blue stuff that came out of women. I have had a handful of conversations in the past mostly with women about periods but it’s only ever come up with good friends and sometimes in hushed tones.

This is the point. Girls and boys are rarely told about the ‘stuff’ that happens to the opposite sex during puberty and beyond. It leads to fear, misunderstanding, shame and repulsion. The natural functions of women has for millennia resulted in the notion of women as fundamentality ‘unclean’. The woman who shouldn’t be touched during her monthly period or you will be unclean till evening (Leviticus, which is all about the periods, and sleeping with animals). It has spawned a fascination and abhorrence with female functions and feminine ‘dirt’.

It is ‘the curse’ and the ‘sin of Eve’. It has as many euphemisms: having the painters and decorators in, on the blob, got the curse, Aunt Flo is visiting, time of the month, on the rag, women’s problems, riding the crimson wave, closed for maintenance, ketchup on the burger (OK, I made that one up).

I’m not the biggest fan of Tracey Emin, but I admire the fact that she brought dirty femininity to the fore in her art. The visceral reaction to her work is often due to her use of things like used-sanitary products in her ‘self-confessional’ work. Yeah, you might not like it and think its lazy and attention-grabbing – but what attention! The reaction to a woman laying bare her ‘filth’ and remnants of menstruation still has the ability to shock.

Menstruation is something that punctuates women’s lives, a regular reminder of your potential fertility. I’m not saying that it puts me in tune with the earth or the moon but it is a regular reminder to me that I’m a mammal.

There is interesting research around blobbing and contraception where randomised controlled trials have been conducted on extended oral contraceptive cycles. The fact that most women on OC take the pills in 21 days followed by a pill-free and bleeding week is not medically necessary. Women can stay on OC pretty much permanently with minimal spotting and few ill effects over the general OC side effects and recommendations for use over time (i.e limit to 8 years [pdf]). And yet many choose, if made aware of the choice, to allow for a pill-free period if not monthly than every three or so months. This suggests that there may be a desire to menstruate which may be for a number of reasons: confirming no pregnancy, excuse for not having sex, the ancient Greek feeling of menstrual catharsis?

There are gruesome facts about perioding that rarely get mentioned: that you shit differently, sometimes it hurts so much you vomit, it can make you uncoordinated and bump into things/knock things over, your breasts can swell and hurt, you get incredibly hot at night and can’t sleep, you get water-retention and go up a dress-size (BTW these things don’t happen every time or all at once, that would be really inconvenient).

All women have had to make make-shift sanitary towels out of bog-roll at one time or other. We’ve all had to get blood stains out of our favourite pants and or jeans. We all have the stories about when we found out about what periods were, when we started, the chats with our mothers, sisters or teachers. But those chats were always hushed and never involved men.

We have to pay (albeit reduced) VAT on ‘sanitary products’ or ‘feminine protection’ (the euphemisms upset me more than the bleeding) despite them being very far from ‘luxury products’.

Sometimes it makes you emotional, sometimes it doesn’t – so it’s not alright to assume women are ‘over-emotional’ because of their ‘hormones’. Women are called ‘over-emotional’ and men are said to be ‘in a bad mood’. They both might be true, or it might be that they’re arseholes. There may be a chemical reason for it but it’s not necessarily because of a wandering womb or meandering testes.

And then there’s sex and periods. There might be a few jokes about men becoming men when they get ‘blood on their helmet’ but what about women masturbating to relieve periods pains – (messy but it works). Some lesbians make a sexual act out of blobbing – anointing themselves on with menstrual blood – more power to it, even if it does make you look like Nosferatu.

When do we ever talk about the blood clots, the changing colour of the blood over the period, heavy month followed by light month, sanitary towel – tampon transition, and let’s not even get started on moon cups (sorry, I’m a green but I draw the line here I’m afraid).

Plus I can’t think of any better argument against intelligent design – bleeding every month, intelligent? No. Where’s our endometrium reabsorption?

As it is such a regular function for half the world’s population, let’s stop pretending it doesn’t happen. If we do talk about it let’s not use it as yet another misogynistic insult (in a past workplace a twatish manager said of a woman: “Not sure if you can say this these days, but it was probably her time of the month!” NB: if you start a sentence with “Not sure if you can say this these days…” then you can’t say those kind of things these days).

So please talk about periods. Let’s destroy the myths and stop pretending its not happening. If you’re a woman ‘of child-bearing age’ its happening. If you are a man who sleeps with women, works with women, is related to women or knows women, you are in the proximity a woman who is, was, or is about to bleed.

There definitely are periods. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

Aug 31 2009

Saying girls are rubbish at maths makes girls rubbish at maths

Very interesting interview with two researchers into the affects of stereotypes on women in their performance in maths tests.

This is based on their study (pdf) published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

See I’m not just wittering on about gender stereotypes, be they a love of pink or the *need* for women to remove every inch of hair from their body, because I find them irritating (physically and mentally); they can also be harmful.

And immensely aggravating to those of us who can long divide. Again, I give you xkcd on this subject.

Aug 27 2009

The Game The Whole Family Can Play!

[Click image to enlarge, via the indefatigable The F Word]

Seriously, I’m getting a little upset by all the pseudo-evolutionary (Just So) psychology bullshit now. Oh yeah, and the Daily Mail. A work colleague today warned me that the Daily Mail might consider taking a restraining order out against me.

OK then, this one is from the Daily Telegraph: Men prefer websites designed by men. The very first sentence of this article?

The differences spring from our caveman ancestors, said Gloria Moss, a specialist in human resources.

Frankly, I am not going to dignify this article by pulling it to shreds. That first sentence is enough to condemn it to the shit heap it sprang from.

JOURNALISTS LISTEN: Just because it is the bicentennial year of the birth of Charles Darwin does NOT mean that you have to get the word ‘evolution’ into every science story. If your writing about evolutionary biology or evolutionary psychology firstly, know the difference between the two and secondly, find out if the researcher you’re quoting/cut n’ pasting does too.

RESEARCHERS LISTEN: Just because you work in Buck-Nowheresville university (or a further education college) do you really NEED to use nonsense, sexist, pseudo-evolutionary failytales to get your research into the papers? If the answer is yes, then kiss your credibility goodbye.

I’ll be tweeting all future pseudo-hunter-gatherer ‘science’ stories with the hastag #bullshitbingo

Aug 25 2009

Ruthless, sex-fiend, testosterone-fuelled women gamblers found by scientists

The reporting of a particular study in the last couple of days sounded more like an ad for a kinky fetish party. “Risky women are ‘hungry for sex’” panted the Press Association over the newswires of the world. “’Traders’ testosterone’ fuels female financial flutters” was Nature’s lame attempt. “Even female investors juiced by testosterone” was Daily Finance’s rather damp contribution.

And I’m just generally baffled as to why The Med Guru felt the need to use a picture of Scarlett Johansson with this story.

So yes “researchers” have “found” that women with greater levels of testosterone are “greater risk takers” (notice my subtle highlighting of certain words there). And of course testosterone is a SEX hormone so some journalists thought it would be a good idea to talk about SEX a bit as frankly SEX is more interesting than financial trading which is what the study was actually about.

The “researchers” were in fact an Associate Professor in Finance, a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and a Professor of Comparative Human Development and Evolutionary Biology (who lists press cuttings and press releases on web page rather than journal articles, but that’s just a particular prejudice of mine which has frequently been supported by evidence).

They used the results from a cohort of 460 (320 male, 140 female) MBA (management qualification) students at Chicago University of their levels of testosterone and compared this to their risk aversion and the careers that they went on to do after graduation (which were rated as ‘risky’ or not on the basis of whether they were in the financial sector).

Now, I’m not in a position to judge the accuracy of the testosterone testing (saliva collection and digit ratio), so I’ll assume they’re sound.

The risk aversion test and career choice data have huge confounding factors. The risk aversion test was a computer simulation where participants were asked to choose between a fixed cash amount (from $50 to $120) or to ‘gamble’ for a lottery prize or either $200 or zero. I do not believe that this is a credible test because it was 15 questions in a non-real life example, where participants were selected as ‘professional financial decision makers’ and were not intended to be representative.

Students are a specific type of people, MBA students are even more specific, and MBA students having their risk aversion measured when fully aware of the concepts of risk aversion and financial decisions are likely to give specific answers. (BTW you can actually re-read the above sentence substituting the word ‘specific’ for the word ‘wanky’ and it is still true).

Secondly, the career data was collected two years after the test with no follow-up interview. Therefore, it was assumed that graduates chose certain “high risk” professions (in the financial sector) because they were risk-takers and the risk-averse would take low risk jobs outside of the sector. In fact, there may have been many reasons why certain jobs were taken; offers, opportunities, location, having children, redundancy, not wanting to be surrounded by trading wankers, etc. That is not a measure of risk aversion, for me it would be a measure of bullshit tolerance.

So I don’t think the research was great, but the reporting of the research was atrocious. None of the problems with the research were alluded to, they tried to sex it up by using words like ‘gambling’ and ‘excessive drinking’ and, er, ‘sex’. And they just made false and misleading statements:

Daily Telegraph: “[The study] found that testosterone-driven women who liked to gamble went on to choose careers in finance”

Press Association: “Women with an appetite for risk may also be hungry for sex, a study suggests.” (No, it really doesn’t)

I am most concerned by this quote from one of the researchers:

“This is the first study showing that gender differences in financial risk aversion have a biological basis, and that differences in testosterone levels between individuals can affect important aspects of economic behaviour and career decisions,” said Professor Dario Maestripieri.

Now I have met enough academics who have been misquoted in the press to treat quotes with some suspicion. However, what is important is that this study DOES NOT show that gender differences in financial risk aversion have a biological basis. Even if the methodology was perfect it is still a small study on a select group of individuals who are members of an elite in a Western capitalist society. That is a long way from establishing a ‘biological basis’ for individual attitudes and behaviours.

This also feeds into the argument that women are not making it into top financial or commercial sector jobs because they are risk averse and non-competitive: only women with unusual ‘male hormones’ can make it to the top and the fact that men are over-represented is “natural”. This is wildly reductionist. There are huge environmental and social determinants of managing and evaluating risk and humans are notoriously bad at doing it.

So sorry to those who had hoped that scientists had found a bunch of sex-fiend, testosterone-fuelled women (you know who you are), you’ll probably find they’re too smart to be working in finance.

Thanks to the ever-wonderful Dr Petra for the tip-off on this.

Aug 11 2009

Mitchell and Webb on lady adverts

OK, apologies for being quiet on the ol’ blogging recently. But I’ve been moving flat. Here’s something to make up for it…

Aug 2 2009

How to get your project in the news around the world: say that women are a bit crap at something

[Hunter from Neverwhere. Female]

This is one of the worst articles on gender and brains I’ve seen in a long time. A piece was written by an AFP agency journalist, has been cut n’ pasted into news sites across the globe. As far as I can tell, its only appeared in The Telegraph in the UK, but has made it to Russia, India, Spain, Australia, Japan and Playboy (and many many more).

It is a terribly written article about a yet-unpublished paper on a study of 48 people by an A Level teacher.

Now, I’m not being dismissive about the researcher from Hammersmith and West London College, but this study has got more coverage than most research from the most eminent professors in the country.

The article gives the impression that men are better at judging distances than women and that this is because of our hunter-gatherer past. Men would hunt and therefore have to throw spears long distances, women would gather berries and whatnot at close quarters. (And yes before all the archaeologists and anthropologists start jumping up and down on me, I know this is simplistic rubbish too, but that’s another story).

Firstly, men being better at judging distances than women wasn’t really the finding of the ‘paper’ (i.e. what was contained in the abstract of the yet to be published paper). The article in fact contradicts itself internally:

Men were more accurate than women when the target was placed far away at a distance of 100cm.

And then

In a second study, volunteers were asked to carry out the same tasks using a stick rather than a laser pointer. This time women were significantly better than men at judging both distances.

Secondly, this is a study of just 48 people (24 men, 24 women) presumably from one locality (probably Hammersmith or West London) and unlikely to have been controlled for other factors (age, occupation, experience of archery etc). But I don’t know, and nor does anyone else, because the paper hasn’t been published.

Thirdly, in a study about spacial awareness, comparing abilities over 50cms to 1m is fair enough. To define it as hand-reach (near space) and beyond hand-reach (far space) is clear. But leap from 1 metre being called ‘far space’ to the distance over which a ‘hunter’ would throw a spear at a mammoth, is more than a little ridiculous.

Fourthly, as a psychology experiment on visomotor performance why is there an urge to link this randomly and in an ill-informed way to primitive human society and evolutionary biology?

But lastly, this is an experiment conducted at a further education college which is about to be published in the Journal of Psychology. My problem is not with Stancey, seriously well done (as long as you take from this experience the media manipulation of science and how best to give comment to a journalist).

My problem is with a media that doesn’t check its facts, that doesn’t do anything but cut n’ paste a poorly written article into their newspaper. Stancey is quoted as “Psychologist Helen Stancey, from Hammersmith and West London College”. Googling Hammersmith and West London College you realise it is a further education college that runs A Levels, BTECs and the like.

So how does this happen? We live in a world of lazy gender stereotypes: women can’t read maps, men take risks, girls like pink etc. When ‘science’ journalists come across a crappy story about women not being able to judge distances (which cognitively signifies women not being able to drive/play sports/walk past a shoe shop…) because they ‘were gatherers’, it makes culturally sense to us. Not scientific sense, but it fits in with society’s general assumptions, stereotypes and bullshit common-sense.

This is why I think these kinds of reports are so damaging, they serve as the wallpaper of patriarchy. The constant mundane assumptions about male and female differences that support gender inequality.

And for the record, I’m a dab hand at archery.

Jul 29 2009

Women and Open Source. Again

Sorry for doing women and open source software AGAIN (also here). But the principles are important people!

Anyway, here’s a presentation from a female developer on some women-friendly projects. There’s also some good tips on including women in your projects. The main one I’d like to pick out is:

Call people on their crap.
If someone’s being an asshole, call them on their crap. How do you tell if someone’s being an asshole? Well, if there’s a naked woman on the projector screen, that’s a good sign.

Let them know that their behaviour is making people feel unwelcome, and that you don’t like it.

Pay attention.
Pay attention to your own behaviour and the behaviour of others. This is possibly the hardest piece of advice I’m going to give. You’re not used to noticing this stuff. 80% of you haven’t noticed the sexism in our [OSS] community.

As men, you are able to glide through life ignoring these things. If you are white, and straight, and speak English, and are university educated, there are a bunch of other things you’ve been able to ignore so far, too. I’m asking you to try not to ignore them. Keep your eyes and ears open and be aware of how things feel to people who don’t share your privilege.

Just saying.