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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Saturday, June 24th, 2017 11:24 am
*taps mic* is this thing still on?

Two things
  1. I'm gonna need to vent for a few days (weeks?) until I stop having all these feelings
  2. This was SO MUCH LESS HORRIBLE because I had support and advice and information so I am paying it forward.
In brief: I went to a tech conference, I got a call in my hotel room on my hotel phone at 11pm from a man with an American accent who said he’d been watching me, it looked like I was having fun in my hotel room, and how about he join me in my hotel room. I declined and hung up. My chat group validated my initial horrified reaction and supported me through calling hotel security, getting my room changed, and his eventual discovery and expulsion from the hotel.

On stalking: It is never OK to do this kind of thing, it is not funny, it is not sexy. It made me feel unsafe. It meant the next day, until he was gone, that I second-guessed every interaction at that conference (of which men were probably 90% of the attendees) and wasted a lot of energy managing anxiety when I could have been benefiting from that very expensive conference ticket. I’m probably going to be having feelings about this for a long time.

On social networks: I was too busy being half awake and alarmed to have an effective response when this happened. It took time to process, it was my social network who prompted me through calling security and requesting the room change, I asked for my conference ID badge to be redacted on my own, but it took a few hours before I was thinking strategically and not just feeling overwhelmed. They validated my feelings, made me feel like it was OK to ask for what I needed, and meant I never felt alone.


Treasure the good people you meet in your life, nurture those relationships and share your strength when you can.

On scripts: Being prepared, having a response, knowing what I could say or do or expect can make a huge difference to my emotional well being, and to how I choose to act. It enables me to act rather than freeze up in difficult situations, it means I can protect myself, and it means I can stand up for myself and others.

My proposed future Script
  1. Complain to hotel security, that’s what they are for
  2. Request a room change, a different room when someone creepy knows where you are is A Good Thing.
  3. Complain to the police - I am sad I did not do this, awful!person could have been going home with a police record that might contribute to a future someone’s safety.
This is gonna work better from some humans than others, I’m going to wield being a white woman-ish person as hard as I can given it’s what I have to work with.

On positive action: One of my coping strategies is to try and find a positive action I can do, it helps me channel fear and anger into something that generates better feelings, and makes me feel less helpless when faced with something awful. My positive actions for this event are:
  • To share this with you; may this be in some way useful or empowering for you
  • To inoculate my workplace (via complaining about this a lot) in order to a) share my script with female coworkers and b) let my male coworkers know this is not OK and has consequences.
  • To reflect on how lucky I am to have such excellent support networks, that there were responsive hotel staff, and supportive conference staff
Chat transcript )

Gah. The End.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Monday, June 17th, 2013 06:03 am
A nifty site that answers the question:

<input ... > collaborated with or otherwise supported Roman Polanski.

Thank you, I needed that and will use it.

Oh ugh.


One or more people who worked on Iron Man 3 have either collaborated with Roman Polanski or publicly expressed support for him.

Ben Kingsley (The Mandarin)

samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Friday, May 31st, 2013 08:50 am
Damsel in Distress (Part 2) Tropes vs Women is out and is just as articulate and interesting as Part 1.

Note: TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains a handful of graphic scenes involving violence against women.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 08:57 am
Part of me is sad it took me this many years to get the hang of it. The rest of me is just pleased I’ve had the experience of being able to deal with it with kindness, and no lingering unhappy feelings on my part (my main goal).

I have found – through a lot of (unwilling) experimentation – that ignoring is not fruitful, humour or retaliation escalates, and angry responses express how I feel, but have no positive impact on the other person. Worse, since their goal is to enrage me and enjoy it, I have helped them with their goal and reinforced their awful behavior.

This time though, this time I was calm and safe (enough) that I could make eye contact and say hey, that feels like fun for you, but when you taunt someone to make them angry it’s called bullying. I am lucky that this was enough to dissolve the situation and for the first time when it was over I wasn’t still left vibrating with helpless rage.

This has been a work in progress for what feels like my whole life. I grew up in a household where it was normal and ‘hilarious’ to poke people with sharp verbal sticks. I then moved on to a ‘witty’ social group at university where scoring points for being verbally sharp was a marker of social status. I’ve since selected for people whose sense of humour is not cruelty based and who value kindness over verbal social competition. It’s taken me years to build that community and I still have certain… instincts shall we say both in attack and defense. I am trying to learn how to let them go.

I owe a lot to the people who have loved me and made it possible to be safe without constant verbal self-defense. [personal profile] transcendancing  for example is profoundly skilled in this area and her delicacy and care have patched parts of my soul. [personal profile] maharetr  is a constant, gentle presence whose openness to dialogue I am grateful for every day. *beams* [personal profile] chaosmanor  and [personal profile] cupidsbow  who form the rest of my household are also profoundly safe people, meaning my home is not just hilarious and full of robots, but is also a haven. I'm also incredibly lucky in that my father has grown into a person who is profoundly kind and gentle, I did not expect it.

An excellent resource for describing the feminist-baiting dynamic is The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck which identifies it clearly as bullying – a word that now carries considerable weight in work environments I have been in, and am now part of.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 08:25 am
Gillard labels Abbott a misogynist

Julia Gillard has used a call by Tony Abbott for the Government to remove Peter Slipper as Speaker to attack the Opposition Leader for hypocrisy, labelling him a misogynist.

samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 07:49 am
Totally worth crossing Australia for. Open Space facilitation style where we set the topics as our first activity then broke out into discussion groups for the day punctuated by food and other, less formal conversations.

It was lovely to be surrounded by interested people with similar (and yet wildly varied) backgrounds and to hear their thoughts.

Of the sessions I attended we talked about
  • Volunteer burnout (conscious molding of organisational culture so important, clearly defined roles, balanced task design, being a culture that allows people to say no)
  • Imposter syndrome (techniques for managing, importance of support networks and being open about it both as a management technique and as awareness raising)
  • Pathways into open source for women (as many pathways as there are women in tech it seems)
  • Open everything - Source, Culture, Technology, Government, Data etc. (similarities, philosophies)
  • Role/task hierarchy in open source - this was interesting because I'm used to woman-majority open source and I experience a tendency to value some tasks over other tasks eg, coders over documenters in terms of status. I was unsurprised to hear people confirming that these are also gendered divisions.
  • and two other sessions that I can't remember right now because it has all blurred in my brain
Many thanks to Val and Mary for organising.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 01:05 pm
I finally got around to making a donation - if this is your kind of thing you might want to do the same.

We work to increase the participation of women in open technology and culture through education: raising awareness, writing simple HOWTO guides, teaching workshops for both men and women, and helping women learn concrete skills.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 12:37 pm
Going to Adacamp Melb 2012 on 14th January. YAY!

I am gonna meet people, and we're going to talk and it's going to be awesome. Work is being very nice about it and oh oh, I have to book plane tickets and and meep!
samvara: Photo of a fox looking thoughtful and text "Someone should do something... Oh... I'm someone" (Do something)
Friday, November 18th, 2011 08:20 am
are a group I follow and they are asking for information.

Gender Audit of Not for Profit, Charitable and Community Sectors

Women are well represented within the workforce of nfp, charitable and community sector organisations. The community sector alone comprises around 85% women, which is a key factor in the equal pay case for community workers currently before Fair Work Australia. Yet we know very little about the gendered nature of senior management and their boards.

YWCA Australia, the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and Women on Boards (WOB) have developed a survey to remedy this lack of data across the sector.

The survey takes around 8 minutes to complete.

If you are on the board OR employed in the sector please assist by completing the survey.

Not being on a Board or currently employed in the sector I am unable to do so but if you happened to be on one, or know someone who might be interested... pass it on!
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, October 13th, 2011 08:16 am
Yeah so I went to read a G+ post while logged in to gmail and got the name warning thingie.

"We're sorry to see you leave! Please help us improve by telling us why you are leaving and what we can do better. This survey is optional but your feedback is much appreciated.

Please tell us why you're leaving: Characters remaining: 19 / 500

I am so uncomfortable with your 'legal name' policy that I am unable to use your service.
This has already been discussed extensively by people far more articulate than I, so I'm not sure what I can add to this debate.
There is no way I am going to use my (gendered) legal name to interact in public on any matter more significant than how I feel about the weather.
I experience your policy as an expression of male privilege and find it personally silencing.
Cheers, Me

samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 11:43 am
I am kind of stupidly in love with my work’s online induction program. It has small things like using women and men of all ages and races for examples, they also use names from all over the world. They have a section on whistle blowing - what it is and how it works and it gives examples of high profile cases and talks about how those people went on to be recognized, have successful careers and receive respect. I appreciate them making an effort to portray whistleblowing in a positive light.

And on that note, Kristy Fraser-Kirk of David Jones Sexual Harassment fame is apparently not employed yet but got offers in Australia and is looking in Singapore. It’s kind a test case in my mind – does a woman get to professionally survive that kind of experience?
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, May 19th, 2011 09:20 am
The use of 'guys'

I have the hardest time explaining this sometimes so I've experimented with graphical form - does this make sense to people?

ETA: Suggested alternatives include Gentlebeings, Folks, All, Everyone, People
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, June 24th, 2010 07:41 am
Prime Minister Gillard

...bloodless Parliament House coup.

ETA: We have a ranga PM! And, you know, the first female leader of Australia.
ETA: [livejournal.com profile] missyjack's lovely summary
samvara: Photo of a fox looking thoughtful and text "Someone should do something... Oh... I'm someone" (Do something)
Sunday, May 16th, 2010 12:05 pm
I’ve been holding off doing this, I don’t feel like I have any new to say but given the Wincon related discussion and an incident at work recently it seems better to speak than not to.

[personal profile] chaosmanor, [personal profile] transcendancing and [personal profile] callistra and myself have created a DW community to act as a home to further discussion after Safe Spaces at Cons 2010. [community profile] liminal_boundaries is where I (and others) will be posting.

My co-panellists and I propose to host discussions about anything and everything to do with boundaries, negotiating those boundaries, safe spaces, maintaining relationships and you know, anything else that crops up. Some stuff will be posted publicly, other stuff will be members only, so as to maintain a safe space for discussion.

You are invited and welcome to participate (or, you know, lurk if that's more your speed.) We ask that you treat topics and participants with respect and kindness, and that you bring with you a willingness to look within as well as without :)

I'll be posting (members only) semi-regular outlines of specific situations and inviting discussion. I'm interested in any scenarios people would like to propose for workshopping and can be contacted via DW messaging, comments or email me on black0samvara at gmail dot com.

Safe Spaces at Cons mp3, 56:08 mins & 51.4MB (right-click and save). A broad introduction to and discussion of social etiquette at fan conventions.
samvara: OTW logo with text "Accessiblity, Des (OTW - AD&T)
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 01:12 pm
Celebrating the fabulous (almost entirely female) coders of the AO3 for Ada Lovelace Day - celebrating the achievements of women in technology and science.

Read more... )

I call that an achievement :)
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Saturday, January 16th, 2010 11:11 pm
Last year Australia's 'biggest musical democracy' had a disappointing amount of female singer/songwriters represented.

This is your chance to help change that.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Saturday, January 16th, 2010 11:03 pm
I love our annual summer picnic in the park to see Shakespeare performed. No offence to Shakespeare WA who were doing a great job but I couldn't face watching Kate get tortured. [personal profile] maharetr, [personal profile] cupidsbow, grouchy and I left during the intermission. I'm crossing it off the list of plays I'm willing to see performed; it's a hideous paean to the physical and psychological abuse of women and I don't have the wherewithal to stay and bear it.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, November 12th, 2009 01:18 pm
Are technically expressions of praise, congratulations or encouragement and I'm all for developing the ability to respond to genuine offers with grace. It can however be a bit rough when you're being complimented for things you don't want to be complimented on because it puts you in the difficult position of kind of wanting to produce a gracious response while actually wanting to punch them. When does it stop being a gift and start being a poisoned apple?

I can tell you from past experience of being complimented on my skin then creepily touched (mid teens to mid 20's) that I have a mild aversion to personal compliments, and the not entirely unsubstantiated belief that sometimes we have very different agendas. I'm uncomfortable being complimented by a guy on my shoe choice in an MBA class. I'm not there to do the girl-boy dance, I'm there to use my brain. I want to be complimented on my humanity, or ethics, or leadership skills - or maybe for clear communication and quick thinking.

What do you want to be complimented on?