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Make everything better for everyone: Feminism for 2012

December 2011: I'm working at IndyHall and I start chatting about tech culture with my pod-mate (meaning our desks touch) for the day. Now, I love IndyHall, but I was talking about how I wished the culture would feel .. different. The crowd often has a "bro" feel, and while it seems most members are involved in tech, many of the women members aren't.

Which leads to the eternal question: What are you going to do about it?

How do you articulate that something just doesn't feel┬áright? There's a reason that Friedan termed "the problem that has no name". And it hit me –

The essence of feminism today is making everything better for everyone – welcome the new people, keep the regulars/experienced involved, and most of all, introduce everyone to everyone.


When I realized this, I (happily) found that I'm already on track for doing just this kind of thing. I organize events with Girl Geek Dinners Philly (join us!), I teach/assist/love GirlDevelopIT Philly (learn from us!), and I'm pondering volunteering with a women's cycling group.

Maybe you're thinking "That's not feminism!" Well … it is for me. The best way to make things better for women and marginalized peoples is to make everything better for everyone. Make it more open. Make it more accessible. Make people happy. That's my kind of feminism.

4 Replies to “Make everything better for everyone: Feminism for 2012”

  1. “Maybe you’re thinking “That’s not feminism!””…no way. in my (admittedly undergrad) understanding, that is totally feminism. i love this post. it’s an articulation of second wave ideals adjusted for progress so far. many, many important legal and economic imbalances are and have been overcome. maybe not all or even most, but i’d think we are getting to the point where establishing strong, diverse and welcoming networks will give momentum enough to establish *truly* even playing field. well said.

  2. From your other article:”Because if we want to make everything better for everyone, you have to give people some slack.”No, if we want to make everything better for everyone, we have to treat everyone like everyone else. Women aren’t retards or any less capable of understanding tech/programming than men, it’s all about what REALLY matters in your life. Making women feel like they’re accepted in the tech industry is not going to happen by any kind of “special user group” or kickstarter fund or someone making a blog post. It’s going to happen when women realize that this is a meritocracy, and the people that go places in this industry are the people who have made great things.

  3. @tubbo the white male always pulls the meritocracy argument in the face of all the data about women and minorities that contradicts it.It’s nice to think we earned our place. It makes us feel like it was fair. Um, no I’m pretty sure I’m damn lucky to be white, male, 5’10 without a giant rash on my face born in the Northeast of the United States.

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