Boing Boing 

The Other Half of the Sky: praise-winning space opera with strong women heroes

Laura Mixon (AKA Morgan Locke) writes, "Check out The Other Half of the Sky, a 2013 anthology of original short stories edited by PhD biologist and author Athena Andreadis, co-edited by Kay Holt of Crossed Genres. It has come out of left field to take science fiction by storm. My own take: I loved this book. Readers hungry for women heroes will gobble up these exciting, original space opera tales with a spoon."

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Supporting a son who wants to wear pink shoes


Todd, who made an appearance here last year, pondering how to support his little boy who'd been scared off wearing pink; now he's back with the latest chapter in his son's life.

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Death threats drive Anita Sarkeesian from her home


Anita Sarkeesian, whose excellent Tropes vs Women in Video Games series is an important contribution to the discussion of gender and games, has been driven from her home by enraged male gamers whose stalking, and explicit, credible threats of sexual violence against her and her family convinced her to go into hiding.

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Snappy response to sexist harrasser


Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu is a game developer and a frequent writer about gender issues in tech. As such, she frequently receives harassing, unpleasant emails. She got pissed off and wrote an awesome response to one here."

I got a harassing email today, and decided to respond with this letter. (Thanks, Frank!)

How games' lazy storytelling uses rape and violence against women as wallpaper

Anna Sarkeesian's brilliant, crowdfunded Tropes vs Women in Video Games web-series (previously) has a new episode, Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 [TW: rape, sexual violence, violence], which expertly dissects the use of violence against women, especially sexual violence as a lazy means of establishing skimpy motivations for player characters to hunt down the baddies.

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Fark prohibits misogyny in new addition to moderator guidelines

Drew from FARK: "the FArQ will be updated with new rules reminding you all that we don't want to be the He Man Woman Hater's Club. This represents enough of a departure from pretty much how every other large internet community operates that I figure an announcement is necessary."

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Making no apologies for Potterotica

Brenna Twohy performs "Fantastic Breasts and Where To Find Them" [NSFW], a witty, epic rant about erotic Harry Potter fanfic and sexual politics.

WWII's VD posters: exciting nexus of propaganda, Mad Men, gender and design


Ryan Mungia's Protect Yourself: Venereal Disease Posters of World War II uncovers many obscure propaganda posters that were, once upon a time, just as popular as the iconic "We Can Do It!" woman.

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Why you have to make your own rules for love and sex

Author Sarah Mirk never tells readers what they should do in bed, writes Glenn Fleishman, only what they might do.

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SDCC and gender: Bechdel Testing Comic-Con

Dave writes, "This year, for its annual Comic-Con issue, San Diego Citybeat views the convention through the lens of the Bechdel Test. The altweekly is free on stands throughout the city."

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When all the jobs belong to robots, do we still need jobs?


Zeynep Tufekci's scathing response to the establishment consensus that tech will create new jobs to replace the ones we've automated away makes a lot of good points.

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Anatomically correct bra and panties


Why Are You So Afraid Of Your Own Anatomy? is Eleanor Beth Haswell's senior art project, a feminist fashion intervention.

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3D printed Barbie armor


$30 gets you printable STL files for three suits of Barbie armor -- you'll need your own printer (or use one at your local makerspace).

Google's badass "Security Princess" profiled


Parisa Tabriz 's title at Google is "Security Princess" -- meaning that she runs the adversarial internal team tasked with continuously testing and probing Google's security to find flaws before the enemy does.

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Barbie-head-filled wedges


Even if you've got $265 to spend on a pair of wedges whose hollow soles are filled with doll-heads, you're out of luck. They're sold out. (via Neatorama)

Supreme Court ruling creates urgent need for abortion clinic escorts


The Supreme Court has struck down a Massachusetts law establishing a "buffer zone" around abortion clinics, defining an area in which anti-choice protesters may not harass women who visit clinics. An important Metafilter post by Anotherpanacea points up the urgent need for more clinic escorts to help women through the gauntlet (I used to do clinic defense in Toronto's Morgantaler Clinic, which was later bombed by anti-choice terrorists).

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Bikini top that looks like bare breasts


The $28 Tata Top is a bikini top with nipples situated to suggest that the wearer is topless (should the wearer have skin color that matches the top, of course!). It's a pretty effective illusion, at least for the model used in the publicity photos, and the maker suggests it's a way to challenge discriminatory laws that hold that bare chested women in public are damaging to the social fabric, while men are able to wear as much or as little above the waist as they choose.

(via Crazy Abalone)

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Online roundtable on the works of Octavia Butler

The Hooded Utilitarian is hosting an online roundtable on the work of Octavia Butler, one of science fiction's greatest writers, and also one of the first women of color to attain widespread recognition in the field. The initial installment, from Qiana Whitted, is a challenging, sharply critical essay about the ways that Butler's work (including Fledgling, a book I very much liked) literally nauseated the writer, and what that says about both Butler and her critics.

Ugliness, Empathy, and Octavia Butler (Thanks, Noah!)

(Image: Leslie Howle)

Dainty feminine portraits (with assorted weapons)


Danny Galieote's series of vivid paintings of feminine figures with fists and weapons clenched behind their backs is extremely satisfying. Something about the savage strength and defensive might lurking beneath the pinafores and bows. He's currently exhibiting a one-man show of recent works (including these) at the Arcadia Contemporary in NYC.

Vancouver school-board adds genderless pronoun

Xe, xem, xyr are the new preferred pronouns for transgendered students in the Vancouver school system. Although the National Post is skeptical that this attempt to add a nongendered pronoun to English is doomed -- based largely on the fact that every other attempt has failed abominably -- the VSB's manager of social responsibility and diversity reminds us that not so long ago, no one said "firefighter" while today, "fireman" fairly clangs on the ear.

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Women in Video Games: women as background decoration

Anita Sarkeesian has posted Women as Background Decoration: Part 1, the latest installment in her Feminist Frequency Tropes vs Women in Video Games critical video series. Gamers are insanely (and I mean that literally) threatened by Sarkeesian's analysis, which is carefully and closely argued, and backed by solid scholarly research.

Every one of her interventions, starting with her original kickstarter, has been met with vicious, violent smear campaigns that contain some of the most stomach-churning overt misogyny you're likely to find this side of a mass-murderer's manifesto.

If you don't believe me, just hang out in the comments for this post, which will shortly be filling up with dudes mansplaining why Sarkeesian is a con artist, why games whose story rewards players for murdering prostitutes are only jokey-jokes, why feminism is a giant lih-buh-rul plot, and so forth. As the husband of a retired nationally ranked pro gamer and the father of a daughter (and as a human being), these guys scare and depress the shit out of me.

Women as Background Decoration: Part 1 (via Metafilter)

bell hooks feminist auto-responder for creepy guys

If a creepy dude is insistently demanding your phone number and you want to get rid of him with style, why not give him feminist phone intervention number (+l-669-221-6251). If you call or text that number, you'll get a canned response taken from the work of writer/activist bell hooks, such as "If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency." The hotline also seeks your donations to cover its operational expenses. (via The Hairpin)

(Image: bell hooks, Cmon Girl, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Zombie Disney princesses


Tumblr's Zombie Disney Princess tag is a rich seam of transgressive, gruesome, wonderful (and thoroughly unauthorized) creativity (above: Leimanaang). The stylistic variation is what (metaphorically) kills me here -- who'd have thought that there were so many different ways to zombify the Disney princess pantheon, each one so clearly perfect and yet so different from all the others?

Zombie Disney Princess (via Sean Bonner)

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How to stop hurting -- and start helping -- women in games

Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu gave this awesome talk at AltConf a couple days ago about sexism in the gaming industry. No punches pulled. Discussions of all the %$#@ girls have to put up with just to do their jobs, and what we all can do to help."

How Wikipedia can become a no-asshole-zone

Sumana writes, "I gave the opening keynote address at Wiki Conference USA last weekend, and told Wikipedians what needs to change to make the site friendlier and more hospitable. I mixed in wisdom from John Scalzi, XKCD, Hacker School, and the Ada Initiative. The transcript and a thirty-minute audio recording (Ogg) are now up."

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Kickstarting a kids' picture book about girls and science by Zack "SMBC" Smith

Zach Weinersmith, creator of the wonderful Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and the Kickstarter-record-busting Trial of the Clone choose-your-own-adventure is unstoppable: he's kickstarting Augie and the Green Knight: A Children's Adventure Book , a girl-positive kids' picture book about science. $25 gets you the book and the ebook (I bought in!).

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Women who'd never seen their vulvas given a mirror and a modesty screen

Women who'd never seen their vulvas were offered a modesty screen and a hand mirror and given the chance to have a peek. They liked what they saw, and were sweetly affirmed by it. (via Dan Hon)

Transgender tipping point: Laverne Cox on the cover of TIME

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This TIME cover story, the first to feature a transgender person, is a very big deal. Not just for trans folks, but for all of us.

As the headline suggests, it's a tipping point in the acceptance of gender diversity, and respect for all human beings.

Also Laverne Cox is awesome and talented and an amazing activist and looks totally fabulous.

Here's a TIME video interview.

If you haven't already watched 'Orange is the New Black,' get on it with Season 1.

Portraits of asexual people

Worth checking out: this photojournalism project about people who identify as asexual.

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Feminism and tech: an overdue and welcome manifesto


Alan writes, "A group of nine women involved in the tech industry have posted a manifesto listing some of the awful sexist things that have happened in tech during the past few months. The women frame this as a simple statement: 'we really just want to work on what we love.' But the reality of the industry and the societies in which we do our tech work make this far from simple."

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