Kickstarting a new feminist bicycle science fiction: this one's about dragons!

Elly Blue has kickstarted a series of successful feminist bicycle science fiction anthologies; her latest is Dragon Bike: Fantastical feminist bicycle stories, for which she is seeking $6,000 ($10 gets you an ebook, $13 gets you a printed book, $15 gets you a book and a poster). Read the rest

Mattel launches line of "gender inclusive" dolls

Mattel, makers of Barbie and many other toys, has launched "Creatable World," a line of $30 customizable dolls with "extensive wardrobe options, accessories and wigs allow kids to style the doll with short or long hair, or in a skirt, pants, or both."

“Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, said in a statement. “Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely which is why it resonates so strongly with them. We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”

Creatable World dolls (Amazon)

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45 Google whistleblowers tell tales of workplace retaliation after reporting abuse

A leaked document co-written by 45 googlers and reported on by Motherboard details how each was subjected to illegal workplace retaliation after reporting abuse by co-workers or superiors. Read the rest

Tolkien’s Lobelia Sackville-Baggins is probably a misogynist satire of women's rights campaigner Victoria Sackville-West

Lobelia Sackville-Baggins is a Lord of the Rings Hobbit, one of the few, rare female characters in that series, and she's a nasty piece of work: a bitter enemy of Frodo and Bilbo, she is mostly depicted trying to either steal their stuff or buy it at deep discounts from them: she ends her days first imprisoned and starved, and then dead shortly after she's sprung. Read the rest

This is your smartphone on feminism

Maria Farrell admits that comparing smartphones to abusive men (they try to keep you from friends and family, they make it hard to study or go to work, they constantly follow you and check up on you) might seem to trivialize domestic partner violence, but, as she points out, feminists have long been pointing out both the literal and metaphorical ways in which tech replicates misogyny. Read the rest

Majority of period-tracking app share incredibly sensitive data with Facebook and bottom-feeding analytics companies

It has been 0 days since Facebook's last privacy scandal. Read the rest

Should they rename the Tiptree Award, too?

Mitch Wagner writes, "Alice Sheldon, who wrote brilliant science fiction under the pseudonym James Tiptree Jr., killed her husband and herself in 1987. The volunteers who administer the Tiptree Award literary prize now face pressure to change its name."

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Gaming's #MeToo moment: male fragility versus women's fundamental rights

The latest turn in the Gamergate sage: Zoe Quinn (previously) outed their former partner, game dev Alec Holowka as a sexual and emotional abuser, which prompted others to come forward with their own stories of abuse at Holowka's hands, which led to Holowka being kicked out of his Night in the Woods game project -- and shortly thereafter, Holowka committed suicide. Read the rest

Survey: Self-identified "pro lifers" are generally contemptuous of women

Supermajority's Gender Equality, the Status of Women and the 2020 Elections surveys likely 2020 voters (N=1912), finds a strong correlation between opposition and broad misogynistic beliefs, such as opposition to the idea that women and men should hold an equal number of positions of power; opposition to the #MeToo movement; a disbelief in the idea that access to birth control affects women's power in society (likewise, skepticism that the lack of woman role models in powerful positions is significant). Read the rest

Survey finds high levels of harassment in multiplayer games, as well as white supremacist recruiting attempts

The ADL surveyed 1,045 US adult gamers (oversampling Jewish, Muslim, African American and Hispanic/Latinx individuals) and asked them about their experiences in multiplayer games: on the one hand, they found that playing these social games brought many benefits: friendship, support, fun, connection and romance; on the other hand, they found that a very high proportion of gamers experienced harassment of varying kinds, that many players had quit games because of harassment, and that some games were home to much more harassment than others. Read the rest

Women are much more likely to be injured in car crashes, probably because crash-test dummies are mostly male-shaped

Women wearing seatbelts are 73% more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a car crash than men in seatbelts, and while it's not entirely certain why this is, it's a pretty good bet that sampling bias in crash-testing is to blame. Read the rest

Appeals court orders unsealing of the Jeffrey Epstein files

More than a decade ago, a federal prosecutor named Alexander Acosta set up a secret sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy, Trump-connected admitted multiple rapist of underaged teen girls who was thought to be running a trafficking ring for wealthy, well-connected sexual predators, that saw Epstein serving only 13 months in a minimum security facility, on a work-release program that let him spend most of that time out of a cell. Read the rest

Why is the American Medical Association finally weighing to oppose anti-abortion bills

In the late 1800s, the American Medical Association invented the anti-abortion movement, but over time, its ceased to advocate on either side of the debate -- until a bizarre 1997 statement supporting a GOP bill banning late-stage abortions (later revealed to be a "blunder" on the part of the trustees), after which the group returned to silence. Read the rest

Man-Eaters Volume Two: Fleshing out the world where girls turn into lethal werepanthers when they get their periods

Volume One of Man-Eaters, Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk's scathing, hilarious, brilliant comic about girls who turn into man-eating werepanthers when they get their periods, is the best comic I read in 2019, and Volume Two, just published by Image comics, continues the brilliance with a set of design-fiction-y fake ads and other collateral that straddle the line between a serious piece of science fictional world-building and Switfian satire. Read the rest

The ENIAC Programmers: how women invented modern programming and were then written out of the history books

Kathy Kleiman, founder of the ENIAC Programmers Project, writes about the buried history of the pivotal role played by women in the creation of modern computing, a history that is generally recounted as consisting of men making heroic technical and intellectual leaps while women did some mostly simple, mechanical work around the periphery. Read the rest

Wonderful profile of Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist games critic who made an army of shitty manbabies very, very upset

Anita Sarkeesian (previously) is a brilliant media theorist and critic whose Feminist Frequency/Tropes vs. Women in Video Games projects revolutionized the way we talk about gender and games -- and also made her a target for a virulent misogynist hate-machine of harassing manbabies who threatened her life, doxed her, and did everything they could to intimidate her into silence. Read the rest

The best Joker is the woman Joker who snaps after a lifetime of being told to "smile, baby" by shitty men

Last week, Geraldine DeRuiter tweeted a short, sharp alternate character arc for The Joker: "The Joker should have been a woman. And she finally went insane because too many random dudes told her to smile, so now she perpetually smiles while terrorizing Gotham." Read the rest

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