Open source outreach for women and other gender variant people

If you’re interested in getting involved in open source, but don’t know where to begin, consider applying for OPW. OPW internships are paid, full-time, and allow you to work from home (there is also funding for potential travel to visit your sponsoring organization for a short period of time). OPW is inclusive: all women, including cis women and trans women; as well as anybody who was assigned female at birth; and anybody who identifies as genderqueer, genderfree, or genderfluid (regardless of the sex they were assigned at birth) are encouraged to apply. OPW is open to students and non-students alike (as long as you’re 18 years old or older as of December 10, 2013) and is open to people with any level of computing or software experience, so long as they’re relative newcomers to open-source development.

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All hallows eve

Tonight we are told, the walls between the worlds draw close. Tonight I remember the dead. My ancestors, both in blood and in spirit.

I remember that my family were forced half way around the world to the land I call my home. I remember that they dispossessed and killed those they replaced.

I work in a field where one of the founders was the Professor of Eugenics, a man who in 1933 fought for his departments continued existence. I remember him when I hear people who say that others would not exist in their utopia.

Today my job involved reading the details of people at the height of the AIDS epidemic, case file after case file, people who mostly carry more than one label, more than one nice tick boxed risk factor. People breaking though the taxonomy of a government filing system.

Its all drawn together for me, all parts of a whole.

Today I remember the dead. Today I draw my children near, I tell them, we are beautiful monsters, there is evil out their, evil that would rather we died than kept breathing and tonight we hold each other, tonight we keep breathing. Tonight they don’t get that.

With thanks to little light.

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There is value in truth.

There is a tweet account @injusticefacts, and I think they are doing harm. I was having this conversation on twitter but I need to say things which are longer than twitter allows for, I should mention that I am writing this at 1pm ish on 4/7/2013 Sydney time, so the stuff I am referencing is from around then. I am not digging back to find the one time they messed up, I am talking about a convenience sample of now.


There are probably some facts in injustice facts stream, stopped clocks and all that, but the problem is that a lot of it is myth and old wives tails and because they provide no citations it is impossible tell which is which. I often ask for citations on the internet. I am not actually trolling, I want to understand the context. I want to be able to talk about it knowing that when I am challenged I can point back to something firmer than the internet.


And that is why, in the middle of reading about what can go wrong with surveys[1] when someone tweeted “A survey of Fox News viewers has found that 82% of them think that Palestinians spend more on weapons than Israel.” Well done Rupert


I thought it would be cool to see the survey, see how it was done, look at how it held up to the theory I am currently very sick of reading. Why do you think I was on twitter?


Look, I am a leftie, I hope that doesn’t come as a shock to anyone. I hold political views because I think they are correct, factual, based on the best way to run a society of humans. I think everyone who holds strong political views feels that they are correct, factual and based on the best way to run a society of humans, and because I believe this I hate people “on my side” post unverifiable bullshit, and people who I actually like retweet it. To try and find these facts I can basically only google them and see if I can find something that doesn’t refer back to the original tweet. For that reason I have chosen tweets with numbers or other things that might make it easier to find a source, if you know a source please comment and I will edit the post to add that source, I would love to be proved wrong here.


So some recently posted facts


“The average Indian billionaire has 27 bodyguards and 6 armored cars, far more than mafia bosses, far more than Mexican drug lords.”


Well, firstly we have a problem of definition, are we talking about US dollars or in ruplies if it is US dollars, this website suggest that in 2011 there where 55 billionaires in India, which is a pretty small number, all you need is to have one armed car and body guard collector to throw the whole thing out, I jest but the point still stands.


As a thought experiment there are 168 hours in a week, which is 4.2 40 hour weeks, so if you had around the clock guarding, because you had good reason to fear kidnap and hostage taking, being a billionaire in a country with many poor, that gives you 6.4 body guards on any one shift, so yeah, two body guards with the husband, two with the wife, and two with the kids, if you round down. There are apparently 3000 members of the Special protection group which protects senior officials of the Indian government, about double the number who are apparently protecting Indians billionaires.


Googling 27 bodyguards doesn’t get me much, articles about Putin’s bodyguard written on the 27th or march, episode 27 of bodyguards and so on, the search 27 bodyguards Indian billionaire gets me back to injustice facts but not to anything that would seem to be an original source. It is hard to prove a negative, I can’t prove this “fact” isn’t a fact but I can’t find a citation for it.


87% of executive bankers say that the crisis was caused by the poorest 50% of Americans.(The poorest 50% own only 1% of the US’s assets.)


The bottom 50% having 1% of assets seems about right, if these numbers are to be believed but as for the main claim I can’t find a source for it.


I can’t prove these claims are wrong, some of them are probably right, but repeating these arguments weakens our point, weakens our ability prove our points. The people who manufacturer electronics in china face horrible conditions, but well meaning lies makes it harder to get attention for their future claims.


[1] Elementary survey sampling – R. L. Scheaffer

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Marigras or am I just fooling myself

A couple of years back I marched at martigras, this year I am not sure if I will go.


When I marched it was under the banner of “The transexual empire strikes back” it was a mix of trans people and sex workers, marching together with joy and strength and the heaviness of knowing those who you would have liked to think where your allies would rather you stopped existing.


The banner we marched under was a play on a book written by Janice Raymond who claimed that trans men didn’t matter, as they where too rare to count, and that trans women where secret agents, created by the patriarchy to work against feminism. She is a feminist who has written in favour of criminalising the sex trade and making it harder for sex workers to earn their living. As one women put it “We want to save you! And if you don’t appreciate it you will be punished!”.


I guess what I am trying to spin here is a celebration of survival, am I romanticising, oh hell yes, but there was something there.


Over lunch two of my coworkers, north shore types who I am pretty damn sure are straight talked about their plans to go to marigras and perve on the butch conventionally attractive men. I feel like there should be space for all of us, but I wonder if their marigras can be mine? I want to tie these two stories together, I want something that unites these feelings I want to craft a story about gentrification, but I suspect it really wasn’t any different a couple of years back, just the people I knew then gave me that sense of community rather than it ever really existed.


Can we be the heroes of our own stories, finding our place, finding community and be free porn for straight girls? I don’t know how.


Not that I am any risk of being porn for straight girls any time soon.

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Better boundaries though spoon management

I am unwell, I believe the clinical diagnosis is fucking crazy, this means that I am managing spoons as I fundamentally do not have enough for all the things I promised to do, like talking at a conference, or either of my jobs, so basically if you are not, one of my friends, my job or my conference talk you don’t get any of my spoons, I need them.

Unfortunately I am an outspoken angry trans person on the internet, and I called some jerk who harassed a trans women friend of mine cis scum I think many of my readers can sing along with what happened next.

  • What if I used trans scum

    – Well you would have to get in line, because lots of people are waiting to tell me that already

  • You are scarring away allies

    – Oh noes, not the allies who consider my humanity dependent on my niceness, whatever would I do without them

  • You are just classing me with arseholes, some cis people are nice

    -Yes, and I consider not telling angry people to carm down and be nicer a virtue, but that is just me, I don’t particularly like “nice”

And on and on and on.

You know what, I don’t care, I mean I did for a little while and then I remembered, this person is clearly not a friend, she claims to be a trans ally, but I assume she is an ally to some other trans people, not me. She isn’t is my work, and she isn’t my conference talk, and I have this handy dandy ignore button.

You know, I could get use to this.

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Quick hit: People who speak truth to power become targets

I couldn’t do what Tobi does, I supported her kickstarter because I think it is a really great project, but also because I know that kind of exposure doesn’t come for free.

There is harressment, and threats, I could never live with that, I hide behind fake names, with a 9-5 job with normal people I am closeted to.


Tobi is helping our community, and she is doing things I couldn’t do, and that is reason enough to support her, even if I didn’t think this project was going to be fucking cool

And the project sounds fucking cool.

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Pledge up for non binary representation

So those who follow me on twitter may already have seen me going on about the wonderful kickstarter project Doing it again in depth if you haven’t then here is a bit from the blurb

Stereotypes and prejudices around trans women’s sexuality influence public policy, access to healthcare, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, “trans-panic” defenses in murder trials, and so much more.  Trans women are alternately portrayed as hypersexual, deceptive and predatory, or portrayed as desexualized and pathetic. The goal of this project is to create depictions of real humanity and allow trans women to take control over how their sexuality is portrayed.

The project has two DVD volumes, one featuring trans women with male partners and one with female partners,(Edit: sorry it’s one with cis partners and one with trans partners) there is a 15K stretch goal to create a third volume on genderqueer trans women and trans women with genderqueer and non binary partners, I am super keen to make this happen, so I said on the comments that I would up my pledge if the 15k goal looked close, a couple of others did to, and I am setting up this post as a place for others to pledge up too.

Here is mine:

If the 15K goal is close I will move my pledge up to 250

Want to join me? Please do! Leave your pledge in the comments.

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