We change the world with millions of tiny patches... our world of open technology and culture is built one patch, one line, one edit at a time — and that’s precisely why it’s powerful. It brings billions of tiny, ordinary moments together to transform the world. If we teach it for our code, we can preach it for our giving. If you’d buy me a drink, or treat an open source newcomer to dinner, send that $3-$20 to the Ada Initiative tonight. --August 30, 2013
Why do we need to do this? Well, being a woman in open technology and culture is like riding a bike on a street made for cars, where rain and dirt get kicked into your face, and you are constantly, painfully aware that if you have any sort of collision with a car... the car will win. Yes, this is happening in our world, to our friends and to our colleagues; it's happened to me personally more times than I care to remember. The farther you are from the straight white male difficulty setting, the rougher the terrain becomes.
And quite honestly, we're busy. I'm busy. You're busy. This isn't our job -- we have so many other things to do. I mean, we're all:
- remixing music
- playing with code
- writing science fiction
- co-authoring open content articles
- redesigning user interfaces
- <insert your favorite open technology and culture activity here>
And guess what? There are so many people who want to join us. So many people who want to help us do all this work, but don't, because they know that work -- the good work -- is likely to come with a lot of really, really awful stuff, like this sampling of incidents since last year (trigger warning: EVERYTHING).
The less time women spend dealing with that stuff, the more time they have to help us with our work. And the more people will want to help us with our work. I mean, would you want to accept a job description that included the item "must put up with demeaning harassment and sexual jokes at any time, with no warning, up to 40+ hours per week"?
Making our world a good environment for all sorts of people is, in fact, our job -- or at least part of it. The folks at the Ada Initiative have made supporting women in open tech/culture their entire job -- supporting it, supporting people who support it, and basically being the equivalent of code maintainers... except instead of code, the patches they're watching and pushing and nudging are about diversity, inclusion, hospitality, and just plain ol' recognition of the dignity of human beings.
They want to support you. With better conference environments, training workshops and materials, and really awesome stickers, among many other things. (Did you know that the Ada Initiative was one of the first woman-focused tech organizations to actually say the word "feminism"?)
So please, donate and support them, so they can support you -- and me, and all of us -- in supporting women in open tech/culture.
Now, my own contribution is a bit... sparse, financially. I'm a grad student earning less than $800 a month, and I'm waiting for my paycheck to come in so I can contribute just a few dollars -- but every little bit helps. And there's another way I can help out: I can bribe you, dear readers, to donate.
Remember that "active vs reflective" learning styles post I wrote in August? Well, there are 3 more: sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and global/sequential. I've got them all transcribed here and ready to go. And if we reach $1024 in donations to the Ada Initiative under the Learning Styles campaign within the next week, I will release them under a creative-commons license.
What's more: the first 3 people who donate $128 or more to this campaign and email me their receipt will get a free 1-hour Skype call with me to discuss their personal programming learning styles, and will be featured as case studies on one of those three posts (I'll link to your website and everything).