Julia Evans

Julia Serano's 'Excluded'

Bought this book at Bluestockings the other day. It’s subtitled “Making Feminist and Queer Movements more inclusive”. Pretty much the best $18 I’ve ever spent. It is so good. She’s reading at Bluestockings in October and I am so excited.

I’m less than halfway through so far, but I really like this:

I refuse to believe in the myth that all women share a common bond. The truth is that we are all very different from one another. We each live with a different set of privileges and life experiences. And once we acknowledge that fact, it will become obvious that when we try to place all women into the same box, we unintentionally suffocate ourselves.

This is so obvious (“all women are different, and do tons of different things! And all of those things are okay!“), but so easy to forget. Also you can replace ‘women’ with anything. I was really happy and surprised not too long ago when I realized that everything I do is a “thing women do” (and a “thing programmers do”), because I do them.

I love the idea of using labels as a way to talk about what we have in common and bring us together, instead of boxes to limit ourselves with.

Some other things she talks about:

  • “Being an ally is not something that comes naturally. It requires work”
  • The way to make our communities more inclusive is not to make them more radical – that’s often just another way to exclude people in different ways, like people who are not “queer enough”.
  • How queer communities value masculinity over femininity, in men and in women. (and how that doesn’t even make sense)
  • How pretty much everyone seems to value masculinity over femininity.

PyData Boston 2013 Hacker School Day -4: unit testing in C. checkmk!