“Support isn’t something you have to earn. It doesn’t require justification or approval. It’s something you are always allowed to ask for if you’re hurting. It doesn’t matter if you can cope on your own some of the time. It doesn’t matter if other people have it worse. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve struggled in comparison to others. And it doesn’t matter if other people don’t understand or agree. The bottom line is that if you’re struggling, it is more than okay to ask for help. You’re important and you matter. Your feelings matter, your happiness matters, and your healing matters. And despite what you may have been taught, you’re allowed to make your mental health a priority. You’re allowed be honest about your pain. You’re allowed to reach out and vocalize what you need. You’re allowed to take up space and time to take care of yourself. Always.”—Daniell Koepke (via internal-acceptance-movement)
I get “fake geek girl” BS in job interviews. I have skipped applying for programming jobs because the ads promote the “bro-centric company culture,” where it is common to drink beer and no one complains about your naughty sense of humor. I have applied at companies that won’t interview me for the position that I’m qualified for because the type of programming that I do is more typical for guys and this other type over here that I don’t do is more typical for girls; in order to show how inclusive of women they are, they strongly encourage me to apply for [girl job] despite me being grossly overqualified for [boy job that I can’t be interviewed for]. I have gone to interviews where it is made clear to me that I’m the affirmative action candidate, that they were intrigued by my claim to play video games [which I was tested on], and then had the technical interviewer act astounded because during my whiteboarding exercise, I followed a coding standard that prevents a security breach and no other applicants did— and then not gotten the job. I have had jobs where my opinion was dismissed by my superiors who were less qualified than me, who repeatedly interrupted me during demos to tell me that I’m doing the demo wrong on a product that the interrupter has never used— and then gotten fired for calmly standing up to him.
So let me tell you why there are so few games with strong female protagonists and so few games with characters that women can identify with as idealized heroes: games are made by men for themselves.
1) When you’re at some party, chain smoking on the roof with some strange girl with blue hair and exorbitant large dark eyes, ask her about her day. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Often times you’ll find the strangest of people have the most captivating of stories to tell.
2) Please, never mistake desire for love. Love will engulf your soul, whilst desire will emerge as acid, slowly making it’s way through your veins, gradually burning you from the inside out.
3) No one is going to fucking save you, anything you’ve read or heard otherwise is bullshit.
4) One day a boy is going to come along who’s touch feels like fire and who’s words taste like vanilla, when he leaves you, you will want to die. If you know anything at all, know that it is only temporary.
5) Your mental health comes before school baby, always. If its midnight, and you have an exam the next day but your hands have been shaking for the past hour and a half and you’re not so sure you want to be alive anymore, pull out that carton of Ben and Jerry’s and afterwards, go the fuck to bed. So what if you get a 68% on the exam the next day? You took care of yourself and at the end of the day that will always come before a high test score. To hell with anyone who tells you differently.
keep a box of mementos, souvenirs of your current world. in a couple of years you’ll look through it with the detached sentimentality of a stranger who has vaguely known your stories. you’ll read over the letters and skim through journals. you’ll mark the nights that have changed you….
A faculty member at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Shannon Gibney, received a formal reprimand for her handling of a discussion about structural racism in her Introduction to Mass Communication course.
According to Gibney inan interview with City College News, a white male student asked her, “Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?”
She claims she was shocked, because “[h]is whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner — as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class — that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America.”
Gibney says another white male student followed the first, saying “Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?”
When Gibney attempted, again, to inform the students that they were mistaking a systemic critique for a personal attack, the students continued to argue. Eventually, she told them that “if you’re really upset, feel free to go down to legal affairs and file a racial harassment discrimination complaint.” This is exactly what they did.
Gibney is familiar with white male students taking discussions about structural racism as personal attacks, as it has happened before: ina 2009 incident, an editor of the school newspaper took offense at a similar discussion. In both that case and this one, Gibney received an official reprimand. After the latest accusation, the Vice President of Academic Affairs appended a letter to her file, in which he said he found it “it troubling that the manner in which you led a discussion on the very important topic of of structural racism alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject.”
“While I believe it was your intention to discuss structural racism generally,” he continued, “it was inappropriate for you to single out white male students in class. Your actions in [targeting] select students based on their race and gender caused them embarrassment and created a hostile learning environment.”
Gibney told lawyers at an investigatory meeting for an anti-discrimination lawsuit she and six other professors are filling against MCTC that the vice president’s words “have helped those three white male students succeed in undermining my authority as one of the few remaining black female professors here.”
There’s a lot of irony in this story. In the students’ subsequent freak out about feeling “singled out” about structural racism they went over her head and tried to get the professor fired…indicating structural racism.