Feminist autonomous infrastructure in the internet battlefield: From Zombies to Ninjas

Guy Fawkes Mask Collage
Article triggered by Ganesh

«Stand up for women and non-binary people in tech.
Join the general strike on February 23, 2017.
Pledge to stay home from work, stay offline, and/or publicly protest.»

The Distributed Denial of Women (DDoW) strike is an international call in protest to unequal conditions of women and genderfluid/queer in technology.

Being Dalit, Doing Corporate (Women-in-tech)

Multinational companies often put in place a policy for diversity and inclusiveness at the workplace, but does this guarantee the everyday, actual practice of accepting people from marginalized communities, and especially women from such communities. In this article, Christina Thomas Dhanaraj, examines what it means to be Dalit in corporate India - the continued invisibilising of caste, sexism and gender inequity and the effectiveness (or not) of diversity policies.

Original image source

“I strongly believe in the movements run by women. If they are truly taken in to confidence, they may change the present picture of society which is very miserable. In the past, they have played a significant role in improving the condition of weaker sections and classes.”
Dr B.R. Ambedkar

Before I delve into my article, I want to provide some context into why and how this is my story.

Educating, Hiring, and Retaining Women in Technology: A Gendered Enquiry

Educating Women in Technology

In India, there are gender barriers that uniquely prevent women from accessing technology right from an early age. From an intersectional perspective, such gender barriers overlap with economic, cultural, and class barriers for women from marginalized backgrounds. For women to be creators of technology and decision-makers, we need to first address such barriers so as to not be closed off within the same groups of women who are privileged enough to enter the field.

Ten facts about your computer: Health, hardware and the toll on women

This article takes a look at where our hardware comes from, the electronics factories situated in primarily Asian countries, and the challenges facing the people, primarily women, who work there, and the issues that impact upon women workers in the electronics industry. Ten facts about your computer that illuminate the gendered nature of the labour that is embedded in our hardware.

Photograph of Seagate Wuxi China Factory Tour by Robert Scoble, Original image

The top-end of the computer industry is still seen as a sexy place to be. The culture may be designed to wed you to the job, but its a pairing that many professionals envy. And of course, as this week’s protest is designed to highlight, this side of the industry is not where the women are.

The Architectures of Online Harassment (Part 1)

In this two part report on a workshop on thinking through online harassment, Maya Ganesh of Tactical Technology Collective teases out the nuances of how online harassment takes place, technologically and socially. The article looks at what troubles and concerns us about online harassment of women, and what could be the possible new directions opened up by using a design-thinking approach. Part 2 of the article will unpack further the design-thinking model.

On January 3, Caroline Sinders and I conducted a workshop at Tactical Tech about applying design-thinking approaches to understanding and addressing online and offline harassment. I write about the results of this workshop in two parts, the first, this one, dealing with the framing of online harassment in the context of speech, and why this needs to be reconsidered.

A painting of an African feminist internet

Addressing the internet gender divide in Africa can only be achieved through the deliberate creation of a feminist internet, and this was affirmed by the Gender and Internet Governance eXchange (gigX) workshop that was held on 10 October 2016 in Durban. We need a feminist internet that works to empower all of us in our diversities, creates equal power relations, and dismantles patriarchy in all of its forms.

A signboard in a school in Uganda. Public Domain Image: source
Article republished from APC blog, 11 Nov 2016.

The internet remains one of the historical developments transforming human behaviour, greatly impacting on the social, economic, cultural and political spheres of life at an incredible speed.

‘There’s someone else just like you’: inside India’s asexuality networks

Asexuality is often dismissed as experience or identity, even by those within the medical community. However in recent times the internet has played a valuable role in both affirming the choices of those who identify as asexual, and in building networks of support and conversation. Given that it is still very difficult to speak openly about any sexuality in most physical spaces in India, the internet is the only place where digitally-connected asexual people or aces can safely (and anonymously) speak about their experiences.

This article was originally published on Deep Dives
Cover Image: Jasmine Dreyer, 2015. Image Source

When Naqshpa* was a teenager, her friends swooned over Hrithik Roshan’s toned muscles and papered their walls with posters of Rahul Dravid. Meanwhile, they called Naqshpa a ‘kid’ because she didn’t feel that way about anyone.

[COLUMN] Gender Binary: Second Life, First Loves

In this column, Nadika Nadja explores the world of gaming and how it opened up realms of experience for her. Second Life, an enormous immersive multiplayer game, and many other similar environments on the internet, have been revelatory and powerful spaces for people to discover aspects of themselves, particularly in terms of gender and sexuality. From shame and fear, to play and sex, and to finding comfort zones and support online, Nadika sketches out her journey for us.

Some of the biggest questions people have had are about oneself. “Who am I?” “Where did I come from?” Archaeology, which studies the evidence that human communities leave in the land, helps answer at least a part of the “Where did I come from?” question.

Big Data and Sexual Surveillance

Image depicts historical and colonial modes of collecting data on those considered of inferior race and/or criminals. Source: archival photographs of instruments of anthropometry.

Defining their place: Gender at the Internet Governance Forum 2016

The Internet Governance Forum has been valuable as a multistakeholder space that facilitates the discussion and dialogue of public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. Over the years several feminists, activists and others interested in diverse representation have been participating in IGF and observing how concerns related to gender, sexuality, and the internet are raised and addressed. Smita Vanniyar writes a short report on IGF 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and how gender and sexuality are still largely a concern for the women activists and queer people present, rather than for all.

Photograph taken by Smita Vanniyar

The internet has played a huge role in my life. When I first learnt about internet governance, I wanted to know more and more. I was eager to do my bit in making the internet more welcoming for women, queer persons and other minorities. The 11th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), held in Guadalajara, Mexico from 6-9 December, 2016, was the first international IGF which I attended.

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