The Oculus Feminist
(SPOILER ALERT: click every single link in this post. No really, trust me on this.)
So my awesome friend Emily Eifler at blinkpopshift is a kickass tech developer and vlogger in the virtual reality field. She also happens to understand that technology, society and culture are intertwined. So when she went to a conference (expo?) about Oculus (the virtual reality gear), she asked a pretty relevant question along the lines of, “what is Oculus’ approach to the clear gender gap, and how do you plan to prevent it from being ported to VR?” because as spookiestbackslider (or really, anyone who keeps abreast of technology) could tell you, media (and the technology upon which it rides) affects people.
As happens, people (lol lez be honest, it was men) tore into her for it and issued her all kinds of nasty things in her direction. I am aware of this firsthand because people decided to leave some nasty comments on my interview with her as well as a vlog I did with her. I, of course, reported these comments as abusive and deleted them because that shit doesn’t fly with me.
I am amused and saddened at just how seriously all these guys perceive this apparent threat to their very being. And I’m glad that Emily is taking it in stride, and also addressing it, because it hammers home the point that she and others are trying to call out: STEM is in many ways hostile to women.
As someone who comes from a background where hostility toward women is nothing new or surprising, I am frankly boggled the majority of the time when guys are like “What!?!? Sexism doesn’t exist! Women just need to try harder!” and “women don’t REALLY want to be in STEM fields.” And act like the actions of men have nothing to do with why women don’t go into certain fields.
All of this is to say that this is why it’s so important that we all speak out about feminism and discrimination and sexism in all their ugly forms, because somewhere there’s a little girl, who cares about science, who’s looking for a heroine.