tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
In my initial challenge post, I left the connection between functional programming and the Ada Initiative's mission a bit unclear. I suspected that most people who would already be inclined to listen would already understand what TAI has to do with helping bring more people into functional programming and use their talents fruitfully there.

But on the Haskell subreddit, where a Redditor by the name of LeCoqUser (in reference to the Coq proof assistant, of course) linked to my initial post, one person wrote: "I cannot fathom what this has to do with Haskell or functional programming..." I'm going to give this person the benefit of the doubt and assume they really meant, "What does this have to do with Haskell or functional programming?", and were simply applying a principle that many people like me -- who were socialized by Usenet -- learned: "If you want to know the answer to something, never just ask a question; make a false statement that's designed to get people to answer your real question by correcting you."

And it worked! Here's what I wrote on Reddit. My comment was specific to Haskell because it was on the Haskell subreddit (it's also the community I know the best), but I think what follows applies to all other functional programming language communities too.

Just to clarify why it's on-topic, I'd like to say a little bit more about what the Ada Initiative (TAI) does and how it helps the Haskell community:

  • As has been noted, TAI helps conferences and meetups develop codes of conduct. The ACM anti-harassment policy, which applies to ICFP and other conferences and workshops related to Haskell, is based on TAI's model code of conduct.
  • TAI leads anti-impostor-syndrome workshops for women who want to enter technology. As I tried to explain in my blog post, impostor syndrome is a structural barrier to getting involved in functional programming for many people who otherwise would be interested. Impostor syndrome disproportionally affects women. By helping fight impostor syndrome, one woman at a time, TAI is creating more potential members of the Haskell community.
  • TAI runs AdaCamp, which has a potentially life-changing effect as self-reported by many of the women who have participated -- in terms of building the confidence necessary to participate in tech as a career software developer and/or open-source volunteer. Again, this means more potential Haskell programmers -- there's no sense in losing half the potential audience before they even start.
  • TAI runs Ally Skills workshops, which help men who want to make their tech communities safer for women -- including, I like to think, most of the men reading this -- put their intent into action.

Hopefully that clarifies things, and I hope folks from Reddit will help us reach our new goal of $8192 $10,000! Money talks, and the fact that we've already raised $4320 [edit: $5557] [edit: $8678] from functional programmers in less than a day [edit: two days] [edit: three days] says to me that most of us recognize that TAI's work is both crucial, and not being done by any comparable organization.

Donation button

Donate to the Ada Initiative

Don't forget to tweet to #lambda4ada when you donate! Suggested tweet, though you're encouraged to use your own words:

I donated to @adainitiative b/c I want @TheOfficialACM events to announce their anti-harassment policy. https://supportada.org?campaign=lambda #lambda4ada

tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
Writing this down mostly because it took me a long time to find all these links...

Zinnia Jones is a popular Internet commentator who was mentioned lately due to her past misgendering of Chelsea Manning (despite having said the two of them were online "friends").

Here's a screenshot from reddit of rmuser (Zinnia Jones' Reddit username -- the two names are already publicly linked, by the way) using the phrase "outright denial of transphobia". The deleted comments make it hard to tell what she's talking about, but she is referring to this thread on SRSGSM. The "outright denial of transphobia" she is referring to amounts to a trans person of color pointing out that "die cis scum" is a slogan for white trans people. So according to her, it's "outright denial of transphobia" for a trans person who isn't white to speak at all.

SRSGSM, by the way, is a subreddit that was started as an offshoot of ShitRedditSays (SRS). ShitRedditSays started out as a way to make fun of the people in Reddit's main demographic (white cis heterosexual men in their twenties who want only two things out of life: legalized pot, and a way to rationalize raping 13-year-old girls), but it eventually got to be sort of an ableist and transphobic trainwreck itself. In the meantime, people in gender and sexual minorities who were also in the SRS community (the similarity to the acronym for "sex reassignment surgery" is accidental) started SRSGSM specifically to have a more progressive space for discussion than the main LGBT subreddit (/r/lgbt, of which rmuser is one of the moderators).

rmuser and SilentAgony (SilentAgony is a co-moderator of /r/lgbt as well as being rmuser's significant other) were banned from SRSGSM for being racist on this thread; purely in retaliation for that, they banned Erika_Mustermann (one of the mods of SRSGSM) from /r/lgbt.

Here's the entire thread that the screenshot is from.

This may seem like petty drama, not to mention being oldmeme, to people who make good life decisions and therefore have never read Reddit. I think it matters because Jones (and the brand of anti-intersectional white trans feminism she represents) still has plenty of Internet popularity and she is currently denying ever having said the things she said above. (Which also means she hasn't apologized for saying them or indicated that she's learned something in the past year since making those comments, since you can't apologize for something you never said!)

Also, for a bit more context: I'm white, and I thought the "die cis scum" slogan was great at first. I thought that it was perfectly okay for trans people to express anger about transphobic violence, given that in practice, it's cis people who kill trans people, not the other way around. Talking about killing people, especially when it's people in a powerful group and not specific ones, is not as bad as killing people; I hope we can all agree on that. But thanks to the thread on SRSGSM, I realized that I was wrong -- because of my privilege, I was overlooking the fact that viewing cis/trans as the only or main axis of oppression along which one is oppressed is a luxury that only white people have. The slogan implicitly denies how violence against trans people affects trans women and trans people of color disproportionately. It posits affluent white trans men like me as being "on the same side" as trans women of color living in poverty, when, in fact, my good fortune is at their expense even though we're both trans. Once I read that discussion, I understood this. I let go of a meme I considered useful because I saw that it was racist and I hadn't examined my privilege. That really wasn't so hard for me, yet some white trans people are still hanging onto it.

Edit: On Twitter, [twitter.com profile] LoriAdorable pointed out that Jones also misgendered [tumblr.com profile] jobhaver, a trans woman who does sex work, repeatedly because (apparently) the existence of sex workers makes her uncomfortable: 1, 2, 3. Since she continued misgendering [tumblr.com profile] jobhaver after being asked to stop, it does appear that Jones uses misgendering as a punishment for disagreeing with her.
tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
A reddit response to "If you were hacking since age 8, it means you were privileged", summarized:

"I was hacking since age 8 and I wasn't privileged! My family wasn't very rich, we just got free computers through my dad's job."

(Note to self: edit later and talk about the other fun logical fallacies that this dredged up.)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
How much did this reddit comment potentially cost you, user valhalla_coder? I suspect you have absolutely no idea.


tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

December 2018

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