Tag Archives: sexism

Ind-Linux, women and the ‘free’-world.

weareopen

 

When you feel like you’re feeding all your talent and your accomplishments down a bottom-less pit, stop and think, woman. They just don’t get it.

 

SO, where is the hope?

 

I have been attending the Free Open Source Software conference in Bangalore for the past three days now, and this is the beginning of my blogging foray about it.

foss

 

This conference has been good for me so far, although there are still technical glitches in my mind about what artists and designers can contribute to the FOSS world. I’m attending this conference more because I’m interested in the frame-works that open-source communities work around, because it’s the culture that interests me and because I think I belong to it. However, as an artist who can do much more than graphics,I think that there are still directions that need charting out for both the creative world and the software world. I hope that somewhere along the next few days, some of those directions will emerge in our heads.

 

 

When you meet ‘brilliant’ women who pretend like there is nothing wrong or exclusionary about the scenario, they can’t be that brilliant, can they?

 

Today among the many worthwhile sessions I caught was the BOF or Birds of a feather session for Linux Chicks (written ‘Chix’, wonder why) India. And it brought it all back. And maybe there is hope.

 

When the damn patriarchy starts to damn you, then you could damn them back, they aren’t that holy anyway. But they ain’t even worth the effort.

 

Why must you evangelise Free Software among women? Because it just gets more women in. And because the technological world has the same problems as the real world although it pretends like it doesn’t, but the technological world has with it the possibility of creating freer worlds.

 

Feminist knowledge has been community oriented and community driven. Open Source frame-works are a vital part of such synergizing, because we in the open-source world believe in the power of collaboration, of shared frameworks and non-proprietary work that should benefit all humankind irrespective of existing hierarchies of power.

 

How much of your effort is lost in just trying to fight? A lot of women gave up doing the work that only they could have because they were stretched too thin.

So here it is. Get more women in. This is the only way. Stop being exclusionary and defensive about your knowledge assets. Get more democratic and participatory. Get innovative. Get out of the box. Start talking to more women. Stop trying to prove yourself to mentors who are sexist. Don’t waste your energy in listening to sexist critiques which try to dictate to you. There is work to do.

 

The centers of power have shifted. Maybe we’re all lagging behind .Look around. See. Refresh.

And no one can afford to hold on to their knowledge anymore. Someone would have stepped over them already. It’s smart to share, because jargon is just jargon. Everyone has their own. You need to communicate to get across, and start the real work.

When things get tight, the air needs to be let out, because that’s the only way to breathe.

——————————————————————————–

Advertisements

And Yet another (chap)ter.

A man tried to grab my …

Yesterday.

I was cycling home on a dark street after going to the market.

I screamed, I knew in an instant what was happening. I called him names. Chased him, but he was too fast. Stopped and shouted ‘idhar aa saale’.

Onlookers were silent. They knew what was happening. It was important to me to be seen here doing this. But it stopped at that. I should have followed him, thrown a stone or something.

I told my neighbour, then a friend.

Two attitudes, neighbor, slight smirk, we knew it would happen. Don’t go out in the night. But somehow after I spoke to her she was emboldened enough to unload her own experience, to get out of the house, go to the neighbour’s and speak to them quite audibly. Something I’ve rarely seen her do.

My much older educated woman friend, smirk, subtle contempt, what were you doing out? And don’t scream bloody rape, it was just…

Isn’t this bad enough? Isn’t it bad enough that someone considers it his birth right to look, touch me?

And if this is bad then how bad is rape? Isn’t it horrible that rape is a lived reality?

I had the comfort that he was just some bum who I hope never to see again (and I’ll show him if I do), but I could come home and heal. I could scream.

With sexual violence the agitation is instant. Because it’s your body that is the target. In a spark you realize that your body is being violated by an alien something. With sexual violence aggression is probably good. Again, with caution. But since it’s your body that is the target of the offender, you must guard it and protect it.

I’ve heard people say rapists should be castrated.

Then if that’s the judgment how can you stand the subtle sexualisation you go through everyday? How can you stand the overt sexualisation you go through sometimes?

I think that all women in our society are victims of sexual violence or every sort. How can we not be because in a male dominated society, sex is often just a power-play between man and woman?

We need mass healing rituals for women.

How can you stand it?

If there’s any reason I’m reason I’m blasé it’s because I’ve been too consumed. So consumed that I play into the internalized idea of objecthood. I see myself as an object.

That’s actually why I gave up wearing the hijaab when I first gave up wearing it. But this isn’t about what you wear.