Sookie, the empowered

There are two vampire phenomena happening right now in entertainment: the Twilight saga, with the popular books becoming popular movies, and the True Blood Series, with the increasingly popular books adapted into an HBO series. Both have a young female heroine who is romantically involved with a vampire. Both are set in present day America.

There the similarities end.

One is set in the Pacific northwest. One is set in the parishes outside of New Orleans. One seems intended for teens. The other very much for adults. But the real difference is in the women at their respective centers.

Carmen Siering writes in Ms. Magazine that Bella, the heroine of Twilight, fails as a feminist hero.

Ada Lovelace was a Drupalchick

Okay, it's a whimsical title. But on this Ada Lovelace Day, I was thinking about how, if Ada Lovelace were alive today, she no doubt would be in technology. After all, the creator of the first "computer" wouldn't stop there, would she?

In my daily life I get to work with some amazing women who are working in, with or on Drupal. I wrote an appreciation over at PINGV Creative.

So the Times sees it as a "women's issue," like shoes and handbags?

Oh my, not again. Via Elisa's Worker Bees Blog:

A couple of months ago, prompted by Mary Hodder, I blogged about the NY Times and its odd placement of a technology story about girl geeks in the Fashion & Style section.

Well, they're at it again. And this time it is even more egregious. Check the article Diversity Isn’t Rocket Science, Is It? In the Fashion & Style section.

The article itself is quite provocative....

Being the change

I blogged the following on BlogHer , about the new O'Reilly series on Women in Technology....

If you just casually glance around tech departments in companies and tech-oriented conferences, it's easy to get the impression that there aren't many women in technology these days. Yet it's undeniable that women are making a big impact on the technology world. (If you think it is deniable, then please keep reading.) Exploring this subject is a special series this month on O'Reilly: Women in Technology. Every day this month, an accomplished woman in technology shares her thoughts.*

If you've seen O'Reilly books, you know that each topic area gets its own animal. Tatiana Apandi perhaps hints at a theme of the series by explaining why the O'Reilly animal chosen for this series is the lioness:

Women in Art [updated]

Kudos to the eggman. This is just beautiful. Worth watching more than once. For one pass, just look at the eyes.

[via Elisa]

Update: Laurie and Debbie have some thoughts on this video.

Cyberbullies and Community Standards

It has taken me a few days to recover from the intense energy and excitement of attending, participating in and speaking at the OSCMS 2007 (and sundry adjunct events of equal intensity and delight), and so I've been publicly quiet so far about the obscene and possibly illegal cyberbullying that has happened in the past several days regarding one of my favorite bloggers, Kathy Sierra.

If you've somehow had your feedreader in the sand this past week, here's a brief snippet of what Kathy wrote about it on Monday:

We all have trolls--but until four weeks ago, none of mine had threatened death. (The law is clear--to encourage or suggest someone's death is just as illegal as claiming you intend to do it yourself).

Listing risking women

It's about time I linked to Tara Hunt's list of "Women Who Risk", especially since she had the kindness to list me and Katherine as founders of our interactive media company.

Tara writes:

Once I’m not so stinking busy, I am going to start something…first a conversation, then maybe a get together or two. I’ve met some amazing, incredible women already who are pretty excited about a group that is specifically focused on tempting women into technology entrepreneurship. I’ve started a Google Group.

13 Going on 30 Redux; or: Happy Girls Don't Do Careers

So last night I saw 13 Going on 30 on DVD, and while I enjoyed it, the movie left me in something of a funk. It took me a little while to figure out why. After all, the movie was funny, Jennifer Garner was really terrific -- what a shock that this is her first big comedic leading role in a feature! -- and the tone at the conclusion was uplifting. But I was just ticked off after the movie.

And then it hit me.

The really schmaltzy, supposedly romantic ending. That's what did it. That's what made the movie utterly depressing. Not because it was romantic, but, well....

Okay, here's the obligatory spoilers warning, for those of you who might want to spend the 5 bucks for the bargain DVD and check it out....

Women kicking butt in Aeon Flux

Warning: Spoilers. (Not much, but hey, I warned you.)

So I saw Aeon Flux on DVD the other night. Given the mediocre reviews and lack of box-office love the film, um, enjoyed, I really didn't expect much. I wanted to see it mainly because of the production design I saw in the commercials. And because of Charlize Theron. And (okay okay) because I'm something of a scifi nut.

What I didn't quite expect was the heart of the story being driven by female characters. As you know, the norm in sci-fi movies is to have maybe a couple of interesting, perhaps powerful women who have their moments of personal power, but in the decisive cumination leave matters to the (male) hero. Not so in this movie. Aeon is unmistakeably the motivator of just about all the action here, and she's the one who comes through again and again, all the way up to the conclusion. (And, for the most part, the other major action characters are women as well.)

Geeks not immune to cheesecake (or cheese)

Gina at misbehaving points to the Geek Gorgeous calendar, featuring rather cheesy shots of young women who, we're assured, are true computer geeks.

The little model bios are quite funny in this context--

Lilac, who started working as a programmer at age 16, is now a senior software engineer with an acronym-rich skill-set that includes Java, J2EE, EJB, JSP, JMS, PHP, ASP, ADO, SQL, XML, UML, J2ME, MIDP and more.

Not quite what you'd see on the flip of a Playboy centerfold.

Now that you've gone and looked, I'll say I join Gina in disappointment over the photography and art direction. It could've been so cool, soooo geeky! But while they obviously put some work into this production, the result isn't just cheesecake -- it's cheesy.

Liz Ditz writes on I Speak of Dreams that:


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