Women and Public Speaking…

November 26, 2009 | Filed Under Social idiocy, Work | 5 Comments

At the Web2.0 Expo last week, a poorly-delivered talk by Dana Boyd of Microsoft caused quite a controversy, and the dust still hasn’t settled.  While the talk was disastrous in many respects, it wasn’t her poor delivery that is at the center of the discussion – it’s how people in the audience behaved, and the resulting comments on the live twitter back-channel feed that was playing behind her during that talk, that has drawn the fire and ire of many people.  The Eloquent Woman blog has an excellent article entitled The object in Danah Boyd’s Web 2.0 talk about why so many women feel uncomfortable in public speaking engagements.   Well worth the read, and she’s spot-on when she says,

Despite all the discussion, calls for apologies and outrage over this episode, I’ve yet to see observers pick up on an important point that Boyd herself makes: Some of the comments broadcast on Twitter by some of her audience members were objectifying and sexual in nature.

How many bad male speakers have to put up with that?   Sadly she confirms that,

In 2009, we’re seeing yet again an issue that has plagued women speakers since the days of ancient Greece and Rome:  Attempting to silence women by treating them as sexual objects (or hysterics, or other negatives).

Why does it feel like we still have a long way to go…?

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Bad bathroom design

November 18, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Random Silliness | 1 Comment

The tenets of good design don’t just extend to the web.  Virtually everything we use every day is subject to some kind of design process.  And perhaps it is because I have seen my share of odd and unusual bathrooms this week (including one I labelled the “claustrophobia closet”), that I feel compelled to share my views on some elements of women’s bathroom design that really bug me:

1) toilet stalls that are so small you have to straddle the toilet to open or close the stall door.
2) small bathrooms that put the sink on one side of the toilet and the paper towels on the other side. This leads to people dripping water all over the toilet seat after washing their hands.
3) motion-activated hand dryers in general – WHO designed these things? Every single one I have used, I swear, has the infrared sensor for your hands at the back, by the wall, and no where NEAR pointing to the stream of air that actually blows out of the thing. The net effect is that it shuts off the moment you move your hands INTO the airstream. *argh*.
4) and while we are on the subject of infrared, bathrooms where all the infrared taps don’t work except maybe ONE, and again, where it detects your hands, is NOT where the water stream actually comes down.
5) stalls with no hook for a coat
6) stalls with broken door latches – how hard is it to fix these things, or design ones that don’t break?
7) and finally, my biggest pet bathroom peeve:  overly sensitive infrared toilet flushers that go off prematurely with the force of a hurricane if you move at all while on the john.

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The REAL purpose of the internet…

November 9, 2009 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

My oldest spawn once said he thinks the REAL purpose of the internet is for people to post funny videos and pictures of cats…  certainly these videos would lend credence to that theory, and the animator certainly has cats nailed:


 

and of course, if you want to see what sleeping with a cat all night REALLY looks like:

The Morrigan said they reminded her of life with Ivan.

I suggested she get her Annie one of these:

 http://kittywigs.com/wigindex.html

Her response: “YOU put it on her.”

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