Sunday, October 5, 2014

Meredith Patterson on feminism and empathy

Meredith L. Patterson

Meredith L. Patterson, an American writer and software developer, published a piece in 2011 on Medium. com called "Okay, Feminism, It’s Time We Had a Talk About Empathy," which I read this week as a byproduct of the ongoing "Gamergate" flame warms. I express no opinion on Gamergate, other than that women expressing opinions on the Internet should NOT be targeted with harassment, death threats, exposure of their personal files, etc., but I thought with all of the discussion about women in tech, Patterson's piece was timely. It's all about how labels should not be used to put people into boxes, a continuing concern raised by RAW over and over. Although Patterson is a feminist, she pushes back against the claim that she "should not" feel comfortable in the world of technology. A bit from Patterson's posting:

I’ve learned some lessons all by myself about what kinds of places I feel comfortable in. With all its warts, the tech community is still one of those places. I wish there were someone, anyone I could talk with about why that is, and how it happened, and how to go about making that scale. So it disturbs me, deeply, to hear that I am a “human shield for entrenched misogyny” and that the experiences I cherish “must be challenged and ultimately dismantled.”

She's on Twitter.