Doing it all for equality

March 21, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Women | 2 Comments
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That was a tough day at work today, and with little immediate effect, although I think everything went alright. I’m an equality officer without a budget at the place where I work, and there is absolutely no infrastructure in place to integrate the EQ officer in any of the crucial decision that have to be made in a place like this (description of vacancies, appointments, definition of strategies – nada). All I can do is keep my eyes open, like a tiny chihuahua trying to oversee a herd of buffaloes. My latest effort now is to set up a forum for our women in sciences: a support network, a counter public (Gegenöffentlichkeit?), a non-gender-biased agenda, a launch pad for career development.

More than half of the women that were invited came, and I am very happy with that result. It’s not as though women in sciences, just because they are women, do all think positively of EQ strategies. Quite a few think that’s all big fussing about nothing – mainly women who have found other ways of dealing with the drawbacks of being a woman in an academic/scientific community. You’ll find all stereotypes represented: the ones that deny their femininity, the ones who’ve turned to workaholism and think that that’s the only road to salvation, the ones that think that all problems are nothing but a result of them looking at the situation as problematic (and who therefore deny that there’s a need for a strategy to counter-balance gender-bias), the ones that think that feminism has harmed women more than patriarchy, the ones that wear miniskirts to carve out a career for themselves.

The discussions today were good, but some of the participants were dissatisfied because they had a very specific result in mind, a very specific idea of the action that should be taken. My thought was, however, that we cannot just skip the phase of brainstorming, and that all ideas must be heard at the early stage. I still think that this decision is the right one, it just needs a little patience from everyone now.

EDIT: The single good thing about being an equality officer is that you can suddenly be completely outspoken about all your concerns about the patriarchal structures of the institution around you. It’s actually almost expected that you do that, and while you still might find women who think you’re a pathetic feminist, you won’t get that response from men – for as long as they know you’re the equality officer. They’ll even listen to you eagerly, at least the men here do, because they know what a fucked-up place this is in terms of gender equality, and they’re afraid that you, the EQ officer, might officially point your bony finger at them.


Friendly Comment Spammers 29/40

March 21, 2007 at 7:32 am | Posted in Spam | Leave a comment
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Comment spam is a nuisance, but not an unsolvable problem if you’re on WordPress. Akismet catches most of the spam (after having given it some time to learn) and you only have to check every once and again whether it’s really all spam in the queue. Most spam turns out to be as nonsensical as this one (this, however, being an example of email spam):

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Levit1ra as low as $11.97

See our site!

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I can hardly imagine that anyone would buy Viagra from a website that presents itself in such a dyslexic fashion. The next one comes from almost the same category. Note the difference, however: They have built in something similar to the spam protection tricks on many websites. While you’d normally have to replace the [at] with @, they are asking you to replace the dash with a dot. I also enjoy the bit about Mr. Perkins and Mr. Crouch (why not ‘crotch’?)


VIArrGRA $3. 35
VALrrIUM $1. 25
CIArrLIS $3. 75



Replace “-” with “.” in the above link to make it working.

Its classified information, until such time as the Ministry decides to release it, said Percy stiffly. Mr. Crouch was quite right not to disclose it.

A cute translation trivia on the side: There is an old-fashioned German word for @ that was used by some in the early days of the internet, but has now fallen into oblivion: “der Klammeraffe”, meaning the clipping or clinging monkey:-)

Here is the friendliest comment spam so far. I almost de-spammed it, that’s how effective it was:

Comment Spam

Ooooooooooh! I just realized I forgot to capture the last line of this spam comment in my screen shot where it read I just wanted to write SOMEthing… and I thought that was kinda neat from a spammer. But I’ve already trashed it now.

P.S. So that was another trivia post. I must excuse myself for not coming up with anything more substantial at the moment. There are actual plenty of things on my mind, but I just don’t get around to writing them down. I also need to answer a couple of comments still (Baudrillard in particular, and read about Capitalism 3.0 and learn about the different epochs of American Naturalism). Hope to get around to this tonight.

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