This is a call for Essays, Stories and Papers
Proposed Book Title: The attempted rape of techno feminists: survival stories of sexual discrimination in the technology industry.
Call for essays of survival and perseverance by women of technology. Due March 31st and scheduled to be published late 2016. Essays 1500 - 3000 words in length will be considered. Please send your submissions to Jane daPain. Visit my personal website iSTEMart.org
I have suffered as a woman in technology discrimination by many males and even females. It is time to face this discrimination and the emotional abuse suffered by women who work with technology or in the technology industry. Let it be know that most people I have worked with do not act this way, however the social stigmas, stereotypes and preconceived ideas about women working in technology and their assumed type of contribution must be challenged.
I have had many of these experiences, and they are predominantly in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields. My first such major experience happened when I was in my undergraduate program, ironically in an astronomy course on space science practice and policy. I remember my professor showing our classroom a video of the newly proposed jet propulsion vehicles where he excitedly announced to the mostly male class. "Boy's with toys". I remember being completely insulted by this statement.
Although it was not directed at me, I remember thinking that he is basically staying that Jet Propulsion technology is a field for boys, basically a boys club only. This happened on a Friday afternoon in a class that had about 26 students with only 6 of them female. I kept my mouth shout and didn't bring up his discriminatory statement, all weekend I remember ranting about how horrible it was that he made this male centric statement, which basically had undertones of excluding women from this field.
I was completely insulted again, when Monday after returning from the weekend, my professor decided to show the video to our class again, and once again he stated the same exact statement. I couldn't believe it. I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped and I remember storming out of the classroom after class and heading to the office of a well respected female professor in astronomy. She was my mentor and I respected her very much I knew she would have some advise for me. I remember wanting to report him for sexual discrimination at the University and she suggested I should approach him directly about the problem and write a paper about it instead. I ended up writing a paper entitled, Fabrics of Social Determinism dominate STEM education from Kindergarden through tenure and beyond to NASA.
I was already interested in STEM education, and had a keen interest in understanding the gender gap in STEM. I wondered why there was such a gender and diversity gap in STEM, I wanted to understand why it was such a white boys club and how we might inspire a change in gender and diversity.
Over the years, and my continued career in super computing, emerging technology and STEM I have continued to experience instances of gender discrimination. Many women in my field choose not to face it in fear that they will be excluded from fields and group they choose to work in, and this is a legitimate fear. I have experienced exclusion from many technology groups as a result of my speaking up and speaking out against those who choose to sexually discriminate against me. However, with recent increase in awareness and lawsuits against the technology industry by women who have suffered this abuse. I believe it is time to tell our stories, and share our experiences, so that others may find support.
I recently saw a post on Facebook where a woman who was raped shared her story and publicly named her rapist. Many women followed suite and several hundred if not thousand women began to share their stories and the names of those men who had raped them in order to experience some peace and healing from the action. I have decided to do the same. The abuse I have suffered has caused me much harm, I am bitter and angry and don't trust the men I work with. My inspiration has waned, and I have been excluded from groups because I chose to speak up. I am not able to express my anger and fear of sexual discrimination professionally and seek to build a community of learning so that we can learn and grow and protect ourselves. Although the stories in this book are not about rape, they are about the plunder of group of people, the pillage of a sex and the violent seizure and abuse of females working in and contributing to the technology industry.
Even my artist moniker is a reflection of my experience of discrimination in technology. I was given the name Jane daPain in second grade, however I accepted and embraced it when I became a video artist or VJ working night clubs, festivals and concerts as a projection artist. While working, people would approach me and ask, who was running the visuals, as if I was just the VJ's girlfriend and couldn't possibly be the person who built the installation or set up the technology, let alone run the projection technology. I took on the name, because it allowed me to confront people who discriminated against me, without my person being harmed. People could now blame Jane daPain not Jane Crayton. This was how I dealt with the some of the abuse in my field, however it has also created a stigma about me and my work as a technology feminist.
I am looking for essays 1500-3000 words in length to include in an edited book to be published in late 2016. This is a subject dear to my heart. Unfortunately this is a part of who I am and what I have experienced. I choose to embrace this experience and finally confront the experience in an effort to forgive and grow from it. I know that many other women have experienced this unfortunate abuse in their fields and I want to create a place where we can heal together and share our experiences and stories.
Jane Crayton aka Jane daPain