Linkspam: End of July 2012 edition – find all the things!

So the blog has been a bit quiet, here are some things to read and go, “hmmm” at.

From Geek Feminism, “How Science-Geek Culture Discourages Female Science-Geeks“:

Math and science are hard. I worried that when I found something challenging in math or science, it was because I was a girl and lacked the mental machinery to understand it. (I thought of myself as a “girl”, because I was still technically a teenager.) I accepted evolution. Many times, I had panick attacks over the possibility that I had innate, hard-wired mental limitations. Before graduating with a science degree, I was unproven. There was no proof that I could be a science person, but I already saw mountains of scientific evidence suggesting that I could not be a science person. Unproven male geeks don’t struggle with science research telling them that they can’t do science when they start to try.

I was reminded, somewhere, of the story of Cheng I Sao, and the fact that Natalie Kim wrote the comic of her life which will be published sometime in 2012.  More information here.

Thanks to Twitter I found this amazing article on archaeologists and the Jawoyn people of the Northern Territory.  Apart from the title, and repeated use of the phrase “pre-history”, I was really excited to read about the collaborative relationship between the archaeologists and the Jawoyn people, and the information and artefacts that are being found.  From “Dreamtime cave: rewriting pre-history“:

The 2010 dig at Gabarnmung also unearthed a piece of a basaltic stone axe 4cm long and 2.5cm wide, lying about 50cm below the cave floor. It was not so startling to find a stone axe. Ancient people have been smashing two rocks together to produce stone tools for more than two million years. What was different about this axe was that someone had sat down with a stone and skilfully ground it until a sharp edge was made. Under the microscope the parallel striations wrought by the patient toolmaker are evident. Stone toolmaking was, like writing, one of those technological milestones that evolved independently in different civilisations. But the Gabarnmung axe supports evidence that it was people in Eastern Asia, New Guinea and Australia who got there first. Throughout Australasia ground axes are found at ages greater than 20,000 years; in Europe, Africa and West Asia, the oldest ground axes are 8,000-9,000 years old.

Perhaps the Gabarnmung axe was used to chop pieces of goanna for the cooking fire. When its owner left the cave for the season, the axe must have slipped into the charcoals – the same charcoal now carbon-dated to 35,500 years old. This is a very, very old ground axe – older than ancient ground axes previously found in New Guinea, China or Japan. It is, in fact – for now – the world’s oldest ground axe. The Jawoyn ancestors were the innovators of their time.

From Women’s Web, an interview with Christine Gordon:


But if you a feminist, if you are a real feminist in the sense that it is something that is so inescapable from you, that you really can’t imagine a time when you are not saying ‘hang on, that doesn’t seem quite right to me’, or if you are not promoting a woman who is younger than you, then you are not quite at home.

It took no time at all for the Readings Bookshop to start celebrating International Women’s Day and promoting the works of Melbourne feminists.

I can’t remember who it was who said this, but she said that you have to keep re-inventing yourself, you have to keep finding areas that you can work in.

Every ten years or so there is a call to arms, in a way. There is something occurring that is so vital that you have to get behind it, there is something so wrong with the way we are living and thinking that you have to get on board, and you have no choice.

For me, feminism has been like that. From my teenage years I have felt I have no choice. It is about social justice.


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