The Perverting of The Technically Women

In 2010 I was honored to be asked to join a group of women I greatly admired at a blog about and by women in technology called technicallywomen.com. Don’t go there yet — wait till I explain…

I had known many of the awesome women behind this beautiful site with kickass technical commentary, particularly via Twitter, and perhaps you do too:

… and several more that I got to know after becoming involved.

I wrote about my first post here and contributed a couple more pieces as time continued its hectic pace.

Back in 2010, the fantastically designed site (thanks @yojibee) looked like this:

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Courtesy of Internet Archive at http://web.archive.org/web/20110201210327/http://technicallywomen.com/

Unfortunately, many of us straddle a big crisis of time between jobs, families, community activism, and life and beyond (for women, they call this “work/life ‘balance'”), so the blog, and the domain, eventually lapsed from our hands. Thanks to a tip from co-technically-woman-blogger Susan Scrupski, I went to check it out again today.

Because of our lapse, today, the site at technicallywomen.com looks like this:

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When I looked up the domain registration, I was sadly unsurprised to find that Go Daddy is involved in hosting the “redesign.” But while we’re at it, check out these “helpful” alternates provided by whois – which would let us branch out beyond technical topics into the wild and feminine domains of fashion, hair, health, and just being good ladies:

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Finding the actual registrant will seem to be a little more problematic, since the site is now registered through DomainsByProxy, proudly flaunting that “Your identity is nobody’s business but ours,” right alongside links to complaints, concerns, and law enforcement:

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It obviously behooves us in general to keep on top of domain registrations to protect them and our content, but did it really behoove some anonymous creep to co-opt a domain about technical women and turn it into site purporting to sell soiled panties?

And is it a right, in this case, for that creep’s identity, assisted by DomainsByProxy and hosted by Go Daddy, to be ‘nobody’s business but ours”?

In this case, you may say the “harm” caused is negligible “if any,” and anonymity in general is obviously key to a free Internet. Should anonymity, however, leave us with no recourse should the harms be greater?

The awesome @yojibee is working on next steps, and though no doubt we’ll all continue to be busier than ever and some things will continue to slip through our hands.  But with countless stories and more every day of the systematic shaming of women away from technical careers, with more women scared into hiding offline for fear of identity theft, porn, cyberbullying, suicide, and worse (thanks Sarah Parmenter, Anita Sarkeesian, Amanda Todd), who and what do we really need to protect?

I don’t have an answer, but it seems like we as a whole, as citizens of the Internet and the world, need to be better than this.

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The Technically Women — A Personal Journey

I did torment myself for awhile before I managed to publish my first post on the great blog called Technically Women.

You have to understand — when I was invited to join this group I was compelled to openly confess my love for each of the women that I already knew.  There are some very fine thoughts trafficking on this blog and these are excellent people with which to be associated.

So when I was invited to join, of course, I panicked.

I have known and admired genetically engineered raconteur @cathybrooks since Prop 8 and I have enjoyed many Twitter threads and even commentary on this blog from Cathy.

My early days of Twitter are awash in song lyrics from @pistachio — and a couple of my posts honor her contributions to my use of technology and the causes that are dear to me.

It was @yojibee who — totally outside the inner-connected sphere of our worklives — reached out to me during a fear of flying bout or two — and located across the world as she is, she also provides excellent insomanic company.

And then there’s @marilynpratt.  I was only recently lucky enough to meet Marilyn face-to-face.  There are many things you could say about Marilyn, but there’s no point to words when you’re touched by a piece of her soul.

And now I get to be associated with the rest of the women I hadn’t known before except by reputation that are on this blog ?

So you can see how I panicked. But I stepped in with a post and I intend to continue reciprocating the honor as best I can.  I already have a folder or two of additional posts I am incubating — Now — barring only the discovery of the time…

In the meantime — likewise, I’d be honored if you’d check it out over at Technically Women and grace us with your thoughts.  Thank you!