“The worst part is that this is a self-fulfilling prophecy: If men make an assumption that women aren’t great at tech, then those men won’t help mentor women. Women will then start believing they aren’t great at tech or feel alienated from the community. As a result, there will be no women in tech, which just perpetuates the stereotype and the cycle.
Last year, soon after I’d moved into a co-working space, I was working on yet another Saturday afternoon. A fellow founder in the space — a male, early forties — started chatting with me. He’d just started working on his own startup, and had a question.
“I see you in here every day working late, and on the weekends. I’m building out my own team and was just wondering how he keeps you motivated to work so hard?”
“What do you mean?” I asked. I was thoroughly confused. “Its my own startup. Of course I’m motivated.”
If you’re writing an honours thesis, doing a research project/independent study, or even are just interested in meeting other linguists, why not check out a local linguistics conference or two!
(This year I am finally making the “go to conferences” post with lots of time in advance to get a project up and running: many undergrad conferences take place in December-April and have deadlines sometime in the fall or winter.)
I want to especially encourage undergraduate conference-going because I think grad students and so on are more likely to already hear about conferences and know people who are going to them (although depending on your advisor it may still be worth looking some up).
Even if you haven’t finished your project yet, you can get comments on a work in progress, or just come and watch things and meet people (but seriously, submit something if you can, it’s worth a try). For smaller conferences, registration is often just enough to cover food, and you can ask the organizers about staying with local students, so your expenses can be quite minimal. Sometimes you can even get travel funding from your own department, especially if you’re presenting (ask a prof, even if you don’t see it advertised anywhere). Audiences of fellow students are generally very positive and non-intimidating, so it’s a good way to get some practice talking about academic things, get a line on your CV or grad school application, and make some ling-friends.
I even remember a high school student who came to McCCLU one year just because they wanted to learn more about linguistics and meet people.
Both Linguist List and the LSA (Linguistic Society of America) maintain lists of international conferences organized by date, and I’m aware of a few undergrad-specific conferences (McCCLU - Montreal, TULCon - Toronto, GLEEFUL - Michigan, Harvard colloquium, Cornell colloquium). I’m not sure if they’re current, but I’ve also heard of OCLU in Ottawa, SCULC in southern California, and a rotating conference hosted by ULAB - Undergrad Linguistics Association of Britain. The current websites may not be live yet, but you can look them up from last year to get a sense of timing, and this gives you plenty of time to work on a project.
I think there are also many student-focussed conferences for both grad students and undergrads, although grad students can of course apply for the general conferences as well! (Heck, I went to one as an undergrad, and while I didn’t present, I met a couple undergrads there with posters.)
Edited to add, from comments: Arizona Linguistics Circle (which is soon, October 3-5!), Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium, HULLS (Hunter Undergraduate Linguistics and Language Studies, in New York).
If one of these conferences isn’t convenient: try googling the name of your region or major cities/universities near you with the words student linguistics conference, and you may find something! Many smaller linguistics student conferences aren’t very well-advertised and may not make it onto major lists like LinguistList every year, so if you find evidence of a conference near you from a previous year, try contacting the previous organizer(s) or department to see if it’s happening again.
Can anyone contribute to a list of other undergrad or student-friendly linguistics conferences, especially in locations that aren’t already well-represented here?
I’ve expanded the list of conferences above based on more googling, and here’s some ideas for what to do if you don’t have a conference near you:
Eric Holder was the nation’s first black Attorney General. In light of his announced resignation, David Cole reflects on Holder’s tenure:
"No one in government has done more that Eric Holder to reduce the racial injustices that pervade law enforcement on a daily basis. …
His real legacy lies in his refusal to be a coward on matters of race, and his courage in using the power and influence of his office to press the arc of our criminal law a little closer toward justice.”
(I work in a call center for a large insurance company. My desk partner has just gotten a call from an extremely irate man. He is trying to find anything he can use to insult her. She is Filipino, but she was born in the US. She has no accent to speak of and a very American name.)
Customer: “Are you even in America? Where are you located?”
Coworker: “I’m in our Florida office, sir.”
Customer: “Well at least you’re not some dot-head.”
Coworker: “I’m sorry?”
Customer: “Yeah, well, even if you ain’t foreign, you’re obviously an idiot working in a call center. I don’t have time to talk to some uneducated girl.”
Coworker: “Actually, sir, in addition to having a license to process insurance policies, I have a Master’s degree. So unless you have a Doctorate, I’m certain I’ve had more education than you, and I’m more than qualified to help you.”
Customer: “Oh… uh…”
(He didn’t have much to say after that, and I just sat there cackling.)
Snow White twist where Snow White is played by a dark-skinned woman with snow white hair
another twist: the story focuses on beauty in the context of racial prejudice
the stepmother is white and known as the ‘fairest of them all’ but then this girl with dark skin grows to be more beautiful than her and she doesn’t understand and she doesn’t like it and she is threatened by it
you can see where this is going
Someone wanna write this.
Marissa Meyer’s Winter is the 4th book in fairy tale retellings (Cinder = Cinderella, Scarlet = Red Riding Hood, Cress = Rapunzel, Winter = Snow White). Winter is a dark skinned Snow White.
Also, Cinder is Asian (and a cyborg).
“Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.”
One of my favorite people in the world is Claudia Kishi. Maybe you’ve heard of her?
She has a killer fashion sense.
She’s super talented at art.
And oh … she’s not exactly real.
Claudia happens to be a character from The Babysitter’s Club series, which I devoured like Snickers bars when I was elementary school. (And I can eat a lot of Snickers bars!) But do you know what’s funny? I actually don’t have very much in common with Claudia. She has a real gift for art whereas I struggle to mix paint. She doesn’t like studying for school whereas I was that annoying kid who hyperventilated over getting a B in biology. But none of that mattered to my childhood self. What mattered to me was that I saw myself in Claudia.
She was Asian-American.
I was Asian-American.
Here was a girl who looked like me! In a book that I loved!
When I read my very first BSC novel, my 9-year-old mind was honestly blown. I had never come across an Asian American character in a novel before. It felt as if Ann M. Martin had pointed a finger at my nose and said, “Hey, you! Yeah, you, I see you. And you matter.”
Over twenty years later, I hope that my own book might have the same impact on a young reader. And maybe it’ll impact a biracial reader in particular because the main character of my novel The Only Thing to Fear is half-Japanese and half-Caucasian. I can’t seem to find very many children’s novels with biracial protagonists, which makes me sad because the multiracial population has increased 50 percent — that’s right, 50! — since the year 2000 in America. These children are craving to find faces like their own in the books that they read. They’re yearning to find their own Claudias.
That’s one of the reasons why I created Zara St. James, the main character of my debut. She lives in a world very different from our own — one where the Nazis won WWII and colonized the United States — but she’s up against many of the same issues that multiracial people face in our society. For instance, Zara battles racism and bullying in her homogenous town in the Shenandoah valley because her face sticks out from the crowd. And she feels split between her two halves because she’s deemed not “white enough” or “Asian enough” to fit in with anyone else. She’s biracial and she has no problem with this fact, but some people make her feel like an outsider anyway. But Zara refuses to let these people get to her and, as the novel progresses, she’s ready to show everyone in her town and all of the Nazis in the US — even the Führer himself— that she won’t be underestimated.
It’s my humble hope that one day we won’t have to pore over the shelves at the bookstore and library to find books that feature diverse characters. I really want to read these books — and I want my biracial daughter to read them too. After all, doesn’t she deserve her own Claudia Kishi?
I think so.
And together, we’re going to find her.
* * *
Caroline Tung Richmond is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Highlights for Children, and USAToday.com, among other publications. The Only Thing to Fear is her debut novel and will be published by Scholastic Press on 9/30/14. A self-proclaimed history nerd, Caroline lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband; their daughter; and the family dog Otto von Bismarck.
Silly question, right? If you define aging as a process that stops at death, the only way we’ll ever be the same age is if I die first. If you don’t, then we’ll never be the same age. Every time you age a year, I also age a year. Since our ages increase at the same rate, you will never catch up to my head start. We have achieved a total equality of aging, but that does not change the permanent inequality of our age.
Okay, say I have a million dollars and you’re completely broke. If we both get a dollar a day, how long will it take you to catch up with me?
Now, this one’s even sillier, because if you have no other resources, your dollar a day is going to be eaten up by basic living expenses that it doesn’t quite meet, and I have an excess of money that can be spent on money-making opportunities that pay off far better than an additional $365 a year. I could literally burn the dollar I’m getting as part of our Totally Equal Income and still make more money in a year than you do just by sticking my money in the bank.
But still: both of us getting a dollar a day is totally equal, right? It means we’re being treated exactly the same.
And now, final problem:
If we have a world that contains structural inequalities, systemic imbalances, disproportionate danger faced by some, and unequal access to resources and opportunities, is “treating everyone the same” really going to result in equality?
Show your work.
I may have reblogged this already but I don’t care it’s important.
I used to investigate child abuse and neglect. I can tell you how to stop the vast majority of abortion in the world.
First, make knowledge and access to contraception widely available. Start teaching kids before they hit puberty. Teach them about domestic violence and coercion, and teach them not to coerce and rape. Create a strong, loving community where women and girls feel safe and supported in times of need. Because guess what? They aren’t. You know what happens to babies born under such circumstances? They get hurt, unnecessarily. They get sick, unnecessarily. They get removed from parents who love them but who are unprepared for the burden of a child. Resources? Honey, we try. There aren’t enough resources anywhere. There are waiting lists, and promises, and maybes. If the government itself can’t hook people up, what makes you think an impoverished single mom can handle it?
Abolish poverty. Do you have any idea how much childcare costs? Daycare can cost as much or more than monthly rent. They may be inadequately staffed. Getting a private nanny is a nice idea, but they don’t come cheap either. Relatives? Do they own a car? Does the bus run at the right times? Do they have jobs of their own they need to work just to keep the lights on? Are they going to stick around until you get off you convenience store shift at 4 AM? Do they have criminal histories that will make them unsuitable as caregivers when CPS pokes around? You gonna pay for that? Who’s going to pay for that?
End rape. I know your type errs on the side of blaming the woman, but I’ve seen little girls who’ve barely gotten their periods pregnant because somebody thought raping preteens was an awesome idea. You want to put a child through that? Or someone with a mental or physical inability for whom pregnancy would be frightening, painful or even life-threatening? I’ve seen nonverbal kids who had their feet sliced up by caregivers for no fucking reason at all, you think sexual abuse doesn’t happen either?
You say there’s lots of couples who want to adopt. Kiddo, what they want to adopt are healthy white babies, preferably untainted by the wombs and genetics of women with alcohol or drug dependencies. I’ve seen the kids they don’t want, who almost no one wants. You people focus only on the happy pink babies, the gigglers, the ones who grow and grow with no trouble. Those are not the kids who linger in foster care. Those are certainly not the older kids and teenagers who age out of foster care and then are thrown out in the streets, usually with an array of medical and mental health issues. Are they too old to count?
And yeah, I’ve seen the babies, little hand-sized things barely clinging to life. There’s no glory, no wonder there. There is no wonder in a pregnant woman with five dollars to her name, so deep in depression you wonder if she’ll be alive in a week. Therapy costs money. Medicine costs money. Food, clothes, electricity cost money. Government assistance is a pittance; poverty drives women and girls into situations where they are forced to rely on people who abuse them to survive. (I’ve been up in more hospitals than I can count.)
In each and every dark pit of desperation, I have never seen a pro-lifer. I ain’t never seen them babysitting, scrubbing floors, bringing over goods, handing mom $50 bucks a month or driving her to the pediatrician. I ain’t never seen them sitting up for hours with an autistic child who screams and rages so his mother can get some sleep while she rests up from working 14-hour days. I don’t see them fixing leaks in rundown houses or playing with a kid while the police prepare to interview her about her sexual abuse. They’re not paying for the funerals of babies and children who died after birth, when they truly do become independent organisms. And the crazy thing is they think they’ve already done their job, because the child was born!
Aphids give birth, girl. It’s no miracle. You want to speak for the weak? Get off your high horse and get your hands dirty helping the poor, the isolated, the ill and mentally ill women and mothers and their children who already breathe the dirty air. You are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, for children. You don’t have a flea’s comprehension of injustice. You are not doing shit for life until you get in there and fight that darkness. Until you understand that abortion is salvation in a world like ours. Does that sound too hard? Do you really think suffering post-birth is more permissible, less worthy of outrage?
“Pro-life” is simply a philosophy in which the only life worth saving is the one that can be saved by punishing a woman.
Hey kids, as we approach Halloween I just wanted you guys to be careful and say DON’T FUCK WITH SPIRITS. Don’t mess with Ouija Boards, don’t talk to no dead people, don’t fuck with demons, don’t summon shit, don’t dick around in abandoned buildings. If you are considering a thing, just think, “would a white person in a horror movie do this thing?” If the answer is yes, then don’t do the thing.
Hey John, what is your reaction to the news that the Riverside district has chosen to ban TFIOS from middle school libraries on the grounds that it deals with mortality and sex? I remember your reactions to similar situations concerning your books have been pretty animated and wondered what you thought?
I guess I am both happy and sad.
I am happy because apparently young people in Riverside, California will never witness or experience mortality since they won’t be reading my book, which is great for them.
But I am also sad because I was really hoping I would be able to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.
somebody should write an essay comparing and contrasting tina from bob’s burgers and meg from family guy and explain why tina hit the mark for respectfully portraying the awkward teenage years and why meg is a huge fucking insensitive joke that isn’t even funny