You can’t stop the beat…

Ok when I first started watching this I was thinking oh no I didn't know it was a musical. But before long the story line had kicked in and it came clear that the whole thing was a comment on segregation in the early 60's. Yes I know its a remake but its a very good remake and dare I say it, prefer it to the 1988 original. Not only that but how amazing is the lead actress Nikki Blonsky…

Anyway this was perfectly timed after a couple of things which have happened recently.

First up the internet discussion about geek women which exploded on the Girl Geekdom blog (also blogged myself). I made the comment at the end that,

if the environment and people are inherently corrupt how do you reverse that? The answer isn't simple and its something most people hate but most people have never faced such corruption.

Some people have asked me what did I mean. Well …. if you switch corruption for racism or sexism you get the general idea.

Back to Hairspray a second, although its classed as watery fun the idea of dancing together really has reminiscing of the early days of hardcore when house music brought people together. Which leads nicely on to yesterday.

I went out yesterday to the make your mark connectors event. First time and I met some very interesting people. But one sticks out more that everyone else. Rebecca a self described Feminist. Yes imagine the kind of discussions we had with me being a self described Geek. (Yes we did talk about the Woman Geek stuff) After most people left there were 3 of us and we decided to go and have a dance. The music was slightly progressive house but was certainly danceable. Well what surprised me was Rebecca's freeness
of movement.

When dancing in normal bars and non dance clubs I can tend to be quite a normal or average dancer because I tend to work up a sweat very quickly and usually don't want to attract too much attention to myself. Rebecca didn't seem to have any of this in mind and to be honest I started to wonder what had happened to me over the last few years which made me adopt this boring average dancing?

I love dancing, watching it on Hairspray (although very different type) and seeing Rebecca dancing really brought it back.

So I'll be hitting the clubs more that monthly again now. I'm also going to check out some of those clubs I've heard about but never been to like the End and the Cross.


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CC Salon talk from July

Last week I attended my first CC Salon. Had a great time but the highlight of the night was the discussion started or hosted by Paula LeDieu. I filmed most of the round table discussion which I thought was great. Its quite long and the audio is sometimes quite low but generally its audiable.

Part one is here and Part two follows a couple of minutes afterwards.

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The Gender Un-balance of Web 2.0

So Maz really has shaken the gender teapot. First the post Me Tarzan. You Jane, then Geeks can be Chic(K)s.

Some quotes,

Add to this my return from a recent visit to the San Francisco to the O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo where I was struck by the uniformity of the male technology enthusiasts – As one of the few females in attendance, I stuck out like a PC at a Mac convention, so much so that another woman with whom I met remarked how few ‘skirts there were amongst all the suits’. Well that’s certainly one way to put it!

It does sadden me to think that amongst my daily little foray into the Web 2.0 world, there is little realisation, nor concern about such a gender imbalance. It seems ironic that where we are very savvy at collectively contributing and sharing information there is a lack of attention about the formation of such user knowledge, shares and application creation.

Maybe the way the world is Tarzan build tools; Jane gets to use them…

Perhaps the Web 3.0 jungle will bring with it a more egalitarian gender balance?

Yep there's certainly no real argument there. Some of the comments are also interesting, including this one which points out that there more women in the less programming led fields. Human computing, interaction and even xml seem to be fields where woman are more common that straight programming.

But whats really interesting is…

It seems that gender is not the only issue here, but also the geek image. You are only allowed into The Club if you possess an in-depth knowledge of coding and more structural aspects of web development. Ok so here my own level of ‘geek ability’ does rather fall short. I do, do HTML (when forced), Javascript, Flash and so on… but hell Web 2.0 fluidity makes this less of an ‘essential’ special power – especially as I am not by ‘trade’ a web developer. However, there are
important assumptions that are being made about the types of knowledge one should (and can) possess and the association of such abilities along gendered lines.

Case in note, one of the biggest issues that a (female) friend of mine has come across is that people assume that she is not a web developer. No, not that she is not capable, but simply that she does not fit the ‘image’, that that particular role calls forth. Now where’s the equality in that?

The Geek image is certainly something which I've touched on before but I've never thought about how the poor geek image is affecting women.

I'm going to avoid the current comments about special treatment just to say if the environment and people are inherently corrupt how do you reverse that? The answer isn't simple and its something most people hate but most people have never faced such corruption.

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