Cara CurtisFormer TNW writer
Subscribe to our monthly Byte Me newsletter NOW!
Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3
Each month, our gloriously talented designer, Saïna, illustrates a shitty comment or tweet we receive from one of TNW’s misogynistic readers. Here’s this month’s:
Congrats on your woke story
— Ari M. Eden (@AriMEden) July 17, 2019
We know you don’t mean it as a compliment, Ari, but as a thank you for your insight, Saïna made this:
the bloody news
- Meet Alyssa Carson, the 18-year-old training to become the first human on Mars.
- Using the Bechdel Test, here’s how movies got (kinda) less sexist over 129 years.
We know the Bechdel Test isn’t perfect, but seeing how female representation in movies has improved since the late 1800s does show we’ve come a long way.
Read the full story: https://t.co/bYtM5MvWCq pic.twitter.com/AyCOgb6hMp
— TNW (@thenextweb) July 31, 2019
- In Ghana, Christian fundamentalism is on the rise — but writer Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah still wants women to have good sex. CNN talked to her about the website she started where they can talk about it safely: “Long story short, I’m looking forward to some excitingly toe-curling and back-arching orgasmic sexual experiences this year.”
- This AI-powered tool helps you write effective and inclusive job ads.
- Our Queen (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) was interviewed by our other Queen (Tina Fey) for GQ.
- The New York Times wrote about the challenges of reporting on women in China, “where men control the narrative.”
Interviewer: The First Lady has great style…
Anna: Yes Flotus Michelle Obama’s style is incredible…
Interviewer: She isn’t Flotus anymore…
Anna: As I was saying about Flotus Michelle Obama … https://t.co/PLkcERveHc
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) July 21, 2019
- The Atlantic wrote a long and heartbreaking story on why police don’t catch serial rapists.
- These sex toy companies united to protest the sexist double standards of Facebook’s ad policy.
- The Guardian questioned if mapping apps need a ‘night-safe mode’ for women.
- Kotaku reported breastfeeding is allowed on Twitch, despite the controversy that followed Heather “HeatheredEffect” Kent feeding her child during a live stream
- This fascinating story from VICE went viral this month: “Straight men recall the first time they were attracted to a trans woman.”
- Wikipedia bios for women scientists are more likely to be flagged for removal. Also, check out our AMA session with Dr. Jess Wade, an award-winning physicist at Imperial College London and ‘Wikipedian’ — she has created and uploaded over 700 biographies of scientists who are women, people of color, and part of the LGBTQI+ community.
a chicken nugget got more rights than my pussy https://t.co/ttJO3nVUDn
— ari (@ar1e11e) July 19, 2019
- We enjoyed this column from The Guardian on why a woman’s greatest enemy is a lack of time to herself.
- Teen Vogue wrote about why Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” is not for every brown-skinned girl.
- The Wall Street Journal reported Stacey Cunningham will be the first female leader of The New York Stock Exchange in its 226-year history.
- Google used 107,000 solar panels to create a portrait of Apollo 11 pioneer Margaret Hamilton.
- Them reported Tessa Thompson is Marvel Studios’ first queer superhero.
- Quartz: “It isn’t just new parents who deserve paid leave.”
[COSMO HEADLINE] Six Moves To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed pic.twitter.com/PvieCx16Vd
— Michal (@Miexriir) July 31, 2019
- The Guardian wrote about how women are taking a leading role in VR.
- From Quartz: “Shallow, inauthentic” Love Island contains a surprising amount of truth about love.
- From Vox: Megan Rapinoe still isn’t going to the White House, even if Trump invites her.
- Do you know about our Code Word series? We’re exploring if — and how — technology can protect individuals against sexual assault and harassment, and how it can help and support survivors.This month’s Code Word articles:
- Twitch streamer, KaceyTron, planned a ‘SlutStream’ to combat sexual online harassment.
- Police demand access to sexual assault survivors’ phones — or have their case dropped.
- This new BBC-hosted podcast tells the stories of assault survivors overcoming their trauma.
- Domestic abusers are using easily accessible apps to stalk and control their victims.
- Google has removed 7 of these ‘stalkerware’ apps from its Play Store.
- Sexual assault survivors are using this sex education app to regain confidence.
that’s what she said: Can feminists wear sexy clothes?
Because we’re all magical and unique snowflakes who don’t always agree on feminist issues — and subsequently feel like we’re “bad” women — we’re going to discuss something we found online in each newsletter.
For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing whether or not feminists can wear “sexy clothing.” We’ve linked to our full discussion here, and included the TL;DR below…
Georgina: OK LADIEZ. Can feminists wear sexy clothes?
Anouk: That question reminds me of this Twitter tantrum:
Why do women go on about equality but wear clothes showing a lot of flesh in the shoulder, leg and often bosom department. It’s wonderful to see but doesn’t this negate their attempts at equality?
— Andrew Duncan (@andrewsduncan1) July 16, 2019
Georgina: So, I really love that contemporary feminism allows women to dress sexy if they want to. It’s great! Sexy dresses are fun, and women should be able to wear what they want, especially when boys walk around with their man tits out all the time.
Cara: For sure, women should be able to dress any way they want, there’s barely a valid argument against it. But when women wear less clothing, it gives misogynists the ammunition they want. Sexuality is used against women, especially when it comes to physical appearance.
Georgina: Yeah, so that’s the male gaze discussion, which is very true. We can control how we present ourselves, but not how we’re looked at. What’s empowering to us can still be used against us.
Anouk: I agree, but I think other standards — like whether or not clothing is “professional” — makes it even murkier… Do you ever catch yourself judging other women for how they dress? I do.
Cara: I’m sure I do judge women, but I actively try to stop.
Anouk: So research subconsciously, there are effects on men and other women of us dressing in a revealing way. Should we care? Do we want to make that our problem?
Georgina: Well, we have to, because men still hold the powerful positions. They are still the majority of lawmakers and CEOs and managers. So regardless, what they think affects us at work and in life.
You can check out our full discussion here.
Feel free to comment on the document with your thoughts, or send us an email!
the best and the worst
In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. This month’s is from Professor Sue Black OBE, a computer scientist and activist who is responsible for saving Bletchley Park:
The best? “The best is that I should network. I think ‘networking,’ or as I think of it now ‘making new friends’ has been a game-changer for me. I absolutely hated it to start with, but with practice and confidence, I now love it. It’s enabled me to do so many things. People say ‘It’s not what you know it’s who you know’ but in my experience its what you know and who you know. If you want to make something happen, know lots of people that you like and get on with, that you can ask for advice, etc. is amazing.”
The worst? “Something like ‘why are you bothering with all this women’s stuff?'”
tweets of the month
instead of “sir/madam”, consider “traveller”
– gender neutral
– fun to say
– acknowledges the endless journey of the soul
– makes you feel like a medieval tavernkeep
– you absolutely can’t risk misgendering a wandering swordmaster
— Ruben Ferdinand ? (@urbanfriendden) July 21, 2019
Grinding men’s bones to make their bread
— Cathy Humes (@CrappyFumes) August 1, 2019
Everybody drop your favorite gender neutral greeting mine is “what’s up rat bastards”
— ellory smith (@ellorysmith) July 30, 2019
[at a gender reveal party]
me: if blue confetti comes out of the pipe it’s a boy, and if pink confetti comes out it’s a girl
guests: three, two, one…!
[I press the button. Water shoots out of the pipe. The room floods]
me: that’s right bitches, gender is fluid
— ruby? (@medievaliszt) July 28, 2019
Today I learned that scamming men is easy. I wondered, am I scamming myself by not scamming men? pic.twitter.com/9i2pt6AHBG
— Diamond Sharp (@diamonde) July 24, 2019
word of the month: Chickbait
Next up in our new and improved Dicktionary (sorry):
Ugh, we really thought “chick” had left our lives and vocabularies around 2012, but last week, on Love Island — a brilliant reality show we both hate and love — contestant Jordan Hames told the other guys he wanted Anna Vakili to be his “chick.” (He dumped her two days later, by the way.)
It prompted us to discuss all the horrors associated with the word “chick” — the appalling “chick lit” (it’s like, uhm, a book about love and stuff), “chick flick” (it’s like, uhm, a movie about love and stuff and also, uhm, Hugh Grant is there), and the lesser-known “chickbait.”
According to Urban Dictionary, “chickbaiting” happens when a woman is leading you on “by making it seem like she’s hot online but seriously ugly in real life.”
First of all, there’s already a word for that, it’s called catfishing. Second of all, let’s not pretend this phenomenon is somehow gender-specific.
Luckily, we found another, more wholesome interpretation of the word. The website Chickbait.com carries what seems to be fish-bait inspired earrings — meant for “outdoor girls” cos normal girls are allergic to nature — and they’re amazing.
They make us want to take up fishing and wear padded vests with lots of pockets. Let’s ignore all the other sexist definitions of the word, and stick with fishy earrings instead.
How to use it in a sentence:
- “I got Angela a pair of chickbaits for her rafting gala in Ketchikan.”
- “Ow! My chickbaits got caught on your bra strap as you were throwing it into the bonfire.”
- “Wow, nice chickbaits. You must be a very intelligent and highly capable woman who just so happens to be stylish, too.”
What do you think of Byte Me? Love it? Tell us. Hate it? Tell us — as female journalists we love hate mail.
<3 The TNW shrews
Cara ([email protected])
Anouk ([email protected])
& Georgina ([email protected].com)
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.