Earlier today we tweeted out that we were starting a new newsletter called Lady Bits with no context — that was a mistake, and we’re sorry. We’re actually launching a newsletter by women, for women, highlighting women’s stories, in STEM and beyond. We want this to be a lighthearted and funny way to engage with our readers on a very serious topic — so you can expect in-depth debates as well as bad puns and funny memes.
Here’s our inaugural newsletter, which we’re really excited to continue.
SURPRISE! This International Women’s Day, we’re launching a brand spanking new newsletter. Welcome to Lady Bits.
From the sick minds that brought you Big Spam, this monthly newsletter will focus on women’s stories, in STEM and beyond, and behind the scenes rants about shit we find annoying as *~ladies~*.
If you’d like to receive this gift every month, subscribe here. If you don’t, you’re sexist.
We’re starting this bad girl off with “The bloody news,” which is a collection of all the things we read this month that pissed us off. Enjoy!
The bloody news
- From the FT (paywall, sorry), here’s an excerpt from a new book out about how gender bias in data and statistics can be deadly.
- According to Quartz, your company’s Slack is probably sexist. (Ours isn’t though — Cara’s Slack handle is @toxicfemininity, and Gigi’s is @transientanus, which is gender neutral. Anouk’s is her name but we’re trying to convince her to change it to @aboobs.)
- Noted Freelance Social Media Consultant and founder of Indie Social Media Debbie had this incredibly insightful response to our story on the UK government criminalizing unsolicited dick pics:
- A stroke victim talks about the sexism of wheelchairs in Ms. Magazine.
- The perfect job doesn’t exi…
- From Insider: Google sided with Saudi Arabia this month by refusing to remove a government app which lets men track women and control their travel.
- The Medical Futurist published an in-depth story on how health tech is letting women down.
- For all the incels who said women can’t play Vikings cos of hIsTOriCal InaCcURaciES:
- This was just the best:
- A little bit of herstory: women were the first computers. Claire Evans’ book Broad Band explores it in depth, and we can’t recommend it enough. TL;DR? This NY Times article has you covered.
- BTW Claire Evans is super badass and she’s hosting a TNW Answers session with us on March 28th!!! You can send in your Q’s now.
- lol DWEEB:
- Check out this initiative by The Smithsonian:
- This doesn’t make us mad, but lovely Cara was featured in this roundup from OnePitch:
That’s what she said: Do you wish you could “unlearn” about sexism?
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 include in each newsletter something we found online, discussed on Slack, copy-pasted here, and called “That’s what she said.”
Here’s this week’s… enjoy!
#MeToo and its aftermath have undeniably been a step in the right direction, making sexism a mainstream topic of conversation, and enlightening millions. There’s no way we would ever want to turn back time, right?
Via R/AskFeminists we came across an interesting question:
Georgina: To be honest, I don’t think I’d like to go back to not noticing sexism. There were so many times when I was younger that something would happen to me or a stupid boy would say something to me — like asking “Why are you getting so emotional” during an argument I was winning, for example — and I’d get really frustrated and not really know how to reply or defend myself.
Cara: I don’t remember a time when I didn’t notice “sexism,” I just didn’t have the words for it. I’m always the person to flag things that I consider to be problematic, whether if it’s a storyline in a movie or a suggestive comment.
Anouk: I’m definitely more aware of it now — and overall, that’s a good thing. But I do get the sentiment behind this question, it can be exhausting at times. Everyday sexism is like a gun pointed at you that may or may not have been loaded. You kind of suspect there’s a bullet in there somewhere, but most times you can’t be completely sure. Maybe this happened because you’re a woman. Maybe that didn’t happen because you’re a woman. Or maybe your gender had nothing to do with it.
Cara: True. I’ve been called “politically overcharged” and “too woke.” It can sometimes feel that simply flagging sexist things doesn’t do anything other than pointing something out. But we must challenge ideas of what is normal and acceptable.
Georgina: But not noticing sexism doesn’t make you immune to it, and when you do learn more about it and know what it is and how to recognize it, it’s a lot easier to process and talk about. I remember when I went to an all women’s college, which was definitely not where I thought I’d end up, I felt so relieved to know I wasn’t nuts for getting angry at certain things. In some ways, it was like I could finally breathe, and I wasn’t being gaslighted any longer. Also, I was crazy good at math in school, and I stopped taking high-level math and science classes because they were full of icky boys. I wish I knew then what I know now, and stuck with it, and, like, discovered a new law of physics or something badass.
Cara: At times, I wish I could be blind to everyday casual sexism — whether it’s a cat call or exclusion from a conversation. It feels exhausting and overwhelming to realize that you can encounter a lot of sexism throughout the day, but because of this realization, change can happen.
<3 Are we all wrong? Send us your thots <3
Tweet of the month
For dairy, female cows are robbed of their individuality, their reproductive choice, and have their calves taken away. This is why cheese is the most sexist thing you could eat. #WomensHistoryMonth https://t.co/v016vlJrrL
— PETA (@peta) March 1, 2019
We’ll still eat it, but we’ll feel a tiny bit less good about it.
Word of the month
There are a lot of bullshit startup words that suck. We’ve come up with our own that are infinitely better.
You may have heard of the stupid word “agile,” which, after Googling…
…tells us nothing. We don’t get it. We hate it. So we improved it:
1. The ability to move quickly and easily – but with vaginas
2. The ability of a woman able to kill all men
3. How “vagina” one is
“Vagile methods replace high-level design with frequent redesign”
“You really should be more vagile”
What do you think of Lady Bits? Love it? Tell us. Hate it? Tell us — as female journalists we love hate mail.
Don’t forget! We’ll be posting a shit ton of profiles of badass female startup founders on the site today. And also:
<3 The TNW shrews
A previous version of this newsletter had a couple of non-inclusive jokes about periods, we took those out after someone on Twitter rightfully pointed it out. We’re bummed we messed up the launch of this project, but we hope you continue to read and correct us when we misstep.