As I’ve mentioned, I’m co-organizing a session on gender and science blogging, with a particular focus on how we can be allies, as well as on the intersection of gender, race and class in blogging.
The official conversation has been a little slow, but while I’ve been distracted, others have been writing interesting posts, with even more interesting comment threads and responses. I’m hoping bringing it up again will keep the conversation going and might prompt ideas for the ScienceOnline session.
In my last post, ecogeofemme askedhow ally was defined in this context. On one hand, as Lab Lemming implied, one could infer a military connection, and some people might find that analogy appropriate for their experiences. However, I confess that to me in my privileged place in life (straight, white, really really educated), the term “ally” has its roots in the LGBT movement, with supporters of LGBT people being called allies.
Other commenters said that being an ally was simply being a supporter. Do you agree, disagree? To me, there is some question of degree in terms of being a “supporter.” Do you jump into the fire publicly when it starts? Do you send back-channel emails? Do you write blog posts in support? What level of participation makes you be able to claim status as “supporter?”
To me, being an ally is supposed to be a significant commitment – jumping into the fire-level. And I confess at the moment that I try to jump in in face-to-face conversations, but I tend to hide from online fires, in a squelchy-sucky-privelegy-kind of way. I’m looking forward to hearing what other folks do at the session, and maybe learn how to get the courage to stick up for others online.
How about you? Do you consider yourself a blogging ally? Do you have commenters who you identify as allies to yourself, even if they don’t identify as such? What do you do with people who identify as allies somehow, but miss the mark in terms of living up to being one?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me here.