September 20, 2009

You Must Have Power

One of the highlights of SkepchickCon this July was getting to meet Dr. Pamela Gay. I could say that was because we have good friends in common or because of the outreach she does with Galaxy Zoo or Astronomy Cast, but that really just tells you what we talked about. The truth is, even sleep deprived, the woman is simply awesome. She proves it with her latest blog post, "You Must Have Power to Stop Discrimination."

And here is where I’m going to ask all of you to listen to me really closely: Anytime anyone with the power to help is aware of any form of discrimination and they do nothing to fix it, they are just as much to blame as the perpetrators.

Throughout my adult life I have over and over had some well meaning man watch me get frustrated in some work situation or academic situation, and they’ve said with the intention of comforting me: “It’s not you, he’s an [expletive] to all women.” Okay, nice try. I appreciate the attempt, but… Could you maybe offer a girl a little help?

I want to be clear: If you are in a position of power, and you see a problem, telling the victim they are being victimized is not a solution. Finding a way to stop the perpetrator is the only a solution.

There is lots more, including specific actions for both sides of those "It's not you" discussions to take. There's also a challenge for the writers in the room.


Unknown said...

Totally OT here but I am too tired to dig through the archives and find your review of District 9.

I read that review when you posted it, and I just finally got around to seeing the film. I just wanted to drop you a line to say that I think your review and dissection of the film was SPOT ON. It was an excellent movie and a very timely commentary on the mechanisms and consequences of dehumanizing other people. Brilliant - thanks for putting it on my radar.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming....

Stephanie Zvan said...

Any time, AA. At least it sounds as though you're being tired to a purpose. Glad you enjoyed (appreciated?) the movie.