Glider Ink Wiki

a graphic novel about hackerspaces

User Tools

Site Tools



Feminism is a hotly debated topic in many hackerspaces. Some of them are openly sexist, not accepting female members either officially or unofficially, others make their life problematic by elitism and exclusion. In response some purely-female 'Spaces were formed, and those trying to strike a balance are usually generating quite a lot of drama.

A book Unlocking the Clubhouse by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher may be a good read on the topic.

Constructing a relatively peaceful, yet realistic hackerspace with people taking different stances on feminism is a tricky task. The main characters represent following ones:

  • Suzanne just wants to do her thing. She was severely ostracized by her peers at the university, often being treated only as a model for someone else's project. She's actively fighting her impostor syndrome and is not always ready to face conflicts, just shutting down and mumbling shyly. When pressed, she can get aggressive.
  • Cynic doesn't like the whole social justice part. The 'Space is meant to be judging people by skill only and it just happens that people with the highest skills are guys. He won't accept any parities, but respects people dedicated to their projects, like Suz.
  • Adam is trying to help, but as with everything he's usually overdoing it and just making the whole situation worse. The fact that he used to sleep with half of the NGO scene in the city doesn't really help.
  • Amanda is an anarchist and a feminist, ready to fight any inequality. You can expect her to frequent or even organize every demonstration. She is the only one from the main cast not being able to program, and that's hardly a problem to her - she loves tweaking her synthesizers even if she doesn't understand everything happening under the mask. If Cynic has anything to say about that, her sturdy boots are ready for his ass. Amanda is sometimes trying to be a “big sis” for Suzanne, who doesn't always accept that help.
  • Robert as a husband and a father wants everyone to be able to use the space equally - and is usually a judge when a conflict arises. He has good intentions, but his preconceptions about a “basic level of skill required to do something” don't really help when people from outside of the 'Space's culture want to enter it. See Juliet.

What's worth noting, one of the best known Polish hackers and co-creator of Qubes OS is female. You can read more about Joanna Rutkowska on Wikipedia and her blog, where she writes also about feminism and superficial promotion of females in IT.


Since Glider Ink doesn't want to have any token characters and there will be few chances to talk about sexuality, only people who actively identify and introduce themselves as LGBT will be mentioned.

  • Amanda is openly bisexual, but not in any relationship at the moment. She seems a little bit too tired - and what really need is a friend. If she finds one and if they take things further - that remains to be seen.
project/themes/feminism.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/19 09:08 by alxd