Remember, remember, twenty-fifth of November…
OK, so this is going to appear to be a digression into International Women’s Day which is relevant to the conflict in Syria in a lot of ways, obviously, but a more serious consideration of that would delve into jineology and shit, and this is not that.
The best way to do this is to just explain what happened that led to this post, and then the whole thing should become clear. And it’s also really funny.
Basically, I saw something online and was trying to look up if Nov 25 was International Women’s Day.
Why? Because I saw this—
—and I was wondering if it was “really” International Women’s Day or if it was something Rojava was trying to drum up so that somebody will come and stop the people trying to kill them. Yes, I can be that much of a skeptic. I blame society.
Now, here’s the thing. I should have Googled it like a civilized person. And then I would have gotten useful hits, even useful Twitter accounts for example.
The careful reader will also note that I can be dyslexic as fuck and that tweet doesn’t actually say International Women’s Day and I’m just a dumbass.
So, we’ll see what actually happened in a moment, but here’s the stuff that came up when I Googled: international women’s day
Wikipedia: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
So from those and other hits, two things immediately jumped out at me: 1) the UN is way into this day; and 2) it’s not actually International Women’s Day.
The problem is, I did not first ask Lord Google as I ought to have. I was in the Twitter app when I saw the Tweet that first made me ask the question, so I instinctively started typing into search in Twitter.
Now, here’s the kind of stuff which I expected to find, and which I found once I searched properly.
That’s where an interesting investigation about what this day means to the people of Rojava might begin.
But this is what actually happened.
Ho. Lee. Shit.
And that’s how I discovered the clearest example of structural institutional bias that I have ever seen. Nobody has to be intentionally being a meanie, it’s just embedded in how shit works, which is what’s usually so frickin’ hard and frustrating to explain. And it’s just sitting right there.
Wait. It gets better.
I Googled “international men’s day” to learn more and it was Nov 19, 2019. So yeah, it makes sense that a search engine, which by its data driven nature is backward looking to anticipate future requests (unless you’re in some kind of Hot Tub Time Machine scenario), would bring up something that was likely searched for recently.
So it makes sense. And it always makes sense. If it didn’t always makes sense, it wouldn’t be such a problem.
The reality is that the Twitter search is narrowing my options for the future because it hasn’t gotten over something that happened to men last week.
Happy #IDftEoVaW day everyone!!*
*The left really sucks at catchy acronyms and other such tradecraft. I sometimes think the lack of a labor movement in America can be traced to the insistence of writing the whole message in plain, poorly justified text on cheap t-shirts that immediately become too ugly for anyone to actually wear. There will never be a Bernie chic.