What a feminist act

Joanne Petit-FrèreTapestry of Braids #1 (Woven while Discovering bell hooks on YouTube), 2020 (via Something I Saw)

My job interview went well yesterday, I think, and I have come to realise that I might be hired (again) because of my tweets. Apparently the CEO had been following me for quite sometime and had seen me tweeting for quite some time, some quite conspicuously and recklessly on the topics of writing, technology, politics, and many others (although my latest tweets were about, well, cakes.) This was not the first time I received a job offer of some sort through Twitter — which is why I contemplated a lot whenever I am presented with the possibility of deactivating my Twitter account because I have had many interesting opportunities and made many long-time friends over the cursed bird app. 

The other day while updating my CV, I could not believe how much it was a mental battle I have had within myself whether I should change my name to “Zana Fauzi, PhD”. Here I am, having completed an independent research where I have produced an in-depth, critical, and original scientific work within a stipulated time frame, hence a major feat that deserved the merits of my doctoral degree, but still shudder at the thought of referring myself worthy of the “Dr.” title awarded to me. It especially hit me hard this morning when some of my friends, as part of friendly banter, began telling me their shoulders hurt, or that they have a rash, further trying to invalidate that only medical doctors deserve the title. They meant nothing malicious, but the imposter syndrome had been something in my mind from the first time I was asked about my research and when I tried to explain it as best as possible, I was cut off mid-conversation, especially by men, and being told I should do my research this way and that way — their way. How many times I have heard people saying — in reference to another friend who had done her PhD years ago — that she is ‘chill’ because she chooses not to use Dr. in her name? Not to mention, being a woman in a tech industry and only in one of the many occasions, having to hear the next Project Manager should be a man, because only men could think objectively — I mean, in lieu of so many other examples and here I am only anecdotally throwing one: have you seen how the male leaders react to world issues vs I don’t know, how Jacinta Ardern did? 

I know I am not alone — you could throw a stone in a crowded room of women (but please don’t, I don’t condone violence) and you would hit one with profound imposter syndrome as a result of the systemic biases exercised upon us. This is why I am going to listen to my fellow badass woman PhD, Dr. Jr Thorpe, that “using my well-earned “Dr.” is a feminist act: because for men, it’s an unwelcome challenge that women would present themselves as highly qualified — and require that they be addressed accordingly.” I worked hard for this — of course with the support of my loved ones and the privileges of my life entailed that soon further obligates me to do good things with my earned knowledge — and I am worth being taken seriously. The Dr. is going to be here alongside my name whether you like it or not.

Reading in my tabs:

  • If there’s one thing you must read this weekend, make it this. “Silicon Valley has never shied away from calling its products magical, and in a sense, they are. They can make an entire army of workers disappear behind the smoke and mirrors of the user interface.”
  • Predictive policing algorithms are racist. They need to be dismantled.
  • “Like wars and depressions, a pandemic offers an X-ray of society, allowing us to see all the broken places.”
  • “As both object and subject, the aims and applications of AI have been brought into question. At the heart of these discussions are questions of values and the power relations in which these values are embedded. What values and norms should we aim to uphold when performing research or deployment of systems based on artificial intelligence? In what ways do failures to account for asymmetrical power dynamics undermine our ability to mitigate identified harms from AI? How do unacknowledged and unquestioned systems of values and power inhibit our ability to assess harms and failures in the future?”
  • “When you work remotely, mentorship is stifled because there is no learning via osmosis. You can’t model your behaviour on your successful teammates because you only see them on Zoom and in Slack. Whatever process they are using to achieve their results is opaque to you. Much of the language used around remote work (and remote events) assumes that one is in the mid-to-late stages of their career. When you’re young, you don’t need “focus” or to “get things done.” You need exposure to new ideas and people. You need the serendipitous fortune of sitting in on the right meeting, attending the right happy hour, or earning the respect of the right observer. All of the above is more difficult in a remote environment.” I agree with some parts and have some reservations on the other points in this article, but these are the things we need to be aware of when thinking of working remotely, or working from home.
  • Astronomers found a giant intergalactic “wall” of galaxies hiding in plain sight.
  • Idris Elba to read me bedtime stories? YES PLEASE.
  • “Ready for a change, the elbows waited. The hands gripped hard on the desert.” On this day in 1945, the first nuclear bomb test in the continental United States occurred at the Trinity Site, in New Mexico.


  • Reading: Sasha Costanza-Chock’s Design Justice, and S.A Chakraborty’s The City of Brass.
  • Listening: The soundtrack from the series Trinkets.
  • Viewing: I am obsessed with Netflix’s Trinkets, particularly for Moe Truax who emits some serious Eliza Dushku vibe (of whom I have a crush on).
  • Food & Drink: Jalapeño bagel with cream cheese (why did no one ever told me they’re super spicy???) with iced vanilla latte.

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