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Sitting in the bad girl row.

This month Scientiae Carnival is over at Green Gabbo with a theme of talking to yourself.

Iím talking to myself less these days deliberately. When it comes to dealing with inaccuracy, unfairness and just plain meanness, talking to myself does little good and sometimes it even makes things worse as I get more and more frustrated and feel increasingly powerless. So at meetings, conferences and workshops Iíve started finding and sitting in the bad girl row.

You know the bad girl row. Itís at the back of the room, close to the doors and the women sitting in it look like they are having entirely too much fun. When you sit in the bad girl row, there are rules. For example, talking to yourself is considered bad form. You are supposed to share whatever snarky or irreverent comment youíre thinking with the person next to you. And when someone shares a particularly apt or funny comment with you, you are supposed to pass it on down the row.

If the presentation is particularly egregious, or the comments particularly funny, several rows may get involved and the mutterings will grow during the breaks. The next thing you know not only are you not alone, you have a movement. And itís a heck of lot easier, more effective and even safer, to confront sexist, patronizing, stupid and wrong comments and presentations when youíre a movement.

Hereís to the bad girl row; may every group setting have one and may I always get to sit in it.