Who is the author?

Hello! I'm going to break tone and conventionality here to talk about my myself for a bit. Me, the author. This isn't meant to be the author bio written in third person, but a personal description of who I am and what perspective I'm coming from in writing this website. Many examples and tactics described on this site come from my own life, and I can't pretend that I'm writing from the perspective of anyone but myself. Even if I've read however many articles written by other people about experiences different from my own. Tool-tips in this section will only be used to elaborate on my personal beliefs and experiences.

My name is Shel Raphen. I use she/her pronouns. tooltip available I'm an Ashkenazi Jewish tooltip available, white tooltip available, transgender tooltip available, non-binary tooltip available, woman tooltip available, from a middle-class background tooltip available. I'm also disabled/mentally ill tooltip available. I'm never perceived as straight, and don't identify that way tooltip available.

This website was my senior thesis project for Hampshire College. I completed it to earn a B.A. You could probably say that I'm a millenial.

I've lived my entire life in Massachusetts to this point, which skews my perceptions to some extent. While bigotry certainly still exists around here, it's very different than in other places. I don't think I've ever met a republican, for instance, and the most right-wing people I meet self-identify as liberals and the more left-wing people tend to identify as radicals. Because of this, my strategies of dealing with microaggressions always tend to assume that the person I'm talking to would agree that the values of peace, empathy, and compassion are obvious things we can agree on. I can also usually assume the person I'm talking to wishes to be perceived as socially-conscious and progressive. If they didn't vote for Obama, it's because they voted for Jill Stein, or spoiled their ballot in protest. My local community is also a very white community. While there definitely are people of color around, when I'm confronting a microaggression it's usually been committed by another white person, and when I confront them I'm not seen as being threatening like a person of color would in my place. This general experience of the community I live in extremely biases the kinds of experiences I bring to the table when writing these articles. While many of the articles I'm researching for this website are about the experiences of people of color, I cannot truly say that I bring the perspective of any person of color to this website. Just whatever knowledge I can approximate through reading and listening to other people's experiences the best I can.

Outside of academics, I work as a computer repair technician and spend most of my time babysitting a xerox machine in a library. Occasionally, I'll replace someone's hard-drive or remove a virus. As hobbies, I ballroom dance tooltip available, write poetry, code silly little robots tooltip available, read comics, play games tooltip available, and can fold an origami crane one-handed.

I hope this little bio effectively gets across the kind of person I am, so my biases are all on the table. Hopefully, despite the differences between you and me, you'll still find the website useful.

My personal website is http://datapup.info. You can find my contact information there if you wish to get in touch.