No Checkboxes Here

With the one simple gesture of giving women the ability to control their profile photo visibility, we’ve minimized objectification and unwanted negative attention. So, in fact, most of Siren’s efforts are focused on the on-going endeavor of gently teasing out the distinctions that make us uniquely different. We are the opposite of lumping people into “types.”

Programmers are like this. Artists are like that. I resist the lame, boxed-in definitions of what a woman is; why would I want to apply constraints to others? To place people into categories is convenient; it reinforces what you think you know, so there’s no need for curiosity. But those sweeping generalizations are lazy and the categories arbitrary; these just give us easy ways to dismiss each other.

Wouldn’t it be far more interesting if you found out that one programmer knew a whole lot about saffron farming and wrote haiku, another studied ancient Greek independently, and another was a serious musician? On Siren, one person is excited about a cowbell for a drum set, another for a 19th century oil painting, someone else for a bobble head from Scandinavia, and another for his aunt’s ginger cookies in the mail.

How do we tease those elements out? Through the common backdrop of our Question of the Day, the responses reveal the wonderful variation in views, values, experiences, and stories–the elements that are unexpectedly attractive to another person. Discovering these qualities of someone encourages that second glance. It’s the stickiness that connects two people; it’s that little bit of friction that rubs one’s brain and sparks imagination. Here, the details count.

So we accept the challenge to find ways for individual expression and for people to be little more seen and understood for who they are. We are not a checkboxes kind of site. We are a lots of really interesting and different human beings kind of space.