This morning, as I was pouring my first cup of coffee and sitting down for my daily social content coordinating shift for DEV (with a sprinkle of community moderation thrown in there for good measure), I began to tell my partner about the #SheCoded campaign and how excited I was to support it as a contractor with DEV.
"DEV is doing this cool thing for International Women's Day where they're..."
"...giving you the day off?" they asked.
I laughed, and my immediate reaction was "Of course not! There's work to do! Women to uplift! Trolls to ban!"
But my second thought was: thank goodness for women in online community. We show up, day after day, to preserve the psychological safety of others and help steward positive, uplifting, enjoyable communities in an online landscape peppered with angry eggs on Twitter and well-meaning, unintentionally harmful allies.
And we do it, sometimes, at the expense of our own mental wellbeing. This is especially true for women at the intersections of additional marginalized identities. Black women. Indigenous women. Women of color. Queer women. Trans women. Femmes. Disabled women. Neurodivergent women. Working class women. Women who have survived violence and trauma. Showing up online and in person to moderate, educate, and build relationships—sometimes with those who have yet to acknowledge or fully understand your humanity—is a labor of love, and one that should never go unappreciated or unnoticed.
So let's hear it for women building online community! Thank you to the women of Forem, DEV, CodeNewbie, and the other growing Forem communities. Thank you to the many women who make DEV a great community while also managing online communities of their own (There are a lot of you! You rock!) Thank you for showing up every day to dismantle the systems that harm us and pave the way for kinder, gentler, and more equitable ways of being in community together, online and off.
Happy International Women's Day! 💖