The Atlantic on QS
I was interviewed by Rose Eveleth about self tracking as a woman, for The Atlantic. This was one of my favorite articles I've ever been interviewed in, because it is long and hilarious and she interviews a laundry list of amazing women.
Definitely give it a read!
For the record, here's what I said on the topic:
When Amelia Greenhall moved to San Francisco from Seattle, she looked for a Quantified Self meet-up. She had been active in the Seattle QS community, and quickly found the corresponding group in San Francisco. Soon, she was organizing the Bay Area meetings herself. But while she enjoyed the community there, something was missing.
“After each one, women would come up to me and say, ‘I wish we could talk about periods or fertility or dating or anything that wasn’t getting talked about.’ It just felt like there was a lot getting left out,” she said. And the meetings, set in the belly of the Silicon Valley beast, felt like tech meetings. “It was just kind of like a microcosm of the tech world where dudes are willing to speak about the most boring trivial stuff as if it’s the best invention ever, and these women would have these really cool things and they’re like, ‘Oh I don’t know if anybody would be interested.’” So Greenhall started the first ever QSXX meet up—a space for women to showcase their QS projects, talk about what worked for them, and find a smaller community within the larger group.
Soon, QSXX groups popped up in Boston and New York City. “The conversations seemed more real and more interesting and we were talking about the problems with devices and apps and it turned out much as I was hoping,” said Greenhall. Maggie Delano started one in Boston, after having a conversation with another woman about the differences in what some women want to track. “We were talking about how the kinds of things that women need to track are really different, and things can change a lot more throughout the month than they might for other people,” she said. The women who attend these meet-ups discuss what they want to track, present their projects, and form bonds within the smaller community that some say they couldn’t quite forge at the bigger meet-ups.
But you should read the whole article or you'll miss out on learning about apps like "iThrust and Sex Stamina Tester and Sex Counter Tease" (yes, for real!) and the best quote of the article, when engineer Heather Rivers talks about how most manmade apps approach period tracking:
‘We men don’t like to be blindsided by your hormonal impulses so we need to track you, like you’re a parking meter.’
You might also like my Hipster Period Tracking App