Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen is a photographer and blogger who uses social media to address social justice and gender issues. [1]


From 1988 - 1992 Pax attended Northwestern University where they earned a BA in American Culture with a concentration in Law and Ethics. During this time they received a National Achievement scholarship and graduated with honors. They then enrolled in a Ph.D program at UC Berkeley School of Law, studying Jurisprudence and Social Policy. At Berkeley Pax received a graduate opportunity fellowship and earned an Honorable Mention for the Ford Foundation Fellowship. [2]


Gethen spent nearly five years working at the University of California, Berkeley, first as a contract and grant assististant, creating the Sponsored Project Office's first web site. They went on to become a tech support specialist and web developer for the College of Letters and Science, managing the departments Apache web server and leading the web design team. In 1995 Gethen was nominated for a Distinguished Service Award and took one home in 1996.

Gethen's stint in education didn't stop there. They spent the next ten years as a web developer for the University of California, San Francisco. Starting as a webmaster for ITS Customer Support, Gethen received a Special Performance Award in 1999, 2002, and 2004. Gethen went on to become Senior Web Developer of UCSF Public Affairs where they provided programming, system administration, video and audio production and editing, and podcast hosting for the main UCSF Web site along with several other sites maintained and hosted by the department. Under Gethen's instruction the weekly Science Café podcast received the 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges Award of Excellence for Web-based Electronic Communications. They finished their time at UCSF as an Applications developer for the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management.

In addition to having a longstanding career in education, Gethen has volunteered for many causes, including Food Not Bombs, The Tree Farm, The Tree Farm Stand, Wikipedia, Transgender Law Center, and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. For over a decade Gethen has been a freelance photographer at [2]


Pax was interviewed in a New York Times piece about harassment on Wikipedia titled "Wikipedia Isn’t Officially a Social Network. But the Harassment Can Get Ugly". Gethen was derided by prejudiced Wikipedia users who ridiculed them for identifying as a trans male, going so far as to post Gethen's deadname publicly. Even after using a blocking tool Gethen was still subject to harassment since the perpetrator was using a VPN to get around it. The severe harassment reduced Gethen's involvement in the site. Gethen was quoted as saying: [3]

“I’m not getting paid for this. Why should I volunteer my time to be abused?”

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