March 2014

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sqbr: (mod hat)
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 08:23 pm
This is my Serious Business journal. Are you perhaps looking for my fannish/personal journal [personal profile] alias_sqbr?

My comment policy.

Absolutely anyone is welcome to read/subscribe, and noone is under any obligation to give me access.

This is the stuff I assume you know about me.
sqbr: zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 10:34 am
There's been some discussion on tumblr of the culturally ignorant and thoughtless way white feminists often talk about anime/manga:
the original post, with my transcript, some following discussion.

This is something I've been thinking about for a while, I'm really uncomfortable with the combination of fetishisation/othering and erasure that's applied to Japanese culture in most anime and manga discussions I encounter, and would like to do better. So here are some thoughts on that. (Yeah, I know, ANOTHER WHITE FEMINIST POV /o\)
Read more... )
sqbr: (existentialism)
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 07:36 pm
This is me trying to organise my thoughts after a very interesting twitter conversation got too convoluted for my cold addled brain. It's very important to note that my friend Helen who started the conversation and the people we're talking about/to are white Australians (mostly women) with similar politics, and we're discussing both things that affect us (like feminism) and those that don't (like refugee rights). This is NOT about people using anger as an excuse to denounce opinions or points of view they can't handle. (Which is a thing that happens a lot. A LOT. So don't do it here :P)

So! The question is: "Some people really aggressively tweet all the activism and outrage. But what good is this doing?".
Read more... )
sqbr: (homestuck)
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 11:10 pm
Overall: very interesting, makes some good points, I didn't understand everything and didn't agree with everything I did understand but feel like I learned a lot.
More general reactions )

Now my rough notes on chapters 4-12, taken as I went, neatened up only a little. I may try for a more thoughtful response later. These are all his opinions, aside from some asides from me.
Thoughts on chapters 4-12 )
sqbr: (homestuck)
Saturday, January 18th, 2014 10:05 pm
I'm listening to the audiobook of "Debt, the first 5000 years" by David Graeber while I play video games and it's fantastic, exactly the modern left wing exporation of economics I've been wanting, and legally available for free.

My dodgy take on some interesting ideas so far (up to chapter 3):
Read more... )
sqbr: (up and down)
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 06:56 pm
This is a lot of unfinished thoughts.

I didn't agree with all of Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left but it was throught provoking. It makes the valid point that many "benevolent" technological groups are quite libertarian in effect and motivation. Also any sort of digital utopianism is blatantly bunk, technology is at best value neutral, it's a tool not a complete solution. I am glad of the link to this essay comparing intellectual property to other sorts of property in terms of freedom/enclosure etc, though I've only read the preface. And the idea that "information should be free" is definitely leveraged by businesses like Google to invade the privacy of and profit from everyday people.

But I think it acts like you're either pro-government or pro-business, and there are plenty of people who are neither. Also I'm pretty sure the EFF aren't the unambiguously pro-big-business force for evil they're painted as, they seem to help defend the little guy from oppressive big business a moderate amount of the time, and I know the Chair of the Australian branch is a card carrying member of Labor (and also quite left wing ;))

And...ok, Jimmy Wiles is pro-business and there's lots of obnoxious hierarchies and biases in Wikipedia, but I'm hard pressed to see it as an overall Force for Capitalist Evil. Not that the article says it is, it just mentions Jimmy Wiles and moves on instead of examimining whether libertarian techno-utopian projects may do social good regardless of their founders' politics. Or am I missing something?

Anyway, it got me thinking about what it means for a non profit or anyone to be "left wing".
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Saturday, November 9th, 2013 01:18 pm
The first and most obvious reason is that it's terrifying. Cecil may be able to put a positive spin on massive death rates and repressive secret police but personally I'd rather stay in a town where the librarians don't try to eat you and steal your children. YMMV.

The second reason is that there are no ramps in Night Vale. The writers have gone to great efforts to create a world with no acceptance of homophobia, racism or sexism and have been rightfully applauded for doing so. Yet when it comes to disability the town doesn't do so well(*).
Read more... )
sqbr: (duty calls)
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 07:23 am
I got into an argument on tumblr with someone about aromanticism and I don't feel like engaging with them any more but they are SO INFURIATING I feel the need to rant.

Note: I am not aromantic myself, I apologise if I misstep. You guys have enough crap to deal with.
Read more... )
sqbr: Hannelore: Worry hat! Bravery plus 10, charisma plus 5 (worry hat)
Saturday, September 7th, 2013 08:46 pm
These have been building up for a while (since May? Really??), in some cases I'm just taking a rough guess as to why I thought a link was worth saving.

Lotsa links! )
sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Sunday, August 11th, 2013 08:24 pm
I've seen a lot of people talk about slash fandom as a queer space, but I'm not sure I've seen anyone talk about femslash fandom as one.

When I started out in online fanworks based fandom I identified as straight and had extreme difficulty finding femslash for anything I was interested in. Figuring out where the femslashers are at and figuring out my sexuality have to some extent gone hand in hand, and hanging out with other femslashers has been a hugely positive experience.
Read more... )
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Thursday, July 11th, 2013 09:02 pm
So: Internalised misogyny exists, and does harm to the woman herself and the women around her. All women have it to some extent and it's something we should be aware of and try to work against.

However. Pretty much every time I've seen fans in female dominated fannish spaces talk about other women's internalised misogyny the argument would have been much better without it.
Read more... )
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 11:05 am
The main character of Copper Rise (the game I'm working on) is from an Indian family and culturally (and to some extent religiously) Hindu and I've been trying to figure out how to write that properly, especially avoiding the trap of having any empowering experiences draw too much on my own very white-western-culturally-Protestant experience. Part of the challenge is that the game is set in an alternate 19th century where England never took over India, so most articles on specific modern Indian approaches to sexism/homophobia are hard to extrapolate.

Today I found an interesting looking paper on JSTOR: Hinduism and Feminism: Some Concerns. Just as I was about to sigh and close the tab I realised they have a new "read online free" beta! So I am taking notes for my future self and the other members of the team (who have less of a tolerance for academic papers :))

If you have any tolerance for academic papers yourself and don't mind signing up for an account it's a very readable and interesting article. My second hand notes really aren't the same. And don't worry Indian/Hindu readers, I will not take this one woman's POV as universal, but it's a useful place to start.
Read more... )
sqbr: (yay!)
Friday, June 21st, 2013 01:16 pm
Thank you! I really appreciate it!

I always feel really grateful and surprised when this sort of thing happens, and then am like "Does this mean I have minions I can get to buy me stuff? Am I somehow pressuring people to buy me stuff? AM I THE NEXT CASSANDRA CLAIRE??" But mostly I'm just happy :)
sqbr: (racism)
Monday, June 3rd, 2013 03:05 pm
So! A few years ago I realised that not only did I pretty much only draw white people, but that I wasn't sure how to draw anything else. There is a long history of dark skinned people being made to look pale and POC being made to look white in order for them to be more palatable to pale white audiences. So there are ethical as well as artistic reasons to try not to screw this stuff up. I made a post poking at the problem, what have I learned since then?
Read more... )
sqbr: (duty calls)
Sunday, May 5th, 2013 05:17 pm
Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall The anti-social libertarian intellectual emptiness underlying a lot of TED-esque ideas.

On political and value neutral Everything with any message at all has a political subtext.

Why I don't like the dragon argument Points out that "if you can have dragons why can't you have POC" has some unfortunate implications that work against it.

words against communication and Also you get things like... The way worrying about appropriation/stepping on disabled people's toes can stop some people from realising they are disabled themselves. (Not that able bodied people shouldn't worry, just that it's complicated!)

Refusing to have the “What You Did” conversation "1 The ‘what you did’ conversation implies the ‘what you are’ conversation. 2 The ’what you are’ conversation is uncivil and silencing. 3 Therefore, it’s uncivil and silencing to discuss ‘what you did.’"

Frustrations of being a black gamer playing BIOSHOCK INFINITE

Sweatshops still make your clothes

Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement

Vilification and 'just having a laugh' About the racist jokes in my old Uni's satirical newspaper

Righteous Wroth Rarely Is OMG a criticism of excessive social justice where the group making the criticisms (in this case, women) are the victims of the oppression ostensibly being attacked with too much zeal (eg sexism) I have Thoughts about the very complicated way mental illness (which often creates an inability to behave in the way society demands) interacts with the somewhat narrow sets of behaviours expected of a Good Ally/Activist but am not quite up to articulating them.

$300 for Julia Gillard's NDIS scheme? Please, my wheelchair costs $22,000 Apparently some Australians are ok paying taxes and levies for roads and schools but draw the line at helping disabled people.

And from the hahaha what department...
Worse than global warming??? #followateen )
sqbr: (up)
Sunday, April 21st, 2013 06:25 am
Articles like ReWalk: A Plea for Common Sense remind me how little ablebodied people understand the sheer joy a good wheelchair can bring. Mostly because the alternative for someone like me is not being able to move, but there are some advantages even over being an able bodied person.

A lot of this would apply to manual wheelchairs too but I've never used one myself.

  • Crush the feet of your enemies. Or don't, and feel magnanimous in your mercy.
  • "Run" with the wind in your hair, or for a bus, without breaking a sweat or getting tired.
  • Unsettle "more radical than thou" able bodied activists with your very presence.
  • Be an unsettling centre of attention in general. Works well with goth/macabre/alternative clothing choices.
  • Never bump your head on low ceilings (admittedly this has never been an issue for me)
  • Have a comfy chair wherever you go. Fantastic for queues.
  • Put heavy loads on the back or next to you and not have to carry the weight yourself.
  • Wear gorgeous but impractical shoes you can't walk in.
  • Work to fight against stereotypes about disabled people and poor awareness of accessibility simply by going out in public and doing your thing.

Any others, fellow wheelies?
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Saturday, March 16th, 2013 03:41 am
This is what happens when Tumblr stops letting me reblog anything.

Is shaming ever useful? I think mild shame actually can be useful, especially in a group context: when the action being shamed is something easily preventable (EDIT: that hurts other people!) the person knew they'd get shamed for. Like making a sexist joke, say. But it shouldn't be "YOU ARE A BAD PERSON", just "Seriously, dude? Anyway...". And shaming someone for something they can't change quickly or at all (like being a smoker or even "telling a sexist joke that one time") is cruel and unproductive.

Neal Stephenson's Women Very narrow focus but makes some good points.

A Discussion With Evgeny Morozov, Silicon Valley’s Fiercest Critic Not sure I agree with all of this but it fits in with thoughts I've been having about a general tendency to ignore structural problems in favour of superficial fixes.

Even Kickstarter's Utopian Gift Economy Comes with Cheats and Fools Points out that the people who benefit from Kickstarters tend to be the same sort of privileged people who benefit from more traditional investment models.

getting offended when someone says ‘lol white people’ or ‘lol cis people’ There's been lots of discussion about this on my dash, and it occurred to me: If I was to say for example "I hate men" there's two possible meanings: 1) I genuinely hate all men (2) I have intense frustration with men as a class for reasons directly related to them being men. As a woman, I experience extreme sexism from men, which makes (2) a reasonable statement. Men have no frustration with women equivalent to experiencing sexism.

ANNOYING: In Therapy Forever? Enough Already So I don't actually have a major problem with the basic premise that many people in therapy would do better with a different approach aimed at getting them out of therapy. In fact I've stopped going to therapy much myself now that I've learned some useful techniques for managing my anxiety, all my recent sessions were mainly her going "Well, sounds like you're dealing with things really well!"

But like several psychology articles I've seen it has this tone of "We need to stop treating psychology patients like they have a serious mental problem. They're just sane people having a temporary episode, we should help them through that so they can go back to being normal. Ok, except for the CRAZY people but psychology isn't really about them." This one actually says many therapy patients don’t suffer severe disorders. Anxiety and depression are the top predicaments for which patients seek mental health treatment schizophrenia is at the bottom of the list. Because depression and anxiety can't ever be serious or chronic? I've had anxiety my whole life, I suppose there may have been a triggering incident 30+ years ago but that's not really the issue.
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 02:10 pm
Crime Against Nature Kids book about same sex and other "unnatural" relationships in nature. Not sue it works as a kids book but still interesting! Couldn't get it to download though.

When Depression is Contagious Captain Awkward post about how to draw boundaries and look after your own emotional well being when in a relationship with a depressed person.

Say hello to The Old Republic's gay planet All the same sex content in Bioware's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMMORPG is on one planet. Uh huh.

AMAZINGLY OFFENSIVE: On Stephen Hawking, Vader and Being More Machine Than Human Inspired me to make a More machine than man shirt because screw you, self obsessed technophiles.

Why I play violent video games Not the same reasons as me, but still an interesting read from another woman who likes violent video games (and no, not despite the violence)

The secret life of them: What it takes to shift class in Australia Quite different to my experience as an upwardly mobile child of downwardly mobile ex-middle class white people, but that's what you'd expect.

the positive side of socialism

Health Panics in Historical Perspective

“Oh, You Sexy Geek!”: “Geek Girls” and the Problem of Self-Objectification

I've been reading through Pervocracy, I particularly liked
Using my vagina about the validity of having unsexy sex if that's genuinely what you want.

From a different POV, You Need Help: Let's Talk About (Having More) Sex

Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment, study finds

Multiple Sclerosis, Kepral’s Syndrome, and Why I’m Glad Thane Dies The importance of illness narratives with no magical cure.