sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 10:25 pm
This has been building for like 8 months, which means I look back on the me who collected some of these with weary nostalgia. But here we are.
Read more... )
sqbr: A giant eyeball with tentacles (tii)
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 11:40 am
This post is part of Femslash Revolution’s I Am Femslash series, sharing voices of F/F creators from all walks of life. The views represented within are those of the author only. Originally posted to tumblr.

Hi, I'm Sophie alias sqbr, a fic writer and fanartist, mostly into Bioware games, anime, and Jane Austen.

This post is basically just a bunch of thoughts about my personal experience, I would be really interested to hear from other people with different experiences. In a sense it's the third in a trilogy:
First, Why do we femslash?, written back in 2009 when I identified as a straight cis woman.
Second, Personal Experiences of Femslash Fandom as a Queer Space, written in 2013 after I started identifying as a bi woman.
And now we have this, written in 2017, now that I identify as a genderfluid biromantic grey asexual. I guess we'll have to wait and see where I'm at in 2021 ;)

So! I've been into f/f since before I even realised queerness existed (my childhood feels about Anne/Diana let me tell you them), and into femslash fandom for about ten years. I have always identified much more strongly with female characters than male ones, and while I enjoy m/f romance I get tired of it's ubiquitous heteronormativity. So when I find good f/f I really enjoy it, and I get a kick out of making it.

When I realised I was bi a lot of things made more sense. I was a bi woman, no wonder I identified with female characters and like m/f and f/f! But when I realised I was genderfluid it made things a little more complicated.
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sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 10:02 am
Removing the allcaps because I find them hard to read, but I really agree with
the one thing both those positions share is fear of critical engagement with a person who disagrees with you, which is the one thing you absolutely need in order to progress a discussion past whatever stalled you in the first place.

from this post.

I think the only way to move past this is not just to criticise those we most strongly and angrily disagree with, but to seek out and acknowledge those points of view we disagree with but can respect, and to not act like everyone who disagrees with us is the same as those we disagree with most. Also to avoid uncritically promulgating the opinions of those who are “on our side” but engage in uneccesary cruelty, overgeneralisation or outright misinformation. And if you're afraid to voice your qualms about someone "on your side" because they might turn against you...they're not really on your side.

And then I started rambling, nothing I haven't said before )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 01:38 pm
Got most of the way through this before remembering I was going to put all my long tumblr responses on dreamwidth haha.

Post I am replying to:
There’s a post that appeared on my dash earlier... the tl;dr summary of said post is that fandom ‘isn’t required to be a safe space’. ... Fandom isn’t here to create a safe space for creators either: it is literally a community about sharing. And sharing is a two way street.


“It’s ok to criticise fanfic just don’t attack the person” shouldn’t be such a rare point of view, but here we are. Anyway, I agree in principle. I’ve seen pushback against excessive criticism which goes past “don’t send death threats” and even “don’t criticise racism” to end up at “don’t criticise plagiarism” which is something I thought everyone agreed was worth criticising.

I think a major problem here is a flattening everything from “has a pairing I don’t like” to “actual hate speech” into “problematic”, and flattening everything from sending death threats to saying you didn’t enjoy something into “criticism”.
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sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Monday, August 29th, 2016 02:45 pm
So, I've been in fandom a long time and have seen the overall values of various fannish communities shift and change. I've personally been involved in efforts to improve fandom's attitudes towards social justice. But unfortunately it seems like whatever values fandom has in theory, in practice fans tend to exhibit the same toxic behaviours, often entirely opposed to the values they are theoretically upholding. Seeing this happen with social justice has been especially frustrating, but it's always bad, and I'm not sure what can be done about it.
Read more... )
sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
Thursday, May 12th, 2016 05:13 am
[community profile] seeingcolorcomm, currently open for nominations.

I haven't felt like signing up to exchanges lately but will definitely keep an eye out for pinch hits and treats.
sqbr: (up and down)
Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 09:19 pm
In which I try to tease some sort of narrative out of the ridiculously long and rambling unabridged version. It's still pretty long, and still very subjective. And I'm still open to criticism and other points of view! Especially since I'm as prone to subconsciously editing history as anyone else.

The tl;dr version is that fandom used to actively stifle discussions of social justice, and then slowly started caring about it. Unfortunately, when fandom cares about something it uses it to attack other fans with different tastes, and social justice has been no exception. I still think things are better overall.
brief mentions of rape and abuse )
sqbr: Monty Python sketch about people being oversensitive about criticism (dirty fork)
Saturday, May 7th, 2016 04:39 pm
This is an incredibly subjective and personal account, with no clear moral or narrative, because that's how it wanted to come out. I then poked at things some more and wrote A decade in online fandom social justice: Abridged, which is a bit more structured and not quite as ridiculously long.

I've been inspired to write this by seeing other fans trying to sell their own, equally subjective narratives that contradict mine as The Objective Truth, and it annoys me. The most recent example is this deeply flawed essay by Franzeska. Here's some criticisms by POC: a thread on ffa wherea POC looks back on their own experiences of lj fandom and Fans Of Colour Are Not To Blame For Fandom's Erasures: A response to That Meta.
brief discussions of rape, death, and abuse, lots of discussions of bullying, lots and lots and LOTS of words )
sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Friday, January 8th, 2016 01:14 pm
I feel like I almost have a grip on this idea but lack the words to express it. Let's have a go anyway.

So! Fandom discussions have become very social justice tinged of late. In some ways I think this is great, I'm old enough to remember the dark wasteland of "why are you bringing race/gender/etc into it??" fannish dicussions before about 2006, and continue to be delighted by some of the positive changes I've seen in media and fandom over the last decade or so.

But! As is increasingly obvious there are some serious issues with the way social justice is approached in fandom, beyond the unavoidable flaws created by the conversation having people in it. And part of this is the erasure of the relative power position of the people being criticised. None of this is entirely new, but it's gotten worse. Nb I am primarly talking about online female dominated Western fandom, generally on dreamwidth and tumblr, but this happens other places too.
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Friday, June 12th, 2015 04:37 pm
Disability Fest is a tumblr for fannishness about canonically disabled characters, they have a fest coming up in July and some nice posts in their archive.

Going to see if there's stuff I can organise for it! You just have to tag it "disabilityfest" in the first 5 tags.
sqbr: Darkwing Duck in red (dw!)
Thursday, February 5th, 2015 11:23 am
Ancillary Conversation A conversation I was involved in at No Award about the Imperial Radch series.

Believing that life is fair might make you a terrible person As I said on tumblr: Now I’m thinking about the implications for effective activism. Should we be avoiding “this unjust thing happened to X marginalised group (or the environment)” signal boosting that doesn’t come with “and here’s what you can do about it”? That’s what my gut tends to say, but I guess there’s the implication that passing the information on IS doing something about it. And “just don’t tell people about unjust things that happened in history” seems like an unfortunate moral. HMM. I’m sure smarter people than me have thought about this.

Let's talk about category structure and oppression! Everyone is expected to relate to a cis straight white anglophone American man. We're all like them, they're just (default, category-central) people after all! But they're not like us.

THE CATEGORIES WERE MADE FOR MAN, NOT MAN FOR THE CATEGORIES A bit rambly but eventually about the way we define "man"and "woman".

The EntitleMen: techno-libertarian right wing sockpuppets of silicon valley This is a bit rambly but makes some interesting comments about facism, libertarianism, and tech.

Basic income paid to the poor can transform lives

Safe a safe space for People of Colour who have an interest in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I'm sure I must have linked this already but it was on the list, so.

Everything is problematic Someone's path through some of the more unhealthy parts of acitivism.

France begins jailing people for ironic comments

And via anghraine, two examples of Korra fans turning "I don't like this" into "this is problematic", eg my least favourite kind of fannish "activism": anyone who likes Book 3 more is sexist, representation doesn't count if I didn't enjoy it.

Australia:

SUPERMARKET MONSTERS Coles, Woolworths and the price we pay for their domination

Hmmph. The article I linked to about it has vanished, but here's the petition to revoke Adam Baldwin's invitation to the con Supanova
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 10:45 pm
Man I'm still never entirely sure what I think about ffa ([community profile] fail_fandomanon) I've been thinking about it recently after a friend of mine had to leave because the incredibly nasty things people say there about a group she's in were bringing her down. I wish there was somewhere I could go for active fannish conversations that was less likely to randomly dissolve into intense ableism/transphobia/whatever and that didn't assume anyone there was, by definition, "anti-sj". (I mean I am against "sjw"s by the definition of "bully or abuser who uses social justice terminology". Because I'm against all bullies and abusers! But there are plenty of people there who are against any serious attempt at social change, and/or whose definition of sjw includes me and many of my friends)

It took me a long time to learn to recognise the difference between trolls who don't represent the average views at all and more mainstream opinions. It's not fair to hold up the worst of the group as representative of the whole, and there's a pretty wide range of opinions even once you exclude the outliers. But (a)Knowing someone's a troll doesn't always remove the sting of what they've said and (b)The mainstream opinions can still be pretty awful. And that's just on abstract topics, once they start talking about individual fans it can get nasty, hypocritical and just WRONG (the reactions to my own meta haven't been too meansprited, but they tended to miss the point or focus on trivialities. Which admitedly can in part be blamed on my own lack of clarity)

Urg, I'm tired, I'm not expressing this very well. Guess I'm not up to much beyond reading ffa and feeling weird about it :/
Tags:
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: 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: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled 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: Well meaning white girls against racism over Tracy from Hairspray (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?
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sqbr: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 08:36 pm
Yes, really.

Because while I may not be into m/m much most of the time, and have my own Issues With Slash Fandom, I've seen a few posts pop up on tumblr recently (here's the most recent) which have been taking the very simplistic line that slash's popularity is purely a result of misogyny, and that writing m/m is equivalent to only writing about white people. These posts also act like het is this POOR OPPRESSED MINORITY which, no.

It's nearly 2013, fandom, have we still not moved beyond this? Can't we argue about something else now?
Cut for those as sick of it as me )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Monday, October 1st, 2012 12:07 pm
Bullying & Goodreads I found this interesting because it's such a blatant example of people using "bullying" (aka criticism) as an excuse to be actual bullies.

On being considered a Fake Geek Girl I like this in particular (as opposed to various other similar essays by geekier women, which make different but equally valid points) because she really ISN'T a "real" geek by some definitions, but that doesn't mean she's fake. She's just who she is, with the interests she has (which are kind of geeky and kind of not), and she can't help it if people insist on a false Geek/Mundane dichotomy and then complain when she doesn't fit.

In general I've been thinking about "real fans". And as much as part of me kicks and screams that they are Not Real Fans and Don't Love Canon Like It Deserves, I think I have to accept that people who are only into (a)Jane Austen through the adaptations or (b)That Popular Thing I Love (Homestuck, for example) for the generic slash are totally justified in their tastes. Especially since there are plenty of books I'm only into from the adaptations, and canons where I vastly prefer the OOC schmoopy fanfic (sometimes even the juggernaut slash pairing! I find fanon John/Rodney way more entertaining than Stargate Atlantis the actual show, for example. YES, I KNOW, I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM) How the different forms of fannishness can coexist without stomping all over each other quite so much I am less sure.

The golden age Interesting take on how to head towards a truly equal society. I think that even if we ignore global warming and other similar practical hurdles, it glosses over how and why public attitudes have changed worldwide, it's not ALL The Capitalist Conspiracy brainwashing us with Fox News etc, and also seems focused on the abstract instead of looking at various approaches to social democracy worldwide (OUTSIDE EUROPE/THE US EVEN OMG). He does update with, for example, an acknowledgement that childcare is work too, but I think a more thorough analysis of disability theory etc would greatly benefit the analysis. One thing I've heard is that a more heterogeneous society erodes public support for egalitarianism, because people think "I'm ok supporting people like me, but not people like them" Not sure how to combat that, beyond trying to fight racism etc (which are obviously good goals regardless :)) Still, becoming disabled has really made me notice and question the emphasis on "being productive".
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Thursday, June 7th, 2012 08:07 pm


I did a meme on tumblr offering to do a video post on any requested subject (the other one is on maths so got posted to alias_sqbr) and was given the topic "being a queer, disabled, feminist writer". I didn't talk much about feminism in the end! I'm wearing a Kate Beaton "Brontes" shirt and key earrings (and pants. You can't see them, just letting you know they're there)

It's interesting seeing what assumptions and stuff show up when I can't go back and edit the first thing that pops out of my head eg the idea that queer fandom = femslash fanfic which is all written by women, which...no :) Also, as a kid I actually did like the idea of a husband/boyfriend being like a best friend but better. But I knew not all relationships were like that.

Transcript below the cut, there are also closed captions through the magic of Youtube. A few errors but I can't be bothered fixing them right now, sorry!
Read more... )