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sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 08:20 pm
I read a really great post about this by someone with Actual Media Studies Knowledge but can't find the link and people keep being wrong about it on the internet, so here's my less informed ranting.

In short: "The Female Gaze", as the term is usually used within fandom discussions of media, makes no sense and is actively harmful.
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sqbr: A giant eyeball with tentacles (tii)
Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 06:09 am
50 Ways People Expect Constant Emotional Labor from Women and Femmes

Right down to a link about how "women and femmes" have a pay gap... that leads to an article about women vs men. I am not expecting anyone to have access to data that includes non binary people but they could say that rather than erasing our existence.

If they'd not done the search and replace I'd just have had a moment of "sigh, non binary people exist" but otherwise be ok with it.

Discussions of gender which erase non binary people are annoying but they are not as actively gross to me as ones which "remember" us by just assuming some portion of us are "basically women" (whether it be femmes or "women aligned" non binary people or some other arbitrary subset) and implicitely treat the rest like "basically men".
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sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 04:13 pm
With arguments including:
  • Made by a woman of colour (directed by a Japanese woman in Japan)
  • Aimed at women, female gaze (don't get me started on 'the female gaze'. Just. Don't)
  • Does not objectify women (because it's about men)
  • Multiple well drawn female characters (who are secondary to the men)
  • Canon amab genderqueer gay asexual protagonist in canon relationship with a man (is about two mildly gender non conforming guys being homoerotic-with-plausible-deniability)
  • Ethnic diversity (a Thai character has had a few lines)
  • Title is clearly a queer feminist deconstruction of male gazey yuri anime (title is very confusing if you are looking for actual yuri)


Which is to say: it's a lot of fun and less problematic/more progressive than most sports anime. I really like it! But it's still a mainstream anime about dudes.

I haven't actually seen any arguments along these lines for this show in particular but I was replying to a friend's post about the way people twist themselves in knots to argue that stories about dudes are THE MOST FEMINIST EVER and went "What would my example be? Well I just watched an episode of Yuri on Ice, and...oh God. I know exactly what someone out there is saying about this show".

Now later when I see such meta I can say "I KNEW IT" :)
sqbr: A giant eyeball with tentacles (tii)
Thursday, September 15th, 2016 10:00 pm
Honestly not sure I'll stick to it, and if you slip up and refer to me as "she" I won't be destroyed (unless I thought you were doing it out of pig headedness or something) But I feel like it's something I need to try out and see if it fits!

If the usage confuses you: it's like if I was a person of unknown gender. Which, being genderfluid, I kind of am! "Can you ask Sophie if they are ready for dinner?" etc.

Oh, also: this is my Tii-from-Glitch icon, since they are a non binary maths nerd giant :D
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Sunday, July 24th, 2016 07:37 pm
What options do you want to see in games which allow the player to customise their character's gender and appearance? What existing games have impressed you?

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sqbr: (up)
Sunday, July 10th, 2016 10:58 pm
The Sad Anime Wheelchair Girl (who may not actually be a girl, or in an anime, but that's where I've seen it most) is in a manual wheelchair with handlebars of the sort used in hospitals. She is either a paraplegic or just "sick". Her personality is quiet, passive, and emotionally sensitive. She is quietly melancholy about her disability but tries to keep her spirits up.

She's got complete control over her arms so definitely isn't quadraplegic etc. She has no cognitive issues. She is slow and weak and sickly even when there isn't anything wrong with her canonically asides from paraplegia. She never has a power wheelchair but uses other people to push her around long distances or even by default. Her situation is not shown as changing or improving no matter how long she is in the chair.

This is not how things work! Paraplegics are, in general, just as energetic as able bodied people. They have elegant streamlined wheelchairs that look very different to the sorts used in hospitals, and incredibly strong arms. And those wheelchair users who can't push themselves around very energetically or at all are much more likely to use a power wheelchair than get someone else to push them around. The only long term manual wheechair users I've seen rely entirely on other people were those too cognitively impaired to control a power chair. There may be other circumstances I'm not aware of but it certainly isn't the default, and I have seen manual wheelchair users complain about all of this.
Pondering how to draw fanart of such characters )
sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Sunday, June 19th, 2016 06:40 pm
So I love regency romances. Georgette Heyer is generally agreed to have been the creator of the genre, and is loved by most regency fans. And I can't stand her. I found myself ranting about why on twitter, but didn't have enough space to rant properly, so here we are.

I have only read a few Heyer romances, spaced out by the several years it took for me to forget how much I'd hated the last one before trying again. So I can't give an entirely informed opinion on her. Many people I highly respect adore her books, and that's fine. This is just why I don't like her. Note that the title isn't "why Georgette Heyer is objectively awful". I just get annoyed when she's presented as the Ultimate Regency Author All Regency Fans Love and All Regency Authors Should Emulate.
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sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, June 4th, 2016 11:55 am
So I spent the last however many years building up resources and social environments etc so I no longer felt so confused and alone about being a biromantic grey asexual woman. And now feel like I have to start all over again with being genderfluid :( I'm at the point where I don't so much have questions as like....a blank of ignorance I need to sketch out before I even know what the questions are.
What I'm not looking for )
So does anyone have any recs? Books, websites, blogs, anything. Formal or informal, even fiction if it's got something useful to say (though not just "any good book with some mention of non binary genders"). They don't have to be entirely focussed on non binary people as long as they are genuinely inclusive. I guess what I'd like, to the extent it exists, is an equivalent to the breadth of feminist spaces, but either focussed on or equally inclusive of non binary people.

What I have so far:
Notes from a Wiscon panel on The Pitfalls of Haphazard Gender Inclusion with links to panelists' blogs
Notes from a "Beyond the Binary" panel which includes a bunch of links and the blog it's on.
A post with questions about how non binary and trans people fit into feminism and the "lifeoutsidethebinary" blog it's on.
Chaos Life is a comic created by an agender person which I generally like.

These are definitely something to start with (my browser is a wall of tabs right now :)), but recs would still be super useful.

(Also I need to make a new gender icon this one doesn't quite feel right any more!)
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, May 7th, 2016 04:04 pm
I now identify as genderfluid! It's still very new but feels really right and happy making. Not changing my pronouns or anything for now, so, I don't require you guys to do anything differently. Just letting you know where I'm at.
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sqbr: (up and down)
Thursday, May 5th, 2016 05:36 pm
So, a question that's come up in a game I'm working on, and is likely to come up again in future: how do you combine allowing the player character (PC) of a dating sim having a spectrum of gender identities available with having love interests who aren't all bi/pan?
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sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 02:15 pm
The comments to my last post on the subject made me realise I hadn't expressed myself very clearly, so I've been waiting until I felt clear headed enough to lay out my argument properly, and here we are.

My point: female protagonists are almost always the least invested in feminine presentation compared to other female characters in the story.

I'm not saying there's no such thing as major sympathetic female characters who care more about feminine presentation than other female characters in the story. There's lots of those. I am strictly talking about protagonists.

In most cases the main character is the best at looking pretty, but that's not the same as being the most invested. A common trope is the protagonist being forced to dress up prettily and looking fabulous with no effort on her part. Another common trope, especially on tv, is her looking fabulous and fairly girly despite explicitely "not caring". As many butch women have pointed out, mainstream fiction actually portrays women as being, overall, much more invested in feminine presentation than they are in reality. You almost never see genuinely butch women, instead many female protagonists SAY they don't care about feminine presentation but clearly LOOK like someone who cares a great deal.

I'm not saying that these stories are neccesarily sexist, especially not something like Fun Home which explores the generally ignored experiences of butch women. I just think it's notable that female protagonists are so limited, and want to poke at it.
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sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 11:59 am
Can anyone think of sympathetic female protagonists who are shown caring about their physical appearance and/or actively trying to look more feminine and pretty more than some/all of the other women in the story? Not sympathetic side characters where it's seen as a forgivable flaw, but protagonists.

I'm conflating "trying to look good" with "traditionally feminine" a bit here, I realise they're not the same thing and if people have examples which poke at that I'd be interested too.

EDIT: I'm looking for PROTAGONISTS, not secondary characters/non-main parts of an ensemble, and they have to be EXPLICITELY MORE into dressing up etc than other female characters in the same story.
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EDIT: some examples from further thinking/other people:

  • Buffy from Buffy
  • Elle from Legally Blonde
  • Aisha from Aisha and Cher from Clueless, both modern retellings of Emma that turn Emma's advice to Harriet on being more upper class into fashion advice
From memory, Legally Blonde is the only one that really treats caring about fashion etc with much respect. With Aisha and Clueless I think it's an artifact of "being upper class while female" translating most easily into fashion consciousness, and it could be argued that it's still more about class than gender. But Buffy and Legally Blonde are explicitely designed to be stories about the kind of girl who never gets to be the heroine.

EDIT: Followup post.
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.
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sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, June 20th, 2015 01:57 pm
There are certain sexist narratives media present to us. It's good to try to subvert them. But it is usually impossible to subvert all of them at once.

One of the narratives we're fed is that there is a single path of Good Womanhood. This path is inconsistent and impossible for any real woman to follow, and because it's so inconsistent parts of it show up in all sorts of attempted subversions.

One of the other narratives we're fed is that women should sacrifice our own enjoyment for The Greater Good. Thus letting ourselves enjoy the narratives we enjoy, no matter how "problematic", is itself in some ways subversive. (This doesn't mean we shouldn't try to avoid being actively sexist. Or for that matter racist etc)

Saying that there is a single Feminist Narrative all female characters should fit into supports this idea that there is a single Good Way To Be A Woman. Also, chances are there is some way this "feminist" narrative ends up supporting part of the typical Sexist Narrative, or is just not to everyone's tastes. Telling women that they are unfeminist if they don't like The One Feminist Narrative buys into the idea that women should sacrifice their own enjoyment for the greater good.
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sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Sunday, February 1st, 2015 09:39 pm
Because it's relevant to another conversation, and also something I find interesting in it's own right.

Note: This is largely about cis female characters being read as cis male characters in fictional settings where everyone is assumed to be both cis and binary gendered. I think a lot of the ways this issue is discussed erase or belittle trans people (eg I am not a fan of the phrase "man in a dress"), and I hope I haven't done that, I have used "genderswap" a few times because in these settings there are only two genders.

So. I would never describe a female identified person as "effectively male". There are very limited circumstances in which I might describe a female fictional character that way, and none come to mind. And I have seen way too many examples of fans of all genders dismissing female characters for either being "too much like men" or "too much the kind of character men like" (feminine, sexy etc), and in a way which implicitely erases the existence of real life women with similar traits, or at the very least is hurtful to female fans who identify with that female character. For this reason, the phrase "effectively male" or statements like it rub me the wrong way.

But there are many times when I would say about a female character that "they are equivalent to a male character in X respect" or "I felt about them the way I would feel about a male character doing those things", and I know that's all a lot of other people mean when they say a female character is "effectively male".
Read more... )
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sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 01:34 pm
One review praises the way it uses "she" as the universal pronoun then goes on to describe everyone as a "he".

Another is a list of squeeful things, including both the anti colonialist message and the fact that everyone drinks tea (except servants and anyone else the colonisers/upper class want to make feel like dirt, of course, but they don't count)

*closes the Ancillary Justice tag*

(I reviewed it on my other blog. Overall I quite liked it!)
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 01:41 pm
If my (flawed and shallow) understanding of the history of novels (specifically scifi and YA), comics, and films is any guide, in 20 years:

Video games will be taken more seriously as an art.
There will be room in the marketplace for lots of healthy subgenres appealing to people from all walks of life.
There will still be heaps of cheesy AAA shooters because people like that sort of thing, but there'll also be cross pollination between genres to the betterment of all.
There will specifically be a thriving Indie Game subculture, Indie Game Makers who are taken seriously in mainstream culture and can make a comfortable living etc.
People will remember Gamergate, if they do at all, as a bunch of regressive moustache twirling Luddites who were too hidebound to accept progress and True Art etc.

And the heroes of this new movement, and of the history as people remember it, will be white dudes. They'll make a movie starring John Scalzi as the Brave Male Feminist and Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkesian as the thankful oppressed victims. Brianna Wu will have a cameo played by Dakota Fanning.
There'll be Best MOGAI Games Of 2034 Humble Bundle or whatever, but the Indie Game Artform will for the most part still be a bunch of stories about grizzled white dudes, just...artistically written ones. Maybe some tragic lesbians every now and then, and the Great Classics as taught will include a careful tokenistic sprinkling of games about and by POC, disabled people etc.

Genres outside the Indie Game Artform will be looked down on as Not Real Art, and this condescension will as it happens fall most severely on any genres which just happen to be more popular with women (AAA action games will alosbe dismissed, and middle aged gamergaters will mutter about how they warned everyone this was going to happen and how AAA action games these days lack the masculine energy of the old days. Female fans of AAA action games will mutter someting quite different). Dating sims, for example, will continue to be as looked down on as romance novels.
Independent games which care more about representing neglected POVs and being entertaining than hitting the current Art buttons will be vaguely respected but not paid much attention.

And we'll all keep making and playing the games we like regardless.

(I do actually consider this to be a mostly much better situation than what we have now. But I had a Vision Of The Future and felt like sharing it. Also, yeah, massive generalisations etc, I hope my basic point comes across)
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Friday, October 17th, 2014 10:51 pm
Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage Felt a little overly optimistic but that's a nice change in these dark times, and was an interesting read.

This really irritated me. Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man, a snarky essay riffing on the ~hilarious~ idea that she is a "poor imitation or substitute man" with no mention of the fact that, you know, she could actually identify as male if she wanted. This is a thing afab people do sometimes, and they are not "poor imitations" of men. I mean I haven't read the full essay being quoted, maybe she really does identify as male to some extent, and the article is glossing over that. But either way, it annoyed me as presented, and Le Guin should know better. She could very easily have made the same point without erasing trans people.

Strips and Pieces, a really good comic (with transcript!) about men's resentment of sex workers.
sqbr: Rose and the doctor (dw?)
Sunday, July 13th, 2014 11:03 pm
Let's see if I can remember what I wanted to say for any of them...

Jennifer Lawrence And The History Of Cool Girls. I had some further thoughts on tumblr (which I'd been pondering turning into a post here but tumblr got to me first) This ffa discussion of what people consider a feminist character touches on related points.

I've been thinking a lot about the moral obligations of adults towards the teenagers we encounter online, especially now I'm on tumblr which is FULL of teenagers. I deliberately seek out friends around my age and still have heaps of teen followers, some of them mutual because we genuinely have stuff in common.
How we were fooled into thinking sexual predators lurk everywhere argues that we need to look out and care for vulnerable teens more than worry about malicious adults (though that's important too) Here's a discussion on ffa of the issues around teens and adults and porn, something I don't have to worry about as much personally since everything I create tends to be at most PG rated anyway but still find disquieting, mostly when I encounter the porn my teen friends are into (I don't object to them being into it I JUST DON'T WANT TO KNOW). But that particular aspect aside I feel like...I have a responsibility to be a NON creepy adult rather than just avoiding younger people, or the only adults teenagers will meet are the creepy ones (and not just sexually creepy, they can take advantage emotionally or monetarily too)

Meditation Nation On the intense emotional upheaval meditiation can cause, and the difference between doing it for personal gain and religious insight.

Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start About constructing social networks that encourage good social norms.

The difference between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange

Inspiration Disinformation on the artists vs haters dichotomy.

Why Are Doctors Skeptical & Unhelpful about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Why I no longer engage the “Are aces queer?” question The important thing is respect and inclusion in general, eg if people who didn't see aces as queer didn't THEN divide the world into "straight vs queer" instead of "straight, queer, or asexual" there'd be much less of a problem.

The People vs the Political Class The gap between politics and what the people (of Australia, and in general) actually want.