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: (up)
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 07:32 pm
Yesterday I went to a rally calling for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, which later was announced to have become policy. I have no deep point to make, but it was this or not get around to posting on BADD at all.

It's the first political rally I can remember ever going to. When I was younger I had a kneejerk reaction against rallies the same way that some people from church going families do against going to church, and then just as I started getting more into activism I got sick. I must admit my understanding of the NDIS is fairly shallow, but when [personal profile] lilysea asked if I wanted to come along I decided it would be a good chance to see what going to a rally in the wheelchair is like since I could probably rely on the organisers to pay attention to accessibility. Plus, while I do ok myself, know a lot of disabled Australians have real issues getting the help they need.

The organisers were indeed pretty good with accessibility, including setting a start time in the middle of the day well after the time we were supposed to arrive (disabled people often not being able to zip about efficiently in the early morning or late at night). The same cannot, alas, be said for Transperth, the lifts at Perth train station died really quickly once they had to deal with multiple people in wheelchairs etc using them in quick succession, causing a long queue, and staff were apparently unhelpful. (And later on we discovered the joy of trying to fit more than 4 people with wheelchairs/prams etc in a train carriage)

Once we escaped the station we spent some time waiting with many other disabled people and carers in the Hay Street mall, with organisers emphasising that the police needed us to of stay in the centre so that pedestrians could get past. The few police looked rather bored, but there were quite a few photographers and journalists. A woman from the ABC asked [personal profile] lilysea and I if we wanted to be interviewed but neither of us felt up to being Representatives of The Disabled, and deferred to a more prepared looking woman. (If you see any photos of a woman with bright blue hair in a wheelchair, that's [personal profile] lilysea. I'm the more boringly dressed woman beside her :)) I met some women from a local disabled women's group [personal profile] lilysea is in, they seem very nice.

Organisers with microphones tried to encourage people to chant, but my throat wasn't up to it. I did hold a sign on my lap. We went at a slow pace as a fairly tight group up the mall, down a block towards the river and into the Supreme Court gardens. It was hard keeping a steady pace with people of all different abilities and forms of mobility (scooters, on foot, crutches etc), I ran over someone's foot :( At the gardens there were people set up to direct people towards the stairs or ramp as appropriate, which did a good job of preventing bottlenecks. Then there was a small concert, which was loud and not really my thing so I left after taking some photos.

It was an interesting experience. Even as someone in a wheelchair I sometimes found myself defaulting to talking to carers rather than other wheelchair users. But despite my best efforts I am alas not always immune from awkwardness around people with major speech impediments or cognitive disability, which many people had. Being in a large group of disabled people was kind of cool, people showing off cool purple calipers etc without awkwardness.

(Below: Three photos of a large group of people, many in red shirts, some in wheelchairs or just sitting on garden chairs, watching a band play on stage in the park of the Supreme Court gardens. It is a beautiful sunny Perth Autumn day)
Read more... )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (happy dragon)
Friday, December 23rd, 2011 10:18 am
Greetings all! I have written a locked post summarising my experiences over the last year over at [personal profile] alias_sqbr, and since my access policy over there is basically "does not appear to be a bot, spammer or my mother" have added you all to my circle so you can read it if you like(*).

Hope the season is treating you well! It's very hot here, but I have an airconditioner, so it's all good :)

(*)This was far less painful than I thought it would be: I loaded up the sqbr profile in a browser logged into alias_sqbr, then added everyone not in bold.
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, September 24th, 2011 12:00 pm
So, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I identify as bi (or something along those lines) I see no reason to be in the closet about it should it come up in conversation, but couldn't see that it would that much, or that most people would care. Still, there was that niggling worry about the world suddenly turning into a magical wonderland of homophobia I'd never noticed before.
And it is pretty magical )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 01:42 pm
I already posted an almost identical locked version of this, but I've decided it would be useful to link to for context in broader conversation.

The archetypical "fandom activist", as far as I can tell from the assumptions I see around the place, is white, female, cisgendered, from the US, able-bodied, may or may not be lgbt, and middle class. She never really thought about social justice before joining fandom, but now pursues it with an almost religious fervour, with rigid ideas about acceptable behaviour, and attacks anyone who has been declared a Bad Person with angry comments on their journal and "signal boosting" posts. She also has no interest in activism outside this.

This does not describe me or the people I know who are involved in discussing social justice in fandom, at least not entirely. I used to think that maybe I wasn't the sort of person people were talking about when they made these posts, but my name has come up a few times so I guess I am.

So I've decided it would be helpful to get my experiences all laid out so that I can poke at them and maybe compare notes with other people.
Read more... )
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Friday, August 13th, 2010 01:41 pm
Curently killing time on cams new iPad in the dentists surgery while he has a tooth extracted. (heh, it automatically capitalized iPad. Grr and put the z in capitalized)

Anyway, at the perth train station beforehand cam said "did you see that woman 'defending' marriage? Totally code for being anti gay marriage"

And sure enough a few moments later she approached us.

Her: are you in favor of marriage?
Me: I'm in favor of marriage for all people
Her: good! Then would you like to make a donation or come to our rally?
Me: that depends, are you in favor of marriage for same sex couples?
Her: ... No
Me: then you're not in favor of marriage.

And then we walked away, with her saying a bit belatedly "but marriage is between a man and a woman..."

(would have posted this to alias-sqbr but am logged in here and may have to get off at any minute)
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 10:58 am
Just had some Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door and since I was bored I had a talk with them (the way I see it we both get a chance to refine our arguments with a polite determined advocate for the other team).

They were reasonable enough as evangelical doorknockers go, though they refused to believe me when I said the "We only use 10% of our brains" myth is bunk. (I mean, they refused to believe me about various creationist etc things too, but I was expecting that)

But when we got to death (eg "What will happen to my dead grandma?" and didn't I appreciate them latching onto that) I asked what would happen with my Grandad: will he be resurrected with his Alzheimers? If not, what happens to the person he is now, who is quite distinct from the person he used to be? "Well, he'll be resurrected as he was before he got the memory loss, because God will make him perfect."

When I asked about people who have "disabilities" like deafness that they see an inherent part of themselves the response was that they were wrong, because who wouldn't prefer to be able to hear? "Well then I would like to be taller. Would God make me taller?" No: that's a difference, not disability. I tried explaining my opinion that there's no neat dividing line between innocuous/positive difference and imperfection/disability but they had to go (yes, I won the game of chicken :D)

Some googling found me:


Anyway, not meaning to pick on Jehovah's Witnesses in particular, I just found it interesting. It's funny how much disability related stuff I never noticed before (for certain definitions of "funny")

(nb pleas try and avoid unnecessary ranting about he Evils of Religion. I'd like this to be a conversation which reasonable Witnesses could engage with if any come along. And yes they do exist :P)
sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
Friday, December 25th, 2009 09:25 pm
A very merry December 25th to all of you! Or a merry December 26th, or whatever day it is for you when you read this :)
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sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Saturday, August 15th, 2009 08:13 am
This is the basic stuff I assume as context when I post. The links are to extra info for the curious, I'm not going to assume people have read them!

I have a lot of social media accounts, almost always under the name sqbr.

I try and think about things from a social justice standpoint, and that's one of the main purposes of this blog. I think it's important not to get too rigid about identities, and some of these are a bit fuzzy, but for context:
I'm afab and genderfluid.
I was born and live in Perth, Western Australia.
I'm white, a mix of Anglo, Eastern European and Jewish.
I have chronic fatigue syndrome to the extent that I can't work, and identify as disabled. (A rundown of my health issues) I also have a lot of food intolerances, use a power wheelchair, and can't walk up stairs without a lot of pain(*).
I'm married to [livejournal.com profile] distantcam and biromantic grey asexual.
My parents are well educated lefty artist types working unskilled low-paid jobs, which makes me ambivalent about my class status.

I'm a science fiction fan, and am involved in local con-going fandom.

I draw a lot, including comics. I also make visual novels (art, writing, and coding). My fanish creative stuff can be seen at my alias_sqbr tumblr and the AO3. I also have Professional Artist And Game Developer stuff that avoid linking to my fannish persona publically but can be seen here if you're on the access list for sqbr or here for alias_sqbr.
I have a Phd in computational mathematics and love science, though I kind of burnt myself out talking about it after working in Science Communication for many years. (My maths page)

I'm an atheist, shading into agnostic around the edges.
I'm very absent minded, so have probably forgotten some stuff :)

(*)These last two are less relevant to my blog and more things I like to mention as often as possible so that people don't invite me for wine and cheese at the top of a flight of stairs.
sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
Monday, August 10th, 2009 09:27 am
1) I am not going to even bother trying to answer my mail until lj stops being so flakey (this is also the reason this entirely innocuous post is posted here)

2)I am going to stop mainlining X-files. I'm not going to stop watching, but the early-90s lack of continuity is bugging me (it's pretty good for the time, but I am reminded why I didn't watch so much tv back then) and my will to work through it has been eroded by three episodes in a row whose topics would requite trigger warnings were I to discuss them. (Not that I have triggers, but it's still a type of fiction I avoid if I can. At least the parasite episodes have been spread out a bit more, and there haven't been any about zombies)

I'd read fanfic but it's all based on season 6 on :/ (It's not so much the fact I don't understand what's going on that bugs me as the fact the characters aren't the same any more)

Oh! And I've decided I want a paid dreamwidth account, if anyone who was planning on getting me a birthday present anyway wants to do so early before I get around to buying it myself *hint hint*

Speaking of which does anyone want an invite?

Hmm. And now I'm out of things to do. *looks without much enthusiasm at the giant pile of clean washing that needs sorting*
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sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Monday, June 29th, 2009 10:27 pm
This is a report about [livejournal.com profile] femmeconne, a women's con held last.. September?

I started writing this after I got back, but it was a VERY stressful time for me, especially with regards my health, so I never finished it. And now I've forgotten what I was going to say. So the first part is the original draft, the second my 8-month-old vague recollections.

Original Draft
Since I was incredibly curious before I went, and other people also seem to be, a synopsis of my time there. Note that I got sick for the Sunday, and was a bit woozy on the Saturday, and in general YMMV.
A feminine convention )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (bookdragon)
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 11:50 am
I've decided to try and approach being stuck at home as I might a holiday (of indefinite duration and limited resources :/) and so am slowly going through all the things I've been putting off for ages. It gives me a nice sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, I just went through my draft posts folder. To begin with I had 84 drafts going back to 2007, now sorted into:

  • 34 I had already posted (including a few drafts of comments)
  • One I posted right away (since it was a teeny post that probably won't get much of a reply)
  • Two I will post in a little bit when I'm sure none of my posts from the last few days are going to explode in a hurry
  • 2 about ethics
  • 3 about gender
  • 2 long rambles about my personal history that grew out of other ideas (probably won't post these :))
  • 15 about race
  • 4 about religion
  • 9 misc (polls, a discussion of allergies, other random stuff)
  • 8 I decided were crap


Next up: going through each subfolder and seeing if I can combine the various drafts into one or more posts (or additions to the "just crap" folder). Many of these are just variations on the same ideas, there were a HEAP about artistic responsibility going back to some of my earliest drafts but I think I've finally articulated my position on that so they all went into "posted".

Does anyone else do this? And yes, it is scary to think that the huge barrage of rambly crap that makes it onto my journals has already passed through a winnowing and editing process :D (Though most of my posts are written off the cuff. Like this one!)
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sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 05:03 pm
I am so unbelievably low on spoons right now I cannot express it (on the plus side this is as a result of building myself to have a Serious Conversation About My Future at work, which is now done. More on that when things are more settled)

But something on Foxtel just now I wanted to note: a documentary about possible terraforming of Mars explicitely comparing it to "other frontiers through history", with images from the American West and talk about how "Colonists would do the same thing all colonists have done, packing light and preparing the land as they go..".

Some context: For those not aware of it, there is a Big Conversation happening right now about A fantasy novel with an American frontier..minus the American Indians(*). And one of the major points which has been brought up is that without indiginous peoples to exploit (not to mention indentured workers and slaves) the american colonists would have died, or at least not expanded so fast or so easily. In lots of ways the whole myth of the Frontier is a horrible racist lie.

And it's a lie with a lot of attraction to nerds, and this documentary illustrates that pretty well.

As to comments: I probably am not up to answering them, not for a while. And no playing BINGO.

(*)In case you can't find a synopsis in there, I shall arbitrarily pick one by someone I know :) And yes, that is my favourite author in the whole world making a racist ass of herself :(
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 03:18 pm
Read pretty much all of Yu+me Dream in one sitting (it starts as the story of a depressed American schoolgirl who everyone picks on but then goes somewhere very..odd)

Realise the reason you did this is because you are feeling sick and depressed and stupid.

Take the next day off work. Feel more sick and depressed and stupid.

Watch Speak, the story of a depressed American schoolgirl (played by Kristin Stewart) who is by turns ignored and picked on as she struggles to express her feelings after being raped by a charming older boy.

Watch the fanvid Because he loves her, which amongst other things takes Twilight, the story of a mopey American schoolgirl (played by Kristin Stewart) who falls in love with a controlling, violent, charming older boy, and highlights the parallels with domestic violence.

Decide you need to read or watch something cheerful. With absolutely no schoolgirls or depressed people.

(nb: all of these things are pretty good. Yu+me is a really engaging lesbian romance which goes to an unexpected and fascinating place, though the overall portrayal of POC characters made me uncomfortable. Speak is understated and subtle. The vid makes a good point though imo needs more fandoms and/or more narrative)
sqbr: And yet all I can think is this will make for a great livejournal entry. (livejournal)
Monday, April 13th, 2009 04:57 pm
Very sleepy, though I actually don't feel much worse than I did on Thursday, I'm waiting for the crash to hit. Had an amazing time.

Anyway, am skimming flist, replying when I can think of something quick, my tabs are getting ridiculous. Let me know if I missed anything major, and I still have barely looked at my email.

Now to attack the filters that are just communities...
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sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Friday, April 3rd, 2009 02:39 pm
Lily posted a musical autobiography, I thought instead I'd try and find songs from important moments in my life which I identified with at the time. These are mostly angsty/break up songs because that's my favourite genre, and my emotional involvement with music seems to be directly proportional to how teenage and/or depressed I am feeling.

Some of the songs as a rather odd YouTube playlist.
Read more... )
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sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 02:31 pm
I got my hair cut today, and decided on a semi-whim to get streaks put in. Unfortunately I'm only really up to going to the hairdresser on the corner, who is ok but not fantastic, and its not quite what I wanted but I'll live with it.


It won't stay this straight for long, I'm suprised it didn't re-curl before I got home :)

Does anyone else think I look kind of like [livejournal.com profile] gelignite? Well, our hair looks similarish anyway :)
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sqbr: And yet all I can think is this will make for a great livejournal entry. (livejournal)
Monday, March 23rd, 2009 04:27 pm
Wow. I feel terrible. I think I'm going to have to judge the "working three days a week" experiment a failure, especially since one of those days was spent restfully watching other people speak during a four hour(!) meeting.

I'm currently watching "Meeting People is Easy", a Radiohead doco I recorded off ABC (Unexpected side effect of Foxtel: recording all that cool stuff off ABC and SBS have I forget to watch) It's so utterly them, a bunch of diconnected half scenes and songs with no explanation or context, often cut off mid sentence. And yet somehow it ALL MAKES SENSE. Back in about 1997 their official webpage consisted almost entirely of mostly white pages with disconnected images and snatches of lyrics, with random words being links to other pages, and clicking in far enough led to strange things, and their merchandise page and "As a reward for clicking this far, have a free t-shirt design saying "Property of the Radiohead Corporation"". I thought it was the coolest thing ever, in my defense I was 17 :D It had an unforunate effect on my homepage which I first constructed around that time, the only real remaining vestige being the scenic route.

I love their music, but I get the feeling I'd find them unbearably intimidating and up themselves in person :) (Well, that and I turn into a gibbering 12 year old girl when I meet famous people, it's terrible) I've never cared much about the musicians who make the music I like much anyway, I get more personally attached to writers. (Although, in the very unlikley event Radiohead reads this but you never know..I LOVE YOU GUYS NO OFFENSE SQUEE FLAIL)

Does anyone else think Thom Yorke looks kind of like John Simm? No? Ok, just me then.
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sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 08:08 pm
Finally, the results of the Photo Meme. I would have been sooner, but I kept forgetting to photograph Cam and then the photo vanished! And then I waited until I could be bothered making smaller versions of the photos, and then I decided I couldn't. So these are big.

VERY image heavy )
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