sqbr: (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.
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: (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: 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.
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Monday, December 31st, 2012 08:07 pm
This question is on behalf of my husband Cam aka [twitter.com profile] distantcam, since I thought you guys might be able to help.

The software engineering community has recently had a bunch of nasty sexism imbroglios with the same old "get harassed/belittled for being a woman, complain about harassment, get harassed/belittled for complaining" cycle seen in the geek community, atheism community etc.
See for example Stupid Question 107: Shhh… Harassment. Not a problem?.

There's currently a bunch of software engineers making noises about working together to fight against the entrenched sexism. Cam is very much on board with this, but thinks they should try and learn from other communities' experiences rather than reinventing the wheel. Also, engineers respond better to new ideas when you have links or other references to point them towards. I poked through my links but they're all focused on stuff like sexual harassment at cons rather than, say, women being ignored in professional settings.

My main advice for him as a male ally (based on my experiences as a white antiracist) is to try REALLY HARD to find female voices on the subject, and then use the microphone of male privilege to encourage all the other men to listen to those women.

So, what we're looking for:

  • Female Software engineers, or other women in male dominated professional fields, talking about their experiences and offering advice on fighting sexism
  • Explanations of why it's important to be actively inclusive not just "not really sexist"
  • Explanations of why it's important to center the discussion around women and women's voices
  • Ways for men to help in situations without being "white knights" or otherwise overbearing.
  • Anything else relevant and useful


Cam is going to subscribe to the comments, but will probably not reply to many since he is not as chatty as me :)
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Sunday, December 30th, 2012 09:36 am
I may have already posted some of these, sorry!

Objecting to Objectification A post that really annoyed me. It basically says that queer women shouldn't, say, check out another women's breasts without stopping and thinking seriously about her ~thoughts~ and ~feelings~. Personally I am totally fine with random strangers (regardless of gender!) thinking I'm hot without wondering about my inner life, as long as they treat me like a person should we actually interact.

I really dislike the way ALL sexualisation of women is demonised within certain progressive spaces (while other "sex positive" progressive spaces are more likely to celebrate the sexualisation of women by men), meaning that there is pretty much nowhere it is accepted and normalised for women to sexualise other women. I realise that some women want safe spaces where they don't feel sexualised, but there's a difference between "Please don't sexualise women in this space" and "sexualising women is bad".

A criticism of yarn bombing

Identity should always be part of the gameplay
N K Jemisin talking about how oppression and privilege are dealt with in the Dragon Age world. I know some people prefer fantasy worlds with no sexism/racism etc, but personally I tend to enjoy ones which DO have some bigotry as long as it's handled well and in a way that allows for happy endings.

The Naked and the TED A criticism of various books to come out of TED and TED in general.

The missing stair, My friend group has a case of the Creepy Dude. How do we clear that up?, “I am the Lorax, and I speak for the creeps!” Posts on dealing with creepiness (and worse) in other people

Fallacy Watch: No True Klansman Redefining terms like "racism" to refer to attitudes so heinous that nobody actually believes them, thus allowing the speaker to avoid being labelled with the term.

self-care: a buncha links, or something Not all self care can be ~enlightened~ acts like doing activism or eating organic free trade vegetables, but it's still necessary.

Lincoln Against the Radicals "Lincoln is not a movie about Reconstruction, of course; it’s a movie about old white men in beards and wigs heroically working together to save grateful black people."
sqbr: (up)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 06:14 am
I've been going out in my wheelchair more recently, and also trying to get back into paying attention to my clothes (constructing outfits is a form of creative expression for me) Which has meant navigating the new and exciting world of wheelchair fashion.

As mentioned in this rather sweet article about design students making wheelchair fashion there's issues with pant length and stuff (mostly less of an issue for me as a short legged woman with an electric chair, though I miss wearing long skirts) but there's also more subtle issues with the meaning of clothes changing when you wear it in a chair.

For example I stopped wearing this threadless shirt saying "This was supposed to be the future. Where is my jetpack...where is my cure for this disease" after someone read it then gave me a look of intense pity and said "I'm so sorry!"

But being in a wheelchair isn't all about limits. I can wear pretty but uncomfortable shoes now since I'm not going to be walking in them. I've also been looking for tshirts with slogans which gain meaning from being in a chair: here's me wearing an "Also I can kill you with my brain" shirt and I also have a we were not meant to be octopus shirt.

This got me thinking about making my own sloganed tshirts. I don't know how many if any of these I would actually wear, but they were fun to come up with. I particularly enjoy subverting people's image of disabled people as cheerful, earnest, and harmless.

  • Cyborg in progress
  • Future cyborg overlord
  • Bad cripple
  • good cripple
  • more machine than man
  • your awkward stares only make me stronger
  • Stairs! My archnemesis! We meet again!
  • Being an inspiration: $10
    Answering invasive questions: $50
    Accepting unsolicited medical advice: $100
    Crushing the feet of the unworthy: Free


If anyone wants to take/adapt these ideas for themselves feel free.
sqbr: (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: (faith)
Thursday, August 30th, 2012 10:05 pm
There's been a lot of discussion recently about Atheism+ as a better alternative to the existing sexist and generally bigoted Atheist community.

I've been reading with interest. Cam was all "pfft, it's just Humanism", the two counterargument I've seen seem to boil down to
(a) Humanism may be pro-equality on paper, but the Humanist community does a pretty bad job in practice.
(b)Not all atheists want to be humanists. For a start, Humanism tends not to be sufficiently anti-religion for anti-religious atheists.

Now (a) is a good argument for me not getting involved in humanism. Alas, (b) is a good argument for me not getting involved in Atheism+, since I am not anti-religion, and find broad strokes anti-religious argument irritating.

In the comments to one of these posts I saw people talking about how alienating they found the post The New Atheism +, the main response to which seemed to be "But if you're against bigotry why do you feel alienated?" And I have to say I found it pretty alienating myself and not because I am pro bigotry.

I really dislike the framing of there being Good People and Irrational Dead Weight. In general I am very uncomfortable with the way Irrational is used as the worst possible insult amongst atheists, even if it is at least being more accurately applied by including sexism etc now.

I mean... Our compassion entails we will and must always be the enemies of the uncompassionate. When for me compassion means trying not to think of people as enemies at all. Sure, some people are so totally opposed to what I stand for that I am unlikely to ever find compromise with them, but they are far outnumbered by the people I currently oppose on on or more issues but would like to think could be my allies one day.

The cynical part of me thinks this kind of rhetoric appeals to male feminists (or white anti racists etc) because then they can draw a bright clear line between themselves and the Bad Guys. And if you disagree then clearly you are PRO SEXISM. Then when they are called out for their own sexism (and they will be eventually) they often get all huffy because zomg they're not one of THEM.

(nb this is me slowly crawling back to sentience after SUCH a stressful few weeks, including a tumnmy bug, cold, and my cat being temporarily BURIED UNDER THE FLOORBOARDS. So this post may not be entirely coherent)
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Saturday, July 21st, 2012 09:01 pm
Following on from my post about monster women and again via [community profile] the_school_of_philosophy: the seam of skin and scales, in which a trans woman refuses to be see her body as a trap.

She doesn't mention disability explicitly, but almost everything she says rang very true for me, and trans people and disabled people are both very much left on the outskirts of white-young-feminist ideas about "loving your body". (In different ways of course, and I don't mean to flatten out the differences, especially since my disabilities are frequently invisible)

I am having a very interesting discussion with capriuni on a post she made about disability and monstrousness, and realised it may not be entirely a coincidence that I felt like drawing monster girls shortly after starting to go out more in my wheelchair and having to deal with the way that makes people look at me (and the way it makes me look at myself).
sqbr: Trust me, I'm a doctor (of maths) (doctor!)
Saturday, July 21st, 2012 07:24 pm
So! Via my network I came across [community profile] the_school_of_philosophy, which is maintained by [personal profile] unusualmusic and thus not your usual run of the mill philosophy. And that linked to "How to want to change your mind" at Measure of Doubt, one of the very few "rationalist" videos/essays etc I've seen which captures the sort of rationalism I aim for (eg actually trying to figure out the truth, not prove how much smarter I am than other people or dogmatically defend the scientific establishment from all who question it)

Below the cut is a transcript. I used the Youtube automatic transcript as a starting point, it was right often enough to be helpful and hilariously wrong often enough to make the task amusing :)
Read more... )
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dw)
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 09:19 pm
PC World I had something to say about this but I don't remember what...

Me pondering conflict anxiety and accessibility in online arguments

Fragments of Evolving Manhood: Notes Towards a Discussion of Male Self-Hatred Points out the ugly underbelly of the idea of "protective" dads/big brothers "guarding" girls from their boyfriends. I hate the way fandom gleefully embraces this trope and applies it to male characters who've shown no signs of it (Tenzin from Avatar: The Legend of Korra for example) My dad has always treated my boyfriends like any of my friends and been friendly and welcoming (in his quiet way) and I think this is much more endearing.

Peril Asian Australian online magazine

Pick your battle: a practical guide to social activism I thought this was pretty good for what it was, but I was a bit annoyed by the way it glossed over the possibility of fixing problems with anything other than formal activism (plus there seem to be accessibility issues)

Sure, you can join an organisation for volunteering to visit old people, but why not just visit the ones you already know? There's a division of the world into Activists, Victims, and Ignorant Masses To Be Educated, and while she gives a lot of very good advice about being inclusive it still feels like she's missing something crucial. Perhaps the fact that we all wear all three different hats at different times. There's a danger of people going "I'm an Activist, so by definition I can't be in need of education/complicit with any oppression" etc, or of seeing Activists as better qualified to know how to fix things than the Victims.

Formal activism is the right tool for changing government legislation and other Big Issues, and it's something I want to get more involved in. But I also see a lot of value (and for me, accessibility, an issue she glossed over as well) in smaller more organic connections within one's own community, helping those who need helping and educating/lobbying those who need to change, while also being open to change ourselves.

Another thing that's been making me think about these divisions is some surveys I did about attitudes towards charity, and this charity related quote.
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 08:04 pm
An utterly terrible article: Why women lose the dating game

This sort of article feels like it comes from some bizarre parallel universe where everyone is a douchebag who sees all romantic and sexual relationships as a cold, objective calculus of income + attractiveness + status. (Also everyone is straight and binary gendered. Obviously)

Partners of the same approximate value are interchangeable, and the aim is to capture the highest valued partner you can. Once a man gets married he is forced to support his wife forever. But what all men actually want is an endless stream of meaningless sex with high valued women. Marriage appears to be a strictly unemotional transaction: status and children for the woman, a guaranteed supply of sex for the man. To be an unmarried woman past a certain age is to be of shamefully low status and doomed to misery.

The other main difference between men and women is that women's attractiveness steadily drops from the day they turn 23 or so, while men's attractiveness falls much more slowly, so that their overall value tends to increase through their 30s with their income.

And you know what? In such a world it does make sense for women to marry the first decent prospect around their age who comes along, holding onto him as their value decreases and his increases.

But thankfully the world I live in is nothing like this whatsoever.
Tags:
sqbr: Hannelore: Worry hat! Bravery plus 10, charisma plus 5 (worry hat)
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 11:54 am
Now Antidepressant-Induced Chronic Depression Has a Name: Tardive Dysphoria is both scary and annoying, it really seems to only care about people with temporary, mild depression. What about people whose depression is chronic to begin with? It almost implies that they never used to exist, which history does not support. (I'm taking an SSRI for chronic anxiety, so this is relevant to my interests)

Nova Scotia Mental Health Project I know one of the people running this and thought some of my Canadian readers might be interested (I suck at geography, I realise you all may live nowhere near Nova Scotia)
sqbr: (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: (dw!)
Sunday, November 6th, 2011 04:19 pm
Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders OH NO ACTUAL POOR PEOPLE

Occupy at Home Resources for those unable to join the protests, also just generally useful if very US focussed.

Health as a virtue

In local news:

Indigenous elders condemn intervention extension WHY WON'T THIS LEGISLATION DIE
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dw)
Sunday, September 18th, 2011 09:50 pm
Jon Stewart and the Burden of History A flawed but still interesting critique of John Stewart. This came up on my dash shortly after a discussion of how not-that-feminist Jane Austen was, and I think in both cases there's that ambiguity between satire for it's own sake and political statement. Critiquing hypocrisy and ridiculousness does not always extend to critiquing the system that allows such hypocrisy and ridiculousness to flourish, or those who are sensible and honest but harmful.

Mass Effect: Conviction Comic about the new crew member James Vega. And oh look, after the recent DLC where you had no choice but to destroy a planet of unfriendly aliens(*) we have yet another scene of a privileged guy berating thuggish aliens for being so belligerent about his complicity in the mass murder of their people. YAY.

A nice collection of links about this #yesgayya thing.

Also, I have no link to hand, but Australia now allows for a third gender on passports, and has removed the surgery requirement for trans people, huzzah!

(*)Making this the fourth time the player has to decide if (or in what way) they want to be complicit in genocide/mass murder. I would like a new moral dilemma please.