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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: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dw)
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 07:22 pm
I've talked about this on [personal profile] alias_sqbr but for anyone who doesn't follow me there: I've made an account at Imzy, a sort of cross between tumblr and reddit which is designed to encourage communities and discourage hostility. It's pretty quiet but has potential, especially the ability to have closed communities only visible to members. Also you can make multiple identities, including an anonymous one, that noone but you can see the connections between, although you can only use one per community.

Anyway, I've made a "personal community" eg blog, and if you apply to join it I can send you an invite to Imzy in general. I have 50 invites so don't worry about me running out :)
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: 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.
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Monday, November 10th, 2014 09:54 pm
This morning I had a moment of perfect clarity. I felt a strength of purpose and certainty in the importance of speaking publically on a complex issue that I haven't felt much in the last few years.

And then this evening I had a second moment of perfect clarity. That thought was "this is fucked up." And realised that the state I'm in now, and haven't been in for several years, is unmedicated.


My apologies to anyone who was hurt by the now locked post, which I am going to ignore for a while until I feel able to approach it with at least a modicum of rationality. Also apologies for blarging my personal issues on you all, but I felt like an explanation was neccesary and couldn't think of a less mortifying way to explain things. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go play computer games for a while and try not to die of /o\
sqbr: WV stands proudly as mayor (homestuck)
Saturday, July 19th, 2014 02:01 pm
As I encounter more reviews Snowpeircer has gone from "science fiction film I might enjoy" to "metaphorical film I might enjoy for the story" to "metaphorical film I won't enjoy the story of" to "metaphorical film I won't enjoy whose central metaphor will piss me off". I'm sure it's very good, and I admire the intent, but nope. I can see some people finding it cathartic, and that's cool for them. But I wouldn't, so the film has no appeal.

EDIT: I should add that I had already pretty much decided not to watch the movie anyway because it has lots of bad things happening to children which I find really upsetting.

This piece of meta intended to defend it was the final straw. Spoilers for the end, because it's the end that annoys me. tl;dr: implying that true revolution relies on the ~pure youth~ since everyone else is too tainted appeals to burned out old activists and optimistic young activists but is really annoying when you're the child of activists. And I think it betrays a real lack of imagination.

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: A stick figure doing cartwheels saying "Yay" (yay!)
Friday, June 21st, 2013 01:16 pm
Thank you! I really appreciate it!

I always feel really grateful and surprised when this sort of thing happens, and then am like "Does this mean I have minions I can get to buy me stuff? Am I somehow pressuring people to buy me stuff? AM I THE NEXT CASSANDRA CLAIRE??" But mostly I'm just happy :)
sqbr: (up)
Sunday, April 21st, 2013 06:25 am
Articles like ReWalk: A Plea for Common Sense remind me how little ablebodied people understand the sheer joy a good wheelchair can bring. Mostly because the alternative for someone like me is not being able to move, but there are some advantages even over being an able bodied person.

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

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

Any others, fellow wheelies?
sqbr: pretty purple pi (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: (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: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 10:17 am
This grew out of discussions with other people and inside my head, dealing with that little voice that tells you you're mediocre, not living up to your potential, without value etc. I'm specifically coming at this from the point of view of someone who was "gifted" as a child then became increasingly unable to work or think very well, I'd be interested to hear from people with very different POVs.

Something I've been trying to get my head around since getting so ill is a broader understanding of what a person's "capabilities" really are. I am in many ways exactly as "clever" as I was when I was at uni, but I struggle to follow one or two lectures a week on Coursera because of my cfs related difficulty concentrating, and had to quit my really-not-that-challenging job because my brain just couldn't handle the work (neither could my body, but that's a different issue and in some ways was easier to accept)
some personal context )
It's silly to blame myself for my limitations now, so did it make sense to blame myself for them then? Should I feel "proud of myself" for being less overwhelmed than I was two years ago now that I am on anti anxiety meds? In some ways it's depressing to admit your limitations, and obviously you shouldn't give up on your dreams out of misplaced "realism", but it also makes no sense to despise yourself for being "inherently mediocre" AND feel guilty for having failed to live up to your "brilliant potential". Everyone has a mixture of gifts and weak points, and we shouldn't feel guilty for not maximising the former without feeling proud for not being totally overwhelmed by the latter.

And why do we have to "live up to our potential" anyway? Life isn't a competition, not with each other and not with our "potential". Personally, the things I aim for are to maximise (a)My happiness (b)Everyone else's happiness (both by being polite etc and working on social justice) (c) Seeking truth and expressing things noone else is expressing (though maybe that's a subset of (a)? These goals are always open to change, anyway :)). I used to think (c) meant I had to pursue Science but for now it means making art. Is it great, popular art? No. Am I really all that inherently "gifted" at art? No(*). But it gets the ideas out of my head. Of course finding a balance between maximising the things I value and not beating myself up about missed opportunities is still difficult, but at least I'm worrying about things that matter and not holding myself to impossible standards (except when I am. This post is aimed at myself as much as everyone else!)

endless_murmur made a good post about the danger of telling people to be extraordinary which in turn inspired this post. As I said in my comment: we are told to be "extraordinary", but also told not to be weird, and the difference between the two is incredibly subjective. And not everyone is drawn to be either, and that's fine. Pluralism=good, elitism=bad.

I would have a final conclusion but like I said, I'm not good at formal essay structures any more :)

(*)Seriously, I was middling ability as a kid. I just kept at it because my parents are artists, and even then didn't really get any good until my late 20s when I had literally nothing else to do.
sqbr: me in a graduation outfit. 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] the_future_modernes 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: 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, :) 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... )
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: WV stands proudly as mayor (homestuck)
Friday, August 19th, 2011 12:45 pm
Maliciousness in memes: #boganmovies and #tightsarenotpants

I always feel a bit self conscious ranting about class, since the more I think about it the more I realise that for all their left wing ideals my parents are basically middle class bohemians slumming it because they find the rat race too stressful. I never entirely fit in to the working class culture I grew up in, and have few connections to it now. Plus being a "working class" Australian in the suburbs in the 80s was in some ways less difficult than, say, what a lot of ostensibly lower middle class Americans are experiencing now.

Then again, I guess the fact that despite these cushioning effects I've still experienced enough classism to feel pretty angry about it is testament to how totally not class free Australia is.

Anyway, yes. The cheerful way that ostensibly left wing middle class people mock and belittle the working class and people from rural areas is gross. (And I wish this went without saying, but I don't want to see any of it in my comments)
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... )