August 2017

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sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 02:58 pm
(this started out as a reply to this tumblr post)

When I first started posting about social justice online, on my fannish livejournal, I posted about racism a LOT, with lots of self righteous LET ME EXPLAIN A THING. And then two of my non-white(*) friends said it was ruining my blog for them: one because she felt like I was speaking over her experiences, which didn’t match the monolithic How POC Feel Narrative I was ‘explaining’, the other because it was causing my clueless white friends to say racist crap in the comments. I had to fight back a defensive “But DON’T YOU WANT ME TO FIGHT RACISM??” reaction.

Ten years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to discuss racism in ways that actually help fight racism, and make the spaces I control supportive of POC/non-white people, rather than simply making the loudest possible noise about how it’s REALLY BAD YOU GUYS.
Read more... )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Monday, August 14th, 2017 01:34 am
I feel weird making a post about this as a super pale white person, but I keep seeing other artists draw dark characters really badly in the sort of flat colouring used in animation and comics etc, and don't know of any better guides. So here's what I've figured out. If people know of better techniques or guides, or if I've inadvertently said something wrong or offensive, please let me know.
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sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 03:24 pm
I keep seeing people modelling ageism towards the young with a simplistic privileged/marginalised dichotomy, and while there is a huge power differential between adults and young people(*), I think this kind of model is really unhelpful.

I mean, simplistic privileged/marginalised dichotomies are a flawed way to describe anything. But there's cases where it at least kind of works, and age isn't one of them.
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sqbr: (up and down)
Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 02:55 pm
A reply to this post about the importance of paths to redemption.

I agree with this but think there’s a few important things it misses that don’t go without saying. Specifically: no matter how much someone atones, the people they hurt have a right to want to avoid them anyway, and people in general are individually within their rights to still not like or trust someone post atonement.
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sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 08:05 am
It is in the interests of the creator to play down the full variation of human psysiology/psychology/culture etc. That way they can make their "alien" species "consistently different" to humans without having to make them genuinely different, and thus unrelatable and hard to write.

Inspired by a comment I just got on a Dragon Age fic I wrote about the experiences of a human with dwarfism in a world with fantasy "dwarves". I was thinking about why I haven't seen anyone else take on this pretty obvious plot, and realised it's because doing so is an uncomfortable reminder that (a) This is a real group of people we're exotifying into another species here (b) For the most part, fantasy dwarves (as well as halflings) are indistinguishable from especially short humans. Point this out, and they stop being cool and exotic.

And of course, as has often been discussed, this tendency has the implication that any experience too far outside the human "norm" is alien and weird. Where this "norm" is usually "WASPy American", as well as straight, cis, able bodied, etc. "Let me tell you of this human food called hamburgers" etc.
sqbr: (up and down)
Thursday, March 16th, 2017 12:32 pm
(I wanted to argue with someone on twitter and this is way too complex for 140 characters)

A hole a lot of activists seem to fall into is thinking that the axis of oppression they're fighting is the central oppression, the one from all others flow. If people just put their energy into this, the REAL fight, all the others would fall like dominos.

I have seen people argue this about ecomonic inequality, sexism, homophobia, ableism, racism (both in general and against specific ethnic groups), everything. I once read a very compelling argument by bell hooks that the Real Underlying Oppression is against children.

In every case the argument is (a) if you fight X, all the others improve and (b) There is an underlying element of X to all oppressions.

Which is true! But it's true for all of them. Everything is connected. It's all the same struggle. If you battle one, you battle them all. If one becomes worse, all the others become worse too.
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sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 10:25 pm
This has been building for like 8 months, which means I look back on the me who collected some of these with weary nostalgia. But here we are.
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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: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 11:24 am
Bad science misled millions with chronic fatigue syndrome. Here’s how we fought back

From all accounts the effects of the PACE trial were most horrific in the UK, but the idea that my fatigue is all in my head and is best treated with exercise has come up repeatedly for me, too. Ironically it's actually made me exercise less: I'm not willing to try exercising without the help of a medical professional I trust to say if I'm pushing too hard, and I've yet to meet any. They all set the baseline for "mild exercise" at a level I know would make me sicker, and have seen other people with cfs harmed by listening to this kind of advice.

I'm also really glad none of the psychologists or psychiatrists I've seen subscribed to the "tell patient to ignore their understanding of their own health" approach to CBT. Blech.

The "you don't have exercise intolerance you're just neurotic about exercise and need to believe in yourself" attitude is so appealing to able bodied people, and can seduce people wth cfs, too. For a while. Back when [ profile] cfids_me was more active we'd always have people touting the Lightning Process.
sqbr: Hannelore: Worry hat! Bravery plus 10, charisma plus 5 (worry hat)
Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 08:34 pm
This is very hard for me to write, so I apologise if it's disjointed. But I keep seeing people I like and respect behave in ways that claim to be about protecting abuse survivors yet are actively harmful to me as an abuse survivor. I have a probably vain hope that by explaining how it's hurtful we can find a better way to help all survivors in fandom, and generally make fandom more safe and enjoyable for everyone.

The aspect of "anti" shipping culture I have a problem with is the tendency to classify certain fictional relationships are inherently harmful and working to prevent them from being portrayed or discussed positively under any circumstances, as well as other behaviours I will go into. I'm not talking about people who publicly dislike a certain ship but don't actively try to silence those who like it.

Content warning: Rape and abuse, both real and fictional. I'll try not to be more triggering than I have to be but given the topic there's only so much I can do.
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(Posting this publicly so I can link back to it as necessary, since usually when I want to make these arguments I'm too triggered to be coherent. It's basically the same as the locked draft I posted, but with a few edits here and there)
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Monday, August 29th, 2016 02:45 pm
So, I've been in fandom a long time and have seen the overall values of various fannish communities shift and change. I've personally been involved in efforts to improve fandom's attitudes towards social justice. But unfortunately it seems like whatever values fandom has in theory, in practice fans tend to exhibit the same toxic behaviours, often entirely opposed to the values they are theoretically upholding. Seeing this happen with social justice has been especially frustrating, but it's always bad, and I'm not sure what can be done about it.
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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: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 05:39 pm
An interesting tumblr post which makes the point that a lot of didactic works are the equivalent of a porn film with "AND THEN THEY GOT PREGNANT AND DIED" at the end that claims to be encouraging safe sex/abstinence etc.

Some thoughts I had as a result:
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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: (up and down)
Thursday, July 7th, 2016 01:28 pm
(Because I promised myself any future long replies to reblogs would go here and not tumblr)

Imo the split attraction model is ultimately useless and homophobic when you can still just say that youre lgb in any situation and will be regarded exactly the same in society with 100% less confusion.


I do think the way some asexuals discuss split attraction can be gross for non-asexual lgb people, and that needs to be addressed. And there are definitely some lgb people on the asexual spectrum who don’t consider their asexuality to be a significant part of their identity and that’s fine. There are also some who identify as just “asexual” and consider the lgb-ness less important! For many people, myself included, being asexual-and-also-lgb is NOT the same as being lgb, and well beyond the bedroom. Maybe we’ll come up with a better model one day, but until then I’m going to use the best terms I have to describe myself and not erase my sexuality for other people’s convenience. I do understand that queer people have historically been hypersexualised, and I think it’s really important for asexuals to bear that in mind when we discuss the relationship of asexuality and queerness. But we can’t help existing, and the solution isn’t for us to hide but for all of us to work together against the broader harmful attitudes.
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sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Thursday, June 30th, 2016 06:04 pm
I know this has been adressed many times by a lot of people, but I was pondering this question from someone who is hurt by some of the problematicness themselves, and the usual response didn't quite cover it.

My opinion in short:

There's lots of ways to "support" a work: watching/reading it, paying for it, promoting it, etc. Each should be considered separately.

And there are two questions when it comes to whether you or not you should "support" a work, for whatever definition of "support" is relevant:
1) What effect does it have on you?
2) What effect does it have on other people?

How you weigh the two answers is a matter of personal ethics, but they should both have weight. And it's very important not to weight what affects you more than what affects other people in anything claiming to be an objective analysis of the ethics of a situation.

Unfortunately people tend to conflate all the different forms of support, which I think is unhelpful.
My opinion in looooooong )
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 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?
Read more... )