sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 12:23 pm
Where are all the female anime fans? I don't read anime blogs, so can't speak to that, but in terms of meatspace fandom: am I wrong in remembering JAFWA (the local anime club) as having a lot of female members? I recall there being a reasonable number of women at the anime panels at Swancon too. Of course this is Australia, which may have a very different fan culture to the US.

Also I find her definition of "fan" unhelpfully ambiguous, it feels like anyone who isn't fannish the same way she is gets excluded. And that's not even getting into her very dubious explanations for this apparent effect, she completely ignores the possibility of sexism within anime fandom making women feel unwelcome. While most of the people I talked to were lovely, there were definitely some weird creepy guys at JAFWA.

The Unintended Consequences of Cyberbullying Rhetoric

Teenagers say drama when they want to diminish the importance of something. Repeatedly, teenagers would refer to something as “just stupid drama,” “something girls do,” or “so high school.” We learned that drama can be fun and entertaining; it can be serious or totally ridiculous; it can be a way to get attention or feel validated. But mostly we learned that young people use the term drama because it is empowering.

Dismissing a conflict that’s really hurting their feelings as drama lets teenagers demonstrate that they don’t care about such petty concerns. They can save face while feeling superior to those tormenting them by dismissing them as desperate for attention. Or, if they’re the instigators, the word drama lets teenagers feel that they’re participating in something innocuous or even funny, rather than having to admit that they’ve hurt someone’s feelings. Drama allows them to distance themselves from painful situations.

This reminds me of the way some people in online fandom use the term "wank".
sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Thursday, May 12th, 2011 09:53 am
So, the politics of fanworks panel at Swancon got me thinking. I left a comment on cupidsbow's post on the subject with some further thoughts, and one of the things I noticed while writing that comment is that despite most of my fanworks being fanart I was having real trouble thinking of transformative fanart with an overt political message that weren't race/gender/etc swaps. (Not that's anything wrong with such swaps, but surely there had to be more variety I was missing)
And then I thought about it some more… )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 11:30 am
I've often linked to stuff where people in fandoms I'm in have made me really annoyed by being thoughtlessly racist/sexist/ablist etc. Thus I feel it's only fair to acknowledge having the opposite experience: I've been reading a lot of meta about the character Fenris from Dragon Age 2 and other fans have been consistently better at noticing and articulating problematic stuff in the text etc than I have. (I mean, not all the other fans. But often at least one or two per conversation)

No spoilers in this post, and I've tried to explain the context.
Read more... )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Friday, October 22nd, 2010 02:22 pm
Does anyone have a link to a nice clear straightforward post which goes through point-by-point why what she said was bad? I'm having a discussion on twitter and most of what I can find is either more broad or just people bolding the relevant sections (which was enough for me, but hey) EDIT: An open Letter to Elizabeth Moon is pretty good, as are the comments in the various screncaps of the original post. EDIT: Elf has also very nobly written exactly the sort of post I was looking for.

For more see elf's linkspam.

And of course since she got disinvited from being GOH (which does not mean she's been banned from the con) people are trotting out all sorts of racist and Islamophobic crap. There's this huge assumption that "muslim" is somehow a distinct category from American and feminist and nerd. That because in their minds Islam is a sexist/violent religion overall (and I don't think it is anyway(*)) any muslim who might be interested in going to a feminist science fiction con is going to be sexist and violent too. Bah.

And now people who would never go to Wiscon and don't care about feminism are getting involved and causing more drama. If you think all feminism is overly sensitive and PC then obviously the standards expected at a feminist con are going to seem overly sensitive and PC to you. If the basic premise of the con has no value in your eyes, what is she losing by being no longer honoured by it? Bah!

(*)I suppose it's possible that if you took all the members of all the religious belief systems in the world and took a measure of their average violence/sexism then Islam would win. Or maybe atheists would win, or Chistians or Buddhists or Jains (ok, probably not Jains) Who knows! Who cares! There's nothing in Islam that forces any individual muslim to be sexist or violent, as should be obvious to anyone who's actually met any muslims.
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: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Thursday, August 19th, 2010 11:43 am
I have actual coherent thought I was hoping to make into a post but whenever I try I fall asleep. So! Links.

On generous listening I have linked to my reply which has some of my thoughts on the topic. (And when I am less sleepy, I will reply to her reply!)

Dirty Girls and Bad Feminists: A Few Thoughts on “I Love Dick”

This is an old post but it connects with some stuff I've been thinking about. I've been thinking about which criticisms of social justice activism etc I find helpful, and I think saying "What I/we should do.." rather than "What they should do.." is a big part of it.

On note of Classism trumping Racism A nice rebuttal to a point of view one encounters in various places.

Why Accuracy in Historical M/M Romance Matters This is similar to my approach to historical f/f and m/f etc. I have a niggling feeling that I'd disagree with some of it if I was more awake, though.
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (happy dragon)
Thursday, July 29th, 2010 09:51 am
Saw Fanboys last night. It's not a good film, but enjoyable enough as a geek road movie (and it's not like that's a large enough genre that one can afford to be too picky) It was VERY much the story of a bunch of white straight dudes, though, the writers clearly had no idea what to do with their one female character and the homophobia was pretty intense. That said, I think I liked it as much as the geek guys I've discussed it with, since the main problem with the film is that apart from the odd quite funny scene it just isn't very good!

Anyway, it was thus nice this morning to read ‘CAUSE I’M NERDCORE LIKE THAT: Toward a Subversive Geek Identity which then led me to Riot Nrrd, a very cute webcomic about "being LGBT nerds, female nerds, nerds of color, disabled nerds, and other kinds of nerds that don’t get as much love" which is like a cross between "Dykes to watch out for" and geeky slice of life comics like "Weregeek"(*). It even has a transcript, huzzah!

There's geeky female characters in lots of webcomics, often but not always done fairly well, but I'm having trouble thinking of any I've really liked in mainstream-ish films or books. Any suggestions?

(*)Not that "Dykes to watch out for" doesn't have geeky aspects and geeky webcomics don't have any female/LGBT etc characters. But this is more concentrated.
sqbr: (up)
Friday, July 9th, 2010 01:06 pm
[community profile] access_fandom is running a fanworks fest about disabled characters.

Ponder prompts! Suggest characters they've missed! (I couldn't think of any :))
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Friday, July 9th, 2010 12:21 pm
EDIT: I have realised that this post, while it may have some merit, is mostly wrongheaded. I'm going to edit it to try and knock it into some sort of sense but keep in mind it used to be different. (Yes this erases my mistake, but it also means it's readable as a coherent argument)

I'm taking a break from responding to comments or editing the post etc while I think about the points people are making but I am increasingly uncomfortable with what I was saying. Ack.

Proof I shouldn't post when I have a cold )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (bookdragon)
Friday, July 2nd, 2010 08:36 pm
A post I made about the Racebending Revenge Ficathon, includes a link to my comic plus some recs.

Also, for anyone who doesn't read my other journal I have a fanart prompts post which I am slowly working through.

yet more meta, but this time with multimedia footnotes (and David Mitchell yay) by [personal profile] solvent: Great post about politeness and the "tone argument" from a fellow non confrontational person.

Fiction, gender, women's pain, and MAN PAIN by prozacpark: When the characters and narrative all only care about the Deep Manly Man's Deep Manly Pain.

And in a total tangent, I still haven't gotten used to the words "The Prime Minister" and "she" being used together the way they have been of late.
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Thursday, July 1st, 2010 01:15 pm
The problem:

I make fanworks (fic, art, and comics) which (since they're about people) touch on issues like race, class, gender, sexuality, disability etc. There is always the danger with these works that I've inadvertently made something Very Hurtful that I won't notice until someone points it out to me. If I just chuck stuff online based on my own judgement it could do a whole lot of harm before someone points out the Fail, and then I have to figure out how to fix it. (If your response to this is that I shouldn't worry about it, this post is not aimed at you but, for example, Racefail: same shit, different day is. I do not feel like arguing with you)

One common solution offered for this problem is being beta-ed, but this doesn't work for me. (Research and mindfulness etc do a most of the time, and thus I do them, but they're not entirely reliable by themselves)
Possible solutions )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 07:09 am
I'm not entirely comfortable telling LGBTQIA people what "queer" means but I'm pretty sure the definition of "queer" at canonqueer is too narrow.

Anyway, they look like they would benefit from a wider range of opinions regardless (and could be an interesting comm!).
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Thursday, June 17th, 2010 08:47 am
So, for anyone who reads fanfic but is unaware of the imbroglio, there has been a lot of discussion around an amazingly racist Supernatural RPF Big Bang fanfic using the Haiti earthquake as backdrop for pretty white boy sexing.

That link has lots to look at, note the ones with asterixes in particular.

But two that I think make a nice pair of points:
This Is Not JUST about Writing Characters of Colour about how it's only the VERY racist fanfic that gets this level of criticism so people should stop whining that "writing non-white/POC characters is SCARY because people will yell at me"

Itys (oh the hue and cry) This is about the silencing of POC/non-white people, which isn't my struggle to ramble about, so it informs the rest of this post more obliquely. Still, definitely worth reading.

Rambly thoughts:Read more... )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Friday, June 11th, 2010 01:06 pm
Fanworks fandom is for many women(*) a way to create a space where we can express ourselves freely and escape the oppressive sexist heteronormativity of mainstream fiction. (If that's not how it works for you, you may not get much out of this post)

There is to some extent a division between those who find their joy through m/m, and those through female protagonists. These aren't neat divisions and there's people who do neither or both (I've written male protagonist m/m, m/m/f and gen myself) but to some extent they're mutually exclusive approaches.

Sadly, the women of both groups are inclined to get into "All het is heteronormative and sexist" vs "All m/m is mysogynist and sexist" arguments, which, beyond ignoring femslash, as Hoo boy, thoughts on yaoi (let me tell you them) points out isn't helpful or accurate. That is definitely not what I'm trying to get into here.

What I'd like to express, because it's been niggling at me ever since I first encountered m/m fanfic nearly a decade ago, is the way that while m/m slash fandom clearly acts as a feminist self expression thing for it's fans, and I realise it isn't actually just an extension of the Patriarchy and it's hatred of female characters, that is how it feels to me a lot of the time. And I'm not sure what if anything can be done about it (mainly I just needed to get this out of my head).

My brain's a bit mushy today, I apologise in advance for any giant holes in my argument, feel free to poke at them though I may take a while to reply.

Also: I am not accusing m/m slashers generally of sexist intent. I mean I think some of them are being sexist, but they're no worse than anyone else on the whole imo and my m/m slashy friends are all awesome feministy people. This is about the effect of m/m fandom on me as someone outside it.
Read more... )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 05:13 pm
I am a ball of stupidity and pain today (but fairly cheerful regardless) so brief thoughts. *makes mental note to make thoughtful reply to both posts at some point. Maybe*

Iron Man 2 and the moral landscape of superhero films

I liked a lot of this, especially about how post-Watchmen (the comic) superhero films ask "Is this vigilante-ism really ok?"...but the answer is always "Yes! At least when our guy does it"

In the comments I brought up that "superhero-is-super=>he should have power and full autonomy to do what he feels is right" is pretty creepy when thought about from a disability perspective (of course like any "might makes right" argument it sucks from gender/class etc perspectives as well, but disability has extra bite imo)

Hoo boy, thoughts on yaoi (let me tell you them)

Generally speaking, "Your preferences are inherently wrong and damaging" and "My preferences are inherently right and empowering" are both problematic statements regardless of who is saying it and what they're saying it about
sqbr: Dagna from Dragon Age reaching for a book (dagna)
Friday, May 14th, 2010 12:11 pm
I've been thinking about how Dragon Age ties into archetypes and stereotypes and gender and STUFF and it all mooshed together in my brain to create a series of pictures and some meta. This is very rambly, I've been thinking about this for a while but I haven't had much chance to talk about it so have lots of miscellaneous tangents to untangle. For a more abstract take see Fanart meta: genderswap, crossdressing, and trans-ness.
Read more... )
sqbr: Faith holding a spray can next to "Buffy the Vamprie Slayer" with Faith scrawled over the top (faith)
Monday, March 22nd, 2010 04:26 pm
Within about twenty minutes of finding out about [community profile] atheist_fandom I posted some thoughts about humanist fantasy that have been noodling around in my brain with all the discussion of religion in fandom. It's written for an atheist audience so I didn't bother justifying why I need the occasional antidote to religious fantasy, I'm a little worried it comes across as actively anti-religious which was not my intention.

It is raining! It hasn't rained here in a very long time, even by Western Australian standards. (EDIT: Wow. That was quite a storm! I lost power for a full day! Other people had flooding, golf ball size hailstones, the works!)
sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
Sunday, February 21st, 2010 09:26 am
So, the universe (via it's earthly representative [community profile] linkspam) has kindly decided to give me a real world example of the hypothetical derailing conversation I came up with.

(And yes, I know, it doesn't fit the pattern EXACTLY. It's still pretty close to have happened within less than two weeks)

First: I just read this Bones fic "Someone loses an eye" description of Amanda Palmer's new album and it's really ableist.
And then inevitably All these posts about disability are making me feel silenced. Don't they realise how that hurts my feelings as a woman female artist? Our voices NEVER get to be heard, and now these oversensitive disabled people are telling ME what I can and cannot write! Helen Keller would be ashamed.(*)
which of course leads to
I think it's really important that we focus on the way women's voices artists are silenced.

Something I did not have an equivalent of in my post but which is an important part of the dynamic: a slightly separate but equally valid discussion of the issues to do with the project involving sexual abuse. EDIT: In my opinion a perfect example of how sometimes two different discussions around a topic can exist simultaneously without either of them being a derail.

*waits for someone to accuse me of being pro censorship*

(*)That's just in one section, the overall post goes in multiple contrary directions at once.
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Monday, February 8th, 2010 10:18 am
EDIT: People keep linking to this, as far as I can tell with the assumption that my meandering and ridiculously complex attempt to translate social justice concepts into something my mathematician's brain can understand is a set of rules I expect other people to follow, unless they want me and my fellow scary social justice types to come dogpile them or something. I am deliberately poking at ambiguous situations in order to understand them, not giving examples of blatant Fail! Overall I rather regret this post, it's so full of edits and addendums my original point is mostly lost :/
Read more... )