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: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (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: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Friday, September 21st, 2012 08:32 am
So, Pictures for Sad Children is a webcomic full of wry, self aware melancholy about dysfunctional people. I get linked it a lot but have always found it hit and miss.

The creator recently put up a post on his Kickstarter saying that he had been pretending to be depressed this whole time because that's just what artists do. Cue many depressed fans who had really connected with his comics feeling betrayed, and many ableist fans rejoicing at a chance to go on about how depression isn't really a thing.

But it was apparently all a joke, which anyone who was friends with him or familiar with his other work would have recognised, so all that outrage was for nothing HAHA TUMBLR. (The other, much more understandable "ARGH TUMBLR" reaction is to all the people who have been told that it's a joke but are still acting like it was meant literally, and the inevitable death treats etc. ARGH TUMBLR)

This attitude really pisses me off. I'm all in favour of satire and sarcasm (see: the title of this post, the previous paragraph), and not all humour has to be accessible to everyone. But if you tell a joke where it would be really bad if people took you literally, and most people DO take you literally, then you told the joke badly and you are responsible for the consequences.

Sure, there's only so much you can do about overly literal minded people, and it I think it's justifiable to cause SOME pain with art/humour, or we'd never get to use them at all. But having patchy reading comprehension or "not being a true fan" doesn't somehow make a person unworthy of compassion. Afaict most PFSC readers thought this was real, and a great many were deeply hurt. This could have been avoided if he made the satire more obvious, and I can't see any real advantage to being so opaque except...making the joke funnier for the people who get it? Being more effective on the tiny sliver of bigots who got the joke? Woo.

And even if we decide that everyone who doesn't get the joke is a humourless moron unworthy of respect, think of all the bigots who took it as support for hating on depressed people. Not actually being on their side doesn't magically make the pro-bigotry effect go away.

This is not someone's private blog that got taken out of context. It was a public and actively promoted kickstarter aimed at people who read PFSC, and it clearly failed at being clear to it's intended audience.

Since this apparently does need to be said: I'm not saying we should all go chasing after John Campbell with pitchforks, and the people who are harassing him need to step down. I do think he's a bit of a pretentious douche, but to be honest I kind of thought that anyway. Mainly I'm defending the people who are fans of PFSC and felt hurt from having their feelings dismissed.
sqbr: Faith holding a spray can next to "Buffy the Vamprie Slayer" with Faith scrawled over the top (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: 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: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Sunday, May 16th, 2010 03:12 pm
Discussions about the ethics of problematic prompts at kink memes:
Dear Holmes/Watson Kink Meme participants asking for [Indian!Holmes and European!Watson]
(I highlighted this particular thread since I think it cuts to the heart of both sides of the argument, but the other comments are worth reading too)
conscientious kink?

I find this sort of topic really interesting, even though I tend to be squicked by most of the sort of border cases people bring up, so it would be very easy for me to blithely tell people to suck it up and not go around hurting other people with their fantasies (and this used to be my default position).

This isn't a topic I feel sure enough about to host a discussion about, really, go read the discussion that's already there.

Since It Looks Like the Post With This Comment Isn't Coming Back . . . About the difference between "Stop being mean to me" and "Don't tell me when I'm wrong". Why is "If I talk about this, people will criticise me" necessarily a bad thing? Not a new idea but this particular example appealed to me.

bratz dolls and appearance politics

And finally: [community profile] liminal_boundaries
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: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
Sunday, January 17th, 2010 09:49 am
So something I wonder about sometimes is the ethics behind giving references for the reference images used to make art, and how much use one can (legally or ethically) make of an image that is copyrighted rather than creative commons or public domain.

Apparently the FBI don't worry about this so much.
sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
Monday, November 30th, 2009 07:57 am
EDIT: I seem to have expressed this really badly. I'm not against ALL satire involving stuff like racism. I'm not even against all satire which offends (some) people from marginalised groups. I'm against a very particular brand of "satire", as described below. See the comments for further clarification.

A lot of the time I'll find something angry-makingly Xist etc and when I complain people say "But it's satire". And I'll admit, sometimes I really am being obtuse, but a lot of the time I think this is crap, because it hurts the people it's supposedly helping and is amusing to those it's supposedly challenging. I've been trying to articulate this for ages, there's probably holes in my argument.

I'm going to talk about racism since this seems to be where it comes up the most and I want to cut down on my "etc"s, but it comes up with disability, sexuality etc all the time too.

So. An action is racist or not based on it's effect, not your intention.

If your satire:
-makes POC feel attacked
-makes very racist white people think you agree with them
-makes less racist white people laugh at the more racist white people and thus feel good about themselves

How is it in any way anti-racist? Or even racism neutral? (since not all art needs to have a positive social effect) How is it less racist in effect than a deliberately racist action intended to make POC feel attacked and agree with very racist white people?
Read more... )
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 10:51 am
I've been meaning to talk about political correctness for ages but recent discussions eg the hey hey thing made me decide to give it a shot.

So: I think "political correctness" is just a new form of politeness, eg an attempt to get people to treat others ethically and with consideration using peer pressure. Like any form of politeness, sometimes people get so caught up in the letter of the law that they lose track of the spirit, and it sometimes gets hijacked by those who care more about social standing and appearance than being a decent human being.

EDIT: something I was going to talk about and then ran out of spoons for was the way that the term "political corectness" is pretty much only used by people insulting a straw-man version of social justice. In this post I've acted liek it's a valid term to make life simpler but it's not, really.
Read more... )
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Sunday, October 11th, 2009 10:08 am
Some stuff I've figured out while designing polls online (specifically on lj clones). This is not about Real Scientific Polls, which one hopes are designed with Real Scientific Ethics etc in mind. I'm still figuring this stuff out, so please tell me what I've missed/screwed up etc.

I guess overall the most important thing I've learned: Never make people feel excluded, even if it messes with your data a bit. You're not doing Proper Research here anyway. And unless your poll is on a locked post and you know your flist really well, don't assume everyone taking it cisgendered/American/Western/straight/young/etc.

Specifically, unless it's a joke question always have an "other" option, and where possible use checkboxes. That way people who fall between the cracks of your questions (and there'll always be someone) have a better chance of finding an answer that better describes them.
Read more... )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Monday, September 7th, 2009 02:50 pm
I am feeling very crappy at the moment, and not really up to comments but I felt like rambling. I'd flock it but it's acting partly as a reply to someone not in my circle, so comments are screened to prevent drama I'm not up to handling (I had to nap for 2 hours this morning to get the energy to surf the internet)
Read more... )
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Thursday, August 13th, 2009 10:06 am
[personal profile] attentive linked me Transhumanism and the Limits of Democracy by Ronald Bailey and reading it I had so many things I wanted to complain to the author about I decided to write them down. I wrote this ages ago, I'm posting it now because I got inspired to write another post riffing on the same ideas.

I have very little patience for Transhumanists on the whole, they tend too much towards capitalist libertarian bootstrap myths which seem to inevitably contain the belief that the poor deserve what they get. But sometimes it's cathartic to enumerate why someone I disagree with is wrong :)
Read more... )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 01:51 pm
This isn't a strong expression of opinions (for that see Thoughts on triggers and warnings), I started replying to someone's comment and realised I had so much context to fill in my actual reply was getting lost.
Read more... )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (bookdragon)
Friday, June 12th, 2009 01:36 pm
(nb this post is aimed at those interested in both fanfic meta and anti-racism, though I think the broader point transcends fanfic)

Something I've noticed in recent discussions relating to or following on from RaceFail, such as seen for example on [community profile] metafandom, is a tangent into the nature and differences of different parts of fandom (well, between me starting this post and now that conversation seems to have died anyway. But the main point stands!) These ideas are afaict a natural progression from recent discussions and events, and are not meant to deliberately derail discussions of race. But that doesn't change the fact that, like a derail, this is a change of direction away from uncomfortable truths and social justice.

My question is: Is this something we should actively work against? Or should we just try and keep the two conversations separate? Or make sure they don't become separate?

I've been pondering this post for several days while getting over a headache, and it's gotten rather tl;dr, sorry :)
Read more... )
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Friday, May 22nd, 2009 09:02 pm
So, last weeks Gruen transfer was so offensive they didn't show all of it. I read that post before watching the episode so was semi-prepared but still annoyed, and it got me thinking about what I do and don't like about the show (they bring up interesting ideas, say stuff I don't know, make spurious and offensive arguments, and thus illustrate the failings of the advertising industry. So overall a "win"...of sorts)

Anyway, since I wasn't up to getting my rant on for last week, you get a brief one for this week.

They were talking about burger ads and got onto how they're deliberately aimed at children so kids will pester their parents. Todd and Will were trying to argue that companies have a responsibility to avoid creating this situation since it puts pressure on parents and leads to childhood obesity etc. Everyone else argued for Personal Responsibility. Bah. I hate that phrase. I mean there are situations where it applies but it's one of those phrases which tends to imply a whole slew of really creepy extra attitudes. I get the feeling that if they were allowed to create ads so kids would pester parents to buy them cigarettes, they totally would. Noone's making the parents buy them!

(nb, this is not a fully reasoned argument. It's a rant. And I feel better for saying it)
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 07:33 pm
I really like [personal profile] synecdochic's "comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable" is not just a bumper sticker for me. The only passage which threw me and I still have trouble coming to terms with is

7.1. When I do speak in the online sphere, I should take responsibility for controlling any resulting conversation that occurs in any space I have control of, to ensure that the conversation does not cause others pain. If I don't have the time or the spoons to exercise that moderation, I should not allow conversation. I should not allow a conversation I begin to be used to hurt others.
Read more... )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Saturday, March 21st, 2009 08:32 pm
A question that has come up in two comments I've been pondering my reply to 1 and on which I think I may actually have a really basic ethical difference about:

Lets assume a certain act is "bad" under your ethical code. It's hurtful, unethical, immoral, etc. If you did it yourself you would be being immoral/unethical.

If there is something bad going on, and you're aware of it, and you could (try to) stop it, and you don't, are you complicit in that bad act? Are you being somewhat immoral/unethical?

Because I say yes. Inaction is itself an action. It's not the same as doing the "bad" act yourself, but it's not completely different either.
Read more... )
So, do people agree? Or do you not see inaction as just another form of action, subject the same moral/ethical rules (whatever they are, depending on your own POV) as, uh, active action? (You can tell I never studied philosophy, there's probably proper jargon for this stuff) Is there some hole in my argument or description?
An embarrassing number of footnotes )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Friday, March 13th, 2009 11:23 am
I've been meaning to post some coherent thoughts on niceness for a while but I think I need to post some incoherent ones first to get my thoughts in order :)

So: I'm a "nice" person, in that I'm friendly, and polite, and non-threatening, and passive (and that's what I'm going to mean by "nice" in this post. I realise that's not the only definition). I used to feel rather smug about this, and wish other people were more like me(*). But the older I get the more I realise that not only is this "niceness" harmful to me (as I get all repressed and ignored) but it can also be harmful to those around me, and stems largely from entirely selfish motivations.

Disclaimers like whoa, I'm definitely just stream-of-consciousnessing here. And have a headache :)

EDIT: This is a bunch of thoughts about the flaws of niceness, mainly as it relates to me and my behaviour. Niceness has a lot of benefits too, I just didn't go into them. Also people make some good points in the comments.
Read more... )