Feminism 101. Etched with Soma's Pen - Let's talk about category structure and oppression! This has been a v long-brewing post; I've been meaning to make it, or something like it, since 2009. Many thanks to rose_lemberg, Arachne Jericho, sovay, and elsmi for helping me finally get it together in a coherent fashion. Editing to add: reblogging this/sharing it on any forum is totally okay! We tend to have this idea that categories, like "bird" or "food" (or like "human" or "white", which is what this is all really about) are like solid boxes. This notion gets strongly underscored by our cultures, so it can be hard to ... er... unpack. I'm going to start by talking about research on the category "bird", because there's been a lot of it (c.f. So! This internal category structure has a number of cognitive effects/characteristics: 1) If you ask people to just write down as many birds as they can, they'll list the more prototypical (category-central) ones first. 5) People reason from the prototype to the whole category, but not the other way around. 6) (TERF warning.)
So! Feminist Complaint. I have offered a feminist equation Rolling eyes = feminist pedagogy. I want to make sense of this equation, or to show how this equation makes sense. I first came up with this equation – not necessarily in these exact terms – as a sense of something. I realised how much I had learnt from how eyes roll when I open my mouth, when I was listening to a diversity practitioner. It was an interview. My ear was open; my mouth was shut. She was telling me of her experience of meetings at the university. She said: “You know you go through that in these sorts of jobs where you go to say something and you can just see people going ‘oh here she goes.’”
How we both laughed when she said this; we both recognised that each other recognised that situation. We had both been there. Oh here she goes. An assignment. The diversity worker is appointed by an institution to transform the institution. Not sorted. How is she heard? She has to keep saying it when they keep doing it. It is a quick judgment. She will go on. Julie Pagano - Life and Times of a Tech Feminist Killjoy. A year and a half ago, I wrote about my experiences and how working in the tech industry can be death by a thousand paper cuts.
I doubt I was the first person to make this observation. I know I am not the last. I have seen so many posts from people commenting on their own death by a thousand cuts. It’s both reassuring and demoralizing to know so many share this feeling. I think about the death by a thousand paper cuts more often than I like. As far as I know, the term “feminist killjoy” comes from Sara Ahmed. Disclaimer I suspect these disclaimers gets old, but I think it is important, especially for this series. My outlook on these topics is not indicative of all “minorities in tech” (a term that often ignores more underrepresented groups and focuses mostly on my demographic). List of Posts Below is a current list of posts in the series. Friday Feminism: Blogging while Feminist – a 3-comment rule? « Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog. I was reading something over at Pharyngula today where PZ Myers was alerting his commentors to brace for an influx of creationist debaters following a particular story getting picked up by both Digg and Reddit, and he reminded them of his 3-comment rule for dealing with newbie debating opponents.
Don’t attack without mercy until they’ve made stupid claims in at least 3 separate comments. PZ recommended this to his readers when he found that the regulars in the comments threads were getting a bit too zealous for his taste, and the discussions were descending into vitriol spitting contests without enough leavening of actual interesting discussion. I am all for vigorous, unhindered language and the expression of strong opinions, and I think dumb ideas need to be dealt with harshly, but we also need to allow opportunities for those ideas to be fully expressed.
If it keeps up all we’re going to have left are the twitchiest, most psychopathic contributors. So what do you think? Reform of the Nerds, Starring Arthur Chu - Pacific Standard. In January of 2014, I started getting text messages from my college friends asking whether I was following our old classmate Arthur Chu on Jeopardy! I wasn’t—I hadn’t watched the show for years—but I tuned in the next day. From then on, I watched rapt as Chu racked up what was, at the time, the third-longest winning streak in the show’s history, drawing attention not only for the size of his haul (almost $400,000 in the end), but also for his supremely stereotypical nerdiness. He used an unorthodox strategy that drew on both game theory and statistical analysis of the Jeopardy! Board. I had barely known Chu in college, but I loved watching him win. After Chu’s run ended, I found myself missing it. It didn’t take much research for me to pick up that 2014 had been a tumultuous year in American nerd-dom. In his MAGFest post, Chu asked his fans to come give him moral support.
A few days later, I bought a pass to the convention. Chu seemed as shocked as anyone by his trajectory. Tim | "Call-out culture is very problematic," said the naked emperor frantically. There are certain truths that those of us subjected to the education given to the middle class (which is to say: just enough critical thinking to do the rich kids' homework, and not enough to realize the rich kids hate us as much as they hate the poor kids) were taught not to question. Here are some of them; in The Night Is Dark and I Am Far from Home, Jonathan Kozol wrote about others. We need more research and facts before we make a hasty decision.There's more than one side to every story.The only real ethical precept you ever need is politeness.Objective truth exists, and we should never take decisive action until we find it.
When we present these received truths as vague generalities, it's easier to see that none of them are universally true. Even so, they have such a hold over the liberally (small-l) educated imagination that when made specific, they can be quite compelling. To wit: These questions have answers: "yes", "yes", "it doesn't matter", "yes", and "maybe, but who cares? " Debunking the Fairy Tale of WisCon, Feminism and Safe Spaces | Geek Melange.
This isn’t the blog entry about WisCon that I wanted to write. WisCon 38 was the first WisCon I’d ever attended. I’d heard about the self-styled “World’s Leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention” for years, but for whatever reason, I’d somehow gotten it into my head that this was a convention for Published Names and Academics With Experience, neither of which I remotely qualified for as a Mere Mortal If Enthusiastic (and Mouthy) Fan. I was thankfully disabused of this notion and I think it’s fair to say that going to WisCon this year was a life-changing experience.
From participating as a panelist and peer with creators whom I’d admired for years (five panels in four days!) I’d fully intended to have a glowing, gushing and rather fangirlish entry about my WisCon experiences up within a week of returning from the con, but that cold bug decided to fight eviction for nearly a month, things at work got busy and life generally got in the way. I waited because surely WisCon would fix this.
Harassment at Context. Uncategorized Several people have emailed me about reports of harassment at Context this year, which resulted in an individual being banned from the convention for five years. Here’s my roundup of links about what happened. (Please let me know if I’ve missed anything.) September 30: Jonathan Maberry is one hoopy frood. Context is pretty cool too. Context’s current harassment policy is here. It sounds like the Fanaco Board, which oversees Context, is still meeting and discussing everything that’s happened. I don’t know the details. There were multiple complaints of harassment against a Context volunteer.This volunteer has not disputed the complaints, and has apologized.After contentious discussion, it was decided to ban this individual from Context for a minimum of five years.Multiple individuals who were directly involved feel that others on the concomm and/or board didn’t take the complaints seriously enough.Nobody can agree on how to spell concom/concomm.
One last request. What Happens When We Speak: On Con Harassment and Fandom. “So I heard that you won Tumblr,” a coworker joked with me the other day. He was referring to the maelstrom of activity that was triggered when I posted about my con harassment experience at New York Comic Con by the film crew of the YouTube web series Man Banter, hosted by Mike Babchik. I won’t reiterate everything that happened, but kept pretty good documentation. Other industry professionals and geek news sources had done the same, too. There is a petition out, created by the activist group 18 Million Rising in order to hold Babchik’s employer, Sirius XM Radio, accountable for his actions since Babchik had gotten into the convention using his job credentials.
Since the incident happened, New York Comic Con had assured that they will tighten their safety policies, and I even had a nice wrap-up interview about making convention spaces safer with NYCC show manager Lance Fensterman. “People tracked down my phone number. “How will I be treated?” Will people believe me? Mahalo.ne.Trash: The Long Con. Hiding in Plain Sight ESPN has a series of sports documentaries called 30 For 30.
One of my favorites is called Broke which is about how professional athletes often make tens of millions of dollars in their careers yet retire with nothing. One of the major "leaks" turns out to be con artists, who lure athletes into elaborate real estate schemes or business ventures. This naturally raises the question: In a tightly-knit social structure that is a sports team, how can con artists operate so effectively and extensively? I can empathize with this. Being conned feels the way it does because your trust is a valuable commodity. Sexual Harassment as a Con Game Something that people rarely think of as a con game is sexual harassment, but after listening to the lived experiences of women who have been sexually harassed and/or assaulted, I feel the analogy is apt.
So there are similarities, but there are also huge differences between being conned and being sexually harassed or assaulted. The Future's Been Here Since 1939: Female Fans, Cosplay, and Conventions - Uncanny Magazine. Part of the draw of sci–fi, fantasy, superheroes, anime, and just really good stories has always been the desire to be someone else, to live a life more fantastical, to go on a journey outside ourselves. Cosplay’s draw is to bring that dream to life, to put on a costume and pretend to have an aspect of or be that character. Need a little charisma? Maybe you’re Tony Stark. Want to be the ordinary girl traveling through time and space?
When I put on my first real cosplay in 2010 as Alice from Batwoman, it took me on an incredible journey. Even in that short amount of time since being Alice, I’ve observed the convention space change and grow, and notably, the entire space has moved away from white men being the default geek demographic. To say that cosplay is a new feature of conventions is a lie. Cosplay: It’s Not a Newfangled Convention Takeover Cosplay has been around since the very first science fiction fan conventions in the 1930s and before the word “cosplay” was invented.
Nerds and Male Privilege. Gawker's Violentacrez Expose And How 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' Predicted Geek Misogyny. By Alyssa Rosenberg on October 15, 2012 at 10:33 am "Gawker’s Violentacrez Expose And How ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ Predicted Geek Misogyny" On Friday afternoon, Gawker published a long profile of a Reddit moderator who went by Violentacrez. A Texas programmer in real life, Violentacrez has helped shape Reddit’s norms, mentoring and writing documentation for moderators, scrubbing the site for patently illegal content, but also helping establish some of its most distasteful subsections, some openly racist, and others devoted to posting and discussion of sexualized images of very young women taken or republished without their consent. It’s very, very ugly behavior, and Violentacrez, who became a Reddit star, represents the outer limit of speech Reddit will defend.
Reddit subsections have responded to the profile by collectively banning links from Gawker sites. It’s less clear why Andrew, who apparently went to high school with Buffy and Jonathan, falls under Warren’s influence. "Jessica Jones" Is An Awesomely, Aggressively Feminist Superhero Series. Netflix’s first female-fronted superhero TV show stars Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, a human gifted with super strength and super jumping abilities and — despite being an orphan adopted for the sole purpose of exploitation — a hero’s heart.
She wants to use her powers to help people. Early on in her crime-fighting career she gets tangled up with another “gifted” human, a sociopathic mind-controller named Zebediah Killgrave, who forces her to do horrible things on his behalf, including murdering an innocent woman. The show picks up after all that, as Jessica tries to cope with her PTSD by drinking every bottle of cheap bourbon in New York City and making money (to buy more bourbon) by skulking around in the shadows taking pictures of men cheating on their wives. She’s the proprietor of Alias Investigations. Jessica Jones pulls no punches when it comes to him or to other men on the show who try to rob women of their agency. Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity … are forbidden.
The great thing about feeling angry, and how it changed my life - Jennette Fulda. I used to joke that I had five levels of anger. I’m fine.I’m fine.I’m fine.I’m fine.I WILL KILL YOU AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE AND RAIN SULFUR DOWN UPON YOUR HOUSE!!!! While this always got me some laughs, it was true. Recently I started to think I shouldn’t have two levels of anger disguised as five. I should actually have five levels of anger.
It runs in the family I’ve spent most of my life avoiding personal conflicts. They made me so anxious and emotionally upset that I’d sometimes hyperventilate afterwards. I’m not sure why I’m naturally this way, but there is a pattern on both sides of my family to be non-confrontational or passive-aggressive. My mom’s side of the family isn’t that much better. I also can’t remember my mother and father fighting over anything other than how to put up the Christmas tree. Queen of the circus Lately I’ve noticed I’m not as timid or scared as I used to be when I was younger. I think this confidence has to do with my job. Start small Less sulfur.
Muddy Colors: What Women Want...in Women Characters. What Women Want in Women Characters or, Women Characters Redesigned by Women SFF Artists -By Lauren Panepinto As the most frequently-posting woman on the Muddy Colors roster, let me officially welcome you to Women’s History Month. Now while I don’t always agree with the concept of a Women’s History Month (right with you there, Morgan Freeman), the fact of the matter is, sexism in art is a topic that keeps flaring up and isn’t going to quiet down anytime soon.
Before we begin, I would like to lay some foundation. First: I am a woman, and I do not speak for all women. Second: Speaking of comments, let’s just say right now: I love healthy debate in the comments, and will always welcome other’s stories or questions, but will not tolerate trolling, cruelty, or just general jerky behavior. Third: Make sure you understand the definition of feminism before you start debating it. Ok, back to the issue at hand. This means creators need to take women into account when they portray women. Sanguinity, raptorific: Okay, so imagine there’s a doctor....
Let Me Fix That For You, SFWA | Red Ink. "What's a girl doing here?" Some Thoughts on “Crazy Women” Female Friendships: Hitting All the Right Notes. A Chemical Imbalance. Sacrificing Privilege. What empowerment is. Where Does Validation Come From? True Blood: The Vampire as A Multiracial Critique on Multicultural Pluralism (Nicole Rabin) Racism And Meritocracy. Stereotypes for fame and traffic. Rape Culture 101. About consent, or, the legalization of women’s humanity « I Blame The Patriarchy. Models of Sex. 5 Things to Never Say to a Woman Who Doesn't Want Kids.
Is love universal? : Popular Romance Project.