ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug tipped me to this lovely video of a blue whale panting at the surface before a dive, recorded live while folks were talking about a marine sanctuary.  Yep, that project is a great big success, to the tune of the largest species known on Earth. \o/
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Disappointed by commercial offerings, more and more women are making clothes for girls that challenge gender stereotypes. Even better, now they're banding together.  :D  I love genderflexy clothes.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's another essay about the Hugo Awards and whether science fiction is devolving into social justice stories. 

Devolving?  Really?  The genre that began with Mary Wallstonecraft  Shelley's scathing condemnation of a protagonist who was everything society lauded and also an imbecilic dick?  The genre where Gene Roddenberry cast his bridge crew with all the colors?  The genre that has, basically, made a profession out of screaming "NOT THAT DOOR!" at society and occasionally giving us a Tomorrowland-esque vision of awesome the future could be if humanity would only pull its head out of its ass?

Shut.  The fuck.  Up.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a hawt video of a Hispanic pr0n star demonstrating how to use condoms safely and effectively.  (Hey, you want to learn a topic, ask an expert!)  Gorgeous, full-view imagery of a guy having a good time with his body and his personal safety supplies.  :D  Now if we all had access to stuff like this, it would absolutely hold the attention of the sexual folks, entertaining as well as educating.  (Ace students may prefer a different demo using a banana just in case they ever need to explain to a friend.)  Obviously that video is NSFW for most folks.

This is one reason why Terramagne-America has a healthier view of sexuality, with consequently lower rates of teen pregnancy and other problems related to not knowing how to handle a crotch safely.  The good high schools have sex ed that looks kind of like this, and the banana option for people who don't want explicit demonstrations.  Once you are old enough for legal consent, you better know what you're doing; age-appropriate materials are available for younger classes.  Similar content is very widely available online -- especially in the darknet.  One of its more thriving uses is spreading accurate sexual information, along with the regular supply of pr0n, to places that don't want people to have that data.  So hey, you can educate your kids, or Kraken can do it for you.

Yes,  I have supervillains who are better at sex ed than most high schools.  LOL
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's another good post about trigger warnings and why they are valuable.

When you include notes about content, and your policies, that helps people make more informed and mindful decisions about their lives.  When you include tools -- you may ask for an alternate assignment, here is the quiet room, this is a handout of coping skills because this class handles historic atrocities, if you are having lots of trouble please visit in my office so we can discuss it, etc. -- that teaches people how to handle challenges in effective ways that build resilience.  There are rocks, but you can climb over them.  Here is a rope.

When you do not include notes, you deny people the chance to select the classes that are the best fit for them and to cope with materials presented in progress.  There are rocks and people are dropped on their heads.  If you sustain a concussion it is because you are a pussy, not because the rocks are sharp.

When you include notes but not tools, and allow people to dodge material without compensating in any way, that  is coddling.  The rocks are taken out of the way.  Now nobody can learn how to climb rocks in a relatively safe environment.

The complaints about trigger warnings basically say: "It is okay to hurt people.  It is not okay if you want people NOT to hurt you.  Just get used to being hurt, you pussy."  Because really?  If you have triggers, there is no getting away from them.  The world whacks them all the time.  Especially if they are about sex or violence or both.  And pressuring people to remain silent about being hurt just gets more people hurt, which is also not okay.

When you put content notes or trigger warnings on a class, story, or other material it says: "I am choosing to deal with controversial topics.  I want to understand what happens in the world and hopefully that will help make it a better place.  I want to make it as accessible as possible so that more people can deal with these topics in a safe way."  You don't go into shop class and NOT have safety goggles, I hope.  If you're talking about things like rape or mass murder, and especially about some crackpot thinking those are jolly good ideas, then folks need to know that appropriate safety measures are in place.

Seriously, look around: If there are women, about a quarter of them have experienced sexual violence personally and the rest have at least fended off smarmy approaches. Probably at least one or two of the men are survivors too.  If there are Jews, they will be sensitive about the Holocaust and probably Israeli politics.  If there are black people, they will be sensitive about slavery and racism.  If there are poor people, they will probably be touchy about some money issues.  And if the group is a monoculture, that's likely to cause problems on its own and is not an ideal learning environment.  Explaining the parameters for handling challenges is just part of running a smooth class or other activity.  It is not fun for anybody if somebody has a panic attack because they got blindsided.  It is not effective if people blank out because the material is ghastly and no coping methods are available.

Of course, not everyone is equally good at listing triggers, and it does take time.  So if that's expected at college, you have to allow the extra time and make sure there's a backup person for teachers who aren't good at it.  (Inaccurate warnings are worse than useless.)  If you're doing it as a writer, you can just ask your audience to tell you if they think more warnings are advisable.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Your location is intimate, sensitive information that can be used to hurt you.  But this app uses it to your advantage by relaying information about your planned route, progress along it, and safety level to designated companions.  This enables people to manage their own travel and safety more effectively, without tying them to a physical bodyguard.  It's a useful tool for some contexts.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "peace" square in my 5-18-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest, and "The Elephant in the Room" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics. Dated May 22, 2015 in the chronology, it follows "In Dublin's Fair City" dated September 18, 2014; bear in mind that these happen later than most of the other poems.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Ingress is a phone game that involves traveling around to control territory, which at least gets people out of their chairs.  It teaches some interesting skills for grassroots organization and cell structure.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is meant for disaster relief

But powdered food makes awesome secret ingredients in baked goods, soups, smoothies, etc.  I would so love to play with some of this stuff.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a video about breaking gender stereotypes, from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

Part of what caught my attention was the opening scene with a female football player, because I write one.  Stan's teammate Fortney gets a lot of that flack.  T-America has a rule that if a school doesn't have separate teams for boys and girls, the team has to let everyone play.  Sadly they can't make everyone be nice about it, and some people are still jerks.  That doesn't just affect Fortney; it affects her teammates, too, and the people around her due to her interactions with them.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... but this time, against a German guy.

This is why we can't have nice things.  Not just because they reject someone for being foreign or coming from somewhere they don't like.  But because he's trying to do cultural outreach to give people a glimpse of another lifestyle, and he gets attacked for it.  Racism persists because the people who try to overcome it get beaten down, run out of town, or occasionally murdered.  It's very disturbing.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "primary colors" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest, and it fills the "Asked to give public safety lecture -- right after incident" square in my Superhero Bingo Card. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem touches on some sensitive topics. Highlight to read the detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features bullying, vile language, discrimination against assorted groups, willing and unwilling changes in hair color, nonsexual intimacies, navigation through shifting identity, boundary issues, violation of body autonomy, canon-typical violence, emotional stress, and other challenges. On the whole, though, there's more fluff than angst, and it ends on a high note. If this is touchy territory for you, consider your headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This search engine can be set with a choice of several filters to weed out mainstream propaganda or target independent sources.  Furthermore, it's a safesearch engine that does not record user information.  That makes it a good choice for looking up things you don't want anyone to know you looked up.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... from people in case they die in police custody.  Useful if you belong to any group the police enjoy abusing and murdering.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "reality is illusion" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug tipped me to this guy, a stuttering comedian, who really takes the cake on turning a disadvantage to an advantage. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about how live music is largely inaccessible to people with disabilities.  Much the same is true of any large outdoor event, or indoor ones held in older buildings: problems I've encountered with Pagan events. 

Things you can do about this:

* If you are a site host, check accessibility recommendations and accommodate whatever you can.  Measure access ways and list things like door width, number of steps, etc.  Make sure there is at least some seating for people who can't stand for long periods.  If you charge extra for seating, reserve some at the usual price or better yet free for people with disabilities -- anyone with a car sticker should be able to get the reserved seating.  Include contact information so people can ask questions.  Use input from them to expand the information you list.  Can't afford upgrades you want to make?  Do a fundraiser for a bigger bathroom or a new ramp that won't ruin the historic look of your building.

* If you are a musician, insist that your venue hosts do the above.  Do you do house concerts?  Try to find fans with disabilities who would like to host some!  Chances are, their homes will be accessible.  Sometimes that is one heck of an asset: a house built from scratch for a wheelchair user has a minimum of walls, with spaces instead defined by columns or changing floor style, so that sound carries better.

* If you are a fan, encourage site hosts and musicians to make reasonable accommodations, whether or not you have a disability yourself.  You might also boycott the ones who don't.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
If you don't like how other people portray you, then represent yourself!  That batch is from Africa.  Don't let other people control the conversations about you, your  people, your homeland, or whatever else they're busy botching.  Speak up.

As a writer, I heartily approve of this.  It makes research easier and more effective.  One challenge I face in writing diversity is that most references aren't diverse.  They've heavily slanted.  If I search "African women" I get A) pr0n and B) pity pr0n.  This is not helpful when I am trying to find, say, a picture of a Nigerian woman or a park ranger.  Projects like the one above help broaden the material available.  Then I can do a more accurate rendition of Africa even though I haven't visited it in this life. What makes an African city distinctive from an American or Russian or Chinese one?  What about the landscape is unique?  I need sample of more than just giraffes!

Profile

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
ysabetwordsmith

September 2015

S M T W T F S
   1 2 3 45
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags