ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article takes a tongue-in-cheek look at passing privilege and the issue of identifying who may legally be discriminated against.  How do you "tell" if someone is homosexual?  Sometimes the person advertises it, sometimes it may be inferred from clues, but most of the time it is not so obvious.  This of course raises the issue of misconceptions; many cissexual, heterosexual people have been beaten or even murdered because someone mistakenly thought they were queer.  So too, Indiana will quickly discover that legalizing discrimination against homosexuals will also hit some heterosexuals.

And then there are those of us whose warning label should say, "Activist: push to start."  (I actually have that on a red button.)  Sure, there are times when I use passing privilege of various types because it's easy and I don't have an infinite supply of spoons, or when I believe that acting up would be dangerous.  But there are other times when I'll act up even if it is dangerous, and if I judge it safe, I will make a great big hairy scene.  Never get into a blurting contest with an annoyed bard, you will lose.  Because I can handle the kind of heat that bigots give off when someone objects to them being bigots, and not everyone can, and I want them to know that civilized people won't let them act like giant assholes without at least calling them out for it.

You can readily identify a queer person who does something like, "Oh gosh, you have a sign that says you don't serve queer people in here.  I guess I'll leave this big basket of stuff on the counter and take my $96 queer dollars to a store that is not run by giant assholes."

Just because I'm currently wearing a female body and in a permanent relationship with someone in a male body does not make me any less queer.  It's just a little harder to see from this angle, until I open my mouth.  As long as someone mistaking me for a heterosexual woman doesn't cause an issue, meh, I usually don't care.  Random strangers don't need to know my weirdnesses.  But when it IS an issue?  Open mouth, fire full broadside.  

This is why I got beef with people who claim that privilege is inescapable.  It's not.  It really, really  is not.  In fact it's a lot more frangible than people realize.  You can very easily lose your privilege if someone else mistakes you for a member of a disadvantaged group or if you are forcibly attached to it for some reason.  You can also choose to drop your privilege in the crapper and flush it along with all the other shit you don't need, just by voluntarily associating with disadvantaged people or by verbally dispensing with it when people offer you privilege that you don't want to accept.  Bigots will enthusiastically diss you for any or all of that.  

It's not all or nothing, of course.  If your association is not obvious, then you may have the option of picking your battles.  That lets you stay reasonably safe while still making a difference.  You might flush one privilege today and a different one tomorrow.  You might wax and wane your advertisement of hidden traits based on how much energy you have for a given cause or whether it makes you feel bad to hide (or reveal) what you are.  It's your life, your choice.

Just understand that it is a choice, just as bigotry or tolerance are choices.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So GamerGate just shot videogames in the crotch

The academics are being stupid.  You do not ignore a part of history because you think it's pointless and some of the people involved are assholes.  You do not ignore it because it is "too new," it is easier to preserve then and your descendants will curse you for being so fucking slow and stupid as to let it fade away.  Ephemera are valuable precisely because  they usually get lost.  You would think more people would have learned this after thousands of years of history.  Apparently not.

But hey, this is what sexism gets: academic careers blocked, research and preservation not done, games therefore probably lost when they degrade because nobody knew how to save them.  Thanks, assholes, you just turned over the thirteenth card and blew up the universe, now everyone loses.

***FUME***

I am sulking at having to share a planet with these two groups of idiots.  The stupid, it burns like hydrogen.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
One of the best presentations I have ever seen

I will add one caveat: becoming (or making someone) pregnant CAN have permanent, life-changing, psychological effects for some people along all possible paths.  You can be happy, sad, or have mixed feelings about abortion, adoption, or parenting.  It just hits people differently.  Even a pregnancy scare  that doesn't turn out to be true can have a big impact.  It's a life event.  As the post suggests, a supportive environment helps make this a learning experience and not a trauma.

Also, want to be a hero?  Support a friend anywhere along any of these life paths.  Sometimes you might be the only help they have.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a great comic about coming out of closets

Thing is, some of us never came out, because we were never in a closet.  I knew about my weirdnesses many years before I developed any kind of verbal or social brakes.  Also some of the things that complicated my life were conspicuous and not concealable.  Number one on that list was ... my parents being schoolteachers.  This guaranteed that other children would hate me, and I didn't care, because my parents are awesome.  Since I had exactly zero chance of being popular no matter what I did, there was no reward for conforming and therefore not much pressure.  Not that it would've worked anyhow, but it was kind of nice to have such an obvious reason for the prejudice and for my indifference.  I did eventually learn that there were things that would make people extra berserk, and I figured out which ones I was willing and able to modulate to some degree.  There are things I'm more open about, and things I'm less open about.  But for the most part, I can fake being normal for a maximum of about three hours and then I am exhausted.  No closet could possibly contain that.  You might as well try to contain a bonfire in a paper lantern.  (We did that once.  It was spectacular for the 30 seconds or so that it lasted.)  And that makes a difference in how people experience the world.  How early they knew themselves, and whether the less-common traits were ever hidden.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Sweden has officially added the gender-neutral pronoun "hen" alongside the masculine "han" and feminine "hon" in dictionaries.  That is just so awesome.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug tipped me to a link about the backlash to the anti-gay backlash to marriage equality.  I am pleased to see some resistance kicking up before we wind up with a resegregated and completely dysfunctional economy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This was the linkback perk poem for the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It came out of the February 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "animal transformation" square in my 1-3-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. 8 of 17 verses have been posted.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is an adorable post about a man who thought he was straight, until he realized that he'd fallen in love with his best friend, who is another man.  Yes, it can happen, and when it does it's more often like that than love at first sight.  I am fondly reminded of Victor/Igor and Stan/Lawrence, in different ways.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article uses statistics to show that women perform far better in self-publishing where there is no arbitrary glass ceiling, which means that the discrimination against women in traditional publishing is still very high.  Well, duh.  I've been saying a lot of this for years.  I've done the traditional route and I've done crowdfunding.  Traditional is like a sewing machine: great if you can get it to work, but it's finicky and a pain in the ass.  Crowdfunding is like hand-sewing, my actual output is much faster, the quality is better, and people stand around going, "Holy cow, how did you make all this stuff?!"
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about women in comics and art. Cool redesigns.

My experience? Women want AGENCY. (If that's you and you haven't seen the move "Lucy" yet, go do that.) They want female characters to have a goal of their own and some ability to influence what happens as they pursue it.

What do my readers ask for in female characters?

Women on the autistic spectrum.

An asexual, aromantic character with some good friends. "I am imagining a very affectionate biromantic asexual genderqueer character who has a passion for gardening, especially growing edible herbs and plants, and loves getting the children involved in the garden too."

Someone using origami to work magic.

A battered, world-weary paladin instead of a shiny, perfect one.

P.I.E. was my own wish: one night after wanting to throw an entire bookstore against a wall, I sat down and wrote a smart, strong urban fantasy hera who is courted by assholes and does NOT fall in love with them, but instead shows interest in a nice guy. Who does not turn out to be a demon, evil spy, villain, or corpse. He's just a little accident-prone.

Someone who could actually unite the squabbling municipalities of southern Louisiana. A gendershifting transwoman. A scientist addressing mental illness. What can happen when women with superpowers have to deal with sexism, glass ceilings, and other bullshit. And most of my female characters on either side of the cape wear practical clothes. Until I got to Dvorak, who uses a boob window for its original purpose: to make men stupid.

A black, British, female steampunk engineer.

This series began with a request for a lesbian couple, one of whom is Deaf and the other walks with a cane, fighting crime together.  Walking the Beat has turned into my only popular series that is ordinary instead of speculative fiction.

Folks, listen to your audience.  Fan ideas can be way better than another McFloozie in a poorly designed swimsuit.
ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
This poem came out of the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "huddle for warmth" square in my 1-3-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was pleased to see some articles about diversity today.  This one discusses skin-toned fashions such as hosiery and shoes being expanded to cover more shades of nude.  This one presents a department store that's planning to offer gender-neutral clothing and organization, instead of men's/women's; alas, a temporary showing, but it's a step in the right direction.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was charmed by this display of kissing skeletons.  Regrettably I couldn't find the video on the Love Has No Labels website, but they have other cool stuff there.  I am particularly pleased to see that the demonstration included a wide range of prejudices to be set up and knocked down.  I'm also delighted that they highlighted different kinds  of love, including at least two different pairs of best friends.

In Terramagne, people do this kind of thing a lot, adding "Love has no power differential" for the soup/nary couples.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a heartfelt post on why we need asexual characters, especially in positive roles.  But it's not just because asexual people need role models too.  It's because even sexual  people shouldn't be pressured all the time to get in a relationship.  Being single needs to be okay.

Ironically, one of the healthiest relationships in Polychrome Heroics is a quiet little villain/villain F/F.  Fortressa has declared that she is Through With Men.  Okay, fine, she can do that.  One of her henchwomen, Socket, has an almighty crush on Fortressa -- and has said absolutely nothing about it, because Fortressa isn't interested in a sexual/romantic relationship.  Instead, Socket is just always there for her, fixing up the battlesuit and making sure there's food in the shop fridge and generally trying to make Fortressa's life easier.  Because that's what true love is all about.  It's not about getting what you want out of the other person.  It's that condition in which somebody's happiness in integral to your own, so you do what you can to be there for them, however they  want you to.  It doesn't have to be sexual.  And what started out as a crush is slowly, inexorably, and quite beautifully growing into a squish which is fulfilling for both of them.

To find my asexual, celibate, demisexual, etc. characters, check out the QUILTBAG list.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... which is hardly a surprise. What really disappoints me is this:

"Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs -- notably the first black person in her position -- denies that the academy has a problem recognizing diversity, but the demographics of the organization's members tell a different story."

Since the demographics indicate a clear bias toward white men, the above statement means that she agrees  with that situation.  She sees it, but doesn't consider it a problem.  She thinks it's okay and should stay that way.

Lady, please go the fuck home.  Some of us are tired of Hollywonderbread.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I first found this article, about the translation of Amazon names, which annoyingly gave only the English versions. Digging further, I came to one with more details about the process. Finally I found one with a few examples: These ancient Circassian names include Pkpupes, “worthy of armor”; Kepes, “hot flanks/eager sex”; Barkida, “princess”; and Khasa, “one who heads a council.”

Then I hit the jackpot with this lengthy discussion of how the translations come together, and a lot more examples, including more about Hot Flanks:
ΚΕΠΕΣ Kepes
Kepes appears to mean “Hot Flanks” or some other lower body part in Circassian. (Note that the name for the state of California originated from Latin for an Amazon queen Califa, cali-forn- hot-copulation). The form would be (West) Circassian
(WC) /kJepe-s/ flank-hot, with /-s/ “hot” often the second element of names even today, where it means literally “hot,” but metaphorically “intense, enthusiastic.” So, “Enthusiastic Sex.” The two stops in WC are voiceless unaspirated, just as kappa and pi were in ancient Greek
.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "orphans" square in my 11-25-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.

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