- ajnabieh: Speaking While Arab: The Case of Octavia Nasr
You know, if major news outlets decide they want to start firing people for showing their asses around the collective oppression of large groups of humanity, I'm not going to be opposed to that. (There is the small point that lots of people have said far worse things about various groups than Thomas did, and do it on camera frequently, and still have jobs; why she was removed from her position while other people can remain does speak to the ways Arab-Americans and those that support Palestinian rights have trouble being heard in public.) But that's not what Nasr did. She made a relatively banal comment about the passing of a political leader whose work she knew from her experience as a journalist, and who she thinks had a complicated and not entirely negative effect on Lebanon's politics. Comments like this get made all the time after political leaders die; it's common courtesy, even if you think the person in question had terrible policies and effects on politics, or even was a downright terrible person. (I remember being very confused when Nixon died, because all the reporting about him was positive. "Didn't he do a lot of terrible things?" I asked my mother. "Yes," she said; "they're just being polite.")
- holyschist: Wow, museums are dangerous!
I've always been somewhat aware that museums have hazards, but they have a lot more hazards than I normally think about:
- via cofax7: MTV’s The Hills as parasocial fandom
I don’t think this style of fandom rests comfortably within the affirmational vs. transformational framework. Perhaps it straddles both to some extent, but I’m more inclined to see it as a third mode of fandom. Until a better name comes along, let’s call it parasocial fandom, to reclaim the term and celebrate its emphasis on relational play and pleasures.
- N.K. Jemisin: Brainstorming Immersive Inclusive Worlds
I get asked a lot about how I came up with some of the worldbuilding ideas I broached in the Inheritance Trilogy, and I’m always kind of puzzled by that question — mostly because I don’t think I did anything extraordinary in developing that world. I simply designed a world that made sense to me, utilizing the stuff I’ve picked up from my own experiences; years of reading sociological, historical, and anthropological texts; and my education. But it occurs to me that science fiction and fantasy based on the kind of stuff that appeals to me — the so-called “soft sciences” — is kind of rare in the field. I suspect there are a number of reasons for this, centering on the genre’s historical disdain for anything not easily quantifiable or indisputable… except that doesn’t account for the scads of SFF based on unquantifiable, frequently unobservable, “best guess” or purely theoretical material like whole swaths of quantum physics, dark matter, etc. But, ya know, those fields aren’t infested with girl cooties. And those fields don’t often, or at least not as frequently, challenge our thinking about the status quo of our society.
- via forthwritten: Desirability
And this is the crux of the issue, and it’s why I’ve been pretty pissed off every time I’ve seen one of these bloody posters. They’re just a tiny, tiny part of the message that can be found on billboards, in magazines, in the cinema, on the television, in newspapers, in books, and in even in freakin’ academic papers. It’s quite a simple message, and it runs as follows: transsexed women are deeply unattractive and undesirable.
- access_fandom: Announcing: Festibility! Please Signal Boost!
What: Hosted by access_fandom, Festibility is a fandom festival accepting all kinds of fanworks (fic, meta, art, icons, podfic, vids, recs, picspams, drabble sets etc) about disabled characters. Works can focus on canonically disabled characters or canonically able-bodied characters that you reimagine as disabled. Pieces can be as long or short as you like.
- Geek Feminism: Geek feminism as opposed to mainstream feminism?
I’ve wanted for a long time to write about “why geek feminism” and I’m using this question as something of a jumping off point. We have commenters who read widely in the femiblogosphere (I only read a couple of sites, and tend to focus on the intersectional ones) and I am hoping they can more directly answer the question about what the big names there are missing.
- The Pervocracy: Dating While Feminist: EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT!
The other guests will be Jaclyn Friedman and Shira Lipkin, and hopefully lots of interesting feminist-type people. If you're in the Boston area I strongly encourage you to stop by; it's free and it'll be awesome.
- via metafandom: ineptshieldmaid: In which LJ are fuckers. AGAIN.
They did not call on the maintainers of these communities to modify the content. They did not even state that the maintainers had a responsibility to oversee age filters. They've simply locked them to 18+, without warning.
- via Geek Feminism: Mystery and the Modern Woman
The context of our conversation was the following: I’ve been asked out at a fairly normal, even healthy rate, by men I meet while out and about, but as soon as they ‘friend’ me on Facebook, there seems to be an extreme amount of vanishing going on. According to my male friend, my level of disclosure is too much for most men to stomach (in his words, men want “mystery” or at least to think that there is a challenge to getting a girl’s number and information). Of course, my reaction was that any man that couldn’t handle a few foursquare check-ins and posts about my son and life on FB wouldn’t be man enough to deal with me anyway, so good riddance. However I wondered in the back of my mind if removing my phone number and tightening up the privacy settings just a wee bit wouldn’t hurt anyway.
- Historiann: Tales from the archives
Perhaps the biggest reason why some of us have been told that “we can’t do [this or that kind of] history because there are no sources” is because of the historic biases that have shaped curatorial practice, plus the absence of resources now to make archival materials searchable and available. I’d be especially interested in hearing from those of you who have worked in archives or who have other insights.
- liv: Top ten popular misconceptions about Dreamwidth
I've seen all of these in the wild, and I admit that people who believe them probably aren't going to accept my rebuttals, but I thought I'd put something out there in case it's useful for anyone to point to it!
1. Dreamwidth is nothing but identity politics
2. Dreamwidth is hostile to straight white men
3. Dreamwidth is all about media fandom
4. Dreamwidth is trying to undermine creators' rights by encouraging fanfic
5. Dreamwidth is pro child porn
6. Dreamwidth hates LiveJournal and wants to see it fail
7. Dreamwidth is just another fly-by-night LiveJournal clone
8. Dreamwidth has compulsory adverts
9. Dreamwidthians can't handle criticism of the site
10. Dreamwidth is going to save the world
If you're sceptical, that's totally fair enough, but I invite you to try one thing: compare Dreamwidth's Latest Things page with LiveJournal's Latest Posts. Note the new features, particularly the tag cloud. Yes, you will see a snapshot that includes quite a lot of fanfic, but also plenty of other stuff, and a whole lot less porn, spam and text walls of Cyrillic. And more to the point, you'll get a much better idea of the sort of content that populates Dreamwidth, than you would get from the skewed sample that is people who make a lot of noise about Dreamwidth in fandom communities.
- Transactivist: Passing as a (cis) woman
One thing I don’t think we really talk about enough though is what we’re trying to pass as. I hear a lot of talk about “passing as a woman” or “passing as a man”. A couple of conversations with friends over the past few days though made me realise that it’s not really about that. It’s about passing as a cis woman, or as a cis man.