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I'm glad to be speaking at the Third Annual Fat Activism Conference. This is an online conference, so you can listen from wherever you are by phone or computer. The conference will take place September 23–25, 2016 and features a diverse group of speakers and topics.

The 48-hour Rush Registration has now launched. If you register before 12:01 Pacific Time on June 24th you'll get the lowest registration rates, and special bonuses. Check it out at http://www.facregister.com/?ap_id=firecat (that's my affiliate link) or http://fatactivismconference.com. All the registration options, including Pay-What-You-Can-Afford, are detailed on the registration page.
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I only just found out about this recall of cars with potentially dangerous airbags. If you have a car made in 2000 or later, especially if you have a used car (because recall notices might not reach you) please check whether your model is affected. If it is, please take it in to have the airbags replaced ASAP.

The defective airbags can explode AT ANY TIME (not just during a collision) with much more force than they are supposed to, and hurl shrapnel at you. Because of their chemistry, the air bags become less stable over time.

List of models affected:
http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/news/takata-airbag-recall-list-cars-article-1.2602999

You can look up whether your car is affected using its VIN here: https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/vinLookup

Here's a long article that goes into the chemistry and the corporate hubris behind the whole thing. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-06-02/sixty-million-car-bombs-inside-takata-s-air-bag-crisis
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[The Twitter hashtag #Codeswitching has GREAT notes about this panel. Other people also use the hashtag so scroll back or search for #Codeswitching and #Wiscon40 or #wc40.]

Code switching

A discussion of how, why, and when a person code-switches — i.e., changes their language, words, accents, and thoughts depending on their audience. As fans, activists, writers, family members, and friends, how do we use code-switching to communicate? Can code-switching be useful in communicating across cultures, or is it disrespectful?

[My notes definitely don't use the actual words of the panelists. I welcome corrections. My comments and additional links in square brackets.]
Read more... )
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I'm going to be a speaker at the virtual Fat Activism Conference this year! Here is what it's about:
The Fat Activism Conference is "a virtual conference (so you can listen to the talks by phone and/or computer) for people of all sizes who are interested in creating a world that respects the diversity of body sizes, and who are interested in fighting the bullying, stigmatizing, shaming, and oppression faced by fat people, and want to do that work intersectionally."
I need to decide what topic to speak on! Please help me decide! I'm giving about a 30 minute talk with an opportunity for Q&A. Under the cut are some topic ideas, but feel free to suggest others (and/or suggest changes to the ones that are there.)
Read more... )
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[Check the Twitter hashtag #KitchenPrivilege for more notes about this panel.]

[I participated on this panel and didn't take thorough notes; I have paraphrased everything that was said and also probably included some things out of order.]

[Some very personal stories were told and I don't know if the panelists are comfortable having their names associated with what they said on a public post, so I did not associate panelist names with comments, and I used "they" pronouns for everyone. If anyone on the panel wants to be identified please comment here or send me a DM.]

Privilege in the Kitchen: Food Snobbery and Culinary Condescension

Foodieism is all the rage these days and while there's nothing wrong with making and enjoying good food, it seems to go hand in hand with a sense of condescension when it comes to cheap, simple fare; fattening foods (except for bacon, of course); and "poor food," the kind of thing prepared with a packet of this and a couple cans of that. Let us discuss economics, classism, racism, sizeism, and ableism in the ways we prepare, present, and talk about food.
Read more... )
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This is yet another thing that people with medical conditions get blamed for—not managing their own care well enough, although according to this article NO ONE studies the efforts required to manage one's own health care.

(Content note: one use of the "O-word")

"But American medicine demands another scarce resource from patients, and that is their time. The time it takes to check in on the status of a prescription, to wait for a doctor, to take time away from work to sit on hold and hope that, at some point, someone will pick up the phone.
...
"There is a risk associated with not measuring patient work: namely, that patients will give up when life gets in the way. This is an especially acute worry for lower-income patients, who often work for hourly wages and have little space to change their schedules."

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/1/11712776/healthcare-footprint
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"Women and Trans/Non-binary people" : The Pitfalls of Haphazard Gender Inclusion

Attempts to create calls for submissions/lists of authors with marginalized genders have come under criticism for asking for "women and non-binary" or "women and transgender people". Adding trans and non-binary identities to "woman" often adds additional confusion for trans masculine people (are trans men included as "sort of women", or excluded as "not a marginalized gender identity"?). Does inclusion of non-binary identities with women imply that those identities are necessarily "feminine"? Does the addition of "trans" as a separate category imply that trans women are not members of the group that is ALL women? How can we more effectively promote the inclusion of transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary authors?

[My notes aren't a complete transcription and may represent my own language rather than the actual words of the panelists. I welcome corrections. I did not identify audience commenters by name. If you said something I paraphrased here and want your name to be used, please comment or send me a private message.]

My comments or clarifications are [within square brackets].
Read more... )
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I went to Wiscon 40! This is a list of stuff I did. I will post more about the panels I was empaneled on and the panels I attended later.
Read more... )
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Will you be coming to Wiscon?

We All Start Somewhere: Welcoming Social Justice Newbies
Fri, 4:00–5:15 pm
Conference 4
Moderator: Jacquelyn Gill.
Many people aren't born into families that talk a lot about or value social justice. We come from all different backgrounds with all different kinds of experiences. When someone wants to gain a better understanding of and start practicing social justice, how do we, as a community, welcome them and offer opportunities for education? How do we deal with the same basic questions over and over again? What do we do well? What could we do better?

Privilege in the Kitchen: Food Snobbery and Culinary Condescension
Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm Caucus
Foodieism is all the rage these days and while there's nothing wrong with making and enjoying good food, it seems to go hand in hand with a sense of condescension when it comes to cheap, simple fare; fattening foods (except for bacon, of course); and "poor food," the kind of thing prepared with a packet of this and a couple cans of that. Let us discuss economics, classism, racism, sizeism, and ableism in the ways we prepare, present, and talk about food.
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I love The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. The fourth and final book was released last month. (I didn't think the fourth book was quite as good as the other three, but still a worthy ending.) Five people involved with the blog WomenWriteAboutComics.com talk about the series, and they get at a lot of what I love.

http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2016/05/19/searching-glendower-reflecting-raven-cycle/

A few non-spoilery quotes (there are a few more spoilers at the link, but only for stuff that happens very early, until you get to the big red banner that reads SPOILERS AHEAD):
Stiefvater is just such a great writer, especially when it comes to building distinct and fully realized characters.

Stiefvater treats its young adults the way I appreciate seeing young adults treated: like people with brains and emotions that don’t melt into a puddle of love juices and angst over their love interest....he friendship between the boys is so heartbreakingly beautiful, and the unquestioning loyalty between Blue’s aunts is so powerful. This is a YA book that does not forget that there are others who help shape the lives of the main character and gives those people such depth.

I love Blue because I relate so much to being a “sensible” teenager and her wanting to rebel against that sensibility....I also love that she’s so prickly, opinionated, and stubborn.

It’s a much more realistic portrayal of family, in a way, than other YA books.
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This post sums up a lot about girls' and women's experience of anger, and as a person raised as a girl I relate to it a lot. It included many links to other articles, many of which I also added to this post.

[Edited to add: On Facebook it was pointed out that this post doesn't address the ways anger is racialized. I agree. When describing it I should have specified "white girls' and women's experience."]
Read more... )
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"100 MUST-READ SCI-FI FANTASY NOVELS BY FEMALE AUTHORS" by Nikki Steele, who writes, "Do note that I’ve only listed the first book in any given series."

I think this is a very good list. I have bolded the ones I've read, check-marked the ones I own but haven't read yet, and starred the ones I especially liked. I'm feeling especially hard to please when it comes to fiction these days, and I want to reflect that, so I didn't give out very many stars. I don't mean to suggest the ones I didn't give a star to are bad, just that they didn't get me super-excited.

If you've read any of these authors, I want to hear what you liked by them!

1. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

2. The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

*3. Among Others by Jo Walton

*4. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie


√5. Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam

√6. The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich

7. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey

8. Ash by Malinda Lo

9. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

10. The Pyramid Waltz by Barbara Wright

11. Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee

12. The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish

*13. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

√14. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

15. Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

16. Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

√17. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

18. Chorus of Mushrooms by Hiromi Goto

19. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

20. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

21. The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce

22. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

23. Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

24. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

25. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Didn't finish the series.)

√26. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

27. The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

28. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (Probably her most "important" book but not the one I would have picked as her best or my favorite.)

29. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

30. Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara

31. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

32. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

33. The Etched City by K.J. Bishop

34. The Female Man by Joanna Russ

35. Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg

36. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (Tried, bounced)

37. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

38. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

39. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

40. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

*41. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling


42. The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

*43. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.

*44. Hild by Nicola Griffith

45. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik


46. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

47. The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferré

48. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

49. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

50. Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias

51. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

52. The Island of Eternal Love by Daína Chaviano

53. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

54. Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

*55. The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (This duology is excellent but I liked the Inheritance series better.)

56. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

57. Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

√58. Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

59. The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

*60. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

61. Moving the Mountain by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

62. Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

63. My Christina & Other Stories by Mercè Rodoreda

64. My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due (Haven't read this one. I liked Joplin's Ghost though.)

65. Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin

66. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

67. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

68. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

69. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

*70. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Really like this series.)

71. The Red by Linda Nagata

√72. Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

*73. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Really like this series.)

74. Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai

75. The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

76. Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold (Have read the whole series.)

77. Shikasta by Doris Lessing

78. The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

79. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh (Started, bounced)

80. So Far from God by Ana Castillo

√81. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

*82. Soulless by Gail Carriger (Really like this series.)

83. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

84. The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon


85. Spirits of the Ordinary by Kathleen Alcala

86. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

87. A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (Reading now)

88. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (Have read other good stuff by her.)

89. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

*90. Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner

91. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

92. Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff

93. War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

94. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

√95. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

96. Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson

97. Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

98. The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet and Other Stories by Vandana Singh (I've probably read some of the stories in here.)

99. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

100. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
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"Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell casting is even worse than it seems," by Kwame Opam

My take on this article: I agree with its argument that the story of Ghost in the Shell is inherently Japanese and it's racist to whitewash the live action remake.

But I think by the argument that the story is inherently Japanese, there should be no white European remake of the story at all. (The director is British, the writers are white, except that the writer for the original Ghost in the Shell is also credited.) Casting Japanese actors wouldn't solve the problem that white European movie-makers are pretty unlikely to do justice to an inherently Japanese story line.

I'm therefore inclined to assume that this is going to be a movie that doesn't have anything in common with the original anime, except the title and the names of some of the characters.

I would normally be interested in seeing an action movie with Scarlett Johannson in it, if it got good reviews, because there aren't enough action movies with female leads. And I'm undecided whether I should boycott this movie because it's named after a Japanese anime movie. I probably won't decide until I see reviews.

What do you think?
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Has anyone reading this attended geekgirlcon, and would you recommend it, and why or why not? Thanks!
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The OH and I just finished the first season of How to Get Away With Murder. I'm glad I watched it, and I like the acting and the cast diversity, but it was sort of surfing the edge of what kind of TV I like best (too much of the drama generated by lies and stupidity). Based on that, do you think I should I watch the next season?
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For the cat-loving coloring-book fans.
http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Egyptian-Cats-Coloring-Children/dp/0692568611/

I am said that David Bowie had to go back to his home planet. Listen to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie on the isolated vocal track for the Queen hit "Under Pressure," 1981
http://www.openculture.com/2013/06/listen_to_freddie_mercury_and_david_bowie_on_the_isolated_vocal_track_for_the_queen_hit_under_pressure_1981.html

A manga-face generator site.
http://www.faceyourmanga.com

"'Adulting' is an Indictment of Society, Not of Millennials." The late-Boomer author claims that today's kids don't want to work hard because
opportunities that were available to previous generations have disappeared. My father was a high school dropout, but at 21 he got a union job with a railroad and turned it into a nice middle class career that gave me and my brothers a good start on our own lives. Where would he work today, Walmart?
So, yes, a nice middle class career is much harder to get these days, especially for white people, and even if you do get one you don't make as much money because you've gone into a lot of education debt. But is it really true that Millennials don't work hard? Seems to me it's usually been the case that kids first coming onto the job market are underemployed.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2016/01/adulting-is-an-indictment-of-society-not-of-millennials.html

Apparently some people still haven't gotten the message that policing women's language is not going to magically cut through all the sexist attitudes that make it more difficult for women to advance in their careers.
This week everyone’s been talking about an article in the Economistexplaining how men’s use of language undermines their authority. According to the author, a senior manager at Microsoft, men have a bad habit of punctuating everything they say with sentence adverbs like ‘actually’, ‘obviously’, ‘seriously’ and ‘frankly’. This verbal tic makes them sound like pompous bullshitters, so that people switch off and stop listening to what they’re saying. If they want to be successful, this is something men need to address.
https://debuk.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/just-dont-do-it/

Related to that, I never really got much ambition installed in the first place, but a lot of women start out ambitous and the ambition erodes over time due to lack of support.
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/nov/19/women-start-out-as-ambitious-as-men-but-it-erodes-over-time-says-researcher
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 Movies/TV Series consumed in 2015

Comment if you want further thoughts on any of these. There are some spoilers in the movie notes.
 Read more... )

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Notable books and audiobooks read in 2015

Comment if you want further thoughts on any of these. Some general descriptions of settings and characters, but no spoilers.Read more... )
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"Operations like Thriftbooks step in and buy ... landfill-bound books, sight unseen, for around 10 cents a pound....Between 15 and 18 people at each warehouse sift through the truckloads of books, sending more than 80 percent of the material immediately to the recycling plant. (Hey, it’s better than the dump.) That 80 percent may include stuff that’s obviously garbage: old three-ring binders, notebooks, half of a Bible. Anything that might possibly be sellable is scanned into the company’s database.
"...The sellers wouldn’t tell me exactly how much profit they make on penny books. Shipping costs vary depending on the kinds of deals you can cut with delivery services."
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/magazine/a-penny-for-your-books.html

“There’s a limit to how many copies of Jurassic Park I can sell,” [Mike Ward, owner of Thrift Books] explains. “If I already have a thousand in inventory and I think I’m only going to sell 500 in the next three months, I don’t want any more.”
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/14/selling-used-books-on-amazon-for-a-penny
Read more... )

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