firecat: gorilla with arms folded looking stern (unamused)
My willingness to use flying as a form of transportation was drastically reduced when the TSA instituted rules limiting the amount of liquids through the security checkpoint. Originally, empty beverage bottles were not allowed through the checkpoint either. That was a boundary for me because I consider it a basic need to carry a lot of water with me when I travel, and I consider it an unreasonable burden to be required to purchase an overpriced bottle of water after clearing the checkpoint. (I can't find any rules about empty bottles on the TSA site right now and I've had reports from people who fly that they were able to bring empty bottles through the checkpoint, so maybe that rule has changed.)

As a person with medical conditions, I am exempt from the rules about liquids, but it offends me that the rules are imposed on other people. It also strikes me as pointless to have rules that people can exempt themselves from just by saying they have a medical condition.

So for the past several years I've flown very rarely.

The fact that I need to buy two seats to be comfortable also contributes to my choice to limit flying.

The new rules about full-body scanners and more intrusive pat-downs strengthen my resolve to limit the amount of flying I do. I don't have a lot of body modesty and don't fear sexual harrassment, so I don't think I would be personally harmed by going through the scanner or being manually searched.

But I believe people have a right not to be subjected to invasive searches without probable cause, and I'm not willing to relinquish my right.

I am privileged and fortunate that I have a choice whether to fly, and I am not making any recommendations for other people.

This mainly affects my likelihood of going to Wiscon. Theoretically I could drive to Wiscon and I'm not ruling that out, but I looked into it once and it seemed like it would be more driving than would be enjoyable for me. I'm not making any decisions about flying now, because a lot of things could happen between now and May, but I'm somewhat less likely to go if the scans and invasive searches become standard.
firecat: pink and blue triangles (bi triangle)
cross-posted from Facebook

It's National Coming Out Day! I'm queer and poly.

I think that adults should be legally supported in making relationships with any other adults they want to make relationships with. Adults who want to raise children should be legally supported in raising children. Society should treat hate crimes and bullying seriously.

All this stuff seems so obvious to me that it feels stupid saying it. But given what I hear about the recent suicides (due to bullying) of a number of queer young people, and growing harrassment of Muslims, and other criminally intolerant behavior that fails to be addressed, apparently it isn't obvious to everyone.
firecat: girl's hands holding apple on her lap (holding apple)
Here is what [profile] nisi_la wants. [profile] nisi_la is a Wiscon 35 Guest of Honor.
Meanwhile, I want everyone who was hurt or offended or puzzled or appalled or angered or infuriated or stymied or worried or threatened or in any way negatively affected by Elizabeth Moon's post to attend WisCon 35. Because when I was asked to be a Guest of Honor for that convention, you were the ones I was expecting to see there. And because I want to dance with you, and sing with you, and talk about smart stuff with you, and admire how beautiful we are, and flaunt it!

That's what I want. You do what's right for you, though. I don't always get what I want. I will miss you if you don't attend, but I love you unconditionally.
I don't know if I'm going to Wiscon, but my attendance or failure to attend isn't likely to have anything to do with Elizabeth Moon's offensive statements about immigrants and Muslims (my post about that is here: Basically, I plan to attend if my life circumstances permit.

I will attend because I know people on the concom and I care about them and want to support them. Because I see many friends there I don't see anywhere else. Because there are always interesting conversations (many of which, for me, are in the lobby rather than at the panels or speeches). Because there's so much going on that for me it's possible to ignore some of the stuff and people I don't like or agree with. Because I think the Tiptree Award is cool and important. Because a number of important organizations have been born at Wiscon (including the Carl Brandon Society and Broad Universe) and I want to support an environment that gives birth to such organizations. Because people who make Wiscon happen have been trying hard in a number of ways to increase inclusiveness for oppressed and marginalized people at Wiscon.

The inclusiveness efforts that affect me personally are: Wiscon people have acted to oppose fat hatred and promote fat acceptance. Wiscon people have tried to accommodate people with mobility difficulties. Wiscon people have tried to accommodate people who have social interaction limits. Wiscon people have not done a perfect job of implementing/supporting these things, but they've tried hard and have made real improvements, from my point of view.

I've tried to form an opinion about whether the Wiscon concom should (have) ch(o)ose(n) to rescind Elizabeth Moon's guest of honor status. I haven't settled on an opinion. I'm aware that my circumstances—as a white person, born in the US to parents born in the US, with a flexible religious affiliation (atheist Buddhist)—afford me the privilege of not having to form an opinion.

Following are some of my thoughts that didn't coalesce into an opinion:

She said something that's deeply contrary to Wiscon's policies of inclusiveness, and she has not shown in public any inclination to change her mind or apologize for hurting people by making these statements. As such it's contradictory for Wiscon to be sending the message that it honors her.

She said it after she was chosen as GOH. To what extent is Wiscon responsible for things that GOHs say after they are chosen as GOHs?

She has said similar things before, although they didn't garner the same amount of attention. To what extent is Wiscon responsible for researching the prior public statements of prospective GOHs to find out whether they've said stuff that's contradictory to Wiscon's policies?

I value the idea of responding to speech that we don't agree with, with more speech.

I value having events that are dedicated to certain viewpoints, at which people can discuss the finer aspects of those viewpoints (events with some room for non-"viewpoint-101" conversations, if you will). When people attending those events feel obligated to spend time defending and explaining the most basic elements of our viewpoints, that space loses some of its value.

When someone we invited to our event says something so threatening and hateful that people we want to be part of our event no longer want to attend or feel unsafe to attend, our community is weakened.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I like being able to maintain some separation among my various accounts on the Internet.

Therefore, I'm not planning to link my FB and Twitter accounts to my LJ account or enable automatic crossposting for my LJ journal entries.

I'm not planning to auto-crosspost my comments in other people's journals to FB or Twitter.

Occasionally I hand-post the URL to one of my public LJ journal entries to FB or Twitter. Occasionally I copy and paste a comment I made in another person's journal and repost the text elsewhere. When I do this, if the entry I commented on is locked, I don't mention where the comment came from, and I remove all identifying information.

I don't care if you auto-crosspost your journal entries or your comments on my journal entries. I will adjust my posting habits with the assumption that such things might happen. (E.g., I might allow comments on DW only for my locked journal entries.)
firecat: pink and blue triangles (bi triangle)
I'm pissed that the court did not vote to repeat Prop 8.

I'm also inclined to hope that this analysis by The Daily Kos is right and the court's decision basically amounts to "OK, you have to call it 'mawwidge' instead of 'marriage' but otherwise it's exacty the same thing." (I don't know enough to understand if that's correct. But if so it's pretty cunning.)

And I do think that by leaving the marriage rights of the 18,000 already-married same sex couples in place, they're pointing out that California is in a completely untenable position with regard to same-sex marriage.

I know full well that this will lead to at least two ballot initiatives in the near future, and I'm dreading having to go down that road again.

But since we have to go down that road again, at least the pro-marriage side appears to be better-organized now than it was during the prop 8 campaign.

If I were legally married to the OH, I would talk to him about getting a divorce in response to the court's decision. But we never did tell the government.

(However, an unmarried opposite-sex couple has more privilege than an unmarried same-sex couple, because people presume we're married unless we explicitly tell them otherwise.)

Incidentally, because it seems important to be out these days: I'm bisexual and polyamorous.


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

February 2017



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