firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Wiscon panel report: Class, Culture, and Values in SF&F
Tracks: Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction (Power, Privilege, and Oppression)

Description:
Class isn't just how much money you have or what work you do; it also involves cultural beliefs, values, and attitudes that are expressed in how you talk, what you do in your free time, and all sorts of less tangible elements. (See Barbara Jensen's book Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America, due out in mid-May.) The SF&F writing and fannish communities are mainly middle-class folks, which makes the class values of SF&F works mostly middle class, too. What works and creators explore classes outside the mainstream, white, European, middle-class value systems? What class markers tend to show up most, or least, often? Do these works show the non-middle classes positively? negatively? realistically?

Panelists:
Moderator: Debbie Notkin
Eleanor A. Arnason
Alyc Helms
Danielle Henderson
Rose Lemberg

[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 all 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.]

[The book mentioned in the panel description, Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America by Barbara Jensen, is available at http://cornellpress.cornell.edu/ For a 20% discount use promo code CAU6.]
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Body Acceptance: From All Sides
Track: Feminism and Other Social Change Movements

Panel description
Body love movements have been gaining momentum recently, but for many people on the margins, the discourse needs to be expanded. The current movement of body love fails to account for persons with disabilities, people of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, pregnant and postpartum people, and fat people, among many others. We aim to discuss how (and in some cases, whether) body love and acceptance apply beyond a purely gendered analysis and expand to nonnormative bodies.

Panelists:
Julie Hayes
s.e. smith
Tanya D.
E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman
Mary Ann Mohanraj
Moderator - Annie D Chen

Twitter hash tag: #BodyAcceptance

I have a paraphrased transcript of this panel, and will post it on request, but that doesn't seem like the most helpful way to present the good stuff about this panel. 

I also tried to write it up by making a list of all the inappropriate assumptions mentioned that people make about each other's bodies and attitudes, but that just depressed me after I had gotten to 22 items (which wasn't all of them). 

So here are my general thoughts and notes.
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
via [personal profile] andrewducker

http://gravityandlevity.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/your-body-wasnt-built-to-last-a-lesson-from-human-mortality-rates/
"This startling fact was first noticed by the British actuary Benjamin Gompertz in 1825 and is now called the 'Gompertz Law of human mortality.' Your probability of dying during a given year doubles every 8 years." The article goes on to explain what we can conclude from this statistic: "By looking at theories of human mortality that are clearly wrong, we can deduce that our fast-rising mortality is not the result of a dangerous environment, but of a body that has a built-in expiration date." (Also, the law refutes the popular notion that thin people don't die.)


via [personal profile] onyxlynx

Face-recognition camouflage: http://www.cvdazzle.com/

Four rhetorical techniques the media or government can use to increase fear and hatred in the populace: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/2011/12/05/new-lse-research-the-psychology-of-security-threats-evidence-from-rwanda/
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111221140627.htm

Excerpt:
In a new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Arne Roets and Alain Van Hiel of Ghent University in Belgium look at what psychological scientists have learned about prejudice....

People who are prejudiced feel a much stronger need to make quick and firm judgments and decisions in order to reduce ambiguity. "Of course, everyone has to make decisions, but some people really hate uncertainty and therefore quickly rely on the most obvious information, often the first information they come across, to reduce it" Roets says....

It's virtually impossible to change the basic way that people think.
I'm very curious about that last statement. At what point does the "basic way" that a person thinks develop? Is it nature or nurture, and in what proportions? If it's true that some people need to reduce ambiguity more than others, do we know what contributes to that? Is it possible to teach people to tolerate more ambiguity, or to tolerate ambiguity in more situations?

I'm obviously assuming here that tolerating ambiguity would generally be a good skill to have (although I think it might lead to problems in situations where immediate action is required). I really dislike prejudice and the damage it causes, so if training in tolerating ambiguity might help diminish it, I would be in favor.

I think I've learned to tolerate ambiguity a lot better over the years, so my personal experience makes me doubt the assertion that it's impossible to change the way people think. It's possible that being on antidepressants is what made the difference for me, though.
firecat: statue of two fat people kissing (fat people kissing)
National Public Radio (NPR) has a web page asking for comments on the topic "What does it mean to live in a nation where one out of every three people is obese." (The nation in question is the United States.)

http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/form/apm/0d2dd143dca7/what-does-it-mean-to-live-in-a-nation-where-one-out-of-every-three-people-is-obese

The lead-in to the comment section says:
Americans are getting bigger. And it's not just changing our health, but our nation's infrastructure, spending habits, economy and state of mind. What changes have you noticed to the way we live? 

Tell us here. Your response will help shape a national reporting project on obesity.
Here are the comments I left them.

What conversations do you have - or avoid having - about weight?
Read more... )
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Anna North of jezebel.com interviewed me about how to deal with doctors who are judgemental of your weight. Her article also discusses how to deal with doctors who are judgemental of your sexuality.

http://jezebel.com/5849489/how-to-deal-with-judgy-doctors

ETA: Be careful of the comments.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This was painful to read but I thought it was worth it. And the writer is correct with respect to me—I had no idea that's what he did.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/29/1011562/-Most-of-you-have-no-idea-what-Martin-Luther-King-actually-did

Excerpts (emphasis in the original post):
...this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

I'm guessing that most of you, especially those having come fresh from seeing "The Help," may not understand what this was all about. But living in the south (and in parts of the mid west and in many ghettos of the north) was living under terrorism.
violence trigger warning )

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