firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I made this post on a mailing list, but it got rejected for being off topic (which was reasonable) so I thought I would recycle it here for the benefit of the choir. :)

Context: Someone announced a dating event. Some people criticizing the event because it was open only to people looking for opposite sex dating partners (plus the original announcer didn't mention this). Then other people called the criticizers PC. One of them complained that many people these days go out and look for things to be offended about, and they don't pay attention to intent, and intent is what really matters.

So I said,

Intent isn't as important as you think it is. And neither is offense. You are confusing "assuming malicious intent and taking offense" -- an individual response to an individual behavior -- with the broader situation of trying to change societal norms that are wrong and harmful.

If something is normal but harmful, then a person don't need to feel malicious in order to cause harm. They just have to go about their business, unaware of the harm they are causing. In order for society to change, people have to be made aware of harm they are causing and bepersuaded to change. That's uncomfortable because no one wants to change unless it was their idea. But if you believe that a fairer society is a good thing, then it is necessary.

Also, a person who calls out a pattern of harm isn't necessarily offended. They might just be trying to do their part to make society fairer.

Just to make it crystal clear: It is no big deal that this particular event excludes queer people. But it is part of a larger pattern where queer people are excluded from other things that matter a lot, such as marriage rights. It's a good thing for people to stand up and say "Hey, look at the pattern," when they see it. Because otherwise a lot of people won't realize it's even there.
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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... )
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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)
I signal-boosted the initial #YesGayYA post, and I'm glad I did. Lately I've been seeing some criticism of how the authors defined diversity and the lists that got generated of YA books with queer characters and characters of color. So now I'm signal-boosting a post that in my opinion does a good job of laying out some of that criticism.

"In which I am derailing and contrary and also unsupportive of the Market"
http://deepad.dreamwidth.org/67143.html

The criticism boils down to: "Now, a lot of those books they have listed are, in my opinion, ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE at representing the identity they are supposed to be foregrounding." And [personal profile] deepad goes on to discuss how difficult it is to find nuanced critiques of such books.

I am glad that the original authors called for increased diversity in YA fiction. I also appreciate efforts to discuss the problems in some of the already published books that attempt to support diversity.

Personal comments ahead, aside from the original topic )
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[personal profile] deirdre asked me to signal-boost this article written by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith, published in Rose Fox's Publisher's Weekly blog. They were moved to write this article when an (unnamed) agent offered to sign them if they removed a gay character from their YA novel.

http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/genreville/?p=1519

Excerpt:
This isn’t about that specific agent; we’d gotten other rewrite requests before this one. Previous agents had also offered to take a second look if we did rewrites… including cutting the viewpoint of Yuki, the gay character. We wondered if that was because of his sexual orientation, but since the agents didn’t say it out loud, we could only wonder. (We were also told that it is absolutely unacceptable in YA for a boy to consensually date two girls, but that it would be okay if he was cheating and lying. And we wonder if some agents were put off because none of our POV characters are white.)
...
We are avoiding names because we don’t want this story to be about one agent who spoke more bluntly than others whose objections were more indirectly expressed. Naming names can make it too easy to target a lone “villain,” who can be blamed and scolded until everyone feels that the matter has been satisfactorily dealt with.

Forcing all major characters in YA novels into a straight white mold is a widespread, systemic problem which requires long-term, consistent action.

When we privately discussed our encounter with the agent, we heard from other writers whose prospective agents made altering a character’s minority identity—sexual orientation, race, disability—a condition of representation. But other than Jessica Verday, who refused to change a character’s gender in a short story on an editor’s request, few writers have come forward for fear of being blacklisted.
The article also includes links to the following annotated lists:
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: red panda looking happy (Default)
A Different Light by Elizabeth A. Lynn

If I told you the plot of this book it would sound like a space opera, or possibly a romance, but it doesn't entirely have the feeling of either. It's sort of noir, and it's sort of...langorous. The protagonist is a visual artist, and Lynn pulls it off so I got a pretty clear picture in my mind of what he was seeing and depicting.

I really liked that the main characters were bisexual and non-monogamous and that no big deal was made out of this -- it was just how they behaved naturally. I really liked that the relationships among the main characters were emotionally complex and that the characters gave each other emotional space.

Yes, I mostly read this book for the atmosphere and relationships, and I didn't read carefully enough to comment critically on the science or the plotting.


View all my Goodreads.com reviews.

There may be spoilers in the comments.
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.

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