sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([buffy] society's only protection)
My main takeaway from Once Upon A Time so far: you know, if either Swan or the Queen were male, the show would be playing the UST angle to the hilt.

If BOTH of them were male, however, the show would be a million times duller, but it would be the biggest thing to hit fandom since SPN.

(Also, I kind of like how they're just fully going with the Disney versions of things. It could've gone either way, doing that, but it actually works for me. I have a lot of ~thoughts~ on that, on the evolution of stories and how there's no such thing as the "real" versions of fairy tales, but it's way too tl;dr for the time being. Also also, I totally need an icon of their Maleficent, she's glorious.)

ETA: Spoilery )

sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([etc] morally illiterate)
TRIGGER WARNING. Randomepiphany noticed people were upset by her use of the word rape! She has made an edit to clarify her thoughts.

I do not trigger easily at things on the Internet, but this seriously came close for me, though fortunately I managed to divert it into BLINDING RAGE instead.

Dear [ profile] randomepiphany,

I suggest you step away from the computer. I suggest you do this in order to do some fucking research. Maybe you could volunteer for a rape/sexual assault/sexual violence advocacy group or hotline. No, actually, don't do this, because clearly you have no idea what actual rape trauma is like, so best to do something that will keep you from interacting with genuinely traumatized people, who need a lot more respect and empathy than you are obviously capable of. Go for a walk and get some perspective, maybe, and then do some actual research. The point is, grow the fuck up and stop coopting my actual experience and trauma to characterize people being critical of your fanfiction on the Internet.

If nothing else, have the balls to unlock comments on your posts, because honey, fandom was downright nice to you in its original reaction to your story, but at this point you deserve nothing more than to be told, in detail, precisely what a self-involved, ignorant child you are.

You want to come into my journal and defend yourself? Please fucking do. Consider this an open invitation. I suspect it will be a bit like beating my head against a brick wall, on account of how you are obviously determined to make a martyr of yourself, but what the heck, sometimes I like beating my head against walls.

[personal profile] sohotrightnow/[ profile] cidercupcakes
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([buffy] the power of a locomotive)
There's been some backlash against [ profile] rawles's post of the other day, it looks like! [personal profile] redbrickrose and I had a decent discussion about this, where she pointed out that for her, the fact that fandom was so focused on queering characters and texts made her very protective of M/M, because it makes fandom a place where her experience (at least in theory; fannish takes on the queer experience can be problematic) is finally represented. Which I can see.

Maybe it's partly because I am extremely reluctant to embrace the label of "queer", and to identify as a member of that community that I have trouble with the queering argument. I guess I feel like my experience as a bisexual has been denied and erased from outside of the queer community and from within it -- I'm not a "real" queer, I'm "just" an experimenting straight girl (yes, I'm still furious over the handling of Buffy/Satsu in S8, why do you ask?), or I'm "actually" a lesbian who's in denial. When the queer community has made it obvious that it has no particular regard for me and doesn't want me, I don't feel particularly inclined to spend my leisure time queering my entertainment; straight or gay, it's still something where I will be invisible. Whether the party is a het one or a queer one, I'm not invited and if I show up there and try to pass myself off as a party animal, most of the people there are going to regard me with confusion and ask each other "who invited her?"

Further, for me, I guess the problem is that we talk a lot about that aspect of M/M, and how it's empowering in that regard, how we're imposing our own experiences onto texts that don't acknowledge them. And I do agree that it's an incredibly powerful and empowering action. But then we're completely content to just ignore the women, or worse, we find excuses not to write them. We don't queer things by writing F/F nearly as often as we do by writing M/M. We don't write gen about women. Instead, we say "oh, wow, Uhura's fierce! Yeah, she's awesome. Maybe I'll write about her one day, when I've got time, but I do think I can squeeze in thirty Kirk/Spock stories", or we don't even bother paying lip service, we just say "oh, Ginny's so boring, Draco is written in way more depth, let's talk about how JK Rowling is a genius but only when it comes to Draco". We say that the way Supernatural treats women is appalling...until the ~wonderful brotherly bonding moment~ of Ruby's death, at which point there are comments about how all of the people are pointing out the problematic aspects of a scene where the reunion of two men is illustrated by one of them holding a woman in place while the other stabs her are just examples of fandom being impossible to please.

And I don't think it's one or the other here, either we're being empowering by queering characters/texts or we're continuing a sexist tradition by only writing stories about men (because most slash is M/M) -- obviously it's a lot more complicated than that, and I think it's probably a bit of both, and a lot of other things as well, both empowering and problematic.

I guess where I have trouble is that yes, there is definitely something to be said for the queer experience being represented, finally, and for carving out your own space and making people hear your voice and changing things that frustrate you for the better -- but I think it's extremely disingenuous to sidestep the fact that it's generally the white able-bodied cis male queer experience that's being represented by slash. And that's not to say that the majority of het doesn't focus on white able-bodied cis characters -- there's plenty of fail on ability, transgender, and race issues amongst het readers and writers, and lots of sexism, too. There's also plenty of fail on those counts amongst gen writers and readers, and amongst F/F ones, and amongst pretty much every crowd of fans you can find, because everyone has their blind spots. That's the magic of kyriarchy, basically.

My conclusion, I suppose, is that while I absolutely think it's completely fallacious to say that if you write M/M you must by default hate women because why else would you be writing about men, I also think it's completely fallacious to say that if you write M/M you can't possibly fail on any other issues, because you're being empowering on this one. I don't feel like anyone has said either of these things, but often, iterations of this debate will devolve into a false dichotomy along those lines, and I think it's worth noting that said dichotomy is false.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([comm] oh that's nice!)
+ One day, I will finish the meta-vid I keep starting (and then getting too depressed to continue work on for more than an hour or so), to "Nice Guys Finish Last" ("I treat her bad/she loves me good" indeed). In the meantime, this post is good and [ profile] rawles should feel good, because it says all the same things and reading it takes less time than watching a vid.
Because obviously the feminist way to deal with a misogynistic narrative is not to balance out relationships or illuminate and explore the female characters, but to ignore them! Riiiight.

The erasure of female characters from a narrative is never feminist. Period. The end.

- LJ seems to be working only sporadically for me these days! I have to hit reload on things there several times before they'll actually show up. I don't have any particularly fierce loyalty to any one journaling service, but it's not logically possible to have any loyalty to a service that's not actually being provided, LJ.

+ I've been introducing several people in my life to Community, including friends and parents. Mom's favorite characters are Abed and Shirley. To paraphrase something one of my flisters -- I'm pretty sure it was [ profile] baked_goldfish, but not 100% -- said of 30 Rock, it's come the closest of anything to filling the Arrested Development-shaped void in my heart.

? I need to make a doctor's appointment in the next few months, I think; my attention span issues have become a lot more noticeable lately, and apparently some of my other behaviors, combined with my general issues, are indicative of something in the ADD/ADHD family. There's also some general health stuff I'd like to address -- nothing life-threatening, just a throat/respiratory thing that's happened to me all my life but finally someone recently told me that no, everyone doesn't react to exercise with intense pain and tightness in the chest and throat, plus horrific-sounding wheezing, and I might want to talk to a doctor about that.

+ Under two weeks until I move! :DDDD

- AHHHHHH UNDER TWO WEEKS UNTIL I MOVE. THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO. Fortunately, since my brother and sister vacated their apartment down in Richmond (brother's staying down there, but moving in with friends; sister's planning to live at home for the time being, until she either starts grad school or finds a job), a lot of the furniture I'd be needing (table, TV, couch) is now just sitting in the garage. My clothing-purge of January, however, was clearly not effective enough, because there's still tons of stuff sitting there that I haven't touched since I decided to keep it then. So that will have to happen again, and probably I'll need to do a book-purge as well.

+ But I am going to worry about that tomorrow, because for today, there is the first Cabal Cookout of the season to prepare for! \o/ I should probably get to work on that, actually. Hmm.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([etc] morally illiterate)
So there have been some posts on my reading lists that basically say, of the whole discussion going on in SPN fandom (although I think it's expanded by now), something along the lines of "it was two years ago so it's not worth talking about" or "you weren't personally there so you shouldn't be talking about it because you don't know". These are kind of irritating me a lot! IDK, call me crazy, but in general I kind of feel like it is not a bad thing to be talking about what we can do to make fandom -- and the world -- a place where consent can be given and will be respected!

Also, it starts to look a whole lot like the ever-popular "you're just being oversensitive"/"you just enjoy being offended"/"don't you have more important things to worry about" derailing tactics. I'm just putting that out there.

I understand that it can be pretty exhausting to read. And maybe the difference is that since I subscribe to the theory of the rape culture I do believe that this is connected to the shit that's happened to me, because I believe that my abuse and what happened at the con both spring from the same fundamental disregard for the right to say "no" and disrespect for women as more than bodies even if one is a more extreme example than the other. But the bottom line is that I do see a connection, and I find that connection worth remarking upon. And even more worth remarking upon is the way this has been handled and the reactions of the people who've been called on bad behavior, and that is a current issue -- as, since it was very recent, is [ profile] thenyxie's banning from this year's convention, which is one of the things that set this whole discussion off -- so even leaving aside that in general I find the question of "what can we do to not be such huge dicks about women" a good one to ask, I think it's really disingenuous to claim that this is such an old issue that we're all just dragging up now. Because it's not -- the effects are happening right now, and the discussion itself is something to discuss in terms of the relative safety of fandom, and that is definitely happening right now.

Again, yeah, I understand that endless discussions about srs bzns are exhausting and may kill the escapism factor of fandom for you. But honestly -- I don't know, this is where I am going to be kind of an asshole, maybe. Honestly, if you're not a survivor and you're saying "this doesn't matter, this isn't relevant", and a lot of survivors are telling you that this does matter and it is relevant, maybe instead of trying to silence them, you should you should listen to them, or at least just scroll on by if you don't want to hear about it.

Or defriend, because frankly if you're going to try and tell me, as a survivor, how I should feel or talk about an incident that sets off a lot of alarm bells -- if you're going to belittle and trivialize something that affects real people's health, mine included, by referring to it as "wank" -- then I really don't think I want you reading my locked entries to begin with.

TL;DR I'm sorry you never learned how to scroll. :(

In less srs bzns news, I wrote Clay/Aisha earlier! Hooray hooray, that movie.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([buffy] the power of a locomotive)
Here is an actual conversation that took place during a discussion of victim-blaming. It was several years ago now, but I guess you will be able to see why it's kind of stuck with me. (I talked in this post about what happened to me and my experience with mental illness especially as it relates to my history of sexual abuse; be warned that it is pretty graphic and may well be triggery.)
Me: (sarcastically) So when I was nine, and my coach was raping me every now and then, that was my fault because I didn't say anything?
Them: (in seriousness) After the first time? Yes, it was. I'm sorry for what happened to you, but if you didn't tell anybody, you have no one to blame but yourself.
[personal profile] impertinence has talked about why people might not go to the police. Let me talk a little about why someone might not go to anyone. No -- that's disingenuous. Let me talk a little about why I didn't tell anyone what happened to me until I was an adult.Triggery. )

The fannish community can be incredibly warm and positive and loving. But it is not a monolith (which, often, is one of the things we love about it, after all -- the variety of opinions and experiences means that everyone brings something unique to the table), and as a lot of people were more than happy to point out during last year's AbilityFail, it is not a safe space. It can also be a place where women are viewed in less-than-great ways -- last year, after all, the most popular character in fandom was the one who throws gendered slurs around every chance he gets, the one who said a few weeks ago that "on a good day, you get to kill a whore"...and the Final Four consisted of the guy who tried to rape the heroine of his source text, the guy who makes jokes about his boss's breasts every chance he gets, and the guy who, by his own admission, "actually sold a woman". Fangirls have accused me of lying about my experiences, have called my issues "bullshit", have told me I am to blame for what happened with me. Sometimes this was to my face, sometimes it was behind my back. People can be jerks, and no one lives in a vacuum, and fandom is made up of people, and an awful lot of us are products of a rape culture.

Look at the responses that [ profile] thenyxie and her friends have made, the accusations they've thrown about -- and those are "just" words on the Internet. Look at the fact that last year, fandom collectively decided that an attempted rapist was one of its favorite characters of all time. I honestly can't say that I blame anyone for not feeling comfortable about speaking up about the situation except under cover of anonymity.

We've discussed (but not, I would say, established, because after all, we're still having the discussion and people are still arguing otherwise) that silence before the event is not consent to the event. I feel it's at least as important that we establish -- or at least, if that's too much to hope for, discuss -- that silence after the event is not an admission of guilt or an indicator of dishonesty.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([lvg] the wild pony is displeased!)
Hello, Internet! Apparently it is a day for anger, and even more excitingly, this is for no reason that I can discern! It's not work; work is fine! In fact, my anger was compounded by the fact that I was angry, because it had been a pretty pleasant day so far and then it was ruined by the sudden blinding rage. It was just something on LJ, and not even one of the entries that I should be angry about, like the latest round of "fandom spends two weeks pretending it gives a shit about any character who isn't one cis white dude banging another; things expected return to normal shortly"! It was just someone's entry about her life. And yet it made me super-angry. Admittedly, the tone she affects for LJ has a way of rubbing me wrong, but man, this was all out of proportion. LOL ISSUES, JULES.

Then I read some of the stuff from the latest round of "fandom spends two weeks pretending it gives a shit about any character who isn't one cis white dude banging another" and now I'm angry about that instead. Mostly the comments to this post; possibly next week I will try and do a post about why it is bullshit when people say "but female characters just aren't as interesting!", but possibly I will just say fuck it; my one comment so far illustrates what I am trying to say pretty well, I think, so I'll just link to that for now. Or maybe one day I will make that meta vid I have in mind, the one I can only work on for a couple of hours before I have to walk away for a week or three because it makes me too sad and angry (hint: it is set to Cobra Starship's "Nice Guys Finish Last").

Whatever, it is a nice day, my job is swell, and after work I am going to have ice cream, and then see The Runaways with the DC Fangirl Cabal.


Mar. 6th, 2010 10:43 pm
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([buffy] society's only protection)
Hey, look, it's Steel Cage Match time again!

The good news: there are a lot more ladies in the match this year! And BtVS is represented not by Spike but by Buffy herself! \o/ Someone even made a batch of NOT DEAN WINCHESTER icons, which warms my little heart, since last year it came down to four of the most reprehensible white dudes imaginable, namely Dean, Spike, Barney, and House (which was what inspired Home Team -- that and the fact that to get to the Final Four, Spike beat Veronica Mars, and I was completely fucking horrified by the implications of the dude who tried to rape the heroine being more popular than the heroine who had been raped).

The bad news: in the first thread on the first page someone feels the need to launch a "BUFFY WAS A CUNT" campaign. Well done, fandom, well done. That'll teach me never to overestimate you.

In conclusion:


John Winchester would want you to.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([etc] get excited and make things)
I worry that this is kind of deraily, but I think we all know that I am generally pretty quick to complain about how ladies are treated in fandom, so I'm taking my chances. Anyway, the point is, I'm trying for tangential more than derailing, but if it's coming off as derailing, then I apologize and everyone should disregard it.

Anyway, I really liked a lot of what [ profile] bookshop had to say in this post and this one. Here is what confuses me, though -- is "my flist might not be interested" really that huge a stumbling block for, you know, talking about fandom? A little more on this. )

So what I am getting at, I guess, is -- go ahead. Talk about it. I promise you, people will notice, and the Internet will be a more delightful place for everyone involved because of it.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([buffy] society's only protection)
Oh lordy-loo, so I am probably going to regret making this public, but enough people were encouraging of it that, okay, why the hell not.

Here is the thing: I am fully okay with exposing what bullshit the SurveyFail dudes were pulling. Sai and Ogi were, imo, condescending jerks who were using bad science and terrible data-gathering methods to try and prove that their sexist "findings" were right and to generally treat women's sexuality like it is something shocking and alien. This is really offensive to me.

But I am really, really not okay with some of the fic and art being posted. When I and a few others mentioned this in the comments of this post (WARNING: the art is extremely NSFW, and I've found out that I'm not the only one who first looked at that picture and saw a rape scene, even if it wasn't intended that way) expressed some of our issues with the idea of fandom's using sexual content as a way to humiliate the SurveyFail dudes, [personal profile] elf responded (link) that fandom was using "explicit sexual situations, and tentacle porn, and humiliation, as tools of mockery" -- a mindset which, as [personal profile] lindra pointed out here, stems from exactly the same place as sexual assault and rape, both of which are also about using "sexual situations...and humiliation as tools" to establish or affirm power.

I have no problem with RPF, fic or art. I have a problem with the fact that people are creating these things with the intention of maliciously shoving them in the subjects' faces, specifically for the purpose of humiliating them. There's been a lot of really intelligent discussion in this mess, and that we feel the need to undercut it with crap like this really disturbs me.


...on the bright side, I got a much-needed haircut and now I look super-cute? :D?

ETA: Just as a heads-up, I'm going to be away from home for the holiday weekend, doing family stuff; I've got some limited wifi but will probably be keeping busy. I'm not, for the most part, ignoring anyone or refusing to engage, so my apologies if that's what it looks like, I'm just not going to have much computer time until Tuesday.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([tv] footage not found)
Oh lord I can't believe I'm posting this. Okay, so I thought I was done talking about this, but then I read [ profile] lcsbanana's post here and hit the phrase "victim privilege" in her collection of quotes and holy shit, holy shit.

[ profile] queenofhell has an excellent, excellent post here on how classic derailing techniques are being used to shut down this discussion ("it's your responsibility to educate me", "my friend is also a member of Group X and she wasn't offended, so you shouldn't be either", "you're the one with the privilege in this conversation because you're demanding special treatment"). Like I say, as soon as I hit the phrase "victim privilege" I was pretty much done for awhile, but I've been rambling in a Notepad file for awhile and I think I may have come up with something coherent at this point. So here goes.

Behind the cut, a herd of possibly-triggery teal deer is grazing. )

In conclusion: yes, I think that the term "privilege" applies here, not to authors or readers but to people who have or haven't experienced any kind of mental illness with triggers (regardless of whether said illness springs from any kind of past trauma).3 Yes, I also believe that being able to say your ~art~ is more important than another person's psychological illness is a sign of privilege. And finally, yes, I believe that we have a responsibility to warn which springs from our responsibility to be polite -- even decent or compassionate -- human beings, and I believe that the majority of arguments used against warning are coming across as classic derailment tactics, ones that come from a place of privilege: that of psychological health vs. psychological illness. I refer again to [ profile] queenofhell's excellent post.

1. I use those last, rather unwieldy epithets after seeing posts like this one, which argued that not all abuse survivors have triggers as a result, and from the fact -- which I feel it's at least as important to mention -- that plenty of people with triggers simply have them as a result of illness, not because of any past trauma.

2. I'm not here differentiating among people who are mentally ill but seeing specialists, mentally ill but on medications, mentally ill but seeking other forms of treatment, who were dealing with mental illness in the past, or who are mentally ill but not pursuing any treatment at all (I am the latter, because I am not currently earning enough to afford insurance, and treatment is too expensive without insurance). I am referring only to people who are or were in the past dealing with mental illness, particularly accompanied by triggers.

3. I especially believe this in the case of rape/abuse, because I believe that abuse stems from certain systemic structures that make people who have been raped part of a non-privileged class, but this post is tl;dr enough already that I will not go into that.
sohotrightnow: ([buffy] but you're just a girl)
Apparently the only reason the LA Times can come up with for women to be at Comic Con is for the dreamy boys. Ugh, this is like when Snyder did that awful interview with EW or whatever it was about how Watchmen is totally a great date movie, it has ~a romance for the ladiez~. Yes, Zach, because the only reason I, a woman, might possibly enjoy your movie is if there is romance for my female brain with its wacky hormones to enjoy (and right, the only reason I might possibly dislike it is because I am a silly girl who just wants more romance, but that is another story altogether).

For that matter, I would not be too offended by the "go to Comic Con because hot celebrities will be there!" angle (which is kind of dumb, IMO, given the cost and crowds and everything, but still valid) if they weren't so openly sexist about it. To return to Watchmen, given the number of men's magazine covers Malin Akerman was on, or the number Megan Fox is on now in anticipation of Transformers -- hell, given the number of cons I have been to where the dudes have been creepy at the ladies -- I would say there is plenty of "don't mind me, I'm just here for the hotties" across the genders.

(Well, that said, if it were "guys, just go because there are going to be hot chicks there!", I would probably be offended for different reasons, mostly because see above where I've been to several conventions where the guys were really creepy at the ladies who were there, but in theory I am totally okay with just going for the hotties.)

This is the same issue I am having with Marvel Divas, basically; this notion that obviously girls could only like something if it's like -- not even Sex In The City, but like some bad caricature of Sex In The City, where all anyone cares about is shoes and ~landing a man~. Hell, I love Meg Cabot and romance novels; shallow trashy romance has its place in my entertainment, I just hate the implication that because I'm a woman that's all I can like, or that the only way any woman could possibly like something is if it's shallow trashy romance. Like, Marvel Divas, as I have explained to a few people -- it's not that I wouldn't fucking love some kind of hilarious combination of chick lit and superheroes, because I totally would. It's that there are few, if any, people I trust to write that well, and the language that has been used to describe this so far does not convince me that the dudes doing this are going to surprise me. And that, further, if/when it bombs, its bombing is undoubtedly going to be used as proof that ~girls just don't read comics~ and that they therefore don't have to try to appeal to women, and everyone is going to miss the fact that it's a clumsy, offensive attempt that assumes that just because sometimes I want to read about romance and shoes, then a) romance and shoes must be all I want to read about, b) every single romance-and-shoes product is the same and thus no actual craft has to go into it, and c) that is all any woman wants to read about.

In conclusion: I should have been in bed almost an hour ago, especially considering all I have to do tomorrow, but I got into rawr mode. Rawr. Just be glad I didn't get into how SPN fits into my gender-related irritation with the entertainment industry.

(Like, I fully realize that there are actual things to be angry about right now, like Obama and DOMA, but right now I am sort of just barely keeping it together, and so I cannot deal with more than comic book fail.)

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