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Entries tagged with ideas.feminism 
rosefox: A man and a woman holding hands, labeled "INVISIBLE QUEER". (queer-invisible)
Some ignorant person wrote a piece for Wired about the Hugos that included the following:

Since 1953, to be nominated for a Hugo Award, among the highest honors in science fiction and fantasy writing, has been a dream come true for authors who love time travel, extraterrestrials and tales of the imagined future. Past winners of the rocket-shaped trophy—nominated and voted on by fans—include people like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, and Robert A. Heinlein. In other words: the Gods of the genre.

But in recent years, as sci-fi has expanded to include storytellers who are women, gays and lesbians, and people of color, the Hugos have changed, too. At the presentation each August, the Gods with the rockets in their hands have been joined by Goddesses and those of other ethnicities and genders and sexual orientations, many of whom want to tell stories about more than just spaceships.


This is wrong. I went on a long Twitter rant about how wrong it is. (Thanks to [twitter.com profile] tehawesomersace for Storifying it.) Specifically, it erases the marginalized people who were writing and reading SF/F from the very beginning of the genre--including erasing Arthur C. Clarke's homosexuality--and thereby erases the active and passive oppression that kept many of those people marginalized. The idea that SF has "expanded" in "recent years" is false and extremely damaging.

Among the many responses to my rant was this from [twitter.com profile] adamndsmith:

Genuine question: In your op, what's the best way to fight whitewash? Education on minority history? More critical editing/editors?

I replied:

It needs to be fought on multiple fronts. Most important is a self-check step by both editor and publisher. "Whose story am I telling here? Whose story am I not telling? Why am I not telling that story?" You train yourself into it, like "what's wrong with this picture" games.

For example, look at the 1960 Hugos shortlist. You have to train yourself to look at that and see what's missing: the minority writers, the minority content. Maybe it's hard to see until you compare it with the 2013 shortlist. And then you have to be careful not to draw the wrong conclusion (that no great work was being created by minorities). That process of self-education is the only defense against bigoted enculturation.


Adam emailed me some follow-up questions, asking how someone outside the field could know to look for the missing history. My response was that there's always missing history. And since I was already feeling wordy, I provided a case study, which I'm replicating here in case anyone else might find it useful to have an example of how to apply general missing-history-finding techniques to an unfamiliar community or context.
Tiny skateboards )
A couple of footnotes to this:

1) I'm not perfect, and I'm sure I'm missing obvious questions that could be asked about minority and marginalized people in the fingerboarding community. (EDIT: For example, as [personal profile] seyren points out in comments, I didn't think of looking at ability/disability, which is often an overlooked axis of oppression.) I threw this together in under 15 minutes. It's just meant as a starting point, as an example of how to begin to look at a completely unfamiliar group through the lens of "which stories aren't being told?", and as an illustration of how easy it is to find the traces of missing history once you get in the mindset of looking for them.

2) I owe a tremendous debt to all the minority and marginalized people in and outside of SF/F who've taken the time to educate me and others on how to look for what's missing in mainstream narratives, especially [personal profile] karnythia, [twitter.com profile] djolder, [twitter.com profile] chiefelk, and the late and greatly lamented [personal profile] delux_vivens. Self-education is obviously critical, both because we learn best and most thoroughly when we put things in our own words, and because leaning on marginalized people and asking them to pour their hard-earned knowledge into you is exploitative. But there are some generous folks out there who have spent a lot of their time handing out free clues on the internet, and I'm extremely grateful for the clues they've handed me.
13 July 2015 00:43 - "We would throw such a party"
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
Readercon in bullet points.

Lots and lots of bullet points )

Last year I cut way back on my Readercon volunteering and left the concom, and I just now sent an email resigning from the program committee and safety committee. It feels really good to be done, and to go out on such a high note.
rosefox: "Angsty about it?" "No" "Yes you are" (fussy)
I kind of fell out of the habit of keeping a media log, but I wanted to note this one down. On a random Twitter recommendation, I watched The Brothers Bloom tonight, and really liked the first 75% of it or so. Then it went completely off the rails from my perspective--because I kept trying to see Penelope as a real person, and the movie kept trying to make her a symbol and an object.

I am so tired of this.

SPOILERS etc. )

The person who recommended it saw it as "a straightforward existentialist narrative". (We had a whole long conversation about it here.) So if you like that sort of thing, it's the sort of thing you'll like, I guess. I just found it profoundly frustrating, a word I use way too often to describe movies and books. It's so tiresome. Why can't people write stories that are interesting and complicated and have female characters who deserve to be happy and realize their dreams and shape their lives?

The worst part is that the writer created a really splendid and amazing character in Penelope. She's smart, she's funny, she's interesting, she has a powerful personal philosophy and moral code, she has a wealth of talents. But once he'd written her, he had no idea what to do with her other than objectify her. A criminal waste.

Bah. Bah, I say.

On the bright side, this bit of TBB/The Avengers crossover fic, which hinges on Mark Ruffalo coincidentally playing characters in both films, fixes the ending of TBB in a pretty fantastic (if cracktastic) way. Superhero Penelope! Yes!
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
While I was chatting with [livejournal.com profile] grahamsleight earlier, he came up with the notion of a feminist sitcom with NO LAUGH TRACK because it's NOT FUNNY. Naturally, I had to mention this to [personal profile] xtina.

02:29:38 Xtina: It would be meta, as the concept itself would not be funny!
02:29:42 Rose: except it is!
02:29:44 Rose: to me, anyway
02:29:46 Xtina: It would just be this slow pan of a desperately confused audience.
02:29:53 Rose: *bursts out laughing*
02:30:02 Rose: confused people are funny!
02:30:51 Xtina: You might get smatterings of applause, but the immediate murmuring response of their seatmates ends that quickly.
02:31:04 Xtina: They look guilty and concerned. Others, self-righteous.
02:31:12 Xtina: At some point, the whole thing explodes in a poof of logic.
02:31:14 Rose: the whole sitcom takes place off-screen
02:31:20 Rose: and is never quite audible
02:31:30 Rose: _deeply_ meta
02:31:58 Xtina: Oo, yes. They can occasionally zoom in for specific audiencial reactions.
02:32:52 Xtina: I would want a running bet - how long until someone shrieks "WHERE'S THE "APPLAUSE" SIGN?!?" and runs flapping out of the room?
02:34:55 Xtina: How long until a small band of people band together and laugh, regardless of what's going on?
02:35:34 Rose: how long until a male feminist ally gets loudly offended?
02:35:41 Xtina: "HA HA HA HA HA!"
02:35:52 Xtina: And his female compatriots get offended at his offense...
02:35:56 Rose: "IF I WERE A WOMAN I WOULDN'T THINK THAT WAS FUNNY!"
02:36:00 Rose: "WELL I'M A WOMAN AND I DO!"
02:36:19 Xtina: I really really want one of those... sports snackycake walkerfolk? I don't know. Vendors?
02:36:26 Xtina: Only with eggs and fruit.
02:36:29 Rose: hahahaha
02:37:08 Rose: and then the egg jokes
02:37:14 Rose: and then the abortion comments...
02:37:37 Xtina: The DVD has a behind-the-scenes shot that is the sitcom itself.
02:37:54 Xtina: Director's cut just shows the director and producer and such folk *cracking up forever*.
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