noracharles: (Default)
I'm one of the editors of the White Collar Roundup - I collect the White Collar content posted to dreamwidth.

That's how I first came across the comm then called fanspastic. The name offended me, and I hated linking to content on a comm like that, but I want our newsletter to be inclusive, and I'll link to everything regardless of my personal feelings about its authors.

Now the comm has been renamed to [community profile] fangasmic, which is a huge improvement! Thank you [staff profile] mark for taking care of that before renaming is officially possible.

I went to look at the comm, thinking the mods might just be ignorant, and maybe it's not a horrible place after all. LOL, wrong.

Is using the word "spaz" in the mod post explaining the rename supposed to be ironic, and do the mods think that it is therefore funny?
noracharles: (Default)
I learned something today, that I regularly need to relearn.

When something is a huge milestone for the disprivileged minority group I belong to, then I don't want you to come and tell me that it doesn't matter, because it's still full of fail in so many other ways.

You are however welcome to tell me that it does matter, but that it is full of fail in so many other ways.

By all means, tell me about the fail. I want to discuss the fail. But don't you dare tell me that the specific oppression which the group I belong to suffers does not matter.
noracharles: (Default)
An emotion is not an opinion. We can not agree or disagree with an emotion, but we can sympathize (feel the same) or empathize (understand or care about the person's emotions).

An experience is not an opinion. We can not agree or disagree with it, but we can believe or disbelieve, or understand the experience being relayed.

An opinion is an opinion, and we can agree or disagree with it, or argue for or against it.

Someone who has a mental health issue and reacts in an unusual way emotionally may have emotions we can't sympathize with. But that doesn't mean we have to disbelieve their experiences, or disagree with their opinions.

Irrational is a not a synonym for wrong, or "thing I disbelieve" or "thing I disagree with."

Sane is not a synonym for right, or "thing I believe" or "thing I agree with."

And a pertinent example:

"Because of my social anxiety, I don't like having my fic archived on public archives, including the AO3" is not the same as "I have political or philosophical objections to the AO3".

When you use mental health to judge who are right and who are wrong in a disagreement, you are not just arguing for your opinion, you are also contributing to the oppression of all people with mental health issues (including those who agree with you about the matter at hand).
noracharles: (Default)
This is a post about the accessibility of fandom fests for people with social anxieties.

Supporters of yuletide have taken it upon themselves to wage a campaign of social pressure on members not to remove any fics from the archive. Merricatk talks about the anxiety this causes her. )

Dear reader, should [ profile] merricatk's opinions on anything influence your opinion on whether supporters of a fest can create an atmosphere which excludes people with social anxieties from taking part in fests?

And, dear reader, if accessibility is only for the good people with disabilities, and [ profile] merricatk is a bad person with a disability, does the fact that she used herself as an example of a fan with social anxiety crying over a fest mean that you should not care about the other fans with social anxiety
  • possibly being triggered by the atmosphere of social pressure surrounding the yuletide move
  • possibly being scared away from seeking information from the actual official representatives of the fest
  • and possibly being scared away from ever participating in a fandom fest in the future?

How can we do better? )

You must log in to comment. )

I will not be able to moderate any discussion that takes place here continuously. Try to stay on topic, and don't allow the discussion to be derailed.
noracharles: (Default)
Some background ) People discuss the problem of Russophobia and general former Eastern Bloc phobia, and how they have personally been exposed to this ignorance, Othering, contempt and aggression.

Then a person whom I generally like and respect, and who has already apologized, quoted this: "Sometimes it seems that all those debates about cultural appropriation only take into account skincolor differences," and answered: "Well, you have to take into account that skin is such a visible marker; my Russian and Ukrainian friends can often benefit from white privilege right up until they open their mouths or sign their names."

I was repulsed and horrified. I am not out to attack the person who said it, I'm sure it was not a deliberate offense, and she's already apologized, but her comment has inspired me to discuss this.

A disclaimer )

When you are in a discussion about tensions between cultures and prejudices against certain nationalities, and how Westerners (hint: especially Canadians and U.S. Americans) are generally ignorant, dismissive and fearful of people from certain countries, don't reframe the discussion to be about your own nation and culture, erasing and dismissing the actual people from actual different countries than your own whom you are currently talking to.

I mean, don't ever do that, but especially don't ever do that in those particular circumstances. It makes you look like a dumbass. An incredibly culturally arrogant, nationalistically solipsistic dumbass.

International fandom, and the start of a personal anecdote )

He was sorry to have offended me, and tried to make nice by telling me how flattered and pleased he was that foreigners like me were interested in and fannish about his culture's TV show. Oh hell no. OH HELL NO!

You do not get to declare moral ownership of a product/artistic expression based on sharing the nationality of its creator )

ETA: Marina, on russophobia
noracharles: (Default)
Dear slash fans who consider yourselves allies:

Queer people are distinguished from straight and cis people by our sexuality and/or gender vs. sex. Queer people are not defined by our sexuality and/or gender vs. sex.

As a shipper, I would not enjoy having a pairing I ship, be it het or slash, made canon, because I feel it takes the fun out of looking for subtext, and makes writing canon-compliant fic more difficult, since fic is written in the holes canon doesn't cover. That doesn't mean I don't very much enjoy canon pairings as well, both heterosexual and gay. I was happy when Willow/Tara and Veronica/Logan became canon, and was very entertained by their love stories as a viewer. I don't begrudge you your Jack/Ianto ship, just because I personally am not interested in reading or writing fic about canon pairings.

As a queer, I am hurt and upset that fellow fans who call themselves allies do not understand that it's not about our sex lives or genitals, and representation of us does not equal storylines about love or sex! I am not saying I prefer de-sexed characters like Will from "Will & Grace", I'm saying I prefer queer characters to be written like actual people with actual people motivations and interests, just like straight and cis characters ideally are!

I am cis gendered myself, and don't tend to look very hard for representation of gender queers. My interest in differently gendered or sexed characters is mostly from the exploitative, porn reading side of the fence, so I don't have any recs for you of shows doing it right.

But I can recommend a show which does butch woman right: Glee. I am butch myself (I am exactly as masculine as the completely average man according to the BBC sex id), and I love how Sue is written and acted. I don't know if she's a cis woman who's had a hysterectomy, a mtf trans woman or if she's intersexed, but I do know that she is an awesome, butch woman who is not vilified or mocked for being butch, and whose butchness is not a plot device.

A movie which does gay/bi man right is Blades of Glory. Coach's sexual orientation is completely irrelevant to the plot, and not exploited in any way. He's just an awesome skating coach. And a minor character >_<

I'm trying to think of a TV show I have a fannish interest in which does gay/bi man or woman right, and I can't think of any which didn't either sexually exploit, mock/vilify or problematize homo/bisexuality (we all get VD, we're all exposed to constant gay bashing, we're all sluts who'll die alone because we don't understand true love/partnership, we'll die young, we struggle with shame and self-loathing, etc.) in a crypto-homophobic way. I'm left looking for coded gay/bi characters, who pass for straight in the eyes of the straight viewers. I'm glad the coded gay/bi characters are there (and I'm fucking tired of straight people telling me they aren't), but I'd really, really like for my people to be openly represented on the fiction shows I watch.

In the future, please continue trying to be our allies. I like having you on our side. Try to separate your interest in slash from your demand for equal civil rights and an end to queerphobia. Don't ever, ever say that you don't want a character to be canonically gay/bi/trans if they aren't sexually appealing to you. Don't pretend like gay/bi women don't exist if you're a straight female fan of M/M slash, or like gay/bi men don't exist if you're a straight male fan of F/F slash. Consider carefully if you're writing/reccing a fic with a bi character, or a fic with a straight character whose true and pure love transcends gender in one very special case, but certainly isn't one of those sinful, dirty, icky homosexuals (we're-not-gay-we-just-love-each-other fic). Don't pretend like gender queer people don't exist, or are evil/wrong if they're not gay/bi, or aren't "real" women or men.

In conclusion: real queer people are not like your fictional fap fantasies. Please stop trying to squeeze us into that mold, or punishing us for not fitting in that mold. Please stop thinking that you are in any way helping queers when you campaign for more fan-service. Stop pretending that slash fic is the same as queer fic; some slash fic is also queer fic (all of my fic is), but most isn't. Scolding a slash fic for having male characters who don't act like real life gay/bi men is a misunderstanding. You wouldn't ask for more realistic racial stereotypes, would you? A better response would be to point out when a fic is only a slashy fantasy for straight people, when it is a queer interest fic, and when it's both: a queer slash fic.

I haven't had the time/energy to read any of the fic posted in [community profile] queerlygen yet, but I recommend the comm to any slash fans reading this who're confused by my saying that slash isn't about queers, and queer representation isn't about sex and genitals.
noracharles: (Default)
FYI: Demanding that a non-native speaker of English either stop posting or accept an anglophone gatekeeper is the moral equivalent of calling out an author for peppering their fic with babelfished non-English phrases as exotic decoration with no respect or regard for the speakers of that language.

I posted about this phenomenon in international fandom represent, but the situation in this discussion on fanficrants is slightly different. Here the commenters are very sensibly complaining only about hard-to-read-because-of-poor-grammar fics in general, you understand. The undercurrent of seething xenophobia and the racist jokes are completely incidental.

Pros of reading the discussion: see Nora flip her shit.
Cons of reading the discussion: may cause elevated blood-pressure.
noracharles: (Default)
"I agree." Originally Old French, which means centuries of history in educated English. Privileged. Unmarked.

"Word." Originally African-American, possibly from the 1980s. Unprivileged. Adopted/co-opted by internet web 2.0 subculture.

"This." I don't know when this came into use, but I think it is probably a Hispanicism, given that it is the literal and functional equivalent of "eso". Unprivileged. Adopted/co-opted by internet web 2.0 subculture.

Here is an interesting discussion about the use of I agree/word/this.

Maybe using "this" or "word" as affirmations is annoying because it's not much of a contribution to a discussion, but then how is "I agree" better?

Maybe using "this" or "word" as affirmations is annoying because it's co-opting other people's culture and/or demonstrating an allegiance to a different male-dominated web 2.0 subculture than the female-dominated fandom subculture.

Mostly using "this" or "word" as affirmations is annoying because it's unprivileged dialect usage similar to "y'all".

I'm seeing some unconscious privileging of traditional anglo word usage over African-American and Hispanic, and it's making me uncomfortable. I don't think adopting a word and using it in its original sense is the same as co-opting other people's cultures, though I admit poaching vocabulary can certainly be part of cultural appropriation. I do think reacting with disgust and wishing to minimize the usage of words adopted from unprivileged (sub)cultures reeks of FAIL.