The Masculine Mystique: Custom Suits to Make Transgender and Female Clients Feel Handsome – This NYT article floated across my Facebook feed and I had to share it. An NYC tailor makes suits that fit female bodies without accentuating the feminine. The relief the customers report at looking handsome is incredible.
- What’s the Trouble With Selfies? Speculative Fiction and the Mirror Effect – This is pure hate reading brought to you by the same writer who thought people used too much coarse language when talking about Vox Day’s extreme misogyny and racism. This post is adorable.
Fandom has tried to develop this literal-minded concept of diversity in real life with the establishment of “safe spaces” for female and non-white fans at conventions. It hasn’t always worked too well, owing to a problem with gawkers. The Angry Black Woman, a blogger, had an unfortunately typical experience at WisCon in 2010: her squee was harshed by “people who just stared into the POC safe space room like it was a particularly interesting zoo exhibit complete with pointing.” Pity the poor black fan who can’t attend a convention without people touching her hair or asking her to teach them about negritude. But also spare a wee drop of compassion for the straight, white, able-bodied, cis-gendered male! He’s lectured on his lack of diversity, told to read more stories about and by people with diverse perspectives–and yet when he tries to approach them in real life, it all too often … doesn’t end well.
- False Equivalence: Selfies and Diversity in SFF – Natalie pens a great takedown of Savage’s line of nonsense and provides lots of great links.
Diversity is important–it’s not just about filling a quota or getting a pat on the head from a particular group of readers or writers or editors. It’s about including everyone and making everyone welcome in our community. It’s about having all sorts of different kinds of people as heroes and villains and in between. It’s about not defaulting to the same kinds of characters every time we write a story–it’s about challenging ourselves to be better. It’s about failing. It’s about trying again. It’s about actively working to make our community a better place for everyone. Story doesn’t–can’t–live in a vacuum. I want to read stories about people who are like me and people who are not like me in the least. I want speculative fiction to represent all of humanity, not just one small privileged slice of it.
- Since When Is Telling a Woman to Eat Your Dick Standing Up For Service Workers? – Reality TV producer Elan Gale live-tweeted an altercation he had with a woman on a flight around Thanksgiving. Some call him a hero, but he sounds like a sexist bully to me.
Yeah, I really wish a black man—or how about an Arab man wearing a turban—would pass a note to a white woman on an airplane saying that “eat my dick” mess. I doubt the flight attendants would’ve been giving a wink and nod, as they appear to have done to Gale. Security would most definitely have been waiting when they deplaned.
The whole thing has me reflecting on how white men are pretty much raised to believe they can say and do whatever they want. Antagonize a woman, tell her to eat your dick, and you’ll be lauded as a hero. As the brilliant Rebecca Carroll said of Gale, “He is the utterly ultimate uber quintessential I-can-say-what-I-want-delusional-white-intellectually-free-hipster-man.”
- That Viral “Poverty Thoughts” Essay Is Totally Ridiculous – In all of this horrible fuckery about pretending to be poor and soliciting donations for herself, I was struck by what this con artist said about poor people and how people ate it up. It reminded me of that horrible book True by Erin McCarthy and how everyone who was poor was filthy or living in filth and the privileged as fuck heroine rescued them and introduced good hygiene. I hated that book.
You see, Linda Walther Tirado, or “KillerMartinis,” as she’s known on her Kinja screen name, wrote this brain-grating essay, and it’s all about being subjected to the pitfalls of poverty. Linda’s not actually poor, though, nor was she raised in what most would describe as poverty. Unless you consider a boarding school education as a marker for poverty, anyway.
The inferences on what it’s like to be poor — from the roach-infested living quarters to the lack of wholesome food — would almost be laughable, if they weren’t such freakin’ gross stereotypes written by a person who has never experienced true poverty. That little fact takes it from laughable to infuriating.
- Sexism is daily reality for girls, says Girlguiding – Glad to see nothing’s changed since I was a girl. Street harassment started for me when I was 12 or so. It’s why I wore men’s clothes until high school. See also: the #FastTailedGirls hashtag on Twitter.
Most of the 13-year-olds questioned said they had experienced sexual harassment, rising to 80% of 19 to 21-year-olds.
This included being shouted and whistled at, sexual graffiti and pornography, sexual jokes and taunts as well as unwanted sexual attention, unwanted touching and stalking.
More than three-quarters (78%) said they found this behaviour threatening if they were alone.