- Why Is Lesbian Romance So Unpopular When Compared to Gay or Straight Romance? – Author E.E. Ottoman takes on the popularity, or lack thereof, of f/f compared to m/m and I’m not sure I agree with all of it. I do think f/f’s lack of a character straight women can objectify sexually is a big part of why it doesn’t sell to straight women, and I think Merrian’s idea of “escape into privilege” is at play. m/m gives you two men whose male privilege you can try on, and I remember lots of complaints about women in m/m all being awful.
Lesbian or other queer women on the other hand, along with any and all trans* people and QPOC, are still threatening to heteronormativity. These unacceptable forms of queerness are just not as easy or comfortable for a large part of a wider Western audience to consume.
I think that, coupled with a lot of the internalized anxiety and shame women feel about female bodies and female desires, makes lesbian romance or romances that depict queer women significantly less popular.
- Fallout – Natalie has been a major pivot point in a recent blowup involving SFWA, and she talks about the ways people have tried to silence and marginalize her by calling her a “nobody” and demanding to see her credentials.
One thing that’s happened to me is the the intimation that since I am relatively unknown that I have no standing to speak about these issues. The thing is this: everyone has to start somewhere and the insistence on credentials is a way to suppress voices. I haven’t been getting a lot of push back, but what I have gotten has centered on this fact and a fair bit of the overall commentary generally doesn’t even acknowledge that this is a site run by one person (those of you who have acknowledged that: thank you).
The thing is this: the whole conversation isn’t just about one disgruntled man’s long held grudge against Mary Robinette Kowal. It’s about a culture which has systematically privileged the voices of a subset of the population over all the other voices.
- Credentialism and the internet – Sunita was involved in a completely different happening (one involving math, statistics and comments longer than her blog post) then witnessed yet another (last week was bonkers) where self-professed experts either tore down an argument based on the arguer’s credentials or lorded their own like it was a “win the argument” card. Here’s hoping next week has less ‘splaining.
Credentials don’t give a stupid comment greater credibility, they just make its existence more surprising. Say I’d made a similarly off-base and misguided comment about race, ethnicity, or class, and then, when called on it, asserted my credentials. Would that make you believe me? No, because I’m still hung out to dry by my own words. That’s one of the things I really like about the online world: your words are your most valuable currency, and your use determines their value.
- Where’s the Diversity, Hollywood? 85 Years of the Academy Awards – Lee and Low runs the disheartening numbers on the Oscars, then talks to filmmakers about the state of the industry.
Since the Academy Awards was founded 85-years ago:
Only one woman of color (1%) has ever won the Academy Award for Best Actress
Only six men of color (7%) have ever won the Academy Award for Best Actor
Only one woman (1%) has ever won the Academy Award for Best Director
An interview with independent filmmakers helps give a glimpse of the current climate of Hollywood today.
- A lost city reveals the grandeur of medieval African civilization – I admittedly know very little about pre-colonial Africa, but this seemed like a cool article about an East African city-state I’d never heard of before.
Throughout the Middle Ages, great civilizations ringed the Indian Ocean. From Egypt, people could travel the Red Sea to reach the ocean, then sail south to Africa, or continue east to the Arab world and India. Then, of course, one could travel over land on the famous Silk Road from India through central Asia and into China. In reality, few people ever made that journey. But many trade goods did, passed from hand to hand in cosmopolitan cities whose cultural diversity would have made places like New York and Sao Paolo look like monocultures. Among those great medieval cities were places like Songo Mnara, a gorgeous and bustling Swahili city built on an island off the coast of Tanzania in the fourteenth century.
At a time when European cities were getting wiped out by plagues and famines, Songo Mnara was thriving.
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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.