Links: Thursday, September 12th

September 12, 2013 Links 4

A white man with an athletic build sits in an upholstered chair and looks at the camera while holding his chin in his right hand. His arms and left leg are covered in many colorful tattoos. His right leg is a below-the-knee prosthetic meant for running on.

Disabled People Are Sexy – Truth in advertising.

  • Communities: You Got Your Industry in my Fanwork – While this post is talking about SFF and television fandoms, I found much of it relevant to Romancelandia’s struggle with reader-author interaction.

    Over the last few years many previously fannish book blogs I follow have slowly shifted into industry track blogs. I suspect it’s why the industry can step into these spaces, which are ostensibly fan spaces because their owners are not being compensated. Some parts of the industry feel comfortable doing so because these blogs parlayed their fannish excitement into looking appealing to publishers/creators. Creators can comment on fan conversation that they were not explicitly invited into, sometimes with interesting discussions, but sometimes with really terrible results.

  • It’s Like a Black Fly in Your Chardonnay – Maybe this is weird to link to on a romance blog, where HEA is golden, but this concept of ended relationships being failures and not just past experience limits the genre sometimes.

    Til death do us part may sound romantic as hell if you’re in a great and fulfilling relationship you want to be in, but if you’re in a relationship that makes you chronically and unresolvably unhappy, or in which you’re unsafe, it’s sadistic codswallop.

    We have this pernicious idea that staying together, at all costs, is the only way to make a romantic relationship a “success.” Anything less than the long haul is failure.

  • Emily Ladau: Thanks for the Help, I Guess, But I’m Not Helpless! – Disability in Kidlit has relaunched as a once-a-week blog, and I’m gonna cosign this post times eleventy.

    When written responsibly, literature can spark positive change by helping society to move past stereotyping disability. However, in order for this to occur, it is imperative for nondisabled authors to assess their own assumptions and behaviors and move towards a greater understanding of the lived experiences of disabled people. To provide some insight into the ways that assumptions of helplessness diminish the rights and independence of disabled people, I’d like to share a few anecdotes in the hopes that writers will think twice before depicting disabled characters as helpless, and that nondisabled people will think twice before rushing to an unneeded rescue.

  • Guest Post: Romance Sociology on the Feminine Culture of Romance Authors – A pair of sociologists talk about the hyperfeminine world of RWA. I can’t help but think that this “be nice” commandment is a major stumbling block in the way of greater diversity in the genre. Nobody seems to think acknowledging privilege and institutional marginalization is very nice.

    With over 10,000 members, RWA is one of the most successful professional writers’ organizations. As we analyze the be-nice culture among romance writers, we see sociological significance in the fact that it is an outgrowth of a female-dominated community. Just as significant, we think, is how the culture seems to help writers compensate for the difficult experiences in this industry: the constant rejection built into a writing career and the stress of constantly defending the romance genre against the negative perceptions of uninformed outsiders. The be-nice culture has its downside, to be sure, but it also functions in a tremendously positive capacity by providing the community cohesion that romance writers need to meet the challenges of the career.

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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.

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4 Responses to “Links: Thursday, September 12th”

  1. Meoskop

    I like Ladau’s link. I feel better about ignoring wheelchairs now.

    By that I mean I hold doors for anything on wheels, be it pushed stroller or wheelchair, but only if they are already at the door. I feel awkward when I see people run way ahead of a wheelchair to open a door & then stand there waiting for ages while the person approaches so they can get their cookie. Same in the grocer, I keep the kids clear but never offer to get things, etc. I have always assumed if people need help they will ask. If asked, I provide. Sometimes I feel guilty, like it’s wrong to assume people can handle their own lives. Ladau totally let’s me go on treating wheeled and walker the same as able – which is to completely ignore them unless called on.

  2. Ridley

    @Meoskop: There are few things more frustrating to me than people “helping” me without asking if I need it or what they can do to help. I don’t even like it when my mother or husband do it. There’s a set way I do things to accommodate my limitations. If someone tries to help without asking me, things get all out of whack and I can’t function. Whether it’s putting my debit card in my wallet so I can’t get it back out, hanging a shopping bag where I can’t reach it or the time a guy took a door out of my hands when I was using it to balance back when I used a cane, nearly causing me to fall, helping without asking is no help at all.

  3. Roslyn Holcomb

    I learned this lesson from my mother, who, toward the end of her life, used a cane but absolutely refused to use a wheelchair. More than once I got smacked for trying to do something before I was asked. Funny thing is, I would never have done that with strangers, but I thought of myself as taking care of my mother. Well, she’d quickly (and painfully) remind me that she wasn’t helpless, damnit!

  4. Emily Ladau

    I just noticed that you’ve shared my post for Disability in Kidlit. I love that you “cosign it times eleventy” and I love the little conversation it generated. Thank you for sharing it! And, thanks for the other interesting links; they gave me some good reading material!