Links: Saturday, May 24th

May 24, 2014 Links 2

A tan colored cat lays on a desk with a monarch butterfly on its head.Cat with a Butterfly

  • “[U]niformly awful and awfully uniform”: how not to engage with genre fiction – Jodi McAlister adds her voice to the “STFU Giraldi” choir and it’s great stuff.

    But what’s this dismissiveness about? Often, it’s disguised a bit better, but in Giraldi’s piece, it’s clear. It’s the reader – he makes numerous derogatory references throughout to “middle-class ladies” and their “porcine beaus”. As I wrote in a piece about the elision of romance by literary festivals a few weeks back, “[t]his sneer isn’t really at the genre. It’s a sneer at the reader – the female reader. It’s deep, ingrained structural sexism.”

  • Genre Kryptonite: Opera in Fiction – I love this idea of “genre kryptonite” – themes you’re powerless to resist.

    Once upon a time, I spent most of my waking hours researching and writing about opera in turn-of-the-20th-century American literature for…you know…reasons. Anyway, I found a surprising number of novels from this period that included opera scenes or focused on the lives of opera singers. Actually, it shouldn’t have been too surprising because during the last third of the 19th century, people went kinda cu-RAZY for the operas of Charles Gounod and Richard Wagner. They packed the opera houses night after night cause for some reason they didn’t feel like listening to these performances on their iPods?? Whatever…

  • Trolls Don’t Just Want to be Rude—They Want Power Over Us – Amanda Levitt of Fat Body Politics is over at Bitch talking about trolls and how their schtick goes beyond “difference of opinion” or “lulz” and is actually about shutting down those who threaten their privileged position.

    Essentially, trolls are trying to shut people up—and they seem to think that people who are historically at a disadvantage in the real world will have less power to fight back online. In my case, this goes for fat women, but women of color have often spoken up about experiencing daily trolling that’s similar to what I’ve experienced while collecting data for my project. Mikki Kendall, co-founder of website Hood Feminism, has spoken about the trolling she experienced after creating the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen. She has become a target for both trolls and some feminists after challenging the exclusionary tactics that many feminists participate in by ignoring how the intersection of multiple identities changes the experiences women have due to race, body size, class status, gender identity, etcetera. Many people may not frame the backlash as trolling, but I would argue that since they are reinforcing the very system Kendall is challenging, their actions are trollish. What we begin to see is a pattern of abuse—trolling replicates social structures that oppress some while privileging others.

  • Thank You, Anonymous Internet Trolls – I don’t know if this piece contradicts the previous one or complements it, but it thanks trolls for showing onlookers that misogyny, racism and other bigotry is, indeed, still prevalent and a problem. I’m not sure I agree, given how often I see “small but vocal minority” and “don’t feed the trolls” invoked, but it’s an interesting thought.

    It’s easy to say nothing is such a big deal for men and women alike if it’s just the one side saying “less cleavage please.” But when the response is an avalanche of abuse — and all the women are nodding their heads and saying yeah, that’s about what you’d expect — suddenly those trolls have thrown a bucket of paint on the previously undetectable situation. The well-meaning, intelligent majority can see the shape of what we’re up against. And now everyone is starting to get on the same page about exactly what’s going on and precisely how really, really not OK it all is.

  • NPR Staffers Worry About Diversity With End Of “Tell Me More” – Another sad story of POC oriented media getting the ax for not being an instant hit with a mainstream (white) audience.

    Tell Me More, which was geared toward a black audience, is the third show of its kind to to leave the NPR airwaves in recent years. Tavis Smiley moved his show to Public Radio International in 2004 after failed salary negotiations, and News and Notes was canceled in 2009.

    Conversations with sources very familiar with the inner workings of NPR — as well as current NPR employees — reveal many believe that while NPR seems committed to fixing the diversity problem, the company is unwilling to stick it out through turbulent patches to make inroads. “NPR has had problems with diversity forever and people of color have had a horrible time staying at NPR,” said a source who asked for anonymity, adding: “They want people of color in a very small box. They don’t want to challenge that idea. It’s a complicated form of institutionalized racism.”

  • How One Gay Athlete’s Coming Out Led To An Activists’ War – This frustrating story of allies making a hash of things comes via Sunita. Professional activism is such a fine line to walk.

    Burke, who is straight, was the face of You Can Play until last fall, when Wade Davis was named executive director. The next month, Burke announced his intention to step out of the spotlight, and called on other straight allies to do the same. “The dirty secret about the LGBT sports movement,” he wrote at the time, “is that it’s not an LGBT sports movement.”

    Burke is adamant that an ally never be on center stage. He notes that when he’s invited to a speaking engagement, he brings three or four LGBT voices and moderates a panel. He draws a contrast with Hudson Taylor, who often has the lectern to himself.

    “I offer very little to an LGBT athlete,” Burke admits. “LGBT athletes offer everything to LGBT athletes. Jason Collins inspired Michael Sam, who inspired Derrick Gordon, who’s going to inspire someone else.”

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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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2 Responses to “Links: Saturday, May 24th”

  1. willaful

    I’d rather thank the people who highlight and analyze the bad behavior and make it really obvious what’s going on. When it’s just there, people get used to it.