Links: Thursday, June 5th

June 5, 2014 Links 2

A white man in a pink button down shirt and paper party hat uses an iphone to take a selfie with a brown llama that's also wearing a party hat.Just a guy taking a selfie with a llama in a party hat.

  • Female/female romance – Riptide editor Sarah Frantz weighs in on why f/f isn’t as popular as m/m. I don’t disagree with what she says but it’s more complex than this quick post. (Post has a video of Sarah speaking with a transcript below it.)

    Honestly, I think the readers who read for the heroine are actually reading to identify with the heroine, just the way everybody assumes that they will and they still want to fall in love with a man. So, female/female romance doesn’t really cut it because you don’t have a man in it at all. I also, honestly, think because you don’t have a man in it, you don’t have that representation of patriarchy that I think is a large part of the appeal of romance no matter whether you read for the man or the woman.

  • Winners of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Announced – The Lammys were announced this week. Congrats to all the winners!

    The winners of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) were announced last night in a gala ceremony hosted by comedienne Kate Clinton at The Great Hall at Cooper Union. It occurred on the heels of BookExpo America, the book publishing industry’s largest annual gathering of booksellers, publishers, authors, and readers. The Lambda ceremony brought together over 500 attendees, sponsors, and celebrities to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature and 26 years of the groundbreaking literary awards. Obie Award-winning performance artist and past Lambda Award winner Justin Vivian Bond graced the ceremony with a special “half-time” performance. The celebration continued at the VIP After-Party hosted by Scholastic at the Scholastic Greenhouse & Terrace with DJ Sean McMahill.

  • Women Destroy Science Fiction: Texts in Conversation – Author Amal El-Mohtar cleverly dismantles a sexist post about women in SFF using the words of 17th-19th century women writers.

    Cavendish was constantly excusing and defending the fact that she, as a woman, dared to write. Sarah Scott’s A Description of Millenium Hall imagines a Utopic all-woman society in which women love and support each other. Mary Shelley’s most famous work was initially attributed to her husband. The very notion of Holmes imagining these women would “chastise [the female scientist] for thinking men could keep the world from recognizing greatness regardless of gender” when they fought against this constantly and wrote about how exhausting it was is absurd. It is a failure of imagination and empathy.

    It is also very telling. It speaks to Holmes’ investment. It’s always interesting to see a man address a woman’s anger by telling her she doesn’t know how good she has it; it’s even more interesting to see him use dead women’s voices to do so, to use them to tell her she doesn’t know how good she has it, to imagine women disdaining and belittling each other instead of supporting and sympathizing with each other.

  • Muslim women don’t need you to “save” them: Farzana Parveen and the media’s erasure of Muslim feminists – A great post in Salon (it happens sometimes) about how the Muslim world does not need a white savior, TYVM.

    One commonly held-myth seems to be that Muslim women require saving by direct intervention by Western forces. Used as one of the justifications for invading Afghanistan — who can forget the iconic burqa woman — this fallacy ignores both indigenous efforts to reform and the foreign interference which led to fundamentalist power in the first place.

    Muslim activists and religious leaders have openly campaigned for years for women’s rights and against honor killings. Grassroots, female-led organizations such as the Aurat Foundation, Shirkat Gah, APWA, and, internationally, WISE, exist to promote the rights of Muslim women and have been functioning for decades despite political instability.

  • My Father’s Tiananmen Square – Shelley Zhang remembers Tiananmen Square as the child of Chinese parents who were graduate students in Ohio during the protests and massacre.

    The Communist Party declared martial law in Beijing on May 20. It was a tense time. My uncle was an art student in Beijing, and he was going to the square. My father was becoming increasingly upset at how the leadership was handling things. And then it was June 4, and we found out what had happened in Beijing the night before. The army finally moving in. Clearing out the square. Shooting people dead in the streets of Beijing.

    My mother was frantic, until she found out that my uncle was safe. I found my father sitting in the living room, writing furiously on a Chinese medicine patch, the adhesive kind coated with Tiger Balm that my mother would stick to my arm when I “caught wind” in my joints. I asked him what he was writing. He read it to me. It said in Chinese, “Deng Xiaoping is a…” then a bunch of rude words about the paramount leader of China that I was too young to understand. Then he stuck the bandage on his forehead and brought me with him to the university. We joined a group of Chinese students and their families marching around the center of campus. I remember holding my father’s hand and walking behind a stroller tied with balloons. It was my first political protest.

  • Laws targeting ‘johns’ only increase dangers to prostitutes, report warns – Yesterday Canada announced new sex work legislation modeled on the Nordic “end demand” program. A number of reports have been critical of criminalizing buying sex, and this article references a study taken in Vancouver that showed criminalizing johns made the sex workers less safe.

    In January 2013 Vancouver cops came up with new guidelines that focus on ending demand for prostitution. Those guidelines saw police officers shift to greater use of undercover stings and patrols of areas where the street-based sex trade occurs to target the buyers, not the sellers, of sex services.

    But prostitutes in Vancouver report that while they welcomed fewer police arrests of women, the overall impact of the change is to create dangerous working conditions for sex workers, and expose them to the same kinds of “significant safety and health risks” that concerned the Supreme Court in the Bedford ruling.

    According to the report, those include “displacement to isolated spaces; inability to screen clients or safely negotiate terms of transactions; and inability to access police protection.”

  • If she’d just lose some weight… – Laura/@theactivestick is one of my favorite hockey Twitter follows because of blog posts like this. I mean, she’s a Habs fan and I still follow. That should tell you something.

    This will come a shock to exactly nobody, but I’ve been holding myself back from doing a lot of things because I haven’t felt good about myself. I always figured I would need to get to goal weight before I did any of the things I wanted: change jobs, change cities, wear nice clothes, date, etc. I don’t know why goal weight was so important to get the ball rolling on… well, my life, but I would put down every cent of my almost non-existent savings that most people who have ever battled with weight issues have done or still do the same thing.

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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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