Next weekend kicks off a super busy month for me!

I’m doing sooo much stuff in April, but it’s cool and I’m excited even if I’m a little tired just thinking about it. That means streams will be sporadic and not on the usual Tues/Thurs/Saturday schedule.

Here’s what I’m up to starting next Friday:

April 1 & 2: Queerness and Games Conference  Los Angeles, CA

I’m doing three things!

1) Gaming as POC: Where the Industry Has Failed Us, Where It Hasn’t and What to Hope For 

2) Microtalks: Out of Sheer Spite

3) Facilitating a round-table on POC in the industry

April 8: GenVidCon, Gender and Videogames  Keynote speaker, San Jose, CA

April 12: Let’s Talk Gaming!  Montreal, CAN

April 17: Guest Lecturer at NCSU

April 18-20: East Coast Games Conference, Speaker in Career track. Raleigh, NC

April 21-23: C2E2, Panelist  Chicago, IL 

My panel schedule for C2E2

29 & 30 April: GX Australia, Boss of Honor , Sydney, Australia

My updated @C2E2 schedule!

The 2017 C2E2 schedule is finally live! So here’s an updated and accurate schedule of panels I’ll be on with links.

You Have Died From Exposure: The Importance Of Compensating Geeky Marginalized Creators

Jennifer Cross [M], Michi Trota, Suzanne Walker, Charlie Hawkins

April 21, 6:45 – 7:45 pm S405a

“Do It for the Exposure!” “Aren’t you just grateful to have this opportunity?” Too often, marginalized creators are thrown these adages as compensation for their hard work and creativity in lieu of financial redress like their privileged counterparts. We will be discussing the importance of equal compensation for equal work, the benefit of outreach, and how it’s led to opening the geek culture markets for creators & consumers who don’t look like or think in “mainstream”.

Behind The Parable And The Power: A Celebration Of The Black Women Creators Of The ‘Verse

Jennifer Cross [M], Mikki Kendall, Keidra Chaney

April 22, 4:15-5:15pm S405a

The ladies from A Black Nerd Girl’s Journey and More Than Warriors And Weather Witches are back! This year, we’re going to celebrate the black women behind the pages and productions of our favorite stories from the ‘Verse. We will laud the history of their influence, analyze how far we still need to go, and hopefully hear from the audience how their favorite black women creators have inspired them to pursue their own geeky paths.

How to Twitch safely as a POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d Streamer

Tanya DePass [M], LethalJugular and Coco_The_Louder

April 22, 5:15 – 6:15 pm, S503

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

Reblog, Retweet, Resist! Hashtag Movement and Fan Activism

Presented by Racebending.com with Gabriel Canada, Michi Trota, Mikki Kendall and me

April 22, 1:30 – 2:30 pm Room S405b

You reblog, retweet and resist! Social media has transformed pop culture fans into popular movements through fan activism and Hashtag campaigns

On the value of black women’s work

So yesterday I couldn’t sleep and twitterpated all over about the Safetypin box and the reactions to it. Notably that some dude bro who didn’t know anything about the creators (Leslie Mac and Marissa Johnson)

I collated those over on Medium for anyone who wants to peep  that first. On paying black women for the work we do and the ways people accuse us of cashing in

Today, I had more twitterations on the idea that Safetypinbox HAD to be a 501 c 3 charity or people felt uncomfortable with where the money was going. IE These two black women can’t be trusted. Those thoughts and some more to follow because I am fed the entire fuck up with how people want the benefits without realizing the human cost behind it. What follows are my tweets c/p from 12/6/2016.

I keep seeing people throw out that *should* be a 501(c)(3) charity. Because that gives *them* comfort somehow. Let’s talk.

One, if this was charity work then fine. It’s a service however. Says so right on the website.

spb-not-a-charity

Go read it over, then come back.

Two, do any of these people talking about how easy it is to become a 501(c)(3) know anything about the process? At all? Guessing that’s a no. If you have to file the 1023 form, (30 pages long btw)have the $400 or $850 filing fee & get it done quickly? 180 day window for decision.If you qualify for 1023 EZ filing? Still $275 & 180 day decision window. So it’s not easy to start a charity. But that’s not the issue here.

The real issue is two black women have done the same thing white activists are lauded for & y’all mad.

They are putting a dollar value on the free emotional labor that people expect of black women all day, every day. I should just start posting the requests to pick my brain, get a cup of coffee to get a read on something I get re: games diversity. Y’all expect black women especially to do this heavy lifting for the good of the community, for free cause it’s better for all.

Fuck that

It’s unsurprising to see who has some shit to say in the face of black women going fuck you, pay me for my time & knowledge. Like people who go follow black women, expect to be educated & have their ignorance lifted but won’t drop a tip or support their Patreons. Out here treating us like Hazel, like we’re supposed to hold your fucking hand & let you sip from the Chalice of Wokeness for free!

Nah, we all gotta live. Stop devaluing our labor, our knowledge & expecting a handout to rise beyond your ignorance. Google is free y’all. So stop acting like we’re asking for too much when we say pay up for that time you asked us for. We value our work, our expertise. Since you asked for our help? You must value it too. So put your money where your mouth is or be quiet.

I salute you y’all for getting that money

That said, I had the usual rando’s and well, actually’s roll through my TL. Once I was properly up and about, I had a few thoughts on the people who follow me on various sites, say they learn from me etc. Yet, people don’t value work all the same. Even had someone who inferred I was saying pay me to tweet.

I got nothing to say about that except that added 2+2 and got yarn. If anyone following me thinks that’s where I was going, then leave now. Ain’t nobody said pay me to tweet. For those curious I said the following:

So I’m up and I been thinking. Remember when I asked people why they follow me? Realize what the majority of answers were? To recap: Because they learn something, because they get a POV unlike their own. I.E they get value from my tweets.

Or the articles I write and share here, or the collated, nicely bundled and edited twitterpations I put out on Medium. Still with me? I have over 6700 followers (for now, watch I drop some after this tweet). Some are bots that will drop off & don’t count. Let’s be generous and say 1500 are not real accounts that haven’t dropped off. That leaves over 5500 people reading what I have to say daily.

If half those folks dropped a donation or even supported my Patreon at $1 each? I’d be A-OK. But I guess there’s a line for some. Ok. Same for other black women on here & other platforms. People listen but they ghost out when we pass the hat or ask to be compensated. [this is where some people got stuck and probably thought I was saying pay me to tweet. Which I wasn’t but whatever]

I’m mad but I’m also tired, tired of the expectation of free labor from some. Not everyone does this but it happens too often.

Here’s the thing, no one is obligated to do a damn thing. Ain’t nobody gotta follow me, or donate or support me on Patreon. Point was it would be great if the same people who say they learn from what I say, who say they enjoy my work and consider the other things I do off twitter to be important would throw some coins my way.

It’s been almost a year since I lost my day job, just 9 days away from that anniversary so I’m probably noticing this more keenly than usual. But I’m real tired of black women’s work not being valued. For POC/LGBTQIA/Disabled/Neurodivergent folks to have the burden of free emotional labor dropped on them but when they ask for compensation? Then they’re greedy, not helpful, scamming… it goes on and on.

Just tired and full of thoughts that needed to get out. Consider what you are asking when you ask us for that coffee chat, a quick lunch or a few minutes of our time. The cost is usually higher than what you think.

 

 

Semi-infrequent reminders of how to support my work

Hey y’all! Here is a handy post on how you can support my work. A lot of people say they love what I do, and want me to keep doing it, but hey bills don’t pay themselves, Comcast won’t wait for their money and the cat needs kibble, I need food, y’all know how it goes.

The straight up, no bullshit thing is; if I have to go back to a regular 9-5 gig then I Need Diverse Games will die off. I cannot maintain that work, do conventions and other things with a regular gig AND do the level of work for INDG that I am now and have it still be a thing I am proud of, that I got to where it is now along with friends and supporters. There’s a separate patreon for I Need Diverse Games, but this post is about ways to keep a roof over my head so I can continue to do this full time.

Luckily, there’s a few ways to help keep me afloat.

               patreon_logo_black Patreon – patreon.com/cypheroftyr

Why I’m on Patreon:

#INeedDiverseGames is my full time job thanks to being abruptly let go from my previous employer in December 2015. I’m dedicating all my time and resources available, but doing this doesn’t generate a lot of money, it usually costs me what little I had to spare when I was employed. To survive, pay my rent and keep fed, along with the cat, etc I need to ideally pull in at least $2000 a month, but to truly have all bills paid, be able to attend conventions, etc I need to hit a goal of about $3K a month. I outlined this in a recent post on my blog, and I’ve copied some of that below.

Ideally I would need at least $2000 – $3000 a month coming in to cover the following:
Rent $925 a month [Goes up to $950 on October 1st]
Bills, including internet, electricity, cooking gas, etc. ($650)
Pet costs ($125)
Groceries ($300)
Transit costs ($100 a month, unlimited rides on CTA)
INDG related Travel & Doing cost of business expenses (which could also be pulled from INDG for specific reasons/conventions)

If you can help me support myself while I do this work it would be great. Thank you in advance for any help you can give so I can continue to do this full time.

I’ve got a decent social media presence, almost 5900 followers on twitter, over 1500 on tumblr, the I Need Diverse Games tumblr has over 7K followers. If even half my twitter followers pledged $1 a month, I could do this without worrying too much about money and keeping a roof over my head.
Maybe you’re thinking a monthly commitment to $X in support isn’t your thing, you can’t but you still want to help? I’ve got a paypal.me button (and no shame) if you’ve got some loot in your pocket that would help out I can give it a good home.
paypal me logo
paypal.me/cypheroftyr

 

Lastly, I like to write! I’ve written quite a bit and if you’re in a position to pay for articles, opinion pieces or maybe need some diversity consulting done, that’s another way to help support & keep me working! I also go to conventions, and if you have a local con and/or a way to get me to a not-so local event, you can send that info to me via this page on my site.

 

Final @PAX West schedule!

PAXWest

Here’s my final panel schedule for PAX West, which is next week! EEP!

If you don’t see me running around from panel to panel, then I’ll be at the I Need Diverse Games table in the Diversity Lounge.

Diversity Lounge PAX West

As always, have a handy, 100% free guide to interacting with me in meat space at conventions. https://cypheroftyr.com/cypherinteractionguide/ 

Friday September 2nd, 12:30 pm Sasquatch Theatre

Ask the Game Masters

Tell incredible stories. Host amazing games. Strike fear in the hearts of players. Veteran game professionals Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games), Amanda Hamon-Kunz (Pathfinder RPG), Ryan Macklin (Dresden Files, Fate), Rodney Thompson (Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars Saga Edition), and F. Wesley Schneider (Pathfinder RPG) answer all your tabletop roleplaying game questions and share tips for taking your game to the next level.

Panelists include:

  • F. Wesley Schneider [Editor-in-Chief, Paizo Inc]
  • Amanda Hamon-Kunz [Developer, Paizo Inc]
  • Tanya DePass [Creator, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Rodney Thompson [Senior Designer, Bungie]
  • Ryan Macklin [Indie Creator, The Ryan Macklin]

 

Friday, September 2nd 4:30 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Challenging Assumptions about Diversity with Data

Gaming has a problem with being inclusive and with diversity. While industry is working on it, discussion can generate an ideological divide. We will start to move beyond this with good, hard data: demographics, how often people have unwelcoming experiences, what impacts that has, and how people have made change. We will involve the audience to check our collective assumptions and see what quantitative empirical evidence says about diversity in gaming and about how to improve inclusivity.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Founder, INeedDiverseGames]
  • Trevor Murdock [Founder, Planeswalkers for Diversity]
  • Glenn White [Director of Marketing Infrastructure , EA Games]
  • Matt Baume [Host, Sewers of Paris Podcast]
  • Aurora Walker [Instructor, Ladies Learning Code]
  • Cherisse Miranda

 

Friday September 2nd 7:30 pm Sphinx Theatre

Get your politics out of our games!

We think of video games as an escape from political campaigns and presidential elections, but games have a long history of reflecting the world around us. Come join Aevee Bee (ZEAL), Austin Walker (Giant Bomb), Katie Williams (PC Gamer) Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games, Fresh Out Of Tokens), and Zach Alexander (Games and Food) as we discuss the history and future of politics in games.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Austin Walker [Editor, Giant Bomb]
  • Aevee Bee [Editor-In-Chief, ZEAL]
  • Katie Williams [Freelance Journalist, Critic]
  • Zachary Alexander [N/A, N/A]

 

Friday, September 2nd 9:30 pm Chicken Theatre

Sexy or Stupid? The Great Video Game Sex Scene Debate – NSFW Content, 18+ PANEL

Sensual, smutty, or silly? Video game sex scenes are often one or the other… or even all three! Come join a group of game industry professionals as they dim the lights, play some smooth jazz, and offer their expert critique on a few of gaming’s more explicit moments. Then cast your vote for what’s hot and what’s not! DISCLAIMER: actual panel may not involve dim lights or smooth jazz. (Want something a bit more innocent? Check out our companion panel on romance scenes in games)
Panelists:

  • Michelle Clough [Co-Founder, Writer, Editor, IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG]
  • Chris Avellone [Writer, Designer, Freelance]
  • AJ Glasser [n/a, Facebook]
  • Tanya DePass [Founder, Community Organizer, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Matt Baume [Writer, Filmmaker, Freelance]

 

Saturday, September 2nd 2:00 pm Hippogriff Theatre

Making and Promoting Non-Traditional Characters in Games

Games are finally starting to reflect their diverse players with more types of characters, scenarios, and approaches to gameplay. Whether it’s writing a one-eyed pansexual bull and his trans lieutenant; featuring non-white main characters; showcasing the female option in marketing; creating an entire cast caught in a web of gender, sexuality, and ability; acquiring unusual indie titles; or keeping the conversation going; it’s crucial. Hear from those who did it and how they’ll do it again.

Panelists:

  • Patrick Weekes [Lead Writer, BioWare]
  • Hilary Heskett Shapiro [Sr. Brand Manager, Bethesda Softworks]
  • Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows [Creative Director, Gorgeous Robot]
  • Arden Ripley [Writer/Developer, Date or Die]
  • Steve Gee [Senior Manager, Developer Relations, Adult Swim Games]
  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]

 

Sunday September 4th, 4:00 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Git Gud, Ally

Ever wonder how to create and play games your way and still be an awesome ally? Is this even a thing? In this panel, we discuss the awesomeness that is our gaming community and unpack what it means to make it inclusive. What are we doing well and where do we need work? We’ll look at these questions and how it benefits everyone. To follow with a #realtalk Q&A.

Panelists:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Kathryn Storm [Interaction Designer, Xbox]
  • Bryce Johnson [Interaction Designer, Microsoft]
  • John Porter [PhD candidate, Human Centered Design and Engineering, UW, UW]

Upcoming Convention Shenanigans…

I’m finally slowing down, a bit on the convention circuit. In a couple of days I’ll be on my way to CONvergence with GeekMelange & JesseLex for a few days of fandom, friends and tomfoolery.

If you like seeing me on panels, or hey just want to see what these are about, here’s a link to my CONvergence panel schedule.  You can follow along via twitter, @cypheroftyr and the official convention hashtag is #cvg2016

I get back for a couple days rest, then Podcast Movement! I’m going mostly because it’s in my city and I don’t have to travel far, pay for a hotel or anything like that. It’s also going to be awesome to go to a convention and not be a panelist. Excited to go and learn from folks, learn more stuff to make Fresh Out of Tokens better for y’all.

That’s it until September 2nd when I head to Seattle for PAX West; where #INeedDiverseGames will join the Diversity Lounge and (hopefully!) I’ll be on panels for  stuff besides diversity 101 chat. I get a couple weeks off, then off I go back to the west coast for GaymerX 4 in Santa Clara.

I’ve got a week or so till I head back to Cali for Big Bad Con where I’m a Special Guest and I’ll be doing some panels, and hanging out with cool folks. Super excited for a panel on the Fake Geek Girl fallacy I proposed.

That will pretty much round out 2016 for my convention attendance, and I start it all over again in 2017 with OrcaCon and my first Guest of Honor gig! ❤

June Update – xposted from Patreon

INDG Twitch Banner

Hey y’all,  hope everyone is well out there. First off thanks for the support especially those who stayed around through the ups and downs of end of May/beginning of June. Support was close to $1200 a month, then dipped dramatically after signal boosting some other folks, which I can’t control but it’s really saddening to have support yanked from me for merely linking to others work.

So what have I been up to? Too much actually 😦

March, April and May were pretty non-stop including PAX East, Penguicon, Wiscon, a local Star Trek pop culture conference, speaking at a class at my alma mater along with Jenn C, paneling at the Science Fiction Writers Association  (SFWA) conference in Chicago and the Chicago Video Game Law Summit; also in Chicago.

Thankfully June is much quieter, with just CONVergence at the end of the month, and Podcast Movement at the first weekend of July and I’m pretty much done with conventions until PAX Prime in September, Praise Andraste.

There’s been other stuff going on, least of which is some severe burnout, thus the slowing to a crawl progress on a lot of things I’m doing. I put out a call for help on the #INeedDiverseGames side and have gotten some offers which I need to reply to this week.

ICYMI, one article I did put up here and eventually out in the gen population of my social media is So You Want to Describe a POC Character?

So what’s coming in June on here in terms of writing and such? Not sure actually, I’ve been really struggling with that lately even when given a topic. I’m working on a paid piece so that’s taking my focus a bit.  I’m trying to do more original video content, but that’s a steeper learning curve than I expected 😦

So if you’re supporting at the $10 level and above, drop requests below and now that I am not so omgwtf I just need  ten naps busy I should be able to write something if not by the end of June, then definitely in July.

So that’s what’s up with me and life right now. To be frank, I’m burned out at both ends but I’m muddling through and without everyone’s support I couldn’t keep a roof over my head for the last six months. So thank you, thank you for your continued support.

It means the world to me and is literally keeping me safe, dry and housed.

*Header image by Alamarri on tumblr. Please give her a shout and if you need artwork done, she’s lovely.

So you want to describe a POC character…

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Ok, so I get asked for advice and my thoughts on a lot of things relating to diversity and representation. Lately I’ve been getting asked about the proper/authentic/least offensive way to describe or write POC characters.

There’s been a tumblr post going around about not using food as descriptors for non-white characters. Some people don’t understand why this offensive and a racist action. There’s so much to unpack in why you shouldn’t use food words as a descriptor of POC characters, that this could be a long post; but here’s trying after a disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER: I do not claim to speak for all POC, all black people, all women. This post is informed both by my personal experiences as a US born and raised black woman who has spent a lot of time discussing, writing about, talking about race, feminism and representation. Do not take this post as your get out of fuckery free card, with the claim a black woman said X so it’s ok! I will not be happy with you at all and woe unto you if you do this and try to use my words as a pass to be wrong.

Take my words as you will, understand that I, as a marginalized person have experiences that you (privileged folks reading this) do not. This is not a time or a place for well, actually in the comments. Nor is it the time or place for countering with your one black friend said Y in response to my Z. So with all that being said, here we go.

So I often get asked about describing POC accurately, authentically and the like.  What follows is an excerpt of an inquiry, with no names attached as the net can be vicious. But I wanted an example. This is a great question, it wasn’t worded in a way that screams EDUCATE ME, (well not to me, but YMMV)

“…on the description of skin color/tone while avoiding anything that might end up being racist. For example, some sites I’ve checked have said to stay away from food related analogies (“caramel colored skin” for example) while others have said that describing it that way is fine. In the absence of using food related descriptors (unless that’s acceptable) what WOULD be acceptable? Or should you always stick to literal colors?”

So let’s break this down. First and foremost, do NOT describe people of colour with food words. Just no, not coffee, caramel, cafe au lait, chocolate, cinnamon, or other descriptors such as that. Let’s leave dusky off that list too, or tanned. We’re not tanned, sun kissed, toasted. We’re lovely, lovely shades of brown, you can use that word as a descriptor.

Why not you ask? I mean people like food right? Well, let me tell you a thing.

Well, to describe People of Color, going forward referenced as POC, emphasis on the PEOPLE part, at the least it is othering non-white characters in your narrative, and at the worst, you are fetishizing non-white characters by giving them exotic descriptors that don’t tell you anything about them besides they remind you of a favorite desert or your am cuppa.

It’s tied in to the dehumanization of people of color in media, in life and history. If you can imagine for a moment,   (assuming you are not a POC and reading this post) how would you feel if you were always described as milky, mayonnaise, mashed potato, and other kinds of food words as stand-in’s for your skin colour? You wouldn’t would you?

I know some white people get bent out of shape when described with such words, even as inoffensive as ‘mayo’. I mean mayo isn’t a great condiment, but no one has died from being called mayo-white. So consider the weight of words, the cultural ramifications tied to describing a POC as sinful as cinnamon, luscious as dark chocolate, or worse, tying food descriptors to moments of intimacy in a work.

I’ve seen too many people describe fair skinned POC (assuming they actually are writing them as a POC) as lapped up like cafe au lait, devoured like a chocolate bar, etc etc. Just stop. Additionally, it’s tired, it’s cliched and shows me you can’t play with words well enough to come up with a new way to describe people. It’s laziness, and if you as a writer can’t come up with something better, it makes me wonder about the rest of your word crafting.

Secondly, there are plenty of ways to describe POC with words like brown, dark brown, light brown, sandy brown, so many words that can be used to describe us that don’t need to be related to food, again it’s delicious but we’re not edible. We’re people, people! That would like some depth in our descriptions.  We’re not coffee brown either, considering coffee can be had from a milky white with enough extra cream to a very, very, dark black. We also don’t taste or smell like chocolate, coffee, or cinnamon. No person does, even if they work in a coffee factory with a chocolate shoppe across the way.

Third, and it might seem repetitive but this is important. Do the work, look to authors you feel have done character description well and learn from how they do it. Look up resources on writing the other, especially if you get a second or hell a third set of eyes on your work and get feedback on the descriptions. Or use Google, it’s there for a reason. It’s a SEARCH engine, so search things. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus bookmarked for your use.

That doesn’t mean use 10 dollar words and three paragraphs to lovingly attempt a non-racist description of your POC characters. A few words will always do instead of purple, flowy, overdone prose.  Lastly, ask a POC to review your work. If you don’t have any POC friends that’s another matter for a different post. But if you don’t have someone you can trust to review your work? Pay someone to do so, because this is one of those free emotional labor things we often get asked to do.

Speaking of resources, here’s a few to get you started:

10 Great Resources for Writing Cross Culturally (which has it’s own listing of good resources)

Relevant to this post: Writing with Color Tumblr: Description Guide, Part I – Food descriptions

Writing with Color tumblr: Description Guide, Part II – Describing Skin Tone

Writing the Other: A Practical Approach- Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward

Writing the Other workshops – Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford Brownpaper tickets. Check their sites for up to date schedule and availability

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My @Penguicon schedule, revision to interacting w/me guide

Have one handy guide to interacting with me at conventions, totally 110% free of charge.

Overall I am pretty friendly but I do not like strangers touching me, especially my hair. If you try to pet my hair or touch my locs without express permission or invitation it will not end well for you. So just don’t, especially if you like having fingers.

Revision: Due to the incident (being filmed w/o my consent with intent to intimidate) at PAX East, I am even more twitchy about interaction with people I don’t know at conventions. I’ve also just come off a three day HUGE convention so I’m going to be even more introverted than usual when I’m not on panels, it’s not you.

If we are twitter/tumblr/Online friends but have not met offline, feel free to say hello and if you ask first I’ll likely give you a hug/want a hug. I’m actually quiet and introverted in real life so if you see me fleeing for a quiet space, it’s not  you I am just feeling overwhelmed and need some quiet time. I have a terrible memory so if we have met just once or twice at previous events I might not remember you immediately, please don’t be offended.

I like to take photos, but I will always ask permission before taking them and again before posting them on tumblr, twitter, Instagram, flickr etc. I don’t mind being in photos, but ask me first before posting them online.

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April 29th, 7:00 pm – When Being ‘On’ Is what people Expect

A panel where Mark Oshiro (Mark Does Stuff) and Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games) speak about the performative aspects of their work, including the need to entertain while doing blind reads and reactions to media and for Tanya; while streaming on Twitch/YT Gaming.

April 30th, 3:00 pm – Creating Safer Spaces

How do we define a “safe space” in fandom and at conventions? How can we work to create safer spaces for all attendees at Penguicon and other conventions, and in our lives outside of fandom? Join a discussion with Penguicon staff (including the con chair) and our guests about how the Penguicon community can work toward greater safety, diversity and inclusivity to make this a space where all feel welcome.

April 30th, 6:00 pm – Diversity in Geek Media

The push for more diversity has become a regular topic in the world of genre media and games, from calling out instances of white-washing and queer-baiting, to protesting the inevitable and often inexplicable deaths of queer characters and characters of color. It’s an exhausting road, but is it actually leading to more diverse and inclusive media?

April 30th, 8:00 pm – Geek Girls are here to stay

Every few years it seems there’s a rash of discussion, usually shocked, that women create and consume all the things long considered the domain of men: science, technology, science fiction, comics, games and more. But women have always been there, from the earliest Worldcons to the Save Star Trek campaign, from fan fiction and fanvids, from Ada Lovelace to Shirley Ann Jackson, from Frankenstein to our awesome slate of Guests of Honor. Will we be stuck having this conversation forever?

May 1st, 11:00 am – Crowd & Alternatively funding your career

Our panelists discuss their experiences using entrepreneurship opportunities like Startup Weekend and Global Startup Battle or crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon, to supplement or make a living, or start a new project.

The full Penguicon schedule is available online, so choose sessions! Hope to see you all there!

Celebrating the work of women, Part 1

Women do a whole lot of work that goes unrecognized in geek, tech, gaming, comics, SFF and other areas. So I want to shine a light on some of these women who don’t get a lot of visibility. This part of celebrating women’s work is the Patreon edition.

Caveat , because well people. I took in names and suggests from all over my social networks. I’m sure that means there will be someone listed below that you may not particularly like or feel deserves support. Well too bad, this isn’t high school and I’m not here for infighting, If you see someone you don’t care for, there’s a simple solution… don’t support their work.

I do not, under any circumstances want messages, DM’s, etc with OH MY GOD HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT HER! This is a post to boost others work and help others get their work seen via the little bit of social capital I have.

Katherine Cross https://www.patreon.com/KatherineCross

Mattie Brice https://www.patreon.com/mattiebrice

Aevee Bee https://www.patreon.com/mammonmachine

Merritt Kopas https://www.patreon.com/merrittkopas

Elizabeth Simins https://www.patreon.com/elizsimins

Lana Polansky https://www.patreon.com/LanaPolansky

Mint Chipleaf  https://www.patreon.com/mint?ty=h 

Liz Ryerson https://www.patreon.com/ellaguro

Voidburger https://www.patreon.com/Voidburger

Anastasia Valens https://www.patreon.com/SpaceDoctorPhD

Alakotila patreon.com/alakotila 

Black Girl Nerds https://www.patreon.com/blackgirlnerds?ty=h

Gamemoir https://www.patreon.com/gamemoir

Robin Billadeau https://www.patreon.com/Dangerdontstop?ty=c

Alitha Martinez https://www.patreon.com/ariotstorm?ty=h

Ellia Bisker https://www.patreon.com/elliabisker?ty=h

Andrea Hawkins-Kamper https://www.patreon.com/LadyNhytefall?ty=h

Katriel Paige https://www.patreon.com/kachi?ty=h

Kimchi Cuddles https://www.patreon.com/kimchicuddles

Carolly  https://www.patreon.com/carolly

Madelyn Prager  https://www.patreon.com/bmprager

Cami Woodruff  https://www.patreon.com/doomsdaymydear?ty=h 

Mags Visaggs patreon.com/MagsVisaggs

Keezy patreon.com/Keezy

Black Girl Nerds https://www.patreon.com/blackgirlnerds?ty=h

Shirley Jackson https://www.patreon.com/lioninthetrees?ty=h  

Randi Harper 

Kiva Bay patreon.com/kivabay

Updated guide to interacting with me at conventions

Have one handy guide to interacting with me at conventions, totally 110% free of charge.😛

Overall I am pretty friendly but I do not like strangers touching me, especially my hair. If you try to pet my hair or touch my locs without express permission or invitation it will not end well for you. So just don’t, especially if you like having fingers.

If we are twitter/tumblr/Online friends but have not met offline, feel free to say hello and if you ask first I’ll likely give you a hug/want a hug. I’m actually quiet and introverted in real life so if you see me fleeing for a quiet space, it’s not  you I am just feeling overwhelmed and need some quiet time. I have a terrible memory so if we have met just once or twice at previous events I might not remember you immediately, please don’t be offended.

I like to take photos, but I will always ask permission before taking them and again before posting them on tumblr, twitter, Instagram, flickr etc. I don’t mind being in photos, but ask me first before posting them online.

I’ll be at two conventions in the next couple of weeks, so here’s my schedule under the cut for PAX East and Penguicon.

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How I got into Games Journalism 11:30 am (PST) Bobcat Theatre

Continue reading “Updated guide to interacting with me at conventions”

WGYB Project is still alive, and we’re still taking your stories

We Got Your Back Project is still alive and still seeking submissions!

I had a chance to talk the project up at Gay Is the New Black? Event hosted by JF tonight. Hopefully this will generate some interest and new submissions.

Can I ask a favor? Can anyone who comes across this post please signal boost this project for me & whereisjoy? We don’t want to see it die but to thrive it needs stories, your stories so that our POC-LGBTQIA youth know that they are not alone and just because someone says its gets better, that it may not apply to them.

Sumbission Info

Submission guidelines are below. If you come across something you think would be good for posting, please email us at wegotyourbackproject@gmail.com or tweet at us WGYBProject on Twitter.

Thanks for your interest in contributing to the “We Got Your Back” Project! We are accepting videos and written statements that share how the lives of LGBTQIA people get better when we have each others back. Give some hope to LGBTQIA youth by telling them how your own life improved. To submit, send an email to wegotyourbackproject@gmail.com We request that posts meet the following guidelines:

Videos: Please keep videos to no more than 8 minutes maximum. If you have a video on YouTube or Vimeo, please submit a link to the video and a brief description.

Length: 2,500 word maximum. (Please note, longer posts may be broken up into several posts on the project)

Language: Feel free to use adult language, however please warn for swearing or other adult and/or potentially triggering language in your post at the beginning. If you do share potentially triggering material, we ask that you use the “more” tag to put it behind a cut.

Permission to repost/share your content: Please indicate to us whether or not you consent to the sharing of your material outside of this project when you submit your post and/or video.

Black is… black ain’t…

Black is beautiful, just so we are motherfucking CLEAR. Black ain’t “less desirable than other races”,

“inherently less attractive than other races”

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So… we are in the throes of yet ANOTHER online storm about black folks. Black women’s looks, black women’s bodies, black fathers and the old ass trope of omfg black folks are on the internet too!?! How about that has been dragged out and beaten again for what its worth. (A hint – Not much). I tried to be eloquent and wordsmithy, but you know what? Fuck it, I’m sick of being polite about people telling me how I should feel about how I look.

So many people have waxed eloquently on this topic that I’ll give you links and such… but for what my 0.02 is worth; I’m so fucking sick of being told that I’m not beautiful or attractive or worthy of love and affection because I’m “strong” or career focused or “the strength of the family.”. I’m really fucking sick of the idea that everyone gets a say in how I feel about myself as a black woman. I’m tired of everyone getting to hold up the brown paper bag to check my blackness, and worthiness of having a say in racial debates because I’m fair skinned and obviously “not really black.”

I’m tired of pseudo scientists speculating on the attractiveness of myself and the bounty of black women everywhere. Who the fuck decided that this guys opinion was worth anything to begin with? I don’t even know what an evolutionary psychologist is, do you? Someone explain what that means and then you’d better have a really, really good reason as to why some “evolutionary psychologist” gets a say on black bodies and beauty. I’ll be here, so when you get a clue, come holler at me. Until then, all these faux pop psychologists and arm chair thinkers can shut the fuck up about our bodies, our beauty and everything else in-between.

I leave you with some great articles and a repost of a lovely image snagged from the Angry Black Tumblr.

You Keep Saying Black Women are Ugly Worthless Whores and We Refuse to Believe you by Karnythia

Racialicious: Repeat Offender: Satoshi Kanazawa’s Other Greatest Misses

Angry Black Tumblr: The Article is now gone, but more thoughts

Angry Black Woman: Initial post on this article; noting original title was “Why are Black Women Ugly?”

ABW: Screencap of the article in question, after the title was changed.

ThinkGalacticon 3 Needs you, yes you!

*waves from the ThinkGalacticon 3 ConCom*

Hi all, here is my hey, you should come to the nifty local con post, better yet, you should be on panels and volunteer post!

So ThinkGalacticon 3 is happening July 8-10 at Roosevelt University. We have the fabulous Hugo and Nebula nominated Nora K. Jemisin as our SFF Notable Guest.. We also have the awesome Adrienne Marie Brown as our Activist Notable Guest.

So, what do you need from little old me you might be asking? Well, we can always use Volunteers. we also still need the following ConCom positions filled (from the website):
* accessibility coordinator
* sustainability coordinator

If you would like more information and are interested please email us! [info@thinkgalactic.org]

Volunteer refunds: Those who work 4 hours or more get $20 or half-off, which ever was lower. Being on panels counts as volunteering. There will be volunteer forms at the registration desk. We will put up more information on volunteering soon.

We also need programming suggestions! You can suggest programming here Don’t be shy! If there’s something you want to suggest for a panel, go on and suggest it!

If you are going to be at Wiscon, what a coincidence! We’ll be there too! There’s going to be a ThinkGalacticon party, and we’ll be taking registrations as well.

Lastly, local authors if you are interested in doing a reading at TG3 or if you would like to have a vendor’s table at the Bazaar, please let me know via comment here or email at tdepass [at]gmail [dot] com. My role on ConCom is Event coordination, so if you have any questions regarding events during TG3, I’m the person to poke at.

Lastly, please register for TG3! It’s affordable even in this economy! You can get registration info from this embedded link

A brief thinky post on the Wiscon situation and disinviting EMoon as GOH

This will be brief and entirely ineloquent because I am sick and cannot brain well. In short, disinviting E Moon as GOH is NOT FUCKING SILENCING HER! Reposting her own words for the world to see is NOT BULLYING HER! All these people whinging about how evil the mean brown people are, how they wheedled the comcon into disinviting her to be GOH need to just shut the fuck up, as in NOW.

I’m tired of people crying about Moon being silenced, and persecuted and all that other bullshit. She shat on the living room carpet, threw a blanket over it and continued to act as if there was nothing there. Her continued silence, refusal to discuss the issue and then the concom taking a while to make up their minds while staying conspicuously quiet is the issue.

I’m sick of people throwing tantrums in the Wiscon LJ comm about how meen this was, and rude, etc etc to disinvite Moon and stamping their feet and saying they aren’t coming now because the Con obviously isn’t for them.

GOOD, I don’t want my con experience ruined by whiny ass people who think its all about them and can’t see why Moon’s screed was so damn problematic. Also, if you can’t realize how much her words hurt our Muslim sisters and brothers, then I suggest you revisit Civics class, Privilege and Classism as well as Racism 101.

Many, many other people have said their piece on why the whole issue and how it was handled is problematic. See the [community profile] wiscon, [personal profile] karnythia, [personal profile] yuki_onna, [personal profile] nojojojo and K. Tempest Bradford sums up my feelings perfectly with You People are out of your Goddamned Minds

More on Moonfail… and how Wiscon has disappointed me

So there’s plenty more going around the web on the lack of response from Wiscon’s concom, especially after the governing body SF3 has suggested that E Moon’s (link goes to the post that kicked this off) GOH invitation be rescinded. There are others who have spoken far more eloquently than I ever could, those that were deeply involved in the whole thing that have stepped away from being on concomm or the programming comm and have said NO to Wiscon because its failing to meet its own expectations by not rescinding her invitation, and by expecting Muslim attendees to be walking teachers to correct her failure to see them as human beings, and in her own words as good citizens. That’s utter bollocks, and imposing an unfair burden on Muslims that would be attending the Con.

The other issue I’m having is seeing how this is affecting so many people, and how little it seems to matter to those who can make the decision to disinvite her. Is the pain of even one member of the community insufficient to move the concom to a decision? Do they need to see people canceling their memberships, their rooms and more declarations of how done people are with Wiscon to be moved to action?  Is it going to come down to money lost versus doing the right thing to get some kind of action to occur?It shouldnt be a matter of just dollar but of sense, and of what the Con supposedly stands for and not forgetting that in the face of controversy.

I’ve only gone to Wiscon once, and I greatly enjoyed it last year. I got to meet many wonderful people who I’ve remained connected to since Wiscon 34. I was afraid to even attend this year post race-fail, and frankly after seeing all of the hemming and hawing on making a decision about Moon’s GOH invitation and the idea that Muslim attendees should be walking teachable moments instead of making Moon see where she screwed up and making her accountable for her words; which are on the internet for the world to see and repeating them is not maligning her, it’s called quoting people I’m angry that I even gave Wiscon this one year of my time, money and experience. I’m disappointed more than angry about all of this.

I hope that Wiscon makes a decision, and soon about rescinding Moon’s GOH status before anyone who cares just gives up and goes away. I know I’m getting to that point and I’ve only gone once but was excited about returning to Madison next May, already booked a room and was planning on how to get there even if I don’t have a job by next spring. But instead I’m going to join the folks sitting, waiting and wondering what is going to finally happen.

Lastly and most definitely not least, I hope that people have not forgotten about Nisi Shawl, the GOH for Wiscon 35. I feel like she has been overshadowed, overrun by the utter fail of Moon’s idiocy and hate speech and forgotten in this. I hope to be there to support and celebrate Nisi as she should be celebrated for all she’s done. It was wonderful meeting her last year and I want to keep her in people’s minds as they make up their mind about attending/not attending/giving up on Wiscon altogether.

In short, I hope there’s some action sooner than later and I can resume plans to attend in good conscience.

Introducing… The We Got Your Back Project

So… Joy E. came up with a nifty idea. A project where LGBTQIA youth, straight allies, adults and others could share their stories to encourage and strengthen youth who may be getting bullied, harassed and otherwise mistreated for being who they are. This project will make sure that lgbtqia of color, bisexual and transgendered folks will not be left out of the work of telling their stories and having their voices heard.

Yes, I know some of you are thinking… but there’s already a similar project out there! Well, yes there is but whereisjoy and I wanted to be sure everyone’s voice is heard, that everyone is able to share their story in the hopes it would give strength to others who are dealing with coming out, being out and bullied as well just for being who they are.

This idea is just a wee idea, barely out of the box and we need your help to make sure it thrives. What we need help with is:

Contributors; anyone who falls within the LGTBTQI & A spectrum, allies, anyone who has been touched by the injustice of having their voices silenced or drowned out by the masses.

A couple people to be editors; to help with reviewing content, posting and maintaining the site (which is now a WordPress site). Please note that the site is pretty bare at the moment, and we are adding content, submission guidelines and such over the next couple of weeks.

As the project grows, we hope to have someone who is media savvy, who can talk to the local LGBTQIA media, and deal with the issues that will arise from creating a project similar to one that already exists. Please note that we are not doing this to be in direct competition with the It Gets Better Project, but rather to supplement and give everyone a voice who may not feel as if they will be heard otherwise.

For now, please spread the word about this project, what we hope to do and most importantly the soft launch date of mid-October 2010. In the interim, please leave questions here, if you want your question discussed off site want to have a longer chat, email us at: wegotyourbackproject@gmail.com

So there’s the great idea, let’s make sure it not only learns to crawl but learns to soar.

Wiscon 2011 and how the emoon situation is making me rethink attending

So, it’s not news about the whole emoon Islamaphobia post that is now shut down by the author. It isn’t news that many fantastic people have written their piece about her idiocy Link Roundup @ karnythia’s LJ and some great posts on this by Asim are here, here, here and response to the Wiscon concom not rescinding her GOH invite is here and now comes the decision by Wiscon to keep her as a GOH. That discussion and the fallout over her remarks is now overshadowing the fabulous Nisi Shawl as 2011 GOH, and it pisses me off that this RaceFail redux 2010 edition is ruining the con for so many before people have even booked tickets to attend.

The whole situation reeks of hatred, vitriol, over the top uber patriotism that we were all treated to immediately following 9/11. I can understand the position that the Wiscon concom must be in, to have to deal with yet another race fail type thing and not just by a panelist or attendee, but having to deal with such remarks by one of the incoming GOH’s has to be hell to deal with. I concede that it’s not an easy discussion… but, and there’s always a but… allowing her to remain GOH, and trying to frame it as a teaching moment does two things in my head (and this came up in conversation with [personal profile] karnythia this evening.

1. It puts the onus for teachable moments on the attendees, to task them with making others understand when they are at the con of their own reasons. I don’t go to cons to be on the hot seat for explaining and teaching others, if I wanted that I’d be on panels (not like panels are all about teachable moments, but you get what I mean I hope!) and I don’t want to spend my time that could be spent at panels, socializing and having a good time at con turn into being a walking ask me board, or the token (fill in the blank) that you can ask questions you may not ask others.

2. The fact that she deleted all the comments and shut down any chance of discourse on that post tells me quite clearly that there is NO INTEREST in dialog or learning from what has happened due to her post, her words that are now out there on the internet for eternity. I don’t see why allowing her to remain GOH is supposed to be some great opportunity for dialog when it’s clear that there is no interest in her part and anyone attempting to dialog will likely be labeled as one of those mean people who just won’t let it go, or just won’t see what she really meant, and stop being so mean to her! [that’s my assumption, since most online interactions about race, and privilege usually go in that direction]

It also makes me feel as if the con does not care about the people that were hurt and offended by her words. The people she painted in such broad strokes as barely civilized and should be grateful for being allowed on the hallowed ground of the USA. I think because she is a professional writer, I think more care should be taken with what you say, online, in text and have the realization that once your post it out there, it’s out there. Considering all the discourse I’ve seen on this issue alone, people have long memories and they won’t forget her words just because the con is next May.

I know I won’t forget this whole chain of fuckery, hate, racism and Islamaphobia that is rearing it’s head, and making me rethink Wiscon. It makes me wonder if the concom holds to the values they espouse and if anything will make them take notice of how this has damaged how some people may think about Wiscon, how it may influence people to skip the con altogether instead of giving any money to an organization that would have her as a GOH, well nothing outside of money. If people start canceling their registrations or skip it all together, would that send a message that is loud and clear or would it be chalked up to those oversensitive people who undoubtedly refuse to dialog, even after all this programming was created to address the issue…

I could go on, but that’s veering off into rant territory and I think this post is barely cohesive as it is because I’m pretty rageful at the disregard for any people who would attend Wiscon, and for those that don’t feel safe now and are already planning other things in place of attending Wiscon.

I’m still on the fence about attending, but I’ll have to climb down one side or the other soon.

So, I’m not entitled to ANY child free spaces? I call bullshit

So on Feministe, a blogger starts off her post with the line “you do not have a right to child free spaces.” That made me nearly click away, but I went on to read the full article in which the OP waxes lovingly on how awesome her kid is, and just how she’s “smarter, cuter and more honest than you”. Give me a fucking break, would you?  Yeah, we get it your kid is full of awesome and win, and as her MOM you should think that. I however am not obliged to agree with your assessment of your kid, especially when you act as if the world must fall over in awe of your special tyke and allow you to do what you please because your a mom.

The whole “article” goes even further in invalidating any point the OP could have made by her tale of woe because a friend did not want her child along as they sat up, watched the sun rise as they knocked a couple drinks back. The part that really angered me was that she didn’t see the big deal, since she was already out at a bar with her toddler anyway. Yes, you read that correctly, SHE WAS AT A BAR with her toddler. She goes on to talk about who mothers and children are oppressed in US culture and even goes so far as to compare the oppression of children to slavery in the comment thread.

I’ve got nothing for contempt for those that want to play the oppression olympics game online. The next time someone is lynched for having a baby, or for breastfeeding or daring to be pregnant in public, let me know and I might give you a pass, a one time only use pass but still. Mothers and children are marginalized, but not oppressed. No one is keeping them from doing what they want to do, and no one is keeping them out of public spaces, there are no mother and child only drinking fountains, etc.

My main issue is the sense of entitlement the OP espouses in her piece. I’m sorry but I am entitled to some areas that are traditionally child free. Say a bar, and let’s be clear when I say bar I am talking about the must be of drinking age, usually doesn’t cater to families kind of place. Not the local restaurant with bar included because that would be fucking stupid to exclude the possibility of children being in such establishments. The OP makes it seem like she’s going to take her kid where she pleases, when she pleases everyone else be damned. That’s just not on.

It was pointed out in some comments just how not on it is to subject folks to your child in a venue that is traditionally child free. Such as bars, late night movies (why they allow folks at late showings with small children I still don’t understand, but that’s another story) or other places where it probably isn’t safe or just not the right environment for your precious wee one to be in.

Over at the Angry Black Woman, karnythia makes it very clear that the OP is off the mark and is not being a considerate parent. I’m not a parent, but I do know a few awesome folks with kidlets and they are awesome because they are considerate parents who parent and understand what a life changing event being a parent actually is. They don’t think the world owes them anything or that they are special because they have reproduced. They want some child free spaces themselves so they can have those moments of adult time, adult conversation and times that don’t consist solely of mom, mom, mom mom, mommy! all day long.

Long story short, I think the OP of that piece is an idiot, needs to realize that life changed when you became a parent and it’s just not ok to declare that everyone else must just bow down to your whims and be excited because you want your child attached at the hip, no matter then venue, no matter the event and well we just have to deal with it. Here’s a news flash, we don’t have to deal with it and a majority of people won’t because the world is not yours just because you are now a parent. Stop and step back away from the blinders of how awesome my kid is, look, look, look! and realize no one cares about that but you.
ETA: My comment on that piece was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand because I didn’t slaver all over the OP telling her how wonderful she is. So I’m posting it here for posterity and to see if it ever makes it out of the mod queue)

(Since my comment apparently was either eaten by the moderation line or dismissed out of hand, I’m attempting to get it out there again. I would hope that a comment that isn’t full of swear words is actually let through even if it disagrees with the OP’s article)
I’ve read through most of the comments, and some are totally missing the point and some are on point. What I can’t understand is this lauding of the OP for standing up for the poor, oppressed children when she admits to taking her toddler to a bar, because she will take her child where she pleases?

When I go to adult only spaces, such as a BAR I don’t expect a toddler there. I think it’s a sign of privilege and entitlement that you would not consider that the child may not enjoy such a place, nor the fact that you could be putting the bar owner at a huge risk of a lawsuit or loss of their liquor license because you’ll take your child where ever you go.

Since I was not raised on a deserted island, I accept that children are part of our society, but what I will not accept is a sense of entitlement and poor parenting in places that I frequent. There’s a marked difference in kids enjoying themselves, screaming in delight and having fun and kids screaming their head off, running in the aisles and acting as if they have no sense while their parents do nothing about it.

If you are amongst those parents that actually, parent good on you. However I find it very arrogant to assume that I should have to bow down to the altar of motherhood wherever I go, because kids are people too darn it! Well, they are people, but they are not mini-adults.

Your assumption that kids are not welcome in the US is interesting but a false assumption. I don’t know where you are currently residing, but I’ve found the US to be incredibly child-friendly to the point where I’ve been grilled, ridiculed and told I’d get over my aversion and fears of being a parent, even after telling someone point blank that i have no desire for motherhood. It’s a fallacy to me to to point out that the US is so child hostile, when women here seem to be deemed useless and bizarre if they don’t want any kids.

I find this article to be full of privilege, ethnocentrism and a dash of condescension for added flavor. Next time you might not want to lead off with a tale of traipsing your toddler in to the bar before you try to make your point about kids and rights. I might actually take you seriously.

My hair is not a walking invitation to the Zoo.

I have people coming up to me all the time to tell me how much they like my hair. Seriously. At one point a woman walked pass me, stared at me the whole time while she passed, then walked all the way back just to say, “Your hair is awesome.” I enjoy this. My new hair IS awesome and I love to get compliments on it. I love compliments from my friends and from strangers.

The problem is when those friends and strangers just feel the need to touch my hair and not accept no for an answer. Not only do I not understand why you’d want to touch someone else’s hair (“Oh, is it soft?”—Opposed to what? A brick?), but it seems to be only white people who do this—at least to me. Black women seem to be capable of admiring it without wanting to finger it. In fact, most white women do too (the previous mentioned person who walked pass me, just to come back was white).

But the ones who are not content to admire my hair are always white. This is not happenstance, of course, white people generally feel more entitled to infringe on other people’s spaces. But, I won’t get into the historical and political aspects of why blacks hate this. There have been post, after post, after post on the matter, and even a guide here. They aren’t hard to find.

The main issue I have is that in this day and age, people should know better. Any information you wish is just a click away. Don’t believe me? Check google: “why not to touch a black person’s hair” or “touching black people’s hair.” See all those links? They are real. They are written by real people with real feelings. (In fact it has been written about so much I almost didn’t bother to post this. But it’s obvious some people just haven’t gotten the memo.)

There are so many reasons not to touch or ask to touch people of color’s hair. Some of them include: offensive, dehumanizing, rude.

But let’s get to the meat of it, show of hands. How often have you gotten you hair done just right, in that up-do, or curled just so for that special occasion and someone then come along and ran their fingers through it? How annoying is it? Very? Really? Well imagine being on display like this all the time, 24-7.

The most recent incident came when I was with a group of friends, sitting at a table and a woman walked over and said, “Oh, your hair is so pretty.” Then she stretched out her hands as if she was just going to touch it (without permission) and when I moved out of her way, she looked shocked. “Oh, I just wanted to feel it,” she said.

“No,” I shook my head.

She looked puzzled. “No?”

I smiled, and said nicer than she deserved, “I’m having dinner with friends, do you mind.”

“Well, EXCUSE me.” She said, as if I had offended her and not the other way around—as if I had the nerve to refuse her natural born right to touch me. I stared for a moment and watched her walk away. My group of friends were mixed company, but they are pretty awesome women.

“Bitch.” Someone said—I refuse to say who would say such a thing (besides my friends are like the mafia, snitch and you’ll wake up swimming with the fishes).

Listen, I’ve heard all kinds of excuses about why this is not a race issue. They seem to mainly be: “I am a white female with blonde hair, and on more than one occasion, someone has touched my hair.” But, I’ve learned along the years that I can’t decide when someone else should be offended or why they get offended. Neither can you.

In the end, The Stuff White People Do blog put it best. You’re not allowed to touch my hair:

“Because I’m not an animal in the zoo.”

“Because this is my body and I don’t have to let anybody touch any part of it, EVER, if I don’t want to.”

“Because my black ancestors may have been your ancestors’ property, and had to smile while they got touched in ways they didn’t want to, but I am not YOUR property and never will be so you’d best move your hand away from me.”

And I’ll add one of my own: Because you live in a different world from your mothers and fathers and you have the opportunity, no, dare I say the responsibility, to research and find out the views of other people before you make an ass of yourself, and before you offend someone with your ignorance.

‘Nough said. Got it?

  • Mood: aggravated aggravated

The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Hair Etiquette

1. It is never okay to touch, pull, or stroke a black person’s hair without permission. No matter how different, cool, or fun their hair looks, you just don’t.

2. It is never okay to ask a casual acquaintance or a perfect stranger if their hair is real. It doesn’t matter how curious you are or how incongruous their hair is to your expectations. Don’t do it.

3. Realize that, in asking if you can touch a black person’s hair, you are objectifying them in possibly uncomfortable ways. That person may consent to letting you touch their hair just to be nice, but rarely is it because they enjoy having your hands on them. The most polite thing would be not to ask until such time as you know that person well enough to know if they won’t mind the request. This is not the Petting Zoo.

4. Think before you make any comments expressing surprise that a person’s hair could look any certain way without a lot of help from chemicals, products, or professional stylists.

Print this, carry it around with you, tell others. I know I will. Because the next person who touches my hair without permission is going to come out of the encounter with several strands of their own missing (with root tags attached).

I’d like to return this helping of misogyny I got with my superbowl ads please.

So I watched the Superbowl as usual. I grew up in a household of my mother and grandmother both of whom love/d football. To this day I’d better not call my mother while a game is on or I will get hung up on. Why might that be relevant? Because we are all women, and we are not the ball crushing, pink fluffy slipper wearing, emasculating shrews that a majority of the Superbowl ads would lead you to believe all women are. I’m a sports nut, and again not some woman who lives for the chance to de-wang her man and make him carry her purse.

If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the NFL was aiming high for misogynist of the year with their litany of ads that make it seem like all women want to do is make their men miserable and take away their beer, cars and sports for fun and because of course, all women just are bitches like that. Fuck you Dodge and whatever that tv on the go product is, I’ll keep my man hatin’ dollars over here thanks.

I’m so fucking pissed off at the utter idiocy in those ads. Yet, they refused an ad for a gay dating service and they allowed those freaks at Focus on the Family to air their anti-abortion ad? WTF? Really NFL? Are you stuck in the last century?

The most awesome yuki_onna writes up this issue much better than I did above and with less swearing and omg what the fuck is wrong with you at her LJ post on the same topic. Go read her sensible post, mine is still full of what the fucking fuck over here.

My smiles are not for you, random man on the street

I’ve had the issue of women being treated as property, as if (some) men think we are here for their pleasure only, as if we are to be honored by your hey baby, how you doin’s as we go about our daily lives, but instead when we ignore you, tell you to fuck off or just keep walking the insults flow freely.

Instead of understanding that women are not chattel, we do not exist to please you… you revert to mental infancy and call us sluts, whores, bitches… ask if we think we’re too good for you, or won’t we just FUCKING SMILE, after all it was a compliment I paid you, damn why you have to be like that. The litany could go on forever but you get my point.

After a post by karnythia on creepy ass man following her and try8ing to intimidate her, and the story of the MTA passenger who just needed some help but instead was asked out for a date by an employee, this topic has boiled over in my head and needs to be let out.

I know men don’t understand that life is different for women, in that alot of us are raised to be leery of unknown men, especially ones that approach us on the street. It’s something that keeps you safe and can save your life, because you never know when a dude is just trying to be a harmless flirt or a serial killer or rapist. I know its harsh, but you (men who think you’re doing us a favor by hollering on the street)don’t know our lives, our stories, what kind of baggage we’re carrying around.

That woman whose arm you try to grab so you can “talk to her” could be a rape survivor, she could be on the way home after being laid off from a job, or getting some other bad news. She could not be smiling because she just found out her grandmother died or she failed a test, or for any number of reasons. You never know what a person has going on in their head, and presuming that she should give you the gift of her smile, her time just because you’re a man is pretty damn arrogant.

Thinking that women should be honored because you deign to throw some two bit line our way on the street, or talk about us as if we’re nothing more than walking tits, ass and vagina’s put on display for your approval and usage speaks volumes about how little you know about women or the real world. I don’t speak for all women, but I think anyone with a shred of self-respect wouldn’t bother with a trifling ass man who thinks the way into a womans heart is to talk about that ass, and how you’d give her what for.

Men, at least the men who think that this is a GOOD IDEA and women should be grateful for your attention… realize we don’t owe you a motherfucking thing. We don’t owe you our time, our energy, our bodies or our smiles.

Lastly, posted this in a comment to an earlier post of mine and it needs to be seen, and reposted far and wide.

My Big Fat Opinion (reposted with author permission)

I cannot take credit for this master work of words. Tis the wordsmithing of my dear friend HMC or in other words RebelPants. Read and Learn people.

So the other day, I’m on the bus, carrying my groceries in bulging reuseable bags, when a bleary-eyed woman reeking of cheap booze and sporting a look that can only be described as “Wrath of God” wheezed into my face “Hey, lemme ask you somethin’…Do you carry all of that shit to the gym with you?

You know, do you ever work out when you buy all that stuff?” Because this was not the first time someone had approached me in this fashion (and because I am woefully indoctrinated by my Kansas upbringing that will not allow me to tell people who sorely deserve it to “Kiss My Fat Ass” – because *that* would be rude…)I levelled her with my steeliest glare and said ” I am going to try to reserve judgement on you and hope that it will teach you to do the same.” She looked stunned, as if I had just, I don’t know, implied I was going to fist her mother, and whimpered ” I don’t know what YOUR problem is. I’m a NICE person!…I just think you could stand to loose a few pounds..that you should exercise or somethin’.”

Now, before you dismiss this as a ” woe is me, everyone is so mean, and it’s not fair, I’m just big boned” rant, let me state a few things. A)I am fat. Full stop. No excuses, no apologies. B)My reusable grocery bags were bulging because I was going to a picnic the following night and had agreed to bring food for my portion of the tickets…including bulk items like soda, and fruit ( carrots weigh more than Twinkies) C ) she may have noticed the package of Krispy Kreme donuts at the top of the bag and felt entitled to make an intervention ( which she *should* have…not because I am obese, but because no matter what they say on the box, microwaving them for 9 seconds does *not* replicate in any way shape or form the manna from heaven that is a fresh from the oil and sugar bath Krispy Kreme…if the HOT light isn’t on, it just isn’t worth it.) D) I eat the recommended #of calories for the bodyweight I would like to acheive, and walk on average 2-5 miles per day ( NOT at a gym!) Finally,E ) – and this is an important one – It is none of her damn business what I eat, where I eat it, or in what quantity. None. Period. Fin.

We have a real problem with that last one. “We have an obesity epidemic!”headlines shout. We are the fattest nation ever! It is costing us all millions in health claims, and extra gas charges to lift your fat assess into aerospace! That’s the *real* cause of the energy crisis, all the fuel guzzled by the army of scooters fat people ride at Wal-Mart…If we eat Twinkies, the terrorists win! ( ok, that last one *might* be true…does any non-stoner over the age of 18 actually eat those things? Could you explain to me why, when there is perfectly good Pain au Chocolat and Baklava to be had?)

Let’s talk about those “costs”. Obesity is sort of like that list of side effects on a medicine bottle – if one person had it, they have to report it. Obesity is linked to any and everything…when you die, if you are more than 20 lbs overweight, obesity is going to be listed as a cause. Meaning, if you drank a fifth of Jack every day, chainsmoked, did coke lines off the stomach of syph-filled underage hookers, and fell off Trump Tower, obesity would still be listed as “potential cause of death”. (Because, as we all know, FAT makes you STUPID, which is what leads you to do stuff like that.)

And stop whining about things that don’t directly benefit you driving up the cost of things…that is the way the whole system works. It’s part of being American. We all pay for one another’s choices, and resent the hell out of it until we need it ourselves, ( then we feel entitled). I have paid for health insurance my entire adult life. I have taken (over more than a decade) perhaps 20 sick days total, and had fewer prescriptions…none of which were weight – related. The hundreds of thousands of insurance dollars used by the average family of 4 likely outweigh whatever alleged increases I have contributed due to my poundage. Does that mean I am anti-family? Of course not. I am saying that families occur naturally, are medically preventable, and are a lifestyle choice that does not (at the present) benefit me, but I pay into everyday. So part of why you can go get little Billy patched up for a $15 co-pay is because some fat girl somewhere is paying her premiums, but doesn’t make time for annual visits because whenver she has an earache, her GP wants to talk to her about lap-band proceedures. You’re welcome.

And airlines – “I paid for a seat, I should get a whole seat! I was positively *squashed* for over 3 hours by the fat person next to me and I was scarred for life!” United is following Southwests’ lead and charging double for large passengers who ” can’t use the regular seatbelt” ( I wonder how hugely pregnant 2nd trimester women will feel about that rule?) citing the number of complaints they’d had in the past year about “Outsized” passengers. I wonder what percentange of their overall complaints that amounted to, because air travel these days sucks, and I don’t see enough of us obese people on the planes to be the true tipping point.

The last flight I took was in January. I was iriritated because I’d stood in line for a half hour to be told at the desk my flight was routed thru another carrier, and I would have to change terminals and repeat the waiting process. I was irritated because my 6 am flight was cancelled, and I spent over 4 hours, ferrying back and forth between 3 gates ( at opposing ends of the terminal), getting bumped on flights by people who had overslept and *missed* their flight, but had membership status that ranked above me. I was irritated by large adolescent tour groups, people with carryons the size of small children, and airline clerks who kept telling me “I’m really very sorry….good luck!” (as if I’d bought a lotto ticket, not airfare). In short, I hated EVERYONE, and it didn’t matter what size they were. My primary annoyances that flight were the aforementioned tour group (who delayed us over 20 minutes making sure everyone was there, and that no minors were sat in exit rows), and the chaperone who immediately cranked her non-plus sized body into the reclining position so she spent 3 hours watching reruns of ” The New Adventures of Old Christine” from my lap.

Point? I was uncomfortable. Not because I am overweight, or because I was being crushed by Jabba the Hut, but because flying coach is uncomfortable. I am sure I would have been able to better relax if I only had to share an Airbus with me and my 10 closest friends, but I would likely be less comfortable with the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost me, so I deal with the fact that being of standard economic class means I have to share as nicely as possible in sardine like conditions.

Sidenote: I love to fly, and have mostly had very pleasant experiences…Including several kind people who have lifted the arm rest, taken the outside seat, shared the middle laptray all without my request, in gestures of camraderie. When I travel, I take every precaution to stay out of everyone’s way, and if anyone is uncomfortable in their seat it is *me*. You know what is more likely to ruin your ride? The guy who sits as if he has huevos the size of bowling balls and rides broncos all day. Or the one who carries 2/3 of his body weight above his waist, so his tiny butt fits in in the 17 inch seat, but his linebacker shoulders and pile driving arms take both armrests and half a seat on either side. Or the teeny woman in stilletos who arrives 30 seconds before the plane departs, and shoves her non-regulation designer luggage in on top of every other soft- sided bag in the compartment, ignoring the crunch as she shuts the door.

But the purpose of this rant is not to indict the airlines, or pregnant women, but to basically say that it is time to put aside these circular, hugely flawed, inflammatory but ineffective arguments about fat, and have a calm, rational, adult discussion about health. Which means both sides of the argument will find things that are hard to swallow. (pardon the pun)

Fellow fat people: Some of you have medical conditions, degenerative joint disease, lupus, etc that contributes to your weight gain. But most of us, myself included, are fat because of a simple fact – we like to eat, and we don’t like to exercise. Period. Now, I have tons of thin friends that equally love to eat, and don’t like to sweat…we go out for the same delicious dinners at little known thai, mexican, and sushi spots, stuff ourselves silly, and waddle off to watch reruns of Blackadder or House,MD.. But when *they* do it, for whatever reason, they don’t gain weight, and I just put on 2 pounds typing this. Is that unfair? Yes. But so is the fact that I have a flawless complexion and naturally curly hair that looks good straight out of bed. We all have our tribulations…mine is that I have to pay closer than average attention to what I eat, and exercise 60-90 minutes every day.

Fat health advocates – is it possible to be healthy AND overweight? Yes! You can have good vitals, eat well, exercise daily and still be overweight…BUT, that is not the case for most of us, and we are not doing ourselves any favors by pretending this is so. Most of us simply need to burn more calories than we eat. Whether those calories are in boneless skinless chicken breasts, or cheeseburgers. And, when we do things that are good for our overall health (like eat whole grains and walk 30 minutes a day…NOT go on a cayenne pepper lemonade fasts and take up smoking) a pleasant side effect is, we tend to lose weight.

And thin people: Here is a partial list of what being thin does NOT make you:

Smarter, prettier, better, more virtuous, honest, brave, sexy, healthy, worthy of love, wealth and happiness, better in bed, entitled, valuable, beautiful, chic, better parents, stronger, God’s chosen… it will not give you clear skin and multiple orgasms…it will not make your whites whiter, your coat shiny, and your breath smell like Chanel #5 …

Here’s a complete list of what being thin makes you:

Thin.

And that’s ALL it makes you. Simply thin. Just another descriptive word, like tall, blonde, hairy, Jewish, Bisexual. It is just what you are. It doesn’t entitle you to anything, it doesn’t protect you from anything, it is not a magic wand. I know what the ads say, but they LIE. To the tune of several billion dollars a year. (Because, well, if you were happy with yourself the way you are you wouldn’t buy half the shit you do. Insecurity and entitlement are great for the economy.) If you are thin, and an a_hole, you will still be an a_hole. And we will still hate you for it. (Not, mind you, because we are jealous of your thinness, we’re just pissed you’re such an a_hole…) Being thin entitles you to smaller pants, not a bigger life.

It was a shock to me to realize a few years ago that my “classically pretty” ( read: thin, blonde, under 5’6″) friends were living lives pretty similar to mine. They loved/hated their jobs/ parents/ boobs. They got hit on by entirely unsuitable men who called them fat, crazy bitches when they got rejected. They got bored in their relationships, had unsatisfactory sex, and their hearts broken – being thinner than me didn’t protect them from any of that. The girl I talk to the most about fashion is a co-worker who is 5’4″ and weighs 95 lbs. We are at opposite ends of the clothing spectrum – I can only shop at Lane Bryant, she can only find jeans to fit at Gap Kids. But we both are familiar with the struggle to find fashionable, functional clothes in a world that says that Women like us don’t exist, and design as if we are pre-pubescent or post-menopausal. Also, we are both equally appalled by the current trend of throwing large waist-cinching belts over everything ( SERIOUSLY, you’re not hiding anything…just stop.)

The truth about our diet is that most of us in this country, fat or thin, have an unhealthy relationship with it. We have no idea what the hell we are doing, and it is affecting us, and our children. We watch tv shows where it is perfectly alright for the heroine to drown her sorrows in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s because in real life, the actress has been on The Zone diet for the past, oh, DECADE, has a personal trainer, and secret cosmetic surgeries. I have friends who keep packing chips and snack cakes into their kids lunches, even tho they come back home everyday unopened, because when they were kids, those things were precious conmodities that only the rich kids had, and in some recess of their brain, providing a better life for their kids = unlimited Pringles, whether they want them or not. Snack Packs have become the new Piano Lessons.

We have to change the way we think about Health in this country, and by change, I mean we have to start thinking about it. Even as our headlines scream obesity panic, we still behave in the same shame/blame cycles that lead us into more panicky consumption.

We have to teach our children that exercise is not what you do to keep from becoming fat, or punishment for being fat,or has anything at all to do with being fat. Exercise is what you do every day to be a healthy person, just like brushing your teeth or bathing. We don’t tell kids to brush only once their teeth start to hurt, or bathe when the lice hatch. Nor do we tell them that good oral hygeine makes them closer to God, and that showering is good stress management. It’s just part of maintaining a healthy body. No judgement, just fact.

We also have to lead by healthy example. I was dieting ( when am I not?) around the winter holidays, and visited two different families…I was worried that I would undo all my hard work of eating pre-packaged meals by eating off the grid for two weeks. At both homes I was served an abundance of insanely delicious food. At the first home (vegan) we tended to graze all day – ate when hungry, stopped when full, on a variety of things that were mostly thrown together on impulse. We walked (and danced, and played in the surf) much. At the other home, I was served lovingly prepared 4 star meals ( many of which contained bacon,butter, cheese and – lord preserve us! Real cream) which we sat down and enjoyed thoroughly. We did not eat again until the next astonishingly good meal. We also walked all over creation including from Capital Hill back to Arlington after standing for 6 hours at the Inauguration. I finished both trips a few pounds lighter and with a lot of food for thought. Both families walked (and biked, and swam, and danced) not because they want to “win the war on obesity” but because it’s a normal, healthy way to move thru the world. They both ate leafy greens and cake for the same reason – because they are delicious. It wasn’t any more complicated than that.

Personally, I think we would all be a little better off if we adopted that style of living.If instead of focusing our rage at plus-sized people in line at the airport, or McDonald’s, we were angry about the decrease of phys ed, intramurals and arts programs in our schools, that ketchup now counts as a “vegetable”, that there are millions of kids being raised in communities where there are more liquor stores and convenience stores than markets, where broccoli (if it can be found) costs 3 times what ramen and sugary cereals do, where milk is $5 a gallon, but a 2 liter of coke is $.99…where there are few public parks, and none of them are safe to play in at any time of day, and parents are too tired from working multiple jobs to navigate all of those communal strikes against them and go play for an hour. We must stop seeing health as something only rail thin people with designer outfits and gym memberships are worthy of, and recognize that in a healthy society, we are going to grow up and not snicker or snarl when there are fat people on “our” beaches, bike paths and yoga mats. ( Walking is excellent exercise, and only requires a good pair of shoes. Yoga is equally free, free-ing, portable and potent. And I, like a lot of fat folks, am WAY bendy!)

Finally, we must stop seeing thinness as an intergral part of health, and instead see it as what it is – a possible side effect of healthier choices that all citizens are entitled to. Both sides of the argument will have to acknowledged the truths of the other before real progress can be made. And unfortunately, it’s focusing on these fanatically untrue statements ( and ingoring that which is simple and true) that conributes to the rise in obesity…

If we can separate Health from the word Fat, we can see it as something that is attainable, and that all people are worthy of. Further, the more that we see good health as something we all deserve and are entitled to, it is more likely that we will become a more physically fit nation, because we won’t be waiting until we lose weight to take a dance class, go for a walk, take a midnight swim… ( or yes, if you must, JOIN A GYM) We could all just be active and equal participants in life, without fear of recrimination from people who believe, falsely, that a healthy life is reseved only for the thin, and that health is a reward for being thin, rather than veiwing thinness as what it is: a sometime side-effect of a healthy life.

New Bacardi ads show what real ugly looks like, and it’s not the women in the ads

*Note:Links auto play obnoxious music*

Can someone translate this page or get an email address to send a note to them? They are the dipshits behind the Bacardi Get an Ugly Girlfriend ad campaign. I found this via ShapelyProse…

I got no words for this… I’m hoping it’s a poor attempt at satire, or something not sanctioned by Bacardi since the site isn’t even in English but damn am I seeing red over it. Here’s an excerpt from Kate Harding’s post..

“This is how the patriarchy and the beauty ideal collude: we are supposed to see these women and be so stunned that they aren’t thin, white, blonde, able-bodied, and perfectly symmetrical that we can only call them ugly. We’re supposed to look at these pictures and say “At least I’m prettier than her.” We’re supposed to view our female friends as accessories in our true life goal, which is to look hot for men. There are hot women, and there are ugly women, and if you’re not the hottest woman in the room, you’re automatically the ugliest.

The appalling part of these ads is not the women; it’s the blatant misogyny. Once you take off your Patriarchy Blinders (patent pending), the charge of “ugly” doesn’t even begin to make sense. If you saw these picutres without any text surrounding them, what would you think of these women? Even with the pernicious text framing them as objects of derision, this ad doesn’t work on me: these women are straight-up pretty. Pretty, stylish, and flirty even. I guess they have some of that self-esteem that’s been going around lately.”

New show, I want to save your life is utter tripe and creepy

Did I mention how much I love Kate Harding? Well I do, because I got this link to Feministing’s article on just how creepy that new show I want to save your life is.

I keep seeing the ads for this show everywhere, and frankly it disgusts and creeps me out. This guy is following these women around, watching everything they do, eat, etc and correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that stalking someone?

These women aren’t obese, or honestly all that fat. The woman in the adverts I’ve seen around town seem to be average. Not particularly skinny but not omg you’re gonnna diiiiieee fat either.

I’m so sick of the idea that women are community property to be molded into others image of what’s acceptable, normal and desirable. I’ll be happy when the fashion industry burns to the ground for perpetuating these unattainable “norms” that only silicone, plastic surgery and starvation can achieve.

Ask not what your country can do for you… via Kung Fu Monkey

Via spot on LJ, Kung Fu Monkey hits the bullseye on the so-called ousting of Hillary Clinton, the misogyny of the race and the twisting of the meanings of race and misogyny in the context of this presidential race.

The post can be found here

Full text after the jump:

Continue reading “Ask not what your country can do for you… via Kung Fu Monkey”

My issue with the anti-feminist rhetoric of Schlafly

Especially the rhetoric of lunatics like Phyllis Schlafly. She still puts forward the idea that women should stay home and in the kitchen in this day and age. I just don’t see how anyone can see past the fact that:

  • The way the economy is, families could not sustain their quality of life or in some cases survive with only one income coming into the household
  • If you continue with the idea that a woman’s place is not only in the home but to keep popping out children, you have now added to the monetary needs of the family in question.
  • Unless one man is making about $75,000 annually (thats take home, so really about $85K before taxes give or take) there’s no way a family can survive with one income earner.
  • There are more women than men in the population, so if only men worked and were the sole providers for the larger part of the US population, the economy would collapse.
  • The whole idea of telling women their place is in the home is ridiculous because it assumes the values of the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s are still what are considered the norm in societal wants and needs.  More women are forgoing marriage until later in life, not having children at all or are not partnered with men.
  • The idea that women should remain uneducated is ridiculous because we will again be faced with generations of elderly women who are helpless once their husbands pass away. The women who let their husbands run the home in every way often couldn’t find the checkbook or knew where the life insurance information was kept.

The idea that women should be kept in the home, tied to the kitchen and children in this day and age is just ridiculous. I don’t see how anyone could support the ideology now, let alone back when it was the norm.  I guess maybe I suffer the sin of practicality, but someone tell me just how such backwards thinking can be considered as viable, let alone be lauded in this day and age?

In lieu of a japan travel report you get this….

So…

Eric and I are watching tv and a commercial comes on about rolling over your 401K. The couple in the commercial are middle aged. The wife begins to berate her husband, stating he couldnt roll anything over with a rolling pin and that if (the 401K administrators) could have, they’d have signed his name for him.

This commercial yet again enforced the stereotype of the hapless male and the wife or girlfriend as the superwoman in a relationship. Again, if the commercial had featured a man doing that to his wife or girlfriend, women’s groups would be demanding that the commercial stops airing and the makers of the commercial apologize to women everywhere for the negative portrayal.

Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, think about this easy comedic bit, and the hell that would break loose if the roles were reversed in films, sitcoms, commercials etc.

Eric brought up the example of Hard Candy where a young girl destroys an older man who molested her friend earlier in the film. She does this via torture, mind games, etc. His point was that if the roles were reversed and it was a teenaged boy doing this to an older woman then people would be up in arms about the misogynistic, hurtful portrayal of women.

I think its a really dumb double standard that men can be skewered for the easy laugh or used as easy foils for the latest sitcom, but isnt anyone else tired of this?

Your thoughts, rebuttals, etc??!

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

I got my usual EB Games email newsletter today… someone explain to me what the hell the highlighted text is supposed to mean? [All emphasis is mine]

Nariko, a fiery redhead with a cursed ancient sword, takes on thousands to save her clan. Although we wonder where she managed to find L’Oréal’s Ruby Rush hair color in old-world Japan, we’re willing to overlook that because of the cinematic-quality animation and context-sensitive action.

Much more than a mere button-masher, Heavenly Sword rewards you for using the style and grace of a feminine heroine, rather than just stomping about. However, you’ll still be able to run up a substantial body count with a variety of fighting stances and attacks.

Trailer page for Heavenly Sword