Through the grapevine, I wanted to contribute my post of a very happy 80th birthday to Ursula K LeGuin, wicked important SFF writer and commentator, as well as inventor of the handy ansible!  Your books are truly inspiring and life-changing, and I wish you many happy returns.

If you haven’t picked up a book by Ms LeGuin, I highly recommend doing so!  My personal favourite is Always Coming Home, but it can be hard to find, even within the US.  The FSF wiki has an excellent bibliography of LeGuin’s other works, including the classic The Left Hand of Darkness, out 40 years ago today, which was the first book I read by her (except for Catwings, incidentally, as a wee!Bene).  That, the Ekumen books, and The Lathe of Heaven are also recced by me as Brill Thought-Provoking Reading.

Right–in case you’re tired of waiting around for me to make a post on here (and I’m not abandoning this blog, mind), you can get Bene quick hits at my Dreamwidth account. Feel free to subscribe.


Yes, I’m emerging from the metaphorical woodwork.  I was slightly reticent to do so, as I haven’t been around that much, and I’ve not always been the best in checking my language, even as a PWD myself… (Crap, outed myself without the long post I’ve been meaning to write for months.  I blame the fact that I’m feeling poorly today.)

But I’m also reading Full Frontal Feminism because I didn’t read it at the time of release, and I could get it through the university library, and let’s just say I can see where the environment of major issues comes from over at Feministing.  Pablum, like feminism lite: just one calorie, not enough, and also tasting lousy when you’re used to the real thing, e.g. places where there is at least some consideration for dovetailing issues of privilege.

And now the massive apologia clusterfuck in comments here has disgusted the shit out of me.  I just give up on there as a whole, even for reference (I’d been avoiding them due to trans* issues anyhow).  Jezebel’s almost more worthy of my time.

In case you don’t pay attention to online fandom, the shit hit the fan last week in a way that manages to drag me out of my sort of hiatus state and into a ranty frame of mind.  It started out in bandom (indie band RPS/F, which personally, I don’t get the appeal of, but whatever floats your boat), but now has become an issue throughout the community, mostly because some fairly big names got involved on both sides.

Basically, the deal is that some people writing fic don’t feel the need to warn for certain traumatic issues. (Catch up via this very helpful linkpost. Triggery links possible.) And then they whinged about it, and how it messes with their intentions and artistic integrity and a bunch of other bullshit.  And some people who should have known better said some things about how they should just walk away from fic if it bothers them.  Or avoid fic altogether.  ‘Click the X’, basically.

So: the argument that people who ask for warnings, people who experience triggers in reading due to experience of trauma, are privileged in asking for warnings on fic.  The fucking slippery slope argument of ‘oh, then where do we stop warning’.  The ‘stop whining and grow a pair’ argument.  The ‘then just don’t participate in the community’ argument.

Any of those look familiar to anyone?

From people who should KNOW THE FUCK BETTER, no less.

And what for?  The sure feeling that they are right, I suppose?  Not wanting to think about the fact that what gets them off is someone else’s nightmare?  Why?  I can’t parse it.  I wish someone would explain it.

I will admit this: I don’t always get specifically triggered by most of the issues that arise in fandom.  But I have OCD, and I have triggers, and I know what those feel like, at least for me.  It is horrible.  I try to avoid my triggers as much as possible, but I sure as hell don’t want to stop doing anything I do in my daily life because they don’t define me entirely.  It’s just very real and very painful.

And I don’t presume to speak for those who have experienced those traumas, and I don’t want to assign them the label of illness without their consent.  But this is the same old shit that goes on with ablism as regards mental illness; suck it up and deal, basically.

No, we fucking won’t, in any way, shape, or form.

ETA: I missed Lauredhel talking about this as regards blogging a couple weeks ago. She makes some very good points.

Just have had a bunch of computer problems and massive piles of RL-based stress. Lots to say about Abrams!Trek, including WHERE DID THE WOMEN GO, but that will have to wait until I’m in a better brainspace.

Oh, and mammoth!fail.

Massive squee for those at WisCon, btw.

Just had a stressful few weeks, I’m afraid.  This time of year and I don’t usually get on so well.  Stay tuned.

So apparently Joss Whedon would like you to ignore what he says about himself being a feminist, in the context of his showsetc., because the author’s intention shouldn’t be relevant in deciding if a work is feminist.

Sounds sensical, but I’d buy that a LOT quicker if he weren’t already milking the auteur role for everything it’s worth.  A word to the wise, Joss–it’s hard to not read intent into something when you’ve metaphorically scrawled your name all over it.  Especially when you quote Hitchcock, who as the classic auteur of cinematic history was pretty much a hypocrite to say what he did.

Intent goes hand in hand with interpretation.  Especially if you’re a cultural analyst like me, and not a literary analyst–intent and societal impact weigh just as much, if not more, than my personal interpretation of a text.

Also, for fuck’s sake, take one minute from your terribly busy day to format your fucking comment.

(thx to the Hoydens for the concept of Quick Hit.  Have not forgotten about other posts, I swear.  I just had to get this out.)

Now that my anger (including basically being told en masse to sit down and shut up, admittedly in an eloquent way) has burned down to simmering rage, I have a couple of things to ponder intelligently:

oyceter asks what those who were silent are going to do, what SF fandom will do to welcome oppressed groups; while I wasn’t entirely silent, I think it behooves me to hash this out and ponder it in a real world context, not just pie-in-the-sky bs.

– why I remain doubly pseudonymous and what I feel that accomplishes.  You all deserve to know, I suppose, not like it’s anything exciting.

– and not on the Racefail topic at all, I should probably talk about Watchmen, should probably watch last week’s Dollhouse, should review the concept of realistically portrayed bisexual characters (just finished Ellen Kushner’s Privilege of the Sword, fab), should should should.

So that’s forthcoming, when it’s not late at night.  Stay tuned.

And on the same topic as the last: I went to Smith, on generous grants from an endowment sponsored by donations big and small and investments both ethically sound and dubious.  My father is a manual laborer, and my mother teaches in a public school.  Yes, I am white.  Yes, I grew up lower-middle-class and went to a good public school and then a good college.  I had opportunities and I am privileged.

But anyone who assumes:
– that class is purely related to what school you attend
– that one can’t be a POC or an ally or a fan who just thinks this is shit if one has had said opportunities…

Well, fuck, there ain’t no hope for you.

(Private to Kathryn Cramer: one of those ISPs was mine.  Bog standard Time Warner Cable from Milwaukee.  Just thought I’d save you the time and effort.)

I don’t usually say things like this.  Mostly because I don’t find it productive.  But wow, hearing about what just happened to Micole as part of Racefail?  That sort of broke me.

The ‘progressive’ SF establishment?  You can all kindly go fuck off and die.  Right now.  You fucking elitist self-aggrandizing asswipes.

How dare you claim to be adults and allies and people who try to expose the truth about society when you play elitist Rovian mindgames with anyone who disagrees?  How dare you claim to look towards the future when you can’t cope with the wave of the present?


I reserve the right to shame your sorry asses.