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sorry, I don’t stop being feminist because it’s fandom

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Long time, no see.
At Ohayocon I let a couple of emcees know exactly what I thought of them.
People shout at anime conventions, and I figured there was no reason I shouldn’t do so at an acceptable time, either – never mind that my shouting was of a political bent.
I can’t, or won’t, or don’t, check my feminism (or femaleness) at the door when I go somewhere. Even though I can compartmentalize a little (or I’d never enjoy anything), I cannot and will not simply stop caring about problematic stuff just because it’s “only fandom/entertainment/whatever.”
It’s never “just for fun.”
Usually, if a show bothers me, I try to just ignore it, unless it’s shoved in my face. If something I enjoy suddenly becomes problematic (or if it’s problematic from the beginning), I’ll think/talk about that, too – because, like I said, I can’t not enjoy anything ever because it’s not completely politically correct. There would be nothing left.
However, if I am at a convention – if my physical body is in a physical space, especially one I have paid money to inhabit – then I absolutely refuse to just ignore it. Even if it’s not a literal and immediate threat of violence against me, personally, the kind of “jokes” that I ended up shouting about were implicit threats against my personal safety – especially the first time.
One of the improv actors in the Anime Whose Line made a “joke” about violence against women, and that was the first (and probably loudest) time that I spoke up. “What other manly things can we do?” he asked, “beat women!”
And I sat up straighter, cupped my hands in front of my mouth, and told him to go fuck himself.
It was only a conference room, not a big theater like the Masquerade. I bet everyone heard me. I hope they did. I hope he went home and was terribly embarrassed that some chick called him out as the unfunny douchebag he is.
I was worried at first, but then nothing bad happened to me – the actor himself just ignored me, and I got a few approving nods.
Whether he realized it or not, and even if he didn’t ~intend~ to make me (and, you know, like half of his audience) uncomfortable, what he said was directly threatening to women’s safety – and con spaces are not known as very women-friendly spaces to begin with. (I’m sure there are more examples, those are just the first two that came to mind.)
Of course, everyone in that panel was just a douche. Another guy called on an attendee for a suggestion, then said “see, I didn’t call on you as ‘that Black guy there!'” and I was like wow, really? because come on, dude not funny. I think once upon a time, fandom was a place for white, straight, cis dudes, but the world has moved on.
After that, the actor added a disclaimer, saying that the 18+ panel later during the conference wouldn’t be “PC.”
If you can’t be “funny” without reinforcing the *ist status quo, you’re a shitty comedian and need to get a day job. Seriously, there is nothing entertaining or edgy about being a douchebag. It’s just a lazy way to get some cheap laughs; ditto this to the emcee of the Masquerade, who said “you want to hear a joke? women’s rights.”
I shouted about that, too, but I think my protest was lost in the general din – and while I was offended*, it wasn’t as threatening, because what can he, this one loser emcee, do to take my legal rights away? Of course, it contributed to a general culture of misogyny, but unlike the first emcee, would could literally go out and attack women at the con, this one couldn’t really do much other than stick his foot in his mouth and make himself look like a douche.
I also yelled at a couple of Hetalia cosplayers for letting their flags touch the ground† but I couldn’t’ve addressed every case of that I saw, and… well, tbh I care more about the feminism thing than the flag thing.
However, if there is a repeat of the Anime Boston ’10 incident, I will be speaking up – and loudly.
I won’t sit back and let the parts of fandom that I don’t like slide by. I won’t be made to feel uncomfortable in something I enjoy because I’m not a cis white straight man. Fuck that; we’ve all got a right to be here, and to feel safe here.
-M


*and no, jokes about stripping me of my legal rights as a citizen to vote, to press charges, &c. are not funny and I’m not being ~over-sensitive~. just don’t start that with me right here/now.
†just don’t carry them, people. just don’t.

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fundamentalist Biblical literalism and you: part 2 of ??

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A quick and friendly disclaimer to start this post before I step on any toes: I’m not saying you should live your life based on the Bible, nor am I saying you should not. What I am saying is that if you claim to live, word for word, by what the Bible says, you are expected to do exactly that. If you, like me, believe that this is a book, perhaps divinely inspired but ultimately written (and then translated) by fallible human beings two thousand years ago, and that therefore some of this stuff just isn’t relevant any more now that we know better and just think that what matters is that Jesus wanted us to love our neighbors, that’s totally cool. It’s the hypocrisy of cherry picking what matters while simultaneously insisting that the cultural context it was written in doesn’t matter and God wants us to obey every single rule laid down therein that gets me.

Without further ado: I found s’more handy Bible knowledge!
This won’t be news to any of you who actually know jack shit about the Bible, but it was new to me.
First off: I Corinthians 11:5-6, which says “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” So at the very least, women should cover their heads in prayer (and, by extension, in church). I don’t wanna hear jack shit about literal Biblical living* from any woman who doesn’t do that, because otherwise she is a hypocrite and/or a liar. This passage is full of heinously sexist bullshit, much of which I am sure they use to support their patriarchal society, but if you’re gonna say that you can’t pick and choose, you can’t pick and fucking choose.
I’ve tried this before by quoting Leviticus 19:19, but was told that, because Jesus made a new covenant with God, many of those rules don’t apply any more (e.g., Christians don’t have to keep kosher). This argument pissed me off for two reasons: one, as far as I know (and correct me if I’m wrong), Jesus never says anything about eating bacon (&c.) outside The Gospel According to Biff†. Funny, though, how they have no problem keeping Leviticus 18:22. See what I mean about hypocrites and liars?
Also, continuing the anti-family theme in Corinthians that I talked about earlierLuke 14:26, wherein Jesus basically says that if you have ties to your family, you’re not worthy of him. Ironic, considering the Biblical literalist/fundamentalist obsession with marriage and babies, ’cause these two passages (both New Testament, mind you, and therefore – according to what I’ve been told about why Christians don’t have to keep kosher – more relevant/important than their favorite passages about replenishing the earth (Genesis 1:28)) make it pretty clear that Christ likes unattached singles.
I did find two verses – and here I am, picking out what I think is still relevant, but I never claimed to do otherwise – that I liked: Joel 2:28-29: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” and Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” So fucking play nice with each other, kiddies, or Our Father may have to come down here and kick some unrighteous ass: yours.


*I’m not referring here to “What Would Jesus Do?” but to the Quiverfull and related movements that interpret the Bible literally (or so claim to) and live (or say they live) by what the Bible says, word for word; by all means, protect adulterers from being stoned to death and whatnot – be nice to widows and orphans, pet kittens, whatever!
†I went there.

Written by Fangirl

August 13, 2010 at 2:41 am

geek girls: only there to provide eye candy for geek boys

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Full transcriptShakesville.

I knew as soon as this commercial started that it was going to crash & burn. I hoped, briefly, that it would be funny or subversive somehow, but no.
I feel like it speaks for itself, but one thing that the transcript fails to mention is that the female geek – whose geek specialty we are never told – comes with “accessories.”  You know that was intentional, you’re supposed to see that and think dirty thoughts, what with the way she’s posed and the way the customer is drooling at her.
Ew.

Written by Fangirl

July 30, 2010 at 8:12 pm

a little Greco-Roman know how

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In this post, the app in question (it tracks menstrual cycles – for men in heterosexual romantic/sexual relationships) has “a female symbol …sporting devil horns.”
For those of you who failed Greco-Roman mythology and/or astrology or just plain ol’ fashion do not give a damn about either subject, let me remind you: the female symbol (♀) is the astrological sign for Venus. (The male symbol (♂) is the astrological symbol for Mars.) However, the Venus symbol with horns (☿) is no longer the Venus symbol at all, but is, instead, the symbol for Mercury, and it’s used to represent intersex individuals the way the Venus/Mars symbols represent ciswomen and cismen.
Whoops. (KNOWING STUFF: It helps!)

Written by Fangirl

July 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

the F word (no, the other F word)

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I fucking hate when anti-feminists blame feminists for shit that is actually the fault of the patriarchy/kyriarchy. Like, seriously, it is not feminism’s fault that girls are sexualized. Feminism said “hey, you know, women should be able to have sex if they want to and not have sex if they don’t! it’ll be awesome,” and the patriarchy said “hey, all women need to be sexually available for all men, even if they don’t want it!” and feminism said “wait, that’s not what we said at all because you totally missed out on the consent part!” and the patriarchy says “yeah, but if you have consensual sex outside of my pre-approved, God-given framework of heterosexual marriage, you were asking for it,” and feminism says “no, that’s not okay! women are autonomous human beings and we have the right to sleep with whoever we want to sleep with and to not be forced into sexual situations we don’t want!” and anti-feminism says “you made your bed, now sleep in it” and this feminist says “die in a shark on fire, anti-feminism” and then anti-feminism usually tells me off for having a potty mouth and not being submissive enough (though it has yet to clarify for me who, exactly, I should be submissive to as the unwed daughter of a widow – and yes, I have asked).
(Likewise, should an anti-feminist happen to be reading this, call me a feminazi and I will gladly kick you in the teeth. Do not accuse me of being a Nazi and do not insinuate my views are anything akin to Nazism. Learn something about a) what I’m actually saying and b) actual Nazis.)
Don’t you hate being reprimanded for something you didn’t do?

Written by Fangirl

July 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

women in public cause problems

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You know that whole “women are distractions” theme I’ve been harping on lately? Well, the new Allstate commercial is the most blatant example I’ve seen. There’s a guy who is supposed to be the embodiment of reasons you need car insurance; in another one, he’s a guy driving an expensive car that your current insurance won’t fully cover, so he’s going to sue you. In this one, he’s “a hot babe jogging on the side of the road” which causes “you” (in this part, a youngish (late teens/early twenties) man) to crash his car into a tree or a sign or something.
So what do we get from this commercial? Two things: first, women exist to be looked at (“woman as image, man as bearer of the look”*) and second, women are distractions.


*Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema

Written by Fangirl

July 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm

feminism: the solution, not the problem

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Women (and men, but I mostly see this from women) who make it sound like feminists are stealing femininity, or devaluing it. Newsflash, that would be the Patriarchy. Some radfems, like Twisty advocate for renouncing femininity, but in case you missed it, radfems are a minority (a vocal minority that’s right about a lot of things, but saying someone like Twisty is representative of all feminism is like… I don’t even know what, but it’s inaccurate and unfair).
Even the radfems like Twisty aren’t the ones who originally made femininity of lesser value than masculinity. People like Twisty advocate for trashing it because it is, under the current system (i.e., the Patriarchy), devalued and therefore being “feminine” devalues us by association. (I’m not saying I agree with this, I haven’t made up my mind on femininity yet, but roll with it.) They’re saying femininity is hurting us because the Patriarchy is using it to hurt us. (Maybe there’s a way to trash the Patriarchy and keep the fun trappings of femininity, like hair dye and cute shoes, and maybe there’s not. Maybe post-Patriarchy, hair dye and cute shoes won’t seem fun any more because we’ll have stuff that’s way cooler. I don’t know.)
You know who made it so women have to act more “masculine” to be accepted in the workplace or w/e? Wait, wait! Maybe you know this one: the Patriarchy, because it values masculinity over femininity (although unlike men, women have to keep up a precarious balancing act of masculine and feminine traits, which I think is one of the reasons women have to be “pretty” to be successful in fields completely unrelated to their looks). If femininity was valued equally, we could all wear Lolita to work if we wanted to. (See, this is kinda related to my paper.) All of us, and that includes men! because, if masculinity and femininity were equal, men wearing skirts would be as acceptable and normal as women wearing pants. (Okay, we’re not counting reactionary weirdos like LAF in that last statement. They’re beyond help.)
So please stop blaming feminism for the Patriarchy’s fuck-ups.
… and before you jump to defend it, remember: the Patriarchy hates you. Yes, you. Personally!
(It definitely hates you if you’re female. It probably also hates you if you’re male, unless you meet a list of criteria as long as your arm. Even if it doesn’t hate you, you still suffer.*)
Feminism is trying to destroy that system of oppression, so stop getting in the way. It’s scary, because none of us have ever lived in a Patriarchy-free world and because we rely on our oppressor to protect us (oh, the irony!), but feminism isn’t out to get you (unless you’re a douchebag, in which maybe we are… me, I am, but I can’t speak for all feminists (funny how that works, us ladies having opinions!)).

eta: Anna, in her unending geniusness, has come up with… the solution! (to my failed metaphor, not the Patriarchy… yet) saying Twisty represents all feminists is like saying PETA represents all vegetarians.


*list of “ways the Patriarchy hurts men, too” available on request! (even if it didn’t, it’s still bad and it would still have to go, but you know)

Written by Fangirl

July 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm