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Posts Tagged ‘taking action

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.

*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.


Magic Under Glass

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the new, not-whitewashed, cover for Magic Under Glass

the new and improved cover: two figures, a taller man and a shorter woman, stand facing each other beneath a glass bell jar; behind the man is a piano; outside of the bell jar, pink flowers and petals are falling

Bloomsbury USA has done it again.
No, not found “the next Harry Potter,” unfortunately. No, Bloomsbury USA has, once again, whitewashed a book jacket. This is the second time within a year that this company has done this: first was with Liar, about a bi-racial girl with short hair who mysteriously turned into a long haired white girl on the cover of the book. Liar, thankfully, was fixed before the hardcover went to press, though advance reading copies featured the white model.

Magic Under Glass, however, was released in hardback with the white model. Some people have called for a boycott of Bloomsbury, while others are writing to the company to express their dissatisfaction, but avoiding the potential harm to the fledgling author’s career.

So, what to do? Bloomsbury has withdrawn the whitewashed cover, and a new design is in the works. So, while you may be dying to read what sounds like a really fun fantasy novel, I suggest holding back and waiting until the new & improved cover is available at a bookstore near you. Don’t buy the whitewashed cover, if it’s still available. Wait until the corrected version comes out, and then get you and everyone you know to buy it, so that Bloomsbury (and other publishing companies) will know that yes, people do buy and read books about people of color, so they can stop representing characters of color with white models.

Written by Fangirl

January 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm

this ain’t livin’ » an open letter to Feministing

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So hi there, Feministing!

Recently, there was a post about chivalry that included some ableist language. I know you’ve been contacted about it already, by bloggers with more personal, feminist and writing experience than me. This blog is just a baby in the blogosphere. I’m twenty and able bodied, so I don’t have much life experience. I can’t offer suggestions that haven’t already been brought to the table about how to right this.

What I’d like to write about is why you should fix this.

During my first year in college, I started really getting into feminism and feminist theory, because my college is awesome. Feministing was one of the first sites that I started reading and, while I’ve read a few others off and on since then, it remains one of the few I turn to daily for news and information. A lot of what’s been posted has brought to my attention ideas and issues that I never would considered otherwise; they simply never would have occurred to me. I’ve read and participated in some fascinating discussions that have expanded my horizons and helped me to better understand and articulate why I believe what I believe.

That’s awesome. Feministing has been one of the biggest influences on me as a feminist. I’m still new to the game and I’ve got a lot to learn, but I got my introduction to applied feminist theory reading your blog. I’m probably not the only one; you’re listed as the #1 feminist blog on TakePart.

That in mind, I’m asking you to listen to what Meloukhia and others have said. I’ve heard complaints about Feministing being classist, transphobic, ableist … all of these are feminist issues. Nobody is perfect, but when any of us are called out on our privilege, the thing to do is to listen to those who are bringing it to our attention and stop that particular behavior – even better, to start new, more healthy and accepting behaviors. Since Feministing has introduced me – and others, I’m sure – to feminism, I’ve doubtlessly been influenced by the patterns of thought – conscious or not – that permeate the site. (eta: What I’m trying to say is I am one of the young women who has been influenced by your “fun” version of feminism, and it bothers me that what I’ve learned/been taught is so problematic. Thanks Annaham for articulating what I was trying to say, before I even started trying to say it.)

What I’m saying is that as such an important feminist site, I hope Feministing will take responsibility for educating other feminists – new and experienced – in a way that really is equitable to all.


Written by Fangirl

October 11, 2009 at 7:17 am