such_heights: (sense8: kala)
There's been a lot of conversation over the past few days in various parts of fandom over this 16k meta (AO3 registered users only) by Franzeska. It's a long, racist piece of nonsense with the summary Bullying and the Co-opting of Social Justice Activism in Fandom: A discussion of bias in fannish meta, m/m vs. other pairings, shipping of POC, vidding characters of color, what it means to ship, and problems in Stormpilot fandom. I don't recommend reading it, but it has sparked some good conversations.

As an aside, reading through the comments on my phone proved to be hazardous as I landed on the kudos button by mistake, which has been quite embarrassing over the last two days. Totally an accident, I do not like that post and I would un-kudos it if I could. /o\

Actually Recommended Reading:
+ [twitter.com profile] rukminipande has a storified series of tweets: Fans Of Colour Are Not To Blame For Fandom's Erasures: A response to That Meta.
+ This tumblr discussion topped and tailed by good commentary from [tumblr.com profile] snarlfurillo

---

In better news, in spite of his Conservative opponent's bigoted and underhand smear campaign tactics, Sadiq Khan looks set to be London's next mayor. He's a human rights lawyer, the most prominent Muslim politician we've had in the UK to date, and the son of working class Pakistani immigrants. He's a social democrat with policies on affordable housing, air pollution and transport fare freezes. I am hopeful that he can do good things for my city.
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (wc: diana knows everything)
I made some tallies on the characters over at [livejournal.com profile] f_march_madness the other day, looking at the gender and race of the characters chosen to represent the 64 fandoms present in the original polls.

this is how it broke down, and where it's at now )
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (m: gwen [wtf])
So, The Last Airbender is finally due to be released in cinemas. The deeply, deeply problematic casting of the film has been covered and campaigned against by Racebending for a long time.

[livejournal.com profile] ssj10 has written an exceptional post on the subject, urging everyone to think, to protest with their wallets, and not see this film.

Boycott this film. I am asking you with all of my heart not to give it any money. Please, just don't. If you knew nothing about the casting controversy before, and were considering a trip to the cinema, please reconsider and remember what you will be supporting. If you pay for this movie, knowing full well why its cast and its production are racist and problematic, then you are actively, in good conscience, supporting institutionalized racism. Period.

These Are My Colours
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (bsg: our new cylon overloads)
+ [livejournal.com profile] sheafrotherdon: "It's now time to tell." trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence.

+ on Angry Asian Man: ... and Harrison Ford as Dr. Chen, in which a real person's life is getting white-washed.

+ an AfterEllen interview with Jane Espenson, writer of Caprica: "It's Time for Sexuality To Be Incidental">. Given BSG's track record of evil (dead) queers, that interview does not exactly inspire me with confidence, but, maybe it won't be so awful. We will see! And as we know, I will put up with a lot for canon queer and robots, heh.

+ in fannish news, Torchwood/Doctor Who comment!porn battle VI is a go!

+ via [livejournal.com profile] lazy_daze, Everybody's Free (To Be Fannish) by [livejournal.com profile] elizah_jane, which is SPN-specific in places but delightful all over.

links

Nov. 11th, 2009 12:23 am
such_heights: a woman, sitting, holds a standing woman's hand (stock: make a stand [mignolagraphics])
+ Julie Bindel brings the transphobic fail once again. This link comes with a blood pressure warning, for it is full of offensive vitriol. Get off my team, Bindel, you make us look awful!

+ Via the New York Times, not all groups have felt the recession equally. It's US stats, but i suspect relevant across other countries too. In any case, illuminating and rather dismal.

+ Disability and Asexuality by [personal profile] kaz on FWD/Forward, a really great new-ish feminist disability blog. Highly recommended reading.

+ Also on FWD, [personal profile] avendya posts To Whom It May Concern.

+ [livejournal.com profile] ressie_noldo writes on the monstrous other; for the asian women blog carnival.

+ Lastly and unrelatedly, who_daily and torchwood_three are looking for new newsletter editors. I'm stepping down from my position as a back-up editor due to time constraints, but I do recommend it unreservedly to anyone who likes being part of the cogs and gears of fandom - things are quiet at the moment, too, so it's a good time to step in and get to grips with things.
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (merlin: gwen)
[livejournal.com profile] beccaelizabeth started this current meta trend off with statistics on Torchwood - out of the speaking characters, how many are female, how many non-white characters are there, and does it pass the Bechdel test (women talking to each other about something other than a man)? [livejournal.com profile] dsudis crunched numbers for the first season of Stargate SG-1. [livejournal.com profile] lefaym also did a post last year on Doctor Who and the Bechdel Test. (If anyone knows of other, similar sets of stats out there, I'd love to see them!)

So, I decided to run the numbers for Merlin.

A couple of notes - this is looking at speaking characters only, and though I've tried to be objective as possible it's possible I've overlooked things, misjudged things, or that there are simply two valid cases to be made. (Especially with regard to the Bechdel Test, because I really wanted 'The Moment of Truth' to pass, for instance, but I don't think it does.)

cut for table, statistics etc )
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (tw: tosh blue)
There are myths that get perpetrated by society at large, I think, about social justice and equality and who and what and how we're allowed to care. We should stand in our own corners and keep ourselves to ourselves and fight for our own causes alone, and ultimately, we're fighting for legal rights and legal protection and as long as that's been achieved then that's fine, we're done here. In this latest long, painful round of RaceFail, I've seen those sorts of ideas crop up an awful lot - ideas that the conversations at hand aren't important or aren't my problem.

Wait, what is RaceFail? I hear you cry. Because not everyone catches everything that happens on the internet, and fair enough. Quick recap time!

In terms of what actually happened to prompt this particular round of both conversations about race and also Epic Fail, I'd suggest reading some or all of the following: super short summary, longer summary, timeline of events, further reading, and a summary of summaries.

Things to bear in mind: this isn't grudgewank or an instance where there are 'good points on both sides' -- some people said some wrong-headed, ignorant and pain-inducing things and it's prompted a lot of response both from people calling them out on it and also discussions about race-related topics from cultural appropriation and problematic representations in sci-fi/fantasy to the silencing of non-white authors to safe spaces in fandom, online and off, and the frequent and horrible lack of them.

Also, my god, all of this has happened before and it will happen again! [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong's linkspams are all tagged Great Cultural Appropriation Debate of Doom '09 because this is pretty much an annual ritual, and it's always unnecessarily painful and full of derailment, defensiveness and white privilege, because apparently this is the only way we can talk about this. Because this is what it takes for us white fans to listen, to allow our squee to be harshed, and because it is this level of fuckwittery that prompts non-white fans and their allies to decide that their urge to speak out and say things that really shouldn't have to be said in the first place is greater than their desire not to be flamed, not to be insulted and falsely accused of all manner of ills, not to have their offline identities outed -- that's not a trade-off anyone should have to make.

And it sucks. It sucks that I have gained an enormous amount of education from this, because I am benefiting from the pain of fellow fans, because it took something like this to prompt me to be more pro-active in my education, and that's a big failing and a big exercise of privilege on my own part.

That being said, an awful lot of good things have come out of this. There have been countless intelligent, moving, thought-provoking posts on all manner of topics from all manner of perspectives - endless, almost. Then there's projects like the Asian Women Blog Carnival I've linked to previously, [livejournal.com profile] verb_noire and The Remyth Project and [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc and [livejournal.com profile] 12films_poc.

A smattering of posts I've personally come across and found particularly useful/helpful/interesting:

[livejournal.com profile] deepad : Reappropriating my man
[livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings on privilege and the burden of proof
[livejournal.com profile] eruthros on safe spaces
[livejournal.com profile] inalasahl on tone
[livejournal.com profile] hesychasm : brown person representin' with authoritah
[livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink : When I say that you have said or done something that was racist, I do NOT necessarily mean that...
[livejournal.com profile] stoneself on privilege
[livejournal.com profile] fox1013 on invisible pants
[livejournal.com profile] zvi_likes_tv on how not to post, and also links

And as for more general 'educating yourself' resources -- goodness knows this has made me realise I'm still more clueless in more areas than I'd like to be:

[livejournal.com profile] sparkymonster's delicious links for clueless white people
[livejournal.com profile] mystickeeper's Racism 101 Primer
[livejournal.com profile] racism_101 - new and in response to the current round of Racefail, it's designed as a space for well-meaning but clueless white people, and it's got a good amount of crossover with [livejournal.com profile] debunkingwhite where the conversation tends to be both more politically topical and more clued-in.

I think the reasons that we, as white fans, should be reading about this comes in two strands. One: well, this is about our fandom and our genres and the ways in which they're failing people in our community, and we should be so, so much better about not letting that happen. Two: there are a bunch of pretty self-interested reasons why making sure I'm educated in these issues will help me. If I act like a wilfully ignorant jerk I know I'll lose friends, and rightly so. If I refuse to engage in racial critiques of my shows because hey, I, in all my white liberal authority, didn't think that was racist, then that removes all of my right to talk about the problematic gender and sexuality issues in the same shows. If I write stories that thoughtlessly appropriate other histories or exoticise or Other or otherwise commit racefail, I will lose readers and my stories will be worse for it. Knowing more about more things is always a good, beneficial thing to do.

So, read a few links. Maybe not the ones I've picked, maybe things you've seen elsewhere or things you've had bookmarked from previous rounds or things you stumble upon in the coming weeks, but however you do it I think you'll find it engaging, illuminating and important.

One final link, because it hit me right in the guts. [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's captured something I've believed in very strongly for a long time and haven't had the words to express properly. Let Me Tell You A Story.

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