Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Linkspam: nuns, football, and the idea of youth

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

On women in tech: An open letter to my daughter's high school programming teacher. It's rather grim, but just maybe this time the message will get through. (But probably it won't.) Content notes at the link.

For contrast, have a look at this Weird Future article: We Have Always Coded, using perfectly common-sense arguments to explain why it is that male participation in computer science has lagged well below female participation levels throughout the history of the subject.

Lots of queer news this week: Ireland's launched an attack on anti-"gay" bullying (kaberett would like to note that even their rural Catholic mother manages better than to use "gay" as shorthand for LGBT+, but there we go). A top Russian lawyer has come out as trans and bisexual in protest against the current legal situation for LGBT+ folk in Russia - we've found the story at GayStarNews and at PinkNews.

Meanwhile Stonewall is asking pro footballers to wear rainbow laces. Gentle readers, we'd love your thoughts on this one.

Janani at Black Girl Dangerous writes it's my birthday and I'll disrupt heteronormative time if I want to, an excellent article on provision of youth services:
I also want to offer that age frequently operates differently for queer people.  For example, I haven't spent a long time living as my current gender, compared to most cisgender people.  I'm still figuring out many of the ways I articulate and build the experience of being in my body.  Of course, this articulation looks very different for me, versus if I had been a gender-variant toddler, in that I have access to the language of the adult world and the income to curate my presentation.  There are trans* folks who self-determine their genders at much later stages of life, and ones who do so almost at infancy, but the common factor is that we're flipping the script on our lives in one way that cis people do not.  This makes the way I think about time, and memories, fundamentally different.
As if to illustrate the appalling mess that is the way the government of England & Wales is currently handling benefits, officials who caught benefits cheat found she was entitled to more than she stole.

And finally - and cheerfully - meet this BBC profile of Europe's best-known anti-capitalist-activist nun.

What have you been reading, writing and thinking this week?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Linkspam: Dr Who, literary criticism, and convention accessibility

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

naamah_darling has hit it out of the park twice this week - once on tumblr, in a difficult conversation with Boggle the Owl [content note: depression], and once on Dreamwidth about learning to live with limitations of chronic illness.

Frith - occasional creator of this-world Mechanisms octokitties - talks about writing canonically gay characters as straight, or at least in relationships with members of different genders. Excellent - if difficult - conversation in comments.

Meanwhile at Amptoons, Grace gives us an anecdote about policework while trans [content notes: severe mental illness, bed shortages].

The principal conductor of the National Youth Orchestra (among his other job descriptions) made some hideously sexist comments. Sarah Connolly FRCM, a fantastic mezzo-soprano, lets him have it.

We've been seeing an article from solopoly.net doing the rounds: Riding the relationship escalator (or not). Good description of cultural expectations of relationships, and discussion of other ways it's possible to structure them.

Poet, editor and all-round rockstar Rose Lemberg has been writing about accessibility at conventions following some frankly appalling efforts at WorldCon. Part the first: Disability, Diversity, Dignity. Part the second: Disability access and being a bystander. Excellent suggestions for how to change culture, there.

Relatedly, here's an article about some of the ways the BBC is being shit to a disabled Dr Who fan [content note: jokes about addictive drugs] which are staggeringly disappointing - especially because they can and have done so much better.

In a much better but actually related vein, queer actress Heather Peace has announced her ambition to be the first female Doctor - and we're delighted that the reasoning she gives has made it to the mainstream (the BBC, no less!).

And let's continue pretending there's plausible segues: j4 takes down the phrase "having it all", and the way it's only ever applied to female parents.

Good news: preliminary results from the Queer in STEM study are in, and they made kaberett smile like anything.

Aaaaaaaand finally for this week, tansyrrr looks at the evolution of gender politics and portrayal of women in Pratchett's Discworld series.

Comments on any of the above? What have you been reading, thinking or writing this week?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Linkspam: mixed martial arts, Postsecret, and Occupation of the BBC

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

Yesterday, members of Disabled People Against the Cuts & other disability groups occupied the BBC, to draw attention to the way that the BBC is complicit in demonising people receiving disability-related benefits (and benefits in general). Unfortunately their press release seems to have gone offline, but here's a collection of tweets on the topic.

The Pervocracy talks about sex and respect and kindness [content notes: BDSM, including kidnap scene in context of consensual scene]: Everything you learned from Mister Rogers about how you treat other  people--that's how you treat other people when you're fucking them, too.   It's simple stuff, mostly, and you don't need some Sex Expert to  dispense Sex Wisdom to know it: Be honest. Ask permission before  touching things that aren't yours. Be safe.  Don't bully or make fun of  people.  Don't  throw tantrums when you don't get everything you want.   Keep your promises.  Use your words.  Brush your teeth.

Meanwhile at Rewriting the Rules, Meg Barker thinks about kindness & honesty, and the ways in which they're interdependent.

The current trans rep at Cambridge University has put together a linkspam about degendering the graduation dress codes [content note: disableist blog title].

[Content notes: domestic violence, victim-blaming, murder] This Sunday PostSecret included a murder confession - that Frank Warren had held onto for at least four years without reporting to the police, assuming it was a hoax. Activist EllieMurasaki has put together some links on the topic.

HuffPo has run an article brilliantly illustrating the ways in which before & after photographs are misleading -- even in the absence of photo manipulation!

... and finally, over at out.com, we've got a profile of the first out trans Mixed Martial Arts competitor. There is, unfortunately, a lot of predictable cissexism -- but it only appears in quotations, with the article itself being very respectful and largely focussed on just how amazing Fallon Fox is.

What have you been reading, writing, or thinking about this week?