asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
This isn't going to be a riddle, it's going to be my real life experience. Because it includes potentially triggering discussion of sexism, and lengthy descriptions of asthma (which I guess could be a medical trigger), I'm going to put stuff behind a cut for people reading on their LJ/DW friends page - if you're came here directly, each section begins with "My discovery of" and it's asthma first and sexism next.

My discovery of / description of living with asthma… )

My discovery of / description of living with sexism… )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.


Nov. 12th, 2013 04:14 pm
This quote perfectly describes my relationship to clothing every single damned day of my life. It's part of a larger piece on why the author (a woman) no longer attends tech events.

Read more... )

Though for me, it's not just the men but also the women, and in many ways they're worse.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 7.39.58 AM

2013-09-06 08.02.24

2013-09-06 08.00.16

So I saw Riddick today, and I have quite a few thoughts. The first one, outside the cut, is that at a minimum you should re-read the Wikipedia pages on all the previous films before you go see it, as there are lots of references to them. I didn't. I should've.

Cut for spoilers and discussions of problematic gender issues )

*shrug* Going to think on it more. Anyone else seen it and have thoughts?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: We Can Do It Sinfest - Up Yours (We Can Do It Sinfest - Up Yours)
A nice little reposted essay on pockets. Note: I highly recommend White House Black Market for mid/up-scale dresses for women: every single one I tried on this past weekend actually had pockets! They rock!

Originally posted by [ profile] hitchhiker at What we talk about when we talk about pockets
Originally posted by [ profile] merchimerch at What we talk about when we talk about pockets
Originally posted by [ profile] kylecassidy at What we talk about when we talk about pockets
This post is about pockets, feminism, design, autonomy and common sense. Please feel free to repost or link to it if you know people who'd benefit from the discussion.

A few weeks ago [ profile] trillian_stars and I were out somewhere and she asked "Oooh, can I get a cup of coffee?" and I thought "why are you asking me? You don't need permission." But what I discovered was that her clothes had no pockets, so she had no money with her.

Mens clothes have pockets. My swimsuits have pockets. All of them do, and it's not unusual, because, what if you're swimming in the ocean and you find a fist full of pirate booty in the surf? You need somewhere to put it. Men are used to carrying stuff in their pockets, you put money there, you put car keys there. With money and car keys come power and independence. You can buy stuff, you can leave. The idea of some women's clothes not having pockets is baffling, but it's worse than that -- it's patriarchal because it makes the assumption that women will either carry a handbag, or they'll rely on men around them for money and keys and such things. (I noticed this also when Neil & Amanda were figuring out where her stuff had to go because she had no pockets.) Where do women carry tampons? Amanda wondered, In their boyfriend's pockets, Neil concluded.

I then noticed that none of [ profile] trillian_stars' running clothes had pockets. Any pockets. Which is (as they always say on "Parking Wars") ridikulus. Who leaves the house with nothing? (It's not a rhetorical question, I actually can't think of anybody).

We fixed some of this by getting this runners wrist wallet from Poutfits on Etsy -- it holds money, ID, keys ... the sort of stuff you'd need. Plus you can wipe your nose on it. It solves the running-wear problem, but not the bigger problem.

Clickenzee to Embiggen!

The bigger problem is that people who design women's fashions are still designing pants and jackets that have no pockets. In fact, this jacket we got last December has ... no pockets. It's not a question of lines or shape, it's a question of autonomy.

Clickenzee to Embiggen

So I'm asking my friends who design women's clothes to consider putting pockets in them, they can be small, they can be out of the way, they can be inside the garment, but space enough to put ID, and cash and bus tokens. And maybe a phone. (And if you can design a surreptitious tampon stash, I'm sure Neil & Amanda & a lot of other people would appreciate it as well.)

Add me: [LiveJournal] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Google+] [Tumblr]
[Roller Derby Portraits]
Once in a while the webcomic Sinfest does a really awesome storyline. (FYI it's more typical to have stoners, horndogs, and puppy dogs, though they're usually done in a somewhat self-mocking manner.) Here's one such storyline pasted in its entirety.

The Sisterhood )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
I'm reading Ben Bova's "The Alien Within", Book 2 in the Voyagers series, and it's been years since I read the first one. Bova writes interesting complex characters*, with layers upon layers of deception, sometimes including self-deception as well. His women however are always described in terms of their sexuality - their appearances are described in sexual terms, they react to the other characters* in the story in sexual ways, the other characters (both male and female) react to them sexually (men analyzing their sexual attractiveness, women treating other women as rivals for sexual favors), and every woman with a name slept her way into her current position. It's absolutely disgusting.

*Where for Bova "character" means "white male", and everything else is an exception.

Bova also exoticizes the "orientals" in the story, using the exoticism as another sexual attribute in the "oriental" women, and as a sign of strength/power/fighting skill in the "oriental" men.

This book is really the product of a maladjusted mind. I'm willing to finish it (there's very few non-fiction books I won't finish after I've voluntarily started them%, and fewer yet in SF/fantasy), but I don't think I'm ever going to read another Bova novel. Shame, he's written so much.

%A couple corrections are noted in this sentence - strike throughs indicate removed, italics indicate added.


Nov. 9th, 2010 09:23 pm
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
Is it a common stale sci-fi trope to have a supposedly sentient alien race actually have only males be sentient and females are bestial breeding stock, or is it only Orson Scott Card (the Piggies in Speaker for the Dead) and Larry Niven (Kzin and Puppeteers in the Ringworld/Man-Kzin Wars universe) who are guilty of it? This sort of things is really the worst possible example of how many authors assume males are standard and only put in females if they're making a point.

Are there any cases of the reverse, a supposedly sentient alien race where actually only the females are sentient and males are bestial breeding stock?

Relatedly, does anyone remember enough about Anne McCaffrey's Catteni (Freedom's Landing series) to recall much about Catteni females? I've a distinct impression that either their females were also non-sentient, or at best they weren't mentioned as being anything special. Certainly the protagonist female wasn't anything special, with her battered woman syndrome that's taken for entirely normal.
For a film that opens with a heavy-handed exposition about how society has moved past all racism and sexism, the makers of the movie sure display a lot of stereotypes and biases. Don't watch this movie if you're looking for a world free of sexism (all the female surrogates wear heels all the time!), racism (there are two characters that are black only to make a statement, and a third dark-skinned individual because the actor happens to be so himself), bias against particular religious groups (there is a group that has aspects of evangelism, and they're not the good guys), age-ism (many characters use younger appearing surrogates), fat-ism (one of the more beautiful surrogate is revealed to have a fat operator, and when the characters meet a fat person they immediately ask him why he's not using a surrogate), or socio-economic/US-centric bias (the intro exposition says that in 19 years from now, 98% of the world is using surrogates, totally ignoring the fact that there are nations other than the US, or that they are poorer than the US). Do watch it if you're looking for an action flick that pretends to be intellectual. I wouldn't say I *liked* the movie, but I didn't regret watching it.
I just reread Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (first read in high school). The edition I had included two afterwords, one of which discusses some letters he received from readers in this and other books of his. A number of these letters, he says, criticize his treatment (or lack thereof) of blacks and women. Bradbury harshly rebuts that this is the first step of censorship, and that changing his works to appease the many different minorities present in a large and populous society such as ours would be changing the essence of his pieces and would destroy his artistic creation. Unfortunately the afterword is still under copyright so I'm not easily finding the relevant text - anyone happen to have a link?

I'm disappointed by this attitude. Bradbury lumps underprivleged minorities (such as blacks and women) with privileged or neutral "minorities" such as dog lovers. He doesn't show understanding of the distinction between elective special interest groups, and minority status imposed upon one by society, and he also doesn't show understanding of the privilege/status/power involved in the involuntary minority statuses. He also doesn't show any interest in increased inclusivism in future works, applying the criticisms only to past completed works - altering completed works wouldn't be right IMO, but I do feel it is worthwhile to portray a more ideal society in pieces one writes in the future, without as many boundary lines of privilege between different members of society.


Jun. 27th, 2010 10:11 am
Have underwire bras always been on the list of things that might trigger a pat-down search? That just seems so wrong to me.

Edit: and check out the videos of how business men and women go into screening. Business women don't have laptops. Or shoes? I'm confused.

η2: Get more bamboo knitting needles for current project. Metal are allowed, but some TSA agents are jumpy.
Women's experience of the world is fundamentally different from men's. A story about a woman living in Brooklyn.
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
I sympathize with those of you talking about Racefail and other instances of racial minorities in SF fandom. My own issue along these lines is women/girls in gaming, especially as it has many parallels to women in science.

Waaay back in 2006 I went to PAX (a con for video gamers) (back when it was only in Seattle) and had some quite uncomfortable experiences (REDACTED IDENTIFYING INFORMATION, summaries available to my friendslist here and here) including both blatant sexism from employees/volunteers working the con, and from other women/girls attending. (My point being that sometimes when the atmosphere is the most sexist, women respond by becoming our own worst enemies.) Well I'm going again now that there's another one in my neck of the woods, and Jonathan Coulton is one of the musicians playing and the tickets for the whole thing were the same price as a Coulton concert usually is alone.

In case you are not familiar with it, PAX is a gaming con centered around three or so things: (1) webcomics and specifically the Penny-Arcade webcomic and its creators nicknamed Gabe and Tycho (PAX stands for Penny-Arcade eXpo), and any panels with Tycho and Gabe have a are HUGE audience; (2) the keynote speech is always some hugely famous geek, Wil Wheaton being this year's and a previous one as well; and (3) another major draw is the concerts, one held on Friday night and one on Saturday night, of "nerd-core" and other geek-centric music, this year MC Frontalot is the star of Friday's and JoCo is the star of Saturday's. These three events are majorly important, like (if I'm getting my analogy right) Arisia's Masquerade is majorly important to that con.

When reading through the schedule for PAX East this year, I was happy to see that there's a panel on girls in gaming:

Girls and Games: The Growing Role of Women in the Game Industry
Manticore Theatre
Friday, 8:00pm

According to the ESA, more than 43% of video gamers are female, making women the single largest untapped market segment in the gaming industry. Look at the milestones crossed and the hurdles to come as developers and publishers reach out to this previously overlooked demographic. Are current strategies effective? What does this mean for the game industry as a whole?
Panelists Include: Brittany Vincent [Editor-in-Chief, Spawn Kill], Julie Furman [Founder, SFX360], Jeff Kalles [Penny Arcade], Alexis Hebert [Community Relations Manager, Terminal Reality]

When I first saw this, I was relieved to think that PAX had apparently made some progress from their gaffes of 2006. And then I realized something I'd missed on the previous line.

Friday Night Concerts!
Main Theatre
Friday, 8:30pm

Break out your cell phone and handheld gaming screens to welcome our musical acts to Boston! The Protomen, Anamanaguchi, Metroid Metal, and MC Frontalot will all be rocking for the first night of our Nerdcore Concert Series. The first 4,000 attendees at PAX Friday afternoon will receive wristbands for guaranteed entry, with the remaining seats being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Yes, the Girls and Games panel is running against the Friday night concert, not only guaranteeing it a low turnout and showing that the people who made the schedule don't give a shit that it'll have a low turnout and revealing that they don't give a shit about the plight of women/girls in gaming, but also guaranteeing that anyone who attends the Girls and Games panel is unable to attend the concert and showing that the people who made the schedule don't give a shit that we can't attend the concert and revealing that they don't give a shit about including women/girls in the larger gaming community.

This pisses the hell out of me. Am I overreacting?

Edit: If your response is "yes, you're overreacting" and you're not yourself a member of a minority within a fandom please first (1) try viewing it from my point of view, then (2) if you still think I'm overreacting I'd appreciate it if you explained your viewpoint but be prepared for me to not respond. As usual, my rules for my journal are no bashing or insults or expressions of anger. Any such comments will be frozen at a minimum or potentially deleted.
asterroc: (doll)
Found via [ profile] hrafn, the URL says it all.

Like I said in another recent post, there's reasons I don't usually reveal my gender in a science context, and now the Discovery Channel has joined those reasons.

(Edited to the correct name of the channel: Discovery Channel. Not to be confused with Discover Magazine.)
Edit: I have received a response, and it seems good.

LJ is now requiring new users to specify "male" or "female" on new account creation. If you don't like this,

  1. Edit your profile and select Unspecified for your gender option.

  2. Give feedback to LJ about this, see sample below.

  3. Send an email to Anjelika, GM of US operations,, again see sample below.

More info here. You have until this Thursday (12/17) to make your voice heard.

sample text )
An open letter to my senators and representatives.

I am writing to you today regarding the health care reform bill currently before the house and senate.

The bill as it currently stands sets women's rights back decades. Not only does the bill currently not provide access to safe, legal abortions, but it also does not provide access to the hormonal birth control which would reduce the necessity for abortions. If women are not provided access to safe legal abortions, some women will be forced return to back alley hack-job abortions, coat hanger abortions, or chemical abortions. The greatest benefit of Roe vs. Wade was not that it allowed women to have abortions, women were already having them, but allowing women to have SAFE abortions. In addition, removing access to hormonal birth control will only increase the need for illegal unsafe abortions.

What's even worse is that the bill as it currently stands does not allow for pelvic exams, a necessary routine yearly medical examination for the physical health of women. This routine preventative exam helps catch the early stages of fertility and life threatening diseases such as ovarian cancer or cervical cancer. Removing access to such exams threatens the lives of every woman on such a health plan, and will increase health care costs in the long run through treating the full blown disease instead of preventing it. In addition only women are being denied access to routine exams, giving the message that only men should have the right to good health care.

I urge you to work towards a more equitable health care bill by supporting any amendments that would provide access to abortion, to hormonal birth control, and to pelvic exams.

Look up your Reps and send your letter here.


Jun. 26th, 2009 10:29 am
Been watching Michael Jackson videos on YouTube since I heard the news. Looking beyond issues of the music, dancing, and the birth of the music video, there is much to consider. On the one hand, I'm intrigued by how many of his songs had messages of peace and brotherhood, presumably influenced by the Cold War era. On the other hand, the video for "The Way You Make Me Feel" makes me want to punch the patriarchy in the nuts. I also find myself wanting to do an in-depth analysis of how MJ influenced race relations in the US, but I don't know enough about the subject, so if anyone finds a good discussion of it elsewhere, or knows enough themselves to discuss it, please let me know.
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
A disgusting article written by a mother of two boys about why she doesn't want a girl for her third child. Absolutely disgustingly prejudiced and stereotyped and sexist and makes me want to puke. Moreover, what's this poor girl going to think when she grows up enough to read this article by her mother?


Apr. 27th, 2007 07:17 am
asterroc: (doll)
In an attempt to find evidence other than anecdotal that women tend to talk themselves down and understate their abilities and that mean talk themselves up and overstate their abilities, I instead came across this set of advice on how women should dress for an interview. Am I the only one who finds it insulting that a State University webpage would perpetuate sexist requirements such as "Always wear hose to interviews"?



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