beatrice_otter: Supergirl Victory (Supergirl Victory)
Barry: gets powers: minor angst about danger, then: Awesome, new superhero!

Wally: gets powers: minor angst about danger, then: Awesome, new superhero!

Cisco: gets powers just like his evil twin from the alternate Earth: Awesome, new superhero!

Caitlynn: gets powers just like her evil twin from the alternate Earth: FUCK NO, POWERS MAKE YOU EVIL!

NOBODY else among the main characters has had a personality change due to their powers.  Nobody.  They are the same person, just faster/more psychic.  Why is it that the GIRL--the only female major character to get superpowers--is going to go psycho if she uses her powers?  We have spent SO MUCH TIME this season angsting about how POWER MAKES HER EVIL, SO SHE BETTER SUPPRESS HER POWER!  AND SHE CAN'T DO IT BY HERSELF, SHE NEEDS THE GUYS TO SUPPRESS HER POWER!

This show generally does a decent job with women, so this is such a slap in the face.
beatrice_otter: Jedi fighting against a blue background (blue Jedi)
There are twelve stories, one original and eleven remixes; there are three remix streams.  One of those stories is mine!  The challenge: can you tell which one is mine?  Can you tell who wrote any of them in particular?  Can you figure out which order they were written in?

Personally, I found it fascinating to see the differences (and similarities), and to see just how far afield we went from the original.  In all three streams.
beatrice_otter: Men may move mountains, but ideas move men. (Ideas move men)
I've been in fandom for almost twenty years, and here are some things that are true of pretty much every fandom I've seen: There is a lot more sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, anti-semitism, etc., in fandom than most of us would like to admit, and the vast majority of it is unconscious. People (mostly white, etc.) THINK they're being perfectly unbiased and fair, and they really, really aren't. Their unconscious prejudices are shining through. And it sucks. We, collectively, suck.

But here's something I think most people miss: when we talk about this stuff, the point is not to make people feel bad. It's not about who's a "good," non-racist person, and who is a "bad" racist. It's not about proving who's "pure" and who's not. (Or at least, if that's why you're doing it, you're a really screwed-up self-righteous asshole.) IT'S ABOUT CHANGE. Because the thing is, we are all swimming in a sea of racist, sexist, queerphobic crap all the time. We can't change the larger culture (at least not by ourselves), but we CAN change fandom. I know, because fandom has gotten better about this stuff over the last twenty years. There is still a LOT of room for improvement, but it's better than it was. And it can get better than it is. But not if we ignore the problem or sweep it under the rug or get defensive. The first step in sucking less is to realize that you suck in the first place. The second step is figuring out how to suck less.

This post is about that second step. This post is about how to take the knowledge that, yes, we have some problems, and work to make those problems smaller. This post is about how to work through that, grow as a person, learn to suck less, and still have fun in fandom while you're doing it.

There are a lot of posts out there about how to be a good ally. There are also lots of posts out there about avoiding racist/sexist/ableist/whateverist tropes in fic. And there are a lot of good posts out there pointing out that fandom gets WAAAAAY more interested in able-bodied neurotypical cisgender white men than about any other character. We all know what the problems are, or at least, we should. But I think there's a need for "okay, I want to be more inclusive/suck less, how do I do it" on a broad level before we get to the nitty-gritty of "these are tropes I should avoid or be careful about." Namely, how does one get oneself to be fannish about characters that all one's cultural conditioning is screaming at you to ignore?

First, some basic principles.
1) This is fandom. It is supposed to be fun. This should not be like that terrible assignment from your least favorite teacher in school, fandom should be fun.

2) We've all been marinating in a stew of racism/homophobia/sexism/ableism/antisemitism/islamophobia all our lives. Even if, on a conscious level, you disagree with any given ism, your gut has been conditioned to prioritize white able-bodied cissexual neurotypical men over everything else.

3) Racism and sexism suck, and sucking is bad, and it makes fandom NOT fun for those on the receiving end of it. We should all be trying to suck less, both as a goal in its own right and because we want fandom to be fun for EVERYONE.

4) It is possible to work at sucking less while still enjoying fandom.

5) The higher we are in the kyriarchy, the more damage your sucking causes, and the more we are protected from that damage. So, like, a white person is part of the power structure that causes and benefits from racism; we're less likely to see it, more likely to cause damage to others because of it. BUT we also have a lot more power to change things for the better. It's not up to black people or Latin@s or Asians or Roma or LGBTQ people or people with disabilities or Jews or any other oppressed group to fix things--they're not the problem. The ultimate responsibility is up to Whites to suck less. (This doesn't mean that, say, a Black person can't suck--just that they are WAY less likely to damage others through their suckitude.)

So the question is, how do we as White people have fun in fandom while sucking less? Fear not! It's actually pretty simple, you just have to make that a consistent priority.

Let's define Principle 1. How is fandom fun? Well, for me, fandom is fun because there are shows and movies and books that I love, and I love reading and writing fanfic and meta about them, and squeeing about them with my friends. I find all of those activities fun. I hope you all do, too. I want you to keep on finding those things fun.

BUT there is a problem. We are conditioned by our society to value men more than women, Whites more than any other race, able-bodied neurotypical people more than disabled and/or neurodiverse people, etc., etc., you can all fill in the hierarchies that our society has tried to instill in us (and has probably succeeded in instilling more than you realize). The preference for white men in fandom isn't any worse than in other places in our society. It's true, and I think it's important to remember.

The problem comes in when we leave it at that. "Well, it's not my fault, and anyway even if I AM conditioned to pay more attention to whitecock more than anything else, this is fandom so I should be able to just ignore that and go on like always." Aaaaand then you continue to have fun, but you keep sucking, and hurting people in the process.

We have all been conditioned to favor whitecock above everything else. By which I mean, our society privileges stories about able-bodied neurotypical white men above stories about other people. A white man who has super incredible abilities and can do all the things is Batman, a white woman with all the same qualities is a Mary Sue, and is usually depowered to make room for the male hero, to boot. And characters of different ethnicities, or religions, or with disabilities, don't even have it that good. We think stories about white men are interesting because ... those are the stories we've read, watched, listened to the most. We're used to them. We've been taught all our lives that these are the good stories, the stories that matter. And so most of us have learned to prioritize those stories on an unconscious level. And we show that in our choices, which shows we watch, which actors/actresses we think are hot, which characters we write about.

The good news is, that's conditioning. It's not some inborn genetic thing, it's how we've been trained. And we can train ourselves differently!

It starts by being mindful. What we consume shapes us, right? So keep that in mind when you choose what you consume, what movies, what books, what TV shows, what fanfic. I'm not saying "don't watch your favorite show if it's got too many white men." But let's be real: some TV we watch/read because OMG ITS TEH BEST EVAR!!1! and some we watch/read because it's fun and some we watch/read because our friends are and some we watch/read because it's better than other things we could be doing.

When you're making a choice between two shows/movies/books that will probably be about the same level of entertaining, go for the one that's less ALL WHITE MALE. This is the age of the internet, where our choices are much greater than they've ever been before. When you're browsing Netflix on a Tuesday night looking for a fun movie to watch, give higher preference to diverse shows. Not in an "OMG, I can't ever watch anything with white men again, no matter how awesome it is!" way, but rather in a "I've seen so many movies about White Men(tm) in my life--is this one going to just be more of the same? Are there other options I might enjoy?" way. When you've got a variety of options and they would all be enjoyable, go for the ones least likely to reinforce the WHITE STRAIGHT ABLEBODIED NEUROTYPICAL CIS MALE IS THE DEFAULT AND BEST inside your head.

What this can look like in practice: I like Marvel, but I am not a big enough fan to watch all of their shows. I pick and choose and leave myself time for other shows as well. On Netflix there are two Marvel shows I could be watching that are roughly comparable: Daredevil and Luke Cage. Both are about urban superheroes, but Daredevil is white and Luke Cage is black. (Also, Daredevil has some really terrible Yellow Peril stuff.) So I watch Luke Cage. I enjoy it. I'd probably enjoy Daredevil, too, but I don't have time for everything, and so I prioritize. And I don't treat it like I'm taking my medicine and forcing myself to watch something because it's more socially just and not because I like it. I go in expecting to have fun. And you know what? Usually I do.

Another example: back in 2011, I needed something new to be fannish about. I had enough time to be fannish about one television show in addition to the stuff I was already fannish about. There were two shows premiering that fall that looked interesting to me, both rather similar: Grimm, and Once Upon A Time. Both were urban fantasy. One starred a white man, one starred a white woman. I chose the one starring the woman and went in to it prepared to love the show. Not grudgingly, but "ooh, this could be fun." And I loved it. If I hadn't, I would have stopped watching it after a couple of episodes and switched to Grimm. That was always an option; I wasn't watching OUaT to be masochistic about "doing the right thing." I was choosing which of two interesting options to give brain and heart space to, and I was going in to it with a brain and heart open to being pleased. If, despite that, it didn't please me? I'd move on to the next thing. Plenty of other fish in the sea. But I started with the less-whitecock option.

What this does is it gives brainspace to new possibilities. It erodes the assumption your hindbrain makes that white men matter more than other people do. It erodes the assumption your hindbrain makes that white men are more interesting. The more attention you pay to people outside the cultural norm, the more interesting you find their stories. When you do this, you are actively re-training your cultural conditioning about who matters and who is interesting. And you are having fun while you are doing it.

This has two ways that it will erode your suckage in fandom-related ways. First, it increases the number of people likely to be in non-whitecock fandoms, which is a slight counterweight to the overwhelming whitecock nature of fandom in general. One more person reading the fic and (hopefully) commenting. One more person posting about it, whether you do meta/art/fic/gifs/fanmixes/videos/whatever. Second, if you do this consistently over a long period of time, you will find that your instinct to always focus on white male characters will erode. Your background assumption of who is interesting and who isn't will start to shift.

Do this with the fannish content you produce, as well. You have a tumblr? Give preference to reblogging women and people of color. If you see something about white guys that is AWESOME AND SQUEEWORTHY, go ahead and reblog it and enjoy it while you do. But, you know, a lot of times we reblog stuff that's interesting but not full-on capslock squee, right? Stuff where it takes a second to decide if you should reblog or not. Where you could go either way. And in those cases, make a conscious decision in favor of diversity. Stuff about white men? If it's in that "should I reblog this?" category, don't reblog it. Stuff about anyone else? Do reblog it. When figuring out new content to post, do the same thing. AWESOME SQUEEFUL STUFF? Post away! Interesting but not incredible? Give more weight to stuff about women and people of color and queer people and disabled people and neurodiverse people and Jews and Muslims and all the rest. It's not about harshing the squee, or putting your fannish tastes through some kind of quota system. It's about balance. Trust me. The world and fandom both have PLENTY of whitecock stuff, they'll get along just fine without more. But there's a shortage of everything else, so that's where the focus should be.

And you can do the same with fanfic! Again, I'm not saying "never read your favorites!" I'm saying, be mindful. Are you a big Captain America fan? Check out the Sam Wilson and Natasha Romanov and Maria Hill fic in that fandom, and keep your eye out for more. When you do so, consider filtering out Steve/Bucky stuff occasionally. ( After all, presumably you already read a lot of S/B. Your goal isn't to find fics where Sam is in two scenes to get the Whitecock together or help them work out their shit, but fics where Sam gets to really shine. As himself, not just the sidekick to the whitecock. And don't do it grudgingly; do it with open heart and mind, ready to embrace Sam in his awesomeness. This isn't to say you should never read whitecock fic, if that's your thing, but rather that there should be a health(ier) balance. This isn't about forcing you to choke down your bitter fannish medicine; it's about expanding the things you love. It's about creating more opportunities for joy and squee.

And when you read those fics, comment on them! Spread the love! Authors who write about women or people of color tend to get fewer comments on those fics than on stories focused about white male characters, which is discouraging. Share the love; kudos and comment. A comment saying "Good fic" is great, it doesn't have to be long and involved. This holds true for all your fic, by the way, not just the fic where you're consciously diversifying your reading habits. Reading a Steve/Bucky fic and the author wrote Sam well, or Natasha, or Maria, or Rhodey, or Dr. Cho? Tell the author! Point that out specifically. Doesn't have to be elaborate; "I liked Sam" is fine. The point is to reward people for being more inclusive.

When you find a particularly good fic based on a certain woman or character of color, check out the author's page. Chances are, they've got more like it. If they do, and you like their work? Subscribe to them so when they write something, you see it. Again, the goal is to still have fun with awesome fic, but shifting what you consume to be more diverse. Because that will shift your internal default away from the Straight White Neurotypical Ablebodied Man that our society tries to push as the default. And that will affect how you see the world both in fandom and out of it.

Part of the fun of fandom, for many of us, isn't just about consuming content, it's also about creating it. I love writing fanfic. And here's where a lot of peoples' asses start to show, and where they start whining about how they just write what they write and they only get plotbunnies for whitecock. And that may be true, but again, this is something you can actually change. If your brain doesn't come up with plotbunnies for characters of color, or for women, or for lesbians, or for a mixed-race canon couple, or for disabled or neurodivergent people? You can work on coming up with plotbunnies on your own and train your brain in the process!

For example! Say you are a fan of The Flash. For every episode you watch, come up with one plot bunny for a non-white male character. You don't have to write it; that's another step down the road. It doesn't have to be something huge. The first step is getting your brain used to generating plot bunnies for characters you normally wouldn't. If Iris had a big part in that episode, think up a story idea for her. What was she doing while Barry was fighting the villain of the week? How's things going at work for her? If Joe had a big part, think up an idea for him. If there was an Iris/Barry moment, think up a story idea for that pairing. Wally, Cisco, Caitlynn, Lisa Snart, you get the idea. If you're a Supergirl fan, come up with a story idea for Hank or James or Renee Montoya or M'Gann each episode. You don't have to write it, the goal for this part is to get you used to thinking of these characters as people with stories. People you are interested in. I mean, if you get a great idea and want to write it, awesome, but step one is to get your gut and your hindbrain primed to think about these people and care about their stories. You've already been primed to care about and think about white male characters by everything you've seen and read and heard since you were a baby, but there's been precious little priming you for everybody else, so a little extra effort is probably going to be needed.

The next step is similar to the choosing-fandoms step, only for choosing plotbunnies. You will probably have some ideas that just yank you over and demand to be written, so write them. But if you are anything like me, there are also times that you want to write and have a lot of different ideas you could write, you just have to decide which. And in that case, you can probably guess by now, give more weight to the non-whitecock options. If you have four plot bunnies you could write, and two of them are about white male characters and one of them is about a white woman and one is about a character of color? Give more weight to the woman and (especially) the character of color. I'm not saying "you can never write white men again!" I'm saying that in your decision-making process, recognize that the rest of the world is weighted WAY THE FUCK IN FAVOR OF WHITE ABLE-BODIED NEUROTYPICAL CIS MEN, so to provide balance, we should be weighting in favor of everyone else, and giving the most weight to the people that society gives the least weight to.

The things I've outlined in this post don't magically get rid of all that social conditioning overnight, and they don't magically fix everything. What they do is they give you a place to start, and aim you in a direction so that, if you work on it over time, you will suck less while still having fun in fandom and making it more inclusive. And the more people who do stuff like this, the less fandom will suck over time.


Apr. 7th, 2017 11:59 am
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I just learned that Ivar Lovaas, the guy who created behavioral therapy (I.e. gay conversion therapy for queer people* and ABA** for autistics) is not only Norwegian (my own family heritage), but he also got his undergrad degree from Luther College, my alma mater.  Gross.

*It's called gay conversion, but it's also used on people from just about every category of lgbtq

**It's basically the same thing, and it's just as damaging.
beatrice_otter: A Beatrix Potter illustration of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Lucie having tea. (Mrs Tiggy-Winkle)
You know, from the classic children's book?

All the other young bulls want to do one thing (be picked for the bullfight) and Ferdinand doesn't.  Ferdinand is happier by himself doing his own thing that he likes than he is with the other young bulls trying to fit in and do the things they want to do.  (Ferdinand is a very lucky bull, because his mother understands, and lets him do what he likes to do instead of trying to force him to be like the other bulls.)

Ferdinand is a sensory-seeker: all he wants to do is smell the flowers.

When Ferdinand is in pain, he has a meltdown (snorts and paws the earth and acts crazy).  (This is why they think he'd be a good candidate for the bullfighting ring.)

But when they get him there, they can't get him to fight because he doesn't want to.  (Ferdinand still doesn't participate in social expectations, preferring to do what he wants to do--i.e. smell the flowers.)

In the end, Ferdinand is allowed to go back home and just be himself, experiencing the world the way he wants and needs to.
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
I don't vid myself, but I have a whole file of songs that would make great songvids that I know nobody is ever going to pick (mostly because they're obscure, old, and/or both). So the Vividcon Vid Auction is great, and I have the money this year, I am going to try to get a vid!

Only problem is, I'm not sure what vid I want most. Like, here are the top contenders:

First, I am bemused that I have never seen a Spock vid set to "The Logical Song" by Supertramp.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.

Also, I find it odd that nobody I've seen has ever done a Goa'uld from Stargate vid to "Jeepers Creepers". Yes, it's old, but it's not obscure, and, well, the words are perfect
Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those peepers?
Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those eyes?
Gosh all git up, how'd they get so lit up?
Gosh all git up, how'd they get that size?

For Captain America, I think "There'll be a Hot Time in the Town of Berlin" could be fun, particularly matching the "heil" stuff up with HYDRA scenes.
There'll be a hot time in the town of Berlin
When the Brooklyn boys begin
To take the joint apart, tear it down
When they take old Berlin
We're going to start a row, show them how
Paint the town down in Michigan
We're gonna take a hike through Hitler's Reich
Change the heil to give me some skin

For Star Wars, the perfect song for an Imperial-POV vid is Stephen Foster's 1862 hit "That's What's the Matter."  (I have a much better version of this that I would send to the vidder.)
That's what's the matter,
The rebels have to scatter;
We'll make them flee,
By land and sea,
And that's what's the matter!

And then, of course, the Rebels would respond with the 1778 smash hit "Chester" by William Billings
Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And Slav'ry clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God,
New England's God forever reigns.
Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton too,
With Prescot and Cornwallis join'd,
Together plot our Overthrow,
In one Infernal league combin'd.

(This is the best performance I could find on Youtube, but the thing is, the melody gets a little lost here--in the 18th century fashion when the melody was in the *tenors* and not the sopranos, but when they sing in four part here, the sopranos tend to be the loudest. I have a good recording of this song that I would send to the vidder.)

On a more humorous note, Captain Picard is so inextricably tied to tea, Earl Grey, Hot, how is it that nobody has done a Picard vid to the Kinks "Have A Cuppa Tea"?
Tea in the morning, tea in the evening, tea at supper time,
You get tea when it's raining, tea when it's snowing,
Tea when the weather's fine.
You get tea as a mid-day stimulant
You get tea with your afternoon tea
For any old ailment or disease
For Christ sake have a cuppa tea.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
 A Youtube spiral lead me to Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda's live performance of Love Make The World Go Round on the Today Show in response to the Orlando shooting.  It's a great song:

But as I was watching it, I thought to myself, "Self, that outfit she's wearing looks awfully familiar."

A quick google later, and yup, I was right.  The "white bra+skintight white pants" look was originated by Selena.  It was one of her iconic looks:
Selena Quintanilla wearing a whit bra and white pants while performing

For those of you who don't know, Selena was one of the biggest Mexican-American stars of the 80s and 90s, possibly of the entire 20th Century.  She was an innovative musician who took traditional Tejano music, mixed it with mainstream pop elements, and sang the fuck out of it.  And became a HUGE star.  Mostly known in the Latinx community, but she was starting to break out more into the mainstream US market when she was murdered at age 23 in 1995.  I'm not Latina, but I went to a school with a large Latina presence, and she was HUGE.  She was also a fashion designer.

And, oh, by the way: JLo's first starting role?  The first thing that got her noticed and on the road to her own stardom?  Was playing Selena in the biopic.  For YEARS, Jennifer Lopez was "that girl who played Selena" to me.

Some thoughts:

I'm thrilled at the homage, and saddened because there are a fuckton of people (probably even some younger Latinx people) who completely missed it.

I can't believe it's been over twenty years since Selena died, and I wonder (again, as I always do when I think of her) what she might have become had she not been murdered so young.  She had talent, drive, intelligence, and star quality.  She came so far in such a short time, and I have no doubt she would have continued to climb.

I leave you with two things: Selena singing one of her most popular songs, and a scene from JLo playing her in the biopic.

This is how big she was:

beatrice_otter: Dali's Christ of St. John of the Cross (St. John of the Cross)
As a Christian, I regularly get infuriated how many people make a show of "gimme that ol' time religion" while forgetting the fourth verse:

Makes me love ev'ry body,
Makes me love ev'ry body,
Makes me love ev'ry body,
It's good enough for me.
beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)
I was reading [ profile] LullabyKnell's Harry Potter notfic/meta collection (and wishing someone would actually really WRITE some of these ideas, or expand what she's got, because some of them deserve EPIC fic treatments), and came across this bit of meta on Delphi from the Cursed Child. Fair warning, my knowledge of Cursed Child is entirely fandom osmosis and not much of that. (Let's be real. 95.5% of my HP knowledge comes from fandom osmosis--I've never read the books and I know I saw some of the movies in the theater but can't remember which ones, I'm really only in it for the fanfic.)

Anyway! [ profile] LullabyKnell was reacting to an apparent trend in CC fanfic to make Delphi not actually Voldemort's kid, because someone polyjuiced into him to have sex with Bellatrix, and whoever that was is really Delphi's father. Delphi notes that:
if Delphi was conceived after Bellatrix’s breakout from Azkaban and born before the Battle of Hogwarts, then that means the biological component from Voldemort would have been from his second body. The resurrected-in-the-graveyard one that we only know to be made of a) MAGIC, b) Tom Riddle Senior, b) Peter Pettigrew, and c) Harry Potter. So is Delphi even biologically the original Tom Riddle Junior’s kid? Wasn’t that body destroyed?
Zie then goes on to speculate as to what would happen if, somewhere along the line, Harry and co. figured this out and realized that she was biologically his daughter?

My thoughts turned in a different direction.

The bones of that resurrection potion of Voldemort's came from his despised Muggle father.  And blood is made in bones, so while Harry's blood was a necessary part of the potion and no doubt provided a symbolic link, Voldemort's actual blood, once he'd been alive again for a while, all came from his bones ... which came from his father.  He is no longer a halfblood; on a biological level, he is now a muggle-born.  He has no blood connection with the Gaunts, and hence Salazar Slytherin, any longer.  (If he had realized the implications, he would have found a different way.)  There are some parts of him that come from Pettigrew, but they were mostly fuel and scaffolding.  The genetic bits came from Tom Riddle, Sr.

So he and Bellatrix have a kid.  Except that what neither of them realize is that, biologically, Bellatrix and Tom Riddle Sr have a kid.  (Really, Voldemort should consider himself fortunate that dear Bella never figured it out.  There is not much that could break Bella's loyalty to him, but causing her to bear a half-blood bastard would do it.)

But this is Bella and Voldie, here.  Not really parent-of-the-year material, and anyway, while Voldemort wanted an heir to show off, he doesn't care about them until they get old enough to get molded into what he wants.  Bella, meanwhile, even if she wanted to be a mother to the kid, is in a bit of a delicate spot with her husband, who is slightly less devoted to Voldie than she is.  So the kid gets dumped with a house elf for a nanny, while Bella and Voldemort are off fighting.  There'll be plenty of time later, right, once they've killed all those dirty mudbloods and blood traitors.

So, in the aftermath of the battle, there's a lot of mopping up to do--death eaters to chase down, DE strongholds to clear out, people to put on trial, etc.  The Trio pitch in, but Shacklebolt gives them the assignments least likely to lead to violence.  (He knows they can fight.  But he also knows they're kids and, now that the prophecy is over, they shouldn't have to.)  So that's how they're the ones clearing a DE safehouse when they come across a toddler and a house elf.

The house elf knows its master and mistress are dead, and its loyalties are free.  The house elf isn't a Black elf, so he has no loyalty to Bella that isn't compelled by its binding to her, and Voldemort's never had a house to have house elves for.  The elf's true masters were killed by Death Eaters, so he is perfectly willing--ecstatic, even!--to hand over his charge to Harry Potter, thank him for freeing him, and go off to see if he can find any relatives of his true masters.  Before he goes, he tells them everything he knows.

Harry and Ron, hearing that this kid's parents are Bellatrix Black and Voldemort himself, get grossed out.  Hermione, who knows a bit more about genetics and inheritance than the boys, gets a weird look on her face and starts doing tests.  (She has quite a strong interest in genetics and inheritance.  She has a whole lovely lecture pointing out just how WRONG and STUPID the whole pureblood notion of inheritance and blood purity is, to be used in response to a slur about mudbloods, which she's never gotten to actually use because what's the point in lecturing someone who won't understand how WRONG they are even after you tell them?)

The thing she's most worried about is that the baby might be Harry's, genetically.  That possibility would be the hardest to deal with, because of the personal implications.  But it is quickly ruled out.

A Pettigrew connection might be the best-case scenario, and it's easy to find his body, get a sample, and compare it.  That, too, is ruled out.

Hermione and Ron go back to the graveyard where Cedric was murdered without Harry.  Someone needs to watch little Delly, after all.  They get what they need.  It's a match.  Delly is, biologically, the daughter of the muggle Tom Rilddle, Sr, and thus the half-sister of Voldemort.

It's almost a good thing there are so many war orphans; Delly Riddle is very easy to slip in among them.  The story they give is completely true.  It's just missing a few details.  Delly Riddle, they say, is a muggleborn whose parents were killed by Death Eaters.  Delly Riddle, they say, was found by a witch and given over to a house elf to raise and keep safe.  That witch, they say, died in the war.  Delly Riddle, they say, has no living muggle relatives, so now she needs a new wizarding foster or adoptive family.

No eyebrows are raised.  It's a believable story, and more than they know about a couple of other very young war orphans.

(The irony is, a few years later, that one of those other war orphans with a mysterious past gets fingered as a possible Heir of Voldemort.  Nobody quite knows how the rumor starts, but once it does, people get hysterical.  The Trio watch with helpless fury, seeing what it does to that poor kid.  They do their best to dispel the rumors, frustrated that they can't prove how they know.  After all, they can't say "We know Melody Legato isn't Voldemort's kid because Delly Riddle is.")

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
For those of you fortunate enough to not know what they are, TERFs are trans-exclusionary radical feminists.  There are a wide variety of them (and some sound reasonable at first blush), but those few "man-hating feminists" who actually exist are all pretty much TERFs.  And part of what their extremist response to men ends up as is a denial that transwomen are women.  (Hence "trans-exclusionary.")  Feminism isn't about equality for all people, to a TERF; it's about advancement for biological females.  These are also the people behind "queer is a slur which can't be reclaimed!"  Because queer is an umbrella category, see, which makes it a lot harder to police who is a "real" LGBT+ person than any other term.  And if you can push some people--aces, genderqueer, transpeople, bi/pan people, and others out or at least to the fringes--you can much more easily separate out who the "real" women are, and who "deserves" support, from those who "don't".

Anyway, I was listening to the On Being podcast today.  (On Being, for those of you who don't know, is an EXCELLENT radio show/podcast which "opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?"  It often addresses issues of religion and spirituality from a broad range of traditions.)  This week's show is a conversation with Joy Ladin, an Orthodox Jewish transwoman who is a professor at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University.  And I was excited.  Queer representation!  Religious queer representation!  I'm not trans, and I'm not Jewish, but I am asexual and aromantic and there isn't much out there sympathetic to the intersection of queerness and religion, and most of what there is focuses on Evangelical/Fundamentalist/Conservative Christianity (which I am not) and homosexuality, no nuance or anything (and I'm also not homosexual).

cut for TERF bullshit )

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I call at least one politician every work day, using to get a rundown of an issue, a script, and the appropriate phone numbers.  For people like my Senators and Representative, I vary which office I call (DC and the two nearest my house) to spread out my impact a bit.  They don't have to get my address any more, I just give them my name and the know me.  I am polite, and when I get audibly angry about a subject, I make sure to say "I am not mad at you, it's not your fault, thank you for answering the phones."

When closing the call today, the receptionist ended the call with "talk to you soon."

beatrice_otter: SG-1--Walter in his seat, sparks flying. (Walter)
Ever since I got my new (to me) laptop, Firefox has been really buggy.  Crashing regularly freezing up SO OFTEN, really slow.  It was the only program experiencing problems, so it had to be Firefox and not the laptop.  So I refreshed Firefox last night (that thing you can do where it keeps your bookmarks, passwords, add-ons, and history, but sets everything else back to factory settings.  So far, it seems to be good.  Here's hoping it fixed the problem.
beatrice_otter: Cameron Mitchell, bored with a stack of files (Schoolwork)
Join us at [community profile] wipbigbang Sign up March 24-April 7 and Finish Your Sh**! This is a Big Bang with one goal in mind: to clean out your drafts folder. These are stories that were unfinished for whatever reason, that authors returned to and completed, and the art that goes with them! All fandoms welcome!

Last year I finished my Criminal Minds/Stargate crossover, The Genetics Factory.  Should I sign up again?  If so, which of my many WIPs should I work on?
beatrice_otter: Babylon 5--Vir waving (Vir's wave)
My parents are visiting.  And my house is, as usual, a bit of a mess.  I did clean up some things (scrub the tub and toilets, things like that) but not others, because, look.

My Dad and I are a lot alike.  Our idea of a nice, relaxing vacation is to sit around reading and chatting a bit, occasionally doing stuff.

My Mom HATES sitting still.  She is one of those people who always needs to be DOING something.  Or she either goes nuts or falls asleep.

We're going out to do stuff in the afternoon, but just spending a quiet morning in.  So far, while Dad and I have spent time chatting, reading, and the like, Mom has:
  • Cooked breakfast (despite the general agreement being that we're on our own for all meals but dinner)
  • cleaned the kitchen
  • dusted all the knicknacks in the dining room
And yesterday she dusted all my bookshelves and the living room.  It's like having a house-elf.
beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
It was a lot of fun last year, so if you love Peggy Carter and the supporting characters of her world and can write, draw, or vid, head on over!  FAQ is here, signups here.

• March 1-12: Nominations.
• March 15-25: Signups.
• March 28 or 29: Assignments go out.
• May 1: No-fault dropout deadline.
• June 1: Fanworks due.
• June 8: Archive goes live.
• June 15: Reveals.

beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
[ profile] ssr_confidential_2017 is a fanfic exchange for Agent Carter, with fic, vids, and art being exchanged.


This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but please don't let that intimidate you.  I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story.  I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go!  If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves.  Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing.  If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

General likes/dislikes )

Specifics! )
beatrice_otter: Elrond and a line of Elves, ready for battle (Elven warriors)
A few years ago I read (but neglected to bookmark) a Boromir fic that I haven't been able to find since.  It takes place with him as a younger man, and ends just as he's being sent off to Rivendell.  Middle Earth is homophobic and heteronormative, and Boromir was queer of some sort (bi? gay? don't remember).  He starts a relationship with a fellow-soldier, a guy who was older than he was but (I think) below him in rank.  They were happy together for a while, Faramir figured it out and was a bit disgusted by it but still accepted his brother.  Then Denethor figured it out, severely punished Boromir's lover, and sent Boromir off to Rivendell as a way of permanently separating them.

Anybody know this?  Can anybody point me in the right direction?
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
Re-reading Whispers Underground, on page 3 Peter thinks " ... including me and Abigail.  Or, as Nightingale insists it should be, Abigail and I."

Except "me and Abigail" is actually correct.  Boo, Nightingale, for not explaining the rule.  The easiest way of figuring it out is, if you strip out the other people, should it be "me" or "I"?  So, since "including I" would be wrong, it should be "including me."

Now, the reason that Nightingale really should have explained this (and why I suspect this shows he is a terrible language teacher) is that he's teaching Peter Latin, right?  Whenever one is teaching a foreign language, it REALLY REALLY HELPS to learn a big more ENGLISH grammar at the same time--not just "what's right" but "why is it right" because if you can figure out the grammar patterns and structure in your own language, it's a lot easier to figure out the grammar patterns and structure in a different language.  I don't think it matters to everyday usage whether Peter uses the right or wrong pronoun in situations like this--everybody's going to know what he means, which is the main point of communicating, after all.  But it might matter to how easy it is for him to figure out the Latin he's getting his head stuffed with.  So insisting on the "correct" form is just snobbishness, not genuine language teaching.

I mean, I'm not blaming him for being a bad teacher!  He never got any training, and languages are hard to teach as well as to learn!  But while nobody but him could teach the magic stuff, they might have been better off hiring a language tutor or something for the Latin.

beatrice_otter: Cover of Janelle Monae's Archandroid album (Archandroid)
I got the first three books for Christmas, devoured them, got the rest of the series, and am on my second read-through.  I have some questions.

First, what was Faceless Man #2 doing between the incapacitation of the first one and the Covent Garden riot?  Was he just living the life of a posh Londoner doing a bit of magic on the side?  Given later events, this seems ASTONISHGINGLY unlikely, but that is all the evidence we have.  Was he continuing on with the Strip Club of Doctor Moreau, and if so, why didn't whats-his-face, the burlesque owner who gets killed by the Pale Lady in Moon Over Soho (and the guy who tipped them off about the club's existence), know the club was still in operation?

Second, what does Faceless Man #2 reappearance on the scene of the London Underworld have to do with the Covent Garden Riot?  Quite aside from Peter's guess that he's interested in Leslie because of something leftover from her time as Pretty Polly, the burlesque owner pins his reappearance on the scene as connected with the Covent Garden riot.  Was he stirring up things, and is that what gave Punch his boost and set him on his way, besides the one-night revival of the play Pyke was in?  Or was his reappearance a reaction to that huge event?  Did it spur him on, or provide something he needed, or deprive him of something he wanted?

I know there were other questions I was going to put in this post, but I can't remember them.


beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)

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