beatrice_otter: Cartoon Obi-Wan and Yoda: The thing is, there were just no warning signs. (Warning Signs)
You know what Barry should do if he REALLY wants to change the future?  Forget flailing around trying to prevent all sorts of things he doesn't understand from happening.  Forget being a control freak.  Forget time travel.

Get therapy.  Both for himself and possibly couples' therapy with Iris.

Seriously.  It has been obvious for a looooooong time that his coping skills ain't so hot.  And with each trauma he gets worse.  Well, now he knows where that ends up.  Time for new and better coping skills, and some serious work to unfuck the insides of his head.  And hopefully actually learn to treat Iris as she deserves, as a woman he loves and his partner, instead of as an object to be protected.

(I love Iris.  I was a strong Iris/Barry shipper until they actually got together, and he started treating her so badly and the show started using her as nothing but manpain-fodder.)
beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
I'm working on my [community profile] ssrconfidential 2017 fic, and I could use a beta.  Well, right now I need some plot advice/brainstorming and in about a week I'll need a beta.

ETA: actually, I just finished it!  So, no brainstorming needed, but still need a beta.

beatrice_otter: The Schuyler sisters from the musical Hamilton, pointing to the sky (Schuyler Sisters)
You know and I know that, although not every government regulation is good, a lot of them are vitally necessary to protect the average citizen, and that the Republicans would LOVE to gut every single one of them and make it impossible for government to do anything to protect people from corporate greed.

Enter the Regulatory Accountability Act, which has already passed the House and is up in the Senate.  It would make it virtually impossible for any new regulation to rein in Wall Street to be passed.  If you would like to contact your Senators to urge them to vote against it, Americans for Financial Reform has an email ready for you to customize and send.  It's got some background information and the email itself ready to go.  You can just enter your name and address (to get it to the right Senator), or you can customize the letter.  Me, I added some stuff about good regulations being necessary to prevent another financial meltdown such as we had in 2008 and how most regulations protect the average American citizen.

beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
I had a GREAT idea for my [community profile] ssrconfidential fic.  But then I checked the timelines and there is no way to make it work.  And I have 700 words of it written already.

Ah, well.  I can do pieces of it, but it won't be as cool.  ::pouts::

beatrice_otter: The Schuyler sisters from the musical Hamilton, pointing to the sky (Schuyler Sisters)
Today, an issue which I called my congresspeople about twice came to a vote, and the Senate voted the direction I lobbied!  The bill in question was about the Bureau of Land Management's waste methane rule.  Basically, when you drill an oil well, you usually get methane first.  Oil companies can capture most of this and sell it, but it's not as profitable as the rest of the stuff they get out of an oil well, so they'd rather just burn it, wasting taxable resources and polluting the atmosphere.  There BLM has a regulation that says they have to capture it.  The Republicans tried to overturn that, and failed!

I call my congresspeople pretty much every day.  I do this using the 5calls.org website, which makes this easy.  It gives you a list of issues, you pick one, it gives you some background on it and the phone numbers for who to call about it and a script for what to say when you do.  It's really easy.  And if you have social phobias, you can call after hours and leave a message.  It's effective political activism made simple!  I highly recommend it!
beatrice_otter: Mystique in X-Men gear from First Class (Mystique)
Okay, I just saw this and I enjoyed this.  I would like some fic recs, if anyone has them.  In particular, I would like Mystique fic, or fic about the new timeline (especially anything after Logan woke up).
beatrice_otter: Sam and Teal'c (Sam and Teal'c)
The story I was scrambling to get a beta for?  The deadline got extended!  For everyone!  Apparently, multiple people had contacted the mods saying they had a story mostly done but it wouldn't be done on time, and one of the mods was having computer trouble such that they can't get their FINISHED story off the hard-drive, and so they said, screw it, we're moving the deadline back a month.

On the one hand: Yes!  This story is one of those which I have occasionally, in which it is just going to go on for a while and even if I know where the ending is going to be (I do now, thanks to excellent betaing from [personal profile] tielan and [personal profile] princessofgeeks) it's not going to get there without many thousands of words in the middle.  Like, no, no shortcuts, either you write all this other stuff or you don't write anything, even if you know the ending you will not be able to write it until all the other stuff your hindbrain wants to put in have been exhausted.  So, having the extra time to get it done is good.

On the other hand, I had staggered my ficathons so I could finish up [community profile] stargate_summer and then concentrate on my [community profile] ssrconfidential fic.  And now ... I will have to be working on both at the same time.  Aaaargh.
Worldbuilding problems caused by real-life linguists )

beatrice_otter: 1633--knight and ironclad (1633)
Tonight, I ate dinner in the only restaurant in town, which is also one of the two bars in town.  On one of the televisions a hockey game was playing.

Now, what I know about all sports except baseball mostly amounts to "cheer when everyone else does."  Since the nearest ice rink to where I grew up was an hour and a half away, and it rarely got below freezing so no ponds to skate on, until Hockey RPF started becoming one of the big fandoms I knew even less about hockey than about any other major sport.

But tonight, I looked up at the screen, recognized the teams (Penguins vs. Caps), saw Geno go into the penalty box (I think?  It might have been just back to the bench?), and thought, "Wonder how Sid feels?"
beatrice_otter: Sam and Teal'c (Sam and Teal'c)
  • It's like 11k words (now, but it's not finished),
  • it's Teal'c-and-Daniel focused stranded-fic,
  • it has two possible endings and I'm not sure which to go by,
  • the thematic/stylistic stuff I'm trying to put in to get it to match the tone of the artwork is NOT WORKING,
  • it's due on the 30th (though it won't be revealed until a week later so if I can bang out a finished draft, post it on the 30th, I should have time to actually whip it into shape by the time it's revealed.)

HALP PLEASE

beatrice_otter: Sam and Teal'c (Sam and Teal'c)
I'm like halfway done with my Stargate Reverse Bang fic (due in a week, omg I am so panicking), and I just realized I have a MAJOR CANON PROBLEM.  There was no time when a) Teal'c had a prim'ta, b) the SGC had reliable access to their own interstellar ships, and c) Daniel Jackson was on the team.  And for the plot to work as it is designed, I sort of need all three?  Like, Daniel and Teal'c are stranded for a while (longer than Teal'c would reasonably have tretonin supplies for) and the SGC needs to be able to come find them.

I suppose I could set it in, like, season 5 and have the SGC get ahold of Bra'tac?  He is more reliable than the Tok'ra, at any rate.

This is what I get for trying to write a story for a show I once knew encyclopedically but haven't watched in a while.
beatrice_otter: SG-1--Walter in his seat, sparks flying. (Walter)
Months and months ago, I got a new laptop. Well, new to me, because I wanted to keep with Windows 7 (I use Win 10 at work and HATE it, it's better than 8 but that's not saying much). Anyway, it was a used laptop, but it was inspected and certified, and it has been running just perfectly.

EXCEPT that Firefox kept freezing and crashing. All other programs were perfectly fine, it was just firefox. I did some troubleshooting, refreshed firefox, deleted and reinstalled, all that jazz. Nothing worked. So, today I backed up my firefox profile using MozBackup (which has always worked perfectly for me before). Then I uninstalled firefox and deleted the profile and then deleted the firefox folder in my program files folder. Like, EVERYTHING COMPLETELY GONE. NO EXCEPTIONS. So that whatever the problem is, it couldn't possibly come over, right?

Then I reinstalled Firefox, completely clean new installation. Then I tried to use MozBackup.

It didn't work. The backup I made today was "not a valid backup file."

Fortunately, the backup I made two weeks ago DID work, so while I've lost some tabs that were open and a few passwords to websites that I just started using, most of my stuff should be there.

If this didn't work--if I did all this and firefox STILL FREEZES PERIODICALLY, I will be so pissed.

ETA: nevermind, fixed the problem by running MozBackup again and this time, instead of taking the 4/23 backup that it came up with, browsed for and clicked on it from where I saved it in the first place.  Don't know why it made a difference, but it did!

beatrice_otter: Vader and Leia (Vader and Leia)
So, waaaaaaaaaay back in 2008, when fandom was still mostly on LJ and AO3 was only just beginning to be talked about but was not yet open, I was discouraged because there was like no Star Wars activity on LJ.  You had to go to other websites for it, pretty much.  And even then, the activity from the prequels was dying down and Clone Wars was only just starting, so there was a bit of a lull anyway.  So I decided to do something about it!  I ran my first and only ficathon, the [livejournal.com profile] starwarsficfest.  And I had vague ideas about doing a second run of it, but that never materialized.

So, having just remembered it, I imported it so that the stories are now at [community profile] starwarsficfest. Interesting thing: I didn't build any long-term relationships with any of the people who wrote for it at the time, and none of them have since claimed their LJ OpenID on Dreamwidth.  But!  One of them, [personal profile] fialleril ([tumblr.com profile] fialleril ) is someone I follow on tumblr.  I love their fic and meta!

beatrice_otter: A Beatrix Potter illustration of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Lucie having tea. (Mrs Tiggy-Winkle)
My next-door neighbor mows my lawn in exchange for using my large garden space. I think that this is more than enough recompense (NO MOWING YAY, and I don't garden anyway), but she just showed up with a hand-knit scarf for me as well.
beatrice_otter: Delenn--We are Starstuff (Starstuff)
The Blue-Collar Scholar of Minbar (2260 words) by keerawa
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Tags: Original Character, Worldbuilding, Cultural Differences, Alien Culture, Anthropology, Epistolary, POV Outsider, POV First Person, Ethics, Alien Mythology/Religion
Summary: The blog post by our first Earth-Minbar cultural exchange participant, Ms. Baker, is as chatty, iconoclastic, and controversial as its author.

This is a wonderful entry in the Worldbuilding Exchange 2017 ficathon.  It's about an OC, but I feel like I really got to know her in 2200 words.  She's interesting, and the meta about both Humans and Minbari is so rich.  My only complaint is that it's too short, I could easily read a whole series of this!
beatrice_otter: Babylon 5--Vir waving (Vir's wave)
For background, Jim Frenkel was a big-name editor in the SF community who had a long history of harassing women, and in 2013 WisCon (a feminist SF/F con in Madison, Wisconsin) banned him for harassing women at the con. He subsequently lost his job at Tor Books because of it.

OdysseyCon is a different SF/F con also held in Madison, Wisconsin, and unlike WisCon, the ConCom is all made up of Frenkel's friends. Who chose to disbelieve the maaaaaaany, many women who have come forward saying that Frenkel was a creep to them. And so they invited him to do many things at the 2017 con. He was on a panel and, in what is possibly the WORST POSSIBLE ROLE TO GIVE AN ALLEGED SERIAL HARASSER, he was the Guest Liaison! No, sorry, I was mistaken, chair of the Abuse committee would have been worse. But, uh, pretty bad.

So one of the guests of honor was an author whom Frenkel had previously harassed. And when she found out Frenkel would be her liaison and on a panel with her, she sent a private message saying she couldn't come if he was there. So they said she wouldn't have to deal with him, which she took to mean he had been removed, and actually meant they had someone else handle contacting her.

She found out the truth recently, and politely informed them she would not be attending the con after all. They ridiculed her on their Facebook page.

There was GREAT pushback.

From their current frontpage:
Odyssey Con regrets to announce that Christopher Mihm, Tad Williams, and Monica Valentinelli have decided that they are unable to attend Odyssey Con 17. We respect their decisions, and wish them all the best.

James Frenkel will not be attending Odyssey Con 2017. Mr. Frenkel is no longer associated with Odyssey Con in any way.
That is, uh, ALL of the guests of honor for that com. All the people that attendees come to see? None of them will be there.  OdysseyCon will not be much of a con this year.

Hope this sounds a LOUD and CLEAR message to other cons.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
So in a Facebook group for young clergy people, there was a discussion about what to do for your Easter Vigil service if it's raining and you can't start the service with an outdoor fire. Suggestions were mostly practical, some better than others, ranging from "get a boyscout to figure something out" to "drag a hibachi grill inside the church narthex" to "put some rubbing alcohol in a stainless steel bowl and set that on fire (but don't forget to put a tile under it to absorb the heat)."

My favorite came from a friend from seminary: "This is a perfect time to get those Left Behind books out of the church library...."
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)
tumblr version is here.

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 whitedude 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 whitedude 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-whitedude 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-whitedude fandoms, which is a slight counterweight to the overwhelming whitedude 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 whitedude 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. (http://erindizmo.tumblr.com/post/65292624924/7-step-tutorial-on-how-to-filter-out-characters) 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 Whitedude together or help them work out their shit, but fics where Sam gets to really shine. As himself, not just the sidekick to the whitedude. 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 whitedude 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 whitedude. 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-whitedude 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.

ick

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.

Profile

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

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234567 8
910111213 14 15
1617 1819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

LibraryThing



Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags