Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When a slash fic relies heavily on stereotyping and heterosexism/heteronormativity...

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a.k.a Why I Never Sleep

[TW for heterosexism and monosexism, and related topics.] oh, and a warning for possibly incoherent rambling. I'm exhausted.

Please excuse my bitchiness. I'm tired, sick (again), and irritated with fandom. And I'll be focusing on male/male relationships because, as always, everything is Drarry. But everything kind of hurts.

Ugh. Stop. Stop that. Yes, I'm about to tell you you're doing it wrong. (And I'm talking about the stories where it's obvious that the author feels a certain way and it's not just a how a character is supposed to think or feel because it's relevant to the plot. Or even just characterization. I'm talking about those stories where it's not intentionally inflammatory, where the AUTHOR'S ignorance is just so bloody obvious that you wonder how a romantic slash story can come off as so unbelievably fucking homophobic...)

Ok, we get it. The majority of people who write and enjoy slash are straight teenage girls. But would it kill you to think outside of stereotypes and tropes? I don't know what's worse sometimes, a fic's stereotyping or it's comments. So, writers and readers of all fandoms, take note:

A) Not all people who date one sex or gender and "suddenly" start dating another sex or gender are gay, or experimenting, or confused, or liars, or whatever other descriptors you've assigned them. And please for the love of all that is slashy, stop calling bi characters "sluts" and "whores" and "desperate." It gets old fast. Things to note here: DIVERSITY DAMMIT, and enough of the bashing. It just makes you look like an ass.

B) If I read one more fucking fic about how all gay men are effeminate "nancy boys/poofs/fairies" (oh yes, I am quoting. Narrator's POV. What are you doing.) and what it means to be a "proper, self-respecting gay man" who must always dress well and is a total manwhore blah blah blah "I'm not a girl!" and "be a real man!"--- seriously. It gets old. Same old stereotypes. No one cares. But hey, surprise! There are a ton of gay men out there who do not fit the stereotypes. And that's totally cool. Let's run that again. Effeminate gay guy? Totally cool. Stereotypically masculine gay guy? Totally cool. Everything in between and all around and here and there and (le gasp!) nonbinaries? Totally cool. You can just let them be themselves without drawing excessive attention to the fact that they're not stereotypes. It's slash. We get it. Dude's into other dudes. Enough of the pigeonholing and labeling and get to the good stuff already.

C) Speaking of girls - is it AT ALL possible for you to discuss male sexuality without bashing other genders or gender presentations? I mean really? Really? Thank you so much for referring to me as a weak, overemotional disgusting being no self-respecting queer man would touch with a ten foot pole. Really. I appreciate it. Long story short - sexist and transphobic comments? NOT. FUCKING. WELCOME.

D) Related to both B and C - There is no "guy" and "girl" of a slash relationship. Would you go up to a same-sex couple and ask who's the man and who's the woman? (Please don't answer that. It scares me to think of how many of you would.) There is no seme/uke dynamic in most real relationships. A seme/uke relationship, as it exists in the BL/Yaoi/slash world, is typically not one of equals. In most cases (though this is starting to change), it's a perpetuation of traditional gender roles with pretty boys (because they're the only ones who matter and make a pretty story, don'tcha know) and it isn't anything like the majority of same-sex couples. There isn't always one dominant super masculine ideal who ALWAYS tops, with a submissive effeminate bottom, like in those stupid quizzes: Do you prefer candy? or a SWORD RAWR. Um, no. Generally doesn't work like that.

Why do we continue to force characters into preconceived, socially mandated, gender roles? Why do we argue over who's a top and who's a bottom based on their personalities and body types? Do you have any idea how stupid that actually sounds, like someone can't enjoy a certain form/method of pleasure because they're bossy/assertive/short/quiet/[insert random adjective here]??? Does it really make you think that much less of person or character because they prefer one "role" over another? It's ok to have preferences -- but it's more than a little ridiculous to assume you can tell someone else's by the way they think or act. Ho-lee-crap. No, topping or bottoming does not have to correspond to someone's personality, or a gender role. (And yet no one seems to be willing to think outside of the seme/uke dynamic. Ever. I've developed a game, actually. For fics. I can, with 98% accuracy, guess which character is going to "top," based solely on how they've been written. Weak, submissive, effeminate stereotype? lol like he'd ever top. -_-" Stop that. C'mon, guys! Break free of gender roles and norms! Tear apart those stereotypes! Live a little! Show some diversity!!!) And don't even get me started on "straight acting" or bi stereotypes or anything else right now. I've gotten all of 3 hours sleep in the past 2 days and it's looking to be another long night.

I'm not saying that there isn't some truth to the stereotypes. Yes, a lot of people fit into them. And again, totally cool. You be you. But it's the over-generalizations and assumptions that are harmful. And seriously fucking annoying. Where's your creativity? Expose yourself to LGBTQ cultures before taking on a slash project, perhaps. Watch Queer as Folk, and compare and contrast the stereotypes there to what people actually talk about and do. THINK ABOUT YOUR CHARACTERS' ACTUAL PERSONALITIES BEFORE YOU SHOVE THEM INTO A BLOODY BOX. Would _______ actually act that way? Would _______ actually give a shit about blushing prettily and being *mecha kawaii~*~* for the big, strong, dominant macho man who's about to fuck him senseless? Maybe, maybe not. He doesn't have to fit into a neat little box. He doesn't have to fit an existing stereotype or gender role. Let him be himself without the added pressure of conforming to something he's not, just for the sake of fitting what YOU and the rest of the world think he should be because of his orientation. Enough of the fucking boxes. Enough. I take your box and I SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER.

And most importantly, ditch the leather pants and let's head back to my place, ok?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You Need to Watch This. TW for Police Brutality #Occupy

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These are students at UC Davis. Notice what they are doing - sitting there quietly.

What the bloody fucking hell is up with the militarization of the police in this country? What the bloody fucking hell is going on with this country??? Just a normal week in the the good ol' USA with laws that try to censor the internet under the "admirable" guise of curbing piracy (in which case obviously I'm still against it) and  protesting peacefully is practically illegal and a punishable offense.

LOL, welcome to America, where:

Good times. Oh, but in other #occupy news, check out this Bank of America ad campaign!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today is American Censorship Day. Protest SOPA and the Internet Blacklist Bill!

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More petitions. There's so much opposition to these bills already, but we cannot afford to take any chances. You never know.

Sign | every | last | petition | you | can | find. Write letters, call your representatives.
(I'll be adding more as I see them.) I think, that there's also some miscommunication about what SOPA and the Protect IP acts actually do, though. It's not that little censorship bars will suddenly rain from the sky, or that only "illegal" content will be affected. Here's an infographic representation of why these 2 bills are so dangerous. (click to see larger image)

Let your voice be heard.

Petitions, and Messy Glee Feelings - SOPA and "Cure the Gay"

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I'm bringing this up for a very good reason, and it's related to some other things going on right now, some of them personal actually, so bear with me? I just need to rant. Ignore what's after the cut if you want. It's long and windy and unorganized and Glee related.

Real world shit that matters - there are petitions going around about "cure the gay" clinics in South America. Here's one - Please sign!!!

~ Tell Ecuadorian President and to shut down anti- "Cure the gay" clinics NOW

~ And another huge concern - the widely opposed Stop Online Piracy Act aka the Internet Blacklist Bill. Backlash from around the globe against this bill has been PHENOMENAL, but we need every netizen's support. Sign | every | fucking | petition you can find, write letters, call. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If this bill goes through tomorrow, the Department of Justice gets to decide which sites you visit and who gets priority. All they have to do is claim that a site infringing upon a copyright, and it's blocked. This includes your blogs. This includes Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Amazon, Youtube, TPB, every forum that ever existed. The internet does NOT need to fucking be censored. No government or private agency has the right to control the internet. Tonight, we fight. Protect your freedom of speech.  Join Google, Facebook, eBay, Mozilla, AOL, and others in preventing an internet blacklist. (P1r4735 - HOIST THE COLORS. WE ATTACK AT DAWN.)

One little offhand comment like that can ruin someone's life.

I am really frustrated right now... Long story short, there's been an ongoing feud between two of the characters. If you remember from my older Glee posts, there was an episode about Santana Lopez coming to terms with her sexuality. And the other character is the step-brother of "token gay kid" Kurt Hummel. His name is Finn Hudson. So anyway, Santana's back to being a bully this season, and she's been giving Finn a hard time with a constant stream of nasty insults. They duked it out in a crowded hallway... She went to walk away, and he made a rather loud comment about how she should just come out of the closet already.

There's video of this.

Ok, now that you've seen it for yourself... I don't entirely mind that Finn said this to her, because while he could have said something else or been a little more discreet about disclosing someone's deep, dark personal secrets, it is rather true; and it's understandable that he snapped and probably wasn't thinking. In a different setting, I think she could have benefited from hearing this, actually. I do entirely mind, however, that he said this in public and pretty much shouted it down a hall full of students, one of which used it as campaign fodder against one of the teachers. And I do entirely mind that there are people who think that she deserved to be publicly outed just because she's a bitch. I think they were both in the wrong, but the consequences she has to face are a hell of a lot worse. No one ever deserves to be outed. Yes, Santana deserves to be held accountable for the things she's said and done, and she absolutely has to stop bullying people (though it makes for wonderful drama and I'm sorry but I do actually find the character to be incredibly funny sometimes. I like insult comedy. I'm a bitch. Sue me.), but you have got to be fucking kidding me if you think that being outed is an appropriate punishment for anyone. How can we all agree that it was wrong for Blaine to do the same exact thing if suddenly it's totally ok because it's Santana and everyone hates her? (She's one of my favorite characters, as a "villain" type, but sometimes I really hate her too. It's same with Draco, so don't even give me that...) Even if we take Finn out of the picture and say it was an accident -- this girl's life could be at risk. She could lose her home. They live in a small, homophobic little town, in a school where kids are regularly bullied for all matter of reasons. She was not the worst of the bullies there, as cruel as she may be. She wasn't ready yet. And there is no reason whatsoever that anyone, ever, should deserve to be outed against their will. The asshat running for  Congress or whatever, the guy running the ad ON NATIONAL TV that outs her to the entire fucking country? The true douchebag of the episode for sure.

If you don't feel like reading all of that - yeah, she deserved to be told off for being a bully, and for using bullying as a shield to hide her secrets. She DID NOT deserve to be outed, and Finn should not have even mentioned any fucking thing about closets or coming out. Because guess what?  NO ONE has the fucking right to call someone a coward because they're not ready to come out yet. I know I've already discussed this topic, so I don't want to take up too much time on it. But this... I just can't. I think it's so cute how people are dismissing it, though, as humiliation. Because that's all this is, right? Being outed is humiliating, nothing more. Never mind she might not have a house to go home to later that night. Never mind she might not even make it back there to begin with. I don't think Finn even realizes just what he's done, what's happening because of what he chose to say. I think his words in the scene and at the end are a perfect example of just how little he realizes how big a deal it actually is. "Everyone at school knows..." "The whole school already knows." He thinks because he thinks everyone already knows that it's ok to just say in the open, fuck consequences because (hey! straight privilege!) he doesn't have to think about them! As far as he's concerned, there are none! Forget the fact that his own brother went through hell because he's gay.

I don't think ANYONE  realizes the magnitude of what he said versus what she did. Contrary to what everyone is insisting, Santana never actually outed Kurt or Dave. She made gay jokes about Kurt before he came out and she threatened to out Dave if he didn't agree to be her beard. That is a fact.

And a lot of my LGBTQ+ interwebz friends and I have been sort of talking about this, what it's like to be forced out, to lose that control of something that is purely yours (and can be dangerous to you). Intentional or not, what happened in that hallway was really upsetting for a lot of us. And what happened because of it, even more so. What COULD happen now that it's been broadcast to the entire town. How easy it must be for someone who's never had to live with that fear to say there's nothing wrong with being outed in a homophobic environment as a justification for insulting someone. When someone even brings up your sexuality or your status (closeted or out), as an argument against you, as a punishment, they're taking away your agency, and more than that. It's an attack. They're taking away your right to come out when you're ready and willing, and your right to privacy. It can be so fucking scary... Your entire life can be at stake. You don't know what will happen to you. And so long as this country, this world treats you like a second-class citizen or a criminal, odds are the shit that happens to you from here on out is up to you to deal with on your own. People cay say "it gets better" all they want; but this is the present, and this is real, and this is what matters right now. Better doesn't just happen. The promise of someday doesn't keep parents from kicking their children out of their homes; it doesn't keep a jerk from beating the crap out of someone; it doesn't keep the priests and the fundamentalists from condemning us to hell, sometimes violently; it doesn't keep the "cure the gay" and "lesbian rape therapy" from destroying lives NOW. (See the top of this post for a petition.)

Santana is a 17 or 18 year old high school student. She obviously still depends on her family for food and clothes and shelter; probably for college too. All of that is now up in the air. Her private life is now being shared with the entire country, against her will, and she hasn't even come out to her parents yet. How the fuck do you say that she was justified after she has to go through something like that? She did some seriously fucked up things in this episode alone, including pelting the tiny new kid with balls until he bled. But I just cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would wish that kind of pain on someone. Why anyone thinks that's a fair punishment. The Straight While Male calls the little Latina Lesbian a coward for being closeted and outs her in a public place (after which the details of said conversation are broadcast nationwide) literally putting her safety and livelihood at risk; but she totally had it coming because she's a self-identified bitch, so it's cool. You must be so fucking privileged. Sincerely, a fat, queer, pangendered-but-female-presenting-whatever-that-means person of color who has been bullied and mocked for all of the above.

And for the record, no I don't think she should have hit him. (And Cory-- the actor who plays Finn-- says that slap was 100% real. Ouch. That was HARD. I mean. OUCH.) I try my best not to condone violence as well. But I have to say, if I were her, I know I would have done the same thing too.

TL;DR - I think they were both wrong. They both went too far. But if I absolutely had to pick a side, I'm taking Santana's. They both went too far, but Finn went WAY too far. The consequences of Finn's comments are far worse and far more damaging. And I think he could have chosen a better way to make the same point, while being just as effective in calling her out on the bullying.

Honestly, I am so fucking done with the drama of Glee. The fandom. I love my Pirates, but this show... It's a comedy and/or a drama or some shit like that, it's dropping viewers like flies and why? Because it makes jokes out of rape and foster families and abuse, as well as sexuality and other serious issues. It tries so hard to be serious and hard-hitting while simultaneously trying to pass itself off as a light-hearted, fun musical comedy, which really does not work with the subject matter. The writing is sloppy and inconsistent, and it's really fucking obvious that it's become all about the ratings and money and not about the stories. Almost no one but the diehard fans are left.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Excuse me while I rave about the iPhone update.

Oh. My. Gods. So the new iTunes/iPhone updates are the greatest thing ever. (Warning- I say that about everything I like.) I usually push it off for ages, usually until it's so old the next update's already out. I have no idea when this one actually came out. I don't care. It's prettier, it's more useful, and (fuck everything else), it makes reading easier. I can save things to reading lists. SAVE TO READING LISTS. Do you hear me? Fuck bookmarking, I have a reading list!!! And an in-browser e-reader! To change font sizes into something manageable when I'm on those archive sites that don't allow or offer proper options! It's GLORIOUS I tell you!

All of that aside, I'm actually really pleased with the new features. A reminder list without downloading a billion extra apps? (Why the fuck didn't that come standard??) I can access the camera from the lockscreen and have a separate little group of brand new photos to play with. I can actually fucking organize my photos properly.

Remember the days where we had to hack our Apple products to get this kind of functionality?? That's the only reason I didn't jailbreak my iPhone. Massive improvements since the Touch. (And do not EVER call it an "itouch" in my presence. It is an iPod Touch. Not an "itouch.") Glad to see they're keeping up with them.

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

P.S. - just found an updated flashlight app with a GOOD strobe light. Showers just got more fun. (Yes, my iPhone goes pretty much everywhere with me.)

P.P.S - OH! The scrolly thing is back! The titles finally scroll properly again! OH! Ok, really going this time. It's Glee night, and while I'm currently ranting about the fandom on my Tumblr, I have to prepare. I think [spoiler alert, highlight to read: Santana's getting outed tonight. Or Rachel's getting kicked out. I can't remember which.]

Monday, November 14, 2011

This is actually a srs bns post tho, I promise - Politics, Penn State, Racism, etc.

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Content warnings for heterosexism, sex abuse (Penn State), Sad McCain, police brutality, and racism.

Movie time! NaNoWriMo is on hiatus for me til my head is clear enough to think. And I ca So I thought I'd share a few short videos and news story that might be of interest. And even if they aren't, watch them. Maybe you'll learn something.

The Right to Love: An American Family"

Synopsis (from youtube):
While the passionate debate over the legitimacy of Marriage Equality in the United States rages on, the LGBT community continues to fight for their slice of the American dream. Powered by media, religion and influential anti-gay organizations, the civil right of marriage continues to be held just out of reach for many LGBT citizens.

"The Right To Love: An American Family" chronicles one story of courage born out of the highly mediatized and controversial Prop 8 2008 election results in California. A private Californian married gay couple and their two adopted children fight back against discrimination, ignorance and hate through home videos posted on their YouTube channel, 'Gay Family Values'. As they pursue their American Dream, the opposing political, social and religious opinions that pervade society attempts to strip it from them.
You have no idea how hard it is for me to not post the new Hunger Games trailer here right now. Anyway... Next order of business- Penn State. Yeah, this movie isn't as nice as the last one.

I haven't really been following this story (or anything in the news, to be perfectly honest) because thinking about it makes me nauseous, and I get enough of that from actually being sick... But it's pretty fucking awful.

News from the political world - John McCain's learned how to use twitter. And has said something we can agree with. He would know, anyway... But the GOP in this election... holy fuck. You know you've got a slew of asshats running when even McCain steps in to chastise (and half of Tumblr would rather vote for him than consider any of them...)

... i forgot what i was going to put here... so have this random amusing website instead wouldisurviveanuke.com. Apparently I'll survive with 1st degree burns but I'll get cancer. What is this and why does it exist? Well, click on it to find out what it is. (SFW, unless your boss has a thing against Google Maps) Why? You can never be too prepared in the event of a global thermonuclear war, that's why.

Other things going on:
  • Hermain Cain. Why. Just... why.
  • Michele Bachmann apparently thinks the ACLU runs the CIA...
  • President Obama's healthcare law heads to the Supreme Court. (Seeing as yesterday's visit to the clinic was actually affordable for me for once and there's no way I would have been able to afford it if the law hadn't passed, I'm going to sit here and continue to hope that it stays in place or is improved. My prescription was $1.28 for antibiotics. $1.28!!! Can you even believe that???) This bill may not be even close to perfect; but for the 26 and under crowd, it's what many of us needed. So the way I see this... if it stays, great. We can focus on improving it. If it has to go... We get angry. We get enthused. We push for something bigger and better and we make it happen.
  • latest PETA scandal (sometimes they really just... the fuck even... Can you focus on shit that matters and actually do it right for once? I'm not a fan of how they operate. Have I mentioned that? Well now I have.)
  • Sinterklaas. Wait what.
What the bloody fucking hell is this, Netherlands? "Black Pete"??!! (Content Warning for Racism and Police Brutality) Maybe I don't want to live there anymore.

To summarize - as a part of the Sinterklaas celebration (a children's holiday in the Netherlands; similar to the American Santa Claus, which is based on Sinterklaas), people dress up as the equivalent of elves or gnomes -- Santa's helpers. Oh, you know, except Santa's helpers just happen to be North African slaves. They call it Zwarte Piet. We call it racist "black face."

Why yes, silly American girls, every year we participate in a racist caricature of the slave trade. Oh, what fun. And we even have candy and cookies with gratuitous usage of the n-word in their names! That's the holiday spirit! What? You want us to change? But think of the children! It's tradition!!!

Now if you'll excuse me... I just took some medicine and I feel like I'm dying a slow painful death. (... there's no way I'm allergic, am I? [nervous glance] I feel worse than I did before I took it...)