Feminist Monday

Because my schedule is almost entirely my own sometimes my hours slip. Therefore, I went to bed rather late and didn't fall asleep until long after 2am. I woke after eight hours of solid sleep later. That doesn't work all that well because it makes me feel like I'm running to catch up all day. Argh. Sorry about that.

That said... I stumbled into an odd situation today. A known male author posted his anticipated books for 2015 list. I noticed right away it was wall-to-wall dudes. I like to call attention to this type of thing.[1] I think it's important. When it comes to things that harm others that society has ignored too long it's better if everything is up front. I don't do it to make people feel bad. Again, I make these same errors. I'm working on them too. No one is perfect, after all. But the point is, either work on it or choose not to. Don't continue to unconsciously contribute to the problem. So... said individual came back with a request for an all authors who happen to be women list. Note: this person didn't request recommendations for individual authors he might like. He asked for a generic list he could promote. There's a problem with this that I don't think he understands. However, I don't know the individual very well, and I believe any farther discussion with him on my part will only look like I'm being mean and rude. I'm not. I don't even hold it against him that he's done this. The problem is this: he's come forward with "here's a list of 100% dudes whose work I wholely support and am excited about" and followed it up with "here's a list of women who have work that someone else (and that someone is a woman who is nothing like as well known) is excited about." Do you notice the problem? He keeps his "I'm only supporting dudes" list but thinks because he mentions women the work is done. The only way to fix it is for him to find his own list of authors who are women to recommend. [sigh] As with many things involving communication, it's a complicated issue. Half ass doesn't cut it. Again, even one list of 100% dude-age wouldn't be a problem if that wasn't the default setting. I'm not angry about this interaction. Just mildly frustrated--and I do mean mildly.

In other news, I had my first frank discussion about sexual harassment I've personally endured over the years with my parents last weekend. It seems so odd to me now that I think about it. This is something I've been actively fighting, and here I've never even told my parents about my own experiences. Weird.

Next, something I'm actively pissed off about. We'll title this paragraph, The Catholic Church Strikes Again. Here's the deal. I was raised Catholic, but left the Church and Christianity altogether. However, I'm close to many someones who happen to remain Catholic. At least one of these persons has defended the Church against my arguments regarding its behavior toward women for decades. This person got a divorce a few years ago. Being a dutiful Catholic, she has applied to have the marriage annulled because one day she'd like to have Communion again. She is quite active in the Church, for the record. She volunteers quite a bit. Also, I watched her go through that divorce. She did everything within her power to avoid it. Her emotionally abusive husband did the exact opposite. I'm very clear who was at fault. It wasn't her. So... let's fast forward to where she finally applies for the annulment. Apparently, the Church has to have someone to blame for the failure of the marriage. I'll give you three guesses who they blame, and I'll give you a hint: apparently, years of emotional abuse, lies, sexual infidelity, and so on--on one person's part (the male in the equation) isn't enough to be guilty of sabotaging a holy union. Nope. The Catholic Church, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to blame the one person in that relationship who is a devout Catholic. The only reason I can figure out for this is Divorced While Female. Because if you're unwilling to back up one of your own ten commandments (for the record, that would be number ten) and instead play byzantine head games resulting in logic loops that make the JFK magic bullet path look like a straight line... you've no business claiming yourselves to be the custodians of spiritual well being of women. Dear Catholic Church, you are full of shit. You've successfully done more emotional damage to a wonderful person who absolutely doesn't deserve it. And this is why I've such a problem with organizations that do not allow women in leadership roles. Grrrrrr.

[deep breath] And now... links.

Literary/Entertainment: Romance coming to the Library of Congress, Feminist Frequency on Steam (games created by designers who happen to be women,) I've not been able to read all of this next article yet, but I wanted to include it nonetheless--Invisible Girls and Phantom Ladies - The Daredevils #4 - #6, April - June 1983 The parts I've had time to read were full of good stuff. Where Are the Women? (A Feminist Protest in Film Criticism), #Readwomen2014: the next chapter, BOY TOYS, GIRL TOYS, AND OTHER CUCKOOPANTS GENDER ASSUMPTIONS, My Career is not about Stopping Gamergate,  and finally, Steven Moffat Finally Confirms The Doctor Can And Should Be A Woman. I still won't watch Dr. Who. It does nothing for me. I've tried. Games by Women Holiday Gift Guide! and The Feminist Killjoy Gift Guide. Is it wrong that I want that tea pot for days like today?

General: Abusive ‘Feminist’ Men Exist — Here Are 6 Things Men Can Do to Stop Them, They Call Me "Boobs," The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology, and Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue--I once had an arguement with a man who asked me "if women were equal to men, why don't they have as many historical credits for segnificant events?" I told him history had been rewritten. I gave him examples. He blew me off with "those are just exceptional women, not all women." And this is why whenever I find one of these lists from reliable sources I bring it up. I never want to hear that crap question again. This is also why the Exceptional Female Myth is so harmful. (This is true of Exceptional Fill-in-the-Blank-Minority.) Also? Meet Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer, Project Apollo, 18 Badass Women You Probably Didn’t Hear About In 2014, Mitochondrial DNA Suggests Female Vikings Traveled, Too. I found the next link during my research for the SF story I'm writing: The Biological Clock, Ticking for Men Too. Interesting thing to me is that that article is old (2008) and yet, the science hasn't dented popular beliefs around fertility. Stella Young: a letter to her 80-year-old self,

Trigger Warning: Japanese nationalists attempt to revise history on 'comfort women',
[1] Not because I instantly hate the specific person for making a misogynist error--hell, *I* make those too, but because I want people to be aware of their biases. If you're going to be misogynist, I'm of the opinion that you should at least be a conscious misogynist douchebag. It's more honest.

Sunday Morning Gah

Slow-moving Stina is even more slow-moving this morning--[looks at clock] afternoon. I suspect I'm a tiny bit hungover. Dane's office party was last night, and his lovely coworkers kept getting me drinks I couldn't refuse. (Yes. I blame them. And stuff.) So, that's my first and last holiday hangover for 2014. Dane gets to booze it up on New Year's Eve this year. I think it's his turn and my turn to be designated driver.

We got our Yule tree yesterday. It's gorgeous. I wanted to keep the Hallmark orniments to minimum this year and go with the more vintage glass ones. It looks nice. I'm thnking of stringing popcorn like we used to do when I was a kid. I also went Christmas shopping with my sister today. That was fun. Most of what I buy for people are books, but there are a few friends I make things for. I've collected all that I need. Will take pictures once I'm finished. We'll see. It'll be the first time I've made a sewing pattern from scratch. o.0

Hope you had a great day. I did. :)

Movies I'm Looking Forward To

Many thanks to SFSignal for bringing my attention to some of these new releases. I confess, that site is where I get a lot of my information on new films. (I don't watch as much regular TV as I used to.) At the least, they get me thinking I should look out for new trailers. Anyway, you should check them out if you don't know about them already.

I've strong mixed feelings about this first one. I'm not super happy with Hollywood's love affair with the remake. It often seems like that's all they ever do. I understand[1] that remakes and long running series are where their bread and butter is. The new stuff is risky. Creatives have to make a buck to get by--let alone scrape the money together to be creative. I get it. The whole thing is a stressy, stressy gamble. But speaking as a creative type, it sucks that it's that way. Arggh! That said, that's the least of the reasons for my strong ambivalence. I came to Mad Max (like many Americans) via The Road Warrior. There were things about it that bothered me a lot[2], but at that time there weren't many (if any) SF options that didn't have that problem. There still aren't. However, I loved the gritty goth-punk gearhead Demolition Derby feel of the thing.[3] Hey, I like muscle cars. And I confess, not only do I have a thing for Blade's black Dodge Charger, but I do love Max's jacked-up Ford Falcon. It's a thing. Also? I liked Warrior Woman[4] quite a bit. Even if she's eventually chucked on the side of the road like an empty gas gan I think that was one of the first times I'd seen a character like that in a post-apocalyse story. So, yes, The Road Warrior is among those films I enjoy in spite of its serious problems.[5] Anyway...

I've this silly hope that Charlize Theron somehow saves the day. (Although, based on the IMDB listing it looks like she's playing the baddie--now named Imperator Furiosa because apparently she can't be called The Humungus. [sigh]) I've hopes, due to the number of named female characters listed, that all the women don't end up used and tossed out the window like used condoms as they are in the original. We'll see.

For purely selfish reasons[6], I want to see this next one take off.

18th Century England plus magic. I'm sooooo there.

Okay. I've no excuse for this next one. I'm a sucker, and Sarah Conor is one of my favorite SF film characters. What can I say?

Yes, the last one sucked. A lot. Even I waited to catch it on cable. But... I kind of love... "I'm sending you back to when my mom was all vulnerable and weak. Go. Save her. Protect her." and then we get full blown young Sarah the Warrior screaming, "Get your ass in this van, soldier!" and "But-but I'm here to save you!" and her rolling her eyes. I just dig that so much.[7]


It looks like what would happen if Men in Black bumped uglies with Flash Gordon and Dune with a woman as the Special Snowflake Character. I'm more than okay with that. It's past time for chicks to save the world, damn it... and PoCs and QLTBG folks and persons with disablities and... anyone who isn't white, straight, Christian, CIS, and male. So, I'm going to hang with the silly special snowflake plotline until that happens. Nyah.

And... this looks intriguing. And hey... also not a remake, reboot, or a comic book film.

Lastly, there's this. Because if you're going to do a comic book movie you damned well better do it right like Marvel does.

Things I'll watch because I'm an idiot: Jurassic World, The Hobbit (only because I'm a die-hard Tolkien fan, and I'm thankful to Peter Jackson for getting The Lord of the Rings mostly right.), Mockingjay parts 1&2.

Oh, and today is my Dad's birthday. He's not on the internet, but I'd like to wish him a Happy Birthday here anyway because Mom is and well... it'll make him happy.[1] So, here's to my Dad who taught me how to replace my own brake pads, belts, and hoses, and do my own tune-ups[2], change a tire, and taught me to not be afraid of math. In exchange, he gets the dubious honor of being killed a lot in my fiction. Aren't I the dutiful daughter? ;)
[1] Thanks to a story on NPR yesterday about an exec a Sony getting her email account hacked and leaked to the public.
[2] Trigger Warning: The post-apocalyptic obsession with rape-rape-rapity-rape-rape. I can't watch the original Mad Max more than the once for the same reason. It's just too much to take.
[3] For some reason, actual demolition derbies do nothing for me. Go figure.
[4] Geez, she doesn't even have a name. That says it all, doesn't it?
[5] For example, the total lack of any PoC characters. I've always imagined the Noongar (for example) peering over the tops of Australia's dusty hills and laughing their asses off at the white people killing themselves over something so stupid as gasoline. And then quietly going back to living their lives on the land they finally got back. Maybe that's were all the women and other minorities decide to hang out? Them and all the library books. As they rebuild civilization Priscilla, Queen of the Desert style. The future is fabulous! Yeah. I'm the person who always imagined the scene at the end of Hamlet with the scepter rolling across the floor, a fifteen second pause, a few measuring side glances, and then a brutal throwdown while everyone wrestles for said scepter. Absolutely everyone in the throne room dies in a cascading series of death matches until there's only one individual left--Ophelia who faked her death. The End. (Why that makes me laugh I can't exactly explain.)
[6] Flintlock Fantasy, baby!!!
[7] Also, I have reoccuring Terminator dreams where I wipe out the baddies and feel 18 kinds of bad ass while being terrified out of mind all at once. Those are great dreams. I'm not sure I want to know what that says about me. LOL.
[8] And hey, this will remind me to call him later.
[9] Back in the old days when you had to use a gap gauge on the spark plugs and everything. Of course, one can't really do that anymore. It's all electronic.

Can't Buy Me Love

So, today was spent with the lovely Annaliese and holiday cookie baking. (OMG, so many cookies!) That was fabulous. Yay! Friend time!!

For quite a while, I've been noticing people who get really wrapped up in their social media numbers. I generally don't. Largely, this is because I don't prioritize this thing called 'marketing.' Yes. It's important if you're an independant business person--which escentially I am as a fiction writer. However, my feeling on it is that marketing just isn't anything I'm interested in doing for myself at least not in the traditional sense. It isn't what I'm comfortable with, and it isn't what I do well. So, I leave that for experts. I do what I do, and while I'm interested in learning how to do what I do better... I'm not interested in turning myself into some sort of marketing product. I'm an artist. I don't see myself as a commodity. People who do kind of creep me out. So, I don't participate in activities that reward mindless clicks--autofollowing, autoliking, and such. I also have to confess... I don't like FB that much. As a corporation, its policies and business practices are often exposed as unethical. I'd totally withdraw from it but unfortunately, there are people I'm friends with there that I can't contact in any other format. Still? Least favorite format. And then I saw this:

FB's 'Buy a Like' System is taking people's money and giving them worse than nothing in return. Just... ick.

Dull Day But A Good One

Today went really well--in that I got a lot of writing done on that SF story I'm playing with. Yep. I said it. SF. Story. It took me a while to get past the fear, but I'm over it now. Mind you, I'm only 1500 words in, but that's where my story brain starts to engage and the characters take on lives of their own. So... I'm pleased. I also went for a walk and then replaced the headlight on my car. Mwhahahahaha. Before it got dark and started raining, no less.

And that was my super interesting Wednesday. Woohoo.

Have this link to this underwater ballroom because it's cool.

Things I Like

I feel like I've been spending far too much time talking about things I don't like. It's time to blend in some things I do like. You know, to mix it up a little. :) First, I've been poking around Netflix and discovered this program called The Bletchley Circle.

That trailer doesn't even come close to doing it justice. Basically, it's about a group of women who met while working for British Intelligence as code breakers. Each has a super power as it were. The redhead (a married mother of two) is a genius and excells at pattern recognition. The youngest has an eidetic memory. The tallest one is a former mechanic/repair person for the WWII code machine, Enigma. The oldest of them headed the women's division. The first series is a wonderful illustration of what happens when women are briefly allowed to excell and then discarded, told to marry, and have children like 'proper' women. That said, they get the band back together when one of them notices a serial killer is at work and the police haven't caught him. The hoops through which she has to jump in order to be taken seriously are just... incredible. Everything I read about in The Feminine Mystique is worked into the characters. All in all, the show is well-written, moving, gut-punching, and gripping. More people should be talking about it. It's wonderful and brilliant in all the right ways. There are only two seasons, alas. It deserved far more.

There's a second series I want to talk about. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

This series is much lighter than The Bletchley Circle, but that doesn't make it any less brilliant, really. It's so good that I've hooked my husband on it just because he happened to be playing games in the room while I was watching. Miss Fisher is a well-to-do flapper who skates around the every day rules of society at every opportunity. Somehow, she manages to do this and retain a sense of humor, empathy, and kindness. I kind of love her. A lot. The costumes are flat out gorgeous as are the sets. (She even owns some of the same china I do--the white, green, and gold geometric ones. I've only a few pieces, sadly.) I've watched four episodes so far. Very good stuff. She makes me want to bob my hair... again.

Feminist Monday

Good morning, all. Welcome to the Monday morning ragefest. It's like caffiene, only with less sugar. So... this morning's links.

From Marti McKenna:
all houses matter

Literature/Entertainment: We'll start with something nice today. How about an animae/Mucha mash up? Also, because it's funny and made me laugh. 12 Female Characters Who Keep Shaving Despite Constant Peril. Now, I'm going to include this next link, not because of its Feminist content, but because it gives a very good reason why the SF I grew up loving (thought-provoking, intelligent, progressive, and experimental) is not the SF of today. When Science Fiction Stopped Caring About the Future. I've wondered about that. It was like I woke up one day and suddenly SF was filled with loud, cranky, misogynist conservatives who despise change. That isn't the SF I support and love. I'm certain I'm not the only one. That said, it's interesting to think on. Another interesting data point? SF as a genre is in trouble in the publishing world. These are not unconnected dots. And on a related note... To Gamergate, the Death of Brianna Wu's Pet is Another Opportunity for Abuse and Harassment and Zoe Quinn: 'All Gamergate has done is ruin people's lives'. <sarcasm font> Yeah. That's an upright movement with ethical ideals. Sure. </sarcasm font end> And now for some other Women-only science fiction anthologies. Oh, and An analogy for white people: Walking while black is as deadly as being a redshirt on Star Trek. And have this comic about telling women to smile. Oh, and this one about seagulls. Oh, and this is one my husband to sent me-- also known as "he who drinks all the sweet drinks with fruit in them." And check out Jska Priebe's paintings of women in SF as saints.

General: Feminism owes a great deal to American native peoples. Have a look at Inspiring Women's Rights: Haudenosaunee Life Stimulates Historical Movement. Now, Black Twitter Shares Stories Of Police Encounters With #AliveWhileBlack. As I've said before, Oppression Is A System. And we need to stop implementing it. NOW. Oh, and while I'm at it He screamed "I hate feminists!" and killed 14 women. It's wonderful that Montréal keeps the memory of the women murdered. It's pathetic that we're still having the same damned conversation twenty-five years later. 

Getting Back on Course

For a while, I've been so focused on finishing up edits on Cold Iron that quite a few things slipped like house-cleaning, blogging, and other things. Now it's time to get re-organized. Yeah. Yeah. Just in time for the holidays. :) Anyway, today was spent with old SF films. I want to cue up a few Skiffy and Fanty posts so that I can take a break during the holidays without disrupting everything. On the list: Things to Come (1936), When Worlds Collide (1951), War of the Worlds (1953), Forbidden Planet (1958), and Quatermass and the Pit (1968). I've others in mind, but that's a highlight. Interesting thing--a majority of the SF films created in the '30s seem to have been far more progressive (particularly when it comes to women) than most of the films we see today. I suspect this was H.G. Wells's influence more than anything. So, surprise, surprise... SF actually has progressive and Feminist roots. Interestingly enough, it looks like (based upon what I've seen) the so-called Golden Age of SF diverts from its roots and during the mid to late '50s begins to take a more sexist point of view on the future. What was going on at the same time? I don't think it's an accident that the '50s was also a time when women were being strongly influenced to turn back the civilization clock. Mind you, the ratio of men to women on the screen (3 men to 1 woman) seems to be pretty consistant even as early as 1936. Another interesting statistic I read is that when a group becomes one third women is the moment when most people sense M/F gender representation has reached parity. I bet the two are related.

Music Night

Last night was spent with good friends and a great deal of music. We had another one of those nights where we sit around, chat, drink, and play our favorite songs for one another. It's one of my favorite things to do. There's a little more to it than just playing music. We tend to listen to the song playing and then try to think of something we've brought which keeps that vibe or flows pacing-wise or matches tonally. (If that makes sense.) It's quite a bit like what DJs often do. Here's a list of what we played in case you're curious.

Group, Song Name
The Stone Roses, I Am the Resurrection
The Raconteurs, Steady as She Goes
The Pretenders, The Wait
The Maccabees, Latchmere
Asobi Seksu, Thursday
Lush, Sweetness and Light
Placebo, Running Up That Hill
Squrl, The Funnel of Love
Old 97s, Four Leaf Clover
Coil, Tainted Love
Ride, Today
Toad the Wet Sprocket, Friendly Fire
'Til Tuesday, Voices Carry
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Supernaturally
Akira Yamaoka, Blow Back
Tears for Fears, Head Over Heels
H.I.M., Killing Loneliness
Yasmine Hamdan, Hal
Wovenhand, Threshing Floor
Daniel Amos, William Blake
Lunatic Soul, Gutter
God is an Astronaut, Moment of Stillness
New Order, Confusion (remix from Blade soundtrack)
The Futureheads, Hounds of Love (Phones' Wolf at the Door Remix)
ATB, Made of Glass
Above and Beyond, Blue Sky Action
M83, Midnight City
Metric, Dead Disco
The Editors, Lullaby
------------Guilty Pleasure Round--------------
Phil Collins, Like China
Spandau Ballet, Diamond
Linkin Park, X-Cutioner Style
ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), The Lights Go Down
A Plus D, Deadmau5 Can't Hug Every Cat

Autumn Tears, The Passion and the Fury
E.S. Posthumus, Nara
Lana del Rey, West Coast
Jozef Van Wissem, The Taste of Blood
Jen Titus, O Death
Ava Inferi, Vultos
-------------Video Round-------------------------
David Bowie, The Stars Are Out Tonight
Royal Blood, Figure it Out
Tom Petty, You Got Lucky
Stromae, Papaoutai
The Aphex Twin, Come to Daddy

IQ, The Road of Bones
The Heads, Damage I Have Done
FLA, Predator (Collide Remix)
Firewater, Get Out of My Head
Axiom of Choice, Valeh
Midival Punditz w/Ustad Sultan Khan, Saathi
2 Mello, Rebel Daggers
Fleetwood Mac, Storms
Those Dancing Days, Fuckarias
Porcupine Tree, Stop Swimming
NIN, Various Methods of Escape
Living Colour, This is the Life
Curve, My Tiled White Floor
Maximo Park, Apply Some Pressure
Art Noir, Silent Green (Chuck Mellow Remix)
Asura, Overture
Citizen Cope, Son's Gonna Rise
Fleetwood Mac, Dreams
Vitamin String Quartet, Teardrop
Shpongle, Dorset Perception
Chapterhouse, Love Forever
Arctic Monkeys, R U Mine?
Curve, Open Day at the Hatefest
The Bravery, Hatefuck
Trespassers William, Anchor

Internalized Oppression is a Bitch

So, I really, really, really want to write another SF story. Really. But SF is difficult for me. Every single time I run up against that stupid inner voice, "But girls can't write SF. You're only allowed to write Fantasy. Because girly." And, yes, I wrote two essays published in Lightspeed Magazine's Women Destroy SF issue. Yes, I do understand what that looks like, but that's the very reason why I admit to this problem. My biggest enemy is that internal voice. Once I get a handle on it, I'll be able to go places I haven't before. This is a very good thing. That said, it was kind of funny getting "Do I have to smack you upside the head with your own copy of WDSF?!" from Christie Yant. (Bless her.) Because... dayum. What was even better was when one of my friends on Twitter sent me a link to some anthologies and I spied the statement "It doesn't have to be right... it just has to sound plausible." in the header. It was exactly what I needed to hear. (So thanks, Jeff!) This one sentence removed the block. I now have an outline and an opening line. W00t!

Who says Twitter can't be helpful?