sinboy: (Chinese myths)
Journalist and activist Laurie Penny tweeted that I'd like to take this opportunity to call on all male journalists and bloggers to actively support women in their field and fight sexism.

This happened after a sexist leftist blogger posted one flattering article on a new-generation male leftist, and an article on Laurie that was demeaningly sexist:

On my darling @owenjones84, today- … - compare with this one on me, in 2010 -
[links compacted by me - safe I promise, except for blood pressure spike]

So how does one actively support women in your field and fight sexism? I've broken it down into three simple steps

Step One) Learn from actual feminists what sexism looks like (beware Mens Rights Activists, known as MRAs giving false information about sexism)

Step Two) Call out sexism when you see it, and let people being sexist know that sexism is not excusable, and that you won't tolerate it.

Step Three) Encourage others to do likewise

In case step two is difficult, here's Jay Smooth on calling out racist behavior. Consider modifying it to call out sexist behavior

sinboy: (ogre)
Things have been splendid. The weather is typically british for this time of year - rainy and chilly with bouts of sun. I've hiked over good sized sections of the country, had tasty food, meet and stayed with lovely people - [ profile] djm4, [ profile] lizw [ profile] grahamsleight, [ profile] fjm, [ profile] yoyoangel and several others I'm not remembering the LJ for (but say hi and I'll edit you in!)

I also bought a nice coat from Cro'Jack, a schmancy British designer, which was on sale at T.K. Maxx (which is known in the US as PJ Maxx). Horray for Off-Label stores! Much thanks to [ profile] yoyoangel for suggesting that I check at that place.

It's tempting to go back there before we leave. I saved £135.00! That's like the price of another jacket. I could buy another jacket with what I saved! I am possibly happier than I ought to be with this coat, but it's the one thing I really wanted on this vacation specific to me, and I got it.

[ profile] rosefox has had a cold that I suspect my immune system simply ate and and disposed of. I practiced the "I can't possibly be sick" school of denial-as-wellness, and it worked. Or something. She also had an unfortunate reaction to guaifenesin, and is having a nap now.

Early tomorrow, we leave for Paris on the Eurostar, which should be very exciting. I want to eat in a French cafe that is full of polished brass, art deco fixtures, and art deco script on the awning on front.
sinboy: (Lasers)
OK, so LJ has been a low priority for me lately. Work + being on twitter a lot more has been taking time I'd normally use to update here. But I do read you all. So hello, it's good to poke my head out again. I'm in England on a nice 2.5 week vacation, spending time with several lovely friends. I'll be back in NY on the 15th or so. So far I've been to wedding rehearsal dinner and a joint Irish/Jewish wedding, with a reception at the Tate Britain, which was lavish beyond belief. I'm mostly over the jetlag, and am going to enjoy two weeks of seeing friends, and possibly meeting some nice new people. It promises to rain lots, but I've brought boots, a rain coat, and an umbrella.

Hope you all are doing well. Also, new userpic via XKCD
sinboy: (wrong)
[ profile] thewronghands had a great post on her thoughs on the DefCon / red-yellow-green card thing and [ profile] scalzi has a follow up on some of the rampant MRA douchebags, er, non-femonist commenters at The Whatever who took exception to his comment that folks need to Acknowledge that you don’t get to define other people’s comfort level with you. Which is to say that you may be trying your hardest to be interesting and engaging and fun to be around — and still come off as a creeper to someone else."

Here is what I wrote in response to John's post

There’s an interesting discussion going on in Geek Feminism that’s somewhat related to this, as well as a conversation about hacker manners at DefCon. A friend I have who goes there, and is invested in the culture but upset by the creepers says that it’s a case of “fuck you, you don’t gell me what to do” that’s embedded in hacker culture.

I can sort of see that, but I also think representatives of a dominant culture refusing to change to accommodate a minority is sort of universal.

The guys John is seeing claiming they’re offended are similar to white folks in the US who’re uncomfortable with criticism of endemic racism from non-whites, straight people who get hackles up about QUILTBAG folks “shoving it down our throats” (usually by existing outside of a closet and speaking up) and so on.

They don’t want to have to think about complicated issues of oppressions, and the inherent complicity that they have in that oppression. It’s part not wanting to feel like a bad person when they don’t think they did anything wrong, and part feeling like someone is attacking something they identify as a part of.

This is usually cause (IMO) by an inability to separate criticism of one single action IN a culture with ravening hordes seeking to destroy everything about that culture, salt the earth, and have a party on the ashes.

Why? Because once in a while an individual that culture has offended will inevitably get angry enough to wish, in public, that the culture be burned to the ground. And suddenly that person becomes a representative of all criticism, just opposite from the way that a creeper is painted as a lone-grope-man, not at all representative of this culture and HOW DARE YOU YOU VILE… FEMINIST!

That, in a very large nutshell, is what I think is motivating the reaction to ‘point 2′.

I'm also a bit uncomfortable with the card system. I think it encourages men who *get* the yellow or red cards to argue with them, and with the woman handing them over, and possibly demand an explanation. There are certainly women who might be comfortable with that role, but there are also women who would rather not. The end goal is for all of the people involved in dealing with being creeped on to feel safer, for non-creepy and non-creeped on people of either gender to change the culture to make that happen.

I can see the cards as sort of a tool, but they're more of a crutch, IMO, not a solution. I predict far too many people wanting them to reflect a state of "problem solved, let's move on, everything is candy and unicorns now". I mean, you've got cards now. Problem. Solved. Geeks fix problems. This was a problem, geeks fixed it. Geeks pat selves on backs. Geeks have fixed everything. Dear god please stop talking about rape culture. It hurts my MRA glands.

And also, the "green" cards really worry me. I'm not sure I can articulate fully why. It's a combination of "you want a cookie for being a tolerable human being? No." and "She handed Bill a green card for that, so clearly it's OK if we all do it" and also "Well, she handed me a green card for a hug in a public space, so I followed her back to her room, because that was a clear signal of "I want your cock" she gave me wasn't it?" and something else I'm not able to put into words. It's not cards=bad, it's ... something I can't put into words. If you like the cards, you're not a bad person. I just don't like them.
sinboy: (Default)
[ profile] scalzi's pet right wing troll "Scorpius" gets away with blatant anti-Muslim bigotry (seriously - women frequently stoned to death in Saudi Arabia for not wearing a hijab?) all the damn time basis, and hardly anyone bats an eye. It's like background noise. And this dude gets "penalty box" timeouts on a regular basis and keeps coming back.

It's revolting. And I don't want to be the one constantly pointing this troll out, because it just comes back, because it's ALLOWED to come back.

I am sick to death of people constantly telling me that Scalzi has a safe, friendly place. It's not. It's a place where blatant trolling is banned, but cute right wingers who John sorta likes get to stay around. And that's fine. It's John's place. But the next person who points out The Whatever as a good, well moderated place on the internet to me is going to get an earful about what total bullshit that is.

John is a great guy, but he's blind as a bat when to comes to certain bigotries, or he just tolerates them as long as the troll spewing them is someone he like, or is entertained by, or something.

I no longer have the will to get into fights over there. I'd like to get into discussions, the way we do over at TNC's place, but comments like that are like a pile of racist crap in the middle of a dinner party. Easy to ignore if racism isn't directed at you, or yours. Not so much for me.
sinboy: (Default)
If I have repeatedly done something stupid, chances are, I'll do it again. Look, I am crap about cleaning my room. I sometimes forget to close my door in the morning, letting the cat in to wake [ profile] rosefox. I say stupid things that demonstrate male privilege.

I'm working on fixing most parts of myself that affect others. For example, I'm more cautious closing doors because [ profile] thextina has a thing about door slamming noises. I've learned and unlearned all sorts of behavior patterns for [ profile] rosefox's sake.

If I ever fucked up so badly that I got booted from a con for harassing a woman, and if it was pointed out that I'd had a HABIT of these problems, that'd be a sign that there was something deeply wrong abou how I interact with women. And the intense, overpowering shame I'd feel would be amazing. I would not talk to the con about "how can I get out of the punishment of being banned". I would not even SUGGEST I be allowed back, if the con had a public no-harassment policy.

Why? Because the con letting me back in would be an insult to the woman I harassed (intentionally or not) and would make that woman, and so many other women and men feel unsafe, insulted, and FURIOUS at the con, that if I cared about the con, as well as about the person I'd hurt, I'd just never come back. It would be the acceptable price of my fuckup that I never return.

And that is in no way contrition. Contrition would be the unending, and vigilant struggle, in public, to educate men about what's wrong with harassing women, how I personally fucked up, and how my never going near that woman again is about all I can do to help her feel safe. I would never seek to get back to the place of my fuckup. Because that's making the incident about me, not about the damage I'd done.

If the board of the con in a bout of INCREDIBLE STUPIDITY allowed me back, I'd refuse to go back. Because I'd be ashamed to show my face, and because I know my returning would hurt the person I hurt again. And that's unacceptable.

So, Rene Walling, wherever you are. You dont seem to get contrition. And you're being enabled by people who don't get it either. I hope you can get there some day. The first step you could take is to make the person you harassed feel safe at the place you harassed her.

And you know how to do that, right? It's to not come back. Because you didn't hurt the board, you hurt someone with no power to ban you, who thought the board would take care of that and keep her safe, AND THEY DID NOT.

Both you and the board are colluding to make the con an unsafe place. You could back up, and stop that. And that would be real evidence of contrition. Not getting caught fucking up for two years is NOT evidence of contrition. It's evidence you didn't get caught by anyone who'd report you to people who'd care. And people who care are in short supply. Harrasers get away with it every day. You certainly did until now.

So grow up, and care about the real people you hurt. And the con you're hurting by pretending that you've learned a lesson. Your real lesson is in stopping yourself from being a part of hurting women, and I've seen only evidence to the contrary on that one.
sinboy: (Default)
Bonuses look a lot smaller after taxes. On the plus side, bonus!
sinboy: (Default)
Originally posted by [ profile] kylecassidy at War Paint is out today
Happy Memorial Day. My book, War Paint: Tattoo Culture and the Armed Forces is out today. You can buy it from Amazon (pay no mind to that "4 to 6 weeks" - it's shipping now) or look for it in your local bookstore (special prize to the first person to send me a photo of it "in the wild").

A few years back I found myself looking at one of those ribbons on the back of a car that said "support our troops" and wondered what I could do to actually "support our troops" rather than just putting a magnet on my car. Soon after I met a WWII veteran with a tattoo of a paratrooper on his arm and I asked him about it. For the next two hours he told me about parachuting into France on D-Day, being wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, getting tattooed in Scotland while drunk -- I realized that nobody had asked him about it before and that we were losing these stories, so many of which had a significance so personal you may not be able to tell just looking at them, you had to ask.

War Paint is a collection of portraits and stories, there are also closeups of tattoos if you're interested in closeups of tattoos.

Click to read Nick's story

Thanks to everybody in uniform and especially the people overseas away from their families, in harms way, whether in uniform or not. Come home safe. And thanks to my publisher, Schiffer Books who saw something here. Happy Memorial Day.

And, in case you missed it, here's the talk I did at Franklin & Marshall college on War Paint. There's a long wonderfully flattering introduction, student Ann Leffel talks briefly about her tattoo photography project and I start about 12 minutes in. And I do answer the question "why should you thank a soldier if you're against the war?" which is something someone brought up here a few weeks ago.

Stories in Ink: Capturing the Art of Tattoos from Franklin & Marshall College on Vimeo.

I'd love it if you'd share with your friends.

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