Tracy Clark-Flory provides a good counterpoint to Susan Patton’s harmful messaging.

Fandom Cons

Really enjoyed this article by Nathan Grayson about GaymerX. In it he mentions several times other folks asking why there is a separate LGBT Con. He actually answers the question at least a dozen times in the article. To cut to the punchline, in a perfect world we don’t need separate Cons for everyone. Right now in the world we live in, most Cons are very focused on one section of fandom and NOT inclusive in any way shape or form of anyone outside of the core. Here’s to the day when Conventions that are inclusive of all genders, sexual orientation, ethnic backgrounds and any other markers of differentiation become the norm.

Quantum Desire

I never tire of news about Quantum Physics. Here is a cool article about a new way to measure quantum lines of desire.

Gender Agency

A recent conversation my Mother and I have been engaged in revolves around agency. Specifically the agency of each gender as it is viewed, discussed and executed in the US. Since I could talk, my Mother taught me a women can do nearly anything a man can and that achievements not specifically linked to biological functions are attainable by all. As I entered high school, college and adulthood, she also demonstrated to me that men are more than capable of achieving great success in “women’s” work. More importantly, she helped me overcome the thought process that defines anything as a “man’s” or a “woman’s” job. Overall, my Father, Mother, Stepmother and the vast majority of my direct family have instilled in me the idea that everyone should first be looked at as human. When we start out by categorizing other people using any method, whether it be skin, hair, religion, education, gender etc., we fail to recognize the other party as equally human.

In our recent discussion, my Mom was complaining to me how as a society we seem unable to understand that part of gender equality is agency. If women are truly the equal of men, then they have equal agency to make good and bad choices. I agreed but asked what my Mom thought of ideas like micro-inequities, unconscious bias, and flat-out purposeful discrimination in this context. She was quick to point out that when we don’t allow women and girls to have their own agency, we are practicing either unintentional or intentional gender bias. I was most struck by her next sentence, “Too many women fighting for equality make it seem like every ill or everything bad that happens to a women she doesn’t like is discrimination. When often it’s just bad choices we all have to learn to live with.”

As I’ve chewed on this conversation over the last few weeks, I stumbled across this 2013 article in Salon by Anna March. I was blown away! Anna so clearly enunciates the argument my Mom made. When something is done to another person, any person, that takes away their agency as an individual human being, this is an attack on their humanity and discrimination. When that person makes a choice, when the execute their agency, unless specifically lied to and/or tricked, they made a life decision and must cope with the consequences, good and bad. It is our job as friends and family to help with these life decisions, both by equipping each other with the correct tool set to make better decisions, AND by helping each other through the bad choices.

In her piece Anna March discusses this idea of Gender and Agency using sex and a scene from the TV show Girls as her vehicle to frame her argument. I have included a few salient quotes below. Several important things to note about the piece. First, Anna realized when she wrote the piece she was stepping in a minefield and for expressing her opinion was castigated and told she’s not a real feminist. Second, we are not talking about victim blaming, something Anna March, myself and my family cannot stand and wholeheartedly oppose. What is highlighted, is the key idea that in creating equality for women and other discriminated classes of society, a key component is not restricting their full agency as a human being to make their own decisions, right or wrong.

QUOTES BELOW

“Discussing these issues over the past week, I have been reminded of how fraught with divisiveness they can be. When I shared some of my opinions – in both real-life discussions with friends and Facebook conversations – I was told that I needed to “talk to some actual survivors,” that I didn’t understand what rape was, that I was distracting from the “real” point of convincing men to stop raping, that I had no right to say what was rape and what wasn’t. In fact, I worked at an urban rape crisis center and helped launch the U.S.’s only nationwide sexual assault hotline, RAINN. I am a survivor of childhood sexual assault and have written about that in assorted publications, including here in Salon, but for my various opinions, I was told that I was not a feminist.”

“Natalia was not raped and to call the sex she consented to rape is to demean actual victims of sexual assault and devalue the crime. Further, it is paternalistic in its approach to women, as though women are helpless beings incapable of voicing their wants, and, absent violence and/or threats of violence, can’t or won’t say no.  If we want to argue that women are so limited by the patriarchy that they can’t say no, how do we counter the arguments that women can’t handle jobs in the military or working as police officers? If they can’t escape the narrow roles that a male-dominated society allows them (which some offer as a reason why a woman can’t say no in bed), how will they be able to embrace their power as a soldier or law enforcement officer?”

“(So now it’s up to our partners to determine if we have the emotional maturity to give consent? Or is it just that we want them to roll the dice that after the fact we won’t turn around and say, “I wasn’t mature enough to give consent, so you raped me.”) So much of victim blaming relies on these outmoded views of women’s sexuality.”

“Our culture needs to make space for young girls, as well as young boys, to safely explore their maturing bodies and initial erotic longings. It’s critical to allow for sex roles that are broader than the ones that we have been clinging to for generations. Women and girls need to be able to make mistakes. Emerging sexuality needs to be approached honestly and openly, and not as a pathology. Sex should not be seen as something that girls and women engage in merely to please or keep a man, nor as something that sneaks up and takes them unawares in the night.”

“The more we learn to claim our own sexual power, the more we will contribute to changing the landscape of sexual violence.”

“We have to respect that agency no matter how someone chooses to enact it, whether that’s having sex they don’t really want to have in silence, or saying yes to it, or saying no and walking away. For women, claiming our sexual power is an integral piece of ending rape culture, not to mention realizing our own sexual fulfillment.”

“From that event I learned an awful lot about good reasons and bad reasons to have sex and while I can’t say that I never had sex to please someone else again, I will say that I extricated myself from a lot of future sexual pressure in various situations because I learned, early, that sometimes the thing you do in the moment sexually makes you feel bad after the fact.”

“Sometimes, that’s the cost of having the power to say yes.”

Women of Science

Angelina Hesse

A Cool Site from Eastern Illinois University with Bios

An Old Nat Geo Article about Women Scientists Being Overlooked

Hypatia

Sally Ride

Jeannie Leavitt

 

Personal Filterpret

I have practiced and learned Martial Arts for years. In my early days I learned and used a form of 18 Lohan Hands/Palms to warm up. After I stopped and restarted several times this warm up was lost in the mist of youth. About 2 years ago when I began to seriously practice again, I re-looked at the 18 Lohan Hands form and chose not to use it. During the interim, I have learned several more traditional western workout styles and techniques. About 2 months ago, I was introduced to a form of starting your workout and/or day that I immediately knew was right for me. Here’s where the funny part of introspection comes into play.

Yesterday I was looking at other ways to get a better start on the day, including diet and qigong, and stumbled across a more traditional style of the 18 Lohan Hands Form. Turns out, everything I was doing in my western morning routine is done in the Form and in many ways done better! After starting today with my new/old found routine, I am reminded of how we all change with and filterpret our lives based on that particular moment of time and where we find ourselves along our life path.

Why Perspective and Open-Mindedness Matter in Science

Quantum  Mechanics Done Right? – This article in Wired (originally from Quanta) talks about another theory of how quantum mechanics functions. While it seems a dubious theory, I was disappointed to read that others who challenge the orthodoxy of current theory are attacked and denied funding for their ideas. In science of all places it has to be OK to let others explore alternative and opposing theories without risking a career in the sciences. How do we know we are correct, if no one is working to refute or disprove the current theory!

 

This recent study on how to move Pryamid blocks is getting a lot of press. The live near the end is a great example of filterpreting “Egyptologists had been interpreting the water as part of a purification ritual, and had never sought a scientific explanation.”

 


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