( in which Pepper Potts [spoiler] )
( in which Pepper Potts [spoiler] )
Good Afternoon [name], Thank you for registering for Friday’s Anonymous Sexual Addictions workshop.Hey, facilitator dude, how about checking the email addresses before you send them? OR here's a thought: don't put anyone's name in your email! Then if it gets misdirected, nobody will know who was supposed to get it! And nobody will have been inadvertently outed! Just a thought.
Anyway, I can't decide if that was the worst (in the sense of most embarrassing or potentially harmful) misdirected email I've ever received, so I have made a poll:
Worst misdirected email story:
The thirty emails in a day from Wells Fargo about someone's account overdrafting
The email from a pastor with a ton of details of a couple's marriage counseling
The email from google informing me that my email address had just been set as the account-recovery address for someone's professional hotel reservations account
The, like, 200 messages from eHarmony users about someone's online dating profile
The abovementioned email about the anonymous sexual addiction workshop
Listen, my story is much worse than that! Let me tell you all about it in the comments.
2. joy: someone linked to this photo on tumblr, and it made me go all happy and awww. Because it is adorable!
That's Criminal Minds' Matthew Gray Gubler (Spencer Reid) on the left, and Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan) on the right. I have no idea where or when it was taken -- because, you know, tumblr -- so I sadly can't go and look for other pictures that might also include Kirsten Vangsness grinning. Criminal Minds turned into a different (worse) show in its last few seasons, but listen, Morgan still has my HEART. Okay, he and Garcia are sharing it. Anyway: just look at those grins, awwwwww.
3. photo-spread misogyny: Apparently Vogue did a fashion editorial spread on a Spider-Man theme. It is like, here are the films (and a lot of the comics) in a nutshell: Mary Jane is menaced by various villains with phallic bits to their costumes while wearing designer dresses and looking beautiful and unconscious/threatened/withdrawn. It's all right, guys, Peter Parker will save her!
4. tv: Lately I have been watching The Sarah Jane Adventures? I started at the beginning after I watched the one with ( casting spoilers! ), which was awesome and made me go \o/. And mostly it is a great mood-improver and full of happiness. They save the world with hugs and talking about their feelings and hand-holding! Rani and Maria and Luke and Clyde are adorable! Sarah Jane is awesome and has issues and backstory! They are a FAMILY. That saves the world and talks about aliens and emotions and love. If only most of the villains weren't evil lady-types, and if only the good guys didn't do that awful Smallville-esque targeted amnesia shit, I would have basically my ideal show.
5. Avatar: The Last Airbender: You might've seen this already, but just in case, did you guys see such_heights's post in white_lotus about an Avatar: The Last Airbender gift exchange? inkstone suggested the exchange + the lunar new year posting dates, and a bunch of people said they were interested, so it looks like it will happen! Fanfic, fanart, fanvids, etc all accepted. So if you have preferences for style/rules/etc, plz comment at that post; we're going to try to get rules up in a couple of days so that we can do signups before the end of November. \o/ ATLA exchange!
( cut for gender essentialism )
2. I only just now got N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms -- I’m never really good at getting new-releases when they’re, you know, released. And so I was reading happily along, enjoying the worldbuilding, when all of a sudden:
( Cut for kink-negative language and spoilery discussion )
Here is the deal: the people who wrote that survey pm'ed me, as one of the mods of kink_bingo, while I was out of the country. In their pm, they (unintentionally) made it quite clear that their intent in their project is to talk about human universals -- to use our fannish experience, our erotics and our desires, to reinforce ideas of universal, hard-wired, biological desire.
They are outsiders to fandom. They are outsiders to fanfiction. They are outsiders to slash. And they haven't tried to learn, or to understand, or to think about fannish communities. Instead, they have made assumptions about who we are, about what we read, about what we find hot; they plan to use those to explain what makes women tick, what our brains make us do.
They do not believe that culture mediates our desire at all1; they don't believe that we are shaped by our communities and our experiences; they want to put us into neat, biologically determined boxes. We declined to participate, and figured that was the end of it -- we didn't know that there was going to be a survey, which is why I'm posting publicly. (I'm going to put that pm, and the subsequent conversation thingswithwings and I had with them, under cut-tags at the end of this post if you're interested.)
All of those problems are present in the survey itself. If you read through the comments on their Q&A post, you'll see a number of people challenging the questions, the answers, and the ideas behind the survey. Reasons include heterosexist language, which presumes that anyone not marked as queer must be straight; the language of the questions about participants' sex, gender, and sexual orientation, which presumes that people are either male or female; and the language of their description of slash, which presumes that there is one definition of slash. torachan further explains some of those problems here.
And all of these problems are present in their About This Survey page:
The structure and activity of our subcortical circuits are shaped by neurohormones such as testosterone, estrogen, oxytocin, progesterone, and vasopressin; these circuits function differently in men and women. As cognitive neuroscientists, we draw upon a wide variety of empirical data sources to model these circuits, including brain imaging studies, primate research, cognitive science experiments, machine learning algorithms--and behavioral data. The Internet offers large, unprecedented sources of data on human activity: one of these data sets is fan fiction.Guys, that is their explanation of their project: that they want to look at how we are hard-wired different.
We're deeply interested in broad-based behavioral data that involves romantic or erotic cognition and evinces a clear distinction between men and women. Fan fiction matches this criteria perfectly.
It's the same old sociobiological bullshit, the same old attempts to universalize and naturalize their ideas of gender roles, the same old approach that makes us nothing but a data set. Please don't take this survey.
If you have already taken this survey, I don't know what to tell you -- I'm sorry that I didn't post this earlier. I don't know what would happen if you demanded to have your answers taken out; I don't know what sort of IRB/human subjects research board preparations they have done.
( Their first pm to us )
( Our reply )
( Their reply, attempting to convince to participate after all )
( Read more... )
1Note, for example their answer in their Q&A to someone who brought up these issues: "we are pursuing our own research questions, which are not cultural in nature."
ETA: The survey has been taken down, at least temporarily. The text on the survey site now reads:
We're revamping some of our survey questions based upon the first round of feedback we received! Please check back again soon to take our survey!There are a number of interesting comments on their post announcing the removal of the survey.
"But I'm an ally! I support you! Don't you want men to support you? You can't fight this battle alone. Is this equality? Don't you want people to stop using gender to divide us?" etc This is the ally as Nice Guy TM, as a self-defined ally -- as an asshole.
"Part of my support involves not intruding on your space -- and hey, the men's meeting sounds really informative! Is there anything else I can do to help? I could make posters -- I have smelly markers!" This is the ally as actual nice guy.
I've been thinking about safe spaces lately, both in offline and online life. I've been thinking about the degree to which some people don't understand what a safe space is, and what it means -- a self-determined space, a space I declare safe, a space under my control. When the above asshole tries to march with me, he's saying: I know what is safe for you. I know that I'm okay and I declare that you are not allowed to be uncomfortable around me, because I'm an ALLY, so therefore you're just being mean. He is saying: your emotional reactions are just ridiculous. He is saying: I will call myself an ally, but never respect your ability to speak, to define yourself and your spaces. He doesn't understand that sometimes a safe space means he's not invited.
( safe spaces )
I was watching the Last Crusade special, and in the first minute of the special Steven Spielberg shares this amazing line with us:
I wanted to flesh out Indy's relationship with his father. And I said, here's a time we can really do a really good character study of who gave birth to this guy.And I realized, omg, this explains so much about Hollywood! They don't understand the birds and the bees; they've seen so much television where people only have daddy issues that they believe in some sort of male parthenogenesis. In order to be as masculine as possible, male heroes are born of fathers who they can't live up to, never mothers who might soften their aggression. All the best cowboys do have daddy issues; they can never have mommy issues. WHO KNEW.
And this is how we get Jack on Lost, and Jeremiah writing letters to his dead father, and basically everybody on Heroes (or so I'm told), and everybody else on tv whose entire adult life revolves around their father's judgment.
The administration drafted the proposal to implement laws prohibiting recipients of federal funds from penalizing health practitioners who refuse to perform abortions or provide abortion referrals.This means, of course, that health insurance plans could choose not to cover contraception because it's against their religious beliefs -- it's basically a regulation drafted to keep California and New York (and a few other states) from enforcing their laws requiring insurance companies that cover viagra to also cover various forms of contraceptives. AND IT"S DEFINING CONTRACEPTION AS ABORTION TO DO IT. ON A FEDERAL LEVEL. YOU GUYS.
The draft proposal covers Catholic Charities and other employers who object to abortion, by defining their insurers as health practitioners. It would define abortion as any procedure or drug that terminates a human life after conception, "whether before or after implantation."
Apparently this has been open to public comment since August 7th; was there some big hoopla about it that I didn't notice 'cause of being out of the country?
Modern Mechanix: Yesterday's Tomorrow Today. Yes. So you expect all those awesome early ads (like, ways to make your spine young with a revolving hammock).
But this site is more than that! It is way more awesome! Because it also has complete scanned early articles. So you can go read this 1937 article about the possibility of surgical sex changes, or check out How Scientists Visualize the REAL Flying Saucer Men, 1951 (hint: apparently with bat ears), OR you can find out all about Marijuana: Sex-Crazing Drug Menace! Fast Growing Debasement of Our Youngsters, Making Them Wantons and Killer. (My immediate response: wantons?)
And most importantly? LARGE CHUNKS OF MAGAZINES. With covers and ads and articles. SO, you guys, seriously, go check out Physical Culture Nov 1934, for such AWESOME articles as "Glasses are only Eye-Crutches," "Try Dancing For that Inferiority Complex," and one of my personal favorites: "Ever Had Your Colon 'House Cleaned'? Large per cent of all ills and ailments have their source in the neglected 'cellar' of the human body."1 (note: click on titles, not pictures, for the whole article)
OR, for example, This 1959 edition of Sexology. "Sex Worries of Teenage Boys."2 Also, "Wife Swapping: Is it possibly to combine desire for variety in sexual relations with the maintenance of a stable, happy marriage?"
CHECK IT OUT YOU GUYS FOR REALS.
1. Subheads include: "a true 'internal bath'" and "glorious relief." Really.
2. "Others worry needlessly about some kind of sexual conduct. 'What are the consequences of masturbation?' 'I have been involved in sex play with a boy friend. What should I do?'"
Also: it's vanity-published, not through a distributor. So it would be costing him several thousand dollars to publicize... if Newsweek hadn't decided to do a "review." Note the scare quotes. I mean them.