alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
I had a bunch of YOI fans follow me recently and was feeling a little bad that I'm unlikely to actually post much about it. BUT HERE WE ARE.
Discussions of canon level incest and unhealthy relationships )
alias_sqbr: A giant eye with tentacles (tii)
Honestly not sure I'll stick to it, and if you slip up and refer to me as "she" I won't be destroyed (unless I thought you were doing it out of pig headedness or something) But I feel like it's something I need to try out and see if it fits.

If the usage confuses you: it's like if I was a person of unknown gender. Which, being genderfluid, I kind of am! "Can you ask Sophie if they are ready for dinner?" etc.

GIP: Tii!

Sep. 8th, 2016 02:21 pm
alias_sqbr: A giant eye with tentacles (tii)
I've been feeling the need for a non binary icon, and playing Children of Ur yesterday reminded me of the non binary god Tii. Who is also the god of maths :D I'm sure there other times a giant tentacled eyeball will be a useful icon, too.

Not sure how the transparent image will look against various backgrounds but I'll have to wait and see!

Oh! And updating my icons made me realise not all of them had image descriptions, oops. Sorry to anyone who's been frustrated by that in the past. Have fixed that here, off to check [personal profile] sqbr.
alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
So! I've been vaguely poking at a broader range of gender presentations.

I was recced Saint Harridan and a few other places, and they are all fantastic at what they do, and gave me food for thought. But I've realised one problem with all the "masculine and androgenous presentation for afab people" discussions and shops etc I've seen is that they're too tasteful. All understated and unobtrusive and sensible. Fine for the people who like that! But not for me. I already often wear unisex/masculine clothes when I want to dress in a sensible, unobtrusive way. And if I'm going to get fancy I want something more flamboyant.

Discussion of my body shape as it relates to my desired gender presentation. Then links to pretty clothes )
alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
So! I've been rambling about this under lock but feel like putting it out there publicly and then taking a step back to process some more. I guess because part of me is paranoid people will be weird about it and this way I pull the bandaid off now. But, uh yeah: I seem to have decided I'm non binary? Ish? Currently my best guess is genderfluid demigirl, eg my gender identity fluctuates all over the place but is female more often than not. I've been thinking I might be non binary for some time, all that was holding me back was the idea it would mean letting go of my identity as a woman. But now I realise I can be a woman as well as genderqueer etc and also sometimes maybe a man??? Or at least male-ish?? Still poking at that because uh. What.

I reserve the right to just go "Actually this was an interesting experiment but I'm just a plain girl again now" at some point, but this is where I am right now. Feels pretty good, I have to say. Not changing my pronouns or anything for now, so, I don't require you guys to do anything differently. Just letting you know where I'm at.
alias_sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
I found this post on emotional labour and the metafilter post it grew from really interesting, I'm still poking at the comments. Aside from the obvious take away of "if you're a woman don't date men" haha (which doesn't neccesarily mean don't date, metafilter commenters) it got me thinking about the place of emotional labour in my own life.

Being disabled has vastly cut down on my ability to do a lot of stuff, emotional labour included. I found presents increasingly stressful so just stopped doing them. Most of my friendships have gotten more distant and I don't see my family as much. But looking back I've always felt really guilty at being bad at certain kinds of emotional labour(*), I'm this weird mix of extrovert and...socially anxious or something (I've intermittently suspected myself of being on the autism spectrum) I tend to feel like it should just be ~natural and spontaneous~ and worthwhile in it's own right. I should just want to spend time with people because I am good and caring, and wanting to spend time with them means I will want to do the things that leads to it: sending cards and presents, making phone calls etc. And most of the time I don't want to do those things, I find them stressful and difficult and often unrewarding, even when in the long run I really like the person and enjoy their company. And I feel bad about that, and that bad feeling just makes everything more fraught.

But thinking of it as work is helpful. A friendly interaction doesn't have to be fun in it's own right, it's ok to think of it in cold/meta "I have not spoken to X person in a while, and I like them, I should maintain the friendship, what is the most efficient way to do that?" terms.

So I sent out short friendly texts to a few people I wish to better maintain friendships with! And it did make me happy, but it also made me stressed, so in and of itself I'm not sure it was a net positive experience. But two of them replied and we organised to hang out/skype and that made me (and hopefully them!) very happy. Hmm!

I'm finding it useful when approaching my inbox too. Like a lot of people I get overwhelmed by guilt about neglected correspondence, and thinking about replies in terms of what I want to achieve with them is making them less scary, especially when I remind myself that replying at all sends a positive message. But that it's ok to not reply sometimes, because it's work and I only have limited energy.

(the post has also got me thinking about the same gender related issues everyone else has been talking about, but I have nothing new to add there)

(*)I'm really good at other kinds, in that typical female-socialised way. And of course I'm sure that same socialisation is a big part of why I feel defective for not being good at other kinds.
alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Women in Video Games
Rebecca Fernandez [Chapter Leader, IGDA Sydney], Mary King [Digital Marketing Consultant, Contractor], Nicole Stark [Co-Director, Disparity Games], James Dominguez [Journalist, Fairfax Digital], Tara Brannigan [Community Relationship Manager, PikPok], Leigh Harris [Director, Flat Earth Games]
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
A piece of paper came out of my notebook around here, so I'm not 100% sure where one panel ends and the next begins.

Everyone Games: Creating Inclusive Gaming Communities
Ethan Lesh [Founder, Melbourne Gaymers], Alice Clarke [Diversity Lounge Co-Curator, PAX], Joshua Meadows [Co-Organiser, Sydney Gaymers], Jayden Williams [Writer, MMGN], Ashley Zeldin [Independent Developer, Adorkable Games/IGDA Los Angeles]
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Dagna from Dragon Age reaching for a book (dagna)
Playing as a Female Character - does it matter?

Hex [Presenter, ABC TV], Siobhan Reddy [Studio Manager, Media Molecule], Peter Hines [Vice President of PR & Marketing, Bethesda], Aidan Scanlan [Assistant Director of Design, BioWare], Randy Pitchford [CEO, Gearbox Software], Rex Crowle [Creative Director, Media Molecule]

This was a MASSIVE panel in the huge main theatre, I barely got in. I had to sit right in the back with another guy in a wheelchair, but there was a big screen and decent microphones so it wasn't too bad. It was cool seeing so many people caring about this!
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Last one! I put all the remaining serious-ish topics together. Homestuck panel notes to appear once I have them tidied up!

EDIT: Do not trust the recs. They are a VERY mixed bag.

Queer women in sff )
Happy Queer Sff )
Gender Ambiguity in pop culture )
Why we like misery and violence in fiction )
Matriarchies )
alias_sqbr: Me on a couch asleep with a cat sitting on my lap top, with the caption out of spoons error (spoons)
Was feeling under the weather and slept for 12+ hours on Saturday, thus I suppose it's not that surprising I woke up at 3am today.

Have finished an adequate draft of my Paralells art, woo! And once again, being the first to submit, I find an issue with the submission process :D

I have discovered that roast pumpkin blended with parsley, roast garlic, avocado and lots of salt and pepper makes for a very tasty vegan pasta sauce (and then I add chicken ;))

Tumblr is not letting me reblog anything at the moment it is VERY ANNOYING. I installed Xkit on Firefox and it's vanished as have the reblog/like buttons on people's posts. *ponders logging in on Safari* In the meantime, you lucky people get something I would otherwise be rambling about on tumblr YAY YOU.

I watched the first episode of Free and it was AMAZING. My reactions seesawed between genuinely enjoying the characters/story as fluffy cheese and feeling kind of dirty at how gratuitous the fanservice is. The plot is basically:
Woobie: *broods about nothing in particular*
Best friend: Let's go have some hiijinks!
Woobie: No.
Best friend: There's a swimming p...
Woobie: *rips off clothing* (to reveal swimsuit)

I'm not sure what it says about me that I find fanservicey depictions of tween boys (in the flashbacks) way creepier than the equivalent depictions of tween girls but I really do. And I find fanservice of girls pretty creepy! The boys aren't sexualised exactly until they hit their teens but...idk. It was very moe. And the existence of a 30ish year old obvious-self-insert-female-character as well as a teenage one also skeeved me out. I'm only comfortable thinking teenage characters are cute when in the headspace of another teenage character. Not that I found these characters very attractive, they have that cliched child-head + over-muscled-adult-body anime thing.

Anyway! I think all my male anime friends should go check it out for the cognitive dissonance of being the objectified gender :D
alias_sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
There's been some discussion on the unisfa mailing list (unisfa is my uni's sf club) about the committee's policy on sexual harassment, and I replied saying how VERY GLAD I am to see this being made a priority having felt pretty powerless when I was sexually harassed in the room myself many years ago. I thought it might be valuable to expand on this here for anyone who's interested.

Contains discussion of harassment and abuse, brief mention of rape (not of me). Also lots of tl;dr )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Ok you are all fired for not making me read this book of short stories before now. So much delicious science fictiony exploration of gender and sexuality and the complex interplay between biology and society. Like Octavia Butler, Ursula K Le Guin is pretty obviously a romantic sexual straight cis woman who doesn't really get other (existing, human) kinds of gender/sexuality, and that limits the writing. She also has SUCH A THING FOR MARRIAGE OMG. I mean, I'm married! Marriage is great! But it's still a bit much.

That said she obviously tried to expand her horizons in the decades since she wrote "The Left hand of Darkness", there is human!queerness and alien!queerness and the intersections between the two, though generally only one at a time so far (I'm about halfway through the book).

It still feels very much like a second wave feminist understanding of gender, albeit one softened by modern ideas, anthropological education, and compassion. Gender is almost entirely a social construct while biological sex is simple, unambiguous, and inescapable (with the exception of the briefly mentioned and rare monosexed pseudo-humans amongst the usually dual-sexed Gethenians) There's a tendency for characters to be genderqueer but heterosexual deep down under whatever conditioning they get from society. She explores how homosexuality/bisexuality/heterosexuality and (to a lesser extent) monogamy fits into her worlds, but I keep wondering about intersex, trans, and non binary gendered people. Or aromantic/asexual people, or other new equivalents like Gethenians whose kemmering doesn't fit the "become the opposite sex to the person you're around and desire sex with them" pattern. Like, what if you became the SAME sex? Or entered a sexually mature non binary gendered state?

I still have a few stories to go, but wanted to get my thoughts out now while they were fresh. I've been quite enjoying reading short fiction while out on public transport, I find it hard to keep track of novels. Alas my tastes on short fiction are very narrow, but I'm sure I can find more to read once I'm done with this and Steampowered 2.
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Gender Norms in Fiction, Animation: It's all the Same Now, What ever happened to the fourth wall?, Lost Girl: Sexy without being sexist
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
I read a lot of romances and romance-centered stories. Unfortunately (for someone with my tastes) most of them conform to really rigid gender roles: the man is always older, taller, more powerful, domineering, etc, and this is often presented as Just The Way Gender Works (especially in urban fantasy, ug)

It is SO HARD to find m/f romances(*) where this is reversed, or at least mixed up a little. The few I have found are either (a)primarily about the man being sexually dominated (and either it's not very romantic, or outside the bedroom he's twice as domineering to make up for it) or (b)go so far in the other direction they hit one of my major squicks (anything resembling parent/child (including teacher/student), sexualisation of children, rapist as love interest)

Two types of stories with superficial similarities to what I want that leave a bad state in my mouth are "unwomanly woman is all broken inside, needs a real man to help her soften and become a real woman" aka Defrosting Ice Queen, and strong female characters who are powerful and out spoken but ultimately their badassery only exists to make the man who gets to win them look good. So, I'm avoiding those.

Thus! A list of stories I have enjoyed or at least found interesting. Be warned, this is definitely not a list of "romances with totally unproblematic and feminist gender dynamics", and I found some of them quite disturbing. It's also incredibly subjective.

All stories are long, well written, and have a central romantic plot about a man and a woman finding a happy ending together. Any other recs appreciated!

Romances, not-so-romances, and gen )
alias_sqbr: (bookdragon)
Boy it's good to be home! Had a blast this year, met and talked to lots of people. Feeling moderately drained but not entirely terrible, time will tell how much I crash tomorrow.

The cat is trying not to make it obvious how happy she is to see us and is currently curled up by my legs :)

Galactic Suburbia podcast recording, How to write fight scenes, Religion Creation in fantasy, Classic Doctor Who, female characters in the background, 2012 launch, vidding )
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
I just finished watching the anime "Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood", the second more faithful adaptation of the original manga by Hiromu Arakawa. WAY better than what I remember of the first anime(*), there is basically no filler and it's well written, exciting, and emotionally affecting from start to finish. The last ten or so episodes cover a single day (apart from the final epilogue-y episode) which does drag a bit but on the other hand I prefer that to a sudden unsatisfying ending where none of the loose ends are tied off.

Full Metal Alchemist set in around 1915 in an alternate Germany/England where some people are able to perform alchemy, reshaping matter. The main characters (though the cast expands vastly by the end) are teenage brothers Edward and Alphonse who had a horrible accident trying to bring their dead mother back to life and are determined to do whatever it takes to restore their bodies (one is missing an arm and leg, the other had his soul bonded to a suit of armour) But as they join the army and delve into the hidden secrets of alchemy to accomplish this goal they end up being pulled into much larger concerns and have to decide what it is they really value.
Vaguely spoilery for general themes )

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