modernwizard: (Default)
I have a really early version of Lesbian Couples by Merilee Clunis and Dorsey Green, which I picked up in a used bookstore because I find [relatively] old advice books fascinating, especially when they have to do with queer people. 

I expected very little from this book, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that even the first edition was surprisingly down-to-earth and practical. It spends a lot of time discussing how feminine enculturation, socioeconomic differences, race/ethnicity differences, disabilities and illness, age, fatness, outness, feelings about one's body, familial opinions, etc., etc., may play out when women are involved in relationships with women. It offers standard techniques for respectful communication and listening with an acknowledgment of how the aforementioned factors may complicate them for women. It's very matter-of-fact, unsensationalized and sensible. The clear, calm writing style, combined with its mostly successful efforts to include people with a wide range of identities, makes it a refreshing change from trendy, narrowly targeted bullshit ['s'up, Rules series?].

Anyway, I see they updated the book after about 20 years. ^_^
modernwizard: (Default)
Is there any interest in seeing the first three episodes in an aborted 1:6 scale melodrama, The Pink Squad, written [and crappily photoed] nearly a decade ago?

It was my earliest scripted photostory series [as opposed to my earlier, pictures-only attempt], and it contains many of the characters and themes that we know and love today:
  • Female protagonists
  • Queer characters
  • Trans characters
  • Disabled characters
  • Characters of color
  • Vermonters
  • Kinky sex
  • Horny robots
  • Mad science
  • An amazing amount of sarcasm
  • PINK HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111eleventy

DISCLAIMER:
If I do post this story, please note that it contains humor that I thought was funny back then, but which now strikes me as blatantly racist, sexist or transphobic. That's the main reason I've refrained from making it public again.

On second thought, maybe I'll just summarize it or something. There are some cool, engaging, humorous, well-developed aspects to it, but it's also a glaring example of How Not to Write People with Marginalized Identities.

Or maybe there's no rehabilitating a bigoted piece of personal history, as fascinating as I find it for reasons of historical creativity. Arrrrgh, I dunno.

EDIT: Fuck it. Discretion is the better part of valor. No Pink Squad for you.

P.S. Earlier I wondered if Baozha started me on my pink hair kick. Uhhhhhhh, nope. I place all the blame at the feet of the Pink Squad.
modernwizard: (Default)
Trans people are actual people, not Thematic Elements That Underscore the Protagonist's Ponderous Musings About Mutability. It's stupidly disingenuous of you to claim, through your protagonist, that you are not making the protagonist's trans girlfriend a Thematic Element when you end up explicitly making the girlfriend a Thematic Element a few hundred pages later. Kindly fuck off until you learn the secret to writing trans characters.

Hint: It's NOT A SECRET, and you, being a published author of some experience and renown, should know it already. Here's the hint: you write about a human being with the attribute of being trans, instead of writing about the concept of Transness that incidentally has the attribute of being human. You can do it with your queer cis female characters. Why can't you do it with your queer trans female character?

Do you care about trans people at all? [Do you even known any?] Or do you just think that writing "tr***y" makes you grittier, edgier and more shocking? I'm going with option C, given your colossal cluelessness.

I am so disappointed in you. I am never reading anything you write again, which is a pity because I liked The Red Tree.

You do realize that The Drowning Girl, catalyst of my ire, is nothing but a flaccid, digressive, anti-trans Red Tree wanna-be in need of ruthless editing, right?

modernwizard: (Default)
I'll say a phrase, and you tell me the first words that come to your mind.

Okay? Ready? Here we go:

"Lesbian vampire erotica."


Read more... )
modernwizard: (Default)
Hey kids! Are you ready for your daily dose of outrage?

You are? Well let's get crackin'!

I just read Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio. More precisely, I tried to read it, but ended up throwing it against the wall in disgust about 50 pages in.

Ostensibly, the book is a feminist reclamation of the word "cunt," which apparently amounts to a long discussion of how wonderful uteruses, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, eggs, menstruation and all associated hydraulics are. I don't object to the concept -- we need more appreciation of these long-devalued body parts -- but I object strenuously to the execution.

Muscio insists that all women have cunts. Yes, she actually writes that. I promptly yelled at the book, "NO THEY DON'T!!!!!!!" but this did not alter her erroneous assumption. Apparently all the women I know who don't have cunts aren't women??!?!?!?!?!?!? Keep your essentialist claptrap to yourself, Muscio.

In one of the book's early chapters, Muscio talks about her childhood in which she was shamed and characterized as unclean for menstruating. She then recounts her reacquaintance with her reproductive system, her determination of her own reproductive schedule and her switch from "feminine hygiene products" to sea sponges and rags. There is also a huge tangent about the ocean and the moon and how this somehow relates to fertility [hint: it doesn't]. Yay hooray, she liberated her reproductive system, and she feels good about it.

The problem arises when Muscio prescribes her reproductive liberation program for all women. First of all, as I mentioned before, not all women have the same biology. Second, even if they do have the aforementioned long-devalued body parts, they don't all menstruate. Third, if they do menstruate, they don't necessarily do it on a regular schedule the way that Muscio apparently does. ["Fun" experiment: try figuring out your menstrual "schedule" if you have PCOS!] Fourth, the ocean and the moon have nothing whatsoever to do with menstruation. Fifth, some of us have slightly more complex relationships to our bodies than "Ick, I'm disgusting; the patriarchy has oppressed me!" then transforming into "My womanhood is wonderful!" However, Muscio presents her experience as the sole option, thereby foreclosing on the full and varied range of experiences that a full and varied range of women have in their bodies.

This is not feminism. This is simplistic, biologically reductionist bilge in complete denial of multiple axes of oppression.
modernwizard: (Default)

With sections on vampires, werewolves, demons, etc., Queer Horror [http://www.queerhorror.com] appears to be a comprehensive overview of queer characters and themes in various media, well worth a long look when I have some time. Mmmm, queer vampires...

modernwizard: (Default)

Attention tout le monde! We are now inaugurating the new media tag, under which the Blog of Eternal Stench stinks up the atmosphere with commentary about the latest books, movies, TV and radio I've been consuming. Aren't you excited? I knew you were [all 2 of you].

Unless you've been living in a closet during the past week, you know that DC Comics is resuscitating Batwoman [who???] as a lesbian. Check out the New York Times article for an interesting survey about the history of superheroes more accurately reflecting the ethnic and sexual diversity of the population at large. Supposedly Batwoman's new sexual preference is a newsworthy advance in the name of peace, tolerance and the American way.

You know what would be really "groundbreaking?" If, instead of tacking on some homosexuality just to boost sales, the major comic publishers started by creating a queer character in the first place and then thought about how the sexuality would affect the character.

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