rivendellrose: (Default)
Drive-by links:

Fascinating piece on sex ed from the NYTimes (apologies if it shows a login screen - it works for me, but I can never tell when I link out to their stuff what it's going to do for other people)

And, also from NYTimes, We now have software to rate how drastically photos are retouched in magazines and so on. Seriously, check this out, it's a real eye-opener if you (like most people) have ever looked at a magazine cover and instantly felt your sense of personal attractiveness go down something like twelve points. "Why can't my skin be as perfect as hers? Why can't my stomach be that flat?" Well, because hers isn't either. Check out this gallery of photos before and after photoshopping to see some really fascinating examples of what's going on.

MoveOn.org has a petition to stop the current internet censorship bill that's being debated in Congress right now. Definitely worth putting your name to, for the American folks here.

Lastly, go check out all the glorious stuff that's being auctioned off to benefit Terri Windling and her family over at [profile] magick4terri. There's some seriously cool stuff over there, and a ton of it, so be sure to page through the previous entries. It's a great way to help out one of the grand dames of fantasy, and get some of your holiday shopping done to boot! Or, hell, just fabulously fun browsing to go through and coo over all the stuff wonderful people have donated to help out. ;) There's also a Facebook page, and please do spread the word!
rivendellrose: (spock)
Okay, fellow Star Trek geeks, I have a good one for you - check this out. Sometimes (not very often, but it happens) genderswap seems to me to be mostly an excuse to draw (or show) even more cheesecake than the original canon has, but in this case, not so much. In this case it's an excuse to show a female (new!canon) Kirk who is exactly what the male one is, and a female Pine who is exactly what the male one is, too, thereby showing up the standards of what women can and cannot be shown doing in movies and TV.

I grant you, if they'd done this, the battle would have been sexed up like nobody's business, and I'd probably dislike female Kirk about as much as I dislike male Kirk. But if it was done well (as in, not a Charlie's Angels cheap wank-fest for the boys with faux grrl power to appease a couple women who can't tell the difference between empowerment and sex symbols masquerading as empowerment), it would still be kind of bad-ass. And this video gives a taste.

Check out all of the Rule 63 Rules Tumblr for more awesome genswitch, and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] miss_arel for the tip!

And now I'm back to pretending to write, since I spent most of my evening watching Chuck, drinking wine, and playing "Plants vs. Zombies." How evil are the bungee bastards? Not what I'd planned to do with my Sunday night, but I can't say I regret a minute of it. ♥
rivendellrose: (Warrior)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.




Just sent in my note to the Democratic National Committee. Please consider doing the same, or at least spreading the word through the blogosphere. ♥
rivendellrose: (Default)
Awesome article on Cracked today about obnoxious assumptions Hollywood makes about woman.

They're all pretty darned spot-on, particularly the first few. I especially like the complaint about still-abnormally-skinny actresses playing "fat" characters. "Bridget Jones Diary," anybody? I mean, gosh, they made Renee Zellweger so "fat" she looked almost like a normal girl I might meet on the street! This is slightly better on TV, but when Peggy in "Mad Men" went through her little weight-gain plotline over the course of S2, the punch was slightly pulled by two facts: first, on HD TV the makeup line and drastic effort involved in making the actress look heavy was annoyingly obvious, thus ensuring that I spent most of my time thinking "gosh, they need to blend her more" rather than "gee, poor Peggy's really gone downhill," and secondly, while I (like everyone) have read stories about women who give birth without ever having realized they were pregnant... I'm pretty sure that's not possible if you're just a size 10. Or, accounting for the added weight caused by the cameras, probably only a size 8. I just don't find that likely.

The work/life conflict section absolutely nails it - yes, there are women who have crises between their high-powered dream job and their disregarded desire to start a family, but most of us would settle for finding or keeping a job, maybe even one that doesn't suck our souls out through our ears, while still actually seeing husbands, kids, parents, and maybe even our friends.

And check out #5 on that list, "Getting Angry for No Reason," for another fabulous explanation of the difference between writing strong female characters and being a lazy-ass writing executive who just wants something to point to when people complain that you're not writing strong female characters. Hint: I don't know a single woman who would kick a guy in the nuts for no reason at all. If you do, you might want to get her anger management classes. That's not strength. That's psychosis. "Strong Female Character" doesn't mean "crazy bitch who yells and hits men all the time." It means "Female character who is treated like an actual person and allowed to have her own autonomy and make decisions on a basis other than the desires of the male hero." The trick is to think of women as people. I know, it's hard.

More to say, of course, but not enough time right now to say it in. Suffice to say, it's worth a read.
rivendellrose: (Ace)
I wish I could make music videos. But I have enough hobbies that I don't spend enough time on already.

So I apply to you, f-list: Someone should make a video to Mitch Benn's "Doctor Who Girl" (sorry for the video link, but it's the best I can do to give you the song) using all the times the (especially classic) companions didn't fit the stereotype. Romana rolling her eyes and ignoring the Doctor, Ace being badass, Liz Shaw taking charge, Sarah shooting a rifle... whatever. New Who inclusions are awesome, but it'd be so awesome to focus on how the old stuff is... well, in a lot of ways, less sexist. :P

Also, I'm horribly behind on replies. I'm sorry. I'll catch up someday, I just haven't had much time on the computer lately, outside of work. ♥
rivendellrose: (Gwen lost her blowfish)
I need five minutes alone with (almost) every male sci-fi/fantasy genre writer in creation, consecutively. And a really big stick to threaten them with, and whap the biggest offenders over the head.

Seriously, guys - it's not that hard to write female characters as something other than the thing that occasionally shows up, wears not-very-much, and gives the guys something to rescue. I adore a lot of male writers... even ones who are guilty of this. But I'm getting really damned sick of it. And you know, it's worse with the writers/series that I like, because it upsets me more. If I don't like the series or the writer, it at least doesn't make me feel quite so badly when they screw this shit up.

James Alan Gardner is exempt. I honestly can't think of anyone else who is, at the moment. Edit China Mieville doesn't need to be lectured or smacked, either. Nor does Terry Pratchett, I don't think (although he's not quite on par with the previous 2). Everybody else... could use some work.
rivendellrose: (saucy pirate wench)
So, I have to say that despite my love of the three previous movies (see icon, from the day [livejournal.com profile] maymargaret and I dressed up in Pirate costumes to see the second movie) I have absolutely zero interest in this fourth movie that they're making to try to squeeze more money out of continue the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. So... chalk that up to a previous bias. I can just only take so much crass commercialism and "OMG MAKE MORE!!!" before I get sick to my stomach and swear off whatever thing is dancing around doing the consumer-whore polka. But... I don't even know what to make of this.

Disney says no to fake boobs in 4th Pirates movie.

Um. What?

For one, I'm slightly worried that we're going to apparently be seeing enough of someone's boobs (presumably more than one person, even!) that we need to worry about this. There's some comment in here about diving and swimming... okay, fine, but that much? Aren't diving stunts usually handled by stunt people, to begin with?

And then there's the moral issue. I'm all for encouraging movies back toward not demanding the sort of unnatural ultra-skinny faux-boobs faux-tan botox-faced Photoshopped plastic actresses who seem to be all that we see on TV and movies these days. Yayyy, that's a good thing. But, um, I don't think you can legitimately get that by making casting calls even more a meat market for women's bodies.

All I can say is that I'd really like to see a movie try to cast men for naturally big wangs and see how far it gets them. "Oh, I'm sorry, no stuffing! We're going to have to search you all to make sure there aren't any implants, falsies, or pairs of socks shoved down your speedos!"

Just picture that for a moment. Feel free to include whichever of your favorite actors you like, while you're at it. I'm sure that's what the casting directors at Disney are doing with the actresses, after all.
rivendellrose: (Lucy Saxon - so you say...)
Apparently, the terms 'vagina' and, hilariously, 'down there,' are too racy for certain US television networks.

Quote: "Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina" [says the company who made the TV ads in question.] Au contraire, say squeamish networks that think lady-products are icky.

Someone on UnfunnyBusiness asked if this means the same networks will be removing ads for Viagra, since they refer to erection. I somehow doubt it.

Pity no one's telling which three networks refused the ads. I'd love to send them a few choice words of response to their idiocy.
rivendellrose: (Gwen/Merlin)
SyFy proves once again that they are worthless bastards by describing Angel Coulby as Gwen with the following completely clueless and insulting words: With her wonky teeth, uncooperative hair and glasses, not even the most charitable person could call her beautiful.

No, seriously. Here's the original. I'm pretty sure that whoever wrote this bio has never actually seen the show. If nothing else... um... glasses? What? I actually had to read that one a few times to make sure I wasn't somehow making it up in my head, because it's just so freaking bizarre and off the mark.

Fortunately, Merlin fandom (specifically [livejournal.com profile] such_heights) know better than to listen to any of this nonsense.

For the record, I checked the other bios, and while they're not quite as absurd as saying that Gwen couldn't possibly be considered beautiful (again, wtf?), there are definitely some other... interesting commentary. Like referring to Camelot as "the fort," in Arthur's bio, and managing to spoil a major plot-point for the first season in Uther's. (...I realize after the fact that my definition of "major plot point" as regards Uther may be ever-so-slightly biased. But seriously, it was a Thing What Was Meant to Be Surprising, so... whatever. Too tired to be too coherent. Going to bed.)
rivendellrose: (flirty)
Skepchick Rebecca talks about the oh-so-clever internet tactic of responding to someone's arguments... with insults about their appearance.

Oh, and for the record? I am so fucking with her on the subject of crowded teeth. Yeah, my teeth are a bit crowded. And you know? I've really got better fucking things to think about.

...Like whether I'm actually going to write tonight, or do some other useful thing like my homework, or get my pictures from the Valentine's trip transferred to my computer and onto the 'net...

Or just laugh at my cat, because he just knocked a ton of crap off the dresser in our living room because it was In His Way.

stemming

Feb. 17th, 2010 10:45 pm
rivendellrose: (try science)
Fun new thing: Stemming.org for women in (or interested in) the sciences, maths, or technical fields, at any level. Looks like it's going to be a great place for interesting discussion and networking, and one of its stated goals is providing mentoring and mentorship opportunities.

I'm here if anybody wants to friend me there. Yes, I know - I came up with a new username. ...And it's almost exactly the same as my usual one. What can I say - I tried.

oh, forbes

Feb. 13th, 2010 09:52 am
rivendellrose: (Eowyn)
Forbes completely misses the point of the box office success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by saying:

Yes the film was about Frodo's quest to throw the Ring into Mt. Doom. But the coupling of Viggo Mortensen and Liv Tyler convinced a lot of girlfriends to sit through more than nine hours of orcs and wizards and hobbits.

Screw off, asshats. I know a fuck of a lot more women who care passionately about those books than I do men, myself included, and most of us were dragging everyone we knew to see that movie, not the boys. And while I'm happy to admit that I loved Viggo as Aragorn and, yes, do happen to like the story of him and Arwen, Liv Tyler is a useless twit who can't act. Also: Eowyn. So there. :P

Ahem. Sorry, I'm rereading the books right now for the first time since The Thesis (tm), and am consequently going through a major bout of "omg I LOVE THESE BOOKS. ♥♥♥" Asshats who persist in thinking that they're either only for boys or that girls are only in it for Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen make me want to scream.
rivendellrose: (city girl)
Linked by [livejournal.com profile] zinjadu: Photographer Dina Goldstein's series exploring fairy tale endings with modern consequences.

The site is flash-heavy and loads very slowly (and has music, so folks like me who hate embedded audio may wish to mute their computer before clicking the link!), but the photos are very worthwhile, and I enjoyed reading her commentary on the series, as well.

Now back to trying to come up with an educational program for my final project this quarter. :P
rivendellrose: (God?  What god?)
Tulsa, Oklahoma, mayoral candidate wants to put a creationist exhibit in the Tulsa Zoo.

There's some background to this, for me. Yesterday, I received a plea for money from the Secular Coalition for America, of which I am a member. I thought "well, maybe," because, let's be honest - I have a trip to Asia coming up, my tuition for the Museum Studies thing still needs to be sent in, and there are a lot of other charities that could use my money, particularly since my county is working on a serious budget shortfall this year, and I'd like to do what little I can to help out with that.

And then this showed up in my morning link-feed. A quote, for those of you who don't feel like reading the whole insane article:

"Today we are announcing that God will be glorified in this city. He shall not be shunned. Upon our election, we hereby commit to honoring Him in all ways that He has been dishonored," said Anna Falling.

Thanks, you flipping idiot. I needed a reminder of exactly what kind of wack-jobs the Secular Coalition exists to fight. They are officially the winner of my charity money this month.

In other WTF news, apparently 50% of Americans think it should be legally required for women to change their name to their husband's last name when they marry. They can get right on the "out of my country, you freaking psychopaths" wagon along with the afore-mentioned Tulsa politician and all the idiots who actually listen to anything Sarah Palin says.

It comes to my attention that I stupidly thought electing Obama meant that Americans were getting less stupid. This is clearly not the case.

But wait! There's more stupid out there!: Apparently some moron named John C. Wright (apparently a sci-fi author? I've never heard of him...) is upset that the Sci-Fi Channel is going to be including more homosexual characters in their shows. So upset, in fact, that he's coined a new word - "homosex."

Have a rage-inducing quote: Someone explain to me by what series of events persons with serious sexual-psychological malfunctions would somehow be awarded the status of moral arbiters, something like priests and confessors and sages -- except that the passkey to being a guardian of public conscience in our age is the absence of moral value, not the presence.

Fuck you, too, Mr Wright. I have never heard of you before today, but you can bet that I will be avoiding your books in the future, and working as hard as I can to convince everyone else I know to do so as well. Bigoted idiot.

* * *

Religion fail, sexism fail, and now homophobia fail, too - look, everybody, I've got a full house! *Seethes* I'm going to go read www.givesmehope.com for the rest of my lunch break, and try to remember that there's parts of the human race that are actually still worthwhile.
rivendellrose: (Donna)
Whoever wrote this reply to some asshat's personal ad on Craigslist is totally one of my heroes.

Also, I hope whoever wrote the original ad never gets laid ever, ever again.

* * *

In other, happily unrelated, news, today is apparently Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writer's Day, and I have to admit that I'm a bit at a loss on what to say about that - sci-fi and fantasy have been such a strong influence in my life that I honestly can't begin to unpack it all. The best I can think to say at the moment is that I think both are not just important writing, but, at their best, the most important writing that's ever done, because they show us how to think and imagine outside of the world as it is, out to how it might be. Writing the world as it is, sure, that's impressive. Writing something that isn't real but that grabs readers' hearts and minds and changes them? That's the power of real writing, real imagination, and real humanity, if you ask me - taking us beyond what we see every day into something more, something wider and more wild than what is, but something that still hurts and loves and feels just like reality... and maybe a little more.
rivendellrose: (omgwtf)
Woe, for one of us shot a doctor down in cold blood, and now we don't have anyone to picket and harass! It's caused in-fighting and personal tragedy (for us!)! What are we going to do?

What are these people thinking? Oh, right - "But it's all about US!"

A man died, you morons. One of your people killed him. Get over yourselves, grow the hell up, and get a little fucking decency.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cyranocyrano for the link.
rivendellrose: (Warrior)
So, TotalSciFi apparently thinks they have a list of the most important women in sci-fi TV and movies.

I'm sure Ellen Ripley is very cool, and in what little bits I've seen of her I've been impressed, but... really? Number one "most important woman of sci-fi?" And... they must be joking, putting Rose Tyler at #7, above the likes of... well, everyone else on the list? Look, I know I'm biased by, y'know, not being overly fond of the Rose/Ten relationship, but... seriously? Number seven of the most important women in sci-fi? o_O

Particularly not since, through some bizarre lack of intelligence on behalf of whoever wrote this list Susan Ivanova is all the way down at #18. And no Zoe Washburn anywhere? I am gravely insulted by this.

Also, listing it as "the 25 women who shook sci-fi"... implies that they might have done something different or changed the genre somehow. Which I don't particularly think a lot of these did. At all.

Here - have the list.

But you know what I find the most upsetting out of this whole thing?

17) MIKAELA BANES (Megan Fox, Transformers)

I sure as hell hope that's someone who didn't make it into the movie. Please? Please, someone tell me it wasn't Shia LeBouef's girlfriend? Please? Because if it was, and she made it in as somehow, bizarrely, cooler than Ivanova, I may just weep for the future of the genre. ETA: Aaaand I'm reading the full list with explanations and pictures on TotalSciFi now, and it is the eye-candy from the movie. I don't care if she was a mechanic, people - she was played for eye candy every minute she was on-screen, and that's not ground-breaking. That's going backwards. If you want an "unlikely mechanic," go for Kaylee Frye from Firefly, B'Elanna Torres from Star Trek: Voyager... for god's sake, someone created for a reason other than pandering to teenage boys and adult men with brains that haven't matured past their teens. Please.

So, folks - who is the list missing? Who do you think definitely has to be on there? And who's your pick for #1 most ground-breaking or earth-shaking female character in sci-fi?

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] backward_heels, because, um, I've been a crappy mod, and we need content there!

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