20 November 2010

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2010

Today is the twelfth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, intended to honor the hundreds of trans people who have been killed through malice or neglect directed at them because of how they looked.

Killed. Because of how they looked. When we put it like that, it's horrifying, isn't it? It should be.

One of the dearest, kindest, most artistically bad-ass people I know is a trans woman named Elenore. She's made a comic about today. Go read it. I'll wait.

If you are trans, or love a trans person, coping is a year-round state. For me, one way of coping is acknowledging the intersectionality in play here. If someone, anyone is attacked for how they look, it's the person who does the attacking, and the society that condones the attack, that are in need of a change. Every trans person harmed harms us all. We need to stand up for our fellow humans. Be there, and be heard. It is the least and the most we can do for each other.

19 November 2010

My brain is frazzled, so not much of a post tonight. But here, have an article I fully agree with.
http://www.overthinkingit.com/2008/08/18/why-strong-female-characters-are-bad-for-women/
FYI, this is why, as much as I'm looking forward to the Harry Potter film, I also am dreading it. Supa!fresh Hermione is not my idea of a role model I wish to aspire to. But I shan't start; I'll never finish.

17 November 2010

PDD

This week I don't have must post in me, i must admit. Part of it might be I have been waking up with a mild migraine for the past four days, and it might be partly just the usual business of life.

But I found something hilarious and awesome, so I don't feel too bad for just giving you a link.

Privilege denying dude

16 November 2010

Bits 'N' Bobs

This started out as a mini-post, and turned into a sort of fragmented meander - though hopefully an interesting one...

So, firstly, I’m wondering perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew for roughly the 19th time in my life. Continuing on from Arcadian, at nearly 23 I’m wondering when I will work out my limits. Unlike Arcadian, I feel I can blame this sense of near-invincibility-until-I-actually-keel-over on my parents. Well, my mum. She’s a classic ‘superwoman’ – have an amazing career, create a wonderful home and look after a very demanding family, and more – a truly amazing woman who is (however clich├ęd it sounds) one of my best friends as well as my mum. However, growing up with this as a role model does sort of instil one with a sense that ‘nothing you ever do will ever match up’. A vague impression that I’ll never be working hard enough or aiming high enough.

I’m currently adjusting to working full time for the first time in my life (for longer than 6 weeks) and loving about 98% of it. The only problem being that when I arrive home I’m shattered. I can attempt to something other than have a bath, perhaps watch a bit of TV and go to bed, but it generally doesn’t end happily. Granted, it’s not your average job (touring a theatre-in-education play around primary schools, average 1 ½ hours driving each way and between schools – turns out it’s quite hard work) and I do have a pain/fatigue condition, so I could sort of be let off. But there’s always a little guilty niggle at the back of my brain pointing out that my mother (and to a certain extent my father) has never let illness or fatigue slow her down. I know that the majority of this is me, not my parents – and that they’d be horrified to know this. They have been nothing but supportive, incredibly so, throughout my life. But still I find myself trying to do more and more – alongside a full time 10 hours a day physical job I’m running a weekly drama group (plus fundraiser/performance coming up, gulp) and two book groups, and long distance relationship and all that general family/friends social stuff. On top of a pain/fatigue condition.

To sum up, half of me is going “woah slow down there lady, you’re running yourself into the ground”, whilst the other half is reminding me that “pfft. That’s nothing. Stop whining and do something WORTHWHILE.” Then there’s a tiny little part of me also going “when are you going to grow up, stop worrying about what other people think and realise your limits?" Though does that ever happen? Looking at my mum (however much I love and admire her) I would say not…

Secondly, on a happier and totally random, unrelated note, just when I think Daniel Radcliffe (in his own special way) could not make me adore him any more, he sings the Elements song on national television. However odd this sounds, it made me so happy I thought I would burst (thanks to Arcadian for the tip off!) so thought I would share it with you to lighten up my little whingefest.

Finally, since I seem to be meandering around the place, much to my amusement/despair I vaguely feel it is my duty as a British blogger to mention the newly-announced Royal Engagement. I’m sure it won’t be the last time the media frenzy surrounding Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement is mentioned on Fishnet Bluestocking – even if it is in the form of a rant – as only a few hours in I’m sure mrs_random_cheese (a fellow brit) is already getting as sick as I am at all the fawning obsession surrounding the couple (and I’m saying this as a supporter of the monarchy). It will be interesting to see how the media start treating “Wait-y Katie” now she’s in line to be Queen – the "commoner" who dares to marry a Royal moulded into a new Diana, or (seeing as it's the 21st century) actually allowed to be a modern woman? Hmm…

On THE final note: Prince Harry in charge of a stag do? I’d pay to see that...

15 November 2010

Young and Stupid

"What, and suck all the spontaneity out of being young and stupid? I'd rather live in the dark."

"You're not gonna be young forever."

"Yes, but I'll always be stupid! . . . . Let's not all rush to disagree."

-- Xander and Willow, in the Buffy episode "What's My Line? Part I"

I have from a very young age considered it a massively unfair burden that I must make some dumb and ill-informed decisions before I can learn enough to choose well.

I'm not exaggerating. I hated being corrected as a kid. I don't mean that I fought with grown-ups, or pushed my own view, although I'm sure I did. I mean I can remember the deep sense of embarrassment and shame that used to wash over me when I attempted an answer and was mildly and politely told that no, actually, it was this other thing.

(It is so tempting to blame this sort of thing on one's parents, isn't it? It's a hobby of mine. But in this case, I can't imagine they had anything to do with it; they took a great deal of care to instill confidence in me and encourage me to learn and try new skills, and persevere through mistakes. No, my friends, I blame my parents all the time, but I believe this one is on me.)

When I started college, I swore up and down that I was going to do every reading and attend every class. (See, rather than bypassing young-and-stupid, I merely morphed it into a bizarre, twisted mutation of itself.) I am not joking. I took it seriously. I didn't miss more than one class a semester until half way through my third year.  Because I was knocked so flat with the flu that I couldn't get out of bed, really, for a week. Even then I tried to go to class, only to leave halfway through and get taken to the doctor by a caring university nurse. (I still made it to my philosophy seminars, and sat in the corner, contagious and miserable.)

If I only take things seriously, I tell myself. I can just avoid that whole mistake-making, not-thinking-through element of the human condition. That's other people's problem, I decided. I will do better. I just need standards.

I'm putting all this in the past tense, but I am barely, edgily, inching my way out of this way of thinking.

Because a lot of things did work in that way of thinking. I sure attended a lot of college classes. It gave me a bizarre kind of confidence in myself, and a way to feel in control of my life. Just learn enough, that's the ticket. There is somehow a level of knowledge you can achieve that will make you ... what? Confident? Responsible? Intelligent? Impossible to overlook? Whatever. I was going to find out, because I was going to get there.

And it was all fun and games until I looked around and found myself living in a Bryan Fuller show, but without the supernatural element. And I'm still looking around being like, well, I thought that going to high school, and going to college, and then traveling, and working, and traveling more, and getting a master's, I thought that would be enough. And I don't really see how a PhD would help me. But something went wrong, because it wasn't enough.

Every person older than me (and maybe 85% of the people younger than me but older than say, 17) is shaking her head, the way I do when a fictional character has just made a really boneheaded move. (You thought that would work? You're cute but stupid!)

I can't illustrate this all adorable, like the clever person who runs Hyperbole and a Half would do. And I can't seem to make it deep, or about anything other than my confused floundering. (I mean, I'm sure it's a metaphor, for, um, politics! Everything is a metaphor for politics, right? It means, um, personal responsibility, or something.) It's not a feminist issue, except for how I'm bitter at people, some of whom are men, who seem to have their lives better sorted. It's not even about culture, or pop culture.

It's just that universal human thing, of wait, how the fuck did I get here? Because I honestly thought the map was going that way... and now that I am here -- can I do anything about it?

You know what this relates to? Being fucking 26. If I were older, and knew more, I wouldn't have this problem! FOILED AGAIN.

14 November 2010

Linking Again

I've taken another dive deep into Miles Vorkosigan land, which means that instead of getting anything done I'm sitting with a library book giggling and talking aloud to fictional characters. (...Shut up.) 

Thinking about Miles and how he stacks up against other escapist heroes brought me back here. Ahh, who doesn't love a good excuse for self-pity? So sexy. (On the page I mean. I believe many a real-life relationship has suffered from an excess of self-pity.)

Stephen Fry Gives Me What I Want!

Sort of.

Thanks for the tip, Word.