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Posts Tagged ‘go go gadget activism’

Trans activism, language, and Yuletide

I know, I know — that’s a very motley assortment of things to stick in one post. But I’m going out of town tomorrow, and the rest of today is liable to be very busy, so I’d rather combine them than let one fall through the cracks.

The serious and important one first: I have signed on to this statement in support of trans-inclusive feminism. Because I know several people for whom this is not a matter of theory or debate, but their daily lives, and anything I can do to make that easier for them is absolutely worth doing.

Signing a statement is a minor thing, but I hope that mentioning it here is a larger one. And yes, I am thinking about ways to reflect this in my writing.

On a lighter note, my post at SF Novelists this month is “Lingua universalis fantasiae”, on the tendency of fantasy worlds to default to a “Common Tongue.” Comments on that post should go over there on SF Novelists, por favor.

Finally, and most frivolously, Yuletide nominations are open. Yes, I know it’s only September; we’re on a leisurely schedule this year, rather than cramming everything into November. The Yuletide member community is here as usual, if you are looking for more info and discussion.

This entry was also posted at Comment here or there.

Help Us/LJ Support Planned Parenthood

Originally posted by at Help Us/LJ Support Planned Parenthood

Originally posted by at Help Us/LJ Support Planned Parenthood

Originally posted by at Help Us/LJ Support Planned Parenthood

Originally posted by at Help Us/LJ Support Planned Parenthood

Originally posted by at Ode to Planned Parenthood…

Originally posted by at Ode to Planned Parenthood…

Originally posted by at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood

Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).

During the month of May, you can send a specially designed Planned Parenthood vgift to your friends to help support this cause. (And if you need someone to send it to, is always happy to receive gifts!) There are three variations ($1, $5 and $10) for you to choose from, but they'd all look good on your profile when your friends know that you stand by something so important.


Thank you all for your help in our support for Planned Parenthood. This promotion ends June 1, 2012; LiveJournal is not affiliated with Parent Parenthood. For more information about Planned Parenthood, please visit:

-The LiveJournal Team

(If you'd like to help spread the word that we're raising funds for Planned Parenthood, you can crosspost this entry in your own journal or community by using the repost button below!)


Your one-stop shop for SCREAMING RAGE

So I’ve been mentioning lately the situation surrounding women’s rights in the United States (and sometimes elsewhere) — a situation so appalling, that word is utterly inadequate for describing how I feel about it. The best I can do is to point you at Soraya Chemaly’s “Legislators: Women Are Not Cows and Pigs,” which contains a handy run-down of the various pieces of jaw-droppingly retrograde legislation being pushed by conservative extremists. It’s all there, from the suggestion that we should put a woman’s life at risk rather than remove a dead fetus from inside her, to the idea that an employer should be allowed to ask why his female employee wants birth control pills, and then fire her if she says it’s to prevent pregnancy.

I wish I were making this shit up.

I am not as good at eloquent rage as Cat Valente is. (Go read that post for a fairly accurate picture of my current internal state.) But I wanted to say, that fundraiser I’m doing? I attached it to the WoT blogging because I thought, this stuff usually has more success when it’s got some kind of result attached to it, even a silly one. But really, the point isn’t for me to eviscerate WoT merchandising. The point is to raise money for the people fighting back against these attacks. The point is to help Planned Parenthood provide health care to low-income women (though that doesn’t help much when the state of Texas knowingly chucks those services out the window), or to make sure battered women have a safe place to go.

If you can spare any money for a cause like that, please do. And do the things that don’t require money, too: contact your legislators. Speak out. Make it clear that women are not farm animals, that we have a right to privacy and control of our own bodies, that our sexual behavior is no business of the state’s. Fight back.

I want to believe these are the death throes of an old way, and we’ll break through into something better. But that won’t happen if we don’t fight.

fundraising reminder

In the wake of Rush Limbaugh’s disgusting attacks on Sandra Fluke — and when I’ve been reading articles like this one on funding cuts in the UK for domestic violence shelters — it seems an opportune time to remind everybody about the random little fundraiser I’m doing.

More details at that link, but the short form is that, as a part of my ongoing analysis, if you donate to a women’s charity — you choose which one; it could be a shelter or rape counseling or pro-choice or anti-discrimination or whatever — and send me the info, I will buy used copies of various bits of Wheel of Time merchandise, and blog about them for your entertainment.

Because I’m really tired of feeling like we’re backsliding on women’s rights, like the Overton window has shifted to the point where we’ve got a major presidential candidate speaking out against all forms of birth control, and people cheering him for it. So I hope this encourages some of you to donate to a worthy cause.

The Wheel of Time Plan — including bonus fundraiser!

Okay, so after some reflection, here’s the plan.

I’m going to delay posting about the novels until later this year — probably starting in September, with two posts each for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight. The first post will be pure reader reaction (as pure as I can make it, anyway), and the second will be analysis.

In between now and then, I will post about related WoT things. Which ones? Well, that depends on you.

There is a companion book, a short story (which I think is in the companion book), a role-playing game, a video game, and some comic books. I own the first (and therefore possibly the second), but none of the rest, and unlike the usual novels, I can’t obtain them from libraries. Ergo, investigating these things would require me to shell out money as well as time. But, on the other hand, I don’t actually want to solicit money from you guys for what amounts to a random hobby project.

Stick a pin in that for a second, and follow me down a divergent thread, which is that I am deeply furious with the retrograde stuff going on right now in the United States with regard to gender and reproduction. I won’t get into specifics, because I don’t want to turn this into a political thread — but that collided in my head with some of the complaints I’ve made about gender in this series, and lo, an idea was born.

It goes like this: donate to a charity that supports women and/or their right to control their own bodies, and I will subject myself to assorted bits of Wheel of Time merchandising for your entertainment.

It looks like it’ll cost me about $25 a pop to obtain the RPG book and the video game [edited to add: used copies of both], so let’s set those as our minima: if you guys raise twenty-five dollars, I’ll read and report back on the RPG, and if you raise fifty, I’ll do the same for the video game. Seventy-five gets you a more fully-baked version of my homebrew hack for a Wheel of Time RPG, and a hundred gets you a solemn promise that I’ll play the entire video game, come hell, high water, or my complete suckitude at first-person shooters. And if you raise $150 or more, I’ll even hunt down the comic books — which are a rehash of New Spring and The Eye of the World, rather than new material, which is why I’m putting them last.

Donate to a suitable charity — you pick which one — and e-mail me a copy of the receipt at marie[dot]brennan[at]gmail[dot]com. I’ll keep a running tally. There’s no immediate deadline; this part of the project is intended to occupy me through August, so you can donate at any point before then. But do feel free — nay, encouraged — to signal-boost. At a time like this, when a congressional representative can think it’s even remotely excusable to convene a panel on the topic of birth control and stock it entirely with men, I’d like to see women’s rights get a bit of support.

Cat Charity

Originally posted by at post

Via Citykitties (emphasis mine):

A good samaritan found this cat today in a gutter by Clark Park, half dead. He is now at the Cat Doctor with a body temperature of 90 (normal is 102) and blood PCV of 8. The Cat Doctor housecat, Diamond, is currently donating blood to save his life. During the exam, the vet found that this cat has a microchip. When called, his “owners” reported that he was acting sick, so they put him outside. If this makes you as angry as it makes us, please channel your anger in one of two ways: visit our website at and make a donation to help us pay for his care, or share this post and encourage others to do so.

Click to donate.

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Thanksgiving Advent, Day Fifteen: Occupy Wall Street

I could ramble on for a long time — not in a “thankfulness” way –with a lot of only vaguely-connected thoughts regarding Occupy Wall Street, corporate accountability, the current state of U.S. politics, media imbalance, economic inequality, police brutality, and a bunch of other things way too big to fit into a blog post. But since I can’t begin to sort those into anything like a coherent enough order to inflict on other people, I’ll excerpt out one tiny slice that does fit into this series:

I’m thankful for the Occupy Wall Street protest, and its cousins all around the country.

Why am I thankful? Because I’d started to believe, in a fatalistic, “fuck it, I might as well just give up” kind of way, that the political left in this country had lost its will to fight. Let them pass draconian anti-immigration laws, state constitutional amendments against gay marriage, tax cuts for the people who don’t need them, cuts to benefits for the people who do, religious initiatives and attacks on women’s rights and wars that never end — we’ll just sigh and turn on the Xbox for some mindless entertainment.

No. We’ll protest. And not just through meaningless online petitions that only require a few clicks of the mouse: through physical action, through civil disobedience, through a movement that persists until the media can’t ignore it anymore. And this isn’t Tea Party-style activism, either, where the big corporate interests barely even try to hide their hand inside the puppet: it’s grass-roots instead of astroturf. It’s real.

Which isn’t the same thing as perfect. The movement is more a thousand-voiced scream of frustration and rage than a single message; there are so many things that need fixing, so many of them intertwined, that it isn’t as simple as (say) an anti-war protest, whose win condition is clear. OWS supporters want lots of things, and don’t necessarily agree on how any of them should be achieved.

But it’s my end of the political spectrum finally speaking up. Finally fighting. And doing it with enough force and persistence that people are paying attention. The United States is a big ship; she’s slow to turn, and we may not (probably won’t) get her on exactly the heading I’d like to see. Still: every degree of turn is a victory. I’m glad to see so many people do, in fact, have the will to grab the tiller and pull.

Support Antigone Books

If you’re in the U.S., you’ve probably heard about SB1070, Arizona’s horrible racial-profiling immigration law. (Short form: cops are supposed to stop and demand papers from anybody they think might be in the country illegally. You know, brown people.)

janni posted recently about We Mean Business, a coalition of Arizona-local stores that are publicly declaring their opposition to the law. Being a writer, she specifically tagged Antigone Books as a store worth supporting; they’re part of IndieBound’s network of independent bookstores, and will ship to non-local addresses. Well, I’ve got a list twelve miles long of books I keep meaning to buy, so I moseyed on over to their site and picked one up. And, following Janni’s suggestion, I put a note on my order saying I appreciated their stand against SB1070.

Today I got a reply from the store owner, thanking me for that note — because they’ve been receiving a scary amount of hate mail. She didn’t say whether they’ve lost business because of their stand against SB1070, but if people are sending hate mail, I expect sales have fallen off, too. The question is whether sales from people who appreciate their decision have picked up enough to make the difference. If not, then Antigone Books, and other businesses like it, could be in danger of closing down.

If you’ve got a book you’ve been thinking about picking up, think about ordering it from Antigone. Everything I’ve heard about them says they’re good people, and they can special-order things they don’t have in current stock. I don’t live in Arizona, but I’d like to see stores of this kind stay in business.

“You people and your categories.”

As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity. I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work.

The Outer Alliance is a recently-launched LGBT organization for speculative fiction. Depending on which bits of the Internet you play around in, you may be seeing that paragraph a lot in the next day or so, as this has been designated a Pride Day to advertise the organization’s existence.

I have to admit, on the whole, I’ve been more an audience for queer spec fic (or fic of any kinds) than a producer of it. A little victory dance happens inside me every time I see this stuff depicted non-pejoratively in media, because that’s at least half the battle: on one hand you pass the laws, and on the other you have Captain Jack Harkness. In the long run, it’s going to be the kids who grew up watching TV shows and movies and reading books and comics where queerness is accepted who really win the war. Queerness will look about as transgressive to them as women wearing pants does to us.

But of course somebody has to produce those texts, and homosexuality (let alone transgenderism etc) is still pretty thinly represented in SF/F. I’ve done a bit of it, though not enough. Deeds of Men was the cause of my favorite crit-group statement ever: “The sodomy was good!” “A Mask of Flesh” features a xera, a being that actually changes sex based on its long-term mood; there’s another one in “Chrysalis,” set in the same world, who has attained a state of spiritual balance, such that ome exists as a bilateral hermaphrodite. Unfortunately, “Chrysalis” is indicative of most of my other queer-content stories, in that it’s currently awaiting revision before I can send it out. “Love, Cayce” includes a lesbian relationship at one point, and “Remembering Light” confirms something hinted at in “Driftwood,” which is that Last has had relationships with other men. (The broader truth is that, when you’re the only survivor of your world for untold yonks of time, you have lots of relationships of all kinds. He’s no Jack Harkness, sleeping with anything that will stop long enough for him to smile at it/her/him/them/other, but he’s gotten around.)

Basically, this is something that has gotten onto my radar in the relatively recent past, and I’m trying to incorporate it into my work, but I’m producing fewer short stories than I used to and a bunch of the ones I have written aren’t on the market right now, which means the effect of me thinking about it isn’t very visible yet. Still, it’s better than the nothing I had before. And if you follow that top link, you’ll find a post with a kisquillion links to other people’s work, many of them more prolific than I am.