Category: (deconstructing) sexism
the great @lizhenry on WisCon Dudes
chris. | 2 June 2014 | 9:54 pm | (deconstructing) sexism | 2 Comments

Andy and i were discussing Yet Another Heinous WisCon Situation tonight.  He ultimately exclaimed, “What is it with certain WisCon conversations where A Dude seems to always think he knows better??”

“Well,” i said, “it’s exactly like Liz Henry said during the convention….”

I need this to be a sticker that i can affix to my laptop, my notebook, my WisCon badge holder, dudes’s mouths….

living in the patriarchy
chris. | 3 April 2012 | 7:08 pm | (deconstructing) sexism, gadgetry | 2 Comments

I continue to live within patriarchal systems, tho’ some have tried to persuade me patriarchy is long dead.

One of the effects of patriarchy that i live with on a regular basis is the condescension of men who are convinced of my complete insignificance and of their absolute rightness — even in the face of evidence to the contrary.  An example:

Me:  It sure is lovely outside.

Your average middle-aged middle class white dude:  Yes, the forecast said it should get up as high as 57F today!

Me:  Oh, it’s much warmer than that already.  The thermometer i keep on my purse said it was almost 70F when i was out at lunch.

Yamamcwd:  Oh, i don’t believe that!  I was out just 45 minutes ago and i was so cold i still felt chilly inside my winter jacket.

Me:  All i’m saying is the thermometer i keep on my purse said it was over 65F right before i walked in the building from lunch.

Because, yes yes, his ability to gauge the ambient temperature with his human skin is far more accurate than a device regularly used for the purpose by scientists and laypeople alike.

On the other hand, occasionally i am pleasantly surprised.  I bought a ridiculously swanky microphone today.  As i made my way to the counter, i braced for some comment from the clerk along the lines of, “Oh, buying a gift for you boyfriend, eh?”  I was genuinely startled when another employee said as he walked past me, “That is a great microphone.  Really, really excellent!  Good choice!”

Granted, i was at the University Bookstore and not your random-ass Radio Shack.  Still.  The years upon years upon decades where i’ve been treated like an incompetent, bumbling fool every time i try to buy something even remotely techy — and, yes, the dudebros at Radio Shack have always been the worst offenders in this regard — have given me ingrained reflexes.

So thank you, middle aged guy working in the University Bookstore tech department, for being better than the average i’ve come to expect.

In other news:  I have apparently bought a ridiculously swanky microphone!  What should i record with it?  Aside from pronunciations for Wordnik?  If you could hear me read something to you, what would it be?

readings from the week — 2012-1-14
chris. | 14 January 2012 | 4:48 pm | (deconstructing) class(ism), (deconstructing) sexism, glosses | 2 Comments

women on book covers

Jim C. Hines: “Striking a Pose (Women and Fantasy Covers)”.

A while back, we had a discussion on the blog about the cover art for my princess novels. For the most part, I really like these covers, but they’re not perfect.

Now I could talk about the way women are posed in cover art … or I could show you. I opted for the latter, in part because it helped me to understand it better. I expected posing like Danielle to feel a little weird and unnatural. I did not expect immediate, physical pain from trying (rather unsuccessfully) to do the hip thing she’s got going on.

Pictorial hilarity ensues.  But don’t forget to ask yourself:  If Jim looks so funny in these poses, why in the world are they treated as normal for women on book covers??

I was a little disturbed, however, by the number of people in comments who congratulated Jim on his bravery.  Again, why in the world is it brave for Jim to pose for and post these pictures, but it’s normal for women characters on book covers??

a chav costume party sanctioned by Leeds University Union

Rachel: “Not your costume: Leeds University and chav parties”.

But imagine what it’s like to be a working class kid, already struggling to fit in and watching Leeds University Union promote this shit as acceptable and unproblematic.   Imagine how it would make you feel about your right to be at that institution at all.

And now tell me again why you think it’s funny.

on being asexual (and how it’s awesome!)

s.e. smith: “I Am Asexual (And It’s Awesome!)”.

There’s a devaluation that happens with relationships that are intimate, but not necessarily sexual in nature, and I hear that devaluation every time I get asked if I have “someone special” in my life. The answer to that question, of course, is “YES!” I have several special people in my life. People whom I love deeply and am very intimate with, rely upon for support, support in turn, and consider very close partners. They are not romantic or sexual partners, but that doesn’t make our relationships less valid or less strong.

i almost asked you to beta this post
chris. | 9 December 2011 | 4:29 pm | (deconstructing) sexism, collected rants | Comments closed

This is probably not a radical concept, but for some reason it just occurred to me.

Perhaps women, who are so often said to be “naturally” superior to men at working cooperatively in teams and at consensus-building, are not “natural” at this at all.  Perhaps we’ve all been nurtured to be cooperative and to seek consensus, because we’ve been programmed by society to doubt our own ideas, our own talents.  If we doubt our own abilities so much, then of course we’re going to seek others — to approve our ideas, to tweak our ideas to “improve” them, to support us by cheering us on as we try to do something.

I think consensus-building and cooperative team-work are great things and can improve most any project, but i think they’re great tactics for everyone.  And i especially think that trusting in our own brains and in our own abilities would also be great for everyone.

upon a re-watch of ‘Doctor Who’ season 4
chris. | 7 March 2010 | 12:15 am | (culture) consuming, (deconstructing) sexism | Comments closed

This is kind of ranty all across new Who including “The End of Time,” so it’s pretty spoilerific.

Read more »

the mammoth book of mindblowing SF fail
chris. | 4 August 2009 | 2:45 pm | (deconstructing) sexism | Comments closed

Paul Di Filippo writes about the ToC of “The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF”:

First, how are anthologies assembled?  By 1)  an editor’s reference to his past reading experience, for reprints; 2) “invitation only” for new stories; 3) “open call” for new stories.

The book in question was assembled by a combo of 1) and 2).  Obviously, Mike Ashley recalled only stories by men and invited stories only from males.  (Or possibly, invited women who did not respond or qualify.)  This resulted in a men-only book.  Is this sexism […]?


It’s sexism because it’s the sort of narrow thinking produced by a culture that’s still trying to emerge from the overt sexism of the past.  If you’re not a sexist because some of your best friends are women — why, even your wife is a woman!! — and yet you still fail to think of women when you’re, for example, putting together an anthology, then you are still acting like a sexist.

Let’s say it again: If you’re not a bigot, don’t act like a bigot.