I had a medical procedure yesterday – nothing serious, but rather painful. And I’ve spent the last 24 hours “enjoying” the cramps and stabbing feelings, and making copious use of naps/painkillers.
I woke up from my nap an hour ago, rather dazed, and checked my inbox.
… And apparently this blog is on the honours for the Galactic Suburbia Award.
The first response from me, upon opening Alex’s email, was: “WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN MY INBOX?”
Then I fell back onto the bed, convinced that the painkillers were giving me hallucinations.
Followed by me listening to the latest Galactic Suburbia podcast in full, and realizing that no – this was definitely not a hallucination.
And then I fell on the bed again.
GUYS. WOMEN. PEOPLE OF ALL GENDERS.
DO YOU KNOW
(as evidenced by my explosion of SQUEE when they were nominated for the Hugos last year)
I’m being calm about this. So: Galactic Suburbia is a feminist speculative fiction podcast. A Hugo-nominated feminist speculative fiction podcast, to be precise!
They have a yearly award for activism and communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction in 2012.
… and I am on the honors list.
Clearly I have not yet gotten to the “acceptance” phase of the process.
I remember hearing Galactic Suburbia calling for nominations for the award in their last episode. And my reaction was something along the lines of: ” I hope that in a couple years, I’m producing commentary good/interesting enough to be considered for the shortlist.”
THIS BLOG IS NOT EVEN ONE YEAR OLD. I’m a college student rambling on the internet when I should be sleeping/doing homework.
Here is the full Award, with the Winner and the Honours list:
Winner: Elizabeth Lhuede for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Lhuede created the Australian Women’s Writers Challenge to respond to the inequity in women’s work being read, reviewed and treated seriously in Australia. In the lead up to 2012, Australia’s National Year of Reading, Lhuede decided to do something to help redress this imbalance and raise awareness of Australian Women’s Writing. Lhuede created the AWW to encourage people to examine their reading habits, and commit to reading and reviewing more books by Australian women throughout 2012.
Kirstyn McDermott, for the creation of the female stick figure in an episode of her podcast, the Writer and the Critic (episode 19). McDermott pointed out that the standard stick figure is not inherently male nor female, and so created a female stick figure – which looks exactly like the male stick figure, but with a female stick figure after it – bringing attention to the idea of the male as default.
Julia Rios for her podcasts and discussions about moving beyond the 101 – feminism 101, sexuality 101 etc.
Genevieve Valentine for starting the discussion about sexual harassment at SF/F conventions. Specifically, for blogging about how the Readercon Board ignored its zero-tolerance harassment policy when she reported being sexually harassed by a Big Name Fan. As Alisa Krasnostein on Galactic Suburbia put it, the conversation led to enormous fallout, but as a result, policies for conventions have changed, and people have started looking at what we want SF/F fandom to be like, in terms of safety
The phenomenon of (and the arguments AGAINST) the Fake Geek Girl - specifically, for the spectacular responses to (mostly) men complaining about Fake Geek Girls. There were too many posts and responses to choose just one for the shortlist, but the discussion around whether women can be “real geeks” has been fascinating conversations on the internet.
Jim Hines (returning nominee!) for his modeling of how SF/F covers portray women in unrealistic ways. Hines brings attention to the issue by trying to replicate the poses himself – and recently used his posing to raise lots and lots of money for the Aicardi syndrome foundation. Humor and fundraising and feminist social issues, all at once!
Anita Sarkeesian for her TEDx talk, where she discusses her experience of the internet harassment she experienced as a result of her kickstarter project Tropes v. Women in Video Games.
The Hawkeye Initiative - a tumblr that brings attention to the way women are portrayed in comic book art. In the Hawkeye Initiative, people redraw comic art that depicts women in horrible ways… with Hawkeye – thus transposing the pose from the female body to the male body, and showing how ridiculous the poses are in the first place.
Seanan McGuire for her blog post Thing I Will Not Do to my Characters, in which she discusses why she will never write her female characters being raped. This was a response to a fan saying that if McGuire doesn’t depict her female characters getting raped, it wouldn’t be realisitc.
Liz Bourke for her Sleeps With Monsters column on Tor.com.
The Girl Who Wrote a Letter to Hasbro about how if she picked a female character in Guess Who, it was really easy for her opponent to win because there were many more male characters than female characters on the board. Led to some really important conversations about gender issues in board games for children.
Geena Davis for her activism and analysis in the field of children’s television, and more specifically for a speech on gender equality in children’s television.
An honorary mention for the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, for her speech against misogyny in parliament this year.
Oh, and, er… me.
The more I listened to Alex, Tansy and Alisa talking about the Award list on the podcast, the more my brain exploded. I’m on an honours list with Seanan McGuire and Jim C. Hines and Genevieve Valentine and Anita Sarkeesian and Liz Bourke and Julia Rios and Elizabeth Lhuede and Kirstyn McDermott.
Like I said earlier, this blog has been running for less than a year. And I can’t… quite express how amazing it is that Galactic Suburbia think my work belongs on a list with these people, who have done so much inspiring, brilliant work on issues of gender in the world of speculative fiction and fandom.
I feel extraordinarily honored to be on this list, with these people (and the Hawkeye Initiative/the Fake Geek Girl Discussion!). Thank you so much to Galactic Suburbia for including me. And thank you to Celia Powell, who I believe nominated me).
(Galactic Suburbia’s full episode is here)
(I will update the blog with the exact descriptions of the winner and honors list just as soon as they are out).
(Also, if you’re not listening to Galactic Suburbia, and you’re interested in gender issues and/or SF/F… you should consider listening. They’re delightful and inspiring and they make my walk to campus much more enjoyable)
[This is a very silly post. You have been warned]
I am, of course, terribly excited about this new development. Whoo! I have enough traffic that I’ve got vehement disagreement!
They may even be trolls. It’s hard to tell.
But still! Troll-like comments. Oh, I am marvelously excited about this!
Buried beneath the comments about how “feminists are all misandronists” (does anyone know what a misandronist is, out of curiosity? Right now, I’m going for a cross between a misandrist and an android) and the comments telling me how offensive I was, and the ones explaining that I was everything that was wrong with the world…
… there was actually a point I thought was worth addressing, from the Very Long Comment Left by a Very Concerned Commentator:
“So for the love of the gods, get off your soap boxes and relax. Maybe have a bit of fun for a change.”
Now, I have to admit, I was very confused by this… suggestion. I mean, I appreciate the sentiment, don’t get me wrong! It’s nice to know that the Very Concerned Commentator, despite thinking that I’m a horrible person, does want me to have fun.
My reaction, however, wasn’t so much: “Oh, god! They’re right! I must immediately stop blogging and go to an amusement park instead!”
It was more along the lines of: “But…I am having fun.”
Yes. Seriously. I know you’re skeptical. But I am having fun. Not just low-level fun either. I’m talking Lord of the Rings Marathon fun. Giant ice cream-party-fun. Playing with a kitten fun. Learning to do a handstand fun. Digging a space-time tunnel to Shakespearian England fun.
Hey, I get it. Maybe writing giant 5000-word-rants isn’t your thing. And that’s fine. Some people toilet-paper houses. Some people climb Mount Everest without bottled oxygen. Some people parachute out of airplanes. Some people belly-dance. Some people dip their fries in milkshake. Some people watch the Star Wars prequels (*shudder*). To quote the inestimable Hoban Washburne:
And some people – me – write self-righteous feminist analyses of pop-culture. Because that’s my idea of fun. Bizarre, I know, but I love deconstructing stuff. I love ranting. I love writing. Fuck, I would do this for free…
… and in point of fact, I do. (unless someone is paying me without my knowledge, which seems unlikely)
So I appreciate your concern, my dear past-and-future commentators. But rest assured that it’s fine. I am having fun.
Which leads me to point #2 of My Dearest Very Concerned Commentator’s Concern. They suggested – several times – that I should get off my soapbox.
I’m going to assume that My Dearest Very Concerned Commentator was not, in fact, referring to an actual soapbox, but was referring to my blog. Mostly because I don’t own a soapbox, and the Very Concerned Commentator has no way of knowing whether or not I own a soapbox, and sometimes people use metaphors… and yeah.
The soapbox is probably a metaphor for the blog. Right.
Again, this is interesting advice. But as we’ve seen, I actually enjoy writing this blog, so not writing it would mean having less fun, which directly contradicts their prior advice to have MORE fun -
So in spite of my deep gratitude and appreciation for My Dearest Very Concerned Commentator’s advice… I did not follow their instructions.
Wait! Wait! Before you spill all your tea in shock! Let me explain!
Very Concerned Commentator is right. This blog is my soapbox.
Which means I get to talk about whatever I want on it.
Kittens! Puppies! Feminist rants! American Idol! Science Fiction! More kittens! Stupid jokes! Weird GIFS! EVEN MORE KITTENS! FEMINIST KITTENS!
Whatever I want.
Now, you may disagree with what I write. That’s perfectly fine. You may think what I care about is trivial. That’s also perfectly fine. You may argue with what I write. Again: perfectly fine.
You can even get your own soapbox/blog and talk about what you want on it. You can talk about how wrong I am for hours and hours and hours and hours. Have fun (and I don’t mean that sarcastically)!
Hell, you don’t even have to read me! Unlike a real soapbox, where you’re stuck listening to whatever dolt is ranting on the public square, no one is forcing you to read this blog. Absolutely no one. If you don’t want to read my rants… don’t.
But you cannot tell me to get off my soapbox.
Because I built it and I will stay on it as long as I damn please.
See! There’s my soapbox! My feminist soapbox. Isn’t it awesome? It isn’t exactly a soapbox – I’m pretty sure it used to contain books, not soap – but it’s pretty close. And the colors are shiny.
…Yes. Yes, I did literally build a soapbox to stand on. Or sit on.
Yes. Yes, in fact, I did take that comment way too far. WAAAAAAY too far.
Even though playing with markers was pretty fun.
[By Jove, I love the smell of sharpie in the morning. Smells like... gender equality.]
Let’s recap, shall we?
Yes, everyone, this blog is my soapbox. Yes, everyone, I am having fun on my blog/soapbox.
No, you cannot tell me to get off my soapbox. Not unless you want me to take your comment waaaaaaaay too literally and spend an hour-and-a-half building an actual soapbox.
I know everyone was deeply concerned about these questions. Now that they have been answered, feel free to go about your normal business!
Feminist Batwoman – I mean, Culturally Disoriented – out.
*Any resemblance between Culturally Disoriented and the masked vigilante and Protector of Gender Equality known as the Feminist Batwoman is purely coincidental. Even though they’re wearing the same mask. And they’re never in the same place at the same time.
It’s. A. Coincidence. They have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Like Bruce Wayne and Batman.
**Also, if anyone knows what a misandronist is… page me.
*** If you would like to build your own feminist soapbox (or anti-racist/LGBT/trans-issues/star wars/whatever soapbox), please do! But remember that actual cardboard boxes are quite flimsy, and probably won’t support your weight. My cat fell through the box when she jumped on it. Cardboard = not the best idea.
Why does mine work? I propped it up with a giant stack of books underneath.