I just figured out the thing that bugs me so much about the attacks on Supernatural’s producers ad writers in the name of inclusion and social justice…in it’s own way it’s another form of erasure.
The ideas that Supernatural kills all it’s female character or has no minority characters, or when it does, they die - is simply, mathematically wrong. The same goes for LGBT characters. Also - falling victim to the heteronormative, white-washy assumption that all characters are cis, straight and white until declare otherwise is Not Good.
Not only do fans ignore the existence of characters and plot points that don’t serve their anger, but in doing so, they completely erase and ignore minority characters. Attacking the show on twitter for killing women ignore and invalidates all the great women on the show who aren’t dead, and also ignores the impact of the death and role of their deaths in the story.
The idea that for representation to matter - for a minority character to be important enough to really have impact - that said character must receive some sort of validation from the writers or producers, is self defeating. When I see these criticisms I often want to ask - what would you rather have? A female lead? No women die ever? Recast the show with different, more diverse leads? If the answer is “no” then you have to reconsider what it is you actually want and what you’re criticizing.
Every bit of representation matters and it is part of the problem, not part of the solution to ignore that representation and demand MORE because what we have isn’t important enough. Yes, more is important - I want more shows with Female and/or LGBT and/or POC leads. And yes, SPN has done problematic things - but it is not The Worst Show Ever. It’s actually quite good and ignoring the good things the show has done is just a perpetuation of a culture to whom minorities can be invisible.
All I’m suggesting is that before we grab our torches and pitch forks to join the cool kids in their angry mob and the we ask ourselves: what do I want to see? What might I be ignoring that’s already there? And most importantly: What can I do or create on my own to make things better.
At 13, Balkissa Chaibou walked to the center and asked to hide out until her father and uncle agreed not to marry her to a middle aged man in Nigeria. Balkissa, studious, poised and driven beyond her years, had little understanding of what marriage entailed beyond an end to her schooling and a new life far away from her mother.
As one of 18 siblings, her French-speaking classroom was the place where she stood out, felt seen and understood. When—at 12—her uncle first announced he’d found a husband for her, she reasoned that the only solution to the “problem” was to become the top student in her class—male or female. Then, she believed, the principal would tell her parents she had to finish.
Her mother Hausa, the third and youngest of three wives who had come from Mali illiterate and unable to speak the tribal language, was the first to be swayed by her daughter’s tireless campaign. She counseled Balkissa to be patient and said it was her mantra—having spent the past 16 years verbally and physically taunted for being light-skinned and “a witch.”
Balkissa, the spitting image of her mother, adhered to her wishes until her patience ran out. When her uncle and father persisted, she ran away to the SOS shelter where one of the counselors reached out to the principal of her school and together and the three drew up a document for her father and uncle to sign stating that they would not marry her.
Don’t shame people for not knowing how to do something you think is common knowledge.
The reason someone doesn’t know something is simply that they were never taught it. It does not mean they are less intelligent than you, It means that no one ever took the time to teach it to them. You got lucky that someone taught it to you or else you wouldn’t know it either. So stop.
Stiles ‘whatever the hell your first name is’ Stilinski is many things.
He is a researcher. He is stubborn. He is obsessive. He is sarcastic. He is calculating. He is closed off.
These are the quintessential Stiles things. The ones were shown on a day to day basis without having to infer into his actual interactions with character or other plot devices.
Stiles is also fiercely protective of what is his, to the point of yup you get it he becomes obsessive.
Point A. Scott McCall
When Scott becomes a werewolf stiles buries himself in research to find out what his friend is. Then when the time comes he finds ways to help Scott overcome the problems of the werewolf.
Point B. Lydia Martin
We all play it off very jokingly about his ten year plan with Lydia Martin. About how though we’ve seen allusions to the Stilinski family having financial problems he still buys her a lavish gift. How he knows incredibly private things about Lydia as though he picked up a book. But in reality this wouldn’t be normal, this would be considered obsessive and many girls would turn away from it as Lydia originally did.
Sheriff Stilinski. Stiles wants to keep his dad around for however long he possibly can. But his growing age and line of duty terrifies him, which is normal for a teenager. So he tries to control everything within his range and if that means buying turkey bacon then he damn well will buy turkey bacon.
But, here’s something he’s not. He’s not outright mean or manipulative to anyone unless they either have done somethig to him or his loved ones or it serves a larger purpose.
So his handling of Liam just makes no sense to me.
I know he brushes things off with a joke almost all the time. But here’s why it unsettles me.
1. Liam has literally done absolutely nothing to him but be better then him at lacrosse. That’s it. And he already outright hates him, which fine I’ll just brush it off at teenage jealousy.
2. Liam has a mental disease. He has first hand experience from his mother being sick about how mental diseases can claw away at the person you are, how you’re powerless to control them. And he laughs at it.
Stiles has become in a sense much more mean spirited then he has ever been. Also don’t forget his treatment of Lydia as of late, someone who is supposed to be his friend. Wether it’s a after affect of him housing the nogitsune or just shitty writing, I hate it.
1. I agree, Liam hadn’t done anything at that point. I think that in the initial episode where we meet Liam, Stiles’ reaction to him is about losing something good. Is it an overreaction? In one sense, yes. But remember Stiles is harboring guilt about things the Nogitsune did. Stiles and the pack as a whole are dealing with multiple problems and their own grief. Now this new person is threatening the one positive thing he thought he didn’t have to worry about—his position on the lacrosse team.
2. I think Stiles’ reaction to the I.E.D. revelation is in character. They’re dealing with a dead pool list with HIS friends on it. His best friend just bit a kid and that probably means the Calaveras are on their way. They didn’t need an extra problem. I think it’s less of a “ha ha” laugh than an exasperated, frustrated, “we-don’t-need-more-problems” laugh.
3. His treatment of Lydia. I’ve written a little bit in more detail here, but the gist of what I wrote is…Yes, almost everyone being distracted and not paying attention to Lydia is a problem, but I don’t think it means he stopped caring for Lydia. All of the established characters, Stiles included, are simply trying to hold things together. Often, that means focusing on the most immediate threats like assassins.
That said, it’s completely valid to dislike his treatment of Lydia and I think we ARE narratively suppose to be concerned about how Stiles is acting. This is the season of consequences. They can’t go back so their focus must be on moving forward. And no one said that wouldn’t be messy.
Honestly, I think if they had had more time and they could’ve become friends. Epilepsy and asthma aren’t the same problems, but…
They know what it feels like to be unpopular, to feel weak, to be afraid of something they can’t control and never chose. I think Scott would’ve sympathized with that kind of frustration and indignation that comes when people have wrong ideas about a disease and the stigma it can carry.
"People with asthma can’t…"
"You know she has epilepsy, right?"
Erica didn’t want to be defined by one aspect of herself. And when she scaled that rock wall the second time. She wasn’t doing it for anyone else. She was alone in that room. I believe it was because she wanted to prove to herself she could overcome her fear.
When we first see Scott, he’s doing pull-ups, he’s trying to be healthy. And during the summer? What was he trying to do? He tried to improve and better himself.
Teen Wolf has it’s flaws, but one thing I can applaud is it’s acknowledgement that challenges whether it’s asthma or epilepsy or lycanthropy or any ONE aspect of a person is NOT all a person is.
From the way they framed the Mason and Lydia conversation, we are suppose to be concerned about her.
All we are getting are glimpses of suffering of these characters.
We know Eichen house payments are a concern for the Stilinskis from what was on the Sheriff’s desk.
The brief conversation in the jeep in Mexico showed a glimpse of how everything is still affecting Scott.
The conversation between Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa when they thought it was a human and not supernatural case shows they’re concerned about their kids having normal lives.
Kira and Scott WANTED to simply have normal lives. But I think Stiles wanting another case is a manifestation of how much guilt he still carries. He WANTS to help to redeem himself or he wants the distraction.Probably both.
Okay, pulling this back into the Stydia discussion. I think we ARE suppose to be concerned about how people are treating each other. And the latest episode had a major theme of guilt in it:
Stiles’ confession to Malia.
Malia’s fears about herself.
Stiles trying to help Malia by sharing his own pain because he thinks he can help her.
Derek’s guilt about past actions with his chastisement of Peter’s methods.
Liam’s guilt over what he did at his last school.
And the simple act of having Allison’s name on the screen for the password? It’s a reminder that Lydia tried to get her to stay away. It’s a reminder that Scott still wonders what if he arrived sooner. It’s a reminder that Stiles definitely feels guilty about the nogitsune’s actions and how he had felt in control and powerful.
Lydia broke down in front of Mason—a person she doesn’t even know. Why? Because she hasn’t told her friends why the lake house needs to be pristine. She knows all of them are dealing with their own stuff. Hell, there’s even the immediate concerns about Liam to deal with right in that moment.
If you’re mad at how everyone is blind to Lydia’s suffering, I think we’re suppose to be.
The tagline of the season is “Can’t go back.”
So they sure as hell need to show the consequences of the past seasons. I think one way they are doing it is through what Stiles is doing.
Stiles is distracted by his own guilt and want to help and redeem himself. And with Malia it’s mixed with wanting to be wanted, too. Remember what he said to Scott at the hospital? “It’s okay to want something for yourself.”
Add the fact that Lydia explicitly stated she is “done with teenage boys”.
Lydia is in grieving, too. She lost her best friend and Aiden, someone she liked—someone who had been trying to prove himself to her. Lydia was recovering from Jackson leaving WHILE she was with Aiden. Then Aiden died.She didn’t even want to be the one manipulating a young Freshman boy with her looks. Suggesting Kira be the one simultaneously gives Kira a boost of self-esteem and gives her an out from being the one who has to do it.
I’m not mad that the show decided and rightfully so that Lydia is not in a place for a romantic relationship with anyone.
If Stiles is seemingly more cruel or more likely unintentionally cruel to Lydia, it’s because both of them are still dealing with fresh wounds.
I hope Teen Wolf picks up more explicitly on the thread of how EVERYONE is in pain and suffering. I want more than The Calaveras matriarch mentioning they are in a period of grieving. I want them to talk about Allison, Erica, Boyd, Aiden. I want the impact to be seen on screen.
So in my meta I was discussing the whole idea of Parrish as the Raven. Then the mid-season trailer was revealed with him all sooty and all fired up looking like he could possibly be a phoenix rising from the ashes so on and so forth. So I had added more to my meta regarding just that. That original meta can be read here (http://legacy-and-ploy.tumblr.com/post/92780217413/parrish-and-the-raven-trope). Anyway the point of this new post is to continue talking about the whole Raven vs Phoenix conundrum, because upon doing more research I have found some interesting comparisons.
The biggest thing I have found was possibly where the phoenix legend first came from.
"Ravens and crows have been known to practice a peculiar form of behavior called ‘Anting’. The bird will disturb an ant’s nest, or sit over something sweet (like spilled honey or an almost empty soda-pop can), spread out its wings, and allow ants to run up and down its body. It is thought that the ants give the bird a sort of ‘back massage’ this way, or that they feast on feather mites which live on the bird and cause irritation. For whatever reason, they seem to enjoy the sensation and have been known to do it repeatedly.
In a similar way, some of these birds will sit over a hot surface, such as the dying embers of a fire, and spread out their wings. Perhaps they do it for the same reason we sit in a sauna - they just enjoy the heat - or perhaps they use the intense heat to encourage feather mites to find a different home. Since they won’t talk, it’s hard to tell.
However, if a bird such as a large raven sits on the embers of a fire, and for some reason chooses to flap its wings (maybe as a way to cool off, or maybe because it’s ready to take to the air) then it could stir the fire to life again. The sudden resurgence of flames around it would almost certainly cause the bird to take off.
And voila - you have a bird rising from the midst of flames and ashes.”
That in itself is interesting because here we have a bird which could have been the original inspiration behind the mythology of the phoenix. Then we go a little further into Raven.
"Raven is a juxtaposition of opposites: A provider and a thief. A hero and a fool. He brought light out of darkness, but he is himself cloaked in midnight black. He is a symbol of dark brooding sadness, and of death, yet he brings life, and unrivalled joy. He is credited with creating the earth and all its mysteries, but even the smallest secret attracts his attention. He is a silent spy, and an unstoppable chatterbox. He is many things…. And sometimes he is nothing. That is Raven."
Again to me this sounds like Parrish. He in the show has been show as quite a conundrum. He is righteous but from the trailer obviously will do what it takes to help fight for his life. He is cloaked in midnight black in the trailer as well, and we know he has seen plenty of death.
Through research I also consistently see the idea of ravens and phoenix being drawn as comparisons to one another, either as source for the mythology or that the two would look very similar depending on the age and cycle of life of the bird.
In many societies the phoenix represented the sun, and took on the physical representation of such things. As stated in my previous meta the raven was also known to have flown to the sun in some mythologies in order to retrieve fire and light to bring back to mankind another parallel between the two.
And then furthermore in some cultures such as at the Mandan legend of “The Bird that made the Meat Bitter” we see that in this version the story of the White Raven and Phoenix are one in the same. So it has been seen that these two birds have been intricately linked throughout many histories, but are also vastly different at the same time.
Just a bit more information regarding both things that I find very interesting especially in how they can pertain to as far as Parrish is concerned.
i want so badly to ignore this and just get on with my life, considering that i’m in the midst of tour and traveling the US right now, but it’s clear that I can’t escape this. this is a very long post, i am keeping it under a cut.
additionally, at least until tumblr moves on from this, my askbox is off. it is a nightmare. i can’t deal with it right now.
so. I was an invited panelist at Dashcon, and I was on 10 panels over the weekend. my name is mark, I run Mark Reads and Mark Watches, and have been doing so for 5 years next month. (HOLY SHIT THAT IS A LONG TIME.) I have been attending cons for over a decade and been speaking at them as a panelist or a guest since 2011. Including my own tour events outside of cons, I have participated in over 150 “panels,” ranging from 50 minutes to 4 hours. I’m including this upfront because I’ve already been accused of being a 16-year-old nobody who doesn’t know what he’s doing at cons and is ruining fandom. Also, I’m apparently white and straight. ALSO THIS IS A MESS.
Mark, how did you end up at Dashcon?
My good friend Krista recommended me to the admins and urged me to sign up because she wanted to do a panel about homoerotic subtext and queerbaiting with me. (Yes, this is the same infamous panel that has caused a lot of drama.) I signed up after submitting a panelist application. I had to have a half hour Skype interview with Megg and Roxanne, the admins, in order to even be considered. Once they knew that I was well experienced at running panels and being a moderator, we discussed about 4-5 possible panels they wanted me on. The process was organized and stress-free for me. I have no complaints about it.
Then how did you end up on 10 panels?
My friend Krista unfortunately had to drop out due to a medical issue. I took over her spots on other panels, since I had either done similar panels in the past, or they made sense based on what I do and write about.
How much did Dashcon pay you?
They didn’t. I was not a special guest.
That’s fucked up, isn’t it?
No, and allow me to dispel the first of about a million rumors: until you are supermegahuge, you do not get paid to go to conventions. I’ve been going to cons as a professional/panelist for 3 years now. I’ve not once been paid for it. Sometimes, if I am contributing a lot or if a con really wants me to present, my badge will be comped. A few have given me free lodging or reduced lodging. Next year, the wonderful folks at ConQuesT are giving me the privilege of being a Guest of Honor for the first time, and it’s a HUGE deal to me. But this is standard. It’s a business expense for me, I have to view each con trip as a promotional outlet for me, and moneywise, they’re always a loss. My hope is simply to gain more fans and exposure and pay my dues. I go to conventions because I want to make the community better. I often am on panels about representation, race, and queerness, and I want to do the difficult work of making fandom more diverse through it.
So what happened when you got there?
It was like every other con ever. I picked up my badge and schedule. I checked into my hotel. (I stayed at a cheaper one on the other side of the highway.) I went to my panels. Nothing was out of the ordinary.
So you let minors into your 18+ panel, right?
My panel, Odd Fanfiction Through The Ages, was the second of mine that I did and the first 18+ panel, and was accused on Tumblr of letting minors into it to listen to smut three hours before the panel started. It was the first of many surreal moments. As far as I knew at the time, no minors got in; there were three people checking IDs at the door, and I watched them turn minors away.
Just for the record: the person who first started the rumor/lie that the BDSM panel was allowing in minors posted it TWELVE HOURS BEFORE THAT PANEL EVEN STARTED. That is how ridiculous the lies and misconceptions were. Shit was being stated as fact on Tumblr before it had even had a chance to happen.
So you then made fun of fanfiction, right?
The most stellar part about this accusation is that right off the bat, I told folks that the panel (which covered a history of odd trends, pairings, and fics) was not going to be a vehicle for shaming fanfiction or making fun of it because it’s weird. I also did not allow anyone to give me any fic or recommend things because I wanted to control what I read and what I didn’t read. I used to just read anything anyone handed me, but last year, I stopped doing live readings of fics that weren’t either intentionally bad/funny or I did not have consent to read. I did not want to shame anyone for having written fic, even if I tried real hard to make it seem like I wasn’t making fun of it. It’s much easier and more respectful to follow this policy. So, no. Did not happen.
So, what happened with the hotel?
Folks are already gaslighting me about my Q&A I did on Facebook, trying to say I am doing my best to minimize what the admins did, but let me state this right now: I have no interest in defending the Dashcon admins. It is more clear than ever that they know what they fucked up, and y’all know of the many mistakes made over the weekend. I cannot add much to what you know or think you know because I kind of stayed away from it? I was outside the main ballroom for the majority of the time after all panels were closed. I knew that the hotel upper management freaking out was real, I knew the $20,000 demand was real, I saw the physical contract at one point, I knew the issue was over oral agreements/changes made, and I knew that the one guy who took over the microphone during that hour of chaos ONLY MADE THINGS WORSE. Whomever he was, I guarantee none of it would have been as bad as it was if he’d just SHUT UP.
So then what???
Panels all were back on at 10:30. I went and did mine, had an excellent turnout, and for the remainder of the con, if I had stayed off Tumblr, it would have been a super fun, enjoyable, well-attended con with zero problems for me.
Look, I had five panels on Saturday, and while I was very thankful to be appreciated and given the chance to do so much, I was also sad to be missing Night Vale! I love the podcast dearly, but I was scheduled against it. So, when I found out WTNV walked (and it was while I was on a panel myself), it sucked, but it didn’t affect my day at all. The only issue I did have was when a misogynist jerk went on a sexist rant about b*tches in fiction and how Mary-Louise Parker is only good for her boobs (WHY ARE YOU TALKING). I shut it down and moved on as best as I could, ran immediately to staff after the panel, reported said person, and then went straight to my third panel of the day. I had two back-to-back, so I went back to the admin office to give a full report once I had a break, and staff dealt with him. As far as I know, the jerk was kicked out. Their response was super quick and respectful, and I was really happy with it.
Then I made the mistake of going on Tumblr before my 5pm panel, Homoerotic Subtext.
You have to understand that while two undeniably huge and disastrous mishaps had occurred (the money issue, and WTNV walking), the con felt normal. And then I check my dash and it was just a torrent of ball pit jokes, yelling about panels, misogynist drivel about how teenage girls always ruin fandom and cons, and nearly every post was insisting that this was the worst convention in the history of the universe.
It was jarring. It was INCREDIBLY surreal.
Can you explain the ball pit?
I swear, that fucking question will probably be engraved on my tombstone when I turn to dust. I’m going to later get into how many things the Tumblr community turned into massive issues, but here’s a good start. It was located in a large room adjacent to registration that had concessions and a place to sit and eat. It wasn’t empty because no one was at the con. I would estimate that there were 1,500 people there. The ball pit largely stemmed from a joke, and it wasn’t a thing that was talked about or visited at the con with any frequency. I remember seeing it when I went to get a snack, and I laughed at it because it was clearly absurdly small on purpose, and then I went about my day. It was not a point of interest, it wasn’t something a single soul talked about, and it was just a quirky thing that existed. The end.
So are you mad at people who made fun of it?
Not really? Last night, I saw some memes I couldn’t avoid laughing at. They were funny. (I want that Cards Against Humanity card very much. I EARNED IT, I MADE IT THROUGH DASHCON.) And you know what? It wasn’t something I did or was associated with me, so I let it go. I was more or less annoyed that so many people asked me about the ball pit and said they heard the con was a disaster, but then they didn’t ask, “Hey, are you okay?”
Please stop white knighting on my behalf. I’m an adult, I can handle a joke and memes. Christ.
So, about that Homoerotic Subtext panel….
Straight up: the description Tumblr saw was an old one and a shitty one, and it never got updated. The end.
However, because Tumblr hyper magnified Dashcon, people assumed the panel would be about fetishizing gay ships. The next step that thousands of people took?
They found out who was on the panel (me!) and instead of actually scrolling down THREE FUCKING POSTS TO MY SELFIE, they accused me of being a straight white man appropriating the gay. Then the death threats started to come in, and then I was pretty much done with Tumblr. I did not log in again until Sunday evening. It was discouraging, triggering, and fucking disgraceful. The three of us on the panel WERE ALL QUEER. ALL OF US. Yes, the panel description sucked, but there are TERRIBLE PANEL DESCRIPTIONS AT EVERY CON EVER.
So did you yell at Sacha (one of the panelists) for being a racist?
I already spoke to Sacha myself about this, but they once posted a Sherlock manip joke where Sherlock had maracas and a sombrero and a mustache. Is it my favorite thing? No. Do I need Tumblr at large (AND LOTS OF WHITE PEOPLE) telling me what to get mad at as a latino person? Or how I’m a bad anti-racist ally because I didn’t find every post both of my panelists made EVER AND FOREVER and then call them out on it at said panel?
If y’all care so much about my work as a queer brown dude, then how come y’all have never said anything about me being on panels with people who are way more bigoted and shitty than Sacha? Why is it all of a sudden you’re concerned about who I am on a panel with? And how come I am now expected to only appear on panels with people who have PERFECT SOCIAL JUSTICE HISTORIES?
Knock it off. Grow up.
So was the con a mess?
There were messy parts, but as a whole, no. I ran/spoke on 10 panels, and I saw 8 others. I saw nothing out of the ordinary or “messy” at any of them.
So was candy handed out at panels?
I saw it happen at one and who gives a fuck if it was? The panel was packed, it was a way to encourage discussion, I’ve seen similar things at other panels at other cons, so SHUT UP. This is part of an ongoing problem with the commentary on Tumblr. In order to support the idea that Dashcon was a full, 100% disaster, every single detail was used to paint the con and the people at it as horrific failures of humanity. Even then many of this stuff happens at cons that are more professional and organized! For example:
Was the game room empty and sad?
Maybe at one single point in time, like it is at EVERY CONVENTION THAT HAS A GAME ROOM. I was in there four separate times, and it was empty the first time because it was ONE HOUR AFTER THE CON STARTED. Later on Friday? Completely full. Full all day Saturday, and half full on Sunday. SUNDAY!!! When you usually have the worst attendence!
Was it full of white people wearing flower crowns and decrying sexualization while fetishizing gays?
May that awful post burn in the atmosphere as I kick it into space. White people, here is a free tip: DO NOT FUCKING ERASE PEOPLE OF COLOR IN ORDER TO TRY TO BE ANTI-RACIST. Dashcon was the most racially diverse convention I have been to in the last year. It was more diverse than every professional, decades-running con I have been to EVER, aside from Comic-Con, which I don’t really count. And guess who I saw wearing the most flower crowns all weekend? Young black girls.
Fuck you. Your awful, misinformed commentary was racist, too.
Was everyone straight?
Fuck you, too.
Did you purposely read a minor’s smutfic to embarrass her?
Oh my god, Tumblr, what. We ended the Dramatic Fanfiction Reading with a more serious fic that was smutty (graphically so), AND IT WAS WRITTEN BY ONE OF THE GIRLS ON THE PANEL. WHO AGREED TO IT A WEEK AGO. So no, that did not happen! Dylan was embarrassed to read her own smut once she got to the sex scene, so I offered to take over so that she didn’t have to feel awkward, and that’s it. She received tons of applause for it. Shut up Tumblr SHUT UP.
So what about WTNV and Gingerhaze and the Baker Street Babes? They made it sound awful.
I’ve already had people interpret my experience as one that invalidates theirs. Lord, STOP IT. Stop gaslighting me. I disagree with nothing all three groups have said. Again, the Daschon staff made disastrous mistakes. WTNV had every reason to walk, as did Noelle. The admins said at closing ceremonies that the hotel was the one responsible for the comped rooms being charged because of a clerical error. But that’s all I know. I know nothing that contradicts anything the guests said. And their experience as paid guests asked to travel for Dashcon is different than mine! If I had to foot the bill for it, I’d be furious, too! Truthfully, during the chaotic mess on Friday evening, I was busy making plans with the few friends I had there to go to Six Flags the next day. If the con was going under, I wasn’t going with it.
But it didn’t turn out that way. Yet I still understand why anyone would have bailed on the con, and this thing is not to convince them they should have stayed or that they made a mistake, so please do not turn it into that.
You have to understand that this is a job for me. I have fun, I’m silly, and this is a job for me. I had to weigh the option of whether or not to bail, too! For me, I had no friends left in Chicago, I’d paid for my hotel, and I had literally nowhere to go. I didn’t want to bail on my panels because I was certain that would reflect poorly on me as a presenter and a panelist. I stuck it out. And I assure you, I have been to way worse cons as a panelist. I think it’s important to understand that while my experience was not horrific, it probably was for others. But I am tired of reading about how everyone who went hated it and was scammed and is a fool for not bailing immediately. This is my job. I went because I believed the exposure would be good for me, and because I would have numerous chances to talk about critical analysis of media with an eye for racism and queerness. THIS. IS. MY. JOB.
This also applies to all you jerkfaces posting shit about Cara/areyoutryingtodeduceme, who made the decision to stay, as well as the Baker Street Babes. Lord, it’s like y’all are convinced we’re not adults who know what we’re doing???
Did the admins treat you well?
Yes. Very, very well. Particularly when I had to report what I saw as an unsafe person. Megg herself was incredibly gracious (to the point of tears) towards me at the end of the con. Does that mean the admins were great to others? No, and please do not use this post to try to tell people who had a bad experience that they’re wrong. I am not them.
Was the crowd full of annoying people who represent the worst of Tumblr?
Why doesn’t Tumblr just come out and say they want a chance to rip on teenage girls? Why not just make it that upfront? The vast majority of attendees were first-timers and were teenage (or early 20s) women. The fact that Tumblr has decided that out of every demographic in the world, girls at this con are the worst is just straight up misogyny to me. I don’t care that you find fandoms annoying. I’m going to be protective as fuck towards most of the people who came to Dashcon looking to have a good time. They are not remotely responsible for the problems it had.
I also want to add this. I did two LGBTQA panels. They weren’t perfect. The first one had an instance of a conflation between genitals and gender, and our trans panelist was not very up-to-date on proper terminology. Thankfully, we got BrinConvenient to come to the second one. I’ve been doing Q&A panels on queerness or LGBTQA issues since I was 19. I have never experienced a crowd as respectful as the Dashcon one. I’m so used to bracing myself for the inevitable wank that I was pleasantly surprised when it never happened. Even the one straight guy who asked something asked a great question and was respectful about the fact that the support panel wasn’t intended for him.
The cosplayers I spoke to were happy to report that they had never been to a con without any harassment of them at all. (Which is not to say that it didn’t happen, please do not do that.) The crowd was so kind ALL OF THE TIME. In EVERY PANEL. It was so refreshing. I suspect that a large part of that is due to the chaos from Friday. I think those that stayed at the con just did they best they could to enjoy it.
Ultimately, I can’t help but think that some people came to Dashcon as their first con, and now they have to deal with the fact that a photo of them at the con is being used to represent everything wrong with Dashcon and fandom in general. That’s… gross, to say the least.
Would you go to Dashcon 2015?
I don’t know. I can confirm I have been invited back, and I’m flattered. If this whole Tumblr nightmare hadn’t happened, I would have said yes right now. But now I’m more worried about what sort of reaction I’ll get from people who aren’t going, and I hate that I have to think about that. At the same time, if I do decide to attend, I would need the admins to make sure a lot more things are taken care of so that we DON’T ever have to deal with another crisis like this. I think that’s a fair expectation for me to have.
Are you going to get a ball pit tattoo?
At this point, I really should. I’ll probably never live it down.
Can I ask you more stuff about Dashcon?
Yes, but only if you come to one of my tour dates because no, I cannot address this on Tumblr anymore. I am thousands of miles from home, I’m exhausted, I’m traveling through the end of August, and I need to move on from this. I will update this if there are mistakes and errors or if I think of something vital that I missed, but no. I can’t do this anymore.
mainstream tumblr feminism may have many glaring faults but it has bred an army of teenage girls who understand the common ways that misogyny is reinforced in society and who know that they’re better off loving their fellow woman than fighting with her and that’s actually pretty damn revolutionary
Hey Shychemist. I've been following your blog for awhile and I want to bring up something that seems dated but nonetheless holds to be accurate today. I feel like the girls who consider themselves to be on the science side of tumblr to be horribly mistaken. It's statistically proven that women applicants struggle to get into stem doctorate programs, and rightfully so, they don't belong there. examples- atomic-o-licious, brainsx , adventuresinchemistry, i can't fit anymore but you get it
It doesn’t seem dated, your attitude is dated. This is the 21st century.
Women deserve to be in STEM programs just as much as men. I’d wager they deserve to succeed in the Sciences even more than men because of the sexism and misogyny they experience.
They struggle to get in because they’re the minority, and a lot of people who could admit them are sexist (regardless of gender) because of the society they grew up in. Its not through any intellectual weakness. These women are amazing and just as smart as the men in their fields.
You have no right to say these things to these amazing women, many of whom I consider to be friends.
Recently, the admins of a fan-based Tumblr convention, Dashcon 2014, ran into some trouble. Allegedly, the staff of the hotel that was hosting their convention demanded to be paid 17,000 dollars, or else they would shut down Dashcon. The Dashcon admins responded by asking the community to raise 17,000 dollars by the end of the night — and so they did. The convention went on.
This has upset quite a few people, many of whom have pointed out that Tumblr users united to fundraise for a convention, but not to raise money for other causes. A lot of these posts have specifically referenced poverty, homelessness, and disadvantaged members of the queer community; in particular, many people have talked about homeless LGBTQ youth. Why couldn’t we have raised 17,000 dollars for them?
Well, we can. So let’s do it.
The Ali Forney Center in NYC is an organization for homeless LGBTQ youth that provides housing, food, showers, clothing, primary medical care, mental health care, HIV/STI screening and treatment, substance abuse support, street outreach, employment/education assistance programs, training for adult care providers, and more. They’ve been doing great work for about 12 years now, and though they were hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy a few years back (x), they’ve never stopped working to do everything they can to directly help the most vulnerable members of the queer community.
I’ve created an online fundraising page directly through the Ali Forney Center, so no sketchy private individuals will be handling donation money.
Let’s prove that we can come together for more than bad conventions and potato salad Kickstarters. Homeless LGBTQ youth deserve better than being used as props in arguments, so here’s our chance to show that we do care enough to raise money for people who desperately need support.
(Plus, if you donate, you can have an extra hour in the ball pit. We promise.)
Our goal is 17,000 dollars. Click here to visit the page and donate!
This is a really good way to recover from these embarrassments. Let’s do it.
Over the past two years, I’ve shared a lot of space with cisgender feminists who are seeking to add a trans voice to their panel, event, or conference. I can often sense that these feminists’ hearts are in the right place with regards to trans issues. They’re trying and their… [read more]
So much emphasis on "Scott's Pack" and Scott being an Alpha in that promo. Do you think Jeff's gonna make Derek officially Scott's beta? I know Hoechlin says Derek's an omega, but Jeff obviously doesn't listen to Hoechlin & O'Brien about their characters :( Are we gonna see Derek bare his throat (metaphorically only I HOPE) to Scott's True Alpha?
nope, no no no, I have my fingers in my ears nonny and am refusing to admit the possiblity, it would mean Derek admitting all the things scott did to him were justified and that would destroy him utterly, give Derek what little pride the show has left him with, and let him work with scott but not for
it’s not bad or selfish or wrong to desire attention and love when you are feeling ill and upset. sometimes, you need other people to keep you afloat. that’s okay. you are not a burden. being needy is not a bad thing. you deserve to be cared for. it’s okay to ask for help.
Why is LJ putting subject lines in comments a big deal?
Sure, why not! I was there! I can mostly answer this.
First it’s important to understand that they’re not simply putting subject lines into comments, they’re putting them back.
Second, let’s backtrack a second here.
There’s a quote going around tumblr that I love. About how fandom is the most technically rigorous test you can ever give your product.
Because fandom is actually fairly large, we’re smaller than some people think, but we’re larger than most assume. AND most of online fandom makes heavy use of interaction. We don’t just create output (fic, vids, gifs, etc), we don’t just ponder meta to ourselves, we don’t just wonder in our shower if that really WAS a monster cock under those tailored trousers. We go online and ask for second, third and twelfth opinions. We bounce ideas, squee, glee, anger, sadness, righteous fury, EMOTIONS, we bounce emotions and ideas off each other in ways I think other groupings don’t.
The question that comes up often is “why did fandom nest here and not there?” Well. A lot of it is what’s available at the time. Freely. (There can be paid options as well, but there needs to be a decent network of free services and capabilities.)
Fandom is incredibly adaptive. They don’t need (or at least have historically not gotten until recently) places designed exactly for their needs and unique forms of communication. Fandom is usually pretty happy with a 60% - 80% overlap of features originally implemented for the platform’s original use and what fandom wants from its platforms.
Fandom can adjust, adapt, test the limits, break it and then come back and go “okay we can do X, but only until Y and then we have to do Z” and we can make it work for us.
What happens is, options that fandom uses are not always considered vital options. Or cause maintenance issues that the maintainers of the product never expected and don’t know how to handle, or just don’t want to.
THEN invariably, an option disappears. Maybe the product is attempting to update for the times, maybe they have new management and want to go in different directions, maybe there really is a very small hint of ‘oh god get the porny weirdos out of our hair before the buyer comes in and kicks the tires!’.
BACK to the original question now.
On livejournal, subject lines were incorporated into the workings of many fannish pursuits because they were a way of being upfront about the content of the coming comment. Subject lines could include things like: fandom, pairing, rating, word counts, kink and/or meme prompt, trigger/content warnings. THESE were all especially helpful for active posts because eventually conversation threads were collapsed to save space and loading time. Fanfic memes meant to respond in comments became easier to search on your own. Etc.
When LJ took the subject lines away it was in the middle of a series of decisions that were very alienating to fandom already, from what I recall there was no warning and the reasoning was along the lines of ‘facebook doesn’t do it’. It’s what finally caused one of the larger mass migrations off LJ to other social networks and certain memes that had been born within the structure of the LJ comment page either came up with style work arounds that were pretty imperfect, rules to help compensate which were difficult to get right sometimes or they just moved entire because they liked the format they already had.
Basically when comment subject lines were removed, it literally broke about 1/3 of the fannish infrastructure.
As usual, there were thousands of comments asking why (from what I could tell the answers never really got better) and for opt outs or reversing it, but LJ staff remained firm that it was for the good of the Empire or whatever (yeah I’m getting pretty sarcastic here, LJ was being especially empty headed in some of its decisions at that point.)
This all happened before I completely dropped out of fandom for a while, so, YEARS ago. The reason why it’s so hilarious is it’s just a bit of too little too late and it’s fairly easy to imagine that a platform designed for interaction making it HARDER and then taking this long to figure maybe that’s not a great idea.