Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Topic of Abortion in Christian Schools

Something that was on my mind lately.

One thing I don't know if people understand is that, when you go to a Christian school, the subject of abortion isn't really something that's up to debate. It's never discussed. You don't get to have conversations about the subject of abortion and why it's wrong. It just is. It's taken at face value. There's the obvious stuff like how all the science textbooks specifically go out of their way to refer to it as a 'baby' instead of a fetus, but one thing sticks out in my mind.

I had a brief stint in acting, the usual small-scale stuff like being in the school play of A Midsummer Night's Dream. But we spent much of our time practicing with other such affiliations like monologues. And one of the things that was given to us - and I mean like, of the potential ten, seven of them were done like this - monologues from the perspective of a fetus.

So, literally, we were given scripts of a child, scared of dying, who wants nothing more than to go to their parents and say, "Mom, dad, I love you," and have them reply back, "We love you too," but they won't get the chance to say it because they will be killed before they're even born. We are literally given scripts about a child scared of a car ride with their mom, and how they're afraid of needles, and hearing about how the doctors are talking about chopping him up, and then their mom does a brave thing and leaves, and a few months later they're born.

In retrospect, I've come to realize how underhanded it is. It really is completely dodging the concept of abortion not being wrong. It slips the idea of a fetus which cannot feel or think having conscious thoughts of worry, and fear of mortality and pain, and that it is a person, even though none of these things are true.

Just had that on my mind and realized it might be worth mentioning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"MLP: Dog and Pony Show is sexist!"

If the Diamond Dogs episode is sexist because Rarity whines and cries (tricking the Diamond Dogs to let her go) to get gems (for her costume (For a customer)), then I suggest by that logic Rarity is a sexist stereotype of a woman cause her special talent is finding gems.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Clearing something up

Maverynthia was, up until a while back, a friend. She and I got along fine and she was even in support of Gamepad Dojo, called me on times when I slipped up in feminism, and even offered comment on some of the reviews in language that was crude ("Pussy" if I remember right).

Her and I had a large, drawn out argument based on the term 'Brony,' as an ironic nickname tagged to male My Little Pony fans, where she argued that it reinforced 'bro' culture even ironically and therefore was sexist. I disagreed, saying that it was not sexist in nature by its very definition but was instead an attached implication based on what 'dudebros' do and say rather than the culture itself.

The argument spiraled out until she was rolling out constant insults ("Mr. Privilege" among them, which I think should never be an insult) and demanding that I was oppressing her. I told her the complaints about "Bronies" was silly considering there was nothing fundamentally sexist about the name, and even if there was, rolling out insults and playing some kind of oppression game (in calling me privileged and therefore I was in no position to talk on issues of "bro" culture, despite that when I'm on her side I'm an ally and no longer is my privilege in question) was just pointless infighting.

At one point Mav even specifically told someone else that "Bronies" wanted more male ponies in the show which...isn't true, at all.

Cuppy/Tami asked us to stop, which I agreed to, but Mav refused. I was willing to ignore it and move on, but she instead blocked me and refused to talk anymore, even after other people agreed that there was nothing sexist about it. She still talks to these people.

After this happened, I didn't mind anymore, and I was willing to let it go. But then the Gamepad Dojo twitter account (which in this instance was not me) replied to something Mav said about My Little Pony. I don't know what it was about - my best guess are the Sapphire Shores/Sapphire stereotype (which makes no sense and is only connected via the black voice actress and the name) or the Diamond Dogs episode where Rarity cries and whines to manipulate her captors into letting her go and giving her gems (which I can kind of see, but personally A - Rarity was using the gems to make a dress, B - she's the only ladylike one of the entire mane cast of MLP, and C - the entire moral of the episode was that a ladylike character isn't weak, especially if she's smart and thinks quickly).

But somehow, it ended up with an argument, and then this.

I really can't stand for this. I wasn't originally going to make this post but this is absurd. We "deny our privilege like WTF", "telling me how I should be respectful otherwise you just shut down and not listen", "you can't see bro culture because you're over there embracing it", "get with the feminist program or get the fuck out thinking you're some kind of feminist ally", "all you tell me is "you're making a huge deal out of something silly" whenever I bring up the fact that something is bro-culture-ized", and "You guys need to STFU when women are talking".

So let me just clear some things up.

"deny our privilege like WTF" - Gamepad Dojo has an Anti-Bigotry policy that "We guys" implemented specifically to combat exclusion.
"telling me how I should be respectful otherwise you just shut down and not listen" - we have no reason to be respectful to a friend if they are not respectful to us, regardless of positions of privilege.
"you can't see bro culture because you're over there embracing it" - by disagreeing that an ironic nickname is sexist or that a character is a stereotype, we embrace bro-culture, again steamrolling everything we've ever done to be inclusive on our website and in the way we speak/talk.
"all you tell me is "you're making a huge deal out of something silly" whenever I bring up the fact that something is bro-culture-ized" - I said that once, yet it becomes "All you tell me". It is a nickname. It is for a children's cartoon aimed at girls. I think arguing about it is ridiculous, just like I think Sapphire Shores being a racist stereotype is silly, or Glenn Beck's caliphate conspiracy - it's stretched to the point of ridiculous. Again, something is not 'bro cultured' because of a name.
"get with the feminist program or get the fuck out thinking you're some kind of feminist ally" - Last time I checked feminist allies were allowed to have opinions. I don't see how disagreeing is the line that must be drawn in the sand.
"You guys need to STFU when women are talking" - we do, frequently. I have spent many many incidents having to swallow my pride and admitting when I'm wrong. It's not easy and I do it. Again, the anti-bigotry policy puts everything we've ever written or made with a clear marker that says, 'please tell me if this offends you.' We listen. We work.
"YOU AREN'T. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM." - last time I checked I thought that people objectifying women, dismissing their opinions, gender roles, inequality, and the enablers were the problem. But okay, people who think MLP fans' nickname is funny is the problem.

This is not my privilege denying or condescension. This is Mav throwing these labels on us because we disagreed. Because I strongly disagreed "Bronies" isn't sexist, I am a privilege denying asshat who "always tells her to STFU" and refuses to listen to reason and tells her to shut up and deal with bros. Always is important - this is a one time thing that, to her, became ALL THE TIME. Because I feel that "Bronies" cannot possibly be important enough to be worth being insulted and demeaned over, I am the problem and I enforce bro culture.

I am not doing this to smear Mav's name - I am trying to make the points as obvious as possible that Mav is completely unreasonable. I was pulled into an argument I had no stake in based on an exchange that wasn't even really me and, once again, my best friend and I are labeled as "part of the problem" and "enemies" because we disagree. Mav takes the opportunity to dig up old graves, shake them around, and point out how unfair and mean and cruel we are despite several months of a perfectly fine friendship where we were allies.

But not anymore. Because we disagreed, we are now privilege denying. We are privilege denying and Mav is not, I am assuming, while she gets into a fight on the internet on her computer about a kid's show she gets to watch for free.

Mav, if you are reading this I will tell you this; grow up. I initially made this post to clear up the facts, but I'm feeling less generous now that I've gone over it a few times. Is the fact that I try to be feminist and work for it and listen about 99% of the issues that are brought up not enough? Is the fact that I even fight the fight just not okay? Must I align with your opinion on everything to qualify as feminist? Since when is your feminist interpretations the only ones? Does it not occur to you that the only person taking issue with me and Noncon and GPD is you? Must I be This Feminist to qualify? What does my privilege have to do with anything? Can I not interpret a fucking kid's show to be not sexist/racist/homophobic without having to revoke my Feminism card?

I don't expect an answer.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why I Like Humanified My Little Pony Characters

I'm going to put up a disclaimer here because I'm just pinning down why it is I like MLP:FiM characters turned into humans. And the reason just occurred to me.

Visually, Friendship is Magic is a terrific cartoon, and I love the design, but there's not a whole lot to do in the way of fanart. Much of the main cast is just entirely based upon their coat color, and how their mane is styled and colored, such as Rainbow Dash's blue and rainbow, or Pinkie Pie's curly mane and pink. You can do some more stylized stuff, but for the most part it'll still be the same build with some artistic differences, such as stronger shading and higher detail on hair.

Humans, however, are extremely different, which is why fanart is such a draw. Rainbow Dash, for example, can be a pale-skinned punk rocker, a cheerful-if-pushy, thin teenager, a colored buzz-cut teen, as a giddy teenager in a blue jumpsuit, or even posing as Rosie the Riveter.

But it's not because I like taking away that it's about ponies (an inherently 'girly' thing), or trying to find some kind of roundabout way to be 'attracted' to these characters, it's because I like Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash could be a Goddamn frog for all I care. I love her for her character - the brash, sometimes insensitive, ferocious, wonderful ball of awesome she is. Humanized Dash is just another way for me to celebrate one of my favorite characters with all sorts of different artistic directions.

The fact that there's really hot, hot Dash/Rarity action is just a wonderful bonus.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One of those things that makes you go, "Jesus Christ,"

"Because these people are completely fucking shameless, the woman from the video has compared herself to Lara Logan. I am not making that up. I wish I was making that up. But I would actually not make that up, because it would seem beyond the pale to accuse conservative activists of being so horrible, so desperate to play the victim, so morally depraved, so deep into their persecution fantasies that they've lost all perspective on the rest of the world."

Republican policy is not fundamentally evil - fundamentally wrong, yes, but not evil - but as of late all Republicans have become is petty, morally depraved greedy children who are desperate to play any fiddle that makes them look like nothing but the horrible victims of unions, the recession, gay marriage, or whatever else they can get their hands on.

Equating someone defensively pushing your camera away with the survivor of a brutal rape is exactly the kind of petty unreal false equivalence conservatives have been playing up lately and I am unable to believe it. And yet, there it is.

EDIT: Changed title and added a few things for clarification.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In response to death

It's kind of alarming to see someone, who is the most two-fisted, loudest, angriest person in the world, a person so driven to comedy and anger that they run an entire site about it, suddenly turn morose and poetic. It's strange that I could not know this person well enough to form any kind of real friendship, hell we've even had the occasional spat with each other over really fundamental issues, but be struck so dumb by how drastic the change is in their personality. Especially seeing them post on their personal site with a blank, shocked post, even filing under their rarely-used real name vs online pseudonym.

It's one of those reminders that, as tough and independent that we are, everyone is still human, and when it comes to death, it strikes us hard, and seeing people struck hard hurts us in turn.

Polly I can't imagine the kind of unbearable agony you're in right now but I'm thinking about you and hoping you are quickly recovered from this incredibly difficult time.