Viewing posts tagged polemics

Us vs Gallifreybase vs Th3m

Pushing Last War in Albion until tomorrow - was just about to image it up when this crossed my desk, and I want to deal with it.

So, in the wake of Dark Water, the site usvsth3m ran a piece entitled "16 sexually confusing feelings that Doctor Who fans have had since The Mistress revealed her secret." It's a fun piece that reveals the pathetically blinkered attitudes of a lot of Doctor Who fans for what they are, which is to say the attitudes of sexist, homophobic, and transphobic assholes. It's a sobering reminder of the at times appalling attitudes of orthodox and longstanding fandom, and was absolutely something worth doing. And to their credit, they played nice and clipped usernames, thus avoiding publicly naming and shaming people for their actions, not that publicly naming and shaming the person who said that they felt "as though something sacred has been violated" because the Master was a woman now would have been in the least bit unreasonable.

Which is probably why the forum tried to demand that the site take the article down and banned the writer over it on the supposed grounds that they're a "private" forum and ...

Steven Moffat is a Feminist and You Are Wrong if You Disagree

If you enjoy this post, maybe you might consider throwing a few dollars to support my blog's reviews of Season Eight as it comes out? You can do that right here, over at Patreon. Thanks. 

I had this draft lying around, so I figured, let's do some Tuesday content, eh? I've already written the so-called "Definitive Moffat and Feminism Post," which was intended as a sort of preliminary mission statement summing up my take on the Moffat/feminism controversy prior to my covering the Moffat era, and which instead went kind of viral and became the most read thing I've ever put on this blog. And I've talked about some of these issues in isolation - people looking to see my argument in a detailed form, particularly my feminist readings of specific Moffat stories, will probably find my posts on (deep breath) Joking Apart, Coupling, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, The Beast Below, A Good Man Goes to War, Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song, and The Angels Take Manhattan enlightening. I am not going to retrace the feminist reading of the Moffat era that I ...

Spike and Rape Culture

A bit ago, someone gave me cause to write a brief thing about Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and particularly the way in which his character is handled after the moment he sexually assaults Buffy towards the end of Season Six

Here, for me, is the interesting thing about Spike. And I don’t think this is quite the reading that Whedon intended for Spike, but I think it’s close, and makes Spike an astonishing metaphor for rape culture and what it does. And, actually, the sort of approach to rape culture that could only really be pioneered by a feminist man, which interests me on several levels.

I mean, let's be unambiguous here. Rape culture, as an idea and a critique, needed to be developed by women. Men are a support class in feminism, and this is as it should be. That's the point. But equally, there are perspectives within the discussion that are both male and relevant. And I think the depiction of Spike is one of them.

The key thing, to me, about the bathroom rape scene is what Spike does next, which is to go on an extended quest for his soul ...

Believing the Victim

A week or two ago there was a bit of a to-do within American comics fandom when Brian Wood, a prominent writer often praised for his commitment to feminism and his well-written female characters, was accused of sexual harassment by Tess Fowler, an illustrator and artist. This has been the occasion for a lot of hand-wringing about the chronic problem of harassment at conventions, which mostly seems to consist of people making blog posts about how this is a serious issue. There's very little sense of what can be done.

So here's a suggestion: by default, we should believe the victims. On a basic, human, personal level, if someone makes an accusation of abuse, assault, or harassment, we should believe them.

Here's what happens instead. Fowler's account of what happened was, inevitably, picked over by large swaths of the male-dominated comics fandom who were eager to minimize the severity of what Wood did or to find a way to blame her for it. All of this is accompanied by lots of skepticism, usually with phrases like that Wood is "innocent until proven guilty" or that it's "his word against hers."

It's not, of course ...

Fuller Statement on my Wikipedia Banning

EDIT 11/11: I asked the arbitration committee why the bit of policy that says ""if individuals have identified themselves without redacting or having it oversighted, such information can be used for discussions of conflict of interest (COI) in appropriate forums" does not apply in this case.

The response was that "I don't think that what the Guardian described as an "angry blog post" is what the community had in mind as an 'appropriate forum'."

It's official: the arbitration committee does not consider my blog an appropriate place to discuss conflicts of interest.

Original post below:

I'd do a Saturday Waffling about the Day of the Doctor trailer, but I've seen it and there's not all that much to say. Still, feel free to discuss it in comments. Meanwhile, I've got a dead horse to beat.

Back on Wednesday, in an interstitial post, I mentioned that I'd been permabanned from Wikipedia and made some appropriately dark mutterings about this. But since the issue has continued to be contentious on Wikipedia I wanted to make a more detailed response, if only because the arbitration committee persists in making the suggestion that I haven't ...

The Post Wikipedia Doesn't Want You To See

Due to my revelation in this post that Charles Ainsworth, an employee of the US Military (aka Chelsea Manning's jailers) has been editing Wikipedia under the username Cla68 to argue that transgender people are too biased to edit the article on Chelsea Manning, the Arbitration Committee of the English language Wikipedia has removed my administrator privileges and banned me indefinitely, forbidding any appeal of the ban for a year.

As discussed in the post, Ainsworth has, prior to this, been open about his participation on Wikipedia, freely giving quotes to the media and engaging in discussion on Wikipedia about those quotes. It's only now that he's begin editing with an obvious conflict of interest that he has suddenly developed a desire to keep his identity a secret. My "revelation," in other words, is nothing of the sort. Indeed, it's difficult to see how this decision comports with Wikpiedia policy, which declares that "Posting another editor's personal information is harassment, unless that person had voluntarily posted his or her own information, or links to such information, on Wikipedia." Which, again, Ainsworth has done.  Since my post, in fact, Ainsworth has posted on Wikipediocracy, a Wikipedia criticism ...

Wikipedia Goes All-In on Transphobia

(Previous post on this topic)

10/23: Update with recent developments added to the end of the post.

11/6: I have been banned from Wikipedia for the contents of this post. More information here.

We’ll start with the good news. After a second move discussion, Wikipedia has decided to move the article on Chelsea Manning back to her actual name instead of misgendering and misnaming her. This brings us to the bad news, which is essentially everything else, and in particular everything surrounding the arbitration committee case.   This case has led to the declaration that calling out transphobia on Wikipedia is unacceptable, that trans activists are disqualified from working on articles involving trans subjects, and that it's more acceptable for people employed by the US military to covertly edit the Chelsea Manning article than it is for trans advocates to do so openly.

To recap, immediately after Chelsea Manning publicly came out and and announced her new name, Wikipedia updated and retitled its article on her. This set off a wave of controversy, resulting in the article being moved back to where it misnamed Manning and being locked there for thirty days. Those thirty days have ...

You Did Ask For More Political/Current Events Posts

It’s funny where the line ends up being drawn and where we decide that things are truly outrageous. Let’s face it, most of the people who howled with fury at the willingness of Brazil to slash social services and jack up public transportation fees are the sort of lefty intellectuals who are unlikely to watch the World Cup in the first place. Or are the sort of leftists who rage fearsomely on Facebook and then bugger off and watch the football anyway.

And this is how these things work. World Cups. Olympics. They’re all the same basic principle - shift the infrastructure costs aggressively onto the public sector, and then private concerns take all the profits. Why, one might reasonably ask, would anybody sign up for such a rotten deal?

The clue comes in FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s plea in the wake of this summer’s protests against the World Cup’s precursor tournament, the Confederations Cup. “I can understand that people are not happy,” he said, “but they should not use football to make their demands heard.” The obvious response to this is, of course, “why not?” And this gets into the sick heart of these ...

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