jhameia: ME! (Default)
So. I just got an email from the prof I'm going to TA for. I'm staring at this syllabus and my eyes are straining at trying to focus from how white it is. I really need to not freak out, right? )
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Con or Bust, the fundraiser that helped me get to WisCon34 back in 2010, has now opened for bidding on its various items! I also has an item up for bidding!

You can find most general information about Con or Bust at its site but I would like to give my own perspective on why you should bid, or perhaps even donate, to Con or Bust.

I tend to see people ask, "what do we do to help racism go away?" Or "what can we do to encourage POC participation at events?" And sometimes infuriatingly, "yeah we know racism is bad: what are you doing about it?"

Racism being less just insults or individual prejudices and more a system of excluding people of colour from acts of self-empowerment and equal participation, requires a mass action on the parts of many individuals. It requires acknowledgement of exclusion and active movement to address this exclusion. It requires a communal effort of raising ourselves and each other and a pooling of our already-scarce resources.

When I asked for funding to go to WisCon, I indirectly also used that money to fund my trip to Steampunk World's Fair, 2010, because it was just two weeks before, and I didn't feel like traveling back into Canada and out again, when I could just stay in the States. After SPWF, I traveled from New Jersey to Wisconsin, and stayed with a friend of my father's, before checking into the Concourse for WisCon34.

I actually did not honestly expect to get as much money as I did for my trip down: I simply told [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu the breakdown of expected costs for my trip. And somehow, that is what I got. I've actually been feeling quite guilty about that since then, because I was expecting maybe half of the amount, or less. "Whatever you can spare," I told her.

But I can say that I remain immensely grateful for that money, even though it was some two years ago. I don't know if there's a way to really articulate how much it meant to me that I was given such a lump sum, no questions asked about my credentials or eligibility, to attend what was to me a really big convention, more importantly, a really important conversation. I know for some WisCon is just another fan convention, but for me, then and now, WisCon is THE convention to get some grounding in how feminist theory, intersectionality and speculative fiction are wound together and grounded in the realities of actual writers and fans of the genre, who then transfer these values we learn over into "real life".

Sara Ahmed's written about having a place at the family table and being the feminist killjoy who ruins the family dinner. Con or Bust essentially gives us the wherewithal to even secure a place at the table in the first place. For so many of us who are consistently excluded from the table, because we don't have the time or money or resources to get there, it becomes an invaluable opportunity to make sure we are counted, our voices are part of the discourse, and our perspectives count for something.

So this is what Con or Bust has been doing about racism: we have been addressing the glaringly empty gaps in POC convention attendees and taking steps to fill them. This is what Con or Bust does for a larger purpose of addressing racial disparity in geekdom. Many geeks consider themselves marginalized by mainstream without considering ways that their spaces just re-create and reinforce the problems of the mainstream. Con or Bust's existence is a reminder of how marginalization comes in many forms.

Fans of colour and non-white fans are not always well-represented at fan conventions. I've shared this joke with several people, which runs along these lines:

"I counter X [racialized] people at this con!"
"Wow! We're reaching our quota!"

It is sad and somewhat infuriating that part of our fandom reality is that we feel we have a quota to our presences as people of colour in a gathering that's supposed to be for all sorts of people. That there is a tipping point of how many people of colour can be at any given event before we start becoming threats. This is something that can only happen when it is so abnormal to see people of colour in large numbers, interacting as if we belong there.

And we do. Fundraisers like Con or Bust give us the wherewithal to prove that we have a place and that we belong. Because we as fans of colour are valuable to fan conventions. We bring a perspective that an all-white-with-tokens space cannot have, and the spaces to which we bring our stories to become all the fuller and richer for it.

So if you've ever asked, "what can I do about racism?" then supporting efforts like Con or Bust, run by and for people of colour, in a world where our exclusion is a matter of course without intention, is an action you can take to purposefully address and begin to help allay racial disparity.

Thanks for reading. Now go bid!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I asked Diana Vicks if I could co-opt the group photo shoot at the end for a POC-identified shoot. She agreed, so after everyone was done, I yelled for Asians, blacks, latinos, Native American.

Now, during the group shoot, I saw a ton of Asians.... at least 5 East Asians. And a ton more... taking pictures. But they either didn't hear me or were overwhelmed or just didn't care. Anyway. Just an interesting note.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Guy is AZN. Chinese, even.

Well, 1) it's still fucking steampunk fer chrissakes I love it but I know it; 2) bad description is still bad, no matter who wrote it; 3) being Asian doesn't mean you automatically combat the status quo. Although it is nice to see a non-white in charge of a non-white project.

I'm not too terribly surprised at the Orientalism displayed; it's not exactly uncommon here in Asia (Jeannette Ng likes to use the term "Oriental" to refer to herself) to use colonial ideas like that.

There's still plenty of time before the actual guidelines are released for him to think through the questions I asked.

As I said to [personal profile] qian, I'm torn about this.

If Asians don't submit, and more white people than Asians do, then it becomes a case of "white people are better at Aznness than Asians themselves". And you know this shit will happen. If a fail story gets in, they can point to their POC editor.

If we don't submit, and it flops, it's again a loss, because then it's proof of "Asian stories don't sell."

But if Asians submit, and for whatever reason it's not as wildly successful as it should be, it becomes another DRAGON AND THE STARS where the first time is nifty, but not enough for a second round and thus more opportunities for Asian writers. Asianness will get blamed left-right-center for everything.

I don't want to write this off if I can help it. I don't want to write it off if the editor is open to understanding the stakes that this project presents. I don't want to write it off not least because it combines one of my favourite things with one of my childhood/cultural things. And I don't want to write it off because I know a ton of people on my f-lists could write some really awesome shit for such an anthology.

This isn't to say I'm not going to fucking snark my ass off about this project, because seriously, that placeholder description is still dismal, and this, just, ugh.

I'mma give him 12 more hours to respond to my question.
jhameia: (RAEG!)
Fury of the Phoenix's cover:

I went looking through my portfolio, and I'm not even particularly proud of this image but I AM FEELING KIND OF STABBITY ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW:

jhameia: ME! (Default)
If you didn't know I was Malaysian-Chinese (I mean, I kinda make a huge deal about this these days), what would you have thought I was, ethnically? Like, if you erased all references to where I come from and stuff.

I ask this because I just discovered someone on my f-list who I hitherto had thought was white is actually Asian, and I gotta admit it surprised the heck out of me.

This inquiring mind wants to know!


Feb. 25th, 2010 01:46 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Bad casting choices aside, I just don't think A:TLA translates all that well to live-action format:

I mean, those effects? If A:TLA had been a book, sure, maybe they could have pulled it off. But in animation, the action flowed well. The physics made sense, BECAUSE IT WAS CLEARLY A CARTOON. But when it's on live-action format, suspending disbelief like this is so difficult.

This isn't like Star Trek suspension of disbelief. ST movies have only the option of improvement, because as scifi goes, things get bigger and better and flashier and shinier. When the Enterprise comes on the screen, it's breathtaking. Also because we know it's not real.... YET it could be and when it does become real, it can only be better.

This, though? It rings false, because in animation, it looks so good and elicits so much, so the live-action effort seems like it's trying to keep up as a result. Also, the animation had vibrant colours, and the dark colours of the movie just make it an entirely different animal altogether. Makes one wonder why they bothered at all, surely the budget could have been used for an original story, rather than an abridged story.
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
Good morning f-list! It is Sunday 8th and I am ready to hit 40k today. I think. Anyway, here's a Sunday Linkfest!

We'll start with a fashion designer using dead animals as accessories. Some of it looks good, some of it is just LOL WHUT, and others are just meh.

[livejournal.com profile] ardwynna_m tips us off on some dumb RaceFail nonsense spouted by some makeup producer.

In Canada, sex trafficking has started to target aboriginal women.

What Tami said: Civil Rights, but Just For Me:
To my surprise, while doing a little research on the martyr known as "The Great One," I discovered that, though time has cemented Gandhi in the public consciousness as a loving but determined champion for world equality. He may well not have supported civil rights for all marginalized people.

Hugo Schwyzer on the words "engulf" vs. "penetrate", as well as the multiple meanings of the word "fuck".

Transgriot: Louisiana Justice of Peace who refused to marry an interracial couple has resigned!

The Fort Hood shooting makes me sad.

Anthropologist Levi-Strauss dies. And I have yet to catch up on reading his many essays.

From Racialicious:
Quoted: Kenji Yoshino on Covering and Conformity
Contemporary civil rights has erred in focusing solely on traditional civil rights groups, such as racial minorities, women, gays, religious minorities, and people with disabilities. This assumes those in the so-called mainstream – those straight white men – do not have covered selves. They are understood only as impediments, as people who prevent others from expressing themselves, rather than as individuals who are themselves struggling for self-definition. No wonder they often respond to civil rights advocates with such hostility. They experience us as asking for an entitlement they themselves have been refused – an expression of their full humanity.

Special Presentation: Wesley Du's If I Was Like You. This is a two-part video currently on Youtube that was showing at the DC APA Film Festival. Here's the first bit:

You can see the rest over at Racialicious, and there's a discussion going on there too, on how race affects interpretations of the film, and how the film addresses how intra-PoC conversations occur, or don't occur.

Over at FWD/Forward:
on Hipster Ableism

Representations of Disabled Bodies in Logos - a very interesting quiz

The International Symbol of Acceptance

From Shakesville:

Gabrielle Union is made of win. Her original post is here

More Polanski fail, but is kinda offset by a Shaker presenting a petition signed by other Shakers to Emma Thompson herself when she was at Exeter University. And whaddya know? Emma Thompson took the petition seriously and will be removing her name from the list! You can congratulate Caitlin here for her good work ^_^

Screaming or Not:
And, having found myself in a similar situation to Zan, and having similarly not screamed, I've realized that another part of the subconscious shit that creates my self-imposed silence in those quick seconds is the fear that screaming would induce him to violently silence me, that my screaming would somehow escalate the situation. Was I thinking there was still a chance he wasn't going to do anything, but would only if I screamed? As if rapists are made by screaming? Ugh.

Melissa McEwan gets discussed in forums. And yet she is still made of win. (MUST-READ OF THE WEEK):
This stuff is designed to dehumanize me, to scare me, to upset me, to deter me, to silence me. It does not work.

I've been reading it now for five years. I process it by putting it through a meat grinder, turning it into a juicy sausage, and eating it NOM NOM NOM. I process it by letting it be my sustenance. My belly is filled with this fuel, reminder after reminder after tired-ass reminder about why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Over at Womanist Musings:

Renee remembers Election Day. Heavens, has it really been a year since Obama was voted into office? Cripes.

[livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness guests posts: Polite Prejudice:
There is no way you can say "I think you are inherently inferior to me and not deserving of the same rights as me" and not offend, annoy or insult me.

(Trigger Warning) My Friend Was Raped

To finish, Andy Hertzberg proposed to his partner at a DC Council hearing on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the capital of the United States of America. Good luck, America.

As Liss would say, FEEL THE HOMOMENTUM!

And have yourselves a happy Sunday ^_^
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
This is what Western literature has done to me. )

Now that I am done being depressed and teary about this fucking bullshit, I AM ANGRY.

jhameia: ME! (Default)
Eddie Izzard is running around the United Kingdom for the charity Sport Relief which funds projects both in the UK and internationally:

I had always wanted to do a big physical running challenge, and this seemed a great way to do it and also raise money to help Africa and the poorest countries in the world as well as projects that Sport Relief fund in the UK


They said great. You're nuts.

I said yes but that never hurt.

They said how far is this?

I said 1100 miles. I will try to run 30 miles a day for 6 days a week. It will probably take 7 weeks.

They said great. Is there anything else you want to mention.

Yes. I will run through England holding and English flag and then I'll run through Wales holding a Welsh flag and so on through all the UK.

But why not just have a Union Jack?

Because this is the thinking for my mission:


They said - anything else?

Yes, I'm leaving in 5 weeks.

And I thought to myself, Yes. This.

Because one of the wonderful things about our common humanity is that we're all different.

What an interesting way to express this.
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
It's back to a relatively normal schedule of writing for me! The Acting Out Edition will be back with the Asian Women Blog Carnival and then it's back to my regular rambling.

From Racialicious earlier this week, California apologizes to Chinese-Americans, for their abominable treatment when building those railways, way back when. Bit late, but better late then never, eh? And Obama depicted as the Joker. Which is almost as heinous as Obama depicted as Hitler.

Linked from Racialicious is an article from Stuff White People Do (which is different from Stuff White People Like) which illustrates a subtle kind of discrimination that even the most well-meaning white people do not notice. This is closely to what is now termed "micro-aggression", wherein a marginalized person feels discriminated against, but they can't overtly point out and say "this is -ist" without sounding "oversensitive".

Laurendhel of Hoyden about Town bring a disturbing, but all-too-often ignored perspective to the euthanasia debate. It should be obvious, but clearly it is not.

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville clearly states for many of us why it's the men we love the most who hurt us the most.

And now, for something completely different: the recordings of one Stephen McGreevy, who recorded "electromagnetic emissions in the very-low-frequency band caused by massive discharges and their after-effects in lightning storms and by the solar wind buffeting the earth's magnetic field, visible as Aurora Borealis and Australis". The entire album can be found here.

In the same vein, here's how Jupiter sounds like, as recorded by NASA's Voyager:

I also found this on Hoyden About Town, where TigTog noted she got it from Colin Mochrie's FB, the latter of who introduced this with "This is what you can do if you apply yourself":

Finally, a delicate sand animation performance which tells a story and comments on war. I've seen such sand animations before, but they're usually just clever. This one moved me to tears:
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
tariq.kamal: omg
you should see those hypernationalist indonesians
and of course
racism + hypernationalism
me: oh shitz
tariq.kamal: what a vunderful combination
me: iz like nazism vunce more!
tariq.kamal: HEIL NAJIB!
tariq.kamal: that would make horrible inappropriate t-shirt
me: indeed
tariq.kamal: XD
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
tariq.kamal: incidentally, I spotted the Brokeback Jack Prince of Persia poster.
i.e, I thought, hang on, that's Brokeback Jack.
but I checked the dude's outfit to see if I was missing anything else.
(I can't spell his surname right now)
Jha: gyllenhaal
or something weird
silly white person names.
tariq.kamal: yeah, why can't they have decent simple names like
Triwahyuni Astradewi
see? easy whaat.
Jha: and Ch'ng

jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
I'm finally awake! It is 11.43am and I went to bed sometime around 3. Had a good time at Tribeca. More on this in a bit.

Because I did not do a link roundup last week, I shall endeavour to post more this week. Some of these, if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen, but not all of you are on Twitter, so.

So, today's round-up from Racialicious!
Two articles on the Racialigious series: atlasien's introduction to her series on Buddhism and AlexFlipe's article on religion in the Philipines, particularly animism
What's wrong with the new promo poster of the Prince of Persia? Jehanzab Dar will tell you if you can't figure it out within five seconds of seeing it.
Joseph Shahadi's report on the first Asian American Comic Con and Latoya's report on Otakon! (What? This is the intersection of race and pop culture. We get to be a nerdy as much as we want!!)
A discussion on the Japanese saying, "the nail that sticks up will get hammered down."

Recently, Liar by Justine Larbastier came out. The cover of the US edition though? Looks nothing like the protagonist. Authouress has something to say about that herself. This is just another incident in a long line of racist assumptions by publishers (or anyone in the entertainment industry) assuming that if there isn't a white person to sell the product, no one will buy it. Neesha Meminger has more. [livejournal.com profile] moniquill posted this article about talking about stereotypes in YA books in [livejournal.com profile] foc_u. My favourite line, which is quoted from yet another essay: “The social stigma attached to candid discussions of racial themes creates a silence preventing explicit talk about race, and this silence leads to further, subtle segregation—even within multiethnic, otherwise harmonious classrooms.”

Heather Corinna has an article at RHReality Check on how easy it isn't for girls these days.

Gender Across Borders tweeted about A Call To Men, which is much like Men Can Stop Rape, except the latter is more youth-oriented, while the former is more general for men of all ages. I think it's absolutely wonderful to see men calling out other men to take a stand against violence against women.

GAB also tweeted (or re-tweeted) an article about EA Videogames creating a contest which objectifies women (WE GET IT GUYS, YOU HATE US GIRLS PLAYING YOUR VIDEO GAMES).

Talulah Mankiller has a Public Service Annoucement about geese.

Cara of The Curvature participated in Blogathon 2009. Great stuff there! She blogged a whole gamut on violence against women from same-sex partner to racism to transphobia to child abuse to sex worker abuse to women raping men to victim-blaming.

[livejournal.com profile] divabat, who I guess I "converted" into thinking about race relations deeply in the uber-academic high-level sense which involves big words and deep, deep concepts, has a really interesting take on the process of "Other-ing". Normally, it's seen as a process of psychologically labelling others as "different". In her view, it's the exclusion of peoples from a specific space. Other writings of her of interest are her puzzlement over the typical body shapes in burlesque, which is supposed to be asphere in which performers push the envelope, not reinforce body ideals, her dealing with derailing, and her IBARW entry on the RaceFail happening in burlesque.

Speaking of IBARW, which stands for International Blog Against Racism Week, you should check it out. It ran from last Sunday to this Sunday, while I had my head in the ground. The links are drawn from their Delicious account, and it looks wonderfully epic.

And lastly, the new Miss England is black!

Because I have no Acting Out edition links for you, I will post video previews of the comic book Secret Identities: An Asian American Superhero Anthology instead.

Clickums! )

jhameia: ME! (Default)
Not much to link to this week - I've been avoiding the internetz at large and I have a canker sore. I think I got it because it was really cold one night and I bit on my tongue while chattering my teeth.

So! On to the Linkfest:

I mentioned earlier this week the Vancouver Women's Health Collective opening a women-only pharmacy which excludes transwomen. For good measure, I shall re-link to a critique of it by Queen Emily, of Questioning Transphobia, currently guest-blogging at Feministe, in case you missed it. [livejournal.com profile] gudbuytjane writes more on this.

amandaw points out how easily journalism makes a press release about rapists put the blame on the victims.

Fuck Politeness disses people who diss Harry Potter. I don't like HP myself, but my goodness, some people take their dislikes to the severe extremities.

"No" is not a mixed signal! The mind boggles at why we have to keep saying this.

[livejournal.com profile] kiwi_grrl asks the question: why isn't the media paying anymore attention to Iran? Also, to people who think the hijab is oppressive, do the women in the pictures look oppressed to you?

Here are 66 panels from old DC comics which illustrate reasons why chicks cry.

At Racialicious, I was piqued by the discussion that Sandip Roy's essay on cultural artifacts created, and [livejournal.com profile] divabat has an essay up on being a PoC in the burlesque scene, which is not so very different from being a PoC on the steampunk scene, except with more drama.

Now that my linkfest is done, I shall return to tending my canker sore.
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
Over at the Acting Out Edition:

Seven Deadly Sins - a Remix: Intro, Pride, Envy
On writing awkward sex scenes between virgins.
On the 20th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Incident.
The little common ground between pro-lifers and pro-choicers. And no, by "pro-life" I don't mean "anti-choice".

From Racialicious:
Linkfest from the White Privilege and The Ummah Carnival
Talkin' 'bout Mariah Carey and her embracing multiple heritages
Interracial relationships and self-projecting (the idiocy of being told "you really like [X] type of men since you're dating one!")
On having light skin in a dark-skinned community, and other racial problems in Brazil
Did you know mixed-race people don't always mean [white + coloured]?? ... That's one of the racial ideas one gets in North America.
Atlasien on David Carradine's yellowface legacy. I watched Kung Fu reruns in the 90's and it used to be cool how Asian martial arts seemed to be mainstream in America, and then realized that our martial arts can be awesome but not ourselves. Bruce Lee created that show, and was told he couldn't be in it. What do you mean, an actual kung fu master can't be in a show he created about kung fu?

At Shakesville, Melissa has a link thread to the new initiative Silence is the Enemy, about rape in the Congo. She also has advice on how to deal with people who think you're "negative" simply for pointing out stuff.

From Feministe:
Sex Workers Project 2009Legislative Agenda for New York State
WTF, National Review?

Zuska on how silence is the enemy. Read the comments.

Melissa McEwan on Dr. Tiller's death at the Guardian's Comment Is Free. Don't read the comments.

A post about RaceFail '09. Difficult thoughts in dismantling white privilege. Thanks for the linkage, [livejournal.com profile] dmp!

Guy Gavriel Kay on privacy and the right to knowledge.
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
Here's #1 in a series on Cultural Appropriation at Racialicious for those of us who have trouble with the concept (like myself). The comments are worth reading because many different angles are brought up, so it's a great start to what I think is a fairly important question.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
It's late May and it's still cold T_T

And the worst bit may be that it could be just cold in my apartment, and just chilly outside.

Which kind of makes it worse (have I mentioned how last summer I overdressed a lot because I thought it felt chilly inside and when I got outside...).

I spoke to [livejournal.com profile] divabat last night about the issue of cultural appropriation and tried to explain to her why some people find it a huge deal, and how it can affect others. I also went looking for Cultural Appropriation 101. God knows it wasn't easy for me to understand and while I don't feel the same outrage others do, I'm at least starting to get what's going on. Still, I think I overall failed to explain the issue.

A huge part of trying to understand this, though, has to do with the fact that it's very America-centric (since that's where the fucked-up-ness happens the most, it seems), and I'm having difficulty trying to figure out what's relevant to someone growing up in a multi-cultural society like Malaysia (well, it used to be...) from the issue that would make understanding it much easier. I don't really have to, but it's the edumacation thingum thing and I don't like seeing someone else feeling alienated just because they can't grasp the issue. Been there, done that, not fun.

Pretty darn interesting conversation anyway. In the end she told me something like, "you're behaving like I'm not properly outraged" and I said sorry, and I was, and another part of me lost my fucking shit with hilarity, in the "I can't believe I DID that!" sort of way.

But seriously, I'm kind of bugged by the fact that I can't find a primer on what cultural appropriation is, how it's applicable, when it's not applicable, and the accompanying power dynamics involved.

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