31 May 2014 @ 07:20 pm
Book round-up: May  

Charlton-Trujillo, E.E.: Fat Angie
I adore the voice of the main character Angie, as I shared some of her experiences, but I hated the way she is treated by other characters. Her romance with K. C. Romance seemed a bit over the top, but I liked that she finds love. The book tackles a lot of complex and dangerous issues - abuse, eating disorders, bullying, self-harm, depression, broken families, attempted suicide - and its always in danger of being too much, but it worked for me, and I think it'd probably work for teenagers and does show that people deal with pain in different ways.


Donovan, Anne: Being Emily
I loved this book, though I find it hard to pinpoint why. We watch the heroine Fiona O'Donnell become obsessed with Emily Bronte and grow up until her world is all but shattered by the death of her mother in childbirth. Her father breaks down and turns to drinking, and she has to be the responsible adult in the family. We see her get back to her feet, find love, have her heart broken, and get back to herself as an artist. 
The narrator's beautiful rendition of the Weegie accent made me feel right at home and has a lot to do with why I loved this book.


McKinley, Robin: The Blue Sword.
No huge love plot, no rape, racism, interesting world building. I love the characters in this book. They have motivations and limitations, they have thoughts and agendas and plots. The one thing that I'd have appreciated is a bit more detail on the fancy swordfighting the main character so effortlessly learns, I didn't quite buy that anyone would get so effortlessly good at something as intricate, but this is only a minor gripe.
What I loved especially is the complete absence of sexual violence and the fact that this fantasy book manages to get by without graphic sexual violence, you so rarely see that, and mostly without a love plot, though the main character is female.
What I'm no a big fan of is the colonialism and racism. I'm not sure why we need a saviour with a white background from the coloniser's country.


Zeh, Julie: Corpus Delicti. Ein Prozess.
A very understated and quiet novel with believable main characters (though German authors might want to pick up a dictionary of names and browse anything but the letter "m") in a dystopian society based around hygiene and health, with a government which outlaws all health-threatening behaviours and has something like mandatory sports requirement, the skipping of which is punishable.
Our heroine Mia, a biologist working for the government and in full support of The Method, has to make up her mind about her position in the totalitarian system when her brother is killed for subverting the system and having someone pin the murder and rape of a young girl he was seing on him.


Fforde, Jasper: The Well of Lost Plots
Quick, count on your fingers the number of pregnant heroines. I'm coming up with one, and she's a character in a novel by Terry Pratchett.


Fforde, Jasper: Lost in a Good Book
I really love the Thursday Next series and this book was now exception. The book has it all: strong female characters, interesting plot twists, and excellent world building. It's funny and entertaining and I'm already on to the sequel.
30 April 2014 @ 07:12 pm
Book round-up: April  

Westerfield, Scott: Cutters
I still enjoy reading about Shay, still don't enjoy the artworks unoriginality.


Westerfield, Scott: Uglies: Shay's Story.
The story presented in this book is fine and interseting, and most of the problems I have with this novel are down to the art work.
I don't have very high expectations of the vast majority of people regarding female characters, even less so for the ones creating graphic novels (Why? Escher Girls). This book is in keeping with that. There aren't a lot of changes from "ugly" characters to surgically prettified characters, and while this is in keeping with the concept of "ugliness" introduced in that world, but I would have expected more diverse characters, and, since we're at it, truly ugly people. It can't be that difficult to draw ugly people, most artists seem to manage drawing ugly men just fine.


Summers, A.K.: Pregnant Butch
Interesting read dealing with some of the thoughts that I have about pregnancy. I'm not presenting butch a lot, but that does not mean that I am dying to be lumped in with the pink soft femmy world that is expecting these days.


Westerfield, Scott: Specials.
I would have really liked a happy ending for Tally and Shay, sad that that was not to be.


Stoker, Bram: Dracula
A band of believable, different and likeable characters interacting in believable ways, using communication and Science(TM), Supernatural Powers as well as Cutting Edge Technology(TM) to achieve their aims in defeating a very complex, intelligent and interesting Big Bad. This is the grandfather of all vampire stories and I thought I would hate it. Then I read it for a Gothic Novel course at uni and fell in love. Not only with Action!Willhelmina or her host of weeping men, but also with the complexity and transgressiveness of Dracula.


Westerfield, Scott: Pretties
The second part of Scott Westerfeld's dystopian unrealistic beauty standards series. A character from the first part becomes Turned into a pretty superhuman form of themselves and fight the anticipated and unanticipated effect this transformation have.
We encounter a trapped warlike tribal hunter-childminder/cook society with rigidly binary gender roles. In which part the book gets preachy in spite of the double standards shown within the world of the Pretties. In which there seems to be a whole lot of imbalance when it comes to the description of who does beautification surgeries, in descriptions of looks in general, in distribution of ugly main characters/love interests, etc.- which still points to the fact that if female and "ugly", you need to be at least called "beautiful" by your loved one while you can get away with being considered bootfaced by your loved one if you are an "ugly" male character in the novelverse (which can be explained away within the world, mostly, however).
Again the main conflicts are between female characters, but the degree to which they are about male love interests strikes me as overdone regardless of the fact that most of them are teenaged. Again a fun read, less interesting world building, and plotting, however. Our heroine is just a bit too lucky, all things considere


Westerfield, Scott: Uglies.
The demands to conform with media-dictated unrealistic beauty standards taken to an extreme: This dystopian teen novel features female action heroine Tally Youngblood who lives in a society in which everybody undergoes drastic cosmetic surgery procedures at 16. They do this enhance their biological features and become a Pretty, the rite of initiation in a society in which pre-surgery Uglies count for nothi
The book passes both Sexy Lamp and the Bechdel test. It also has a slightly tacked-on love triangle and strange social dynamics. Refreshingly, the central conflicts in the books are all between female characters, while all the alliances sadly seem to be between the main character Tally and her love interests. The word building leaves things to be desired, but glosses over this fact due to being told from the limited POV of the main character. Still, an entertaining read.


Fforde, Jasper: The Eyre Affair.
Jane Eyre is one of my favourite classics, Wales is my favourite country, Fantasy is my favourite genre, it is a miracle to me that it took me so long to discover this book.
Humorous Fantasy is difficult because its often trying too hard and not particularly funny or crude, this one isn't, the main character is a very believable and female, there is a love plot, but its a mild one, it's got a world in which everybody is as invested in literature as people are in things like sports and movies today, and it reads like paradise (I don't think there's many places on our earth today in which you can strike up conversations with Inn receptionists about which of Chaucer's works they liked best).


Fermer, David: The Pit.
The standards for original stories aimed at ESL students are extremely low, I'll give you that, and by that standard this book is excellent. It's well-paced, engaging, has very short chapters and a vocabulary section in the back. The language is simple, but still evocative. The characters could have done with more nuance, but they will likely still engage students.
Seen as a novel, however, I quickly became frustrated not only with the fact that it just barely passes the Sexy Lamp test and the status-quo-upholding ending that... doesn't really feel as though anything much has been accomplished. The characters don't develop, the dystopian world is still dystopian, and the rather heavy subjects that the book barely hints at are also not unpacked but sort of nonchalantly glossed over (eugenics, forced labour, race, classism, etc.)
I find it difficult to decide at this point if this is intentional to leave us teachers room to make up our own endings with our students or if this just fell prey to the common problem of the genre.


Swindells, Robert: Abomination.
I read this book because I'm on the lookout for a book to read with my students and this seemed like a good choice. It has very good characters, an interesting story, though the ending left me a bit frustrated. It is very realistic and you cannot expect non-adult characters to make adult choices, but it still left me wanting things to be different for them.
Current Mood: okay
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
26 December 2013 @ 01:26 pm
2013 in first sentences of the month  
I'm in Hamburg with my family with some time to myself, so I'm doing the end of year meme, as every year. Here are the first sentences of all first posts of the month (excluding the book meme and wordless posts).

January: Over here, the weather has gotten really cold again, much to the delight of several of my colleagues who suffer from migraines alleviated by the chilly air and much to my dismay, because our car doors keep freezing shut so thoroughly that I can't defrost them enough to get to work on time.

February: Periodically, I browse the internet in search for werewolf books and most of what I find reads like a PSA for why it's a great idea to stay with an abusive partner ("Not his fault that he turns into a werewolf, it's the curse! He's not himself! It's just his violent nature that wants out!") or porn (really lulzy porn).

March: Crocky and I are going to Prague! [We ended up going to Paris.]

April: Spring hasn't quite gotten into the swing of things around here, but Crocky's tissue consumption certainly does mark the transition in seasons.

May: Creepy-crawly of the day: the common wasp, vespula vulgaris.

June: In less than two hours I'm going to be thirty.

July: Tal-y-llyn, where the sleepers lie in Susan Cooper's The Grey King. (Fire on the mountain, shall find the harp of gold; Played to wake the sleepers, Oldest of the old;), This book series may or may not have significantly spurred my love for all things Welsh.

August: I have this unfortunate tendency to pick things that I really don't want to do because I am scared of them and then do them.

September: The weather outside has started matching the feeling I've had in my knees for weeks: it's autumn.

October: Crocky and I went to Amsterdam on Tuesday and came back on Friday.

November: It was Crocky's sister Teddy's birthday party yesterday, or rather, one of them- this was the "queer adult edition".

December: I hope you get to spend some time with your loved ones and will have some time for yourselves, too, to wind down.

Hope you are all doing well, I'll catch up once I'm back home.
Current Mood: okay
Current Location: Germany, Hamburg
03 November 2013 @ 10:09 am
It was Crocky's sister Teddy's birthday party yesterday, or rather, one of them- this was the "queer adult edition". I was reacquainted (do people still use this word?) with Crocky's and Teddy's older bisexual foster sister and Crocky's bisexual godmother. I've often marvelled at the fact that my MIL, who died in 1991, had so many queer friends and foster children, and then wound up having a bisexual daughter, too.

Teddy, my former Russian learning partner, is still at it because she's planning to spend a few months in that country on her world tour. I'm slightly jealous because I could never do the same. I'm worried for Teddy, too. Still, I hope she's going to have a great time touring the globe and will return home safely. She cooked a tasty dish from her Russian cuisine cook book for us.

We spent the time eating, laughing, and trying to fold Fröbel stars. which their foster sister brought. The English Wikipedia has this to say:

"Froebel stars are very common in Germany, although few people know how to make them."

To which I can testify- IRL I don't know many people who can do Fröbel stars. I know that my grandparents could make them and my mother can, too, but I am convinced that in my generation I think that only the incredibly crafty like [ profile] angie_21_237 can do it- and the latter is the head of a kindergarten, so it's probably basically her job to know these things.
I have the shrewd suspicion that you talented flisties are probably experts at paper crafts happily fröbeling away, too.

We did end up with things resembling the stars, though and were quite proud of ourselves.

If you want to have a go yourself or need a refresher on how to make them, here's something that looks a lot like the directions we had:

Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
11 May 2013 @ 10:06 pm
Book rec: Gossamer Axe  

Gael Baudino: Gossamer Axe
An Irish mortal-turned-immortal harpist-turned-guitarists forms a Heavy Metal band to rescue her lover from the realm of the Sidhe.
When I first heard the premise for this book I found it hard to take seriously. It sounded heard to pull off, to say the least. And yet, Gael Baudino somehow does it. Yes, the book becomes a bit preachy at times and silly at others, but it mostly works, and she always pulls it back so that it does. The main character is thoroughly enjoyable because she is competent, confident, and purposeful in what she does. The biggest hit with me was the author's music theory framework for her magic system, it's not often that you read about anyone using phrygian mode anymore.
Current Music: Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Black Star
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: surprised
09 March 2013 @ 02:43 pm
The fight between good and evil as told from the refreshing POV of two angsty built white dudes in their twenties. So. Um. Who is this show for?

It's as though they marinated an eighties cop show in current slash fandom for a while and this is what came up. There are these two angsty brothers in their tweens who fight demons, and angst about the (dead) women in their lives, go to hell, and angst, and get tortured, and angst, and torture others, and angst, and kill boatloads of innocent people, and angst. Later on, they acquire an angelic side-kick, and the show seems to be fully aware of the slash potential, at least I find it hard to explain away the way scenes between these three are filmed otherwise.

Much like in most corners of manslash fandom, there just are no female main characters in the show, and if there are women, they are used as bait, as window dressing, as a cause, as a reward, and usually to scream because they can scream at a higher pitch. Every female character is a "bitch" or a "whore", and they all come between the brothers and therefore ultimately need to be destroyed. But they are demons, so that is fine.

The series seems to be aware of the fact that it has a fandom, but also seems to think that they're a bunch of overexcited morons. So... is this aimed at self-loathing or ~self-ironic~ white female slash fandom or really misogynistic white gay men (and neither seems unlikely, given that the series seems to imply that one of the male leads is bisexual)?

Internet, please explain. 
Current Mood: confused
19 February 2012 @ 10:22 pm
I'm usually late with recs and such, so scroll past if you have seen these already. 

1. Tigerbeatdown: "G. R. R. Martin is creepy" - putting into words what I've thought about the series for years. It's one of the series that I get as 24/7 kinkster Fantasy series, but not as mainstream Fantasy without the niche SSC context or a warning label. 

2. If you haven't updated your knowledge in 2009 what you learned about female reproductive anatomy at school is probably outdated and not as awesome as reality

3. McGonagall and Umbridge, a new piece by ~ehay. Her Minerva's cheekbones are as delightful as ever. 

4. If you haven't already, check out The Half-Life by *Sigune, a watercolour portrait of Snape. 

5. Though I'm not a Snarry fan I can recommend Cordiality and comfort of my new home, which has amazing light. 

6. ~LadyMacbeth1755 has the four heads of houses as silhouettes here

7. I'm late with this rec, but if you haven't already, drop everything and read In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning by [ profile] atdelphi, which is hauntingly beautiful and powerful. 
28 January 2012 @ 09:06 am
Lesbian Literary Award #6 - English Edition!  
I mentioned the award hosted by author and publisher Ruth Gogoll before, and this year, for the first time, it's also available in English! Read about it in the HuffPo here (wait Ruth Gogoll writes for the Huffington Post? When did that happen?). 

They're accepting entries of 60k-75k words until the 31st of March

They advise to pick up books published with el!es to familiarise yourselves with the style they're looking for. 

Here are the terms - in German. It appears that the English edition doesn't really have terms. 

Wettbewerbsbedingungen )

I'm looking forward to the English entries this year. 
Current Mood: cheerful
11 January 2012 @ 03:30 pm
How much do I envy Crocky?  
lot, especially when it comes to her singing and the choirs she can sing in. Her ensemble performed "Lux Aurumque" at their last concert, which is beautiful piece by the conducter and composer Eric Whitacre (here's also a TTBB only version of this here commissioned by the Gay Men's Chorus of LA). 

Whitacre is not only noteworthy because of his beautiful music, but also because of his virtual choir- this is them with Lux Aurumque:

I love the VirtualChoir project, you can join here.
Current Mood: impressed
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Music: Lux Aurumque
29 December 2011 @ 06:51 pm
Book Challenge 2011 Masterlist  
I have to try keeping closer tabs on my list. Most of the books I read during the first half of the year are on my Oyo - which died in November, which makes it harder to piece together what I've been reading. Though since the books I read and forget probably shouldn't count, anyway, this list works just as well. The bold titles are my top seven of this year's books. 

Complete list and top 7 (bold) )
    Half-assed statistics: 
    Female authors 143021
    Male authors 363629
    Re-read books 180911
    New books 325439
    Current Mood: dorky
    Current Music: Maurice (1987)
    Current Location: Home
    27 December 2011 @ 04:42 pm
    Bookchallenge round-up  
    I can't seem to get the hang of keeping track of these challenges. Since my last entry was once again in May I can't remember what I read this year, especially the ones that I borrowed from the school library, but these are the ones that I could either remember or could piece together from my Amazon account. HTML

    I left out re-reads if I read them more than once this year and some books by Terry Pratchett, and as always everything I read for school. 

    25-52 )
    20 September 2011 @ 08:48 pm
    The Secret Life of the American Teenager  
    Lessons learned from the show:
    1. If you have unprotected sex, you WILL get pregnant.
    2. If you have protected sex, you WILL get pregnant.
    3. If you use condoms, they WILL break.
    4. If you are on the pill AND use a condom AND have lots of sex, you WILL get pregnant.
    5. Girls don't know what masturbation is until they're fifteen.
    6. Having an abortion at fifteen is a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE THING.
    7. Having a baby at fifteen will make you SO HAPPY. 
    8. Being a teenage mother will totally unite your fighting parents AND attract lots of cute guys! 
    9. Women belong into the kitchen because they're just GOOD at it.
    10. Having a baby at fifteen means your friends will be dying to spend more time with you.   
    11. Divorce is WRONG and you WILL get back together. And the best thing about this: you'll have another child! 
    12. You cannot keep a secret in High School, EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYTHING.
    13. Teenage dudes will fight tooth and nail to keep their children and get custody, so don't worry, you won't end up raising the kid alone. 
    14. It is less likely for people to have a baby if they are married adults taking the same steps to avoid pregancy as teenagers. 
    15. If you sleep around a lot before you have a child, your child will be a stillborn preemie. 

    Who is funding this show?

    I suppose it's good that there is a show that focuses on how having a baby at fifteen is NOT the end of the world and that there are teenage boys who really enjoy fatherhood, but seriously? Having an abortion at fifteen is fine, too, if you don't feel you can handle the responsibility of raising a child just yet and want to focus on, you know, not being a child yourself. 

    In the real worlds, babies are not magical plot devices who can fix everything that's wrong in your life story. 
    Current Mood: awake
    31 July 2011 @ 08:10 pm
    Hunted: The Demon's Forge  
    Since I'm house sitting, I have the fortune to peruse my brother's steam library, and this game was among them. There will be spoilers in this post, so if you don't want to read about the ending, please don't read this.

    To sum up- the gameplay is repetetive and annoying, and the story - all you need to know about the priorities of this game with regards to story and fully fleshed, three-dimensional characters can be gauged pretty much by looking at our heroes: 

    I mean, seriously. Read more... )
    12 April 2011 @ 12:34 am
    Nichts: Was im Leben wichtig ist, by Janne Teller. (Nothing)
    When Pierre decides that nothing in life is worth living for, his classmates want to convince him otherwise and start collecting things that mean something to them. What starts innocently with favourite comic books quickly spirals out of control as people are required to give up more and more important things until it ends in excavating bodies, cutting off fingers and, inevitably, rape. Of course. But it's still a very good book and captivating.

    Unter Verdacht, by Joyce Carol Oates (Big Mouth and Ugly Girl).
    When a joke goes wrong Matt is suspected of having planned to blow up the school. The only one who does not believe that is Ursula, sports star and outsider no one likes. Haven't finished this one yet.

    Die Lebensfahrt auf dem Meer der Welt - der Topos, by Christoph Hönig.
    A book on the topos of life as a sea voyage and the world as that sea, something of a guided tour through different periods with different texts and analyses of what they make of this topos, how they use it and how it changes over the years. Ever since I read Crossing the Bar and listened to a lecture on it by Professor Haas, who was one of the best speakers I have ever heard I've had a soft spot for this topos and enjoyed encountering it elsewhere subsequently (like in Gregorius).
    My Gender Workbook, by Kate Bornstein.
    Very practical, hands-on introduction to gender, workbook-style.
    Haven't finished this one yet but had a good time with the articles and the way they're written as well as the questionnaires. The interludes do feel gratuitous at times, but they don't bother me, it's still very informative.

    How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
    Holds what the title promises: a guide on how to win friends and influence people, or rather,  how to modify your interpersonal skills so as to facilitate that.
    Ever since I saw the thread in the Slytherin forum on CS back in the day I've been wanting to read this book. I bought it now that covering communication with my students is imminent and it's enjoyable to read.

    The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss.
    This one deserves a bigger review. I did have a good time reading it, but the longwinded pointlessness of vast part of the middle (Felurian. Oh god did that ever end), some flaws in the setting (would Bast really have sat there for six hours and listen to Kvothe talk about the fairy realm without comment? Hard to imagine) and the increasing level of NiceGuyness of the main character made this hard to enjoy - regardless of just how much I looked forward to this. I liked how the world opens up and still love the magic system, though I'm getting increasingly uncomfortable at the moral framework of our hero (slaying old ladies begging for their lives is not ok even if you think that they were conspiring with rapists, especially if it's likely that they were forced to play along themselves, asshole). The amount of times in which the Rule of Cool is used to make something work also baffles me. All in all enjoyable, but there are things that are off.

    The Lucifer Effect - How Good People Turn Evil, by Philip Zimbardo.
    This one centres pretty heavily on the Stanford Prison Experiment. Again not news, but the conclusion he draws and what he extrapolates about similar scenes from Guantanamo is still worth a read.

    Das Milgram-Experiment, by Stanley Milgram.
    An account of the experiment. A classic. I've read it before, and I keep being amazed and terrified at the results.
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney.
    Greg's adventures as a small boy in Middle School. A typical story about a non-stereotypically male hero type whose sidekick inevitably has to be even less stereotypically masculine to affirm them, or something. I can't really say I am care that greatly, but I watched Wonder Years enough in my teens to recognise the narrative enough to sympathise. My students love this book so I gave it a read.
    Current Mood: tired
    26 March 2011 @ 12:54 pm
    Awesomeness over at BioWare  
    You've all probably heard it already but I'm still slightly gobsmacked at the amount of sense written by this BioWare person (much better write-up over at ontd_p here and sf_d here).

    What happened is this: they put out a game in which the fe/male main character can be romantically approached by both male and female NPCs. And everybody sees what's wrong there, clearly not enough content for exclusively straight males! But FEAR NOT, STRAIGHT MALE FANS!

    One straight dude takes it upon himself to let BioWare know that they've neglected their main demographic, straight males (emphasis mine):

    I'm not surprised, but what did floor me was the reaction of the company. Rather than say things on the lines of "but it's cheaper that way" or "focus on the F/F romance, it's hot", Daivd Gaider talks sense about privilege (with costliness thrown in, though, sadly):

    Not that this makes me more likely to buy the game which still sounds pretty failtastic for various reasons, but this is nice.
    Current Mood: sleepy
    12 March 2011 @ 12:10 pm
    5. Lesbischer Literaturpreis  
    «5. Lesbischer LiteraturPreis»

    Schon zum 5. Mal schreibt der el!es-Verlag für das Jahr 2011 den »Lesbischen LiteraturPreis« aus.


    1. Teilnehmen können ausschließlich Frauen.
    2. Eingereicht werden können lesbische Liebesromane oder Romane, die das lesbische Leben zum Thema haben. Ebenso sind sogenannte »Uber«-Storys erlaubt.
    3. Eine Länge von mindestens 60.000 Wörtern und ein Happy End sind für den Roman zwingend erforderlich.
    4. Zudem wären wir sehr froh, wenn der Roman im Präteritum geschrieben wäre und nicht im Präsens. Auch geben wir der Perspektive aus der 3. Person den Vorzug vor der Ich-Perspektive.
    5. Schicken Sie eine Inhaltsangabe (die bitte im Präsens und nicht im Präteritum), die ca. eine halbe bis eine DIN-A4-Seite umfaßt, und eine Kopie Ihres Romans im .rtf- oder .doc-Format an, zusätzlich mit einer Kurzbiographie, in der Sie sich kurz vorzustellen, Ihrem vollständigen Namen und Ihrer E-Mail-Adresse. Bitte benennen Sie die Datei nach folgendem Muster:
    Vorname_Nachname__Titel.rtf (Vorname_Unterstrich_Nachname_Unterstrich_Unterstrich_Titel.rtf)
    Bitte Name, Postadresse und E-Mail auch am Ende der Inhaltsangabe noch einmal angeben.
    6. Sofern Sie den Roman oder Teile davon bereits auf dem Internet veröffentlicht haben, geben Sie bitte die Webseite an, auf der der Text veröffentlicht wurde. Ausgewählte Romane müssen vor dem Beginn des Lektorats aus dem Netz genommen werden.
    7. Die Regeln der Rechtschreibung und Grammatik sollten korrekt umgesetzt sein. Bitte verwenden Sie die Rechtschreibprüfung Ihrer Textverarbeitung, bevor Sie uns das Manuskript schicken.
    8. Für die Veröffentlichung kann natürlich ein Pseudonym verwendet werden, das jedoch aus einem Vor- und einem Nachnamen bestehen sollte.
    9. Die Inhaltsangabe und ein Auszug des eingesandten Manuskriptes (nicht der vollständige Text) werden einen Monat vor Vergabe des Preises auf der Internetseite veröffentlicht. Die el!es-Leserinnen stimmen dann online darüber ab, welches der eingesandten Manuskripte den Preis gewinnt.
    10. Die ausgewählten Romane werden vor der Veröffentlichung von uns lektoriert.
    11. Einsendeschluß ist der 31.03.2011.

    Der Preis für den besten Roman ist ein Wochenende für zwei (weibliche) Personen in der Frauenpension Bertingen ( und die Veröffentlichung des Romans bei el!es (selbstverständlich mit einem entsprechenden Vertrag und Honorar).
    I thought this might be interesting for some of you. Last year, many of the submissions were amazingly bad (also, my favourite contestant did not win, sadly, so I'm probably biased), hopefully they'll be better this year.

    It's odd what people submit to a contest hosted by a publisher who, if you win, publishes your manuscript as a book - as though paragraphing and, in some cases, compelling characters and spelling were entirely optional. You see, I'm notoriously bad at re-reading and editing my own work, too, but I had hoped that if you're going to submit your work to a publisher you might want to have someone else beta it first.

    Also, I absolutely do understand and appreciate that this is a minority publisher aimed at and run by a specific minority, but I admit I'm getting uncomfortable by the way the publisher emphasises this: 
    Und ja: Dies ist ein lesbischer Wettbewerb, für Lesben, weil das hier nämlich eine lesbische Webseite ist, weil el!es ein lesbischer Verlag ist, der ausschließlich lesbische Bücher herausbringt, und weil ich eine lesbische Schriftstellerin und Verlegerin bin, die sich nicht ständig mit irgendwelchen sexuellen Phantasien von Heterofrauen herumschlagen will, die nichts mit dem lesbischen Leben zu tun haben.
    Ruth Gogoll.
    .... So, not me, then, I guess, ok. Going by this as well as her other comments, I also kinda doubt that she knows non-monosexual people even exist.

    Still, I'm looking forward to this year's submissions, the inevitable drama and the possible additions to my to-read-pile.
    Current Mood: sickly
    06 February 2011 @ 10:36 pm
    When subtext =/= buttsex.  
    Lots of sensible things about LGBTQ representation are being said over at [ profile] sparkindarkness' journal on how problematic subtextual and Word of Gay type of "representation" in canon are.


    No, it’s not enough. Your hot men who have what may be a lingering look or touched each other a little longer than you thought was strictly necessary or y’know are just “so gay together” do NOT count as GBLTQ representation. I don’t care if you’re sat there with your slash goggles and you’re going to run on home and dash off a ream of steamy steamy mansexing (but hey, if you’re going to, maybe you can avoid tropes like making one of the men shorter than he is on screen so he can ‘bottom properly’ and other such badness? Ugh, yes really) your slash fantasy is not a GBLTQ representation.


    There are also smart things in the comments on how problematic platonic and asexual relationships are being made if every platonic on-screen relationship is automatically seen as sexual by [ profile] kazaera  here.
    Current Mood: chipper
    28 January 2011 @ 05:43 pm
    It depresses me that this is good news.  
    First, what I suppose passes for good news under the circumstances over here, even though it was really about time - now it's possible to get a registered partnership with your spouse without additional surgical requirements in Germany.

    The rest of the law, however.

    Oh, God, dear God, why
    . Trigger warning: legal transfail )

    EDIT: looks like they did suspend the sterilization-paragraph entirely? The German article I read on this was fucking confusing. Also, my pidgin-knowledge of legalese doesn't mix well with my headcold. I thought this only applied in cases in which otherwise a registered partnership was not possible, but it looks as though it's suspended until it's been reviewed, which would be incredibly awesome, and also about motherfucking time.
    Current Mood: gloomy
    26 January 2011 @ 03:50 pm

    I know that you're all super busy with all your lesson plans and stuff, and I know that most of you sit through their didactics seminars pretty much on autopilot, but I'd like to point out something.

    "The boys should focus on Romeo and the girls on Juliet, because all girls can identify with lusting after the forbidden guy."

    Think about this for more than five seconds and you'll see that this is a dumb task with a dumber explanation for its existence. It's factually wrong. This is not PC-ness gone wild, this is a factual error that you're making. I think we all agree about the fact that you shouldn't teach kids wrong things. So get a clue, teacher. Especially given the fact that you feel comfortable saying this to me shows such incredible levels of idiocy I don't even know where to start.

    I know that you'll say that you can't pay attention to these things all of the time, because the vast majority of people are straight and ID as either of the two, but seriously, do you also not pay attention to misspelt words if students only get one letter wrong because the vast majority of letters in the word are fine?

    I know that there is a reason why I'm made so damn uncomfortable by the fact that everybody loves Romeo and Juliet and other straight institutions so damn much, but really, people, there's a fucking limit. 
    19 December 2010 @ 06:13 pm
    Ugandan anti-gay bill sponsor  
    Catching up with my Rachel Maddow Show viewing I find this interview with this person hell-bent on believing that gays are recruited and that those doing the recruiting deserve to die. He therefore proposed the famous Ugandan bill which says that gay people should face prison sentences and death sentences.

    Proceed with care. I don't even know how to react to this.

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Current Location: Germany, Bremen
    Current Mood: speechless
    27 November 2010 @ 05:42 pm
    Razor in candyfloss  
    When his weird American aunt dies, Matthew's cousin Sam comes to live with Matt, his SAHD and mother, and soon makes social life very difficult for him and his friends. They decide to give Sam a second chance if he can prove himself by infiltrating the local girl gang ("The Bitches". Yes.) as a girl, but soon changes and things go ~out of control~, the more so when Sam is predictably hit on by the class heartthrob, gets in touch with his emotions and falls for a girl, etc, etc

    This book is one of the recommendations for queer fiction in one of the most popular German textbooks in the country, so obviously I had to investigate. I was disappointed very soon. In my opinion, if there was some kind of shitlist that warns readers of books which include trans- and homophobia in spades, "Boy2Girl" would definitely need to be on it.

    I can't even put to words how much I loathe the entire "cross-dressing is hilaaaaarious! Especially if MAAB people do it!! But only so long as they get reaffirmed as cis, straight, manly masculine guys pronto!!"- thing. It's fucking annoying, and I don't get what the appeal of this book would be to cis/het people, either. Does it say to them that cross-dressing is only for wacky comedies? That, following the blurb, "hilarity ensues" once you overstep the reinforced steel boundaries of your gender? Because it certainly doesn't show that it's ok to do just that to me - there are scenes in which that seems to be the case, but mostly, there is a character to add a judgemental voice to the choir as soon as someone does the overstepping, which might be realistic, but unhelpful.

    None of this wouldn't be redeemable if it wasn't cut off after the scene in which it is revealed to the general public that our hero is "really a boy" (uuugh big reveal scene ugh), and even though his entire character changed a lot (and for the better, seeing as how he seems to be much happier by the end of the book) it's unclear what will become of this change once he,  back in his male role, is no longer required to be ~girlish.

    My biggest problem is that we get to read the voices of all characters apart from Sam, so there's no saying what he takes away from this, what his views and feelings are.

    So, did I miss anything? Is this secretly good and I missed something because I was busy facepalming over people going on about "the g-word"?

    And why anyone would want their kids to read this mess?
    Current Mood: aggravated
    17 November 2010 @ 04:27 pm
    Oh, Kristin. I am disappoint.  
    In Cashore's Fire, everything alive is spellbound by the sight of Monsters, creatures of astonishing beauty and the ability to control minds. Human monster Fire finds it difficult to live in a world in which everybody is spellbound by her beauty and/or wants to kill her and has to learn to come to terms with that as well as face a powerful enemy threatening those she loves. And according to Cashore, women are only ever jealous of her beauty, because:
    "There is something consoling in the regard of a woman. Roen never desires me, or if she does, it's not the same."

    Uh-hu. You do realise that there are women who look at other women that way, right...?

    Current Mood: annoyed
    25 September 2010 @ 12:56 pm
    Join The Challenge.  
    Crocky and I like reading books together, and we are always on the lookout for books likely to make the Bechdel-Wallace-test, but lately, especially when it comes to Fantasy, even those that make it leave me dissatisfied. It's not only that there are hardly any books with and about strong female main characters, it's that as long as the female characters are older than eleven, they usually MUST. FALL. IN LOVE.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I love love. I love being in love. I do not, however, enjoy reading about people finding love and engaging in activities related to courtship. Which is what seems to be the only thing going on in most love plots. And there really does not need to be a love plot in every single book. They rarely ever add anything to the plot and they rarely ever influence characters in a realistic way, and tend to be as exciting to read and varied as people making sandwiches. They tend to be tacked on, without point or purpose, just because it apparently is a part integral to the experience of being a woman to fall for a man - any man - because lesbians don't exist, and god forbid female characters get a plot without throwing a male love interest into the mix somewhere, because there might be riots in the streets and people will protest in front of publisher's houses with torches and pitchforks.

    Because Crocky has similar inclinations, we started searching. And searching. And searching. Thus, the challenge came about.
    It does not sound like much, but try it, and you'll see what I mean.

     [ profile] niaseath joined it, spent an hour in a book shop and couldn't find one single book that made it. I must be reading the wrong Fantasy books, because without the odd Discworld novel and the Worst Witch series, which is for young children, and a couple of books by MZB, I've drawn a blank. There are slightly more titles that come to mind outside the genre, but it's only a tiny fraction, and that's usually because the main character is considered to be past datable age or too young.

    Granted, there are also few books about men without a love plot in them, but how many can you think of that do exist?
    That's more than none, right?
    12 September 2010 @ 04:42 pm
    Writer's Block: Something to cry about  
    [Error: unknown template qotd]
    I'm fine with whatever consenting adults do together.

    With children? Barbaric and cruel. I don't think that physical violence should be encouraged in either parents or children, and while people do snap, humiliating and physically harming people dependent on you is inhumane.

    Corporeal? That's a what, an angry corporeal patronus? Seriously though, this is a question people seriously ask? This depresses me.
    Current Mood: bitchy
    19 July 2010 @ 12:21 pm
    Art and Harm  
    There are such a lot of discussions on art and violence these days which make my skin crawl so much I can't speak about them coherently and this probably clouds my judgement on them. Still, I'd like to say this: art can be harmful to people who didn't consent to be a part of it.

    Recent sexual violence in what people say is art, trigger warnings )

    If people use one oppression as a ~metaphor~ for another that is harmful to the party whose experiences it exploits to express yourself. It's the limit of freedom of expressing yourself - the moment your freedom touches that of another person and you take on their voice to speak about experiences you made, and I'd like to see more self-limitation at work.

    I guess the question I'd like to put to people who argue that things like these are important enough to be made regardless is if they consider the message or artistic value of this particular piece to be more important than the problematic content and exploitation of others and why.

    Because I don't see it.
    25 June 2010 @ 05:33 pm
    "slut shaming" in NSM  
    As a hobby linguist I've been curious about Goddard's and Wierzbicka's natural semantic metalanguage/semantic primes as an L2 teaching and learning tool for a while, and I've been trying to apply it to various concepts I've encountered so far with varying success.

    The notion of cultural scripts I find particularly interesting, and I've been trying to apply those to some cultural scripts of our own.

    Here's some example of cultural scripts:  )

    Here's a table of semantic primes (Goddard, 2002): 

    So what does that give us for "slut shaming"?

    I got something like this: 

    [people think like this:]
    I want to say you are a bad person. Because of this I say you do things with your body and many other people's bodies.
    It is good to do things with your and one other person's body, but not many people's - that makes you a bad person.
    I want people to know that I know this is bad.
    You are a person to whom I can say, "You are a bad person", and you cannot do bad things to me because of this.
    People will think it is true if I say to you,
    "You are a bad person, and you are doing bad things with your body"
    I want you to think that you are a bad person.
    ...which leaves out the gendered double-standard, and its still pretty choppy. I wish we'd have had courses on this at uni, though they probably wouldn't have done me any good, given that I'm not a linguist.

    Anyone have any ideas?
    Current Mood: curious
    17 June 2010 @ 09:46 am
    Size, dieting and sin: Jean Kilbourne on Advertising  
    Advertising featured in my brother's oral exam, and for some completely weird reason they never discussed what types of images are used to advertise - female bodies or parts thereof. These weird gender blinkers made me curious - with something as omnipresent as using female, heavily sexualised bodies to sell (other) objects, how can they really arrive at any kind of solid analysis of any kind of advertising, especially in ads about alcohol...?

    Crocky and I soon discovered Jean Kilbourne's oeuvre on women in ads through her "Killing Us Softly" series focusing on women in advertising. She also has a documentary on thinness in advertising called "Slim Hopes", and what I liked especially about that "Slim Hopes" is the connection she draws between thinness and moral purity, especially virginity. She has some really neat examples of how the metaphors that used to surround sexuality and moral is now associated with eating because both of those "appetites" have to be controlled.

    Some of her main points from the study guide:
    « Food & Advertising »
    • Food and diet products are often advertised with the language of morality. Words such as “guilt” and “sin” are often used to sell food.
    • Sex is frequently used to sell food. Many ads eroticize food and normalize binging. These ideas support dangerous eating disordered behaviors.
    • Thinness is today’s equivalent of virginity.
    • Women are shamed for eating, for having an appetite for food.
    • Control is often associated with thinness in advertising.
    • The obsession with thinness is related to the infantilization of women and the trivialization of women’s power.
    • Prejudice against fat people, particularly against fat women, is one of the last socially accepted forms  of prejudice.
    • Women are sent the message that they shouldn’t eat too much, that it is appropriate to eat only a cereal bar for breakfast, and that they gain power and respect by controlling their bodies. When advertising for food is examined in conjunction with the prevalence of extremely thin models, we discover a recipe for disordered attitudes toward eating.
    Jean Kilbourne.

    She also almost quoted Granny Weatherwax ("There's no greys, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.")

    « Objectification  »
    “Women are constantly turned into things, into objects. And of course this has very serious consequences. For one thing it creates a climate in which there is widespread violence against women. Now I’m not at all saying that an ad… directly causes violence. It’s not that simple, but it is part of a cultural climate in which women are seen as things, as objects, and certainly turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step toward justifying violence against that person.”
    Jean Kilbourne.

    Hardly news, but the documentary/talk is entertaining and interesting to watch even in spite of the annoying watermark and the miniature size.
    I can't wait to see if one of our libraries has it.
    Current Mood: calm
    14 June 2010 @ 04:19 pm
    Four minor things that sucked  
    I have to grumble for a bit about the downside of my marriage.

    Yes, this is a lesbian-related whining post, feel free to scroll on.
    1. After my oral exam in German, one of my examiners, who is one of my favourite Professors and from whom I learned a lot, shook my hand and said that he was happy for me and that he bet I was looking forward to going home and celebrating. With my husband.
      I've known this man for years now, he was one of the Professors who helped me getting into the course when I decided I wanted to become teacher. I love this man. And when he said "husband", I wanted to tell him that I have a wife so badly, but my mouth wouldn't move and my brain showed me all those casual comments he had made over the years about "that kind of gentleman" and "cosmetics for a kind of discerning gentleman" - not cruel comments, but rather bemused ones, and I rembered that he was born very shortly after the war. And even though I probably won't see him again and I am so grateful to him for all that he has done for me, I found couldn't correct him. It's not a big deal, probably, but I felt like a miserable liar.
    3. After my students had discussed the possibility of their gayness in an effort to seem cool the week before last, I was terrified to see them last Friday. I fidgeted and dawdled on my way to class, rehearsing in my head what I could say to them, should they make comments or ask the inane questions that people usually ask. They didn't, luckily enough, and I could feel a little sag of relief when the lesson was over, they had left the building, and there had been no questions. 

    4. After chatting with a new student about her life and her job and her plans for the future last week, she asked me, in turn, about me. It was an exercise to get the questions down as much as anything, but I felt myself stiffen when she asked why I moved here, given the fact that I'm studying in a different city. There is always that little moment of hesitation in which I have to figure out how the person in front of me might react to what I'm about to say. I told her about my wife, and her expression changed just a bit. She's still nice, but the way she treats me has changed, ever so slightly.

    5. Yesterday, a rather unfriendly middle-aged guy called. I answered, and as is my habit because my new double-name is such a mouthful, I just said, "Wing?". He replied, "Who is that?!" To which I only said, "Moth Wing, who is that?" He replied that he wanted to speak to Crocky. I wanted to tell him that she is my wife by way of explanation of who I am, but didn't. Instead, I just told him patiently that I'd leave her a note, because I wasn't sure whether he knew that she was married to me. His unfriendly tone annoyed me even after I'd hung up.
    Now, this sort of thing really is is pretty common. Whenever I tell someone, there is that tiny moment of hesitation, a worry that a person's behaviour will change after I told them, because how am I to know what it'll make them think they know about me then? The individual cases are not bad most of the time, but it all adds up, and I've just had a few too many conversations of this kind during the last week. It's like skipping a step on the way down a flight of stairs, every single time, and it doesn't seem to get easier, and as long as I am in relationships with women, I'll get to have them.

    I've been in this relationship for seven years this summer and still, when I meet people again the first time after they found out or I told them, I still practice in my head what I can say if someone reacts unfavourably, and steel myself against those possible negative reactions.

    When I do get them, I explain to myself why the person reacts that way and try not to be angry. It's a blessing that they are comparatively rare compared to the awkwardness that's all-pervasive, those sudden silences, the looks, and people abruptly changing the topic.
    And then I feel blessed when I read the news, because I can tell people at all.
    And I still sometimes don't, because I am human, and I want to be loved, and I am scared of negative reactions from people I like, even though it makes me feel like the biggest liar in the world, and when I do, there is this incredible cautious awkwardness that people get, which makes me wish I hadn't said anything at all - not always, but often enough.
    Current Location: Hannover
    Current Mood: sad
    07 June 2010 @ 12:23 am
    In which I am a breeder  
    "Breeder" is a derogatory term for a cis heterosexual person.

    Because, you see, man + woman = babbies, and because no self-respecting queer person would ever be caught having a baby. I have no idea where this term originated, but if I had to hazard a guess I'd say within certain fringes of the cisgay community, given the nice focus on the reproductive organs of ciswomen there, though I am not sure if the main association is meant to be husbandry there. I can't really make myself care, either.

    As someone who wants to have children, this term pisses me off incredibly. Not only is it misogynistic, it also completely erases any queer and/or non-cis couples who do have or want to have children, dehumanises children and parents alike and just generally makes you look like a fucking ass if you use it. 

    I want children with Crocky. I am not sure how yet, or when, or however we'll be able to afford that, or what kind of bureaucratic nightmare that's going to be, but at some point in my life, I want to raise children with this woman I am married to. And fucking hell, this is not going to be easy, and a lot of it will be every bit as dehumanising as the term "breeder" suggests.

    First, getting one half of our child's genetic material united with the other is very likely going to be done in a laboratory, or by a doctor the way it's routinely done by real life breeders on farms. Since it's "sittenwidrig", "against public policy/immoral" under German law, we'll either have to go abroad, where the cheapest ~breeding~ session still costs about €5000 (and there's no saying if this takes off the first time around).

    And then, once that genetic material has happily united with its other half and my bank account lost a small fortune and we are reasonably certain that it's going to stay where it's growing, the next nightmare begins - adoption. The process takes at least a year, though stepchild adoption is the same for both heterosexuals and homosexuals. You file for it, and then someone comes round to examine your relationship, as you have to be found capable of taking care of a child by the state. Officials come into your home and interview you to see if you are fit to parent, what your emotional relationship to your child is like, how healthy you are, what your financial situation is.

    For all of this, you have to have the all-clear of the errant biological parent. If they're not known, you get a waiver, though, again, the case has to be examined by officials.

    And then, there's only the everyday misunderstandings and nightmares when encountering a system in which families like ours are not common (there are around 13k children living with queer parents in Germany), the stereotypes, the idiots who want to debate calmly as to whether it's a good idea at all that people like me have children, and queer idiots who think that the term "breeder" is a good choice of words when referring to heterosexuals.
    01 June 2010 @ 07:01 pm
    IDK, maybe this is hard? Someone tell me.  
    OK, maybe this is harder than I thought and not as much a matter of common sense.

    Let's imagine you are having a fight with someone and they suddenly really, really do not want to have a conversation with you that moment. Now imagine they are walking away from you.

    At this point, how do you react?

    - physically pull them back towards you and keep them there.
    - let them go away and try again later.

    From the position of the person trying to get away, what do you think is the preferrable option?

    EDIT: are there any circumstances that make this believable behaviour that you'd be comfortable with and wouldn't make you go "wtf was that", as long as we're still talking to characters who are equals?

    I can't believe that this is something that's an issue with adult film makers when filming scenes in which two non-abusive heterosexual adults who are in a relationship are having a heated discussion.

    01 June 2010 @ 05:54 pm
    To quote Hartmann: Herre, des wundert mich.  
    I have to admit, this abstract really leaves me wanting more and raises some questions, especially about what the point of this is, really. It may be my headache, but I really feel as though I'm not getting something here.

    Sexuality scholars have noted the historical connection between appearance and gay or lesbian identity. However, as the social landscape for lesbian women and gay men has shifted over the past forty years, little research has documented how such changes influence gay and lesbian individuals' appearance choices as they form, manage, and maintain their identities. To explore the impact of this "post-closet" (Seidman 2002) era on the identities and appearances of lesbians and gays, in-depth interviews were conducted with twenty individuals, aged eighteen to thirty. Findings suggest that while most people use appearance to attain a sense of authenticity after "coming out," achieving a feeling of authenticity in gay and lesbian spaces presents unique challenges as individuals come under scrutiny by the community.
    David J. Hutson‌.

    1. Post-closet era. Post. Closet. Era.
    2. How, pray tell, do you "use appearance to attain a sense of authenticity"...? I mean, I'm guessing here that they're aiming at the struggles that femme women face to "look gay enough" in the eyes of some people and the backlash that butch women get for "embodying a negative and harmful stereotype", but I'm still left with the feeling that I need to find myself a pansexual outfit ASAP. Maybe some bisexual pants? Does that mean that Crocky has to cut her hair? I just... yeah.

    Also, I am not sure why they went for a qualitative study here, and I'd really appreciate if someone enlightened me. And also, the point of this. So twenty people say that they use their appearance to signify their identity ~authentically~. And now?
    Current Mood: confused
    29 May 2010 @ 08:39 pm
    Girls aren't allowed to get angry.  
    Google Reader threw a wobbly the other day and flooded my feed with posts from the past, which allowed me to catch up with stuff I hadn't seen back in the day. I missed this post at Genderbitch's: "For the Uninformed: Privilege, Perspective and The Little Things That Jab" - and I assume that a lot of you have already seen this, but if you haven't, do go and read it, it's great (as well as the post it replies to, "The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck" over at Shakesville). 

    I'm especially grateful for this part:
    For the Uninformed: Privilege, Perspective and The Little Things That Jab

    I am mtf trans (obviously from the blog title XD). I was born male bodied and I transitioned to female bodied. Unlike a lot of trans folk (who viewed things through the lens of their identities as a different gender and therefore wouldn’t have had problems with how they were treated for the same reasons as others would) my identity hasn’t really played a huge role in the lens I apply my own experiences. This was mostly because I came to the realization about why I hated the male structure I had very late in the game (I actually assumed it was normal to hate having a penis XD) So I consider myself formerly a guy who figured out that he needed a female body (due to dysphoria) and therefore was better off as a girl (identity and sociologically wise) for practicality sake. This is atypical, so don’t expect all trans folk to have the perspective I do on gender.

    Which means I experienced male privilege as male privilege (instead of being transformed into transphobia by the lens of identity) and I experienced the loss of male privilege (as I myself transformed from hormones and whatnot.)

    It was a shock, I will tell you. As a person perceived as a guy by society, I was not constantly challenged, stereotyped, joked about and pushed down. There were some small things. Depictions of guys in tv were sometimes irritating. Occasionally there were jokes about the dumb guy stereotype. And there were constraints on self expression for guys that were a bit irritating. But even if I violated those rules, I usually could tell opposition to piss off or criticize my criticizers right back and everyone thought that was an utterly natural thing for me to fight the silly claims from people, even if they didn’t agree.

    Post sociological and HRT transition. What was an occasional flow of jokes, jabs and attacks became a torrent. I was bombarded. Television was filled with all sorts of stereotypes, attacks, mockeries of women. Pressure to conform was harsher and more persistent (instead of just guys calling me a fag for having long hair and wearing toe socks it was now everyone calling me a weird dyke or telling me that I need to femme out more for wearing guys cargos and t-shirts with a faux military jacket). And my attempts to dispute that pressure, my responses at all really (even the nice ones) were now regarded as me being a bitch, a harpy, a “feminazi” or being unreasonable. Whereas before, people disagreed and discussed with me, now, they simply dismiss it completely.

    I was shown, completely (and perhaps embarrassingly) how little perspective I had on what society does to women. And that is why I understand how insidious privilege is. It is silent, it is crafty, it sneaks up on you, latches on and makes it impossible to even question it without seeming nuts. And there’s the problem. We aren’t nuts.

    This shit is real.
    - Genderbitch.
    Current Mood: grateful
    29 May 2010 @ 01:59 am
    Good things, dumb things, bad things.  
    Good: Mrs Homophone 2010 can pronounce a TH now. No one had explained to her before that the "th" is a lisped s, and now she gets things right at least when she's reading. Her speaking is still largely TH-free, but her reading has improved absolutely beautifully. It's weird how people can imitate speech impediments without problems (I made her read an entire page while "lisping"), and then get it right (and made her re-insert the "s"s afterwards), and the level of improvement completely knocked me out.

    Dumb: I swear I'm a good, inconspicuous businessdyke when I'm at work. I don't run around all "LOOK AT MAH RAINBOW BRACELET!", but things follow me and I can't help it. I teach three teenage boys on Fridays, they're between twelve and fourteen. Today, my students invited me to join their masculinity affirmation ritual. )

    Bad: One of my students failed his exam and I don't really know why. He was doing so well, and even though he still has obvious gaps, nothing prepared me for the total wreckage of his last exam; he's not doing himself justice in the content, and the language is all over the place. He can't even bear to look at the paper and he's really demotivated.
    Current Mood: tired
    24 May 2010 @ 02:00 pm
    Ye Olde Science: Parts of my identity in stages  
    After initial scepticism towards these rather rigid models I have to say that I can really see part of my experience in those stages.

    Cass Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Formation (1979)

    "Coming out is a life-long process of exploring one's sexual orientation and Gay/Lesbian identity and sharing it with family, friends, co-workers and the world. Coming out is one of the most significant developmental processes in the lives of Gay and Lesbian people. Coming out is short for the phrase "coming out of the closet." Coming out means recognizing, accepting, expressing and sharing ones' sexual orientation with oneself and others."

    Read more... )
    16 May 2010 @ 07:31 pm
    Local pride event - leashes optional, I hope.  
    I'll get back into the discussion on home schooling later (thanks for the input!), but right now I have to moan about Hannover's GL(b) pride event. Granted, it's a GL event by tradition, bisexuals sneaked in only later, and trans folks' movements seem to be pretty disassociated from the LGB stuff that is going on in Germany. Still.

    See, this year, there's fifty events, many of them sports events organised by our LGB sports club. However, out of these fifty events,  most of which are aimed at everybody, twelve events are for gay men only, and only six events are aimed at women in general. Why is that?

    And some of the titles are unintentionally hilarious:

    Stadtrundgang „Frauen an der Leine“ (the Leine being a river, though the name has a double meaning, making that either "Walking tour: Women on the Leine" - or "Walking tour: Women on a leash").

    Offene Werkstatt! Für Frauen, Lesben und Mädchen. ("Open workshop! For women, lesbians and girls" - cool, lesbians aren't women now. Awesome).

    But there are also some interesting events, and I'm thinking about going to some of the events on offer, especially the meeting with the people who do educational events at schools.

    17 April 2010 @ 07:12 pm
    Never read the comments.  
    That also goes for reviews on Amazon! Stupid me. Still, reviewers, if you have to sign your review with "BTW, I'm neither racist nor religious, just my opinion", then you ought to know that there's something wrong with what you were writing in the first place?

    Also, I just read through the entries for the 4th lesbian literary award hosted by Édition El!es (if you speak German and like bad writing, check it out!), and those entries scare me. They read like something that has a high potential to end up on either [ profile] canonrants - only that stylistically, I'd expect that kind of stuff on FFR or [ profile] verreiss_mich . Though considering the host I probably should not be surprised - apparently, they're publishing books of authors who terminated their contract with this publisher and changed to the other notable lesbian publisher, the Konkursbuch, and there's also been trouble concerning authors not getting paid for their work. Classy.
    16 April 2010 @ 05:26 pm
    «Masculinity as Homophobia»
    The fear of being seen as a sissy dominates the cultural definitions of manhood. It starts so early. "Boys among boys are ashamed to be unmanly," wrote one educator in 1871. I have a standing bet with a friend that I can walk onto any playground in America where 6-year-old boys are happily playing and by asking one question, I can provoke a fight. That question is simple: "Who's a sissy around here?!" Once posed, the challenge is made. One of two things is likely to happen. One boy will accuse the other of being a sissy, to which that boy will respond that he is not a sissy, that the first boy is. They may have to fight it out to see who's lying. Or a whole group of boys will surround one boy and all shout "He is! He is!" That boy will either burst into tears and run home crying, disgraced, or he will have to take on several boys at once, to prove that he is not a sissy. (And what will his father or older brothers tell him if he chooses to run home crying?) It will be some time before he regains any sense of self-respect.
    Michael Kimmel (sauce).
    Now, in that essay, he does make a lot of good connections, but.

    1.) What a totally excellent bet,
    2.) Wouldn't the same thing happen if you said, "Who's an [any other epithet/insult] around here"...? Sissy's far from being a neutral term, after all.
    Current Mood: pensive
    10 April 2010 @ 09:44 pm
    Foreigners hate the gays!  
    You know, if you start your Master thesis by saying that you're only going to consider male homosexuals in your study because they clearly have it worse (oh god I wish this was more of a paraphrase) as well as because there's so little data on female homosexuals (well, fair enough), because there are so many men writing about homosexuals (...?), that doesn't make you look that good to start with, but I was willing to read your paper, anyway.

    But then you proceed to make your case, saying that those pesky foreigners, especially muslim foreigners, hate gay people, want to steal from them and beat them up. What the hell. I was looking for a sensitive insight into sex ed aimed at muslim students regarding homosexuality in Germany, not xenophobic garbage.
    Current Mood: aggravated