Category Archives: Sexuality and Women’s Issues

WisCon 38: A Schedule, of Sorts

WisCon is this weekend! I am super-excited because Savitri is coming with me, and the Feminist Batwoman and her boyfriend will be there, and I’ll get to see lots of cool peeps from tumblr. Also I think someone I met through Ravelry, oddly enough. If you will also be at WisCon, hooray! Come find me! Here is my schedule so far as I know it, with the following handy-dandy coding:

  • Places I will definitely be
  • Places I will almost definitely be
  • Places I would like to be
  • there are lots of gaps in the schedule because I know better than to try to plan out where I’ll be for each and every timeslot. Suffice to say I will probably be at a lot of panels. And crashing hard in the con suite.


  • I’d like to go to the readings but appear to have a school event at the same time. Because I teach astronomy.


  • 2:30 – 3:00 Irresistible: X-philia, Shipping, and the Joys of Requited Love
  • 3:00 – 3:45 The Women of Dr Who: Dr Who has 99 Problems and Stephen Moffat is All of Them
    Seeing as I know (or “know”) half of the panelists, I should really be there for the whole thing, but I NEED to hear the X-philes paper
  • 4:00 – 5:30 Green Room
  • 7:00 – 8:30 Opening Ceremonies
  • 8:30 – 10:45 Green Room


  • 1:00 – 2:15 Found Families in Speculative Fiction
    I should probably mention that I’m on this panel. So, you know, if you want to hear me blather about Tamora Pierce and my “sisters” and whatnot, this is the time and the place.
  • 7:30 – 9:00 Tiptree Auction
  • 9:00 – 10:15 The Case Against Steven Moffat
  • 10:30 – 11:45 “Lift With Your Legs, Not With Your Back”
  • After That: Haiku Earring Party


  • 4:00 – 5:15 Towards a Female Gaze
    My second panel of the con. This seems to be the timeslot with EVERYTHING in it but I think we’re going to have a really good discussion so if you can tear yourself away from everything else, come by!
  • 7:30 – 8:30 Dessert Salon
  • 8:30 – 9:45 Guest of Honor Speeches


  • 10:00 – 11:15 Tumblr Culture: Social Justice and Feels
  • 2:30 – 3:45 Post-Mortem

YAY WISCON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope to see you there!


Tags: ,

THP Supplemental: The Rama Sequilogy

In spite of Clarke’s insistence that he never intended for there to be anything more to the story from Rendezvous with Rama, more there is. So much more. I’ve made it through the trilogy of sequels Clarke penned with Gentry Lee, so that’s our topic for this week’s supplemental edition of The Hugo Project.


Rama II
The Garden of Rama

Rama Revealed

Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee
published in 1989, 1991, and 1993


Warning! Spoilers ahead!


Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Hugo Project: 1970 – The Left Hand of Darkness

Previously on the Hugo ProjectJohn Brunner Predicts the Future.

I’ve decided I’m just crazy enough to try to read every book that’s ever won the Hugo Award for Best Novel…and, of course, that I want to share this insane experience with all of you. This week we travel to the planet Gethen, also known as Winter, under the guidance of our first female Hugo author(!!!), Ursula K LeGuin. Dress for the weather and leave your gender identities at the door as we continue through sixty-odd posts of science fiction, speculation and social justice!

The Left Hand of Darkness

Ursula K Le Guin
published in 1969


Genly Ai has been sent by the Ekumen to the frigid planet Winter, known to its inhabitants as Gethen. He is the sole emissary, the only extraGethenian, the only human, the only man on a planet of androgynes. In order to survive the harsh climate and harsher politics of Gethen, he must learn to navigate a world completely devoid of the sexual motivators with which he is familiar and to which he is accustomed by socialization and biology; he must learn to think and live as a person, not a man.


Warning! Mild spoilers ahead!

This book is a ninja in a snowball.

What I mean by that is, it snuck up on me. When I first finished it, I wasn’t that impressed. But over time…well, you’ll see. This review is even more stream-of-consciousness than usual; hopefully you can follow my mental evolution without too much trouble.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , ,

Lois & Clark & Consent: Romance and Rape Culture in Man of Steel

Disclaimer the first: Spoilers ahead! I really can’t discuss what I want to without discussing specific incidents and plot points, so consider this your warning.

Disclaimer the second: I am by no means an expert in the Superman canon, but most of what I’m going to discuss is not heavily canon-dependent. Also, fun fact: canon is not sacred, especially in comics. See this post by saathi1013 on tumblr for a more eloquent argument than I can draft; the last few paragraphs talk about canon in comics.

Probably the best superhero promo image EVER. Click for a tumblr discussion of why it’s so awesome.

I saw Man of Steel a few weeks ago, and some things have been percolating in my brain since. There’s the usual – Henry Cavill is hot, Zack Snyder is allergic to transitions, Hollywood fails at science, where are the Kryptonians of Color? – but what’s really been bugging me is Lois.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , ,

Month in Review: May 2013

Now that we’re halfway into June, I thought it might be nice to finally do May’s month-in-review post…


After all of the excitement of April, May was actually rather calm, or at least as calm as things ever are around STK. So, basically, I was still super-busy but it was mostly routine-ish stuff. Like final projects o’ doom. Anybody need a unit plan on Newton’s law of universal gravitation? Or ideas on how to adapt your lesson plans for autistic students*? Because I’m now an expert totally not an expert in such things, but at least I know slightly more than the average bear.

Oh yeah, and I got straight As this semester. BOOM. (We will not discuss grade inflation at the graduate level, kthxbai.)

Of course, the real fun was to be had on my one weekend off from classes:

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , ,

WisCon Ho!

You may choose to interpret the title as an amusing paraphrase of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or you may chose to interpret it as a reference to the fact that I get all tingly thinking about a long weekend devoted to science fiction and social justice. Either option is equally valid.

Anyway, WisCon starts tomorrow! Technically, there was a reading at A Room of One’s Own tonight, but I’m feeling emo and sedentary so I didn’t go. The Opening Ceremonies aren’t until tomorrow, anyway (and I’m totally ducking out of work early to go knit at the Gathering and put in a volunteer shift).

Even more exciting…SAVITRI IS COMING TOO!! Probably not tomorrow, but she and I will geek together Saturday and Sunday. A lot. A helpful infographic, for those who don’t understand the amazingness that is WisCon:


Will I be conscious by the time Monday evening rolls around? Who cares!? I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my reward for surviving my first semester of grad school…even though I think I will have to duck in and out to do some directing at Ye Olde Theatrical Bedlam. Oh well. I am hiding from the world (read: school, work, other work, work-I-don’t-get-paid-for, family, housework) as much as humanly possible this weekend and it will be GLORIOUS.

Haven’t decided which panels I’m going to yet (and, let’s be honest, I’ll probably be making most of those decisions spur-of-the-moment) but I will be at the Gathering, the Opening Ceremonies, the Tiptree Auction, and the Genderfloomp! party. If you will be there too, let me know and we’ll arrange some super-secret signal to find each other.

Also, the awesome Space Girl/Space Babe fan video, set to the equally awesome “Space Girl” by The Imagined Village:

Things will no doubt be rather silent around here for the next little bit as I a) enjoy WisCon, b) recover from WisCon, and c) start dealing with Real Life again, but I’ll try to keep the posts coming. The Hugo Project will continue. The crafting will continue. And since I will be without C.D. aka the Feminist Batwoman this year (waahhhhhh!), I suppose I’ll actually have to do a proper con report…


Tags: , , , , ,

Girls Don’t Look Like That

As some of you know, dear readers (Hi, FBI!), I live at home with my parents. Which is more good than it is bad, but there are definitely days when I honestly think squatting in the props room at the local theater would be an infinitely better alternative. Like the days when I get out of bed, follow the cat into the room where Dad is putting on his shoes, and stumble into the following conversation:

Dad, suddenly: Ugh! You have hair on your legs!
Me, warily: Yes, I do.
Dad, making a face: Why are you so hairy?
Me, warningly: Because I’m human.
Dad, frowning: It’s not normal.
Me, resignedly: Yes, it is. Humans have hair.
Dad, dismissively: Well, we have B.O. too. That doesn’t make it okay.
Me: *silently petting cat*
Dad: You don’t want people to think you’re a lesbian. Or maybe you do *uncomfortable laugh*
Me, warningly: Is it any of their business?
Dad: Well, they might have an interest in the matter.
Me: *silently petting cat*

a few minutes later…

Dad, cheerfully patronizing: Why do you have to be so anti-…whatever? Girls don’t look like that!
Me, in another room: *silently petting cat*

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , ,

Kyriarchal Worms Have Invaded My Syllabus!

Kyriarchal Worm

So I had my first ‘History and Philosophy of Science’ class yesterday. It’s an undergrad course I’m required to take for WI state licensure to teach science, but it looks like it could be interesting. I do enjoy the history of science, after all. Even if I have to put up with undergrads (eww, undergrads!).

Of course, when things move slowly in class (like, say, the professor is going through the syllabus on the first day), my mind starts to wander. And then my hands just start doodling of their own accord. In this case, I managed to resist the urge to doodle until we came to the following name on the syllabus:

E. du Chatelet

Which, it turns out, stands for Emilie du Chatelet. As in, (for those of us who don’t speak French) Emily du Chatelet. As in, A LADYPERSON.

I know, right? A ladyperson doing science? Before the 20th century? Shocking!

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

THP Supplemental: Schrödinger’s Reading Glasses


Given the nature of the next few books on deck for the Hugo Project, now seemed an appropriate time to discuss Defensive Reading, otherwise known as How Myriad Manages to Finish These Things Without Throwing Them across the Room or Setting Them on Fire.


The thing about speculative fiction is that it’s…speculative. Which means, if it’s any good, that it deals with unusual ideas. What if, instead of X being true, !X were true? What if X continues to be true – wouldn’t it evolve into Y? Have you ever really looked at the implications of X? If you look at it this way, X is actually Z which could lead to Q!

Good speculative fiction stretches your brain, forcing you to question assumptions you didn’t even know you were making and look at the world through a completely different lens. This is a good thing. It can be a profoundly liberating thing. It can also be a profoundly uncomfortable thing.

Or a profoundly infuriating thing, if you disagree with 95% of what the author appears to be saying.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , ,

The Hugo Project: 1958 – The Big Time

Previously on the Hugo ProjectBobby Heinlein and the Story of Meh.

I’ve decided I’m just crazy enough to try to read every book that’s ever won the Hugo Award for Best Novel…and, of course, that I want to share this insane experience with all of you. On this, the last day of 2012, we step backwards…er, sideways in time to a calm in the temporal storm of The Change Wars. Please do keep all arms, legs, and tentacles inside the vehicle; I haven’t tested the time-travel engine on this thing yet, and I think we’d all prefer to make it to 2013 intact. We still have the better part of sixty-odd posts of science fiction, speculation and social justice waiting for us in the new year!

The Big Time

Fritz Leiber
published in two parts in Galaxy Magazine in 1956
published as a separate novel in 1961


Somewhere outside of space and time is the Place, where soldiers in the Change War go to recuperate between battles that occur everywhere in space and everywhen in time. Greta Forzane and her fellow Entertainers do their best to jolly these soldiers back to health and sanity. One day the Change Winds blow in a motley crew of soldiers ranging from an idealistic English poet, to a Nazi commandant, to a Cretan warrior woman, to a furry, tentacled Lunan. Keeping some semblance of sanity in the ever-shifting reality of the Big Time is never easy, but in addition to their fatigue, these soldiers have brought something nearly as dangerous – an atomic bomb…


Warning! Mild spoilers ahead!

The best thing about this book: One character speaks in iambic pentameter,  and another in trochaic tetrameter. If nothing else, seeing modern slang dropped into blank verse and high-tech battles narrated with all the drama of the Odyssey will delight anybody who loves theater, literature, and/or language. The only thing better would be to hear these speeches delivered by a fantastic Shakespearean actor.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , ,