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This is yet another thing that people with medical conditions get blamed for—not managing their own care well enough, although according to this article NO ONE studies the efforts required to manage one's own health care.

(Content note: one use of the "O-word")

"But American medicine demands another scarce resource from patients, and that is their time. The time it takes to check in on the status of a prescription, to wait for a doctor, to take time away from work to sit on hold and hope that, at some point, someone will pick up the phone.
"There is a risk associated with not measuring patient work: namely, that patients will give up when life gets in the way. This is an especially acute worry for lower-income patients, who often work for hourly wages and have little space to change their schedules."


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"Women and Trans/Non-binary people" : The Pitfalls of Haphazard Gender Inclusion

Attempts to create calls for submissions/lists of authors with marginalized genders have come under criticism for asking for "women and non-binary" or "women and transgender people". Adding trans and non-binary identities to "woman" often adds additional confusion for trans masculine people (are trans men included as "sort of women", or excluded as "not a marginalized gender identity"?). Does inclusion of non-binary identities with women imply that those identities are necessarily "feminine"? Does the addition of "trans" as a separate category imply that trans women are not members of the group that is ALL women? How can we more effectively promote the inclusion of transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary authors?

[My notes aren't a complete transcription and may represent my own language rather than the actual words of the panelists. I welcome corrections. I did not identify audience commenters by name. If you said something I paraphrased here and want your name to be used, please comment or send me a private message.]

My comments or clarifications are [within square brackets].
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Wiscon 40 recap: the list

I went to Wiscon 40! This is a list of stuff I did. I will post more about the panels I was empaneled on and the panels I attended later.
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My Wiscon panel schedule

Will you be coming to Wiscon?

We All Start Somewhere: Welcoming Social Justice Newbies
Fri, 4:00–5:15 pm
Conference 4
Moderator: Jacquelyn Gill.
Many people aren't born into families that talk a lot about or value social justice. We come from all different backgrounds with all different kinds of experiences. When someone wants to gain a better understanding of and start practicing social justice, how do we, as a community, welcome them and offer opportunities for education? How do we deal with the same basic questions over and over again? What do we do well? What could we do better?

Privilege in the Kitchen: Food Snobbery and Culinary Condescension
Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm Caucus
Foodieism is all the rage these days and while there's nothing wrong with making and enjoying good food, it seems to go hand in hand with a sense of condescension when it comes to cheap, simple fare; fattening foods (except for bacon, of course); and "poor food," the kind of thing prepared with a packet of this and a couple cans of that. Let us discuss economics, classism, racism, sizeism, and ableism in the ways we prepare, present, and talk about food.

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I love The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. The fourth and final book was released last month. (I didn't think the fourth book was quite as good as the other three, but still a worthy ending.) Five people involved with the blog WomenWriteAboutComics.com talk about the series, and they get at a lot of what I love.


A few non-spoilery quotes (there are a few more spoilers at the link, but only for stuff that happens very early, until you get to the big red banner that reads SPOILERS AHEAD):
Stiefvater is just such a great writer, especially when it comes to building distinct and fully realized characters.

Stiefvater treats its young adults the way I appreciate seeing young adults treated: like people with brains and emotions that don’t melt into a puddle of love juices and angst over their love interest....he friendship between the boys is so heartbreakingly beautiful, and the unquestioning loyalty between Blue’s aunts is so powerful. This is a YA book that does not forget that there are others who help shape the lives of the main character and gives those people such depth.

I love Blue because I relate so much to being a “sensible” teenager and her wanting to rebel against that sensibility....I also love that she’s so prickly, opinionated, and stubborn.

It’s a much more realistic portrayal of family, in a way, than other YA books.

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This post sums up a lot about girls' and women's experience of anger, and as a person raised as a girl I relate to it a lot. It included many links to other articles, many of which I also added to this post.

[Edited to add: On Facebook it was pointed out that this post doesn't address the ways anger is racialized. I agree. When describing it I should have specified "white girls' and women's experience."]
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A book list!

"100 MUST-READ SCI-FI FANTASY NOVELS BY FEMALE AUTHORS" by Nikki Steele, who writes, "Do note that I’ve only listed the first book in any given series."

I think this is a very good list. I have bolded the ones I've read, check-marked the ones I own but haven't read yet, and starred the ones I especially liked. I'm feeling especially hard to please when it comes to fiction these days, and I want to reflect that, so I didn't give out very many stars. I don't mean to suggest the ones I didn't give a star to are bad, just that they didn't get me super-excited.

If you've read any of these authors, I want to hear what you liked by them!

1. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
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"Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell casting is even worse than it seems," by Kwame Opam

My take on this article: I agree with its argument that the story of Ghost in the Shell is inherently Japanese and it's racist to whitewash the live action remake.

But I think by the argument that the story is inherently Japanese, there should be no white European remake of the story at all. (The director is British, the writers are white, except that the writer for the original Ghost in the Shell is also credited.) Casting Japanese actors wouldn't solve the problem that white European movie-makers are pretty unlikely to do justice to an inherently Japanese story line.

I'm therefore inclined to assume that this is going to be a movie that doesn't have anything in common with the original anime, except the title and the names of some of the characters.

I would normally be interested in seeing an action movie with Scarlett Johannson in it, if it got good reviews, because there aren't enough action movies with female leads. And I'm undecided whether I should boycott this movie because it's named after a Japanese anime movie. I probably won't decide until I see reviews.

What do you think?

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Opinions about geekgirlcon

Has anyone reading this attended geekgirlcon, and would you recommend it, and why or why not? Thanks!

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Important TV advice sought

The OH and I just finished the first season of How to Get Away With Murder. I'm glad I watched it, and I like the acting and the cast diversity, but it was sort of surfing the edge of what kind of TV I like best (too much of the drama generated by lies and stupidity). Based on that, do you think I should I watch the next season?

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fresh! 2016's first linkspam

For the cat-loving coloring-book fans.

I am said that David Bowie had to go back to his home planet. Listen to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie on the isolated vocal track for the Queen hit "Under Pressure," 1981

A manga-face generator site.

"'Adulting' is an Indictment of Society, Not of Millennials." The late-Boomer author claims that today's kids don't want to work hard because
opportunities that were available to previous generations have disappeared. My father was a high school dropout, but at 21 he got a union job with a railroad and turned it into a nice middle class career that gave me and my brothers a good start on our own lives. Where would he work today, Walmart?
So, yes, a nice middle class career is much harder to get these days, especially for white people, and even if you do get one you don't make as much money because you've gone into a lot of education debt. But is it really true that Millennials don't work hard? Seems to me it's usually been the case that kids first coming onto the job market are underemployed.

Apparently some people still haven't gotten the message that policing women's language is not going to magically cut through all the sexist attitudes that make it more difficult for women to advance in their careers.
This week everyone’s been talking about an article in the Economistexplaining how men’s use of language undermines their authority. According to the author, a senior manager at Microsoft, men have a bad habit of punctuating everything they say with sentence adverbs like ‘actually’, ‘obviously’, ‘seriously’ and ‘frankly’. This verbal tic makes them sound like pompous bullshitters, so that people switch off and stop listening to what they’re saying. If they want to be successful, this is something men need to address.

Related to that, I never really got much ambition installed in the first place, but a lot of women start out ambitous and the ambition erodes over time due to lack of support.

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 Movies/TV Series consumed in 2015

Comment if you want further thoughts on any of these. There are some spoilers in the movie notes.
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Notable books and audiobooks read in 2015

Comment if you want further thoughts on any of these. Some general descriptions of settings and characters, but no spoilers.Read more...Collapse )

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"Operations like Thriftbooks step in and buy ... landfill-bound books, sight unseen, for around 10 cents a pound....Between 15 and 18 people at each warehouse sift through the truckloads of books, sending more than 80 percent of the material immediately to the recycling plant. (Hey, it’s better than the dump.) That 80 percent may include stuff that’s obviously garbage: old three-ring binders, notebooks, half of a Bible. Anything that might possibly be sellable is scanned into the company’s database.
"...The sellers wouldn’t tell me exactly how much profit they make on penny books. Shipping costs vary depending on the kinds of deals you can cut with delivery services."

“There’s a limit to how many copies of Jurassic Park I can sell,” [Mike Ward, owner of Thrift Books] explains. “If I already have a thousand in inventory and I think I’m only going to sell 500 in the next three months, I don’t want any more.”
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I have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Bring on the spoilers...

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I finished watching Jessica Jones

I liked it overall.

Bring on the spoilers!

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Media Consumption October

Because I signed up for NaNoWriMo and I haven't the slighest clue what to write, let's procrastinate by producing a DW/LJ post. Nonspecific spoilers in some of the below.


Kelley Eskridge, Solitaire
One thread of this story is about what it's like to be in (virtual) solitary confinement and what it's like to try to make a place for yourself in the world afterward. Another thread is explorations of the intersection of reputation, setting, and personality in a world where you have limited scope of action. This was hard for me to read because I liked only two of the characters, and they weren't the protagonist. But there was one section I absolutely loved that made the difficulty of reading the rest of it worthwhile.

Laurie R. King, O Jerusalem (Mary Russell #5)
Historical novel in which Russell and Holmes travel to the Middle East around the time of Allenby's entrance into Jerusalem. Russell has to pass as a boy. I don't know enough about the history or cultures of the region to comment on the accuracy of the novel but I thought it was a good yarn with a lot of interesting, plausible, and possibly true detail. One thing that bothered me slightly is that Russell is supposed to be a teenager but seems to have the mind of a middle-aged woman. I also wondered about the fact that the spies are all British who are pretending to be Arabs and none of the real Arabs seems to be the wiser.

Melissa Scott, The Kindly Ones
Space opera with complex world- and culture-building, reminds me of C.J. Cherryh but I liked this better than most of the Cherryh I've read. Most of the characters have complex motives and intelligence. Almost no one is pure evil, and not everything that might be a gun on the wall ends up being fired in Act IV, so could relax and get to know the characters as people without being worried that they'd get blown up at any moment. Some same-sex relationships that aren't made a big deal of. As far as I can tell Scott didn't write any other books in this universe, which I find surprising.


Lian Hearn, Grass for His Pillow (Tales of the Otori #2)
Tales of the Otori is a 5-book fantasy-historical/romance series set in a thinly disguised feudal Japan. The audiobook is narrated by Kevin Gray and Aiko Nakasone. The writing style is enjoyable with lots of detail. The characters and culture feel pretty stereotyped, so I don't know if people with more knowledge of Japan or less tolerance of stereotyping than I have would enjoy it.

Tina Connolly, Ironskin (Ironskin #1)
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor. I was expecting a light paranormal romance but this turned out a lot better and more nuanced than I expected. The setting is early 20th century England in which the Great War is replaced by a war between fae and humans. Humans wounded by fae have curses and must wear iron covering their wounds to protect other humans from the curse. This book was described as a Jane Eyre knockoff, but the Jane Eyre influences are more in the structure than in the content. Themes include taking back your power, gaining power from abuse that's happened to you, appearing normal vs not, trusting your instincts, the meaning of family, secrets. I have to say I was disappointed in the romance. In Jane Eyre it is so clear to me why Rochester and Jane fall in love, but in this book the romance between the equivalent characters doesn't make much sense at all. Fortunately the romance is secondary to the rest of the story.


The household is currently watching: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2d season), Hawaii Five-0 (3d season), Elementary (3d season), How to Get Away with Murder (1st season), Lost Girl (1st season, but I've seen through season 4), Heroes Reborn, Agents of SHIELD (3d season), and Trigun. Opinions on request.

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A friend of mine is looking for an in-person support or therapy group to help them deal with depression. Their depression is mostly situational. They are in Portland, Oregon. If you know of any such group, please contact me. Comments are screened. Thanks!

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I have finished watching Sense8, so I can now stop flinching away from all y'all's spoilers.

I liked it. Feel free to share any thoughts or cool links. (Therefore there might be spoilers in the comments.)

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Media Consumption Wednesday

Back by no popular demand whatsoever, but I felt like it.


Rosemary Kirstein, The Steerswoman, The Outskirter's Secret, The Lost Steersman, The Language of Power
It took me a while to get into the first book but then I began really loving the main characters for their similarities and differences, the way they were described, the way the steerswoman's thought processes are described, the ways interactions between characters who don't know each other are described, the idea of the Archives, the way the map of the area got drawn in my head as I read, and the fact that there are very few sexual relationships or romances centered. I liked the first one a lot because of the worldbuilding, and after that I liked The Lost Steersman best because it had these pretty fascinating non-humans, and a character I liked a lot. The writing is beautiful. Oh, also: a lot of books have action scenes that make me want to skim them to figure out what happened, without wanting to carefully read the scenes themselves. But I really enjoy reading Kirstein's action scenes.


Professor Anne Curzan / The Great Courses, The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins
36 half-hour lectures about various aspects of the English language (not just origins, and not just individual words) and of the ways that people study and document the English language. I especially liked that she went into some detail about the studying and documenting; a lot of popular works about linguistics don't seem to do that. Her lectures are all very organized and clear, like this: "Here's something about X. OK, what do I mean by that? Well, X is like Y. Here are several examples." I also especially liked how she treated sexist language (in a lecture entitled "Spinster, Bachelor, Guy, Dude" and the movement in the 1970s that resulted in some sexist language actually changing (in a lecture entitled "Firefighters and Freshpersons"). I was amused that she managed to talk about taboo words without ever saying any of them (except "cock"). And she did a good job of covering some Internet language, although she didn't discuss LOLspeak or my current favorite phrase ("I can't even"). Recommended.


A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
I watched this a while back, but it is awesome and I want everyone to know about it. It's an Iranian-American vampire spaghetti western (that's the label the filmmaker uses) and it has a vampire who dresses in chador and rides a skateboard. Very atmospheric, beautiful noirish cinematography, good soundtrack.

Directed by Paul Feig, starring Melissa McCarthy (same team that did The Heat last year. Passes the Bechdel test. I did a lot of research on this one to find out if it had fat jokes, because fat jokes really ruin movies for me. All the scuttlebutt said there weren't any. That was almost entirely true. However, the beginning of the movie relies a lot on the trope that middle-aged women are in essence frumpy and unattractive. It's important to the plot to set that up, but it was uncomfortable to watch for a while. I really liked the middle of the movie, where Melissa gets to go out into the field and kick ass. Then it got uncomfortable again at the end because it seems that she still has a crush on Bradley, the jerky agent she works with, who doesn't appreciate her enough. And the final scene, where she wakes up in bed with Rick, not remembering anything, and he says 'You loved it.'" is hugely problematic. So, Stef-Bob says walk out five minutes before the end.


I'm mostly playing BigFishGames hidden object adventures, which are all alike, and you probably already know whether you like them or not. But I did also pick up Catlateral Damage on Steam. You play a cat and the object of the game is to knock everything onto the floor. There are timed modes and free play modes. I find this much more satisfying to work off frustration than games where you have to shoot poor helpless monsters.

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