June 10th, 2010


The power of words

A couple of years ago, I completely lost my appetite. For like more than a couple of weeks, I just lost any desire to eat at all. That can be a symptom of Crohn's but I think I got just that one and none of the others. In the end, my mother decided it was a psychosomatic and from me constantly stating that I "had too much on my plate." I dropped using the phrase and eventually my appetite came back.

So the question is, do you think that would work if I starting declaring my current situation as "needing me to work my arse off"?

Just wondering.


deconstructing your own cultural biases

On last night's Galactic Suburbia (I'll pop up show notes in a different post), we were talking about the Fables graphic novel series - Alex and Tansy have both read and reviewed the issue included in the Hugos packet and for both it was their first exposure to the series. And neither liked it. I've mentioned before that I'm reading it from Volume 1. And that I was kind of enjoying it. Kind of in the sense that editormum loaned me her complete series more than a year ago and it's taken me till now to read up to Volume 6. I tend to only be able to read one issue at a time compared to Buffy where I sit and read one volume at a time - have inhaled almost all the volumes of Buffy in less than a fortnight as comparison.

I wasn't struck by any overt revulsion of Fables on reading it. And watching others devour it, I assumed I just read slowly. The thing that bothers me, is that I don't notice "slut shaming" - something that Tansy points out happens to Red Rose in the current volume that she read (and in the first volume of the series too, actually). What bothers me about this is that I tend to accept anything other than direct slut shaming.

I mention this because I was reading an article linked by @transcendancing on Twitter yesterday - warning this is extremely graphic and may trigger responses - This is Not an Analysis of Rape Culture. This is a Rant. A horrible horrible heinous crime of the rape and murder of a young woman is discussed in this article. And it's very shocking and upsetting. But what was also very discomforting for me was the way I accepted the language of the newspaper reporting that is quoted in the piece:

They put on condoms and took turns having sex with Johnson, who was vomiting and drifting in and out of consciousness.

The article goes on to discuss how the use of the word "sex" is incorrect because sex is consensual and you can't have consensual sex in the above situation. And it points out the way the word "sex" in the above sentence minimises what actually occurred. And that had me searching my own mind for how I perceive the word sex because sex is so often used in reporting in the media, at least, of rape. And how I personally don't question that act of minimisation. And I think that links back into why I don't notice slut shaming - because I accept that that is the way we talk about women who have sex (or have "sex" forced upon them). To be fair, I was raised as an Orthodox Jew and went to an orthodox Jewish Day School so that gives some idea of my cultural background on the subjet of sex - it's for husbands and wives, and for behind closed doors and never to be talked about etc etc.

Just really food for thought for myself really.


Galactic Suburbia Episode 9 Show Notes

Our next episode will be our 10th! Wow!!

Here's what we spoke about though in Episode 9


The Realms of Fantasy Letter and discussion on this as well as some less savoury comments on multicultural fantasy

Top 20 under 40 - a list of hot young literary authors with excellent gender & cultural balance

The Periodic Table of Women in Science Fiction

Tracy & Laura Hickman releasing a new novel by subscription format, with book provided at the end, to launch a new publishing venture.

Tansy’s Podcast for her new book


Alex: Hugo packet, graphic story: Girl Genius vol 9 (also vol 1-4); Fables vol 12: the Dark Ages; Schlock Mercenary; Batman: Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader; Captain Britain and MI13: vol 3, Vampire State.
Hugo packet, novellas: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker; The God Engines, John Scalzi; Shambling towards Hiroshima, James Morrow; Vishnu at the Cat Circus, Ian McDonald.
Also: Blonde Bombshell, Tom Holt;
The Wind-up Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi; Steam Engine Time #11 and #12, ed. Bruce Gillespie and Jan Stinson.

Alisa: White Cat, Holly Black; listening to Bad Film Diaries – Grant Watson

Tansy: Hugo Packet: Girl Genius 09/Fables: The Dark Ages/Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader; also Changeless, by Gail Carriger; Perchance to Dream, Lisa Mantchev

Pet Topic

Worldcon and conventions – why we go and what to expect?
How is it different for work/industry/fan
What are panels all about? Any best/worst that we can talk about?
Book launches – like em? hate em? go for the free champagne?
What are room parties? how do you get invited?
Why does everything happen at the bar?
What’s the dealer’s room deal?
Art show?

Feedback to galacticsuburbia@gmail.com


more on 75 years of women in SF

Last night whilst talking about the Youtube and Periodic Table of Women in SF, Tansy explained how it's all part of a book trailer for a new single author collection by sandramcdonald. A series of stories revolving around the character Diana Comet. I was intrigued and have been checking out her blog and the book. Turns out that she's running a series to celebrate 75 years of women in SF in promotion of her book by looking at different women every day.

What's not to love about that?

And in related news, I was honoured to be asked to write Hoyden About Town a guest post, which went up today and is called: The Invisibility of Women in Science Fiction.