jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Not unless they no longer live with their parents, and they denounce them.

The New York Times has the story, as do a number of other major news outlets.

If Facebook and the comments section of Feminist Mormon Housewives are any indication, people are reeling from the announcement, and hearts that were already fragile are breaking. My love and sympathy go out to anyone who is affected by this, and who feels unworthy and unclean the way that I did growing up. Or scared and unsure of theirself, the way I did when I realized I couldn't stay in the church I grew up in. Because my conscience wouldn't let me.

I hope the obscene hate group that is LDS Mormonism loses all of its kindest, most gentle people. The ones who haven't already left.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Because it's not just otherkin. It never is.

Whenever there's something fantastic and awe-inspiring, someone's life depends on it. Someone needs it to express themselves, to feel alive, to escape from a terrible world. Whether they feel driven to worship it, fanfic it, fuck it, or be it, as long as they aren't hurting anyone it is fucking oppressive to shame them for it. And that shame is always going to come from more powerful people, and hurt less powerful ones.

That's from the rant we posted earlier. The point is, scratch a prejudice against therians / fictives / otherkin, and you'll find sexism, ageism, ableism, classism, theophobia, transphobia, and/or an alarming lack of disregard for the welfare of both human and nonhuman animals.

The people who believe that they have wrong reflections are all outsiders to some degree. And those people can't be allowed to have their own mythology, or they will forget their place.

If that unsettles you, examine your motivations.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Today I read a Q&A that went something like:

Q. Is it possible for one of my fantasy harpies to be transgender when they're an all-female species? Isn't that like a human who thinks he's an elf???

A. Of course it's possible, because gender isn't the same as physical sex. Write your own fluff to explain if it makes you feel better.

This is going to sound melodramatic, but the answer that my heart was aching to hear was "who are you to tell [PLAYER] what body their character would prefer?"

Yelling, swearing, angry depressive rant. )

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Check out this mech:

A collage of photos, which depict a miniature model of a streamlined white mecha in action. One caption uses a female pronoun for its pilot, and another confirms that a female head is included for the pilot figurine.

This is the XV95 Ghostkeel battlesuit, the latest in Tau stealth technology. And the one that Games Workshop's weekly magazine is doing action shots of, decloaking inside the Cadian lines, has a female pilot. Plus, the model has a feature where you can pop open the cockpit and put a pilot figure inside, and it includes a female head for her (with a Y-shaped nasal opening instead of an I-shaped one).

Even better? This week's issue confirms that a female head is included in the new box of Fire Warriors. The one that also comes with the new pulse shotgun weapons, the MV36 Guardian Drone, and the DS8 Tactical Support Turret, plus pieces for markerlight drones. <3

A photograph of the Fire Warrior boxed set, taken from Games Workshop's website. The box shows ten alien soldiers in white armour, along with a gun turret and two hovering drones.

These are our most basic troops, the ones pretty much every Tau player will buy when they're just starting out. And you can model one helmetless soldier as a woman, one who wears the same beat-up armour as everyone else and is doing the same dangerous jobs.

Our faction's fluff already said we had gender equality. But in practice we rarely saw female representation in models, Shadowsun notwithstanding. I once had an opponent put up a fuss about being corrected on my models' pronouns, despite the fact that he also played Tau and he knew that we fielded Fire Caste troops of all genders.

Obviously, there's still a long way to go before women can be considered "equal" in 40k, both at the gaming table and on its imagined battlefield. But this is an amazing first step. I'm so proud of them :')

jewelfox: CollectQT's logo, intersecting cyan and magenta circuits which form a Q and T superimposed on each other. (CollectQT)

CollectQT is "A (Q)ueer (T)rans (Collect)ive for rebuilding your internets," according to its Twitter page. (They have a home page at collectqt.me which explains their philosophy and aggregates links, but there's no RSS feed, so at the moment you need Twitter to keep tabs on their doings.)

The project they are currently working on is Quirell, with one 'r' and two 'l's.' According to its IndieGogo fundraising page, it:

... aims to be a place for marginalized community members and others to escape the noise and over-saturation of traditional social networks. This project is needed because as users of social media, we are affected by the lack of privacy measures in place on current social networks, ‘real name’ policies, and the way that new features are implemented and security is handled within most social networking sites.

[...] we aim to deliver a platform that serves the needs of marginalized micro-communities searching for a place to call their own when mainstream social networks are overrun with hate campaigns, stress, or you simply want to connect with others like you.

Fundraising goes towards paying their queer / trans / apparently POC staff to work on it.

They "support a variety of communities, including the sex-worker community, transgender community, nonbinary community, and the MPD/DID community," the latter of which sounds like a somewhat clinical way of referring to pluralities like us but is still very encouraging. They have an open issue in their bug tracker for handling multiple personas, and their current early-stage mockup has your pronouns listed next to your name.

Why not Dreamwidth?

Dreamwidth is a wonderful CMS (Content Management System), in our opinion, which gives us a lot of control over who sees and comments on what we publish and how it looks. It is owned and largely run by women, it's free-to-use and ad-free, it supports RSS and OpenID, and it doesn't aggressively upsell its customers on "premium" services or maintain a separate tier of service for "VIPs."

It's not very easy to make it do "Tumblr-y" things or use it to post Twitter-style status updates, though, and it takes some getting used to for people who didn't grow up using LiveJournal. We feel Quirell would do a better job of addressing the needs of people like us who just want to share and communicate, while Dreamwidth's more advanced features make it ideal for RPers and prolific writers.

Sounds cool, where do I sign up?

Again, they are looking for fundraising through IndieGogo, which unlike Kickstarter will give them the funds even if they don't reach a lofty goal. The minimum donation amount is $5. If you'd like to become one of their minions (their cooler word for "allies") and have your status displayed on your Quirell page, the minimum amount is $10.

If you'd like to contribute unpaid labour instead of moneys, they have detailed instructions for helpers on their website, including non-programmer helpers I think.

If you'd like to simply poke at their code, they have instructions for doing so here. Quirell is written in Python, and has instructions for running it on Ubuntu, a free-to-download Linux-based OS which is reputed to be more accessible than others of its ilk and can be installed on a USB key without wiping your hard drive. It should be possible to get the code running on OS X or Windows too.

Hopefully, it will be live on the web soon.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

"Cogdis," as they call it in exmormon circles (where it comes up so frequently they need to abbreviate it), is what you get from holding two contradictory ideas at the same time.

In the case of the bug report we filed which became a support request we can't link to, the cogdis comes from writing fic in which characters like Edward Cullen and the Doctor are treated as persons, then visiting this super-welcoming blog-social-network and seeing that it uses language which suggests that only humans are persons.

I get that Edward and the Doctor aren't meant by their writers to be "real" living people, and for the sake of this discussion that's what we'll assume. But either the very idea of treating a Vampire or Time Lord as a sapient, relatable being if they existed is just for funsies, or the "Is it a person" flowchart has more steps than "Is it human?"

Suggesting the former has a lot of Fridge Horror potential. Partly because of the alternatives to treating someone else like a person that come to mind, and partly because of the possibility -- which we consider every time we read that kind of spec fic -- that humans could, at some point, interact with nonhumans who deserve to be treated like persons, and fail to do so.

From my point of view, this has already happened, and the results are horrifying to me. I've been told that this is not a relatable viewpoint, however, and am trying to put it in terms that human fandom can accept.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Currently, the Otherkin FAQ:

  1. Assumes that all otherkin are nonhuman.

  2. Doesn't concisely and comprehensibly tell people how to deal with otherkin.

I like the summary I wrote for a Dreamwidth bug report:

Some persons find it discouraging and exclusionary to be referred to as "human beings," or assumed to be one.

This doesn't apply to all otherkin, though. Claire and I both identify partly as human, her because she used to be one and me because I'm tied to her, and because I'm trying to be part of their society even though I'm open about not being one.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
  • Fandom. There's a little bit of cognitive dissonance between writing fics about Spock, Edward Cullen, and The Doctor, then running across statements like

We believe in the inherent dignity of all human beings. We will never discriminate against any group of people.

As though "human beings" and "people" are synonymous and interchangeable. And this right before a part about using inclusive language.

  • Otherkin. There are people on Dreamwidth and elsewhere who do not identify as "human beings" and find it as offensive to be called one as trans people find being misgendered.

Changing all references in Dreamwidth documentation from "humans" or "human beings" to "people," and from "human" or "human being" to "person," would make both of these problems vanish by allowing the reader to decide what constitutes personhood. The diversity statement no longer includes the word "human" (it once did); the rest of Dreamwidth's official site should not either.

This is the bug report I'm too scared to open.

Edit: The other instances of speciesist language I can find are in the FAQ about comment spam, referring to "human tests" used to detect spammers. I personally wish this term could be changed, but I encountered a lot of pushback from [staff profile] denise due to the "industry standard" terminology. This particular problem is greater than Dreamwidth is, at any rate.

Edit 2: Filed as bug #4999. If it's not closed as wontfix I may try to figure out how to submit a patch for it myself.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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