It’s Been a While…

It’s been ages since I wrote a post for this blog.

I’ve been terrible at keeping you all updated in everything I’ve been up to. Catching up with a load of backlogged coursework, running Pagan Society, writing a novel and general living. But I thought I’d give you a run-down on how it’s been.

I did get one book for Christmas, from M, an anthology of love poetry, which was cute! Other than that, I got some nice presents from my aunt and paternal family. It was amazing to spend Christmas with my own biological family, which I hadn’t really done since before I was put into care. But the past is in the past, and we move on.

So, things are progressing with my ADHD life. I’m now on maximum dose of my medication, and it is actually making the world of difference. I can now, once it has properly kicked in, sit down and blitz a load of words down. I’ve even been able to start a novel!

Tonight I’m off to help out to prepare with stuff for tomorrow, as I’m taking part in my first ever Reclaim the Night! Can’t wait! I’ll write more about it tomorrow, as it’s going to be amazing! I’ll write it from a neurodiverse point of view, so it should be informative!

I should be posting a lot more often than I have been, I’ve missed you all!

Geeky Feminism – Slut Shaming in Geekdom

Thanks Autisicook for suggesting that I bring this back, it’s been something that I’ve been meaning to do for a while, especially as I need to get into a routine with blogging now I have university and a job (yes, I am now employed, will write about everything I’ve been up too soon). Anyways, TW: slut shaming, rape culture.

So, it’s been in the media about Miley Cyrus and her ‘Wrecking Ball’ video, and her performance at the VMA Awards. People have been freaking out about how she’s ‘a terrible role model to young women’ that she’s ‘being far too sexually provocative’. 

People then argue back by saying ‘She wants to get rid of her Disney image’ and ‘She just needs to get her angst out’.

I on the other hand, as a liberal feminist who isn’t afraid of sexuality, has a different viewpoint. Just quit slut shaming her, and let her make her own damn choices. If she wants to explore and experiment with her sexuality in this rather public manner, then so be it.

But what does this have to do with geeky feminism?

Well….

This is one example of an instance where slut shaming could end up being featured. In cosplay, women dress in what can be seen as a sexualy provocotive way. This can be a great confidence booster, as they are able to show that they are beautiful young women who are unafraid of other people’s opinions. However, due to the misogynistic culture in geekdom, male geeks use this as a way of saying that girls don’t take geekdom seriously, that they are only in it so they can wear revealing clothing in order to seek attention from men and therefore bring ridicule to the ‘true geeks’ who are usually men. 

This is utter rubbish! I have a few female cosplayer friends who have been working on cosplay for years, and they take their work very seriously indeed. These costumes often take a lot of time and effort to put together,and can be very expensive to produce. Therefore you can’t say that these women are in it just to seek attention, although positive attention is appreciated. 

What makes slut shaming worse is that more often or not it’s ‘feminists’ doing the slut shaming in the first place! This has become more apparent in recent times, especially when female celebrities end up being criticised for ‘not being good examples to young women’. Perhaps by insulting them like that,all you are doing is proving that you are the bad role model, as you are the one insisting that these women fit into your ideals or else, and that would therefore make you into a far more negative character than these women, who just happen to be famous, with no other crime.

So, slut shaming is probably the worst practice, both in feminism and in the outside world. Enough said.

Women Have Aspergers Too!

So, I follow @EverydayAbleism on Twitter, which is very similar to @EverydaySexism, except from the fact that it covers people in the UK who suffer from an ableist society. Ableism is basically the discrimination of someone because of a disability that they might just have to live with day in day out.

I have ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) which I was diagnosed with at the tender age of three. As I grew up, I was made very aware of my ‘disability’ by ableist foster carers, who looked after me solely for my DLA and the higher rate paid to them by social services. I was bullied at Brownies and Guides because I ‘suffered’ from a condition, and was often reminded by teachers that I would never go to university, because ‘kids like you simply don’t do things like university, if you aim that high you are only setting yourself up for failure.’ That would be before they would shoo me away and tell me to get on with that wordsearch that would be the only bit of schooling I would be given for the day.

It wasn’t until I got to mainstream school when sexism came into the picture for me and ASD.

‘You can’t be autistic, you don’t seem it.’

‘Girls don’t get Aspergers, that’s a guy thing’

‘I didn’t think you had Autism, unless you were born male’

‘You look rather boyish, so that kinda makes sense’

I never thought that being female, and being autistic was such a crime! I never really thought that it was a problem. Autism doesn’t affect as many female s as it does males, and doctors and scientists are still trying to figure it all out. I have often been the only girl in a class of twenty students when I was at special school. I didn’t care a jot, naturally. I thought that was normal, as I played Yu Gi Oh and read manga with my best friend. I was seen as one of the guys. And I didn’t think that was wrong!

I was on Twitter yesterday, when a discussion on ableism in education was spoken about. I brought up the special school teacher incident, and a few girls with ASD and Aspergers replied to me. They told me that lots of Aspie folk attend university, and it is seen as normal. Yes, it can be tricky for us as we don’t have the same skills as everyone else when it comes to studying, but there is support available.

The conversation then turned to being aspergers and female. That opened up a whole can of worms for us. Yes, we are women, yes we have autism and/or aspergers. Why does that matter?

What we need is to be seen and heard just as much as male ASD folk. Notice that I never mentioned ‘sufferers’. When doctors and specialists write about Autism, they must’nt focus on some people just because a penis rather than breasts and vaginas are involved. I’m sorry, but that’s the bottom line. When teachers have a girl with ASD, they need to make sure that she is just as valued as her male counterparts. Girls and women with Aspergers and Autism need feminism just as much as any other women. Perhaps we can be more oppressed than some other women, simply because of the fact that we ASD girls are not taught about feminism, teachers just don’t think it applies to us. If anything, we might need it more than anyone else. I’m not saying that we are the most important, lots of women need feminism, from the trans (yes, feminism is VERY IMPORTANT for them!!!) To the WoC (women of colour). But sometimes the disabled women are forgotten. Especially those with what is known as an invisible condition.

So, next time you meet a woman with Aspergers or ASD. Don’t question her and her ‘eligibility’ to live (not suffer) with it. Just support her, and love her like you would love any of your other friends.

Because Women have Aspergers Too.

Everyday Sexism

So, as a feminist, I hate it that misogyny and sexism towards both men and women have been completely normalised and practically made mainstream. I have been following the twitter feed for Everyday Sexism for a month or so now, shaking my head sadly, thinking how glad I was that people in my town don’t do that…

I was wrong.

This very morning, I was stood at the bus stop, waiting to start my commute into work, minding my own business, when a Hampshire Council van drove by.

And beeped me!

My skirt might be shorter than normal, as it was the only clean one in the wardrobe suitable to wear into work, but I’m in a thick winter coat, for goodness sake! The guy driving also had the nerve to wink at me!

So I tweeted to Everyday Sexism, and felt a lot better.

It is never ok to be treated in a sexist way, regardless of class, gender, faith, creed or race.

That’s why I am shouting out.

Geeky Feminist Issue #4 – Fan Fiction

(WARNING, THIS POST HAS SOME TRIGGER SUBJECTS, INCLUDING DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL ABUSE AND OTHER DARKER ISSUES)

 

This week’s geeky feminist Issue kind of also a literary issue. This is due to the fact that we’re talking fan fiction.

I believe that anything these days will be turned into fab fiction. Seriously, there are middle aged women writing One Direction fan fiction, and young girls writing fan fiction of Les Miserable.

So why could this be seen to be an issue relating to feminism?

Well, let’s look at the style that fan fiction is written, and how women are shown in them.

The fact that Fifty Shades of Grey, a novel about S&M, money and general sex. That was originally a Twilight fan fiction, but when she saw the potential of the story being its own thing, she just changed a few names around and made them both human. It’s about a young, virginial English Literature student who enters a relationship with a man who is controlling, abusive and generally quite unsavoury, and women seem to think that it’s actually attractive?

Other fan fictions are scarily following this trend, with the male characters being controlling and sometimes pretty scarily abusive, or they are able to use their twisted personalities to make the woman/girl into practically a dithering, love-struck slave to their needs. And this is the stuff that our young girls and women are reading online, and are being encouraged into writing themselves.

Men get negative influence to sex and relationships via pornography that is easily accessable online, but girls are getting negative influence from fan fiction, especially ‘slash’ fiction, which is often highly graphic in its sexual and abusive content, which is glorified in each terribly written story.

I’ll admit that there are exeptions to the rule, for example, one could argue that ‘Wicked – Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ and the other three novels in that sequence by Gregory Maguire are fan fiction, as they are based on the world of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and its characters, turning the children’s tale into a novel series perfect for the adults who don’t want to leave Oz behind along with the rest of their youth. Now, that’s good litrature, if anything, that series is the only fan fiction that I happily read.

So, I have come to the conclusion that fan fiction isn’t the best thing in the world for geeky feminism, unless they involve a strong female protagonist, and have no sexual or physical violence towards women in order to forward the plot. I haven’t got a problem for sex scenes in general, if anything, if they are written well, then good on them. But if it’s badly written, can’t it just be hinted at? Or even just replaced with a romantic scene minus the intercourse?

I shall never look at One Direction in the same way ever again…

E3 Vlog with @JoshE2810 and Friends;

So, have some fab news!

You might of heard me mentioning my fiance Josh a few times in passing on this blog.

He runs his own Youtube channel where he talks gaming. He has a few walkthroughs of a couple of games from when he bought a Roxio capturing system, but when he realised that the system doesn’t do what it needed to do, he had to put them on hold, although there are plans to make videos like that again in the foreseeable future when he can get hold of a better system that can live capture with voice.

But at the moment he does face to camera vlogs taking about gaming issues (I appreciated his girl gamer video) as well as life in general. He mentions me a lot, and I have featured as a bit character here and there.

But I have actually been invited, along with a few other guests, to talk about this year’s E3. The guys will be talking about the technical side of things, the consoles, the games. I, however, will be providing the actual issues that E3 brought to the table this year, mainly about feminism and the gaming industry, for the debate aide of things.

I’m yet to actually be able to confirm a date of when the video will be recorded/put online, but I will tweet about it when it’s ready to roll.

In the mean time, check Josh out on Youtube! Search JoshE2810 to check out what he gets up to.