Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Linkspam: Dr Who, literary criticism, and convention accessibility

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

naamah_darling has hit it out of the park twice this week - once on tumblr, in a difficult conversation with Boggle the Owl [content note: depression], and once on Dreamwidth about learning to live with limitations of chronic illness.

Frith - occasional creator of this-world Mechanisms octokitties - talks about writing canonically gay characters as straight, or at least in relationships with members of different genders. Excellent - if difficult - conversation in comments.

Meanwhile at Amptoons, Grace gives us an anecdote about policework while trans [content notes: severe mental illness, bed shortages].

The principal conductor of the National Youth Orchestra (among his other job descriptions) made some hideously sexist comments. Sarah Connolly FRCM, a fantastic mezzo-soprano, lets him have it.

We've been seeing an article from solopoly.net doing the rounds: Riding the relationship escalator (or not). Good description of cultural expectations of relationships, and discussion of other ways it's possible to structure them.

Poet, editor and all-round rockstar Rose Lemberg has been writing about accessibility at conventions following some frankly appalling efforts at WorldCon. Part the first: Disability, Diversity, Dignity. Part the second: Disability access and being a bystander. Excellent suggestions for how to change culture, there.

Relatedly, here's an article about some of the ways the BBC is being shit to a disabled Dr Who fan [content note: jokes about addictive drugs] which are staggeringly disappointing - especially because they can and have done so much better.

In a much better but actually related vein, queer actress Heather Peace has announced her ambition to be the first female Doctor - and we're delighted that the reasoning she gives has made it to the mainstream (the BBC, no less!).

And let's continue pretending there's plausible segues: j4 takes down the phrase "having it all", and the way it's only ever applied to female parents.

Good news: preliminary results from the Queer in STEM study are in, and they made kaberett smile like anything.

Aaaaaaaand finally for this week, tansyrrr looks at the evolution of gender politics and portrayal of women in Pratchett's Discworld series.

Comments on any of the above? What have you been reading, thinking or writing this week?


  1. I left this comment on Frith's blog but thought I'd comment here too...

    I should say up front that I'm not familiar with the canon concerned, but writing a self-identified lesbian character in a relationship with a man she's canonically said she's un-attracted to seems like a pretty rubbish thing to do. I'm not advocating that.

    Having said that, there is a broader point, which is that writing a queer character as attracted to someone of the opposite sex doesn't make them not-queer, it only makes them not exclusively gay or lesbian. Bisexuality is a queer identity too.

    I wish it didn't seem like such a zero-sum game sometimes, because obviously (as you say) there is a long and damaging history of portrayals of gay people just needing to find the right opposite-sex partner in order to be "cured" of their queerness.

    But writing queer characters in het relationships *can* be a way of respecting queer identities, and indeed is a valid way of protesting against bisexual erasure (which is a big problem too).