Web Crush Wednesdays: Trans Girls of Myth and Legend

Sometimes fandom sucks.

As much as we can, and do, find little niches of friends (who sometimes become family), or enjoy consuming created content, there’s no way around the fact that sometimes things can be really shitty. It happens in all fandoms. Unfortunately, bigots have a way of being some of the loudest members of a fandom, making participation in a fandom—or simply association with it—exhausting and downright harrowing for those who don’t fit in the majority. While many of these spaces exist, it’s not always easy to find them; there are, after all, many sites on the internet. One such site I have for you today builds its own castle amidst the plague infested lands of the fantasy genre, a bastion for trans women who seek to find more people like themselves in the genre they adore so much.

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Joss Whedon, Driven Off Twitter by “Feminazis?” Um, No.

Gentle Readers,

A couple of days ago, Joss Whedon left Twitter. Packed up his bags and went, leaving us with this final tweet:

JossLastTweetThat’s kind of a shame. Joss has long been a writer/producer/dreamer of some of my favorite ideas and I really enjoyed his little corner of my Twitter feed. But what is much more important than that is why he left. After Age of Ultron was released, Joss received a non-trivial amount of Twitter vitriol, which you can investigate here, about the portrayal of Black Widow in the film. I had some issues, but nothing I want to get into here, and certainly nothing I want to scream into Twitter about. But what’s remarkable was the assumption that these tweets were the reason that Joss left Twitter. The article I just linked above, at time of writing, assumes that to be true, it seems.

More importantly, it was lent credibility by Patton Oswalt tweeting:

Yep. There is a “Tea Party” equivalent of progressivism/liberalism. And they just chased Joss Whedon off Twitter. Good job, guys. Ugh.

—Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 4, 2015

You know, I was really bothered by Black Widow’s characterization in Age of Ultron. I thought she was simpering and her on-screen time was wasted. I thought that attempts to show a softer side of her just made her feel a little less relevant, and made me wonder if Joss Whedon really understands the word “feminism”. The prima nocta joke just wasn’t funny, much less in good taste or appropriate anywhere, really. But does it make me want Joss Whedon to rot in hell?

Does it make me want to curse him out on Twitter, to fill his feed with profanities so that he knows that he’ll never work again in this business?

Eh. Probably not. But just the same, all people who respect free speech on the Internet should be ashamed that Joss Whedon was driven off Twitter.

There is just a single solitary problem with that: he wasn’t. In Whedon’s own words: “That is horseshit.”  Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: OC Survey

Way back in the day (okay, so it was when I was in high school) I decided to pick up statistics for my math class. While it was challenging, I completely fell in love with the idea of being able to discern trends in data and extrapolating them for a larger purpose. Though since my times at college I’ve fallen out of love with the study itself, my love for percentages and trends lives on almost as strongly as my love for astrology—if you follow my Tumblr, you know that’s a lot. What better way to re-experience this love than through other people’s original characters (OCs)?

web crush wednesdaysI don’t know about other people, but I know that over the years my fan characters have managed to build a life of their own and turn into their own, multi-universe original characters. And, as I said, while I can’t be completely certain of the fate of other fan characters, I have a feeling that this is the case for lots of people. As such, the statistics gathered at OC Survey appeal to me in mathematical terms as well seeing what trends are rising in character building.

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Everything’s Coming Up Peachy

Nintendo fans and fans of underdogs alike were able to have their cake and eat it too when the popular gaming company announced that 2013 was officially the “Year of Luigi”. The year, which stretched into 2014, celebrated Mario’s oft-overlooked younger brother by giving him a slew of new games and generally showing the green mustachio a lot more love than he’s probably had in decades. Now that the plumber’s party has died down, some people are wondering “what’s next?” Well, wonder no more! Fans of the Mushroom Kingdom and its inhabitants have quickly decided that this year’s festivities will feature much more royal clientele. Yes, 2015 is slated to be the “Year of Peach”.

Though at the moment the Year of Peach is entirely unofficial and driven by fan input—seemingly inspired in no small part by the efforts of Tumblr user nintendopoe—there is some really good reasoning for it. In fact, it’s the same exact reasoning behind the Year of Luigi: 2013 happened to be the 30th anniversary of Luigi’s first appearance (Mario Bros.) and now 2015 is the 30th anniversary of Princess Peach’s first appearance (Super Mario Bros.) as well. I wouldn’t argue that every character deserves a special year dedicated to them. I think we can all do without the “Year of Toad”, for example, despite how much people seem to love Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. However, Peach is such an integral part of the universe (what would Mario be doing if not saving her? Or Bowser, for that matter?) that it would most certainly be a shame for Nintendo to let this chance slide.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Millennial Gospel

I can’t remember how I discovered the Millennial Gospel on Tumblr, but now that I have, I don’t know what my life would be like without it. As someone who studied theology and is a feminist active in social justice, it is sometimes difficult for me to find people who feel the way I do when it comes to God. It’s difficult for me to find people who believe Christ would be marching on the streets in Ferguson, telling someone off for slut-shaming, or chastising churches for their hostile attitudes toward the queer community. So imagine my surprise when I found the blogs of two lovely ladies who were embarking on a project to show what the radical nature of God’s love would, or should, look like today. This is exactly what the Millennial Gospel is.

Millennial Gospel

(photoset via millennialgospel)

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Diversity Cross-Check

webcrush picWriters are commonly taught to write what they know, but in recent years that’s been held up as the reason why we’ve been constantly innudated with stories of white cishet male protagonists. These stories are certainly still meaningful and approachable, but the white cishet male experience isn’t the only experience that counts as human. So, in an attempt to better representation and show that women and people of color are also part of the human experience, many writers are now doing their utmost to write what they don’t know.

But how to do research on experiences which are not your own? This doesn’t just apply to race and ethnicity—what if your character is Catholic but you yourself aren’t religious? What if your character has mental health issues, but you’ve always been pretty neurotypical? Books and other forms of academic research are a great first step. But as with most things, talking to a primary source—ie, a person who has actually lived the life experiences you’re trying to describe—is the best way to go about it. That’s where today’s web crush comes in.

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The Feminist Dragon Game You Didn’t Know You Needed

I spent the whole last weekend at a con (having a lovely time—what up, Colossalcon!), and the whole, like, month before that working on cosplay stuff, so although I really need to sit down and review the rest of Arrow’s Season 2 for you all, I’m not thinking critically enough to whip out something that complicated. Instead, I want to introduce you to something lovely I came across while procrastinating writing about Arrow.

I use the “like” function on Tumblr in a somewhat dragonish way, hoarding stuff like videos and long posts there until I have a chance to watch or read them. One of these hoarded posts turned out to be about dragons, and how there should be more games where you get to play from the dragon’s perspective:

dragonsSunday night after getting home I finally had a chance to click that link, which took me to a text-based multi-outcome game titled Choice of the Dragon.

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