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Today I saw something on tumblr that pissed me off.

I haven't talked much about Merlin on here in aaaaages chiefly cause I'm not all that active in the fandom anymore, despite still loving the show and its cast. Also I feel like everything I could say about my issues with it has already been said and really there's no more to add at this stage when I'd rather be focusing on enjoying Merlin for what it is than castigating it for failing to be what I wish it was. 

But there are days when I wish I was a bit more involved in fandom, if only to stop people getting away with shit like this:

(note the tags, btw)

I don't care what anyone says - the fandom is NOT 99% Merlin/Arthur OTP-ers and it grinds my gears when slashers insist on this idea, because it's an incredibly arrogant thing to claim and essentially erases my experiences and contributions to the fandom - and the experiences and contributions of a lot of my friends - as someone who couldn't give less of a crap about Arthur and Merlin's relationship.

Besides which, it patently isn't true for anyone who has bothered to step outside of the Arthur/Merlin bubbles that exist in the fandom as a whole. I would suspect Arthur/Merlin shippers DO constitute the majority, don't get me wrong, but not by that much. My rough estimation is 50% Merlin/Arthur shippers, 30% Arthur/Gwen shippers and 20% everyone else, and of those Arthur/Merlin shippers I'd guess many of them are multishippers who, even if their main interest is Merlin/Arthur, do enjoy other elements of the show. 

Beyond that, it's completely laughable to think that the majority of Merlin's VIEWERSHIP is only interested in Arthur and Merlin's relationship. I'm sorry but the fandom, which is much more diverse than these people are claiming anyway, probably numbers hundreds of thousands. The viewership, meanwhile, numbers MILLIONS. Proportionally, the fandom is a tiny fraction of Merlin's actual audience and the slashers have no business claiming to speak for 99% of them.

Ultimately, however, this claim is actually irrelevant - and THAT is what drove me to reblog with the wee mini meta essay I did, on the politics of inclusion in mass media and the history of romance/hero narratives in western culture. 

There is, in essence, a REASON why myself and so many others insist on the importance of the inclusion of women on this show and it has nothing to do with what a bunch of privileged straight girls want to fuel their porn with. 

This is what I responded with:

WARNING: ramblings of a queer and/or political nature about why representation is so damn important and ESPECIALLY on this show )

I think this as close as I have come to coherently summing up my feelings on the issue in the last couple of years, tbh. I love Merlin. I think this show is pretty fucking fantastic, actually, whatever its detractors. But that wont stop me saying over and over that the Merlin/Arthur dynamic is over-emphasised to a damaging degree and that the show would be better and frankly far more interesting and original if it would give the women some space to develop in their own right.

Take for instance, the fact that NEITHER of the main girls are in this Saturday's episode. I think that's utterly appalling because would we ever get an episode that didn't feature either of the boys? Or featured them only in a few scenes in which they exclusively interact with women and carry out actions that will effect women or have been effected by women?

Hells no. So why are the women being treated like that? It's unnecessary and frustrating and frankly just kinda unoriginal. 
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The lesbian Iranian film directer, Kiana Firouz, applied to Britain for asylum because she made and starred in a film called cul-de-sac, about lesbians in Iran, which features her engaging in explicit sex acts with other women and talking about human rights abuses there. Homosexuality is illegal in Iran (punishable by 100 lashings on each offence and after three offences is punishable by execution) and the subject matter of the film means that Kiana is almost certainly facing death if she is sent back to her home country.

The British home office, in their infinite wisdom, denied her asylum, and denied her appeal (most likely because they don't want to piss off the Iranian government). She has one last appeal before she is sent back.

Quite obviously, this is a horrific situation. (You can read more about it here). But essentially, f-listies, what I need you to do is this:

Send an email to the home office ( asking them to reconsider Kiana's case. I have copied and pasted my own email to them under the cut, so all you have to do is copy it, paste it into an email, and send. If the government comes under enough pressure from the public then they MIGHT consider that pissing off Iran is worth saving an actual human being from torture and death.

Under here... )

Please help out, f-listies! It'll only take a second!
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This is horrific.

Child beauty pageants in the US are bad enough - and now they're cropping up in the UK too, and that documentary is startlingly horrible. A little girl who had plastic surgery on her ears at seven?  Whose mother's main concern when she was born was that she wasn't cute enough? I just... WHAT are we teaching these young girls to value about themselves?  There's a difference between having a positive body image, and being taught that the most valuable thing about yourself is the way that you look. And the fact is that babies (because that is what these little girls are) are not old enough to make the distinction and consent to enter these compeitions themselves.

I think adult beauty pageants are demeaning and ridiculous enough - but at least the vast majority of those contestants are entering of their own voilition, with at least some understanding the world they are moving in and the wider implications of their participation. Children often simply cannot tell the difference between what they want and what their parents want and that is EXACTLY  why beauty competitions for children shouldn't be allowed. These little girls don't understand what they're doing - to themselves, to the wider world - with their participation in these events. And apparently, their mothers don't care (or are so insecure about their own self-image that they have to project their aspirations onto their children).

It's horrible, and it shouldn't be allowed.

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I'm annoyed with Special K.

You know, that  Kellog's cereal they always market to women on the basis of it being 'slimming' in some way?  I mean, pretty much ALL their ads have some weight-related or diet-related theme. Which is annoying enough. (I think the tag line for one of their cereal bars is 'Spoil yourself, not your figure.' - ick, on so many levels).

But there's a new one for the cereal trotting out that old trope about 'getting slimmer for summer', featuring this woman in baggy clothes, imagining herself in her swimsuit again, and 'losing weight' so she looks as good as she did the summer before (using the Special K diet plan, of course).

Okay, I'm all for anyone who wants to shedding a few pounds if it makes them feel better about themselves and contributes overall to their health and wellbeing. Do it in a safe, sane and sustainable way, without ever going hungry and concentrating on accepting and loving your body, and you're golden. But seriously?  The woman in this ad is SKINNY  AS  FUCK. Sure, they dress her in baggy clothes at the begining - but we are NOT  blind - she is still clearly SKINNY  AS  FUCK. Tall, and lean, angular cheekbones and all.

And what this ad is essentially saying is that it is COMPLETELY  NORMAL and COMPLETELY  ACCEPTABLE  for a woman who looks like that to STILL  be trying to lose weight. A woman who is tall and beautiful and willowy and almost certainly a model in real life (since that's who they use for non-speaking parts in these kinds of ads), is STILL  NOT  GOOD  ENOUGH.


This?  This RIGHT  HERE?  This is why women the world over are so freaking good at hating themselves and their bodies. Because we are told over and over and over that NOTHING is EVER  good enough. We should ALWAYS  be striving to lose a few more pounds - we're never QUITE perfect or fine the way we are.

Ugh, it makes me so freaking ANGRY I could SPIT.
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They have stolen Iran's election.

There are people my own age out there, being braver than I ever could be - and the old regime are trying to silence people, quash a progressive movement and keep a legally elected government out of power.

The least we can do to help those demanding to be heard - to have their government put into power - is spread the word that Mahmoud Amedinejad is trying desperately to stop from leaving the country: that there is real, desperate hunger for change in Iran and when the people finally decided to come together to make it happen, Mahmoud Amedinejad refused to let it  and is now surpressing his challengers with horrifying force.

More information here and here.

At the very least, we must not and cannot be quiet now. We must make noise on behalf of those who they are trying to silence.
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The attitude of this article has me SO pissed off.

For those of you who can't be bothered to read all of it - there's a couple of young kids (a five year old boy and a four year old girl) being adopted, in Edinburgh, by a male/male gay couple. Only the second gay adoption to happen here.

The grandparents of the kids are kicking up a stink about it because they don't want the kids raised 'without a mother figure'.

The article mentions that social workers 'admitted' that several heterosexual couples had also been interested in adopting the kids.

The emphasis is on how tragic it is that the kids are being seperated from their grandparents and the grandparents' wishes about what kind of home they should go into have been ignored.

Okay, there are a lot of complex issues here, so lets take it from the top, okay?
Long, LONG rant. )

gnimaerd: (Default)
LiveJournal as a whole might be in trouble.

(Yeah, I'm REALLY glad I didn't buy a permenant account now).

Firstly, I would advise people not to start running around like headless chickens. There are very few actual named sources behind this article. The author is largely making statements based on theories, not facts. All we know for sure is that Sup recently axed a bunch of workers at LJ HQ - which given the current financial climate is not surprising.

But given how much Sup, and Six Apart before it, have been utterly failing to take LJs current users' wants and needs into account, I don't think we can afford to be complacent. These companies have time and again proved that they want LiveJournal to be something it isn't, and in trying to turn it into something they THINK will be profitable they have been losing revenue because the existing LJ-users have felt alienated and either stopped paying for accounts or taken their business elsewhere entirely. These people don't know how to run LiveJournal. They've been trying to run it so it turns them a massive profit, when frankly this just isn't the kind of place that ever will, and all they've got from it is grief from the users. We are not a social networking site - we are a communal blogging service and fandom resource. There's a HUGE difference between us and somewhere like Facebook, and Sup clearly made a mistake in thinking that it could make money out of LJ in the same way when it simply can't.

LiveJournal has never been about big business. This is not the sort of site you can really make a profit from and these businesses seem to have been operating under the dellusion that SOMEHOW they can squeeze a lot more cash out of it. Now the truth of the situation - that some things on the internet just don't adhere to capatilist market structure - has dawned and... well, I have no idea what they might do about that.

I doubt LJ will actually be shut down in the near future - we're not a HUGE profit maker but we are still popular and we still must be making SOME profit given how many users are still here and how much advertising gets done here, chances are we just aren't making as much profit as Sup would have liked. If it IS shut down, I doubt that it will be done without fair warning, and I would suspect that there will be a very large effort to save it on the part of the users. (There was talk, back in the aftermath of the 2007 strikethrough, of a large group banding together and attempting to buy LJ on behalf of the users and running it on a not-for-profit basis, which I think is actually quite feasable).

But like I said, given Sup's history, we can't afford to be complacent. This is a very useful tool for archiving your LJ-posts if you are worried. Given as how nearly three years of my life is recordered here, I'll certainly be backing mine up just in case Sup pulls the plug without any warning.

But like I said, f-listies - don't panic. The sky is vibrating uneasily, but it isn't falling quite yet and it may never come down.

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(inadequate icon is inadequate)
gnimaerd: (Default)
Please elect Barack Obama as your next president.

Not just because he is the best man to be in charge of your country, but because he is the best man to be in charge of the part of the world that is currently most influential over the rest of it.

If you put McCain in charge, somebody somewhere in the next four-eight years is almost certainly going to get nuked. The way that man talks about war terrifies me. The possibility of a third world war, given the current tensions in the middle east and elsewhere, is a real one. The last thing anyone needs is a man who seems to want that kind of conflict in charge of the country sitting on the powder geg.

This election is not just about you - it effects every single person on earth. Please, please, if you're not thinking of the rest of your country - of the poverty stricken lower classes; the foster children without decent medical insurance; the rape victims who have no access to abortion; the GLBT human beings with no right to marriage or adoption; the economy crashing and burning because of Republican financial policies - think of the rest of the world.

Vote responsibly;

Vote for Barack Obama.

(And pay no heed to the fact that his catch line is filched from that of a British, animated children's TV character).


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I would just like to say that I was shocked and, in all honesty, utterly disgusted when it recently came to light that the CICA regularly cuts compensation to rape victims who have been drinking at the time of their assault. I find this DEEPLY disturbing and frightening, as a young woman living alone in a country where, apparently, the government and the police find rape to be increasingly excusable and/or the fault of the victim.

I am nineteen years old. I do not drink - a lifestyle choice I have adopted for the good of my own health. However, my little sister DOES drink. If we are both raped on a night out together, does my choice to be tea-total somehow make me more disserving of compensation than her?

It is NOT illegal for women to drink. Alcohol consumption is NOT a crime - even when (shock horror) it is done by young women (despite the fact that, apparently, we should all be at home baking, cleaning and guarding our loins for our future husbands, exposing no leg above the ankle and not so much as THINKING of going out after dark to have a drink with some friends). What IS illegal is for one person to sexually force themself on another. IT DOES NOT MATTER what the circumstances are. The victim could be a sober nun or a drunk, high prostitute - the attacker bares equal responsibility, his crime is JUST as heinous in either case and the victim has been JUST as brutalised, JUST as traumatised and both are equally deserving of compassion and compensation.

I must express, in the strongest possible terms, my anger and my disgust with this smug, misogynistic and downright cruel approach to 'justice' as you apparently consider it. I live in FEAR in a world where my little sister could be considered to be 'inviting' rape, or somehow 'at fault' for drinking before she is assaulted - which is EXACTLY what you imply when you cut compensation to a victim who has been drinking (aka: engaging in a completely legal activity).

What's next? Will you be taking into account what the victim was WEARING when she was attacked? Will you be asking about her sexual history? Will we be returning to the system favoured only a few decades ago, when rape was basically considered to be a myth concocted by hysterical women, to be ridiculed and ignored?

How DARE you tell women that they were at least partially at fault for their own rape! How DARE you remove blame from the men who needlessly, brutally forced themselves upon their bodies!

Thank you SO MUCH to contributing to a culture of victim-blaming in a country where the rate of conviction for rape is the lowest in the economically developed world (a/n: sad but true, fellow british f-listies. Be afraid, girls - if you're raped, the police are far more worried about how it makes THEM look than in catching the guy who violated you ).

Your attitude is disgusting, cruel, infuriating and horribly disturbing. I BEG you to rethink your policies on this matter and consider the HARM you do - not just to the minds of the victims who must endure the shame of the implication that they somehow disserved to be attacked by drinking, but to a culture where rape is already FAR TOO PERMISSIBLE.

No love,
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Right, this pisses me off.

First of all - 'queerness'? Really? Okay, people who are straight do NOT get to use that word. It's not quite as pad as 'poof' or 'fairy' or 'fag' or 'dyke' but it's in that vein and not even gay people (that I know, myself included) use 'queer' with any regularity any more. 

Second of all - this person has 'nothing against' me, does she? Then why does she want to see people with my sexuality marginalised? Men KISSING should be x-rated? Because it's SO obscene, apparently. It's SO pornographic and SO currupting we'll turn all the little kiddies gay and the human race will die out because no one will want to shag anyone of the opposite sex any more because there are MEN KISSING on tv - REGULARLY.


People like this make me SO angry. They are the WORST kind of homophobe, because they don't realise that that is PRECISELY what they are. They think they have 'nothing against' us. They even have 'friends who are g-a-y'. But what they have is heterosexual privilige and they are the single biggest obsticle to GLBT people achieving a status as equals to heterosexuals in society.  You know what we are? We are NORMAL. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH US. A show with gay characters, with bisexual characters, with a canon gay romance between regulars - that is a FUCKING GREAT STEP FORWARD because it normalises something that so many people see as 'weird' or 'perverse'. They have no problem with us so long as we keep it to ourselves, sit in a nice, shiny row and never kiss in public so that we don't disrupt their happy, heterosexual lives and disturb the nice, normal heterosexual couples kissing in the streets and on tv.

WE ARE NORMAL. All we want is to be SEEN as NORMAL. Emphasis on SEEN. The problem with people like this - with all the many, MANY people like this - is that they DON'T see us as normal. Whatever they say, however much they say they have 'nothing against us', however many gay friends they have. They see us as perverse - as something 'other' and a little bit dirty that needs to be kept behind closed doors. (and the irony is that if her gay friends - which I doubt she actually has - knew that that was her attitude, I doubt they'd actually BE her friends for very long).

And it upsets me, because falling in love with a woman is probably the most beautiful feeling I've ever had. It's sublime. And pure, and good, and true. There is nothing perverted; there is nothing digusting; there is nothing seedy about how I feel and have felt. And at the height of it I've wanted to stand up and SING IT from the ROOFTOPS because it makes me so happy and I want to world to SEE that! Who doesn't want to share how happy that feeling makes them?

And people like her - people who have 'nothing against' me - if they were in charge, they'd make sure I never could. They'd grimace and tut and look away if I did. People like her are what is WRONG with this world; people like her make me so damn angry and so damn sad. Because I'm not safe yet. I may never be.

TV taught me how to feel, now real life has no appeal

Oh no!


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December 2014

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