I just woke up from a dream. I was in a post-apocalyptic world, part of a community in an abandoned theme park. I was speaking to a woman who was overcome with despair and preparing to strike out on her own — a course of action tantamount to suicide. She was of indistinct ethnicity, perhaps part Chinese and part African-American or Native American, and she felt so alone and isolated. I was pleading with her to stay. I don’t remember all that I said, but I recall these sentences: “We need you. We need to see the world through your eyes”. Read the rest of this entry »
No. It really doesn’t.
It seems like an innocuous statement of comfort, but it has a darker undertone.
“Everything happens for a reason” is an echo of the traditional notion of divine justice. Given an infinitely compassionate and powerful creator, why do bad things happen to good people?
Different theologies and philosophies have come up with different answers, but one of the more pernicious is the idea that divine justice is infallible — that bad things happen to good people because they’re imperfectly good. Some stray act or thought has incurred the wrath, and misfortune is evidence of sin.
While this is a peculiarly medieval way to view the world, it’s one that is also peculiarly persistent. It comes up often in discussions of poverty. If one believes that wealth is granted to the worthy through the invisible hand of the free market, the corollary is that those without wealth are in some way unworthy.
It’s pernicious nonsense. One of the gifts of humanity is the ability to understand cause and effect, but the drawback is an unfortunate tendency to impose causal relationships where none exist (and often invert those that do).
The universe is not that predictable. Our actions and choices can strongly influence the probability of some events, but there is always an element of chance. Often that’s all there is — pure blind chaotic chance, unheeding of the narratives built around it by mere mortals.
Everything happens for a reason? Only if “reason” includes the unpredictable non-patterns of random entropy, a definition so broad as to render the statement meaningless.
In that case, we might as well just murmur “empty platitude” and leave it at that.
Recently I got a message from a woman who took issue with me speaking on feminist topics in other forums. I dealt with it the same way I deal with all the other messages that say I’m not a “real woman” and that I should kill myself or just be male (a different way of saying the same thing) — I deleted it.
So I can’t quote from the author directly. But paraphrasing broadly, she felt that since I had the option of just washing my face and taking off my wig and putting on boy clothes and being accepted as a man, that my loss of male privilege was illusory and I was therefore unqualified to speak on matters of female oppression. Read the rest of this entry »
In June of 2016, 49 people were brutally murdered at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This graphic novel is an anthology of stories inspired by that event.
Comic book writer Marc Andreyko organized a team of creators from around the industry to contribute to the project. It’s a collection of one and two page stories, all dealing with the shooting or related themes.
DC Comics helped launch “Love is Love” in cooperation with IDW Publishing, and their signature characters are here, but this is not a book focused on superheroes. This is a book of comic creators dealing with tragedy in a range of ways, some of them polished and controlled, some of them a cathartic release of emotion. Read the rest of this entry »
Quick side note: I still identify as gender fluid. However, the minute the barriers were lifted, most of my fluidity immediately flowed to the feminine side of the scale and is sloshing about there. After taking some time to evaluate, I’ve decided to initiate medical and legal measures to affirm it.
Summary: gender-fluid, yes. Woman, yes. Female, yes. Transgender, yes. Lesbian… I know I said I didn’t want to irritate other lesbians who can get a little proprietary about the terminology, but I can’t deny it. Yes, I’m a lesbian.
I can throw in more labels that may or may not fit, but I’ll need a few glasses of wine first.
The following is a presentation I prepared for a Pride event at my workplace. The format of the event shifted, and I won’t be able to give my speech, so I’m posting it here.
My name is Samantha. I speak from the shadows.
The year is 1976. The place is Kenai, Alaska. I’m at a school Halloween party, wearing a blond wig, blue blouse and white skirt, along with a calico superhero cape I made myself and a green mask. Mom insisted I wear the wig, blouse and skirt. I think she knows they’re the exact pieces of clothing I’ve been sneaking from her closet and wearing whenever I’m home alone. She probably thinks she’s teaching me a lesson, and she is, though not the one she intended. The mask is a paradox – I’m not concealing who I am tonight, I’m revealing it. Read the rest of this entry »