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The problem with the worst forms of prescriptivism applied to media is that they are trying to find a way to make people write media that absolutely no one will be offended or upset by.

Problem one: This is impossible. There is nothing that anyone finds appealing that someone else won’t really really dislike. And I don’t mean “be indifferent to”, I mean “be actively repulsed by”. And yes, I’m including fluffy happy fantasies of people taking care of each other: some people cannot read those without going into depressive spirals. Some people just get so bored they can’t finish them.

Problem two: No one ever loved a book just because it didn’t offend them.

No one ever loved a book just because it wasn’t terrible. It has to actually be good - by their definition of good. And that’s where Problem One comes in - as soon as a book is doing something a reader will love, it’s doing something that another reader will hate.

Some people want ass-kicking female characters who will protect their friends and conquer their enemies. Some people hate violence.

Some people want to read about gay male couples getting together and living happily ever after. Some people hate romance. Some people don’t want to read about men.

Some people love complicated deep beautiful prose and pages of exposition about a character’s inner state; some people want to get to the fucking point.

And all of this gets intensified when it comes to sex. Anything that anyone finds hot - urophilia, say, or anal play, or penises - someone else is going to find absolutely disgusting and an immediate turnoff.

The solution is insight, and self awareness. The solution is the ability to recognize that your own upset, or your own joy, is not universal.

Nothing is universal. Nothing will apply to everyone. That is the fundamental point of diversity - people are different. People want different things, and that’s good.

If you write something that makes at least one person happy, it will make someone else furious. Someone else will be bored. Someone else will be grossed out. Someone else will think it was okay but forgettable. Someone else will think it was lifesaving.

If you want to write something good, you need to be prepared to write something upsetting.
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Bidding on all the auctions at Fandom Trumps Hate has opened (including mine). There is an index of participants here.
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I am participating in a fandom auction to raise money for various charities, primarily in the United States. You can find more information here. Bidding begins on January 12th and ends on the 20th.

I am offering one fic under 10k words in ACD Canon Sherlock Holmes, open to any rating. (I would also be willing to write Comfortable Courtesan fic, though the fandom's so small I didn't put it on the form.) You can find examples of my writing here.

There are also literally hundreds of other fans offering fic, art, betaing, etc., and you can find more information at

Come see!
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 From this post. @sherlollymouse, your fault (also, hi! I’m Vi.)

Irene would do sex ed and advocate keeping sex work safe as well as legalizing it 

“So.” Irene slaps her palm with a riding crop. “We normally don’t talk about politics on these shows. At least, most of us don’t.”

Cut to Mycroft rolling his eyes. Mycroft may be tied to a bed at the time. Cut back.

“But there’s a very important issue I need to bring to your attention. Many of you may believe certain stereotypes about sex workers.

I am lucky. I have stability. An established position. Bargaining power. Most sex workers don’t.

“But all of us deserve safe working conditions. No matter who we are, where we’re from, or what we do.”

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Let's put this up here as well.

Apparently I do have things to say! (in response to this) Mostly in Holmesfic, because that’s mostly what I write. Mostly exceptionally specific.

To start with, because people dealing with unpleasant circumstances is pretty much the basic stuff of narratives, and if we’re talking Victorians then you have a full supply of unpleasant circumstances as soon as you use a female pronoun. But they were there, they were doing things anyway.

And because people ask for them, for Yuletide and other challenges and Rarewomen (which I should be finishing now instead of writing this).

It’s not because there isn’t enough of it in fandom, because I’m pretty sure that if there was I would still be writing it. But there certainly isn’t enough of it.

Or maybe it is: because I’m interested in things on the margin of stories and teasing out characters and ideas that are only implied, and a lot of those characters are women.

And because media gets it wrong. Because people (men) spend all their time talking about Irene Adler and warping her beyond recognition and basically talking as if she’s the only woman Sherlock Holmes ever spoke to, and this is wrong. Like, factually incorrect. So I write about other women, instead, in hopes someone else will too.

And that Rex Stout thing is going around and man that makes me angry. It’s just full of a nasty mid 20thC misogyny that I can’t stand. And if you get women wrong you get marriage wrong, you get human relationships wrong, if you write women as aliens then eventually all your characters become aliens.

And because it’s so easy not to, it’s really easy to write stories with no named female characters and way too easy to write stories that don’t pass the Bechdel Test and this is actually really scary, that you can just accidentally not have any women in a story and not notice.

But mostly because women are sexy and women on top of each other are sexy and women are adorable and women having sweet lesbian crushes on each other are adorable and women are awesome and women whacking people with pokers in defense of their loved ones are awesome.

And because if a character just starts creating herself in my head it will be her. That’s just how it seems to work. And I have no problems with this.
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A. E. Housman

Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
And what has he been after, that they groan and shake their fists?
And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air?
Oh they’re taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.

'Tis a shame to human nature, such a head of hair as his;
In the good old time ‘twas hanging for the colour that it is;
Though hanging isn’t bad enough and flaying would be fair
For the nameless and abominable colour of his hair.

Oh a deal of pains he’s taken and a pretty price he’s paid
To hide his poll or dye it of a mentionable shade;
But they’ve pulled the beggar’s hat off for the world to see and stare,
And they’re taking him to justice for the colour of his hair.

Now ‘tis oakum for his fingers and the treadmill for his feet,
And the quarry-gang on Portland in the cold and in the heat,
And between his spells of labour in the time he has to spare
He can curse the god that made him for the colour of his hair.
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And because her picture's featured on Wikipedia today: Voltarine de Cleyre, ladies and gentlefans.

Look how your children grow up. Taught from their earliest infancy to curb their love natures — restrained at every turn! Your blasting lies would even blacken a child's kiss. Little girls must not be tomboyish, must not go barefoot, must not climb trees, must not learn to swim, must not do anything they desire to do which Madame Grundy has decreed "improper." Little boys are laughed at as effeminate, silly girl-boys if they want to make patchwork or play with a doll. Then when they grow up, "Oh! Men don't care for home or children as women do!" Why should they, when the deliberate effort of your life has been to crush that nature out of them. "Women can't rough it like men." Train any animal, or any plant, as you train your girls, and it wont be able to rough it either.

More women anarchists, everyone.
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From Tumblr, going here because I don't trust Tumblr not to lose stuff:

you know what we need? we need queer romcoms. we don’t need any more sad lifetime movies about queers who end up dead or heartbroken. we don’t need any more real life stories. we need queer romcoms.

ladies falling in love after they stumble against each other on the subway.
guys who work for opposite companies and bicker at the meetings until one of them kisses the other.
a trans lady bartender who always ends up having deep philosophical chats with a drunk girl who gets dumped every week by a different person.
an asexual journalist falling in love with the football player xie interviews every week after the matches, and having cute make outs and a lot of awkwardness around the ace thing with the fight and the ridiculous gesture of love and the make up.
happy fluffy endings after a lot of dumb cute shit happening.
queer rom coms !!!
-- Queerhawkeye
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (trudeau)
It has come to my attention, through [personal profile] supergee, that today is National Coming Out Day. Not my nation, but hey. Coincidentally, it is also almost exactly the fifth anniversary of my coming out to my parents at Thanksgiving dinner. Two separate dinners, actually, my parents not being married anymore.

So if anyone's interested, I'm pansexual. And my gender identity right now seems to be "mostly female".

And good luck and best wishes to everyone who needs them in such matters.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (trudeau)
The US government is under the impression that I am resident in the state of Washington, so today I got to vote for both gay marriage and legalized marijuana. Yay dual citizenship!

I don't know about the ethical aspects of interfering in the electoral process of somewhere I've never lived, but it's not like US government policies don't affect Canada.


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