Category Archives: Activism
This guy has some other great stuff, so feel free to check out his channel. A lot of it is about race, sexism, etc. (he had some great stuff on the Sarkeesian episode, as well as some Trayvon-related vids). The principles of this one can be applied beyond race, and is a great thing to keep in mind whether you’re talking to someone about cultural appropriation or the use of inclusive language. As the keynote at a Social Justice Summit I attended said, “trust intention, but name impact.”
Here is the music video of the doubleclicks about sexism in geek communities. It’s a direct response to the fake geek girl phenomenon.
Reading through Sally Miller Gearhart’s correspondence in the Archives, I often lose my sense of time. She writes with so much energy, and such a passion for justice that her letters feel alive. She continually insists on increased civil rights, not just for women, but for gays, lesbians, people of color, and animals. Her life-force is so strong and clear, she feels contemporary, so much so that I often forget that the letters are not from recent years.
It was a gift I received from participating in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute reading group this week that opened my eyes to the perspective of time. In our discussions it was brought up just how much has changed in the past 50 years, something I had been taking for granted. Looking then, at the archives later this week, I was caught by surprise by one letter in particular, from 1980.
Sally is writing to Doris Leal, an officer in the Sweet Adeline singing group about the inclusion of greater diversity of women in the organization. She calls for affirmative action, not just lip service, so that all women can participate in this barbershop singing organization. This is 1980, and Sally Miller Gearhart is talking about unconscious and institutional racism, and how to fight it. In 2013 that is important, but the norm. Stopping and realizing that this is 1980 and she both recognized and called out an organization on these practices, I am wowed by her vision and courage.
Sally Miller Gearhart Papers, Coll 305, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Protected: Final Project Proposal: What was the Influence of the Environmental Movement on Le Guin and Her Writing?
**Involves quote summary in the interest of making the post public.
Not having access to Joanna Russ’s responses to James Tiptree, Jr. makes it hard to gauge the reception of Tiptree’s writing. As a third-party observer– with the 20/20 hindsight that Tiptree is truly female Alice Sheldon– Tiptree’s male self-depiction veers all over the map.
Tiptree begins a letter in February 1975 with an over-defiant stab at manliness, proclaiming that, of course, zhe knows of the possibility of ejaculation without orgasm. Because all men know that, right?
In the same letter, Tiptree has the poignant insight that only an extremely empathetic man could make: that women are the only slaves whose captors (men) cannot afford to kill them, and who have absolutely no means of escape.
Zhe concludes this letter in a confused near-plea to Russ, asking if Russ would have invented men if they did not already exist. While somewhat less provocative than Tiptree’s wielding zher non-existent penis, this desperate question seemed to me the saddest and most poignant bit I’ve read. Zhe is asking for Russ’s unknowing approval of the invention of the Tiptree alias. Indeed, by this letter’s end, Tiptree writes that zhe’s feeling unreal– possibly humoring zher way out of a rocky topic, or a larger lament that zher avatar is losing its viability.
Perhaps Tiptree was tiring of being in a man in a world where feminism increasingly permitted women freedom and acceptance. Or– on the contrary– perhaps the inconsistencies stem from zher frustration at being unable to become fully male.
Box 10, File 29, Correspondence with Tiptree, James Jr., Joanna Russ Papers, Coll 261, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Or.