pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
http://blackgirldangerous.org/new-blog/2013/8/21/introverts-and-extraverts-and-power-oh-my

Finally, people are talking about introversion and extroversion and how they interact with the rest of the world, rather than keeping them in their own isolated bubble. Privilege exists. Introversion and extroversion exist. Except for extrovert privilege*, your orientation does not affect the amount of your privilege, but it does affect its expression. And it's vastly easier to notice that in opposite-orientation people than in yourself or people like you.


*which is the worst privilege because it's the best one I don't have. Yet.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Attention women: if you don't react to a joke the way Michael Ian Black wants you to, you are a bitch. Actually, you're worse than a bitch, but Comedy Central beeped out the rest of it. But whatever it is, it's pretty bad

pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
Some guy: how about including a more diverse representation of ethnic background in D&D Next? WotC is on a great trajectory, going from all white male in 1st ed to the current ethnically ambiguous drawings, but it would be really great if they took the next step of having a wide variety of identifiable ethnicities. Please take me seriously despite titling this "A Modest Proposal"

Internet: aaargh, you are so racist for making me think about this.

No, seriously, allow me to share some choice quotes

(from boingboing.com)
"I simply cannot understand why some people believe it's the duty of every single writer and artist to tackle all social issues from our world when they create works of fiction, especially when this fiction takes place in a fantasy world."

"f I'm not a racist, and I'm not a minority, why should I be thinking about racism all day?"

"If anything adding just black characters will be insulting. Because instead of focusing on promoting diversity, they would just be trying to make it look like they are promoting diversity"

"I feel like that's a contradiction - that they're saying white people should have to work to identify with other groups but those other groups shouldn't have to work to identify with whites"

"I"ve never been to a movie theater to see a movie starring Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, etc, and seen the seats totally bereft of white people. White people show up for Book of Eli and I Am Legend.
BUT when studios tried to cast white actors for the main lineup of The Last Airbender or Prince of Persia, it offended a lot of people."


Then there's the guy insisting that drow count as representing black people and women should be restricted to tavern wenches and harem girls, but I assume he is trolling.

(from the original post at tor.com)
"Why not just let the artists create art, the game be a game. Why is D&D being used for race baiting?"

"When people think of high fantasy, they think of a generic middle ages europe with elves and dwarves. Why force them to change their image? It's not hurting anybody"

"I'm white. My wife is black. I introduced her and her siblings (ages 14-20 at the time) to rpg's. Strangely, they were never concerned that the art in the books didn't include many minorities. They were concerned with having fun, which we did. "


That's made up, right? No one who actually married a person of a different race would be that stupid, right?

...

No one, much less an ethnic minority, would ever marry a person who was that clueless on race, right?
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
I have had a lot of housing stress lately. The downward spiral with my landlords is hitting critical mass, and while it will temporarily abate in the spring as the heating system becomes less critical, it is time for me to leave. Finding a new place, whether I rent or buy, is incredibly stressful. Especially because when I contemplate living in a condo with an HOA it triggers all the stress of coping with my landlords, but when I contemplate buying a house, it's much more expensive and in much less desirable locations. Or I could rent, but it's not any cheaper, I could face all these problems with a new landlord, and I'm morally indignant about being asked to pay huge pet move in fees (I'm sorry, "non-refundable deposits") and then a monthly fee on top of that. I can afford it, but it's not just.

Yesterday, I ran into a friend who is also moving, only under much worse circumstances and with much more urgency. As he talked, it occurred to me that only one of us was really worried about shelter, and it wasn't me. What I was worried about was money. Quiet a lot of money, and not something I feel bad about taking seriously. But it is fundamentally different than needing to move *now*, being restricted to a very narrow (and expensive) geography, and having financial constraints that mean you are genuinely unable to afford everything you've seen so far.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
My favorite line from Ricky Perry's horrible new ad is:

"There's something wrong with this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our children can't openly pray or celebrate Christmas in school."

His facts are bad and he should feel bad. Kids aren't barred from praying or celebrating Christmas, they're just losing the ability to use school resources to do so (or compel others to do so). This really has nothing to do with the fact that soldiers are no longer required to lie about their sex life in off-duty conversations.

The only way it makes sense to me is that they're using some sort of ease-of-life score tracker. Gay people's lives just got easier, Christian people's lives just got harder, therefor gay people won, therefor gay people are winning. The fact that Christians started with way more points than gay people doesn't appear to enter into it.

This is what loss of privilege looks like. It feels like an attack, because you're losing something that, as far as you know, you were entitled to.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
For the past couple of weeks, there's been a thought bouncing around in my head: There's a remarkable correlation between things I'm bad at as an adult and the things I was allowed to be bad at as a child. But it turns out there's an even better correlation between the things I'm good at as an adult and the things my parents could teach me as a child. My dad even said outright "It would have felt hypocritical to expect you to have good social skills." I'm a pretty big genetic determinist, and there are numerous relevant studies showing that adopted children resemble their birth parents more as they age, but... wait a minute, I just figured something out. But first, the counter-anecdotes.

I have thought of two major talents I had as a child that have gone nowhere in my adulthood: fiction writing, and target shooting. The fiction writing started before I could actually physically write, or read. I dictated stories to my mom. Judging by my teacher's reactions, I was very good at these for my age. I think it was actually a good thing my parents didn't push or formalize my writing, but it meant that it did eventually get more or less dropped in favor of other things. Writing is such a difficult career that I can't say I would have had one, but I definitely would have gone farther with it if I had had someone to teach me writing the way I had my dad to sit over me when I learned algebra. I did eventually reach the point in science where my dad was unable to help me, but that was after years and years of being taught that science was a Thing I Can Do.

I started target shooting was I was 16. Under the theory that it's not bragging because it's relevant to the story but unimportant in real life: I was extremely good at target shooting. I would have had the top honor the junior club gave in a year and a half if mono hadn't eaten up the five months before college (I did get it the next year, but was slowed significantly since I was only shooting when I came home on breaks). Multiple people who had worked with olympic shooters said I had the potential to be one. But the next step would have been attending the empire state games, and the first year the fell on the same day as the SAT IIs, and the next year I had mono and that wasn't happening, and then I was at college. I could take it back up now, but I don't have the time to be as good as I was in high school so what's the point, especially since it's competing for much the same energy as martial arts and I think that's the superior choice. But if I'd been one of those kids whose parents shot, and took them to the range at 6, or even 12, I would have gone pretty far in the sport. I want to give my parents some credit here in that they were incredibly supportive and put a lot of time into taking me to the range so I could practice, but none of us had the time to make up for 8 years of not shooting.

Then we have the one thing I'm good at that my parents never taught me: Computers. Seeing as that's my career, it seems like a pretty big counterargument, but I don't think so. As very young children, computers were my brother's thing. He was a prodigy at manipulating computers' inner workings the same way he was at math. But come 8th grade (homeschooled year) we got a computer, and someone needed to talk to tech support. My dad couldn't do it because he was at work, my mom couldn't do it because she'd get stuck at "go to the start menu", and my brother couldn't do it because it involved talking to people. I wasn't good at it, just the least bad option. But over a few tech support phone calls, computers moved from those things I could play games on if they were working to things that could be learned and controlled. So I'm still left with a pattern of "I'm best at things where someone pushed me over the first hump".

I thought this whole "best at the things I was taught" was going counter to the evidence for genetic determinism, but actually it's not. The specific studies I'm thinking of showed that as adopted children aged, they resembled their adoptive parents less and less and their birth parents more and more- i.e., reflected genetics more than environment. But that's perfectly consistent with what I'm doing- I'm probably getting slightly worse at math ever year, since I never have call to use the last four semesters I took, but I'm consistently getting better at the things my parents couldn't teach me- what we could consider moving towards a truer reflection of my genetic talents.

I'm still working this out, so everyone is encouraged to share their own stories of learning.
pktechgirlbackup: (Default)
"I will not claim causation, but I will say that there is a strong and avid correlation between bigotry and stupid."- Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Quote from a commenter on that same post: I was going to write "privilege can make you stupid", but that isn't right. We all start out stupid. Privilege allows you to stay stupid.

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