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22 July 2009 @ 09:18 pm
Late-night linky  
Kathleen Duey is writing a novel, Russet One-Wing, on twitter--and it's working, for this reader at least. Catch up on the story so far here, or keep up via her twitter feed here. I'd been catching snippets of this on twitter for weeks, finally went back to read the whole thing, and am now thoroughly hooked.

Just in case you had any doubts: π (pi) is a deeply weird number. (via lnhammer.)

jimhines on why pop culture should be subject to the same--maybe even more--critiquing about race and gender issues that more "serious" entertainment is.

jimhines again, on why he's tired of the way women are treated in SF/fantasy art, and tired of the excuses that are made for said treatment, too.

Dear Pixar, can we please have a story about a girl who isn't a princess? Please? (Via ASorensen.)

Harry Potter vs. Twilight: The Debate. I found the question about the role of women in both books (starting around 2:35) especially interesting, because it brings out something I've noticed, too: that many teen readers--even teen readers who adore Twilight--know perfectly well that Bella is problematic, and don't see her as a role model for who they should be. I think sometimes adults, in worrying about teen reading, fear teens are mindless consumers who simply accept all they read--when of course teens think about and engage with and even argue with their reading. (Via reader_meg.)

freerngekidfeed on a Mom who was arrested for letting two 12-year-olds take some younger siblings to the mall:
We live in safe times that are represented as very UNsafe in the media, because that’s what drives ratings. We are squandering the incredible gift we have of living in 21st century America, where all crime has been declining for the last 15 years, and four times more children make it to their first birthday now than did the year that I was born. We are not in a famine, we are not engaged in a war at home, our children do not have to dodge bullets, militias and malaria-bearing mosquitoes to drag water home from a brackish well. Free-Range Kids does not say there is no evil in the world. But our movement believes our children are more competent and more safe than the worst-case-scenario chorus. We believe children don’t have to do everything exactly right – and neither do parents – for them to still be extremely safe.
makinglight on the need to give ourselves permission to suck at things before we get good at them, and also on why this can be especially challenging for women, especially women in male-dominated fields. I was especially struck by K.G. Anderson's comment #7:
Back in the days of hand-coding HTML, I had to hire a junior-level website programmer for a corporate communications department. I put an ad in the paper and got back two types of responses: Men who said they had heard about HTML and could easily learn it in a couple of days and women who apologized at length in their cover letters for "only" having two or three years of experience doing HTML and web design.
Finally, xkcd nails the problematic way in which we generalize female incompetence, transient or otherwise.
Janni Lee Simner: a girl and her dogjanni on July 23rd, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
I think sometimes adults, in worrying about teen reading, fear teens are mindless consumers who simply accept all they read--when of course teens think about and engage with and even argue with their reading.

Which isn't to say I don't think offering up stronger women as alternatives in fiction isn't important--I still tend to think that if all girls saw was Bella, that would be problematic ...
~twilight~_twilight_ on July 23rd, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
Re: the mall story
This is one of my serious pet peeves when issues involving underage people and the law happen. Yes, there are cases where I think the legal system needs to intervene or be involved with the process--like gang violence. But a lot of it makes me figuratively scratch my head and think that a stern lecture or even grounding would be much more appropriate and effective. Substitute "detention or on-campus suspension" when it's a school issue. In this case it was the mom, but unless the pre-teens were causing trouble, I don't see why anyone deserved more than a phone call or warning.

Some shopkeepers assume that all teens or young people are up to no good and treat them like dirt, rather than just keeping an eye out.

Janni Lee Simnerjanni on July 23rd, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: the mall story
It definitely didn't deserve more than a phone call, and I'm not convinced it needed even that--because it's not clear to me anyone was in any real danger, and because 12 still seems a reasonable age to me for older kids to look after younger ones.
~twilight~_twilight_ on July 23rd, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Re: the mall story
It depends on the 12. I was younger, and some kids need to be maybe 14-ish. But if they weren't causing trouble, and nobody was in the dressing room area (if someone malicious walked over, it's not like at least one out of the three younger kids wouldn't be able to scream), I don't get what the problem was.

Janni Lee Simnerjanni on July 24th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Re: the mall story
Yeah. In the absence of disruptiveness, it's a parent judgment call, and not a police judgment call.
~twilight~_twilight_ on July 23rd, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Re: the mall story
FYI--this is a pet peeve for me because even when I was well into my twenties, some shopkeepers/business owners were convinced I was a teen up to no good and gave me trouble for it.
Danny Adamsmadwriter on July 23rd, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
>>I think sometimes adults, in worrying about teen reading, fear teens are mindless consumers who simply accept all they read...<<

Logically, I know this. And I don't see the uncritical thinking all that often, at least not from fiction, but working at a college I unfortunately see it enough to make me sensitive to the topic. (Hypersensitive right now--you may've caught the LJ entry I wrote about the friend who cut me out of her life because her boyfriend is the jealous type, and he has a special utter dislike for me since she and I had been so close.)
Janni Lee Simnerjanni on July 23rd, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking about this, and yeah, I don't think the critical thinking is universal--but I don't see it universally in adults, either.

And yeah, any time a significant other wants you to cut people out of your life, and gets instinctively jealous of anyone who has any demand on their time but them--for me, that sends a "run away" warning sign up a mile high, and it scares me how easy it is for people to get pulled into such relationships even so.
Danny Adamsmadwriter on July 23rd, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
The ironic thing about the situation with my friend is that each year I give friends who are graduating a list called "Things I Wish I'd Known When I Was 22", and #2 on that list is that a significant other who tries getting you to give up people and things you care about is the wrong person for you. She got that list when she graduated.

(#1 was that life is shorter than you think, and you should chase after what you love no matter how others might try to discourage you.)

Edited at 2009-07-23 04:42 pm (UTC)
Janni Lee Simnerjanni on July 23rd, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I deeply hate how we can't save people from the things they don't want to be saved from.
sleepingfingers on July 23rd, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you for all these links! They give me much food for thoughts.
Janni Lee Simnerjanni on July 24th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
You're very welcome! :-)