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Today’s been the day for thoughtfulness about freedom of speech, first a librarian wrote a wonderfully reasoned but very PC letter to a customer who wanted to ban a picture book about a gay weeding, then Jazzypom wrote a post about the unspoken fandom prohibition on criticism since it’s a "safe space to have fun in" and "real life is hard enough", that leads to fandom being quite a hard and unsafe place to be for people who do not agree with the majority and feel not only hurt by others’ art, fiction and attitudes but are, furthermore (and not like in real life), not allowed to express that discomfort and disagreement freely without being labeled as "spoilsports". This led me to look something up and it turns out that it is actually a human right (Besides free speaking and free thinking)"to peacefully protest (speak against) a government or group".

Fandom can't simply "suspend" something like that in a real space (the internet is opposed to "real life" because it's virtual, not because it's not real, as in, doesn't exist). The right of protest or any human right can be suspended in a piece of fiction, sure, but fandom is not fictional.

If somebody wants a fictional space in the internet, a bit like a RPG, where criticism of any kind isn't valid then they can create it but the assumption that fandom in general is such a space is absurd. If something differs from the norm then you have to let people know about it, and in a community there should be agreement about it and there’s been so many bouts of disagreement about this, not just about things like Racefail but individual fans like [livejournal.com profile] furiosity and [livejournal.com profile] outlangi who wanted to be able to criticize fanfiction on the grounds original fiction can be criticized without being thought to be attacking anybody (and always offering the chance to the author to say they wanted to be in a fictional space without criticism).

And in this fictional space, where the normal RL rules don't apply there should be some kind of proper warning like "we don't accept any kind of criticism" or even "squee only", that's to say, non-charged language like "hate" but an unequivocal statement of intentions. That said, most of the time I feel like constricted by this implicit rule of "no criticism in fandom" and don't bother. And sometimes when I bother, because maybe it's a critical post I'm against, the fact that fandom doesn't have a widespread habit of criticism often makes it seem as if the critic is attacking (in the middle of all the fluff and squee any disagreement can seem harsh).

That said, and going back to the warnings debacle, I don't think anybody has to think about what others will feel when they read/see their art if they don't want to, I do but that is also a choice, proper warnings and all that are very nice but they are not a must. What is a must, for me, is freedom. I have often flinched and more while reading fic or fandom posts but I know someone wrote those things because they are meaningful and enjoyable to them and it's fine, and I, in turn, should be able to tell them "you should use a spellchecker" or "I don't think this character would ever do that", neither their writing nor my writing is in itself an attack and shouldn’t be interpreted as so as long as they are reasonably and politely worded and their intent is clear.

Nobody has to be careful of what they say because it might be hurtful, they probably should try to but it’s not an obligation. What is it’s to give others the same right to speak freely, even if it hurts you.
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Parallelisms between Chauvinism, Colonialism and class discrimination in "The Joys of Motherhood" and "Untouchable"

by Johanna Rullo


The "Joys of Motherhood" by Buchi Emecheta tells a story in which the white man, the colonialist, it's the outsider to a perfectly established society and whose intervention only harms this society's members, makes them lose their places in life, their sense of belonging. This is the most obvious effect of colonialism in the colonized society, the replacement of local ideas and beliefs with those of the colonizer. In "My place", "The Lonely Londoners" and "Toronto at Dreamer's Rock" instead, we have people who have adopted (or been forced to adopt) the colonialist's culture and remember their own only in part, and in the latter as “mystic stuff” to be disregarded as unimportant, they are on the another stage of colonization, they have already been absorbed and crave to be absorbed more completely to forget they are not really part of the colonizing society or to recover their sense of selves through the addition of their ancestors’ culture to the society who took away that culture in the first place so as to reconcile who they are and where they come from.

The The Whale Rider, where tradition is held in high esteem and is very important for the protagonists’ daily lives, is not as much a story about colonialism as one about chauvinism, which might or might not be related to colonialism and Western ideas in that case but that has proven to exist in most human societies.

Read more... )
evalangui: (Default)
I have been forced to thought about an issue that, truth be told, I have been wondering about anyway: Are labels appropiate or necessary? Is the lack of labels a problem? I think it is, words are what the world is make of for me and if something cannot be named it almos cannot exist, I found something [livejournal.com profile] darkmoon says in this presentation to be the perfect answer and I thought i would share and see if somebody has an opinion.

Read more... )


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January 2012

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