Gender Disparity in American and British Television Writing Staffs (Or: Somebody, Please, Please, Take Away My Excel Access)

My quest to spite Steven Moffat may have gotten out of hand. (Quoth Community: “This is how supervillains are created.”)
If you’re breathing and use the internet, you’ve probably heard the screaming and debate over whether current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat needs to hire more female writers. And by “more,” I mean “some”: In his three-year, 42-episode tenure, Moffat has not employed a single female writer.
Well, you know me. I love getting outraged at Steven Moffat. I want so badly to be able to say, “Fuck you, Steven Moffat. This is fucking ridiculous.” But, sadly, I can’t get outraged without data. Before I could swear delightedly at Moffat, I needed to know whether Moffat is really doing such a bad job, compared to everyone else. What if, as one of the above links suggests, gender inequality on writing staffs is a systemic problem in British sci-fi/fantasy? “Fuck you, British sci-fi/fantasy, this is fucking ridiculous,” is just way less fun to yell.
So I started researching the writing staffs of the big sci-fi/fantasy shows: Star Trek. Game of Thrones. Farscape. (It’s big to me, damn it!) And then I started researching the staffs of some other shows of interest: Mad Men. Community. The Walking Dead.
And then I thought, Holy fucking hell, selection bias, much?
There was only one solution: A comprehensive study of gender equality in British and American television writing.

Recommended reading.

(Source: grassangel)

dorksidefiker:

bunnika:

lazysmirk:

HOW TO BUY LOW-COST GLASSES
If you are like me, you are low income. It doesn’t matter why, but you are and sometimes you need things to prevent your quality of life from dipping too much. Like a decent pair of eyeglasses.
Zenni Optical was brought to my attention by one of the residents at the clinic I interned at. The staff is remarkably skilled and it was my privilege to be able to work with them for 300 hours. Anyway, they serve many low-income folks and, instead of them sending them to their optician to look at frames, they recommended taking the up to date prescription and plugging it in at Zenni to get a good pair.
What you need
Your eyeglasses prescription. Get it however:

Dig it up from your paperwork
Call the last place that did your exam and pick it up
Pay for a new eye exam, decline fitting, and take the paper

Your pupillary distance

This is likely on your script somewhere. Look for “PD” and the number behind it. Otherwise, try this.

Here’s what you do:

Make an account at Zenni.
Plug in your prescription. I won’t go into the details of why and how scripts are written the way they are and how cool it is. Just plug in the values exactly as you see them. OD (ocular dexter) is the right eye and OS (ocular sinister) is the left. Sphere, cylinder, and axis for each. 

It should look like this: 


Now shop for some glasses and order. 

Cheapest pair is about $7. Shipping is a flat $4.95 no matter how many pairs you order. Sales are often so, sometimes, shipping is free.
You can also order prescription sunglasses! Just make to order a regular pair in whatever frame, import the prescription you plugged in, and choose Add Standard Lens Tint. 
I recently order my sunglasses because my eyes are going to boil out of their sockets. Took about a week. Came with a lens wipe cloth, PD ruler, and a case. Lenses are accurate and the frame doesn’t feel cheap or unbalanced. 
SUPER.


Seriously just got prescription bifocal sunglasses through these guys, and they are fucking amazing.

Oh.  Fuck.  Yes.

My brother has gotten several pairs of glasses off this site, and they look great. I had to cancel my order (due to a timing/shipping issue that was completely not Zenni’s fault), but their customer service was so prompt, helpful, and easy-to-access that I recommend them anyway and will probably order from them again in the future. Like, literally, that was one of the best customer service experiences in my life and I didn’t even get the product.
Don’t be afraid to shop around, either — there are a bunch of sites that do this now besides Zenni.

dorksidefiker:

bunnika:

lazysmirk:

HOW TO BUY LOW-COST GLASSES

If you are like me, you are low income. It doesn’t matter why, but you are and sometimes you need things to prevent your quality of life from dipping too much. Like a decent pair of eyeglasses.

Zenni Optical was brought to my attention by one of the residents at the clinic I interned at. The staff is remarkably skilled and it was my privilege to be able to work with them for 300 hours. Anyway, they serve many low-income folks and, instead of them sending them to their optician to look at frames, they recommended taking the up to date prescription and plugging it in at Zenni to get a good pair.

What you need

  • Your eyeglasses prescription. Get it however:

Dig it up from your paperwork

Call the last place that did your exam and pick it up

Pay for a new eye exam, decline fitting, and take the paper

  • Your pupillary distance

This is likely on your script somewhere. Look for “PD” and the number behind it. Otherwise, try this.

Here’s what you do:

Make an account at Zenni.

Plug in your prescription. I won’t go into the details of why and how scripts are written the way they are and how cool it is. Just plug in the values exactly as you see them. OD (ocular dexter) is the right eye and OS (ocular sinister) is the left. Sphere, cylinder, and axis for each. 

It should look like this: 

Now shop for some glasses and order. 

Cheapest pair is about $7. Shipping is a flat $4.95 no matter how many pairs you order. Sales are often so, sometimes, shipping is free.

You can also order prescription sunglasses! Just make to order a regular pair in whatever frame, import the prescription you plugged in, and choose Add Standard Lens Tint. 

I recently order my sunglasses because my eyes are going to boil out of their sockets. Took about a week. Came with a lens wipe cloth, PD ruler, and a case. Lenses are accurate and the frame doesn’t feel cheap or unbalanced. 

SUPER.

Seriously just got prescription bifocal sunglasses through these guys, and they are fucking amazing.

Oh.  Fuck.  Yes.

My brother has gotten several pairs of glasses off this site, and they look great. I had to cancel my order (due to a timing/shipping issue that was completely not Zenni’s fault), but their customer service was so prompt, helpful, and easy-to-access that I recommend them anyway and will probably order from them again in the future. Like, literally, that was one of the best customer service experiences in my life and I didn’t even get the product.

Don’t be afraid to shop around, either — there are a bunch of sites that do this now besides Zenni.

(via i-wakeupstrange)

31,917 notes

Ok AtLA fandom real talk time: Aang, Buddhism and fandom problems

irresistible-revolution:

in my admittedly short time in this fandom i’ve noticed an annoying and disturbing trend, and it has to do with how Aang is treated, characterized in fanworks, dismissed or harshly crtiqued. Granted i think the fact that a lot of these critiques come from zutara shippers is telling, and also saddening because as someone who ships Zutara, the Aang-hate has completely soured the shipping community for me (among other things). But I also think the way fandom perceives Aang has a lot to do with ethnocentrism, and the way we’ve all inculcated Christian storytelling tropes and good vs.evil dichotomies.

HERE is a great and illustrated example of this white Western trope using Miyazaki’s words.

I was initially gonna have this meta be about Aang and how understanding Buddhism is a key component to understanding Aang, but in light of some recent stuff I’ve read/seen I feel like I need to go point by and point and deconstruct some of the common fandom “issues” with Aang.

Read More

shwetanarayan:

kiriamaya:

youneedacat:

[Photo: On the floor me sitting with an oxygen tube coming out of my nose, and a GJ feeding tube coming out of my stomach/intestines. Behind me are the IV pole with my feeding pump, and behind that the oxygen concentrator is visible mostly as a silhouette. All of this at a very strange camera angle with bad lighting. Two photos, one with the stuff behind me more visible, one with me more visible, otherwise mostly the same.]

It was really, really hard to get any possible way to take a picture of all these things given the iPod touch had to be held in my hand, and the positioning of the objects, and the apartment, and the lighting this time of night. So be glad I could get these three things in the same shot at all. Hence the strange camera angle.

So on to the story:

I’ve had an electronic implant to help me urinate, for years. Just recently, I ended up needing a feeding tube and oxygen. I’m not going into the whole story, as it isn’t relevant.

So my friend, also disabled, came over to visit after I got home from the hospital. Partly to see me. Partly to geek out on my assistive tech.

I commented that I am turning into more and more of a cyborg as time goes on. And that I feel sort of steampunk.

She agreed that all the tubes coming out of me these days (two branches of a feeding tube, one to my stomach to drain stuff out one to my intestines to put stuff in; plus the oxygen tube) seem very steampunk in some way.

Then she discovered that my oxygen concentrator even sounds steampunk. It makes these whirring and hissing noises constantly.

Of course, she doesn’t know the half of it. When you turn on the top half of the oxygen concentrator (used for filling canisters instead of sending air to me through a tube), it makes this intense WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP noise.

Fey, as usual, is taking the technology fine. I’ve found that cats in my life are far less frightened by new technology than dogs are. It may freak them out at first — Fey always hisses at new stuff — but they rarely seem to develop the kind of lasting fear that many dogs do. I don’t know what that says about cats and dogs. Poor Billie Jean, I think if she still lived with me she’d be a permanent nervous wreck. She couldn’t even handle the hospital bed.

Anyway. For some reason I find the cyborg/steampunk aspect of all this hilarious.

And I think many nondisabled people would be horrified by the kind of jokes I and the disabled people I know make about things like this. To them, disability is supposed to be Deadly Serious All The Time. But I have enough serious stuff in my life I need something to laugh at. And I just don’t see disability as out of bounds for humor the way some people do.

Plus I really do see a lot of disabled people as real live cyborgs. I first heard of that when I visited MIT and I love the idea. Because it’s true. Many of us are part flesh part machine. And that’s a really cool thing.

Unfortunately a lot of people who are into science fiction cyborgs would be horrified by this idea. Because they see disabled people as beneath ordinary people. And so the idea that disabled people are enhancing ourselves by becoming cyborgs is totally out of the question to them. The only real enhancements are to people who aren’t already disabled.

And I remember a poem I heard by Connie Panzarino, about how she could kiss, or perform oral sex, without coming up for air, due to her ventilator. And that’s utterly cool. But disabled people aren’t allowed to have utterly cool elements to our assistive tech. That’s reserved for nondisabled people.

People with feeding tubes can eat and talk and move our hands (provided we can talk and move our hands) all at once, and that’s pretty cool too. Without our mouths full at that.

So many sci fi fans can’t stand the idea that disabled cyborgs can have abilities most people don’t have, and not just replace nondisabled people’s abilities. They see our assistive tech as always being an inferior replacement for their own abilities that we lack. And it’s not. Sometimes it gives us abilities they don’t have, whether large or small ones. My feeding tube gives me a kind of freedom I never expected to have. Eating is easier now. Even easier than it is for the average person, aside from some obnoxious side effects. But the actual act of eating is immensely easier. You just plug the tube in, turn on the pump, and forget about it until you run through your bottle of food. It takes longer but it takes no concentration at all. I’m eating at the same time as I am writing this and I am not even thinking about it.

They generally (with a few exceptions) see cyborgs as nondisabled people with mechanical or electrical add-ons that make them have superior abilities to the average nondisabled person.

So they’d argue that we are disabled so it doesn’t count and our add-ons replace standard abilities we lack so it doesn’t count. And a lot of other technical details. None of which are necessarily actually true. What seems to be at the bottom of it is that disabled people are inferior to them and therefore we shouldn’t be going around interfering with their dreams (or nightmares) of a future where ordinary people can have technological superpowers.

Of course you get the bionic woman and Darth Vader and some other exceptions. So we are in there to some extent — usually as disabled people whose assistive tech gives us abilities far beyond the average person. They rarely of course come up with the realities, like being able to eat without thinking or using your mouth or hands. Or being able to kiss or (etc.) indefinitely without coming up for air. Or being able to change our height on a whim. Or other things many disabled people can actually do. Because that would require actually getting to know us.

And when we do end up with a huge advantage, they tend to feel threatened by us rather than the fascination they show for our fictional counterparts. They don’t see it as fair that a disabled person could surpass them through our technology — they’d rather our assistive tech always remain a poor substitute for the abilities they already have. And I don’t know quite why that is but I’m sure again it has to do with us being supposed to be inferior, in the end. Because that’s what most of their uneasiness around real-life cyborgs comes down to.

Wow I didn’t think I’d end up writing something this long. Also — only call someone a cyborg if they’ve given you permission. It can feel dehumanizing to some people and many disabled people would never identify with that word in a million years even if most of their body is kept operating through assistive technology.

But I love to use that word, at least jokingly, on myself. Because it gives a twist to my technology that most people aren’t expecting. They want to see tragedy and ‘cyborg’ suggests enhancement.

It also is more accurate to my feelings about the technology I use. I use, off the top of my head (some full time some part time some rarely at all): An electric wheelchair, a hospital bed, a Hoyer lift, a communication device, a bipap, oxygen concentrator and portable tanks, a feeding tube, a feeding pump, a tube to drain my stomach, a bidet, and an Interstim implant to aid urination.

Some of those make my life easier. Others have literally made the difference between life and death. And all of them I have loved and welcomed. Everyone expects disabled people to see these things as tragic and confining. But many of us see them as tools for freedom and for life itself. And by the time I get them, I’ve long since gotten over any bad feelings about them. By that time, I welcome them as life changing in a near-completely good way.

And that’s why cyborg is a term I like. It suggests something that enhances life and gives you new abilities that you otherwise wouldn’t have. And I especially use it for things that are either inside my body (like the Interstim implant and the tubes) or connected to it for long periods of time (like the oxygen or the bipap). But it’s possible to use it for other things too, depending on how far you stretch the word.

I wish sci fi fans would embrace disabled people as everyday, present-day cyborgs. I also wish they’d embrace our more everyday enhanced abilities — kissing without having to come up for air, and other things you really have to know disabled people well, to figure out. As well as not acting threatened and crying foul when our technology-enhanced abilities greatly surpass theirs in a major area.

None of this is exactly a big thing for disability rights. As in, if all of what I wish, came to pass, it wouldn’t be one of our major achievements. I have no illusions about that. But it would be nice if we were understood and recognized and welcomed into the realm of cyborgs, by the sorts of people normally interested in this stuff. :-)

And I love the idea that all these tubes and noises and stuff seem rather steampunk, even though they’re partially electrical. That’s just cool, however much the era involved would’ve been awful (and deadly) to me in reality.

This is awesome.

<3

(via crossedwires)

457 notes

"A Black Mom in Chief is Revolutionary"

flourish:

Great article about feminism, intersectionality, + “Mom in Chief” Michelle Obama.

comicsriot:

I want to talk about this moment from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman- the famous page in which the Man of Steel stops a teenager from committing suicide. Along with the eight word origin, it’s one of the most discussed sequences in the book. It happens when Superman is dealing with huge stuff in his own life, and it demonstrates how much he genuinely cares about the people he protects.
But you know all of that. What I want to talk about is the appearance of Regan, the kid he saves. I suppose it would be easy to look at how this character is dressed and see a perpetuation of the old, old stereotype about goths being suicidal, but that’s never how it struck me.
A big part of what I love about this scene is that Regan is so obviously a freak (and please understand, I use that word from a place of solidarity). Regan doubtless gets mocked and bullied at school, treated as an outcast and perhaps even a monster just for being different from everyone else. I acknowledge that there’s no direct evidence for it, but I personally can’t help but read Regan as queer. And if you’ve noticed me avoiding pronouns, it’s because there’s also no evidence on the page of Regan’s gender identity, although Quitely’s dimorphic art style has understandably led most readers to see a girl.
First of all, I love that someone like Regan exists in the retro-world of All-Star Superman. Far too often, the urge to recapture the storytelling magic of a particular earlier era (like, say, Silver Age Superman comics) is accompanied by a tendency to “clean up” the society depicted to resemble an idealized past, eliminating the freaks, punks, queers, and so forth. In fact, even the mainstream DC universe doesn’t have a lot of non-villainous characters running around who look like Regan. But in Morrison Land (and for those of us who’ve read his work for the last twenty years, this is hardly surprising), fantasmical retro-super-science can coexist comfortably with facially pierced teenagers.
More importantly, none of this matters to Superman. He doesn’t care if you’re goth or queer or trans or emotionally unstable. Superman looks at Regan and he sees a human being, and someone who needs his support. And so he helps, because that’s what he does. What Superman says in the panels above is great, but in that moment, and especially afterwards when they embrace, he’s also saying something else through his actions: “I accept you. Who you are isn’t scary or weird to me- you’re a person, and I care about you.” I think that must matter quite a bit to Regan, and I know it matters to me.

comicsriot:

I want to talk about this moment from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman- the famous page in which the Man of Steel stops a teenager from committing suicide. Along with the eight word origin, it’s one of the most discussed sequences in the book. It happens when Superman is dealing with huge stuff in his own life, and it demonstrates how much he genuinely cares about the people he protects.

But you know all of that. What I want to talk about is the appearance of Regan, the kid he saves. I suppose it would be easy to look at how this character is dressed and see a perpetuation of the old, old stereotype about goths being suicidal, but that’s never how it struck me.

A big part of what I love about this scene is that Regan is so obviously a freak (and please understand, I use that word from a place of solidarity). Regan doubtless gets mocked and bullied at school, treated as an outcast and perhaps even a monster just for being different from everyone else. I acknowledge that there’s no direct evidence for it, but I personally can’t help but read Regan as queer. And if you’ve noticed me avoiding pronouns, it’s because there’s also no evidence on the page of Regan’s gender identity, although Quitely’s dimorphic art style has understandably led most readers to see a girl.

First of all, I love that someone like Regan exists in the retro-world of All-Star Superman. Far too often, the urge to recapture the storytelling magic of a particular earlier era (like, say, Silver Age Superman comics) is accompanied by a tendency to “clean up” the society depicted to resemble an idealized past, eliminating the freaks, punks, queers, and so forth. In fact, even the mainstream DC universe doesn’t have a lot of non-villainous characters running around who look like Regan. But in Morrison Land (and for those of us who’ve read his work for the last twenty years, this is hardly surprising), fantasmical retro-super-science can coexist comfortably with facially pierced teenagers.

More importantly, none of this matters to Superman. He doesn’t care if you’re goth or queer or trans or emotionally unstable. Superman looks at Regan and he sees a human being, and someone who needs his support. And so he helps, because that’s what he does. What Superman says in the panels above is great, but in that moment, and especially afterwards when they embrace, he’s also saying something else through his actions: “I accept you. Who you are isn’t scary or weird to me- you’re a person, and I care about you.” I think that must matter quite a bit to Regan, and I know it matters to me.

(Source: comicsriot)

How You Can Have a Bunch of Great Ideas but Still Fuck Up Real Bad: A Korra Essay

chirart:

Hahahaha ever since Saturday the Korra finale seems to make me angrier and angrier. As a storyteller and as a fan of solid storytelling, it is an atrocious mess! I stand by the creators are amazing directors, amazing concept artists, amazing producers, but wow are they terrible writers. They have absolutely no understanding of dramatic convention, and so the first season of The Legend of Korra suffered greatly from terrible execution, and the core ideas were so good it should’ve been a gamechanger. It should’ve been the most brilliant thing on television and instead we were given a 12-week narrative case of blue balls.

Disclaimer: if you enjoyed/love/fanatic about Korra, by all means continue to do so! I enjoyed a lot about Korra. In fact that is why I am so frustrated. But that aside, this is meant as a critique and a dissection and as such you can take it or you can leave it. Nothing I have to say will change the show, nor will anything I have to say will have any effect on what season 2 will bring. Mostly I have been ranting about it to everyone on a daily basis since Saturday and this is my way to finally just. get. it. all. out. So this is me shouting into the ether for my own cathartic glee.

Cool? Cool.

Read More

Changing the defalt alts in tumblr photoposts.

latkje:

Okay, so one of the major ways tumblr screws around with accessibility is that it doesn’t let you use alt tags. This doesn’t mean that on tumblr there are no alt tags— tumblr, by default, uses a value called photoalt to automatically generate alt tags for you!

The problem is that it does a really terrible job. Photoalt usually just puts the caption text into the alt tag, which is redundant in the best of cases. It is downright terrible if you are me and like to write long rambly multi-paragraph image captions. This means someone using a screenreader will have to sit through the same information twice, and since just scrolling past is difficult on screenreaders… yeah.

You can’t make tumblr use good alt tags but you can at least set it to be different from photoalt!! Here’s now:

Go into the “Customize Theme” menu and click “Edit HTML”. This will take you to a bunch of raw code. What you want to do is find the {block:Photo} section, which should have a line something like this:

<img src="{PhotoURL-500}" alt="{PhotoAlt}"/>

Just Ctrl+F ing “{PhotoAlt}” will find it for you! The code itself will vary a little depending on the theme, but PhotoAlt is the thing that matters. Then you can delete {PhotoAlt} and replace it with something else:

<img src="{PhotoURL-500}" alt="photo"/>

“Photo” is hardly ideal as alternate text, but it’s much better than what tumblr would automatically generate for me. Something to be aware of for anyone who uses image descriptions in the captions.

6 notes

Some Thoughts On 3D

thewherefores:

rcjohnso:

The “debate” over 3D has become a polarized polemic, a one-dimensional (sorry) and mind numbingly boring exchange of “3D sucks” “no you suck” back and forths.  It gives “film vs. digital” a good run for the title of “discussion I’d most rather chew my own foot off than get sucked into on twitter.”  So why am I writing about it?  Because even as the debate has (sorry again) flattened, my feelings about stereoscopic photography have grown more complex and nuanced.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this.  I’m hardly an expert on the topic, technically or otherwise, but I’m setting down my current thoughts just to get them in order, and posting them for anyone who’s interested.  If even one foot chewing incident is prevented or delayed, I’ll be happy.

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This is a really interesting essay.

643 notes

jhameia:

What is cultural appropriation « The Long Way Home

ardhra:

O hai! I finally finished writing this! After starting it more than two years ago {facepalm}. There is more to come that I’ve worked on & researched. Hopefully responses to this won’t be so faily that I’m unmotivated to finish the rest.

Excerpt:

There are a number of issues around cultural appropriation which I see continuously bog down discussion. I think they revolve around some crucial issues undergirding the whole concept of cultural appropriation, so I think we need to “get back to basics” somewhat.

Before I go on, I’d like to acknowledge the work of Andrea Smith, particularly her article ‘Spiritual Appropriation as Sexual Violence’, printed in her book Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide as being very influential to my thinking about these issues.

I disagree with a lot of the common definitions of cultural appropriation around. Cultural appropriation isn’t simply the “taking or borrowing of some aspects of another culture from someone outside that culture”. Cultures throughout time have traded, adapted, and borrowed artefacts, symbols, technologies and narratives from one another. The issue isn’t the aesthetic and material mingling of cultures, hybridity, or that human creativity crosses cultural boundaries. Those are aesthetic and perhaps moral issues, separate from the real political issue of cultural appropriation.

A lot of the time cultural appropriation is also called ‘cultural theft’. But cultures aren’t tangible things that can only be possessed by one person. Culture is made up of shared ideas, skills, traditions, styles, images, that circulate through a particular society. Cultures are heterogeneous — people who are part of the same society can be part of different cultures, which influence each other — and they change over time.

The problem isn’t that cultures intermingle, it’s the terms on which they do so and the part that plays in the power relations between cultures. The problem isn’t “taking” or “borrowing”, the problem is racism, imperialism, white supremacy, and colonialism. The problem is how elements of culture get taken up in disempowering, unequal ways that deny oppressed people autonomy and dignity. Cultural appropriation only occurs in the context of the domination of one society over another, otherwise known as imperialism. Cultural appropriation is an act of domination, which is distinct from ‘borrowing’, syncretism, hybrid cultures, the cultures of assimilated/integrated populations, and the reappropriation of dominant cultures by oppressed peoples.

What’s being appropriated in *cultural appropriation* isn’t the things themselves — the images, stories, artefacts, themes, etc. — it’s the capacity of people of oppressed groups to determine the meaning, scope, usage, and future of those things. Cultural appropriation involves taking over peoples’ control over representations of themselves. Cultural appropriation is an attack on cultural autonomy and self-determination, backed up by historically constructed domination.

Look, it’s ardhra being awesome.

(via threshermaw-deactivated20120804)