greenie_breizh: (gay)
Originally posted by [ profile] darkspirited1 at SIGNAL BOOST: SAY YES TO GAY YA
This comes from an article by [ profile] rachelmanija entitled, Say Yes to Gay YA.
(click the link for the full article)

Our novel Stranger has five viewpoint characters; one, Yuki Nakamura, is
gay and has a boyfriend. Yuki's romance, like the heterosexual ones in
the novel, involves nothing more explicit than kissing.

An agent from a major agency, one which represents a bestselling YA novel in the same genre as ours, called us.

The agent offered to sign us on the condition that we make the gay
character straight, or else remove his viewpoint and all references to
his sexual orientation.

This isn't about that specific agent; we'd gotten other rewrite requests before this one. Previous agents had also offered to take a second look if we did rewrites… including cutting the viewpoint of Yuki, the gay character.

It's time to stand up and demand change. Spread the word everywhere if you are just as angry and outraged by this.

greenie_breizh: (gay)
As I expected, this month before we leave for Europe is not going to be the most relaxing of times, but I wanted to take a couple of minutes to post some links and acknowledge that yesterday was IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I went to the breakfast organized every year by the queer community centre here in Vancouver, and it was pretty good overall - mostly one of the speakers was fabulous. She's a prof at SFU and spoke about her genderqueer son and the fact that we need to stop gender-policing our kids and crush their fluid potential; it was such a touching and compelling speech, I'm glad I went just for it.

Also, I like this comic strip and it's in French, which is a nice change! It comes from this post, even the comments are overall pretty good.

The NYTimes also published this opinion column the other day about why it's problematic to be in favour of same-sex marriages based on economic reasons. Nothing ground-breaking, but a solid and well-written piece, so, worth sharing!

I've finally picked up a book that Allie and I picked up pretty randomly while we were in Seattle, and that Allie just read and highly recommended, Annabel by Kathleen Winter. It's amazing. It's the story of a kid who is born intersex in Labrador, and the writing is fantastic. Allie and I both have issues with how some of the stuff is handled, but it's so worth reading no matter what. It also has this line that I love so much, when the kid is just a baby:

"[The baby] looked back at her the way [the baby] looked at all strangers, with a direct gaze that said, I have not been badly treated yet, and so even you are to be trusted."
greenie_breizh: (full of words)
I'm going to try this new thing where I post more regularly, which hopefully could mean fewer massive posts. (I'm sure it's not going to happen, but one can hope!) So, let's give this a go with only two links today. :)

- That's Not Twain, a NYTimes opinion piece on the new version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that's coming out next month, in which the word "nigger" has been changed to the word "slave". I won't go on forever, partly because the piece says it well enough on its own: "Substituting the word 'slave' makes it sound as though all the offense lies in the “n-word” and has nothing to do with the institution of slavery." I'm worried that this, to some extent, sanitizes the U.S.'s racist past (especially that of the South) and it will only encourage a re-envisioning of that past as not only incongruent with the present (racism was then, now we don't put that word in our books!) but also as really not that bad.

- Immigration Rules Tightened For Gay Couples in Canada. Again, the piece really says it all; this decision is problematic on so many levels, and clearly singles out a group with no actual rationale. If you're worried about marriages of convenience, believe me, most of them are probably straight marriages. Ugh. I feel like this partly comes from this stupid place that make people believe that if same-sex marriage is authorized, same-sex friends will start marrying everywhere. Re: ugh.

EDIT: Reading the actual policy, it sounds like all that CIC clarified is that if you were married OUTSIDE Canada, the marriage needs to be legal in the country you were married for it to be recognized in Canada and thus be the basis for your spouse to sponsor you. If you're married in Canada, you're good to go, even if one of you is from the UK, say. What is confusing about this "clarification" is that the only way you could have gotten married outside Canada is if you live somewhere where marriage is legal... I realize there are a few, localized instances where people were married even though the marriage wasn't legal (SF in the U.S. in 2004, Noël Mamère in France the same year) but that seems to be such a tiny number that it doesn't really qualify as a loophole, nor would it be a way to address a supposed spike in spousal applications, or marriages of convenience... so, I'm confused. If someone has a better idea what's going on, I'd love to hear it.
greenie_breizh: (gay)
So I was hoping to find a children's book in French featuring two dads or a gay couple, but apparently that's... nearly impossible? The few children's book on the topic tend to feature two moms, and I have problems with most of them anyway. I just wanted a children's book with two dads about something that's not discrimination. :/ Like King & King is actually pretty awesome, but it doesn't exist in French? Le sigh.

For those of you on twitter who were asking for references should I find something, so far the best list I've found is on the APGL website.

On a cute note, the other night we were playing the Werewolf game with my cousins and we were playing with the Cupid character, who chooses two players who will be "in love" for the rest of the game. My brother (I think) reminded everyone the couple doesn't have to be a boy and a girl and my 13-year-old cousin agreed and said, yeah, it can be two girls or two boys. I'm not certain he really made the link with actual gay couples but I liked how matter-of-fact he was about it. :)
greenie_breizh: (random4)
[ profile] shiraz_wine directed me to a fascinating analysis of the Twilight crazy. I agree with a lot of the points that the poster makes and in particular, that it's important to remember that a text is polysemic and that different people are going to take different things from the same material. Thank fuck, it's entirely possible for a girl to read Twilight and not to integrate the creepy messages about submissiveness, rather choose to see agency in the story, though I do think it's interesting that messages that are undoubtedly conservative resonate - at least partly - with female teen audiences right now. All in all, Twilight has seemed from the start as rather non-worthy of interest to me - yes, it's fucking creepy, and that assault thing I posted about yesterday made me truly angry, because the father's reaction was unacceptable - but to be honest, there's a lot of really bad literature out there that people get obsessed with. And we all read stupid things when we're teenagers. (I'm pretty sure The Famous Five were not the most progressive feminist series ever written.) The level of intensity from Twilight fans is a little creepy, but again, not going to throw the first stone here.

Point is - I don't like these books, regardless of different readings, I think they're problematic, but then I think Disney is highly problematic. I don't think it's a coincidence that books with a central message of abstinence are huge right now, and I think it's particularly worrying that mothers are upholding these books as perfect material for their daughters. But I also don't think they're going to end the world, and the problem is not if the girls read these books, but if that's all they read, and how they read them, and whether or not they're going to grow into reading different things later.

But something that I'm really interested in - especially after reading more detailed summaries yesterday - is the fact that Bella is apparantly portrayed as having a rather insistent sex drive, and that Edward always have to remind her they can't have sex, because she really wants to. Girls are not usually portrayed as the one wanting sex, we're usually more concerned with telling them they should learn how to say no and how to protect themselves against boys who will, naturally, want it. For once, the boy is the one who has to be the gatekeeper... of course, the ironic part is that it means that it's still the boy deciding the terms of the relationship, but hey. There's an interesting twist there. And admitting that teenage girls do have sexual desire is pretty crucial.


Speaking of reading against the grain, Judy Dushku, Eliza's mom, is an active member of the Mormon Church, but also a progressive, feminist-oriented strong woman by Eliza's account. I've always been curious about what seems - to me - like a slight contradiction in terms, so I found this quote from the Boston Globe interesting:
Judith Dushku isn't just disappointed, she's embarrassed. "This ugly conflict between my church and those who advocate for legal gay marriage troubles me terribly," says Dushku, an associate professor at Suffolk University and the mother of "Dollhouse" actress Eliza Dushku. She's referring to the Mormon church's support for Proposition 8, the ballot measure banning same-sex marriage that passed in California. (Local Mormons who helped finance the initiative include Michelle Ainge, wife of Celts exec Danny Ainge, and members of Mitt Romney's family.) A lifelong member of the Mormon church - her ancestors pushed handcarts to Utah to establish a place of worship - Dushku says she was "deeply ashamed" by the behavior of Mormon leaders in the days leading up to the vote. (The church sent letters, held video conferences, and from the pulpit urged members to donate money and time to the pro-Prop 8 cause.) "This is completely counter to my whole life of experience with Mormons. These are not a people that are narrow and parochial," she said. "This is not what I expect." An active member of the Mormon church in Weston, Dushku risks excommunication by speaking out. But she says others feel the same way. "Many Mormons feel deeply disappointed in what our church has done with its wealth and influence," she said. "The idea that Mormons are unified around this issue is not my experience... Many people are embarrassed."
greenie_breizh: (snuggle time)
Okay. So for some reason instead of jotting down the beginning of some notes for my Buffy paper I've been read these excellent (because funny) summaries of Twilight, with actual quotes! (As seen on TV.)

Well. Twilight has just turned into more than an idiotic, backwards book series. I'm officially terrified. This is an excerpt from the book. For real. (For those of you who are lucky enough to not know, the books are narrated in the first person by the female protagonist, Bella.)

Assault and all that good stuff. )

On a nicer note, I went to see Madagscar 2 tonight )

This reminds me, I can't remember if I said, but man, how much do I wish the people who made Wall-E had not felt the need to give Wall-E and Eve gendered voices. It would have been so awesome, had both their voices been neutral. They wouldn't be coded male, female, gay, straight. They would just be robots in love and we would have no words to talk about that story. I love the thought.
greenie_breizh: (annoyed)
From "Buffy the Vampire Dater", yet another article to be found in The Psychology of Joss Whedon:

"The point, ladies and gentlemen, is this: Men and women selectively navigate through the noisy buzz of cues, indices, and signals to find members of the opposite sex depending on their own gender-specific needs. Men gather clues to sexual possibilities and women hunt for signs of commitment."


Heterosexism. Broad generalizations. Sexism. Essentialism.

OMG. This book is going to kill me.

(I find solace in the - unconscious? - gender reversal in the verbs of that last sentence: traditionally men hunt and women gather...)
greenie_breizh: (buffy)
I'm reading The Psychology of Joss Whedon; some articles are interesting but I'm finding most of them pretty weak, theoritically speaking - just full of shortcuts and assumptions. I think some of that at least has got to do with limited article length, it's really too bad. Anyway, a bit that really stopped me last night:

"Through Buffy, Joss Whedon forges an entire anti-patriarchal universe from one creative act - giving a girl physical power beyond any living man." (p. 106, in "Existentialism Meets Feminism in Buffy the Vampire Slayer")

Now, I'm as convinced as the next fan that Buffy has a lot of feminist potential, for all that it's co-opted by being a product of popular culture (which means for example all the girls have to be thin and pretty and sexy). But you don't forge an anti-patriarchal universe by having one girl being stronger than every single man. That's preposterous.

  • First, a patriarchal system works on the domination of women, plural, and weak women in particular. Just because men can show respect for a strong woman doesn't mean they're not sexist . Just like having one Black CEO (or President...) doesn't mean a firm or the society that firm is part of is not racism. Patriarchy - just like racism, just like heterosexism - is first and foremost a system of domination of one group over another. Thus individualities, while they can be part of working towards change, can't be taken as proof that the whole system has changed. It's relationships between men and women that need to be revised, not the relationship of men to one particular woman. (Now, I believe that's what Joss tries to do in Buffy, that's not where my problem is.)

  • Second, suggesting that giving a woman physical power beyond that of men is a tool towards ending partiarchy is completely misguided. The fact that we reward physical power over any other quality is part of the partiarchy, so if you want to challenge the system, you have to do more than make women "men in a skirt", to use an expression the following article uses. Otherwise you're maintaining the hegemony of what we see as a masculine quality over feminine qualities, you're only changing the appearance of the vessel of domination. Fortunately, Joss's effort to challenge sexist norms and expectations are much deeper than a single creative arc.

  • Finally, if there's anti-partiarchal power to Joss's initial creative act, it's in the fact that he turns around on its head the stereotype of the helpless female victim by giving her the strength and confidence to fight back. Because that calls onto a stereotype - a generalization of what women are, helpless victims - and through that it challenges a sexist idea. That's a much more powerful perspective than saying Buffy's singularity - which is just that, a singularity, an exception - is a challenge to partriarchy. Systems of domination can perfectly integrate exceptions, they even feed on exceptions to reinforce the whole system, that's how hegemony works.

There. I just needed to get it out there. It just annoyed me so much. It's kind of like when people suggest fighting social inequalities by encouraging upward mobility.

EDIT: Since I'm on the topic on all, see this post about Perry's song "I kissed a girl" and everything that's wrong with the message it sends. It drives me batshit insane and [ profile] currentlymusing perfectly sums up why.
greenie_breizh: (horse)
I read Sharon Creech's Love That Dog yesterday and while I recommend the whole of it (it's really short) to anyone who can get their hands on that book, I wanted to copy two extracts. It reveals one key point of the story, so I'm going to put it behind a cut.


MAY 14 - MY SKY )
greenie_breizh: (quote)
Okay, people, I need advice - I've just finished Jon Stewart's America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction and I'm looking for something else to read when I don't feel like reading for class and/or my research paper. Something fun, light, possibly sarcastic. Something to have a good laugh, basically.

Any recs? Preferably in English since I'll have more chances of finding it at the library here, but any suggestion is welcome!
greenie_breizh: (ecology)
"There's gotta be someone in this world ready to pay to see this hot nerd-on-nerd action." (I love Logan sometimes.)

So I'm almost done reading Hervé Kempf's Comment les riches détruisent la planète (How rich people destroy the planet). It's interesting to me, because this is both a very common accusation - that the richer layer of the population is to blame for what's wrong with this world, and at the same time, he argues it very convincingly

What struck me most in this book is how he explains that economic growth - in the sense that it means the growth of material products - is inherently detrimental to the environment nowadays. I'd read articles and discussed zero growth (or "degrowth", even) before, but he articulates it particularly well.

While reading, it became obvious to me that's exactly why you can't be (in the French system) right-wing and an ecologist. As long as you believe in growth (and therefore it applies to a number of liberals as well), there's a serious contradiction in terms to be an environmentalist. Endless growth is contrary to ecological well-being, and we need to face that fact.

We need to stop believing economical growth is the answer. That it will make everything, anything better. We need to stop being obsessed with growth. Not only is it going to keep widening the gap of inequalities, but it will probably end up killing most of us.
greenie_breizh: (heroes)
Does anyone own Where the Wild Things Are? In English? Pleeeease?
greenie_breizh: (identity)
Just finished Young Masculinities - it's a challenging book and the topic (how do boys construct their identity as boys / men, how do they juggle with contradicting ideals of masculinty?) is fascinating but also terribly complex. I came out of this book wanting to interview more boys, in particular gay teenagers or teenagers raised by gay parents (on top of single parents and couples of parents), to see how it would complete that research, maybe help us get some answers or just draw a more comprehensive picture of how boys and men struggle with their identity nowadays.

In the end you realize how difficult it is to definite mascuilinity (or feminity for that matter). What makes you a man? If it's not specific tastes, abilities, a certain perception, an essence, then what is it? Is it solely physical? How can you then explain that people can be born in the wrong body? How do you know that you're a man? We were talking in class of how identities are defined in opposition - that's always how we define ourselves - in contrast with something else. In a world that assumes (and legitimately, I believe) that there is no fundamental difference between boys and girls, it becomes all the more difficult to construct your identity. Are you less of a man because you have what we still call "feminine" qualities? Of course not. But what, then, makes you a man?

On a less philosophical level, I had a wonderful time with [ profile] moimoietmoi this afternoon. She brought her polaroid and it was so much fun to use it - my last memories of a polaroid go back at least 12 years, my grandpa used to have one. And since I've got a whole new series of pictures to work on, I also finally kick my own ass and posted the rest of the previous series of pictures I took along the banks of the Seine and at Les Tuileries.

Go to my holdlifestillphoto LJ to see the last two batches I posted (specifically here and here). A couple of teasers :

And finally, recc'd by [ profile] woodsong_1978 and with good reason, Like Water is an excellent Torchwood fic. It's Jack/Tosh and it's very quiet and bittersweet, exactly what I love in my TW fics.
greenie_breizh: (identity)
I should definitely not be THIS EXCITED that I just received one of the books I have to read for my British Civilization class. But I am!! It's called Young Masculinities and seriously, I can't wait to get started on it.

Synopsis :

How do boys see themselves? Their peers? The adult world? What are their aspirations? Their fears? Centring on a study in which boys talked openly about such issues as their relationships with parents and friends, "hardness", homophobia and football, and the importance of youth style, "race" and ethnicity, "Young Masculinities" should be of interest to students and researchers in psychology, sociology, gender and youth studies, as well as to those determining social policy on boys and young men.

Doesn't that just sound super interesting? Hush, you silly people who are looking at me weird.

On that note, grammar exam is out of the way, meaning all that's left is exams where we have to write paper and have no time to write them. Yay.

EDIT : OMG that book actually has a section entitled "addressing homophobia in schools". *loves*

Tio Tomas

Jul. 11th, 2006 04:54 pm
greenie_breizh: (nerds rock)
I'm just back from Quinceañera, neutrally translated into "Echo Park, L.A." in French. The movie's brilliant, partly because it's bilingual Spanish/English and seriously, I love that - languages mixing, not only in a conversation, but within a sentence. Also the male lead looks really good, especially when he's shirtless (sadly I haven't yet been able to find caps of him shirtless online).

It's still somewhat of a mystery to me, how close I feel to the characters and the setting, even though I spent barely one week in L.A. and know nothing about being a Mexican teenager there. It still... feels familiar. The whole American culture. The way teens speak, what girls talk about. I probably grew up in the US in another life, that's gotta be the reason.

Somewhat related, just watching the trailer for United 93, which comes out tomorrow here, is scaring me a bit. The potential for pain is, like, HUGE. Scar just waiting to be opened again, and overall it looks like the kind of movie that gets to me. I'm bracing myself for angst, big time.

Also, since this is sort of a geeky/nerdy post... I've started Brave New World, and so far it's not as good as I was hoping for. I should go back to a book for school afterwards, but I kinda want to start The evolution man. Also, I should read in bleedin' FRENCH at some point. Seriously.
greenie_breizh: (radiant)
I told myself I'd post public more often, so here I am with stuff that aren't really personal.

[ profile] twixou mentioned bringing stuff back from Australia and that reminded me of Peter Singers because he's Australian (he's also a utilitarian philosopher and he's really interesting). Which ended up being a bad thing because I bought two more of his books : Practical Ethics and The President of Good and Evil : the Ethics of George W. Bush. I've read a good chunk of Practical Ethics but I can't wait to read the other one. :) (I'd already ordered One World : the ethics of globalization ... Yes, I do like the guy, why are you asking?)

The funny thing is that I spent less than 50 cents on buying the books, and 7 dollars on shipping. Ah, the weirdness greatness of Amazon Marketplace.

Also, check out those AWESOME Firefly cast pictures ([ profile] stampinground, you've got to see Sean Maher on those pics, he's definitely the cutest thing!). Some of them are just priceless. And Sean Maher is adorable (you can't say it too much). I think I'm going to go work on my fic now. :)
greenie_breizh: (upbeat)
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Note to self : when using a clock on British time, do not forget it when you wake up. Might create bad surprises.

Feeling good tonight. I haven't reached the stage where I'm cleaning my appartement, but I've started tidying it up - I'm even going to put my clothes in my closet!! Gosh. Talk about a new stage in life.

Whee, got an email from Hailey today!! It makes me so happy :) Will be answering nice emails tonight, which is always cool.

Btw, got a USB key this weekend - it's awesome. But even better, I went to Gibert tonight (for non-Parisiens people - it's a bookstore downtown) to buy a couple of books for class, and I couldn't resist, I got myself some books from the "Que sais-je" collection : Justice in the US, Population & Environement, American society and political life, and Homoparenthood. Very much looking forward to reading all of them. I was so happy to get all of those that I bought Trois contes by Flaubert because it was real cheap and the Litterature teacher mentioned it this morning. Yay upcoming vacation and free time to do some reading!

Went to France Telecom and changed my account to have a better connection, starting - er, at some point. I also finally got myself a shiny new email, spamless!!! Wow o_o. I'm sending out a general email tonight, so if you don't get anything and want my new email, just let me know here.
greenie_breizh: (close-up kiss)
Feeling a little blah this morning. I think I'm sorta sick... argh. Anyway. Happy cuz I just talked to Andrew who's the best guy ever :) :) Am working my ass off on getting the new version of online for America's morning in a few hours... I erased everything from the previous version and now I'm kinda worried I'm gonna have to do the whole radio blog thing (the program to listen to the musical extracts on the site). Anyway, we'll see.

Life's been good. I saw Glacier on Tuesday and I was so happy. I love that horse too damn much, I really want to ride him again. Or just spend time with him and cuddle him and brush him and all. I'm going to go back, probably once [ profile] fan_elune is back home to not be a pain. On the other end, my dog's being a pain about going out to walk him. Sorry, Caramel. I'll go and crash the bed again before I walk you.

I'm also reading the most interesting book for my August exam. It's called "L'un est l'autre" (One is the Other, I guess) by Elisabeth Badinter, it's basically about male/female relationships across the ages, and just so damn interesting. The bit I've read about marriage really made me think about all that's happening around that. Also, made me thought quite a lot about the fact that we talk about gay male couples more than lesbians, and I think that's because we're so much more afraid of them. Anyway. (On that note, I've taken up again my short story "Lullaby" that I might finish one day.)

On that note, yeaaah!!! The Senate voted down the Federal Marriage Ban, with an actual majority. I was surprised to see that Arkansas's senators both voted it down while one of the senators in Iowa voted for it. Grrr, Iowa. Don't be silly. California's senators voted it down, I think future for gay families over there is looking brigther. Anyway. Let's see what the House does with it. This whole thing is really crazy. We're definitely doing that more quietly here, which is good, but then I have no clue where the whole thing's at, because nobody seems to care too much. Maybe I should look for Tetu or a lesbian mag. Don't know where to find them though.

Off to get a little more sleep or at least bed-warmth while Simon updates like crazy.


greenie_breizh: (Default)

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