It's time for another speedlinking post, in which I share some cool stuff I've found on the internet during the past year. Allonsy!
Someone managed to capture photos of Paul Bettany (aka Vision) on set filming The Avengers: Infinity War, and I am about to die I am so afraid what's going to happennnnnnnnnn?!???!?!! (Yeah, those photos aren't that exciting, but they remind me of the fact that there's a movie. With Vision. And Wanda. And it's probably going to be devastating. QUICK, THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS!)
*Spoilers for The Phantom of the Opera; long post ahoy*
I recently read Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, the classic novel upon which the musical (and the movie musical) is based. I'd heard that the book was much darker, but in my opinion, the musical actually followed the novel quite well. The main difference, which leads me to prefer the movie musical, is that the musical focuses more on Christine's perspective, whereas the book focuses on Raoul's. In fact, the musical gives more focus and importance to all the female characters, compared to the novel.
It got me thinking, again, about how The Phantom of the Opera musical lends itself to a feminist interpretation. In fact, in watching the 2004 movie, I've always seen one of the central meanings as being focused on the difficult choice that women have faced throughout history, and many still face today: what role to play.
As I said in last Saturday's post, it matters a lot to me that I get to share my experiences with fibromyalgia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I want there to be greater awareness and understanding. I want people like me to be able to look out into the world and see that there are ways to survive.
With that in mind, I'm creating this masterpost which links to all my posts related to fibro, OCD, and other chronic conditions. Further resources are listed at the bottom. I will regularly update this list, so that it can remain the central hub for my disability experience.
Wordy Wednesday: Two Poems 4/8/15
On Alternative Medicine 5/6/15
Thoughts of a Struggling Fibromyalgic 9/11/16
Thoughts of a Struggling Fibromyalgic, Pt. Two 11/19/16
Facing the Pain 2/18/17
Fibromyalgia: My Story 9/21/12
Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 5/15/13
Stream of Consciousness: LDS Youth Trek 1/8/14
VLOG: Fibromyalgic Beauty Routine 10/24/15
Fun with Disabilities! (via Supernatural Gifs) 11/14/16
*Long post ahoy.*
Hey, guys! So this is sort of a follow-up on my last fibromyalgia post, hence the title. It'll probably be less organized than that one, but I hope it still makes sense.
As you know, I’ve been struggling a lot the past year with my fibromyalgia, which has been worsening since I got it in 2009. It took a few big leaps in the last little while. As such, since I graduated from college, I’ve been much sicker.
*Long post ahoy*
For well over a year, I have been struggling.
Struggling isn't new for me. I developed OCD at the age of eight, which led to BDD and codependence at the age of eleven, suicidal ideation at the age of thirteen, and trichotillomania/dermatillomania at the age of seventeen. I wasn't diagnosed, and therefore didn't get treatment, until the age of nineteen. I still have to contend with my OCD, most especially the tricho/derma aspect, daily. My family is a hotbed of mental illness and confusion, and on top of those things, I dealt with the (unpleasant) average amount of bullying and academic pressure and friend issues growing up.
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is a general back to school theme. I've posted a couple of times about my concerns with the lack of diversity in the classical canon, so I thought today I'd share my Top Ten Classics Not Written by White Men. Here are some diverse picks to round out your English education!
(Unfortunately, because in my education I lacked proper exposure, most of these books are by white women, not people of color. I am always looking for recommendations for PoC classics. Also note that I'm including an asterisk by the titles that I was exposed to within my formal education for your reference.)
1) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. All of Austen's work is fun and clever, a great addition to the classical canon that presents a more feminine and romantic angle. (Seriously, Austen's sass is inspiring. Not to mention, she turns the tables by repeatedly failing the reverse Bechdel Test--her books are all about them women.) Pride and Prejudice* is the obvious choice, and I'd recommend it for sure, but Mansfield Park is my personal favorite!
Now that I'm essentially done with my schooling, I figured it was an appropriate time to revisit this post, where I analyzed my Goodreads "school required reads" shelf for diversity. I came up sadly lacking then, which was very frustrating to me. This past semester, I returned to school totally worn down by the prevalence of the white male voice in my education, expecting it to be the same--but luckily, thanks to the fact that three of the classes I was taking focus mostly on modern literature, it wasn't as bad.
But... it's still pretty darn bad. We can and we need to do better. I'm a supporter of We Need Diverse Books, and I think that campaign is particularly important when it comes to schools. What are we teaching children when we only analyze literature written from the white male perspective? Even if we're providing plenty of diverse books for students to read in their free time, this makes it seem as though diverse literature doesn't have any 'literary merit' (a phrase I hate in the first place because snobbery, but ces la vie). We need to share and seriously discuss the perspectives of marginalized groups in our English classes, to show students that we know these perspectives matter and that they need to empower themselves to have empathy for all kinds of people.
Below are a bunch of charts showing the stats for all the book-length reads I was exposed to in the educational system, from elementary school through my undergrad experience at BYU-I. (There were many more individual poems, short stories, and essays, but I didn't keep track of all of those.) Author stats are based off of the available information I have for them, so they may not be 100% correct in the case of those who "pass." There is one data point for each book unless otherwise specified, with 136 books in total. If there are any discrepancies, I apologize! This took a ton of work, and I got lost a few times, haha.
*Long post ahoy*
Hello friends! I've talked before a couple of times about tropes and plot devices that I dislike, but there are a few that I think need more extensive examination, partly because they have important social justice ramifications. As such, I'm presenting you with Kill the Trope, a series examining problematic tropes! Today, as indicated by your votes, I'm kicking it off with the Strong Female Character.
How many characters in recent popular media can you name as "strong female characters?" There's been a major surge of this in recent decades, primarily through science fiction movies like Star Wars and The Hunger Games. These women kick butt, save the day, start revolutions, keep up with the best of the men, don't let their girly feelings get in the way...
...there's the problem. Do you see it?
*TRIGGER WARNING FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT, ASSAULT, AND BULLYING*
Every so often, people will tell me that the fact that my trust level with men I don't really know is always at Base 0 (i.e. assume he could be a murderer-rapist-jerk and act with due caution) is reverse sexism. Or they'll say that I'll never find the boyfriend I want so badly if I keep being so picky, that my standards are too high. Other times, they tell me that feminism is no longer a necessary social movement, that sexism is over (and then they start half-yelling about the wage gap being a myth in the middle of class and I have to leave crying because I have a flashback FUN PARTY TIMES).
These statement are always incredibly infuriating, because they so deeply invalidate my experience as a woman dealing with men in modern society. The fact of the matter is that men pose to a very real threat to women today, a threat that the very real sexism in our society encourages and ignores. I have been a victim of this. All women have been a victim of this, and because it's a reality, we have to act accordingly: with caution towards the individual and feminist awesomeness towards the society. I've talked plenty about the second, and will continue to do so, but today, here's some thoughts on the first: here are some of the reasons why women like me have to be cautious of men.
LONG POST AHOY* Hey guys. So in last week's post, I talked a bit about how I've fallen into "White Man Fatigue" and how it's making this semester (which, to be fair, is only on its second week) more difficult for me. This past week has been a roller-coaster in regards to that, so I wanted to share some more thoughts on the subject.
Coming into this semester, my last semester at BYU-Idaho, I'd reached my peak limit on White Maleness. Important note: I don't have it as rough as many, many others do. I'm privileged to be a upper-middle class white person living in the U.S. who has dealt with only a fraction of the many trials there are in this world. I recognize this.
Nonetheless, I have known many men who have been less than respectful towards me, as a young (disabled, mentally ill) woman, and from a young age, I've experienced emotional abuse with lasting, traumatic effects, effects that I will have to combat for the rest of my life. I'm lucky to have found, when I was only eleven years old, a resource that gave name to the reality of this abuse, and even more lucky to have had a lasting interest in psychology and social justice that has given me the tools to properly overcome it. So many women around the world will grow up never knowing how unhealthy their situation is, how much better they deserve as human beings with beautiful souls, and without proper education, they will follow that pattern for the rest of their lives. They will suffer for the rest of their lives, never having the chance to reach their full potential, never knowing there is something better. Because of my education, I have a good chance at avoiding that fate.
Hello! I've had quite a couple of days here. So far I'm happy with the set-up for my final semester at BYU-Idaho, so that's good. I also have been provisionally accepted to grad school through San Jose State's online Library Science program, pending my final undergrad grades, and I was interviewed for the Ch1Con Blog Tour on Christina's blog yesterday!
In less happy news, I got sexually harassed on the Internet today. I know I'm lucky in that, despite how openly I talk about social justice, I've only had a handful of people bursting in to try and shut me up with their nastiness. Of course, incidents like that all suck, so. That somewhat brings me to today's Top Ten Tuesday topic! (yay?)
Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I'm not feeling their topic for today, so I'm going back to the topic I missed last week with Top Ten Books That All _____ Should Read. Teen girls have to deal with a lot in their lives, including sexual harassment, and they deserve to be lifted up and supported. As such, I'm sharing ten books that Teen Girls should read for encouragement and inspiration.
*LONG POST AHOY* Ableism, like many other forms of prejudice and marginalization, is woven into our society. As such, each one of us has imbibed the rhetoric of ableism, each one of us holds ableist beliefs, and we're all prone to saying things that are wrong, even though most of us don't want to be hurtful or offensive towards people with disabilities or mental illnesses. This holds true for disabled and mentally ill people as well as people with no experience in the area--that's how insidious and deep the effect is. When you're so surrounded by these prejudices, you're bound to be affected by it, no matter your station in life.
That's why it's so important that people listen to those who are underprivileged and marginalized, that they respect their stories and feelings, and that they acknowledge that each one of us knows only a limited amount about the human experience--and that one part of the human experience is how prejudice and marginalization feels and looks for different groups. That's why the language of social justice matters. That's also why it's so important for those who know better to call out instances of prejudice, such as ableism, where they recognize it. Society will not change, people's intrinsic attitudes will not change, unless pushed to do so.
Naturally, when ableist beliefs are widespread in a society, they also affect subcultures in that society. Religion is one example. Whatever the true beliefs and nature of any religion, the people practicing it will be affected by the prejudices of the society they are part of. As such, religion has its own set of ableist rhetoric that must be combated, on top of the more 'regular' ableist rhetoric that will also appear in congregations where ableist culture has a grip.
Time for my second speedlinking post! I'll share some of the coolest stuff I've seen around the Internet lately for you guys to check in on: publishing world, fandom, and more.
First, at the beginning of the month, this happened: a YA book at auction with thirteen publishing houses! You might not know a lot about publishing, but let me tell you, if you have thirteen publishing houses vying for a deal with you, that is big news. Also cool was Angela's encouraging tweet afterwards:
As a fan of The Hunger Games on Pinterest, I come across a lot of cool fan theories and fan art about the series, which is, of course, the main reason why I'm on there. Sometimes, though, I catch stuff that I don't agree with, and sometimes, I see things that make me upset. The main one is as follows:
As a major Peeta fangirl, someone with a mental illness, and a social justice advocate, this downright ticks me off. I started seeing it first after the Catching FIre movie came out with screenshots of the end saying "This is the last time we see the real Peeta!" and it made uncomfortable, right from the start. As we got through the two Mockingjay movies, and as I became more versed in social justice talk, I realized exactly what it was that was so problematic about it, and, as I said, got mad.
So I did this post a while back, talking about the little details of life in various situations and with various identities. These bits of 'incidental diversity' create the real vibrant picture writers need in their work when invoking experiences that they themselves might not have. I shared in that post some examples of incidental diversity in my own life, but there were so many that I've now got this second post, with the leftover details of life as me. Enjoy, and add your own if you've got them! I'll see you Saturday for a 'taking stock' post. Also, please vote in the poll on the bottom on what I should post for a Wordy Wednesday next week!
Living in Los Alamos
- Living two miles from a nuclear waste facility and being totally chill about it; hiking on a trail that's
technically a range where undeployed grenades and other explosives might be hiding
- Hikers, bikers, and rock-climbers everywhere
- Being resigned to the fact that you have to take an extra half-hour to get anywhere because the
pueblos that surround you don't want roads cutting through their land
- Asians and white people everywhere
- Hearing terrifying urban legends as a child about what happens if you get too close to uranium; also,
aliens. Glowing. Radiation. Spooooooooooky.
- Nerddom is celebrated, but you have to be able to recite lots of digits of pi to be taken seriously
- AP = normal person track. Regular classes = below average person track. Going to college is usually a
very nice surprise for Los Alamos kids, because they realize they're not as stupid as they thought.
Unless they're going to a fancy Ivy League school, which a fair number do, because at an Ivy, there is
ALWAYS somebody smarter than you. Or so I hear.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, on medical leave from my Master's program. I love music, psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm a huge fangirl. Basically, stories are my life.
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