keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
* Via Fancy Brand, prolific tumblelog by a friend of mine: a Tibetan musical score.

* Cardboard sculptures--just amazing, the level of detail.

* Video of a wheelchair dance competition.

* A flash-style piece by [ profile] shweta_narayan on Strange Horizons, "Charms."

* Also on SH--"Origin" by Ari Goelman, a superhero story that I actually like.

* The 3rd Asian Women's Blog Carnival! Especially check out [ profile] laleia's post on perfect Chinese daughters (so, so true) and a riveting trailer for the film version of The Stoning of Soraya M. It's rated R, and though I'm normally not a fan of violence or horror, I really want to see this. Unfortunately, it's only showing in select theatres and none of them near me (not even in Philly).
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
A thought that has fluttered through my head several times, having just been captured: what kind of "space" is the Internet? If someone makes a public blog post or a public comment, is that content automatically public? Obviously you can't plagiarize, the words are still inherently copyrighted, etc. But what about linking, referencing, alluding to? On one extreme, the right of free press is vital; what if any author had the legal right to request that a negative review of his/her book be taken down? And on the other extreme, if one is compiling a blog carnival or a linkspam or whatever, is there an expectation of permission first? How does this interact with privilege?

I've always operated on the assumption that any public post is just that--public, free to briefly quote and free to link to. In fact, I find policies specifically requesting that linkers ask permission first to be kind of presumptous--like the author of a published book asking that all reviewers run their reviews by him/her first (thereby filtering out unwanted or negative reviews). Even if this never becomes ingrained in law, the very expectation in etiquette remains problematic in the context and spirit of freedom.

Thoughts? Disagreements? I don't pretend to know much of anything about this matter, except what is "logical" to me (and what I find logical is inherently shaped by my experiences, majority/minority/etc.).

Comments are screened. Civility rules, as always, but feel free to disrespect me civilly.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
* Greta Christina talks about subtle homophobia in the professional dance world, specifically "So You Think You Can Dance."

* A New Jersey med student is expelled for calling himself a "white African-American." (No, he's not from South Africa; apparently he is the third generation of a Portuguese family in Mozambique, where he was born and raised.)

ETA:* 2nd Asian Women of Color Carnival!

In happier news...

* Higher education's best new staircase, aka some very good architecture porn. Apparently Caltech has the most entertaining new staircase at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics--heads-up [ profile] yhlee, do report back if you visit!

* Another one for you, [ profile] yhlee: a musical synthesizer toy, innovative and dead-simple for those of us without compositional skills.

* Transcription of a speech on new methods for humanities research. I've only skimmed, but looks really interesting.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
* I have 3 Dreamwidth invite codes to give out, anyone want? Comment with your email address (comments are screened) and I will update here with the number remaining. ETA: Gone already! That was fast.

* Vermont legalizes gay marriage through a legislative override of a governor veto. [ profile] seth_dickinson is proud, I'm sure.

* Voluntary Human Extinction Movement!

* Via [ profile] yhlee and VSL, a neat musical game called BallDroppings.

* On AmazonFail/TrollWin: [ profile] mac_stone alerts me first to [ profile] markprobst's post, Amazon Follies. [ profile] fireriven then points me to [ profile] rosefox's linkage summary; Dear Author also chimes in. Finally, [ profile] tehdely points out the traits of trolling, Bantown, and similarity to Strikethrough; over at [ profile] brutal_honesty, [ profile] weev claims responsibility for propagating the lulz.

* Via [ profile] netmouse from [ profile] racism_101, an illuminating pictorial comparison of AvatarFail. Racebending has also started a petition.

* Belatedly, the first Asian Women's Carnival is just awesome. I've collected a lot of good stuff from that and previous RaceFail fallout; there's enough for one loooong Link Anthology, even discounting the ones I want to discuss in full-length posts. Haven't decided yet whether the discussion will be flocked.

* In non-activism news, an interesting article about linguistics and speech development, courtesy of StumbleUpon.

* Also via StumbleUpon, trees in stitches!

* ZOMG CUTE Tweenbots--little cardboard robots in NYC--via [ profile] yhlee and others.

* [ profile] nihilistic_kid talks about how to write a term paper.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
* ZOMG CUTE GAMES. Orisinal is amazing. Especially check out Winter Bells and Panda Run. SO CUTE.

* Via VSL: click bored. No seriously.

* Also VSL, a bicycle built for two thousand. Music autoplay warning.

* [ profile] fireriven shares her beautiful Postcards from a Traveling Oracle: To Nine Sisters, from Kyoto.

* Over at [ profile] ivoryink, my list of memorable quotes has been updated.

* Via [ profile] yhlee, free soundtrack/writing music: Planescape Torment, complete.

* [ profile] buymeaclue writes a overjoyed, optimistic open letter from Massachusetts to Iowa and Vermont et. al. Also [ profile] diatryma: Iowa has legalized same-sex marriage! We'll see if it survives legislative challenges, but I have hope.

* Via [ profile] yeloson, a ridiculous example of anti-immigrant bias and racism in public school bureaucracy.

* The UNESCO atlas of endangered languages.

* Via [ profile] meganbmoore, mindmelting cuteness. Not interactive, alas; but it's real!
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
All Girls: Single-sex Education and Why It Matters
by Karen Stabiner
320 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Nonfiction/Education

My recent SHP summer class inspired me to read up more on education, and this book has a secondary focus on college--one of my pet research kinks. I was hoping to find insight into the women's vs. coed dilemma; however, All Girls is concerned with single-sex middle/high schools. One is a selective public NYC high school for disadvantaged girls (the first class is entirely minority), while the other is a prestigious West-coast private school with a history of single-sex education dating back to the "finishing school" era. If that sounds interesting, then you should read the book, because Stabiner does a decent job with the political and gender aspects. All Girls didn't quite meet my needs but I nevertheless enjoyed reading it, although it was perhaps a little slow-paced in exhaustively describing every character's personal history. I found the college acceptances and decisions fascinating, which I'm sure will surprise no one.

Good for education or college geeks, as well as feminists.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

[ profile] livelongnmarry, co-modded by the lovely [ profile] rachelmanija, is hosting a fandom auction to raise money for marriage equality, particularly the nasty bit of state-constitution revision coming up in California.

What is this?
Live Long And Marry is a fandom auction to benefit marriage equality. Bidding begins on July 1, 12:01 Pacific Time, 2008, and closes on July 15, 12:01 Pacific Time, 2008. Please do not bid until bidding opens.

What's the cause?
The auction will raise money for the fight against the California initiative which will legally destroy existing same-sex marriages and ban any further ones. If the initiative passes, it will write discrimination into the state constitution, annull existing marriages, and make Mr. Sulu cry.

How can I help?
You can bid on fanfic, original fic, vids, cookies, memorabilia, critique/betas, and much more! Or you can offer your skills and services as a writer, vidder, baker, knitter, or whatever else you'd like.

I'm really tempted by [ profile] yhlee's PK!fic offer. Because Paper Knives is awesome!

Am contemplating an offer of my own, but I don't think any of my skills are really up to marketable quality. I can't write on demand (Yuletide was... scary), and my critting is very casual and amateur. Alas.

And yes, I'm tagging this 'sexism.' It does qualify under the etymological definition, perhaps maybe?
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
From, of all places, the evening news: In Saudi Arabia, a female rape victim is punished for speaking out.

I was aware that equal rights for women are nonexistent in Saudi Arabia, but I never knew it was this bad. As it stands, it's basically impossible for a woman to see her rapist prosecuted; she's more likely to be convicted herself for "illegal mingling." The story chills me to the bone, because I've always taken certain rights for granted. Even in Communist China, the law is more fair and their justice is absolutely just in comparison.


Oct. 4th, 2007 07:58 pm
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Via telophase: Why it's too much trouble to educate girls past the 5th grade. Go read and think about it; the author speaks more eloquently than I can hope to.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Magic's Child
by Justine Larbalestier
291 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/YA

This is the last book in the Magic or Madness trilogy, which I've grown to like but still remains fluff. Not a bad thing; my brain is fried right now for concentrating on anything serious. The magic system and talents are original--Tom's magic is with clothes, for instance. Reason, who underwent a major change in Book II, must deal with the repercussions, and the nature of magic is finally revealed (in part). I felt like the revelation should have had more impact than it did, but the ending is surprising with realistic choices. However, I also felt that it was too open for the end of a trilogy--too many loose ends made it not completely satisfying.

Perhaps my strongest impression of this series is how Larbalestier plays with the usual YA rules on morality. Teenage relationships and pregnancy are starkly portrayed but not in an obivously negative light. Instead of telling her readers "Don't have sex!" Larbalestier shows the consequences of the act, both negative and positive. Although I don't support it personally, it's great to see someone at least acknowledge the happy side of teen pregnancy.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Women in the Material World
by Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel
255 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Nonfiction/Photojournalism

A sequel to the much-acclaimed Material World, which I haven't read yet. But I did read another photojournalism book by D'Aluisio and Menzel (Hungry Planet) and this covers several of the same families--Bhutan and Mali are the ones that stand out in my memory, but probably others. The sparse, unannotated interviews are incredibly revealing, and I think the authors did a decent job of balancing happy/unhappy situations. There are women dominated by their husbands (India, Mexico) and women on a surprisingly equal footing (Albania). The text is sometimes disturbing but always illuminating. I leave you with two quotes from the Haiti couple, who are deeply in love:

What would you change about your life if you could?
Madame Dentes Delfoart: "I cannot change my life." [96]

What are your hopes for the future?
Dentes Delfoart (husband): "Tomorrow I could be dead. Whatever I find tomorrow, I will take it but I cannot hope for anything." [99]

As I said, an illuminating look at different perspectives around the world. Highly recommended.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Between Worlds: Women Writers of Chinese Ancestry
by Amy Ling
212 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Nonfiction

I have to return this to the library tomorrow, and unfortunately I'm only on Chapter 3 of 5. But I'll try my best to review it fairly, because it's definitely worthwhile reading for educating oneself on both racism and sexism. A Chinese woman suffered from two major oppressions: by the males of her own race, and by white people regardless of gender. The writing style is academic but accessible.

1. Writing As Rebellion, Historical and Contextual Backgrounds
An introduction of sorts, covering background information. Oriental stereotypes in the West, sexism in China, and the few Chinese-American women writers are all discussed. Very useful overview.

2. Pioneers and Paradigms: The Eaton Sisters
An entire chapter is devoted to analyzing the Eurasian sisters Edith and Winnifred Eaton, also known by the pen names Sui Sin Far and Onoto Watanna, respectively. Ling discusses at length the reasoning, implications, and consequences of the sisters' differing choices--Edith intentionally chose a Chinese-sounding name and aimed to become a martyr for the Chinese cause in America, while Winnifred chose to take on a Japanese identity and thus made a living off writing romance novels. The sisters, born of an American father and Chinese mother, also each wrote an autobiography (but again differing greatly) which sheds some light upon their choices.

In particular, the discussion of Chinese people being seen as heathens "in desperate need of Christian salvation" (48) disturbed me, not least because I don't believe that religion is necessary to be civilized and moral. And miscegnation, that term so debated in recent times, is also mentioned in telling how the interracial romances in Onoto Watanna's novels were acceptable "as long as the couple was white male/Japanese female" (51). In other words, as long as the white male was shown in a position of power and the Asian female as a stereotype.

3. Focus on China: Stances Patriotic, Critical, and Nostalgic
I am only on page 63, a little into this chapter, but it looks to be about exaclty what the title indicates. Detailed discussion of several Chinese-American writers and relevant themes in their writings.

4. Focus on America: Seeking a Self and a Place
From skimming, there is one section that I want to paraphrase. In discussing the autobiography Echo of a Cry by Mai-mai Sze, Ling quotes Sze after she purposefully sits next to a black woman in the cafeteria at college: "['Colored people'] still implies inferiority of a kind, doesn't it, as if 'colored people' were not up to others? When you think of it, we're all colored except the pure white man. And is there such a thing?" (107-8) That made me think of the widely used term POC (people of color), which suffers from the same negative connotation--but there isn't really a term to replace it yet, so we keep using it. (Although [personal profile] yhlee's "chromatic" shows promise.)

5. Righting Wrongs by Writing Wrongs
A difficult chapter to describe, but I will say that the conclusion on pages 177-9 speaks eloquently about the "between-world condition" of Chinese women in America.

The annotated bibliography on pages 191-9 is far too long to reproduce here, but I'll list authors cited under the cut so that the interested may seek out their work (though if you're that interested, I highly recommend reading this book first, at least the annotations).

And I'll note that my own family name appears above. But more importantly--what does it say, that all the known female Chinese-American writers can be named in a manageable list?
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Via StumbleUpon, surprisingly enough: The Male Privilege Checklist.


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January 2011



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