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Musings that have been floating around in my brain for the past several months re: fic and changing bodies and identity and gender and how that plays out in different fandoms.

Okay, so you know those fics where X character wakes up or gets zapped by an Ancient machine or magic or what-have-you, and a previously female character ends up in a male body, or a male one ends up in a female body? (I've never read anything where the author tackled intersex people, so I can't speak for those)

It kind of varies between fandoms, but I've been noticing a spate of it in the Japanese/Jpop and Korean/Kpop fandoms I'm in lately. And it happens a lot where when, say a male character wakes up in a female body, suddenly everyone around them is awkward and treats them like they changed genders, and switch pronouns, and that character starts trying to display traits marked as "feminine", and usually somewhere in there we have a party of describing their new appearance (and clothes) and somehow sex ends up getting involved in the name of exploration.

...honestly I am guilty of some that in one fic I wrote, but that fic gave me so much trouble because I was adamant about keeping the pronouns, because in my head I *knew* the characters still thought of themselves as male, they were in essence borrowing the bodies for a while, and deciding to try performing a different gender as part of the experience. But I still felt kinda icky at myself for putting them through that gaze experience of "hey, let's dress you up girly and describe every bit of how you look for the audience now". Sorry for putting you through it, lovely betas! ^^;;

And honestly I should have known better than to call it genderswap, given all the stuff I've done in school about sex and gender not being the same thing. But that was the term available, and I didn't think to try a new or different one. And then I hit Kpop fic and the pronoun-switching was going on all over the place. On second thought, it might with a stretch be considered genderswap because the authors were making their body-switched characters think of themselves as a different gender, and perform a different gender. It still kind of bothered me that the sexswap caused the person to suddenly change their behavior and thought-processes so much, because in most cases I'm not sure the author was trying to discuss issues of gender identity at all.

Anyway, I'd hesitated to post anything about it because while I like being kind of androgynous, I mostly identify female and I don't think of myself as being trans, so I didn't want to speak for that experience.

Luckily! And the point of this post! Iambickilometer made a post called Five+ Ways Being Transgender in Fandom Really Sucks, and Why I Stick With It Anyway and [livejournal.com profile] gyzym linked to it and had some interesting discussion of her own here.

I'm curious about your thoughts? .____.

...love to you all, I'm still alive. ♥
rhythmia: (Default)
Still alive. At some point I should probably post about life.

In the meantime! I found this via friendsfriends and it's very interesting to me. [livejournal.com profile] gnine has this to say:

"As you may or may not know, I’m currently working on my MA in Critical Media and Cultural Studies at University of London, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies). For my thesis, I’m delving into the question of how culture, one’s own, as well as that of the source material one is fanning on, affects how fans identify and interact with said media and the fandoms surrounding them.

I am very aware that academic scrutiny of fandom has at times been…less than pleasant, shall we say. With that in mind, I’d like to make clear that it is not my intent to place fen or fandom under the microscope, but rather to use them as one concrete example in the broader investigation of culture’s impact on the field of media studies."

Here is her survey, and I figure my flist is an interesting spectrum of people, who may also be intrigued by her topic. So. Have at! I already did my tl;dr thing on her post.

I'm curious to see what people say, because I've had interesting experiences being in both Western fandoms and East Asian fandoms and RPF and books and whatnot. Heck, if people want to have discussion here, I'm always up for it. :D

Love to y'all~
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I'll be getting to the comments from the other posts in just a bit. Ehehehe, I don't think I've posted this much since I went to Taiwan last year, and I appreciate the comments and debates going on. Just so you know, I haven't left Arashi behind; there's some stuff in the works but since I've been following what's going on in Iran I haven't quiiiite finished it up yet.

Anyhow, an interesting set of three perspectives in the Room For Debate section of the NYT.

Teaser: We asked three Iranian-American scholars, including two who are writing from Iran, to give their thoughts on what the uprising has revealed about the schisms in Iranian society."

The Arabs' Forlorn Envy of Iranians. It's kind of a provocative title, but the analysis of different views of what's going on in Iran from the perspectives of various Arab nations is quite interesting.

Related to that, The Arab world reacts (or doesn't). In the NYT Room For Debate section.

Mixed Media also takes a look at the varied response in the newspapers in Arab states.

Also, you can always count on the Daily Show for something funny and insightful. Has embedded video. Jon Stewart: "I just want to garden!" Also they manage to interview (in classic Daily Show fashion) three major figures before they got arrested.

Next set of articles are ones I've been bookmarking the past few days, concerning the women's movement in Iran, and women's position.

First up, this one's during the campaign, Zahra Rahnavard's work in her husband Mousavi's campaign. In the LA Times. An interesting comparison with our Secretary of State.

Right after the election, in huffingtonpost: Iranian Women: We Feel Cheated, Frustrated, And Betrayed.

This one's neat: The Lesley Stahl Interview: Christiane Amanpour, at the Height of the Iranian Election Crisis. Eight (short) pages of fascinating interview, including analysis of the Green movement, on the role of women in Iran's history, and her role as a journalist.

And finally, Democracy, made in Iran, from the Guardian on Iran's complicated history with the U.S.

ETA From Narcosphere, Brainstorming Iran: An X-Ray of Immediate History. A more, hmmm. I'm not sure of the proper label that applies, since left-wing doesn't really fit. But an activist view of things? Very interesting breakdown.

ETA 2 Family, friends mourn 'Neda,' Iranian woman who died on video. She's a symbol of the movement now, but this article is about her as a person, before the martyr.

ETA 3 An Exclusive Interview with a Pro-Ahmadinejad Cleric in Qom, Iran. Another viewpoint, though you can kind of tell the interviewer's biases. Read between the lines, as with any of the articles I'm linking.
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First things first: I've been reading various people's concert reports, especially ones by people who've been to Johnny's and non-Johnny's concerts in Japan. And it occurs to me that Johnny's concerts are as much about the spectacle (more, probably :P) as about the music. It makes me think of the days of the Roman empire, and the 'bread and circuses' to keep the masses entertained so they wouldn't get restless and revolt against the emperor.

Only now instead of gladiators and blood, we have pretty boys and sparkles.

That's your thought for the day. :D

Second things second: I've been sitting on this fic for a little while. It's been through beta, so technically it's all right, but I still feel like it's missing something. I'm sloooooowly putting together more parts in my head, but it hasn't made it onto paper yet. So I'm just going to put it out there for now, any thoughts you lovelies have would be awesome.

Title: Girlfriends (School's Not Just For Booklearning)
Fandom: Arashi
Pairings: Gen
Length: Currently approx 2500 words
Summary: On the occasion of [livejournal.com profile] beckerbell’s birthday. ♥ The idea sprung out from a chance comment [livejournal.com profile] still_ciircee made in her journal about wanting to see Nino and Jun as junior high school girlfriends. So…junior high school girl!Arashi AU. There's your warning! Also fulfilling the April (yes, late I know) [livejournal.com profile] kotobayori random word generated fic prompt. My words were: person, transport, tragic, hooey, and foremost.

Notes: Incredible amounts of love and sparkles to [livejournal.com profile] kegom and [livejournal.com profile] waxrose for their input and suggestions and improvements. ♥ Mistakes are still all mine.

Fake cut! In which beginnings…begin, introductions pile up, and don’t believe Kazuko about the microwaves.
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[livejournal.com profile] ontherainbow [livejournal.com profile] ontherainbow[livejournal.com profile] ontherainbow

The best comm joining decision I've ever made, and there's only two posts on the comm so far. :D
A place to discuss lgbt/queer issues in the context of Johnny's Entertainment (my jpop boyband included), and so far there is amazing discussion. Sparklies and intelligent, well-thought out comments, and I'm excited about possible posts to come. Genderswap in fanfiction, attitudes towards RPS, gender and sexuality performance...*gleefully geeks out*

[livejournal.com profile] waxrose, ILU FOR STARTING THIS COMM. ♥
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So I was reading the [livejournal.com profile] je_secrets comm, and the comments because I am masochistic perhaps, it's interesting to see the kind of wankery that people get up to.

And I realized, I am That Kind of Fan. That got into Arashi because of the music.

Yeah, you heard me. XDDD )

Whew, that was long! ^_^;;; So I'm curious. Which are your favorite Arashi songs, and why? I still haven't worked my way through all of Arashi's discography, I think, though I downloaded a lot back when arashianfiles was still up. Discuss! :D
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I'm not cutting this because this is very important to me.

A couple years ago, my friend M introduced me to this amazing animated show called Avatar: The Last Airbender. I was visiting him, he showed me the first episode, and I ended up watching something like four or five episodes in a row before we went for dinner.

Why was I hooked? I was 22 years old at the time, and it was the first time I had ever seen an American cartoon that had dark-skinned characters opening the shot, where their skin color was just part of them and not something to be "A special teaching moment for the white kids", and they were hilarious kids who didn't get killed off. Katara and her brother Sokka had me in the first five minutes.

They were heroes, they coded as Eskimo/Inuit/some flavor of First Nations and their fantasy world drew me in. Aang is a young boy trapped in the ice, they rescue him, and I saw him and was all "jfaojra he's adorable and he looks like a monk-let!"

This was an amazing world with different cultures that I could see were based on East, South, Southeast Asian, Tibetan, First Nations and Native American Indian, and Pacific Islander cultures. I learned from the community that the (white) creators were dedicated to accurately portraying those parts they drew from, and they didn't exoticize them, and they didn't screw it up. *_* This was the characters' world and they lived in it and it wasn't like anyone drawing attention to how cool and Asian it was. *__*

It was an animated show NOT, for once, based on Western/European aesthetics and cultures, and wasn't full of wince-worthy crappy kung fu wannabes. This had martial arts styles I (and my friend M) could actually recognize! :D

And then I learned the movie was coming out. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. And here is what the initial casting (not final, I hope hope hope it's not final) looks like.


I just. I can't. This hurts so much to see. They whitewashed the leads. Completely. And it's like a slap to the face. It's already so rare to see people of color on screen, when a role calls for someone of "any race" it always seems to default to white. People of color get to be thugs, Magical Negroes or Mystical Asian/Indian Wise Man, the sidekicks, the token who gets killed off, the sexy native girl who snarks back and resists the Great White Hero but gets won over and falls in love with him anyway, etc. etc. And now this is a chance to have a full of cast of POC, with awesome roles that aren't stereotypical, for a smart show that has already won over kids and 'grownups' of every age, race and ethnicity.

I call bullshit. Complete bullshit on Hollywood, that you have to have a white face to sell to white audiences. First assuming that the only audience that matters is white, which makes me a nonentity, and then condescending to white people that they're so dumb that they won't watch anything with people that *gasp* don't look like them. Like I've been doing ALL MY LIFE.

You know what's really kind of a shock? Shyamalan is Indian, and he got interested in the project because his daughter wanted to dress up as Katara. Think of all the kids who love this show, who are people of color and get to see characters who look at least a little bit like them, and learn that Hollywood is saying, "No. You don't count, you don't matter."

Once the Christmas retail rush calms a little I'm going to be writing a letter as in the link below, believe you me. Please spread this around, it's not "just a kids show," it's about sending a message that we can't stand for this sort of institutional racism. It's going to be yellowface, people! Orientalism at it's finest!

Links with things to read here:
The Letter Writing Campaign!

Vejiicakes' post
Tablesaw's post
Rawles' post
Angry Asian Man's post
Angry Black Woman's post (faojra I love her writing)

Personal references during the bloghopping:

oyceter's post on films and tv: What These People Need is a Honky

Smillaraaq's post on Native American Indians portrayal in media

A possibly hopeful note from vagabond_sal
Clearinghouse of info at glockgal's place and also here
More links and reactions from jbramx2
Racefail bingo on deadbrowalking comm
Lemon Press's reactions and links
old, but an interview with the creators of Avatar
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I'm not expecting to change anyone's mind about things at this late date, I just have some thoughts that I want to articulate that have been floating around in my mind. I'm letting the outrage simmer on the backburner for a while, though it does power this essay/ramble. ^^

Please be aware that I am willing to discuss things civilly (like an orange), and that I don't have sources and citations to back me up. Just things I've picked up and pulled out of my ass, so if there are facts I get wrong, tell me. ^_^V

I keep hearing ads for Yes on this proposition to Protect Marriage, sponsored by the Knights of something or other on my favorite radio station (which saddens me, but that's funding and advertising for you). And it made me think. Marriage as we know of it, as a bond of love and devotion and so forth, hasn't been around that long. Historically, marriage as an institution is for economic benefit, usually that of the husband's and/or the father/family of the wife. Women are commodities traded around that serve as a symbol of that economic tie. I'm not sure how recent it is, but the romance stuff as a reason to bind people together doesn't seem to me to be a driving force to marriage until the last couple of centuries, maybe? Anyone out there know better?

So my thoughts are, my big thing about marriage here in the United States is that it is tied to a slew of benefits such as reduced income tax, visitation rights in hospitals, power of attorney, custody rights of children, etc., etc. From my limited understanding, civil unions and domestic partnerships don't have the same spectrum of rights. So we have a separate-but-equal situation going on here, and we all know how well that idea goes down now. If the rights were the same across the board and it's just a matter of the term, then I don't care, whatever. But that's not the case.

Personally, I don't have any great attachment to the institution of marriage. From my observations of my family, other people, teevee, for all that marriage ceremonies seem to involve vows and promises, the marriage bond is no guarantee. It's not a guarantee of financial security, or happiness, or any affection at all, or a perfect home life, or even fidelity. Because people are people. We make mistakes. We aren't perfect. So I don't see how "granting" marriage (argh, so condescending) to a group of people in any way threatens marriage for anyone else.

Though that message on the radio having histrionics of 'gay marriage' being taught in schools did mention that certain groups of people were afraid of their children being exposed to gay people and *gasp* thinking that it would be okay to be gay and love each other. I'm thinking though, I was never taught about marriage, period, in the public schools that I attended. I learned a lot about STDs that I think were meant to frighten us into not wanting to have sex, but never about marriage.

If we called them all civil unions or whatever in the eyes of the law, in the sense that whoever is on either side of the partnership, the laws and benefits apply the same, that would be great. Then there could be separate religious/secular ceremonies that have more emotional impact for the people involved, for people to celebrate their bonds with each other.

Our bonds to our special people are precious, right? No matter what the gender is of the special person. So if some religions don't want to offer that particular ceremony, yes we could cry discrimination, but then again, freedom of religion. I feel that they would be the poorer for not providing a place to share in that joy for the people who believe in that religion, for better or worse, but that would be the way the religion goes. I'm not very firm in my argument here, hehe.

Anyhow, if anyone else has a better way of understanding the arguments for 8, I'd be interested in hearing them, because right now I'm just sort of confused about the logic there. I voted no on proposition 8, because we need to get beyond this discriminatory behavior. I personally am a very strong supporter of queer rights. You may not like the idea of gay people (or trans, or queer, or--) getting married, because the institution is tied to religion and your flavor of religion doesn't acknowledge gay people. But this is an issue of economic benefits, civil rights, as much as anything else, and taking rights away from a group of people does us all harm.

To end on a slightly silly note, think of it this way: Gay people getting married means they get to enjoy all the trials and tribulations of het people getting married. Including divorce and lawyers, trying to coordinate two sets of families joining together without crazy Uncle Lee dumping soup on Auntie May at the reception, and trying to decipher joint tax returns. :P

Okay, have at with the tomatoes!
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*dies and is dead*

Article on asexuality here: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6533

And clothing options: "one T-shirt proclaims, “Asexuality: It’s not just for amoebas anymore,” and there’s a thong that reads, “It’s only underwear. Get over it.”"

I really want this T-Shirt now. XDDD

*reads more articles* And wow, AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network) was founded right around when I was first looking into research about asexuality, about four years ago. Hah, remember those conversations, Lichi? :P

Another t-shirt: "Just lie back and think of England. Yeah right." Heeee!

Reference for me: article about Boston marriage: http://www.msmagazine.com/june01/marriage.html
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I was link hopping and read a fascinating article today, "You Walk Wrong" in New York Magazine, here: http://nymag.com/health/features/46213/

First off- the trompe l'oeil pictures of shoes painted on people's bare feet were cooooool. :D

Second- the article was an interesting read. The author discussed how human feet have developed over time for walking bare over various surfaces, and then human ingenuity devised shoes that have screwed us up wonderfully. Not a terribly academic article, but that's not the point. He mentioned different studies of how going around in bare feet or less cushioned shoes, at least, are better for foot health and health in general. That's because heavily cushioned, arch supporting shoes etc. block your feet from feeling the ground, so you undercompensate when you step and land more heavily, which just puts more pressure on your feet and bones and throws your body's alignment out of whack.

Third- the comments were a great mix of trolls hysterically capslocking about how people who agreed with the author were college educated liberal idiots, people calmly discussing the points made in the article, people talking about their feet problems and how they did or didn't solve them through orthotics(sp?), going barefoot, trying different types of shoes; people looking for good shoes, and people who were plugging the barefoot lifestyle. I learned a lot. :P

Fourth- It made me think about my feet, shoes and walking habits. At my house, I always always take my shoes off and go barefoot or in socks in the winter, indoors and in the backyard. It didn't occur to me that not everyone did that until I visited a more Americanized friend's house and they told me to keep my shoes on. In a house that had carpet. o.o I personally love the feel of stuff under my feet, though I'm not fond (or advocating) walking on asphalt bare. That's not fun at all. :\

Speaking of not fun, one commenter talking about a paradigm shift, of not just changing our shoe wearing habits, but changing the urban surfaces we walk on. Everything so flat now, paved asphalt, concrete, hardwood floors, linoleum, etc. that isn't kind to feet, shod or not. And someone mentioned the fact that several jobs involve standing in one place for hours at a time. I had a hard time doing that when I was taking choir, or standing to watch a concert; it's kinda murder on my heels.

A pondery question: I notice with my sneakers and now my flat work shoes- they wear on the outside, because of the way I walk. Like, they start tilting to the outside of my feet, and getting further unbalanced because obviously I'm not walking on the arched inside. Anyone else do that?

Also, I hate flip flops because it makes me walk with my toes gripping the front so they don't fall off, and then I get tension all up the top of my foot from that. Is there a better way to walk in those? I get the same problem with heeled shoes or shoes with no straps, like most work shoes where the top is open. It makes me floppy walk because I'm stepping *out* of my shoes since they don't follow my foot as it rolls across from heel to toe. Suggestions?
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I've survived my first week as manager! I've scheduled myself the day off Sunday! \o/

And all in all, not horrible. Narrowly averted a personnel crisis, spent the first three days trying to figure out why our printer was leaving scratches on photographs (and solved it, I hope *crosses fingers*), was up to my elbows in processor racks cleaning them out in the course of solving the above problem, sold a couple little cameras (>.<) and delegated training of new folks to the veteran personnel. I'm alive. *flop*

To steal a line from [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli, I think, it's kinda hard to rebel against The Man when you are The Man. It sucks. I was forcibly reminded of that my first two days. My brain is a crazy, twisty place, in that I've spent a fair amount of time being anti-corporate America, and cognizant of the fact that capitalism and the continued health and welfare of human beings are two relatively mutually exclusive concepts. And yet, and yet, as soon as I became a manager, I kinda forgot that. Somebody needs to kick my hard in the pants. A lot. I owe a lot to my mom for helping me figure things things out the first night I came back, so that I wouldn't do anything irreparably stupid.

So yes. People, please tell me when I am being corporately stupid. :\

And below the cut, I shall meander on about fandom ^_^ )

Love to everybody, hope you're doing well, since I'm bad at keeping in touch. If you made it through all that tl;dr since I'm in the habit of talking a lot, hats off to you! :P
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This is sort of for my personal log (since my memory sucks sometimes) and for the amusement and edification of all bystanders watching this car wreck. XD Written sort of in flowchart/bulletpoint style, because I'm trying to wean myself from writing humongous endless paragraphs. :P Also a note: I'm not that stalkery, really! I'm just trying to be complete in my links, and to see if I can lure anyone of you darlings into my fandoms. XDDDDD

~*~ So I'm somewhere between a fandom butterfly and a fandom wolf; I'll change fandoms every so often but I'll keep them for a long time and go back to them from time to time. For my purposes, I'm tracing this as far back as when I got into Stargate: Atlantis fandom two and a half years ago (fall 2005) which I blame entirely on [livejournal.com profile] yaviasad. It's adventuring! In Space! With Pseudoscience and Gay Gay Subtext! That and the strong sense of Team feeling completely pulled me in.

~*~> And what do I do in a fandom? Search out the good fanfic, of course. The marvelous thing about SGA fandom is that writers and artists have flocked to it from lots of other fandoms, so there's almost a surfeit of riches in terms of amazing stuff to read, great art to giggle or sigh over, podfic, and so forth. In my bouncing around, I landed on the lj of [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine, a hilarious person who recommends fics, fanvids, manga series, lots of things. Her recs are so fun (and funny) to read! About the middle post of this tag in July or August 2006 was at the top when I found her in September, which launched me into another fandom.

~*~> Hikaru no Go! ([livejournal.com profile] erjika will tell you that I'm always the last to get into a fandom, because when I found this one I remembered some of the art I'd seen as the header on her blog. About, oh, six or seven years ago. ^^;;; It's a series about a boy who is possessed by a thousand-year-old ghost so he can play Go, an ancient strategy game. But really, it's about how this boy Hikaru meets a Go-obsessed twelve-year-old named Akira, gets him as a rival, develops passion for something, and grows up. (It's neat the way this manga covers time, by the time it's over they're about sixteen/seventeen). There's heated rivalry! Silly ghosts! Angst! Did I mention rivalry to the point that they're practically married?

~*~> Through this fandom I found [livejournal.com profile] mousapelli, whose Hikaru no Go fic, among other fandoms, can be found here and also on her lj. You know how there are some authors whose writing you'll read no matter what, regardless of fandom, because their writing is just that good/entertaining/captivating/alive? From her HnG fic I started browsing her other stuff, and the top couple of posts on her lj include You Can't Help But Grow Hot, fic of Arashi + concert high. I had no idea who these people were, but the immediacy of the writing, the way they felt concrete and real, the nakamaship and team feeling all just pulled me in.

\/\/-> And here's where I take a little detourand I cut because it's already getting long and afoiajfljroagor )

~*~> So yes, that there's the path of my doom. These five guys are hilarious, dorky, really care about each other even (especially) when whacking each other for saying dumb/pervy/ridiculous things, smoking hot, and even though they're definitely not the most talented singers and dancers of the talent agency, for sure they've got a lot of heart. (And are very, very entertaining. XD)

Maybe if I'm bored I'll insert a helpful flowchart. ^_^ I hope you loves were entertained and possibly intrigued, but I'll settle for amused at my expense while I flail over boys dancing over rainbows. With sparkles and shiny.
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I'm sure it says something about me (what, I leave up to you to decide) that even when I'm daydreaming, i.e. a situation where I can control what happens or where a story goes, I can't get a story to go porny. _-_

No, seriously. )
All of which only serves to reinforce my conclusion that I should leave the porn-writing to the fanficcers who can do it, heheheh. XD And also shows the world that I sure have some interesting issues. No surprise that while I like PWP stories, I get bored with that quickly and prefer plotty and/or character driven fics, and I'm more into gen, crack and not!quite!romances and nakama-shippy stories? XD
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So I was reading through [livejournal.com profile] mistful's journal and got sucked into a couple of essays she wrote about children's books such as The Secret Garden and hilarious reviews of various YA fantasy novels.

And it got me thinky. Below is thinky (well, it's squee liberally laced with thinky). )

Here below is a brief (hah!) list of some children/YA fantasy that left a deep impression on me. So, what's your list? Any recommendations?

Bring on the books! )

Okay, that's enough verbiage for now. But yes! I want to hear from you, have you read YA novels? What sorts of books have left deep impressions on you? Any recommendations? Want to convince me that adult fiction isn't all bad? Get to it! :P
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No Pity. No Shame. No Silence.

There go I, but for the grace of...Somebody. To the best of my knowledge, I've never been assaulted, sexually or otherwise. But people that I know and care about, women and men, have had other human beings abuse them, assault them, rape them. Their stories are not mine to tell. Perhaps luckily, perhaps only because I am dense, perhaps because we live in a culture of silence on these things, the stories I *do* personally know are few.

So. I cannot personally bear witness to being a survivor. But I can stand up and say that I am an ally, a support. And that we must raise awareness, so that no one can be made to feel and believe that they are alone, that no one would believe. Someone on that lj thread mentioned that the statistic was 1 in 4 women have been raped/sexually assaulted. Someone else believes the number to be *inverted*, in their experience.

Something else to think about: suppose people, men and women, who have been sexually assaulted (in the various ways the people on the thread tried to define it) turned blue for a day, or did something in solidarity. I believe there would be more than the statistics say.

And if the people, men and women, who committed the assault(s), were to turn blue for a day, I believe there would be far more than you would think. Think about it.

I'm still pondering. Reading the threads has made for a sobering, anger-on-others'-behalf, depressing, and yes, hopeful experience. And I'm still wondering what I can do to contribute. Suggestions are welcome.

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