9 comments posted · 5 followers · following 0

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 8 replies · +3 points

Not quite. I'd written it...pretty shortly after they posted it, realized I had to wait to post it until I was not in a dead zone to post it because traveling, read the conversation to try to catch up and make sure it was still relevant, but the fact that I was specifically trying to check and not just reading the comments was probably the mistake. So yeah, life lesson in arguing online while traveling.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 10 replies · +5 points


That, specifically, was something I wrote before they had clarified that explicit enough meant that they had accepted Tonker/Lofty as romantic, but asexual, and I was upset because without that, it read to me as them still denying that Tonker and Lofty were a romantic couple. Which was why I saw red. So, yes! I can see how you would read it as that with the added context, and I apologize for not going in and throwing in some clarification about having written that before mairwyo's clarification.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 2 replies · +3 points

It's not erasure to talk about asexual wlw. It's just that it wasn't the topic and intersects with it in complicated and painful ways, and saying that people should turn a 101-level you are oppressing me and it hurts conversation into a 301-level topic to bring in your axis is unfair.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 12 replies · +3 points

I literally don't know where you got that from. Please, c/p?

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 6 replies · +7 points

My issue is not with the headcanon, as I stated above! But bringing it up in the context of reading the discussion about Tonker and Lofty and the history of the erasure of queer women's sexualities, and implying that the conversation would have been better if it had suggested asexuality as an option when what we were discussing was the erasure of queer women's romances and sexualities shows a rather shocking lack of tact. Asexuality is valid! But implying that queer women should have presented it as a valid option when we are currently just trying to establish that queer romantic relationships exist, and are real, and important...sometimes a given LGBT+ topic just isn't particularly relevant to your particular axis of oppression. When it isn't, and it's something that's hurting people, that's not the time to say but let's talk about how you should have made it about my axis. Let's all respect other people's axises.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 14 replies · +10 points

Yes, it would. Which would be why I didn't say that, and specifically said it was fine, Pratchett leaves room for that, and do whatever makes you happy. Are you objecting to the fact that I said it might hurt people? Because...seriously, the fact that it might hurt people and the fact that it can be legitimately important representation to other people are not, unfortunately, two mutually exclusive things. All we can do is be mindful of that and try as best as we can to acknowledge and minimize the hurt we cause to other people.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 25 replies · +21 points

...Welp. I meant to retire this account after this last comment, but apparently not.

If you read a discussion wherein queer women are repeatedly trying to explain that our romances and our sexualities are erased by society, and the explicitly romantic canonical female couple, the first in a series of 30+ books, and your response is to say but it doesn't have to be explicit! You are participating in my erasure, and as one of the queer women who participated in that discussion, I am extremely angry about it. You are doing it from the perspective of your own oppression, but you don't get to participate in my oppression to alleviate yours. Tonker and Lofty are explicitly, on-page, canonically, a lesbian romantic couple. The fact that they are not on-page asexual does not make their representation any less valuable. The fact that they could be a romantic asexual couple was not relevant to the discussion. The discussion did not have to be about asexuality to be important.

But! Specifically regarding them being a romantic asexual couple, one thing I would like to bring up is that there is a long, long history of saying that lesbian sex isn't real, in more ways than I could conveniently count. My very, very first encounter with the concept of lesbians a very long time before I realized I was one, but when I was old enough and aware enough for it to permanently plant it in my mind, was a sneering, homophobic polemic on lesbian bed death, that can essentially be summarized as stupid bitches think they can have sexuality without men but they're just deluding themselves. There's the whole sex without PIV isn't real sex so lesbians can't have real sex, there's the concept that women are incapable of being sexual creatures, we don't like sex and our job is to deny it to men, so without men women wouldn't want sex, so lesbians are either lying or unnatural. There are millions of ways in which women's sexualities are denied every day, and when you head canon a f/f romantic couple as asexual, you should be aware of that history.

Which is not to say you can't head canon that! Pratchett, as you point out, is very, very good about providing asexual characters and not generally particularly good about writing romances, which generally makes it very easy to read them as asexual romances. Read it however makes you happy. But. If you are going to do that, you should be aware of the history of erasing women's sexuality, especially queer women's sexuality, and when you do talk about reading a canonical queer female couple as asexual, you should be aware that you're talking about something that has a fraught and painful history that may have personally affected some of your hearers.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Hello, Discworld reade... · 1 reply · +39 points

I'm glad to see this apology, and very glad to see that you have a plan in place to enable you to do better in the future, rather than just good intentions. Good intentions are nice, but always harder to implement than they seem, unfortunately.

One thing I would like to note, explicitly, because I wasn't sure from your apology this was something you understood: The way you were behaving in the comments yesterday would have still been sexist if you had been correct that the only relevant axis to understanding Tonker and Lofty was homophobia. If that had been the case, the queer women's opinions of the canonicity would have been just as valid as yours, and you were just kind of talking and talking and talking and not listening at all. The fact that sexism was a relevant factor made it significantly worse! But talking over women who have just as much right to an opinion as you isn't infinitely better than talking over women who have more of a right to an opinion. I mean, it's better, but...it's still sexism.

You're a cis man who has spent your entire life in a society that tells you you have the perfect right to talk over women, and the fact that you're a gay Latino cis man doesn't really change that. You are a man running and making his living off a community that I'm not sure of the stats on, but I'm definitely under the impression skews female. I don't think it would be possible for you not to fuck up on this in the future, and to a large extent I don't...mind? I try to keep my expectations realistic, and all oppressions are big complicated things that dig their hooks into us in a million different ways, and I don't think anyone can ever really pull all those hooks out. But! What we can do is keep working on pulling those hooks out, and that's really all I want from you on this. Not perfection, not respectful silence because you're not qualified to comment, but continually improving understanding.

4 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Monstrous ... · 4 replies · +67 points

Okay, I'm creating a sockpuppet for this. Lesbian, for the record, because this is the kind of discussion where identities are probably important

The oppression of gay men and of lesbians differs ways that pertain directly to this, and it gets into intersectionality, and the ways adding in another oppression can change. Essentially, gay male relationships are more likely to be recognized and oppressed on the basis of oh noes, while society tries very hard to categorize lesbians as basically nonexistent. It's Schrodinger's relationships: does two women's relationship really exist? Until a man can see it, who cares! And men, of course, can never see it because men, as a class, do not see women or value their relationships. You think that by demanding of Pratchett a higher standard of proof than you would demand of a het relationship, and more clear canonicity than two people being stated to be a couple, you are demanding a higher standard of gay representation. What you are actually currently doing is playing into a long tradition of men erasing queer women because their relationships just aren't real enough for your satisfaction. Much as it is impossible to convince a stereotypical straight reader who doesn't want to believe that the two men having enthusiastic sex in front of him are gay, it is impossible to convince a stereotypical male reader that two women's relationship is real, and matters.

I would like to make one other point. One of the major ways men systematically oppress women is that men are always right and always get to explain to women how their oppressions affect them. The cynicism versus optimism bit of your comment? Is square the fuck out of sexism 101. You're establishing that you see yourself as the rational realist, and by implication establishing the woman you're debating as an irrational optimist clinging to the shreds she's given.

Frankly, someone who's been as sexist as you've been throughout this entire drama is not qualified to be the determiner of the canonicity of two women's relationship. Two things are necessary: Not being a homophobe, and not being sexist. You are flunking the latter.