Rage Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum, or: Understanding the Complex Continuum of Internet Butt-Hurt*

Rage Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum, or: Understanding the Complex Continuum of Internet Butt-Hurt*

Mar 7, 2014

I once stood at a bus stop in Durban while two young, drunk men murmured sexually explicit threats and promises to a young woman standing next to me. It was just the four of us – the woman being threatened, me, and the two perpetrators. South Africa is not the world’s safest place, though with how often folks pull out guns to solve disagreements in the US...

What living in South Africa taught me about racism in America

What living in South Africa taught me about racism in America

Nov 13, 2012

I’ve talked a lot about growing up in an area that was largely full of white people (I believe 98% of the county I grew up in was white during the 80′s). The effect this had on me, growing up, was not actually the one you might expect. Instead of (I thought) teaching me explicitly to be a racist, it taught me that racism was some kind of anomalous...

Argo, and the Inconvenient Truth of Sahar

Argo, and the Inconvenient Truth of Sahar

Nov 12, 2012

Spoilers: The hostages get away! The boat sinks! Etc. When I saw the first trailer for Argo, I guffawed at the implausibility of the entire movie. CIA creates SF movie ruse to smuggle people out of Iran? Whatever, Hollywood. I figured it was just a good excuse for the media to fuel itself up for war with Iran (because we don’t have enough wars! And oh, those...

Taking Responsibility for Writing Problematic Stories

Taking Responsibility for Writing Problematic Stories

Sep 4, 2012

NOTE: Contains a fairly major spoiler for GOD’S WAR. I spent a lot of time this weekend on panels at WorldCon talking about the responsibilities of being a writer, and how what we put on the page can mean something very personal to people. I spend a stupid amount of time buried in research books and googling shit on the Internet and digging up first person...

What is this Fat Woman Doing on TV?

What is this Fat Woman Doing on TV?

Jun 1, 2012

When I rant about biases and stereotypes and authors’ blindspots, I get the impression that some people think I’m some perfect person without any biases. I’ve talked a lot about my awareness of my own misogyny and racism, but there’s other stuff that creeps up on you too, sometimes when you least expect it. Bias does not happen in a...

They’ll Come for You… Whether You Speak up or Not

They’ll Come for You… Whether You Speak up or Not

May 17, 2012

During times of great social upheaval, it can often seem safer to say nothing. You get noticed less. You piss off fewer people. You go around making sure the trains run on time. You make your dollars and go home and stuff them in the mattress and keep your head down and hope they don’t come for you. It’s a silly position, really, because they always come...

Yes, you’re a racist. But it doesn’t mean you have to be a terrorist.

You’re a racist. Ok? It’s OK. Take a deep breath. It doesn’t mean you have to be a horrible person. I promise. Just… listen. For the most part, I’m addressing white American folks in this particular message, because, you know, I’m white. And American. I get it. I grew up here too, in a white ghetto. But no matter what kind of sticky racist...

Switch to our mobile site