chaiya: (tough chick)
This past year has seen significant discourse on addressing sexual harassment in fandom.

Friends will remember that I chaired Arisia in 2011, and worked with the executive board to ban a man who harassed several individuals (not just women) -- banned first from staff, then the 2011 convention, and then from 2012. This past week, I forwarded my post-con 2011 report to the division head currently tasked with making Arisia 2014 safe, at her request.

I chaired Readercon last July, and we were at the epicenter of a harassment firestorm. After said storm, Readercon staff (particularly [livejournal.com profile] rosefox and my beloved [livejournal.com profile] omnia_mutantur) put extensive effort into creating a clear new Code of Conduct, Policies, and Procedures for addressing reports of harassment and problematic behavior. It is my fervent hope and belief that we are making vast improvements, although I know it's unlikely we've gotten it perfect right out of the gate.

I care about fandom. I care passionately about conventions. I used to average more than one per month. I have traveled internationally to meet strangers and talk about science fiction (Montreal, Melbourne, London, Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Aland, so far!).

I am working actively on making a better future in fandom, on multiple fronts, as much as I can. I'm even contributing significantly to the Helsinki Worldcon Bid (here, have a reminder to show us your support!), which is another facet of conversing about the future.

Fandom has a long way to go. But as Elise Matthesen is demonstrating, with help from Jim Hines and Seanan McGuire, amongst others, fandom is definitely *having* this conversation now. Which is fantastic.

We have and will will make mistakes. I have certainly made more than my share. (Not for nothing, but we all agree now that a zero tolerance policy discourages some reports, potentially making a less safe environment. To my grave, I will wish I'd paid more attention to our policy prior to Readercon 23.)

Hopefully we will continue to learn.
chaiya: (messy life)
I have a confession to make.

I have said stupid, prejudiced things in the past. I will probably say stupid, racist things in the future. I will try to avoid doing so, but when I fail, the words will come out of my mouth (or the actions will come out of my body), and I will disappoint myself and my community and the better future I am trying to work toward.

Racism and prejudice are really hard things to understand, let alone avoid perpetuating. I am a privileged, middle class, white person. That isn't an excuse, but it is the background of how I am probably incapable of understanding, really grokking, what it's like to be on the receiving end of racism. Lj-cut because I know this got long, not because I think you should skip reading the middle of this entry. )

Racism is hard. Prejudice is challenging. In my opinion, one of the reasons why there is so much controversy about racism amongst well-intentioned people is because we so want to believe that the future is here, the post-racist, post-patriarchy, post-prejudice world that we've spent years dreaming of. That dream is easier than the reality.

I am probably never going to live in the world I hope for, one in which social justice is automatic and there's no need to combat prejudice because it doesn't exist. But until and unless I do live in that world, I will continue doing my best to comprehend racism, to make good choices about social justice, and to listen to others, in general. I will continue to try to put my money where my mouth is, and spend my time trying to fight prejudices in myself and others, as thoughtfully as possible.

I thought about posting this entry to a friends filter. I've said some pretty private stuff here, publicly. I know it's an unpolished entry, too, and I'm bound to have said something poorly that will be jarring to the eye when you read it. But the truth is, I think this is important to say publicly. So I'm screening comments, in the hopes of avoiding my once-and-future-troll, and we'll see how it goes.
chaiya: (hippie)
This Saturday is Spring Clean-Up in Somerville from 10 am to noon. I'm totally gonna help clean up Ward 2, meeting in Union Square. This seems like a perfect spring-y activity (even if it is on Shabbat), and I've noticed lots of trash and stuff around our beautiful city, so I'd like to help make it go away. Anyone want to join me/us?

I don't yet know what kind of supplies the city will provide (and it sounds like they're still soliciting donations of same), so I plan to bring some gloves and a couple of trash bags. Also, some tea. :)
chaiya: (shul)
Yom Kippur is just around the corner.

If you (reading this) and I have outstanding offense, hurt, or issue, please give me the opportunity to discuss it with you. I can be reached via email, cell phone, or LJ. Comments on this post are screened.

I know of two outstanding issues, where I've tried to reach out to the other parties involved, and I haven't gotten anywhere (in my opinion) with my attempts to discuss and make amends. But if that sentence is about you, and you've changed your mind about hearing my apology and/or further closure thoughts, I'd love the opportunity.
chaiya: (hippie)
I went and calculated my/our carbon footprint.

(FYI, site doesn't work well in Safari, but Firefox was able to do it just fine.)

Our total carbon footprint seems to be 10.351 tons of CO2.

On the other hand, the site lists these stats:

*The average footprint for people in United States is 20.4 tonnes.
* The average for the industrial nations is about 11 tonnes.
* The average worldwide carbon footprint is about 4 tonnes.
* To combat climate change the worldwide average needs to reduce to 2 tonnes.


So, I'm not doing so great, but I'm not doing too horribly, either. I look forward to the farm share starting up for the spring, so we can be almost entirely using local (nigh organic) produce again.

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