Activism Political Commentary

How to support trans people

Bookmarked Thread by @magpiekilljoy on Thread Reader App (

@magpiekilljoy: if they mean what they say, here’s a thread of ideas about how to stand up for yourself or your trans loved ones (or just be a decent human) during this time of escalating legislative and extralegal threats and violence against LGBT people

Take this threat seriously. Don’t treat trans people like we’re hysterical. Don’t assume this is just another culture war issue.

At the same time, avoid jumping to conclusions or overstating the enemy’s strength. History doesn’t have to repeat itself.

I’ve been feeling a little helpless and anxious over all the hatred towards trans people escalating, and not knowing what to do about it since the legislation is happening in other states. (Washington had two anti-trans bills that fortunately died in committee.)

Charlie Jane Anders shared some interesting info about a historic debate over the best approach in her most recent newsletter. I appreciate the reminder that there are many approaches that can help.

Do we fight for protections for specific vulnerable groups (trans people, but also non-binary folks and other gender-nonconforming people who embrace labels like genderqueer or gender-fluid)? Or do we push a general principle that nobody should be penalized for their gender presentation, even if that person identifies as a cis straight man but happens to wear pink?

Before anyone else says it, I will: these two approaches are, of course, not mutually exclusive. We can do both.

Art and Design Culture Political Commentary Society

Article pairing: normalize sex

Sex can serve a valuable narrative function. I think of Watchmen: Dan’s literal impotence in the face of nuclear annihilation, and his virility when he reclaims his agency and takes action, pointless though it may be. Doctor Manhattan’s failure to understand Laurie’s needs as he divides himself to continue his work while they’re making love. These scenes are core to the emotional story, to the characters’ choices and thus the plot. I read a book about writing sex scenes that suggests the characters should have sex in a way that only they could, that reflects where they are in their relationship and each of their arcs. Is she scared of admitting their connection and pushes for a quick fuck, while he keeps the pace slow to keep her from denying there’s more between them than physical attraction? Does she struggle with trusting others, and he says just the wrong thing after they make love?

A lot of the sex we see in movies isn’t used thoughtfully; Hollywood is bad at including romance in stories that aren’t primarily love stories (like action adventure) — it’s not actually enough for two hot people to spend time interacting if there’s no reason for them to like each other besides proximity and adrenaline, and it feels forced for them to bone — at that point the sex is more serving the wish fulfillment / hero gets the girl narrative. So we need better sex in our stories — which honestly probably means longer sex scenes (more foreplay or more afterglow) to allow screentime for characterization and meaning.

Federal judge rules that employers can refuse to cover PrEP

It’s hard to see this and not think that the cruelty is the point. What abomination of a person would deny anyone protection against HIV? Someone who thinks anyone who gets HIV deserves it 🙃

(There’s a lot of other things going on with this particular bad decision — health care shouldn’t be tied to employment, businesses aren’t people and cannot hold beliefs and shouldn’t have the same rights as people, it is not religious freedom to impose your beliefs on others or harm them because of your beliefs — but let’s not get into that here. We’re talking sex.)

The hatred and fear of gay and trans people is growing more aggressive. Religious extremists play off the public’s transphobia and discomfort with sex, gambling that few will come to the defense of queer folks when all LGBTQIA+ people and allies are painted as pedos. But this is only possible when people are skeeved out by other humans having sex, especially sex that’s different than the sex they have, and especially sex that’s for pleasure only. Our society doesn’t value “non-productive” activities in any form. This also ties in with the gross conservative obsession with people having more babies: “sex is for procreation!” No. Sex is normal and healthy behavior for consenting adults who aren’t trying to get pregnant.

We are not subject to the strictures of anyone else’s controlling, shaming religion. This is not a Christian nation and religious extremists cannot impose their moral judgements on everyone else. (Unless they steal power and exert fascism on us.) We need to normalize healthy, safe, consensual, pleasurable sex between partners of all kinds: straight, gay, old, fat, disabled. Let’s tackle all the -phobias and -isms 👏 (Asexuality too, another queer identity religious extremists hate — show healthy relationships without sex.) And that means including sex in our stories, visual and written. There’s a reason conservatives come so hard for books: stories have power.

Environment Political Commentary

This climate bill is a huge fucking deal

Watched The Biggest Deal in Climate History Almost Didn’t Happen from YouTube

The thing about this bill is that it’s going to keep having a huge impact on the country for many many years and, mostly, we will not even notice. That’s wha…

It’s still not enough money, but it’ll help a lot. And more than just the money, simply taking big action against climate change could help the psychological problem that no one feels like they can do anything and there’s no hope. There are things individuals and cities and counties and states can do, we just need to start doing them NOW. There is hope, as long as we quit dragging our feet.

Also some other cool benefits added in for healthcare and taxes.

Society The Internet

Listened to Cory Doctorow interview

Listened Cory Doctorow on The Wondrous World of the Early Internet & How To Destroy Surveillance Capitalism from


Open Menu
Current Affairs

Cory Doctorow on The Wondrous World of the Early Internet & How To Destroy Surveillance Capitalism
JULY 31ST, 2022 | 44:11 | E161

Pioneering blogger and science fiction writer Cory Doctorow has been an activist for online freedom since the early days of the history of the internet. He has long been one of the major voices opposing restrictive copyright and corporate domination, and a visionary defending a pluralistic online world where eccentricity and individuality are allowed to flourish. In books like Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright and the Future of the Future (which, like all of his books, is available in full for free), Doctorow has shown what an internet created by the people, unconstrained by intellectual property law, Digital Rights Management, and monopolistic corporate gatekeeping, could be like.

In this conversation, Doctorow joins to discuss the importance of a democratic internet, and his recent book How To Destroy Surveillance Capitalism, which argues that many people misidentify the main problem with what is called “surveillance capitalism,” assuming that the problem is that corporations are amassing to manipulate us the power through intrusive collection of Big Data. In fact, Doctorow argues, the problem is less about a particular thing these corporations can do to us and more about the fact that monopolistic tech companies are in control in the first place. This has important implications, because it means that we cannot just regulate what companies do with our data, we have to fundamentally redistribute power over the internet. In this conversation, we talk about how Wikipedia provides an alternative vision for a participatory internet where the rules are set by users and there is oversight over governance. We do not need better and more benevolent Zuckerbergs. We need what Doctorow calls the pluralistic internet.

“Hegemonic internet” today versus pluralistic internet

Internet start aligned with cessation of antitrust enforcement – 1982 AT&T

(Cough, current news: Penguin – Simon & Schuster merger court case)

Today we keep talking about how to make “the lord of the manor” better rather than how to get rid of them

What is the failure mode? <– way to evaluate platforms and systems

Cultural flattening? (versus quirkiness of early internet)

Formalism of internet e.g. TikTok duet format = imposed by platform

Expansive opportunity of ebook format — can be 3 or 1000 pages — Wikipedia has built-in

Formal adventurism / playfulness e.g. “slow TV”

Used to have consentual formalism — community defined rather than platform/ corporate

–> more editorial freedom, less creative freedom

Can you give meaningful consent if you can’t leave a platform (because there’s nowhere else to be with other people)?

Control of platforms is more important issue than collecting our data because they can control our discourse, the information we receive (e.g. Google Answers) and what we can use (e.g. iOS app store)

Band together against monopoly across industries — tech not the only area, though a place to start

Activism Environment Future Building

Obsolete already

Replied to Google Is Forcing Me to Dump a Perfectly Good Phone by Aaron Gordon (

Three years ago, my Pixel 3 was the latest and greatest Google phone. Now, the company has stopped providing software updates, making it a security risk to use.

*screams into the void*

Google just loves to rub their “don’t be evil” origins into the dirt. Why couldn’t Microsoft have gotten into the phone business early enough to be competitive? 😭😭😭

In right to repair legislation we’re seeing requirements that parts continue to be available for a certain period of time… (Not that it’s passed yet as far as I recall but the idea’s there…fingers crossed for this legislative session!) Could we also have policies requiring that high end devices be maintained for a minimum number of years?