Idiocraski: the apocalyptic situation in Poland after a year of trumpism

It's been a year since the Law and Justice Party won the Polish election, on familiar-sounding promises to drain the swamp and restore Poland to its former greatness: now school textbooks are being redesigned to downplay evolution and climate change and to recount a fanciful version of Poland's history; the government is mooting giving hoteliers the right to turn away customers based on sexual orientation or skin-color; a minister rejected an international accord against wife-beating because it subverted traditional gender roles; Parliament is about to get the right to choose which journalists may report from its debates; the guy in charge of national sex-ed curriculum believes that condoms give women cancer; a proposed law will virtually end opposition protests; and disloyal journalists at the "independent" state broadcaster have been purged. Read the rest

Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chang's Papergirls: like an all-girl Stranger Things, with time-travel

Brian K Vaughan is one of my very favorite comics creators, though the erratic schedule of Saga, the psychedelic, sexy space opera he and Fiona Staples created has frustrated me at times -- and then I remember that Vaughan is so erratic because he's so busy, creating new titles like 2015's Paper Girls, which Image Comics began to collect in two volumes this year: Book 1 last April, and Book 2 on December 6.

"No President": the despair, fear, and resolve of the next four years

"No President" is an unsigned editorial in N+1, and is, along with Ta-Nehisi Coates's My President Was Black, the best postmortem on the events of November 8 yet published: it begins with the door-to-door canvas of voters in the runup to the election and the strange ideological contradictions on display on America's doorsteps, reflects on the questions of gender and Clinton's election outcomes, and moves on to a realistic, but firm and inspiring, call for resistance in the years to come. Read the rest

Women and African-American sf writers created trumpist dystopias because they were beta testing trumpism

Kameron "Geek Feminist Revolution" Hurley notes that writers like Octavia Butler crafted stories that feel eerily prescient of our present moments with books like Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents -- but not because they were fortune tellers, but because trumpism -- corrupt confiscation of wealth, overbroad policing powers, discriminatory hiring practices, impunity for violent abusers -- has been a daily fact of life for brown people, women and queer people. Read the rest

Woman Kyrgyz singer records amazing version of a traditionally male-voiced poem

Gulzada Ryskulova's musical version of the Manas epic -- a folkloric tale usually recited by Kyrgyz men -- is nothing short of amazing, as is the tale itself, which was preserved through furtive oral tradition during the Soviet era, in which it was suppressed. Read the rest

The Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock designed a shoe whose profits will go to Planned Parenthood

Vegan shoe company Keep's $97 Ramos midtop sneaker was designed by Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, and will ship in February, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, a vital woman's health organization under sustained assault from Republicans, who use lies about the rare abortions the organization performs to enrage and focus its low-information base, without any regard for the millions of women who rely on PP for basic health services (and the much smaller number who use PP for abortion). Read the rest

Conservative Alberta politician changes sides over Trumpism, gets gendered death threats and slurs from the Tory base

Sandra Jansen was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, but now she sits with the left-leaning New Democratic Party, who took the provincial government is a surprise upset that was driven by a mix of a split in the right (the Conservatives are mired in infighting with the ultra-right Wild Rose Party) and the decline of the oil industry. Read the rest

Roller Girl: Newberry-honored coming of age graphic novel about roller derby and difficult tween friendships

Victoria Jamieson's 2015 graphic novel Roller Girl won the prestigious Newberry Honor Award and it's easy to see why: Jamieson's story of a young teen's interest in roller derby is the perfect vehicle to explore the difficult and even traumatic way that girls' friendships change as they become teenagers, while never losing sight of the core story, about personal excellence, teamwork, and hard-hitting, girl-positive roller derby.

Nimona: a YA graphic novel that raises serious, unanswerable moral quandries with snappy dialog and slapstick

I first encountered Noelle Stevenson's work through her groundbreaking, brilliant comic Lumberjanes, but before the 'Janes, Stevenson was tearing up the webcomics world with Nimona, which was collected and published by Harper Teen in 2015.

Trump and Brexit are retaliation for neoliberalism and corruption

Glenn Greenwald frames what I've been trying to articulate: as neoliberalism and its handmaiden, corruption, have swept the globe, making the rich richer, the poor poorer, and everyone in the middle more precarious; as elites demonized and dismissed the left-behinds who said something was wrong; as the social instability of inequality has been countered with increasingly invasive domestic "war on terror" policing, millions of people are ready to revolt, and will support anyone who promises no more business as usual. Read the rest

Donald J Trump: "No matter who wins, at least I had fun" (The Onion)

The Onion is apparently struggling to satirize an election that is so absurd it can only be called "self-satirizing," but they scored a hit with their op-ed by Donald J Trump: "No Matter What Happens Tomorrow, At Least I Had Fun." Read the rest

Women are flocking to Susan B Anthony's grave to cover it with "I Voted" stickers

Suffragist and one-dollar-coin model Susan B Anthony put her life and freedom on the line to win the vote for women in America, but she never got to cast a ballot herself. Read the rest

Icelandic women walk off the job 14% early to protest 14% pay-gap

On October 25, thousands of Icelandic women went home at 2:38PM, after 86% of their work-days had passed, to protest the fact that they only earn 86% of their male counterparts' wages. Read the rest

Pussy Riot's "Straight Outta Vagina": sacrelicious Russian feminist pop anthem

Pussy Riot's video for "Straight Outta Vagina" frames the poppy, danceable song with visuals calculated to enrage the Kremlin, with LA's Ace Hotel standing in for church where various genderbent dancers receive communion while singing the praises of vaginas. Given that the last iteration of this theme landed the musicians in a hard labor gulag where they were subjected to routine sexual assaults, it's a pretty big fuck you to the Russian establishment. (via Bruce Sterling) Read the rest

Dickhead's anti-yoga-pants letter to the editor sparks yoga-pants-parade

Rhode Island dickhead Alan Sorrentino wrote a letter to the editor of the East Bay RI, the local paper of record, chastizing women over 20 for wearing yoga pants in public because they lack the "benefit of nature's blessing of youth" and thus "on mature, adult women there is something bizarre and disturbing about the appearance they make in public." Read the rest

RIP science fiction great Sheri Tepper

Science fiction great -- and 2015 World Fantasy Convention lifetime achievement honoreee -- Sheri Tepper died yesterday, at the age of 87. Read the rest

Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy

Today sees the publication of Bonnie Burton's (previously) long-awaited new book, Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy. Read the rest

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