• "If you happen to be seriously wounded, there is a temptation to hope not to survive, because you cannot afford to be wounded." Italian journalist Francesca Borri elucidates the terrifying realities of freelance war journalism. [Columbia Journalism Review]
"One thing I've noticed in particular is that randomly assigning gender to characters in examples can lead to unintended apparent biases. Even if you're alternating, you can end up accidentally playing into some negative stereotypes. Simply making sure you have an equal number of hes and shes isn't enough. It's important to be conscious of the decisions that you're making."
This two part conversation with Valentine covers what she's working on now, and how she works as an editor to assist authors in crafting books with inclusive language. As the number of women both creating and playing tabletop games continues to increase, thoughtful approaches to gender in games texts will also continue to be part of the ongoing conversation of making gaming a more inclusive hobby.
As important as it is for activists to establish sex work as work, it is equally important we acknowledge that not everybody who sells sex calls themselves a sex worker. As the current feminist debates about the Slutwalk march make all too clear, there is power and privilege in reclaiming a word and—like slut—to call oneself a "hooker" or even a sex worker is not everyone's preference, nor is it a privilege everyone can afford.
Ableism is a central concept in disability rights. The term was originally popularized by Thomas Hehir, a special education scholar who defined it as "'the devaluation of disability' that 'results in societal attitudes that uncritically assert that it is better for a child to walk than roll, speak than sign, read print than read Braille, spell independently than use a spell-check, and hang out with nondisabled kids as opposed to other disabled kids.'" There are many varied manifestations of ingrained ableism in contemporary society and pop culture, but I see it most often in uncritical use of language based on ableist assumptions - even by speakers or authors who are progressive and who are against ableism as a concept.