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Some Things That Did Make Me Smile Today

Two very different things, in fact:

SF critic james_nicoll lives to stir up his readers. Today, he asked "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Fantasy or SF?" The ensuing discussion, both serious and snarky, is most enjoyable.

Writer Madeline Ashby addresses a topic of great concern to a number of us: Periods, and how to write them. I like the cut of her jib. (Warning: very frank talk about female body functions.)

This entry is also posted at Dreamwidth. Comment at either location, as you prefer.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
whymzycal
Aug. 31st, 2013 03:01 am (UTC)
Ooh, those are fascinating! I particularly like the one about periods. That's definitely something that doesn't get addressed realistically (if at all) in most fiction, so I'm glad to see it.
chomiji
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)

It really does hardly ever get mentioned! Sometimes you get a mention of menarche, if the story covers that portion of a character's life (two that come to mind immediately are Beth Ellen Hansen in The Long Secret, which is the sequel to Harriet the Spy, and Ari Emory II in C.J. Cherryj's Cyteen).

flemmings
Aug. 31st, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
She should add the same caveats to menopause as she does to periods. Not every woman hemorrhages at the most unexpected times.
chomiji
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:32 am (UTC)

I had one fairly spectacular incident, though, that matches up to her description.

lawless523
Aug. 31st, 2013 09:36 am (UTC)
What Flemmings said about menopause. It was far easier for me than my periods were, and other than having long ones until I went on the pill and a lot of bleeding the first few days, my periods weren't that bad.

CTHD: Fantasy, although I don't want to get into my reasons why. It could be spun as SF with a change or two, but on its face as presented now, it's fantasy.
chomiji
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:35 am (UTC)

I used to have pretty unpleasant ones. The tapering off wasn't so bad, but I did have at least one spectacular incident of the type she mentions.

I do think it's more fantasy than SF, although someone in the comments made the point that up to about 100 years ago, so little was known in the U.S./Europe about Asian martial arts that it might have been considered speculative fiction.

lawless523
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:38 am (UTC)
The point is, not everyone has that experience. She writes as if they do.

True, but then that would be their/our ignorance speaking, wouldn't it?
chomiji
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)

I have a feeling that, as a 30-yr-old woman, she had a few conversations with post-menopausal or menopausal women, and the most spectacular examples stuck in her mind.

rachel_reicheru
Aug. 31st, 2013 10:03 am (UTC)
It's also made me wonder why people duck around periods... I mean... half the population has it, had it or will get it... why do people still treat it like such a taboo thing... in this day and age doesn't make sense to me.
chomiji
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:40 am (UTC)

It makes me think of louiselux's Hakkai gender-switch story "The Curse":

"Women are so strange," Goku said, almost reverently.
rachel_reicheru
Sep. 2nd, 2013 03:19 am (UTC)
Do you have a link :P I'd like to read that... weirdly enough haha.
chomiji
Sep. 2nd, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)

You can read it as one big piece on AO3: The Curse

Or in its original three pieces on her LJ:

Rated NC-17 as a whole, although the first part is probably more like R.

lawless523
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
Butting in here -- I think part of it is that it makes men want to swoon. Women bleed every month, and yet they're the delicate ones? Give me a break.

Yes, I realize there's a relative difference between the average man and woman in terms of strength, especially upper body strength, but men are so often such wusses when it comes to health-related things, period, not just periods.
chomiji
Sep. 2nd, 2013 02:56 am (UTC)

I have a feeling that most women quickly become accustomed to the idea that their bodies are going to be doing inconvenient things sometimes, but as a healthy man grows into adulthood, he has this arc of becoming stronger and stronger, with little downside, so when illness or injury finally strike, it's an unpleasant revelation.

lawless523
Sep. 2nd, 2013 01:44 pm (UTC)
I think you're right about that. We have a constant reminder that our body's not entirely under our control, or at least that it periodically does something inconvenient that we can't stop. Men don't.
rachel_reicheru
Sep. 2nd, 2013 03:19 am (UTC)
this is true, man flu *cough cough* :P
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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