- (anatomy) The space between the eyebrows and the nose.
- (zoology) The axial protuberance on the cephalon of certain arthropods (especially trilobites)
“You have a little something-” “On my mouth? Oh, how embarrassing.” “No, um-” “On my dress? Oh dear!” “Not exactly-” “Well then where?!” “Your glabella.” “I will not be talked to that way!” “No, Ma’am, its your face-” “Are you saying I look like an insect!? !” “What? No I-” “Sir, I think we’re going to have to ask you to leave.”
I don’t actually have a problem with people who have hair in their glabella, or what is more commonly known has a unibrow. I think the look gets a bad rap from old cartoons, where all the bad guys had unibrows. But now you know what that the name of that place is, so you can tell your beautician exactly where you wish the hair removed.
You don’t have to look very far these days to see sexism but you do have to know what you are looking for. The problem is that most of us are effectively blind to it, both because it is kept behind close doors and because it is hiding in plain sight. And when people, particularly women, call attention to it, they’re often labeled misogynist, or simply told to “laugh it off”. Even when sexism is dragged out from behind doors for all to see, it is easy to claim that it is happening to just one person, or a small group of people, hidden away, and not a systemic problem within our society.
Noted and award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal was slandered by some of her peers in the Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA) the other day. Male members of the organization made comments via the organization’s public email listserv. One called her a hypocrite based upon her public views as a feminist and what clothing she chooses to wear to award ceremonies, as well as simply calling her phony and incompetent.
To her credit, Mary has offered a response which, rather than simply attacking back, called attention to this attack and focused instead on making it an example of sexism and to make note that this is not an incident she is facing alone, but that women inside and outside the SFWA suffer all the time from what is effectively verbal abuse.
In her response entitled”Me, as a useful representative example“, she says the following:
Then I replied to the messages saying, “Honestly, I’m fine. Four years in office inured me to this so mostly I’m just laughing.”
And this is the part that I feel I should draw attention to — I was “mostly” laughing. I was also having mild stress reactions. Dry sweats, elevated heart rate. I was ready to shrug them off as, “Meh, doesn’t materially affect me. I’ve seen worse.”
Until someone pointed it out that I was basically saying, “I’m inured to being abused, because I was abused for years.” See… the things those folks are saying in that public forum? When I was in office, they would email that bile directly to me and because I was an officer, I could not choose to ignore it. I had to read every single one. And I had to reply politely to them. Strangely, sometimes I had trouble doing that, but a polite response was the one that was expected. Now? Being out of office for two years, I can say whatever the fuck I want, but most beautifully, I don’t have to read the emails.
So this is why I feel weird about writing about this. My impulse is to tell you all that I’m fine and that this has no material affect on my life. And that is true. But I also know that I am a useful representative sample of the abuse that happens to other women.
Too many places, too many women, get this sort of unwelcome attention and commentary about what they were wearing but no one does anything. It’s always, “Laugh about it” or “Just shrug it off,” or “Ignore it and he’ll go away.”
You see how well that last is working?
So, I really, truly am fine. But watch what happens to me now that I’m posting. Read the comments when they happen. Note the people who say that because I’m talking about the abuse, I must be begging for attention.
Take me as a useful representative example. And know that I am not an isolated case.
It is sad that we need examples and I applaud Kowal for providing one. And we do need one. I recently was reading an online article about a video game that was in no way related to gender equality. In the middle of this author’s article, he says the following:
…this is, after all, a game where half the punchlines are “ogling women is funny” (and I say that as a staunch anti-feminist)…
It stopped me reading right in my tracks. It took me awhile to comprehend that the initial statement meant that the game wasn’t necessarily to be taken so seriously as it relied upon humor like men staring at women. Yet I couldn’t understand why he felt compelled to add the anti-feminism qualifier, to declare that he was staunchly opposed to a society where men and women are treated equally without discrimination or abuse, be it physical or emotional.
Actually it seems unlikely that the author is an active proponent of sexism. Instead he is likely ignorant of the amount of sexism that exists in our culture and the harm that it does. Instead he is reacting to the backlash that accompanies attempts to educate people regarding this harm, shielding himself from it by claiming that he is not a feminist. This backlash is what Mary Robinette Kowal wants you to look for in the coming days.
That backlash will be just some of the sexism that hides in plain sight.
Apparently, these guys don’t want women to write science fiction by Aja Romano [DailyDot.com]
Me, as a useful representative example by Mary Robinette Kowal [MaryRobinetteKowal.com]
Cheap Arts by Silvia Moreno-Garcia [Silvia Moreno-Garcia.com]
Mary Robinette Kowal Offers Herself Up as a Useful Representative Example by John Scalzi [whatever.scazli.com]
Does Bravely Default Hate Atheists? by Geoff Thew [HardCoreGamer.com]
- The consideration of an abstract thing as if it were concrete, or of an inanimate object as if it were living.
- The consideration of a human being as an impersonal object.
“Your reficiation of the chairs in this lab are really starting to annoy me,” I said as I sat, a little too quick to stop myself from setting off the whoopee cushion hidden beneath the seat’s cover, which sent giggles through out of the laboratory staff. “So you’re saying that was you and not the chair?” Ry’leu retorted with a knowing snicker.
What bugged me initially was that I wasn’t sure what the difference was between Reification and Personification. Turns out the two are very similar but not quiet the same. Personification is literary technique writing as well as a way of asserting qualities or roles of one thing onto another thing, such as the Grim Reaper being the personification of death. Reification on the other hand is basically the opposite of objectification, where you would treat death not as a the grim reaper, but as something you could use, carry around, or draw a smiley face on.
Still the word makes me think it just wants to repeat something over and over and over.
- Being indefinite, unspecified
The distance between the two worlds was umpty, if only because distance was not a concept the universe had opted to define yet.
Every heard the expression “For the umpteen time…”? I did somewhere. I think more in my childhood. Perhaps a sitcom. I always assumed it was one of those made up numbers! It is! But it based off of something. The word umpty! Which was probably created from the made up number. This another fun word to say, but it keeps making me think of Humpty Dumpty which only proper nouns.
Free writing returns! Nothing regular, I just needed two-hundred and fifty words to keep my streak going on the magic spreadsheet. Todays story is inspired by the Twitch TV show A Swiftly Tilting Cameron, apart of the Loading Ready Run lineup of video game streaming. Cameron is currently XCOM: Enemy Within.
Swiftly Tilting Mirrors
By Nojh Livic
The mirror was affixed to the wall on the left across from her old locker. She ignored it. Was she the right word? Or was she now an it? Or a they?
She looked down her torso. That was a mistake. Old familiar curves were gone, replaced by broad flat metal. She knew that was only for the mission but it disturbed her.
Instead she focused on her arms. She flexed them. They obeyed her thoughts so it was easier to think of them as hers. But was it the arms that were obeying her thoughts or was she obeying their movements?
She wanted to look in the mirror but she couldn’t stand the idea of not seeing her face. Did they take that from her too in order to save the world?
“Let’s go Eli. We got another one in Africa.”
She thought she had volunteered for this. No that wasn’t exactly right. She had volunteered for the mission, for the world. This was needed for the mission.
She tightened the metal fingers into fists. She knew how much pressure she was squeezing into each digit but she couldn’t feel it.
Eli “Iris” Dawson let go. Hefting her robotic form to its oversized feet, she lifted her impossibly heavy weapon, checked that the breach was clear with an audible clack, then laid it against her shoulder and turned to the faceless commander who had made her this way.
“Reporting for duty, sir.”
She didn’t need mirrors to blow up aliens.
This was her job.
- mechanical; materialistic, uncultured.
To say Marla was banausic was to be factually correct while also completely wrong, for while she was made of metal and coveted the odd fashion now and again, one could never claim that she lacked social grace.
A weird word if only because its definition is so weird. I’m not sure if mechanical is meant to mean materialistic and uncultured? Perhaps this was an archaic meaning of mechanical? The utilitarian definition was far easier to use. I am not sure I’ll be using this word if only because I don’t know if know what it really means, despite looking it up!
I read an interesting article on Mental Floss about a pair of kids who seem likely to be apart of our next generation of scientists. Back in 2001, a then seven-year old Bill Martin went on a school field trip and learned about a phenomena during the American Civil War where some soldiers after a battle, who waited days in the cold and mud, reported that their wounds glowed faintly in the dark. It was noted that the soldiers who exhibited this glowing had a higher survival rate than others who didn’t, and it was named Angel’s Glow.
Some hundred and forty years later, the child of a microbiologist, asked the question if perhaps it was glowing bacteria. Together with his friend Jon Curtis, they did research, and experiments, and won the 2001 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
What were their results? The answer, as it is with anything to do with real science, is that it is complicated. The glowing was due to bacteria, however the bacteria in question lived inside the stomach of parasitic worms. The two had a semi-symbiotic relationship where the worm would burrow itself into an insect and puke out the bacteria. The bacteria would then kill and break down the insect as well as any other microorganisms. The worm would then eat the remains of the insect, as well as the bacteria, where the bacteria would then continue to grow in the worm’s stomach.
However the bacteria and worm in question are normally killed by a human’s internal body heat, which ruled them out as a possibility, until the kids hypothesized that the soldiers, after spending days in the cold and mud, actually had hypothermia which would lower core body temperature enough to allow these worms to survive, and once the humans were well, would be cleared by the human immune system.
So the ultimate result was that a combination of hypothermia, parasitic worms, and glowing bacteria saved many soldiers lives.
Want more details? Click here to read the source article.
Word Count: 258
Happy New Year! I did almost no writing over the holidays. Prior to the holidays I did some writing on a new design project, which I’ll talk about below. Today as the first normal writing session of the new year where I wasn’t on vacation. I’m going to be trying the two hundred and fifty words per day method of finishing Everlasting, although yesterday I opted for my words to count towards working on Weird Words and doing blog updates. Today I obviously reached the goal and I might write some more after this post is done.
Novel Word Count: 178,379 (+258)
Outline Word Count: 36,744 (+0)
Doing small updates is interesting. I finished off a scene I had previously written, which was a nice natural stopping point. Honestly writing 250 words is easy as long as I sit down to do it, which I guess is the point. The scene written was the beginning of the abbreviated romantic arc I have between two characters where they are having a disagreement. I, of course, am having second thoughts if the storyline will actually work, but inner editor can suck it! Huzzah!
Editing & Critiques
Currently not editing or critiquing anything.
Magic the Gathering Organizer
So little to no work has been done on this, which is somewhat my fault. I think it’ll be on hiatus.
Unnamed Board Game codename Platform
New project. I was inspired by a kickstarter that I won’t reveal to design a board game. I’m not going to reveal many details about it for now but I will be working on it.
Free Write - Hiatus.
Station – Waiting to be edited.
Matrix – Hiatus.
Gerald – Waiting to be continued.
Reconfigure – Waiting to be turned into an actual short story.
- The eyelid.
“That is the biggest palpebra I have ever seen,” the doctor said. “Help me lift it. We can see what type of ocular apparatus the creature uses.”
Need another word for eyelid? No? Really? I could have sworn… This definitely falls under a weird word that you’re only going to use if you’re in a medical field in some way shape or form. Or if you want to sound really smart.