The New Gender Stereotyping

How do you go about choosing the gender identity/ethnicity/sexuality of your characters?

Question from Writing Forums.

I choose a character. The identity evolves as I write. Ethnicity and sexuality are left up to the reader for the most part. Especially in the case of a short story where character development is as important as the story itself. Let the reader decide who the character is, based on the reader’s own biases.

I’m old school, grew up in the 1970’s when we talked about gender stereotypes rather than conforming to them as people seem to do these days. I knew tomboys. We talked about how incorrect that was. How it limited women, ranking them as real girls or tomboys. As if a girl should not be climbing trees, etc.

Now it seems things have gone off track completely, in the wrong direction. Now we try to put children (and people) into tiny little boxes. Each time they fit into one box we look for an even smaller box to fit them into. Eventually everyone becomes a long string of descriptive words, but they seem to fit in, somehow. A lot of younger people seem to be backing their way into tiny boxes all on their own.

I wonder who decided we all needed to fit into tiny boxes?

I’d rather not. I don’t want to be stifled and suffocated in order to suit an outdated stereotype. Because it is outdated, all that new stuff about gender identity.

Gender is a man or a woman. Either one can climb trees. Why does gender limit people so much more these days?

When I write a character it is male or female. Identity and ethnicity don’t come from the gender of the character. If you carry all that in your crotch, you need to expand your limits. Sexuality is about gender, an aspect of each involves the other. Sexuality should not be limited by gender, any more than identity and ethnicity are.

Why is gender so much more important now than it ever was before?

Do you ever wonder, with so much focus on gender, what you’re missing?

Abusing ProBlogger Job Board to Look for Clients

Is this abuse or just stupidity/ carelessness? On the part of the “job” poster, I mean.

I’m not sure about ProBlogger itself. It is possible no one verifies, checks, or cares what gets posted there. I have seen others posting “jobs” which are not jobs at all. Keep in mind, these job postings are paid posts for ProBlogger. Do they just take the money and have no interest in creating a resource for job seekers? ProBlogger is very marketing friendly. User/ reader/ job searcher beware, right?

This isn’t the first fake job post I have seen come up on the boards. I’ve also seen jobs which don’t pay, jobs which are pretty scammy and jobs which ask writers to contribute (work for free) or accept pennies from affiliate links.

Don’t rely on the ProBlogger job boards. Try somewhere else first. Eventually, when the spammers and scammers stop paying for listings, it will just close down and sink like another old shipwreck of the Australian coast.

Discover Which Of Your Products Attract Customers

This idea (quoted below from Society6) is smarter than it appears on the surface. I would not suggest Facebook as the only (or best) option to place the survey. I would not pay for boosting the post or using Facebook services to create the poll either. You can do it yourself, without spending anything but some of your time.

    • Create this as an image file with a few of your art creations displayed. (Come up with a few unique, different from each other creations).
    • Write up the information about this being a survey to measure the saleability of your artwork. Keep the explanation simple, short and readable.
    • Play with the image sizes for your artwork. Not too small and yet not so big people will be happily making copies rather than spending something to buy your original images or product.
    • Combine the explanation text and your images into one web graphic which you can post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, the sidebar of your website, anywhere…

You get to promote your work, your site and get information from the survey itself. Promotion without feeling like you’re selling anything is brilliant and works much better than straight sales promotion people are trained to ignore due to overkill.

What other ways can you create a promotion like this? Contests and giveaways, but those require more organizing and a prize to be sent. Simple is better.

2. Run a very simple survey on Facebook

A quick and easy way to survey is to setup a 4-design block of artwork and ask people to rank them in order of favorite to least favorite. Repeat as many times as necessary and narrow down to the most purchasable artwork. While a quick test of likes & comments is a good indicator of interest, you may discover differences between something people love and something people would actually hang in their homes. You want to lead with compelling work that is also likely to be purchased.

 

Alternatives to Google for Searching the Internet

One source for Google search alternatives is alternativeTo. The listings come from people on the Internet, using sites, services, and software and deciding which they like to use best. (Of course, software developers, businesses, and marketers are also free to post on the site too). Overall, the alternativeTo site is not so popular that marketers have flooded it with junk. So, the site is a really good source for software reviews and alternatives to try.

A few to get you started: 

Obsolete and Forgotten Phrases

My Mother sent me this today. Makes me sad to see words disappear, like old buildings, typewriters, wrist watches and almost everything else. (I’m sure there are some things I would not miss should they disappear).

They forgot whippersnapper, or maybe that is older than the 50’s and forgotten by more than one generation.

Love this one…..remember them all!

Murgatroyd, remember that word? Would you believe the email spell checker did not recognize the word Murgatroyd? Heavens to Murgatroyd!

Lost Words from our childhood: Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really!

The other day a not so elderly lady said something
to her son about driving a Jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said “What the heck is a Jalopy?”
OMG (new phrase)! He never heard of the word jalopy!! She knew she was old…. but not that old. Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.

About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology.

These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.”

Back in the olden days we had a lot of ‘moxie.’ We’d put on our best ‘bib and tucker’ to’ straighten up and fly right’.

Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley!

We were ‘in like Flynn’ and ‘living the life of Riley”, and even a
regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell?

Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers…AND DON’T FORGET… Saddle Stitched Pants

Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, Well, I’ll be ‘a monkey’s uncle!’ Or, This is a ‘fine kettle of fish’! We discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent, as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind
We blink, and they’re gone. Where have all those great phrases gone?

Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It’s your nickel.. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Wake up and smell the roses.

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff! (“Carter’s Little Liver Pills” are gone too!)

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeable times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory.

It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging.

Leaves us to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth…

See ya later, alligator! After awhile crocodile

Okidoki

WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE FABULOUS 50’S..

NO ONE WILL EVER HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY AGAIN…

WE WERE GIVEN ONE OF OUR MOST PRECIOUS GIFTS:

…………OUR MEMORIES……..

Photos of an Old Canadian Typewriter

These are photos I took at the Goodwill store (a few years ago) of an Eaton’s department store brand typewriter. Sometimes I wish I had bought it. But, realistically, it would just be sitting somewhere with a gathering crowd of dust bunnies. I like typewriter art but I don’t think it is something I would have gone far with. I wouldn’t like fiddling with the typewriter ribbon. I do miss the typewriter smell. This one had it. Young people won’t even know what a typewriter smells like. 

Fixing Things Again

It is so much easier to fix things on Blogger and import posts from Blogger to WordPress, than to deal with WordPress. I think that’s kind of sad. But, I am pulling this site back together, from assorted parts which are here and there on my hard drive and stashed away online in places like Blogger (blogspot). So far the posts from Blogger are up and loaded with images, intact. I was not expecting it to be so easy.

I still have all the old WordPess back up files which I will have to play around with. WordPress will not like them as they are, they are big. I can export them as big files, but I can not import them back again as big files. Even though, they are the same files.

I am wishing myself luck, and patience.

Google Knows Where you Live and They Want to Tell Everyone

Did you know Google keeps track of everything you do online, with any Google products, software, etc. You can’t make them stop, not really. (You would have to eliminate Google from your life). Also, if you do want to control how much they know and share about you, the most you can do it pause it. There is no stopping Google.

Google is not the only option for web searches. Even if you are only looking for your own site to see where it comes up in a search – why are you only looking at Google?!

The following screen captures are a mess due to problems with software I was using. Right now I don’t want to fix them. But, they tell the story, as messy as it is.

I Want RSS Feeds Back

Where did the RSS feeds go? It is harder to find them on any site, even if they do give an RSS link. Too many don’t have RSS at all. Why?

Newsletters are the replacement for RSS feeds. Newsletters which seldom have any news, just more marking.
Subscribe used to be an RSS feed link. Now they want your email address. They don’t want to give you something when they can take something from you instead. No doubt this is about getting email addresses. No matter what they say, sites do collect and sell email addresses. They may not call it selling (that wouldn’t be nice or popular), but it is the same thing. All in the name of marketing and making a buck.

So much is based on marketing. It’s more important than readers, or shoppers. People are exploited by marketing, especially on the Internet. If people really mattered would they be treated like lemmings this way?

Why are RSS feeds disappearing – because they want to drag you back to their site where all those plump, juicy ads await you. Those videos that you can’t stop, those pop-up ads which have become popular again (mostly spamming newsletters ironically enough).