About me

May. 31st, 2025 12:50 pm
meaghansketch: A self portrait of the author (Default)
Hi! My name is Meaghan and I am an animator living in Brooklyn, NY. My interests include animation, running, and analyzing things. My current fandoms include Community, Parks and Rec, and Castle. I love reading theoretically but I don't do enough of it and am constantly trying to correct that. I went to Wiscon this year (2011) and am hoping to connect with some of the community via Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment or friend me, or to follow me at twitter (@meaghansketch).
meaghansketch: A self portrait of the author (Default)
Without going on and on about how I never post...

There was a discussion on a running forum this week about women-only races.  Now, because they can't actually exclude men (I don't know under what circumstances they would be allowed to), they have different policies for men, such as a policy that men who enter can run, but they can't start near the front of the field, or they aren't eligible for prize money if they do win.  

Many people (men and women) on the forum were against women-only races because they were 'sexist', 'offensive', or 'degrading'.  I think a lot of this is just straight-up manifestation of privilege.  Most men have never had the experience of lining up at a starting line, aware that half the competitors around them had a natural chromosomal advantage insurmountable by any amount of training.  Several forum posters shorthanded this to women being 'intimidated' by being in a racing environment with men.  No.  I am not intimidated.  I am resigned to the fact that no matter how good I get (and I am pretty darn slow by any definition), no, I will never be able to compete on an even playing field with the top men (or even an equivalently-trained man) in any mixed-sex race.

I won't deny that there are complicated issues with single-sex sports in general.  Not everyone, obviously, is at one end or another of the sex or gender spectrum.  I believe that everyone should have a chance to compete in any sport they want to, and I recognize that people who are trans or gender-queer could have a tougher time in a race that strictly separates people by sex.  I don't know the answers to these questions; I think that in general, the question of integration of people who are trans or gender-queer is not one that is adequately addressed.  

I am not in any position to begin answering these questions, though I always start with the position that people who consider themselves women should be able to compete as women, and that people who consider themselves men should be able to compete as men.  I have to admit to having done absolutely no research on gender-queer people in sports, and that I really have no starting point to discuss that, so that is something I'll have to work on if I'm going to continue to discuss these issues.  It is probably unnecessary to say that discussion on this running forum did not get so far as to consider these questions, since people had more important points to make, like 'women cheering for each other is annoying'. (blargh).

Despite these issues, I do think that once a year, an opportunity to race and know that, on the sex spectrum, at least, I am on an even playing field with my competitors is a great thing for me, and I think, for other women.

Miscellany

Jun. 29th, 2011 10:35 pm
meaghansketch: A self portrait of the author (Default)
Started training for a half-marathon in October.  Following a new training plan which is 6 days/week, which doesn't seem like a lot more than 5 days/week, but which in reality means half the rest days.  Doing OK so far except for being tired all the time.

SOO Tired of all the casual sexism/ablism/fatphobia etc. at my workplace.  Everyone raves about how 'cool' and 'chill' and 'relaxed' the place is, and how it's so great how you don't have to be policing what you say all the time or anything like that.  Yeah, that's great unless you are a marginalized person in any way.  Lately a couple of my coworkers have been dealing with a person who is rather gender-ambiguous and keep trying to guess/figure out the person's gender (on a strict binary, of course).  I come in to hear things like, "guys!  Guys!  I think ____ is a girl!".  Ugh.  Not to mention any time a woman who doesn't work for us is mentioned (pop culture conversations, etc) the conversation is all about how attractive or unattractive she is.  Because that's apparently what's important.

Reading!  Closing in on "Her Smoke Rose Up Forever".  2 stories to go.

Making a website for my friend.  I always underestimate the tension that this causes!  I have a very particular sense of design, and other people often have... different... ideas. 
meaghansketch: A self portrait of the author (Default)
I ran the New York Road Runners Mini 10K today!  Unfortunately for me it was a full 10 kilometers, not some fun-size smaller version as the name might imply.  The race got its start in 1972, as the "Crazy Legs Mini Marathon", and keeps the 'mini' part of its name today.  According to the organizers, it was the first road race just for women.  This year NYRR was honoring the life and running career of Grete Waitz, who won the NYC marathon 9 times(!), the most wins for anyone- male or female- at a major marathon.  She died this year of cancer at the age of 57.

Of course there are some problematic things about having a race that's just for women (not quite sure how they even define that; when you enter you have to specify your sex, and you can only select 'male' or 'female', but  at the middle of the pack where I am there's not any kind of testing to prevent you from choosing what you prefer.  There are positive aspects, too, though-- I did feel like I was competing on equal footing with everyone around me, and sometimes I feel that it's more of a tendency of guys to either start off way too fast and then just come to a dead stop mid-race in the middle of the road (right in front of me, often) or else to run the whole race really easy and then just run the last half-mile really hard, blowing right by me and often cutting me off when I'm struggling to get to the finish line too-- though of course everyone can be inconsiderate.  I do feel that for myself it was an extremely positive experience... Though personally I would have liked it a bit more if it was slightly less strongly gendered...  The T-shirts were pink, and everyone got pink carnations at the finish line.  Oh well.  We also got little mini-medals, which I was excited about-- this is only my 2nd medal, since the half-marathons I've entered don't give participation medals.  Also I got to see Kathrine Switzer talk.  She is famous for being the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon, entering her name as K.V. Switzer, in the days where you didn't even have a gender choice on the entry forms, they just assumed no woman would enter.  The race director tried to tackle her off the course at mile 2, but she managed to finish anyway!

I am making progress with reading!
I am still working my way through Andrea Smith's "Conquest" which is incredibly interesting and also very depressing-- I'm nearly at the end but I think I'm going to have to put it down for a bit, I kind of feel like it's all a bit much to take in at once.  Will try to get back to it later this week.

Also working my way through "Her Smoke Rose Up Forever" by James Tiptree Jr. I am very much enjoying these stories!  It is the first time I am reading nearly all of them (read "The Screwfly Solution" a couple years ago).  I can't really comprehend how so many people insisted that she couldn't be a woman-- so many of the stories are so strongly about gender, and seem to me to be from such a female perspective.  

Been doing some digital painting-- nice to get back into that after not doing it in so long.  I was never very good at it so I don't feel out of practice, just generally frustrated with where I am with it.  
meaghansketch: A self portrait of the author (Default)
Just a quick note on what I'm reading:

fiction:
When It Changed by Joanna Russ


nonfiction:
Conquest by Andrea Smith

online:
V.S. Naipaul: No woman writer is my match
Indian reservations disappear from Google Maps
(both these are getting linked all over the place, but, seriously, WTF?)

EDIT to add: via Sociological Images, apparently Bing Maps not only shows the Indian reservations, but names them.

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meaghansketch

February 2012

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