You’re a Feminist but you just don’t know it yet!

Sometimes, people are so afraid of being labelled a ‘feminist’ they will start their sentence, thought or idea by saying…

“I’m not a feminist but women should be treated equally.”

Some guy at some point in time, probably.

Feminism as a movement has been and will continue to be about getting equality for women and advocate for the same rights and decency that men experience. Although some people think ‘Egalitarianism‘ is a good word to describe it, feminism focuses on gender usually (without going too deep).

“But Christoast!” I may hear you say, “I’m not a Feminazi!

To which, I would reply with the following. You don’t need to be afraid of that term, and you should really reconsider the usage. ‘Feminazi’ is used badly as another way (well, as suggested by the oxford dictionary for political slang) of saying a ‘determined feminist’. It is actually quite a derogatory term and when someone is labelled a feminazi, it usually isn’t because of their radical ideas but rather miscommunication or vilification. There may be extreme ideologies but you will find them so few and sparse within the theory/movement.

You are a feminist if you do these things:

  • Respect women (and not for your own benefit but because you genuinely respect them)
  • Thats it. Thats the catch-all.

Some who may be tilting their heads may say, “But men suffer problems and don’t get attention and have higher suicide rates and not being able to express emotion… etc.”

And if you are concerned about those problems, great! You are even more of a feminist! Because those are feminist issues. Because toxic masculinity deems you cannot cry, you cannot express emotion and permits this harm. It categorises emotion and ‘girly things’ as ‘not manly’ and as such, you become a target for expressing any femininity. Yes, those issues stated may affect men, but they are rooted in assumptions of what is appropriate gender expression for a man which is often seen as not anything that woman can do.

I wrote this article/blog post in response to common people being afraid of identifying as feminist. You need to know, that being a feminist is not a bad thing! This is particularly targeted to men and women who think negatively of the term feminist to help challenge assumptions about the word and about the lens and movement.

However, I am always interested in continuing this discussion so leave a comment if you so inclined or hit me up on one of my social medias!

What “No Politics” actually mean for forums and comment sections?

Comment sections and forums across the internet often have some kind of ‘no politics’ rule. Depending on the type of post, this usually robs a certain voice that must be heard. Of course, if it is a picture of a puppy liking peanut butter, then I better not hear about Trump’s wall in that comment section. But if it’s a discussion on say, Liam Neeson and the recent confusion of a journalist for a psychologist, the implications of his thought process have larger ramification that need to be addressed.

What I really like to try emphasise in a lot of my academic, creative and social thinking is that we are all political.

I don’t mean that we are all eligible of being the Prime Minister of Australia in the next minute (although that is arguably highly likely considering) but that all of us have power to affect beliefs and ideas of others all around us.

So a comment section or forum that talks about some kind of news story or event or idea, which isn’t allowed to be discussed in a ‘political’ way means a whole voice is robbed. A whole conversation about the power dynamics of a post is lost. The voice that would want to challenge what’s happening isn’t able to be heard. Power remains the same, lost to the authority of the ‘no politics’ idea. This becomes oppressive and weakens the chance for civil opinions to be heard.

An example I want to use is, as alluded too, the Liam Neeson fiasco. The link escapes me at the time of writing but I came across a thread that basically said ‘Let’s not talk about the politics behind this and appreciate how good of an actor he is, regardless’ (not verbatim).

The article highlighted over his name suggests that if what Liam Neeson did was done to a white person, race would not have been involved and he wouldn’t have sought out a white person. This is due to the assumed whiteness that is vicarious in our western society. So in a comment section that disallows the voice concerned about racism, in order to instead celebrate the mans accomplishments… it unconsciously accepts the dangers of lived racism.

We need to talk about politics, but not in the way we all think. We need to recognise everything we do has weight. Every single action affects how those around us perceive their world and how they enact their lived experience of said world.

There is no such thing as ‘no politics’, rather, only the politics that certain people want to hear when it would otherwise challenge human rights and basic human decency.

Night-Time Colours (Poem)

Release Version can be found here: Night-Time Colours

By Christos Floratos

These lights, they blossom as

Benches are left dormant like Antarctic ice,

And bodies undulate to the envy of mountains.

_

But why are these colours craved?

For a time of life. A sharing – of some sort.

Summer’s egress has fallen short of it’s glow.

_

A silent-loud decree is shared,

Of buttoned shirt and short-dresses,

A concubine of rats and men’s immortality this night.

_

Cruel bouncer. You block them from this night.

Cast dissonance upon their movements,

Let their legs stale like deviant cogs.

_

For intimacy has no atrium.

An open colonnade for expressions.

Love, like air, fills us up temporarily, forever.

_

Drinks are not to quench,

But to enforce this thirst

A longing of something far off, off, off.

_

Vague, like their purpose.

No white doves to be consummated here.

Constituents? No. And men? They go

_

To the night after,

To remember vivid lights and rhapsody’s,

To make friends and whatever tomorrow denies.

© Christos Floratos 2019

Presenting Themes in Dungeons and Dragons

One of my favourite things to do in Dungeons and Dragons is to imbue my homebrew world with real-world parallels. For example, the backstory to my continent of Illiam is that it was invaded by humans a long-time ago who basically colonised the continent. Hundreds of years later, the other races got sick and tired of this and pushed back the humans for the majority back to where they landed, which was Ericsa. After a while, all the races had to set aside their differences to face an even greater threat, a Shadow Dragon casting their dominion on the continent.

Allegorically speaking, this is a representation of colonisation and decolonisation practices. The uniting force, which is the Shadow Dragon, is meant to representation of acknowledging the past and working together with the resource that the city states now have.

But in terms of actual player experience, my home-game players have fought against a radical who attempted to change the foundation of the main religion in the biggest city. The main religion, was all about Progress and progress in the radical’s eyes came from tradition. One of the players had recently converted to this religion and became a cleric. The players had also met so many people already who identified as following the main religion. This is representative of what’s happening currently in our society.

Even if I don’t attempt to interweave themes seamlessly, it will always be a product and result of DnD as it is a living and breathing world. It is a story and stories have meaning. Themes and commentary in an RPG give that ‘oooohhh yeahhh’ moment where players can pinpoint and be like “oh boy that’s capitalism summed up” or “wait I know alot of tieflings, they aren’t all bad”. In my experience, integrating themes adds another layer of problem solving and enjoyment at the table.

DnD, like all stories, have some kind of underlying message. Giving thought to what themes you put in your world some thought may enhance the narrative experience as they go through the DnD story. Or like some great writers, winging it and developing it as it goes also works.

Just don’t J.K Rowling it please.

FYI: You can catch up on what my homegame players get up to at https://boullinismilfmoneysquad.obsidianportal.com/.
I also run DnD Weekly for Game Traders Blacktown! Check it out at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1786577751573911/