VODKA O’CLOCK 1805:
F.O.R.G.E. CREATORS NATALI & JENN
AMBER LOVE 01-JUNE-2018 My work is supported by the generous backers at Patreon.com/amberunmasked who appreciate my reviews and my stories; and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. Also, I’m an Amazon Influencer so you can shop through my personal recommendations and buy my books with these handy links below:
I will put a trigger/content warning up front here regarding the conversation that begins around the 52-minute mark where Natali shared multiple stories about what her kids in middle school are going through regarding dick pics, self-harm/cutting, and suicide attempts. Throughout the show, we also talked about racism, rape culture, and misogyny in geekdom.
Safe Space Online:
Natali (Uber Dork Girlie) and Jenn (The Ruthless Geek) talked about feminism and their new project F.O.R.G.E. which stands for Feminist Organization for Rebel Geek Empowerment. Things are just getting off the ground. The goal is for everyone to geek how they want, be supported, and feel safe and welcomed. They are planning events in the local Milwaukee community. Some events will be recorded and then posted online. There’s a possibility of live streams in the future.
The WeAreFORGE.org site has a bulletin board system and people are encouraged to sign up and create profiles. Both creators are well aware of the safety concerns for marginalized people online. It’s not exclusively for women/women-identifying people. It’s for all feminist geeks. Jenn emphasized that people who normally may not be heard (literally or metaphorically) should have a space where they can have a voice.
Even when known feminists like Margaret Atwood say something unacceptable, they should be told so (albeit respectfully). “Feminism has to be inclusive,” is the message from FORGE. Parents, please let your boys read books with protagonists not like them!
I asked our librarian soulmate, Josh Neff for his recommendations:
- Labyrinth Lost, a YA urban fantasy by Zoraida Córdova about Latinx teen brujas.
- Catherynne Valente’s Fairyland series
- Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor
Other books discussed:
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood has been on Amazon’s top seller list for 36 weeks.
Malala Yousafzai memoir
Natali recommends any books on the Riot Grrrl movement
Raven the Pirate Princess and Princeless series
The March series about Sen. Lewis and the civil rights movement
Oh Joy, Sex Toy – mature sex education comics
“We geek how we want.”
** TRIGGER WARNING ** At 52:30 mark
Self-Care, Self-Harm, Self-Love:
Natali has been dealing with a lot this year regarding her kids’ friends trusting her to be the “safe adult” whom they can run to if they feel like they are in crisis. The school is well aware of all these situations from dick pics to self-harm to unsafe living situations and the school did nothing. After multiple instances, Natali demanded that the school do something about it. They ended up having an assembly with a mental health professional.
“The principal already runs from me.” Natali
When one of the young girls was contemplating suicide and texting Natali’s daughter, action was quickly taken. Natali did everything to try and find the parents’ contact information while the girl was being treated; she was hitting dead ends and have to leave a comment on the father’s YouTube channel. Eventually the police were also consulted. There was another wall then. The officer easily found the contact information, but they were in a different county.
For Natali, she and her girls turn to comfort behavior in order to get through times like these when their friends are in crisis. They eat ice cream, have slumber parties, play, and as Natali said, “just be kids.”
Amber’s long list of ideas for comfort: yoga (new YT channel), aromatherapy, reading, watching the same silly shows over and over, spending time with Gus outside on adventures, and meds (I have no problem tweeting when I’m fed up and taking a sedative), looking at cute pictures on Instagram and Pinterest.
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For the Chaotic Pride Pins that were mentioned on this episode, follow the creator on Twitter @ThisIsHannako.