Friday, October 31, 2014

Genre: Modern Femme

Image Description: Woman with purple and blue hair walking along the ledge outside a building with her eyes closed.

We're a little over halfway through Genre's Androgyny event, and the offerings remain glorious. What I particularly appreciated is that there were unisex offerings from the femme side of things as well as the butch; there is a tendency for androgyny to be boiled down to streamlined and on the butch end of things for everyone, and so I was thrilled to see some offerings on the more femme edge, while keeping simple, straightforward styles; even boys deserve bows. Apricot Paws offered up a dress with a wide range of boob options: from flat to enormous, which can work for all sorts of avatars: human or not, and all sorts of genders: male, female, and other. The dress is color change, both the main body of it and separately the narrow band of color around the waist with a sweet bow in back; I love the subtle nods to an obi-style belt on an otherwise contemporary dress. The front and back colors are different, with a seam line along the sides, offering up some variety coming and going. It's also a simple, slightly asymmetrical shape which is rigged well to the thighs, moving naturally without cutting at the midline between the legs. Now and then a curve might cut into the thigh a little, but outside of static poses it isn't too noticeable, and in those - for photography purposes - a little angle goes a long way. I paired it with a bolero from Peqe that I picked up at the last Genre event; I love the combination of the high color, loose curve from the neck down, and belle puffed sleeves. It fit nicely over Apricot Paws's dress, a valuable ability in a bit of outer-wear.

Image Description: Closeup of feet wearing dark brown boots with gold crosses on them, standing on a red carpet.

My dual colored hair from Alli & Ali offers up another perspective on androgyny - closer to the Gemini effect than the place where male melds into female and the line between becomes obscured. The style is short and sassy, with fluffy curls and a nice curve around the ears large enough to fit even my oversized ones! I especially like the sideburns, long enough to be boyish while short enough a woman could rock the style as well. Also on the masculine edge, I'm wearing boots from C L A Vv again, this time in a warmer shade of brown to complement the soft blacks of the rest of my look. I love their heavy, platform weight - especially in contrast to the brighter colors and pastels of the rest of my look. It knocks this back from "Deo is her usual feminine self" closer to the spectrum which encompasses androgyny. And finally, hanging around my neck and layering perfectly between my dress and bolero is this adorable crystal necklace from Souzou Eien. I love the style of the necklace itself, a narrow leather band that hangs high around the throat with a long, descending length above the chain - it sets it apart from other, wider-shaped necklaces, and makes it work better within the narrow teardrop of skin I'm flashing. It comes with a color-changing HUD as well, through a variety of pale shades perfect for the crystal-lover on the go.

Image Description: Woman with purple and blue hair standing on a stairway.


Monday, October 27, 2014

The Lines Between Us

Large Currency

In July of 2011, Rebecca Watson talked about an experience she had at a conference. At the time, she didn't really identify as feminist. She mostly identified as an atheist and a skeptic, interested in all of that from a pop culture and communicative sort of way. Not a scientist, just a woman - a cool woman who called herself a Skepchick, along with a handful of other atheists and skeptics.
She talked about an experience where after listening to her talk all day, both professionally and personally, about how she didn't like being approached for anonymous sex - a man followed her into an elevator at 4am and asked her up to his room for coffee, a drink not normally drunk at 4am or in hotel rooms. She said, "Guys, don't do that," and then tried to give context by which that made her uncomfortable.

The flood of hate didn't start against her until a week later, when in a thread on the topic Robert Dawkins, a respected figure in the atheist not-really-a-movement-but-buy-our-books, took her to task by comparing Watson to a fictional Muslim woman he called "Muslima."

The whole thing would go down in history as "Elevatorgate", and shockingly more than three years later she and it still gets brought up, and she still gets hatemail, death threats, and rape threats over it.

Blithe Faerie is Blithe

In May of 2012, Anita Sarkeesian decided to start a kickstarter to support making more videos for her Feminist Frequency video series, this time specifically on video games. She asked for $6000 to make six videos, it was featured on the front page of kickstater, she got her money within 24 hours, she and many times her goal (with associated stretch goals) within the month.

She also got a flood of rape and death threats, including a video game which allowed you to "beat up" her image. Her public places on the internet were hacked, including her wikipedia entry. Among the rape and death threats was a growing portrayal of her as Jewish in the most anti-Semitic manner possible - very odd since she's actually Armenian.

She has been talking about the misogyny she received in several venues; now we know her public appearances were always accompanied by violent and credible death and bomb threats. She spoke every time, once the local police had secured the site, and only did not speak when the police told her they couldn't bar people with guns from being in her audience in Utah.

Running to the Bottle

In August of 2014, gamergate was launched to attack Zoe Quinn. Her alleged crime was sleeping with someone other than her boyfriend for positive game reviews; the person she allegedly slept with never reviewed her video game. Subsequently, another game designer named Brianna Wu (creator of Rev 60, an awesome iOS game) and Sarkeesian, among others, were added as targets.  The attacks on them, and many other women who rose to prominence in a variety of ways, is one of means by which women are dismissed from public life; it is a way of perpetuating an unequal and entirely gender-driven divide. It also affects many more people - women who rose to prominence in different environments but don't end up making the evening news because they aren't white, or they aren't cis gendered, or a thousand other characteristics and moments of chance.

What amazes and saddens me the most is how often these women are still blamed for the treatment they receive, even by self-identified allies. I have read people critique Sarkeesian for not going into a venue where people had guns because that was what the trolls wanted, so by definition they "win". So many of these women have been asked why they don't just stop doing what they are doing, as if that would end the hate. All of this focus on what the targets should do, and so little on what we and others can do to stop the ones actually causing the problem - the abusers and threateners. They, instead, get dismissed as children, or unemployed, or unable to have sex and thus inferior - all continuation of sexist denials of the humanity of men, even men who chose to terrorize women.

On the Arm

The lines between us are made by our own thoughts, and reinforced in committee.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mystic Flow

Image Description: Shot of a woman in a long, flowing blue gown walking toward a bench and the ocean.

Mystic Realms is one of the ten million gazillion events going on, and it's quite a fun one - if a little confusing. I found by making a circle of the center area, then again outside the gates, I was able to cover the whole faire without getting too lost. There was much that was tempting along the way, but I resisted womanfully and picked up only a few things which really leapt off the shelves at me. Starting from my brief and shining coif of shorn locks, my hair is from KOY and is a featherlight short style with lovely layers and a simple, crested style. It is editable, and I think it would work well for men or women alike. My jewelry and shoes, which cover quite a range of me from top to bottom, are all from Eclectica and are both elegant and a great deal of fun. The shoes are a delightful stylized holly pattern with black and white textures laid on top - touch to try each one. I really like the heel shape as well, an angled heel which is pleasantly chunky next to the narrow slingback.

Image Description: Closeup of black and white shoes with a large, stylized flower on the toe.

My Eclectica jewelry is all in a leafy style, with the cutest pieces being the little rings which come along with the rest. The necklace is a torque style, and the crown is a simple front curve that easily slides into hairstyles. It also comes with a pair of single-leaf rings, which I think are adorable. It doesn't come with earrings, and so I paired it with a set of moon earrings from Bliensen + MaiTai - not available at the faire, though a lot of lovely things are there and her store is always worth a visit and the laying down of some Linden for pretties. I chose the copper earrings to offset the soft, icy blue of my winter leaves, and to work smoothly with my blue Peqe gown with a copper collar. I really had a hard time picking one of these smooth, ankle-length robes; all of the colors were glorious, and I really like the contrasting colors of the collars. Most enjoyably, the Eclectica torque fits smoothly around the outside of the collar and lays well on my chest. The dress itself is a lot of fun, and is adaptable to a lot of poses; I found it moved well even with poses where the feet are apart! The train itself was a lot of fun to fit into an image, and a few places you can see it kicked up, as if the fabric were light enough to rise the wind of my passing.

Image Description: Shot angled down over the top of the head of a blond woman standing waist deep in water; her face can be seen in the reflection of the water.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RMK Halloween Event - Recipe Attempts

Here is a list for the RMK Halloween Hunt, which owes it's basis to the SL Mame website in Japan which gave me a lot of the working and not working recipes. I added in information from a very handy notecard which was passed ot me, and so also owe a debt of gratitude to Azure Larimore Winterforce (kariritaisho) and Remmock Belarius Winterforce (remmock) who began it, and the additional individuals who added their herbs - Dev (devinvaughn), Ҩ愛樹Ҩ (aijyu), αятємιѕ αмєℓℓ (crackodactyl), Allegory Malaprop, Rui (honeyvanity), Miel Dyne (kaibib), and ѦĿMIGHϮYØ Oᴡʟ Kɪᴛᴛᴇɴ ໓ε ℒօɾէ・は (shiny.gothly). Allegory also did a more general hunt guide.

I have compiled a complete list of every possible combinations, excepting duplicates, in an attempt to standardize recipe hunting to a certain extent. Tested and failed recipes are in italics, successful ones are bolded and listed at the top with single-sue (so far) herbs in all-caps, and recipes with no mark-up haven't been tried and recorded yet. There are sixteen total ingredients, which makes for an enormous list of possible combinations.

Ingredients: angel-wing, beard-cat, bloody, candy, dead-rose, fragments, honey, mandrake, melody, moonlight, parasite, poison, royal, sparkling, spider-web, stardust

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hot Pink Glow

Sunglow and Shadow

Junbug has a gorgeous dress out as a group gift - a bit of Linden to join, but well worth it for this slick look. The mesh is well rigged for a variety or poses, and the fabric looks good under a variety of lights. As of now the two Fifty Linden Friday gowns are still up for sale, as well, and if you at all like unique, pretty gowns they would be a shame to miss!

Arrival at the Manor


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Genre: Sacred

Image Description: Shot of the back of someone in a suit with an ankle length skirt and heavy boots standing on a bridge.

I've never been accused of being particularly androgynous; if anything, I tend sharply toward the femme end of the spectrum, being a fan of skirts, frills, ribbons, and shiny jewels. That's part of what makes Genre so fun, though - offering up opportunities to go against the grain stylishly. One thing I particularly liked about what I've seen so far is that contrary to the tendency for "androgynous" to be most often translated to menswear for women, Genre offers up several types of womenswear for men, and some truly lovely clothing that meets in the middle - like this long skirted suit by A:S:S. It's available with and without boobs, and somehow manages to meld together feminine and masculine in both pieces - the narrow simplicity of the suit top complements slighter builds while the length of the skirt is reminiscent of robes worn as much by men as women, especially historically. I'm not normally a suit wearer, but this one tickles my fancy much more than I would have otherwise expected. I echoed the narrow tie in the earrings from claMberry, which feature silver findings (gold is also available) and long, thin ties. They're quite fun as an accessory, especially with an androgynous theme.

Image Description: Torso shot of a boyish woman in a suit with pale skin and hair on half her head.

I wanted relative simplicity for the rest of my look, and so focused immediately on this neutral, extremely pale skin from Even Tide. It's delicately shaded, and wold work as well on a man's shape as a woman's; the body shading is delicate and lets the mesh shape do much of the work. It also comes iwth a selection of tattoo layers for different effects and shadows, but I wore it plain and it is lovely without a single addition. It doesn't come with appliers for any of the body add-ons, but I was able to match the skintone using SLink's basic utility. Even with the more feminine touch of my Mock lipstick, the effect is much more boyish than my usual. I wanted a similarly boyish hairstyle, and so went with The Stringer Mausoleum's wilted mohawk in a startling shade of white called, happily, "Unicorn." I love the jagged edges of it, and how it drapes beautifully over the temple. There are a bunch of other colors, but I found a certain glee in going white on white under the darkness of my severe suit. Speaking of severe, by far my clompiest accessory is these amazing boots from C L A Vv, in shiny patent leather. I adore the weight of them, and the angled shine. My poses are all suited for men or women, and are from Mien. They're fairly straightforward overall, with arms set wide enough to not cut into the body whether boob bedecked or otherwise!

Image Description: Close-up of a pair of boots under a long skirt walking towards a bonsai tree.

And finally, Schadenfreude not only released a treat bucket, but she released four - one of them as a special gift for members of the Silent Sparrow group and at the tail end of a lot of up and down stairs, because that store is a three dimensional labyrinth. If you aren't one of the lucky members, you can get a free brown and orange one at Schadenfreude's store as well, and if you're a member of that august group there's also a group-only bucket hidden somewhere around the elephant, but I love my red and blue carnival bucket so dearly! I also have it on good authority that katat0nik has a similarly individualized and fun bucket in melon shades for her group members, which means one can match trick or treat buckets with almost any look.

Image Description: Boyish woman in a suit with a long skirt walking down a path from a gazebo.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cities in the Mist

Image Description: Woman in purple, thigh-length dress standing in the middle of a run down city block with an unlit fire behind her.

My friend Charlie rebuild his sim recently, renamed it Lasting City, and it's a lot of fun. If you look closely, you can figure out where it was before the apocalypse.

In His Sights


Monday, October 13, 2014

Boho Culture Faire

Checking Down the Street

The Boho Culture Faire is going on right now, and for once I'm vaguely ahead of the event curve on this one. Good thing, too; one blessing the faire brought back was the civilized and inventory-enriching custom of free gifts in nearly every stall, and many of them are not only quite good, but include an image so you can easily pick and choose which suit your style and inclination. I ended up picking up these smart shoes, fitted to the SLink flat foot, from LaGeeny for a single linden. They are colorful, simple sandals with a cute bow on the ankle which fit beautifully - perfect for afternoons at the park. My RD Style romper, a sort of tank top and short combo which has become very popular in Second Life due to the heat this summer, is also one of the gifts for a single linden, and it's incredibly cute. I love the sealife texture, especially against the brown backdrop, and the shorts made it fun to pose with. Finally, my earrings from Bliensen + MaiTai, are available in her booth at the Boho Culture Faire, and the necklaces - lovely drippings of large jewels, are available from a gacha nearby.  The nice thing is, since the earrings are color-changing you can match them to any of the necklaces you win!

Ugh!

My hair is a fun and playful style from Ploom, and like usual I couldn't resist making it a rainbow of color. Melon also has a sister hair called Splayed, which is perfect for lying down if you want to keep the style contiguous; I really quite appreciate the opportunity, and ended up storing them together for photography purposes. I love the idea of having hairstyles that work in multiple poses, as if they were responding to gravity or wind. My lips are part of one of the large color packs from Adore & Abhor, and honestly I recommend anyone who wants a solid base for lip color to pick these up; they both work beautifully alone, and equally well layered under more transparent gloss textures. I love the lipline they give me, and how they accentuate the expression of my mouth. Finally, my nails are a release from Devae and are one of a bunch based off of her horn textures - all of them incredibly lovely. I love her fades in particular!

In Out of the Sun

The spot where I'm taking these pictures is new, and associated with a new website focused on covering events called EloquenceSL.com. Along with the website is an area with a wide number of group gifts and then a small tea room in the center - quite a lovely spot in the sky. It's more tightly packed than the usual Second Life location, which for photography purposes made it perfect - every inch had some lovely or entertaining bit, and there really weren't any bad angles. In addition, the website nicely puts the reoccurring events front and center. When you mouse over any of them, an orange screen pops up to give the rotation schedule, duration of event, and date of the next one. I love how the timing gets put front and center, since at this point I lose track of which is which and when they all start and end. The page for each event gives details and images of what's available, which is very useful. The coverage right now is fairly extensive, and there is contact information for individuals wanting to add their events to the mix. You can also apply to be a blogger for them, though it clearly isn't for the faint-hearted!

Grabbing a Snack


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bloody Gorgeous

Winds Rising Up

I've been playing around with my projectors, making a set from scratch with some added light on the face, since often I want that a little brighter than the surround. I'm not sure what I think about the pictures, but I'm having fun - I suppose that's what matters, right?

A Comfortable Grave