Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

3 Articles from October 2021

  1. Changing my mind about Star Trek: Discovery

    Season 3 fixes so much I disliked about the first two seasons.

    Last year, I made my peace with Star Trek: Discovery (DISCO). I recognized that even though the show doesn’t hit me the same way some of the previous series do, it has merits and it’s understandable why some people enjoy it so much. I concluded:

    I will watch you because you are Trek, even if you are not my favourite flavour of Trek, and I will enjoy you as much as I can, even if I will never enjoy you as much as I do DS9 or TNG. And that’s ok, just as it’s ok for other Trekkies not to enjoy some of the classic series and to find in DISCO their favourite version of Trek.

    I wrote that post just as season 3 ended, but it took the trailer for season 4 (coming out next month) to galvanize me into watching season 3, which I did over the course of the last two weeks. My overall impression? It’s actually not that bad. Watchable, even!

    The first two seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) are infamously bad compared to the rest of the series. Indeed, many curated lists of “must watch” TNG episodes suggest skipping most of those…

    Read more…

  2. Friendship, but in high fidelity

    To be asexual in our society is to be told constantly, in ways big and small, that you are broken. But we can change that, and everyone will be better for it.

    I’m always bragging to everyone who will listen about my incredible friendship with one of my best friends. It’s hard to put labels on our friendship—sometimes we say ride-or-die, but nothing really describes what we have, because English lacks a robust vocabulary for friendship versus the privileged way we talk about romance. All I know is that ours is a relationship that transcends the casual intimacy of friend yet doesn’t require the physical intimacy of sex or whatever the hell kind of intimacy romance is (I’m still not sure what that is).

    I told the story of how we met in a blog post back in December 2017, when our friendship was very new, saying:

    …there are no words sufficient for how much this new friendship has transformed my life for the better. Some people you meet and take a long time to become close to, for whatever reason—and others you barely get to know before you feel like they’ve been in your life forever.

    Well, four years later, here we are—Doctor Who Sundays bent and stretched into virtuality sometimes by demands of distance or pandemics but never curtailed. I knew, right from the start of our friendship,…

    Read more…

  3. Yes, whiteness makes you less marginalized even when you’re trans

    Intersectionality means I can’t separate my whiteness from my transness, nor can I ignore how the privilege the former identity grants me moderates the marginalization of the latter identity. We white trans people need to do better at acknowledging this.

    So the past week has been shitty for trans people, it’s true. Whether it’s Netflix doubling down in support of Dave Chappelle’s transphobia-as-humour, Texas making progress towards banning trans kids from sports, or the BBC running hit pieces on trans-inclusive charity organization Stonewall UK, it’s easy to feel like we are under fire from all sides. And it is certainly true that the status of transgender people the world over requires improvement.

    Yet as I dip my toe into the discourse on social media swirling around these injustices, I find myself recoiling not just from the discomfort of the initial events but from the rhetoric that some trans people and allies use. Any time someone attempts to compare transphobia to racism, to say something like, “Mmm, you wouldn’t say that about Black people, would you?” I cringe. It’s not the same, at all, and we need to stop it.

    When I say “we” I’m speaking mostly to my fellow white trans people, particularly white trans women. (And maybe, I guess, to Naomi Wolf.)

    Often forgotten, yet seldom marginalized

    To understand what I’m talking about, first we need to talk about the idea of marginalization. Loosely put, this…

    Read more…