Introducing: The Percy Award

Last year, when I saw Alison Bechdel talk, she introduced me to Stigler’s Law of Eponymy – “No rule is named after the person who came up with it.”

Stigler did not invent that law.

In the spirit of Stigler’s Law, allow me to introduce you to the system I’ve come up with to test how feminist a film is: The Percy Award. There’s only two criteria…

1) There is at least one woman with a plot that doesn’t revolve around: a man, femininity, beauty, or being a mother.

2) There are (roughly) at least as many female speaking roles as there are male speaking roles.

If a film accomplishes both of these, it gets The Percy Award. Let’s break it down:

1) There is at least one woman with a plot that doesn’t revolve around: a man, femininity, beauty, or being a mother.

Most of the time women are given same two roles, over and over again. They’re mothers or lovers – the virgin or the slut. They exist to dispense sex or nurturing, to be lusted after and fulfil societal expectations. They can always be described in relation to a male – “the love interest”, “the sister”, “the ex”.

Women in films exist to dispense sex or nurturing, to be lusted after and fulfil societal expectations. They can be described in relation to a male – “the love interest”, “the sister”, “the ex”.

And on the rare occasion that they do more than just prop up a male character’s plot, the fact that they don’t fit the typical feminine archetype will be their plot (think Merida in Brave).

To fulfil this criteria, the woman also needs to actually be given a storyline, which is pretty important*. We’re defining a “plot” here as “A story with a beginning, middle and end (in different scenes).”  Megan stealing the dogs in Bridesmaids isn’t a “plot”, but Annie dealing with the closure of her bakery is (and while it involves a man, it certainly doesn’t revolve around one).

* Note that I’m not saying “main characters” or “central storylines” – that would eliminate every film with a single male protagonist, and a film can still be feminist while having one protagonist who is male.

2) There are (roughly) at least as many female speaking roles as there are male speaking roles.

Our population is made up of (roughly) 50% men and 50% women. You would expect representation in film to be roughly the same, but in 2013 only 30% of speaking roles were female, and only 15% of protagonists. The further back you go, the worse it gets.

As a writer, whenever I need a character to deliver a throwaway line or piece of information, my first instinct is always for that role to be filled by a man. Shop-keeper, hotel clerk, doctor – unless a character needs to be female, they’ll be a man.

This ties into the first criteria as well. If a writer sits down and asks themself “Okay, let’s put a woman in – what would a female plot be about?” then they’ll repeatedly draw from the same well. Men can have any plot in the world; women need to have a woman plot.

Male as the default is a dangerous and unhealthy attitude. You’ll see it all the time – if a character doesn’t have to be female, then they won’t be.

Also note – we’re not counting the number of lines, just whether or not they have lines at all. This is for the same reason that “roughly” is specified. You should be able to work out whether a film is deserving of the award without having to sit down and rewatch it with a pen and paper.

You’ll find that the vast majority of the time, it will quickly become obvious whether a film is going to come close.

In Bridesmaids, for example, female roles include: Annie, Lillian, Helen, Megan, Rita, Becca, Annie’s mum, and Rebel Wilson. Male roles include: the policeman, Lillian’s father, Jon Hamm, Annie’s boss, the fitness instructor, and Matt Lucas.

There are probably a few more scattered around, but Bridesmaids? Totally deserves The Percy Award.

Finding worthy films is extremely difficult. That’s why it’s not a “test” – it’s not a pass/fail system, and it’s not something that a movie can accomplish with one throwaway line (I love the Bechdel Test for looking at trends, but I just don’t think it’s the best standard for evaluating individual films).

Getting a Percy Award is an accomplishment – if a film manages to give a woman something to do outside of base gender expectations and it shows a roughly-equal representation of both genders, then that’s (sadly) a genuinely rare feat.

So let’s celebrate it. What films can you think of that deserve The Percy Award?

Group Theory

everyone is wrong

Here’s the sad truth: every group, no matter how big or small or well-intentioned or yes, even hateful, is going to contain idiots. Not just idiots – truly awful human beings who want to bring everyone else down, whose identity is tied up with being a part of the group AND their membership making them better than everyone else.

If you judge the entire group by those people, you’re doing everyone a disservice and also opening your group(s) up to the same attitude*. There’s no easy solution to this – it’s really difficult to examine the group “as a whole” or even work out the group’s true core values, because they’re so often misrepresented by these angry, loud people.

*and yes, YOUR group also contains those hateful, ugly people. No exceptions.

Instead, try to find the best of the group, see where they’re coming from, and then decide whether or not it’s a point of view you can understand, even if it’s never going to be something you agree with. Again, this is not easy, but it’s the best and most fair (and frankly most interesting) way to do things, and it’ll leave you better equipped to fight evil, and with a greater understanding of the world.

And above all, strive to never be that person. Identifying a certain way might make you feel good, but it doesn’t automatically mean that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is evil, and treating the world as simplistic and black-and-white just makes you look like an idiot.

(Now here’s a game for you – try to guess which group inspired this post! I would put money on no one being able to work this out, because though it may seem to obviously be about x or y, this philosophy genuinely does apply to EVERY group and identity I’ve ever, ever encountered.)

Why you should identify as a feminist: Deleted scenes

Here’s a section I wrote for my last post but couldn’t actually fit in anywhere:

Another way of thinking about “why do feminists spend so much time on women’s issues”:

Imagine you need to paint a wall black. There are a few navy-blue splotches around, but the vast majority of the wall is a bright, blinding white. Where do you start painting? And once you’ve started, where do you spend the majority of your time?

Women, in literally every country in the world, have a measurably worse life than men do, in almost every aspect of their existence. That’s not to say men have a perfect life or suffer injustice – off the top of my head, I know that they’re encouraged to talk about their feelings less (resulting in a higher suicide rate), they go to jail more and have a worse time when they’re there, and they are less likely to get custody of their kids.

Women, meanwhile, are more likely to be raped (and to be blamed for it when they are), they earn ~70 cents for every dollar a man earns, they are held to an extremely strict beauty standard (and suffer direct consequences when they don’t adhere to it), they make up something like 17% of speaking characters in films and 30% (or less) of lead roles, they make up such a tiny percentage of political roles in the world, they’re sold into sex slavery around the world in ridiculous numbers (80% of the 600-800 thousand people trafficked around the world each year are women), they’re hassled on the street unless they have a man present…I could go on, but I hope we can agree that I don’t need to.

Women’s rights and women’s issues are the white part of the wall. Men’s issues are the navy-blue splotches. We need to start with the overwhelming issues facing women, and we need to spend the vast, vast majority of our time there.

Why you should identify as a feminist

I run a Facebook group dedicated to discussing feminism, the aptly-titled “Let’s Talk Feminism“. About a month back, I posted this mini-essay on identifying as a feminist, and someone asked me to repost it publicly. So here you go!

The question is basically “Why should you identify as a feminist?”, or to break it down slightly further, “Why put yourself in the same group as people who you think are awful, even if you technically fit the definition/share some of the same core ideals?”

(at least, that’s the question I’ll be answering: if you have a similar/related question you want me to answer, leave a comment and I’ll try to get to it.)

This is a conversation I actually have a lot. I totally get it, too: when some people hear hear “feminist”, they think “bra-burning, man-hating, all-sex-is-rape nutcases.” And yes, that kind of feminist absolutely does exist.

There are three main comparisons I like to use. Two are personal and unlikely to cause offense, and the other is more general and has the potential to make people very angry. I’m going to use all of them.

Comparison #1: 

I, personally, hate being referred to as a “nerd”. When I hear nerd, I think “socially awkward, proud-of-being-into-obscure-things (for the sake of being into obscure things), misogynist recluse.”

That’s not what the word means.

I play board games that 99% of board gamers haven’t even heard of. I make card and board games as a hobby. I’ve spent 8 years working on a fantasy universe, just for the fun of it. I make my living working online. I am a reasonably big name in the community hub of a digital trading card game.

It’s basically impossible to ignore the fact that I’m a nerd.

And so, for the record, I totally GET it. I understand why you hate that you can’t be passionate about certain topics without being landed with a label that you don’t like.
But the fact is, sometimes you’re a thing (even if you don’t want to be) and it’s fruitless to fight it. Not only fruitless, but – in my opinion – actively unhelpful. (And by now, you should all know how much I hate unhelpfulness. :P)

Comparison #2:

I want to get married, some day.

I’m a polyamorous (more-than-one-love-at-once person) feminist, who’s completely aware of the awful history of marriage.

When I think marriage though, I don’t think “Has origins in women being property”. I think “public declaration of love and commitment.” And so I want to get married, because I want to show the world how awesome marriage can be. I want to show that marriage might have awful connotations to some people, but that isn’t what it has to be – you can take the concept, and work on shaping it into something really cool.

“But why take a pre-existing word and try to change public opinion? Why not just make up a new word, like Soulbinding or Civil Union or something?”

Because, frankly, it’s not going to catch on. I can say “Hey I’m going to get soulbound to my girlfriend” and I have to explain it in full every time, but honestly no one else is ever going to use the word.

Instead, why not say “I’m going to get married” and if people look at me strangely, explain how I’m using the word?

This is an argument I see a LOT in terms of feminism. “It has ‘female’ in the title*! People who I don’t like are using the word! I’m going to call myself an egalitarian/humanist/equalist/genderist/oh my god there’s so many.”
*more on this later.

Firstly, as I said, it’s not going to catch on. Really. Feminism has been around for a very long time, and – like it or not – it’s here to stay. Feminism is THE leading movement that works towards equality of the genders. It has been since it started, and it will be for a very long time. The word means “someone who believes there should be equality between the sexes.”

If you believe that it’s been “taken over” by horrible people, there’s exactly one way to fix that, and it’s not “use a different term”. You’ll end up a confusing array of words that no one understands, you’ll splinter the movement, and – perhaps most importantly – you’re never going to convince EVERY feminist to stop using the term.

If you want to “save” feminism from meaning “people who hate men”, you need to start using the term to describe yourself while being a decent, non-misandrist human being. You need to use the term proudly while being a good guy.

That’s it.

Declaring yourself a genderist instead is going to require you to explain what you mean by that, every single time it comes up. Why not instead call yourself a feminist, and explain what you mean by that only to people who don’t already know what feminism is/use it the way you’re using it?

There are feminist dickheads. There are a LOT of feminist dickheads. But the fact is, if we all started using “genderist” instead, there would almost-immediately be a lot of genderist dickheads. So what do we do then? Make up another term?

If you want to be a part of a movement without dickheads, you’re going to be searching for a while. If you want to be part of a movement where people don’t associate the term with dickheadery, call yourself a feminist and be a good guy.

I am a nerd. I am a social, well-dressed (most of the time), well-spoken, outgoing, feminist nerd.

And the more nerds like me there are, the less ashamed I’m going to be to use the term.

Comparison #3: (WARNING: Possibility of offense ahead!)

I know someone (and if you’re reading this, I hope you’re okay with me using you as an example) who doesn’t identify as a Christian.

That’s fine. I don’t identify as a Christian either.

This friend, however, believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God, who came down to Earth to save us from our sins. They believe that Jesus is the path to salvation, and that belief in Him is the only way to get into heaven.

They don’t like being called a “Christian”, however, because…you know. Some Christians are crazy.

I sincerely hope you can see how completely ridiculous that sounds. If you believe that there should be equality between the genders and you don’t call yourself a feminist, that is what you sound like. For real.


Other arguments I frequently see:

But feminism has ‘fem’ in the title! As in FEMALE!

Yes. So what?

“Female” has the word “MALE” in it! “Woman” has the word “MAN” in it! Do these words bother you? If you’re going to complain about gendered terms within words, at least make sure you’re consistent about it.

We’re not going to rewrite the English language, because it would simply never catch on. English is not a literal language, and (as a writer) I can honestly say that’s one of its most beautiful strengths.

Feminism started (and is still primarily focussed*) on women’s rights. That’s its origins, and that’s why it has the name it does.
*more on this later

The word “English” is now used in hundreds of countries. But its name has “ENG” in it, as in “ENGLAND”…because that’s the origin of the word. It would be a ridiculous amount of effort and almost completely pointless to change the word just for America and Australia and Canada and etc etc.

Similarly, we’re not going to change “feminism” just for men whose feelings are hurt because they’re not in the title.

But feminism focuses on women! I want to be involved in a movement that REALLY believes in equality, spending just as much time on men’s rights.

Here’s the thing: Feminism absolutely does deal with men’s issues.

Men are encouraged to bottle up their feelings, because talking about emotions is “girly” – that’s something feminism fights against.

Men are denied custody because taking care of children is seen as a woman’s job – that’s something that feminism fights against.

Men are killed in greater numbers than women, because they’re encouraged to be violent (often specifically against women) – you’d better believe that’s something that feminism fights against.

Men are more likely to go to prison, because women aren’t seen as capable of the same sort of criminal behaviour as men – believe it or not, that’s something that feminism fights against.

A lot of feminism is dedicated to the fight that women, just like men, are human. And EVERYONE comes out on top when that fight is won, men and women alike.

I’m not a feminist – I’m a humanist.

Why not be both?

Seriously. There’s nothing stopping you from taking on both labels. “I’m not a nerd, I’m a board game enthusiast.” No…I’m both. You can consider one a subset of the other if you like, but the fact is that both labels describe me.

Anyway! There are a bunch of other reasons you should identify as a feminist – to unite the brand, because of its long and (frankly beautiful) history, and to signal to other decent humans that you too are a decent human – but the above are my personal reasons I strongly argue that you should, as well as some rebuttals to common questions I hear.

The last time I had this conversation, a friend of mine said something that I’ve always loved quoting:

“Basically, the only problem with “Feminism” is that people don’t understand it. We will not need the word when everyone identifies as a feminist.”

If anyone has any questions, or disagrees with me, I’m keen to hear about it. Special thanks to Cherese Sonkkila for helping me draft this post.

Why I don’t secret.

There’s a big discussion in the erotica forum that I frequent (to follow trends, get opinions on covers, and be inspired by how well other people are doing) about keeping your choice of career a secret.

I’ve never been much for secrets. I had to keep a secret from SJ for about 3 months (more on that later) and it was horrible. I almost spilled the beans a number of times, and any time she was talking to someone who knew, I was on edge.

Never again, says I. It’s not fun, and I’m not good at it.

Pretty much as soon as I started making money from erotica, I started telling people. I didn’t broadcast it, or introduce myself to people by saying “me Peter, me write smut”, but if someone I knew asked what I was doing for money, I’d tell them.

A few people in my line of work just tell everyone in that they write romance; I do that on occasion, but mostly people I won’t interact with regularly – other extras on set, bored wait-staff, or my dentist.

Since I’ve told my family (who were all cool with it; all of them but my Dad asked if they could read a story or two) I’ve “come out” about smut-writing everywhere but Facebook. I didn’t want the wider world to know before my family did, simply because that would be a pretty crap way for (say) my sister to learn about it.

(Facebook is an interesting bag – I feel like I’m forcing it into people’s faces if I post about it on there. My extended family read my Facebook closely, and as most of them are religious, I suspect that they don’t really want to know about it.)

(If I ever start making serious dollars, I’ll post about it there, but until then I’m happy to keep it under wraps.)

I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith – I think he’s a great writer and an even better speaker. I’m actually a bigger fan of Kevin Smith the man than I am of his films – I’ve seen all his stuff except for Red State, and while I love Clerks, Clerks II and Dogma, the rest I can pretty much take or leave.

One thing that he heavily promotes is “owning your shit” (I can’t remember if that’s his exact words or not.) – the logic is that if you own your weaknesses (being fat or having a small dick or whatever) then no one can “dig it up” and try to use it against you.

I write porn. For years, it was just for fun – in the last few months, I’ve started making money from it. (about a year ago, I started writing for commission, but that was only ever spare change, and I’ve only recently begun trying to make a living from it.)

My best-sellers are what’s called “PI”, or Pseudo-Incest: step-fathers, step-siblings, adopted cousins etc. Consensual, fully-grown adult incest, I should specify. They sell well and I’m good at writing them – I have absolutely no attraction toward my own family, but I’ve always enjoyed the fiction of it – so that’s where most of my writing energy goes. They make up something like 70% of my income, with two books alone being about 25% of that.

I also have no shame about my body (except perhaps that I’m a little chubbier than I’d like) and so I’ve done a little bit of online porn. Nothing hardcore (though I don’t honestly have any objections to doing that either) – there are a few alternative erotica sites that pay you to do stuff like masturbate on-camera. I’ve done two videos so far, and they’ll be released in the next month or two.

But as well as all that, I’m also a kids’ puppeteer. For a while, I wondered if I should keep all the above under wraps (or even decide not to do it at all) – if I were to create the next Sesame Street, would it all come tumbling down when a video of me jerking off surfaced, or if people found the story “Backseat Fisting” amongst my catalogue?

If it does, so be it. Morally, I have no issue with the people behind “Play School” also being porn stars. I realise that I’m particularly liberal when it comes to these things, but as far as I know, there’s no connection between being filmed having sex and being dangerous to kids. If others disagree, that’s their problem, and if it means that they won’t buy my products (or the network refuses to air my shows, etc) then so be it. I’m not the kind of person who lives their life by the standards of others, and I don’t want to be.

You only get one chance at life, and it doesn’t make sense to me to make decisions based on what other people might think. If this attitude of mine results in bad things happening to me, then I’ll learn that lesson at the time.

Until then, I’m going to live my life as well as I know how to. And right now, that means writing chapter four of my latest commission (in which the adopted daughter seduces her mother to get her step-father’s attention) and then go home and redraft the story of the wizard who helps his owl work out how to best be an owl.

If it all goes up in flames, I’ll have this to hold on to: while it was happening, I had fun.

Have an interesting life.


Comparisons: “Base 10” and “Reclaiming”

This is the first in what I plan to be a series of posts called “Comparisons”, when I have the same issues or thoughts on two completely unrelated topics. Today: the mathematical concept of Base 10, and the social issue of reclaiming a word.

I have the same problem with both of these topics, and it's a simple one. But first, let me explain:

Base 10, for anyone who didn't learn this in math (and I'm always genuinely surprised how many people didn't) is what we use to count. As I sincerely hope you're aware, our numbers go like this:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

You'll notice that once we get to a certain number (“9”) we run out of digits, and have to start using more than one in combination. The point at which we switch to double digits (at number “ten” for us) is what the base is named after, so your standard 1-9 -> 10-99 -> 100-999 etc is called “base 10”.

What you may not know is that you can create bases around any number you like. Let's say you hate the number 9, and never want to see it again. Then you can just use base 9, which goes like this:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12…

It's not just skipping the number you don't like, it's a different way of notating numbers. When base 9 (so called because “9” is the number where we go to double-digits) gets a lot larger, it goes like this:

80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 100, 101…

It's as if the digit “9” doesn't exist. We've wiped it out of existence, and so we have to go straight to adding more digits.

Another example: 6, you may have noticed, looks a lot like 9. So let's use Base 6, and cut 6 out entirely. Counting in base 6 goes like this:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30…and when we get a big larger, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 100.

It doesn't stop there – in base 6, we go straight from 555 to 1000, and from 5555 to 10000. But if you have “20” in base 6, you have what we would refer to as “12” in base 10. If you have “100” in base 6, you would have “144” in base 10. Numbers have different meanings in different bases.

I could talk about bases all day, but I'll just give you two more examples. One of the most common uses of different bases is in computer code, and it's called base 2, or “binary”. Counting in binary goes like this:

0, 1, 10, 11, 100, 101, 110, 111, 1000…

Because base 2 can never reach actually use the number “2”, as soon as it hits 1, it has to move straight on to “10”. You can read thousands of words about binary in other places on the web, and if this kind of stuff is interesting to you, I genuinely recommend you do.

Each base has its own neat little tricks: you probably know a few for base 10: If a number is divisible by 9, all of its digits add up to 9; if a number is divisible by 3, all of its digits add up to 3; if a number is divisible by 4, its last two digits are divisible by 4; etc etc.

The easiest and most useful trick in base 10 is that “if the last digit is even, the number is even” – it blew my mind when I realised that's not true for other bases. Trippy.

Binary's trick? From right to left, the digits represent doubles of two: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc. If there's a 1 in that slot, add the double, if there's a 0, add 0. If you look at the number 1001110, you can quickly add it up by using that trick. From right to left: 0 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 0 + 0 + 64 = 78. Type “78 in binary” into google if you want to check my maths. (I did.)

Lastly: all of the examples I've given have been numbers smaller than 10. But you can go larger as well – base 16 is also known as hexadecimal (hex meaning six, decimal meaning base 10. “a” meaning “plus”, I guess.)

How does it work? Instead of going to double-digits after reaching “9”, hexadecimal goes to double digits after “15”. But 15 is double digits, so we have to make up some digits to put in when we run out of normal ones.

Fortunately, we have plenty of digit-equivalents lying around – you're reading a blog post made up of them. Hexadecimal goes like this:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, a, b, c, d, e, f, 10, 11…right up to f0, f1, f2, f3, f4, f5, f6, f7, f8, f9, fa, fb, fc…

It's a big weird at first, seeing letters used as numbers, but you get used to it. You'll have already seen it if you've ever used colors in an graphics program or in HTML. #000000 is black, #ffffff is white. Now you know how it works – it's split into red, green and blue, like so: #RRGGBB. Each pair of digits counts from 1 to ff, the last hexadecimal number before 100; black is a complete lack of colour, and white is each colour turned up to the max. Try #ff00000 and you'll see that it's pure red. Knowledge: attained.

(homework assignment: find out what happens when we run out of letters to use.)

We use base 10 for an obvious reason – we have ten fingers. (go on, count them. I'll wait.) Other civilisations have used other bases for various purposes – base 60 is a popular one, because of how easily everything divides into it (the number of days in a year probably plays into that as well.)

Base 10 makes sense; it's simple, manageable, and has some pretty handy rules that make our lives a lot easier (there are easy-to-learn rules for which numbers divide by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.) So what's my issue with it?

Well, first of all, let's talk (much more briefly) about reclaiming.

The idea of reclaiming is simple: instead of allowing words such as “nigger”, “cunt”, “slut”, “queer”, “gay” etc to purely exist as insults, some movements believe that the words should be used positively by the people they insult. There's a piece of art in the room that I'm writing this, a huge pink banner that reads “CUNTASTIC”, which I assume relates to reclaiming the word. (I've never actually checked.)

As an idea, I'm not so crazy about reclaiming words – I think that while you can definitely be successful (see: “geek”, “Jesus freak”, and even “gay”) you run the risk of only people within the minority being able to use the reclaimed word without causing offense (“nigger” is the most obvious example, but I've been told on multiple occasions that men are not allowed to use the word “cunt”.)

Personally, I think that anything which further segregates two groups (group x can use this word but group y cannot!) is a step in the wrong direction, but I don't profess to be an expert on it, and I can definitely see what they're going for. Rather than potentially misinform you any further, I'll leave you with the Wikipedia link, and you can read up about it yourself.

(16 paragraphs on math, 3 paragraphs on important social issues. Some things are just more fun to explain.)

So what's my issue with both Base 10 and Word Reclamation?

The name.

Base 2 is called base 2 because it never actually reaches 2. Base 6 goes to 5 and then skips into double digits.

Base 10? That makes absolutely no fucking sense. Every base is base 10. “10” appears in bases 2 through infinity. It could hardly have a less descriptive name if they'd tried.

I can see how it got the name that it did, but in mathematical terms, it's the height of arrogance. Base 10 pre-supposes that people know which base we're already using. Which, y'know, we do, but it's not elegant. The concept of mathematical elegance is one of my favourite things about the subject, and I think it's a little sad that such an important concept has such an inelegant name.

Reclaiming, in quite a different way, makes absolutely no sense either. To reclaim something is to take back what was once yours; historically, the words “nigger”, “slut”, “geek”, “queer” and “cunt” never belonged to the people they described. I notice that the Wikipedia page promotes the term “re-appropriating”; I wonder if someone else had the same problem as I did and this is their attempt to fix it.

I once tried to debate the issue in a large group of radical feminists. It did not go well.

Language is important. Names are important. If base 10 was named “base A” (as it should be), people would ask questions with interesting answers, and if you do nothing else in life, try to make people ask questions with interesting answers.

This long blog-post has been partially an excuse to explain bases (it's surprisingly hard to find reasons to bring it up in everyday conversation) but mostly a way to get some thoughts out that have sat in my head for many years now.

So write to your senator, bring it up in your next math class. Base 10 should rightfully be called “base A”, and “re-appropriating” is a much more suitable term. Together, we can fix the world, one minor issue at a time.