I Read the Internets – 11/06/07

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After posting last week’s I Read the Internets, I suddenly wondered whether I had somehow missed the latest Feminist SF Carnival (it seemed like it had been quite some time since I read one), so I went looking and found out that the carnival has been postponed while Ragnell hunts for a host.  If you have the slightest bit of interest in hosting an edition of the Feminist SF Carnival, you should totally go for it.  You can find contact details and such here.

At Pretty, Fizzy Paradise, Kalinara made a post this week that’s gotten a lot of well-deserved attention:

Am I trying to argue that in a male versus female discussion about sexism, the female voice is always right? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. There are plenty of feminist complaints that I look at and go “…you know, I think this one’s a stretch.” I’ve even blogged about them.

But the thing is, since our society still defaults to a male point of view, that means that a man does not necessarily need to see sexism at all. (Similarly a white person does not necessarily need to see racism, or a straight person doesn’t need to see homophobia.)

She’s got a lot more to say on the subject – check it out.

Karen Healey did a guest-column for Lisa Fortuner’s Just Past the Horizon this week on the subject of comics-reading girls in comics:

Girls reading comics are in shamefully short supply. She-Hulk herself reads “Marvel Comics”, since they’re legal documents – but that’s usually for work, not pleasure. Jack’s sisters read a lot, but comics don’t appear to be in their piles of library acquisitions.

When I read that The Authority’s Engineer was a DC Comics fan – a fan who wanted to be a hero, and knew she would have to make herself one – my reaction was not a mere happy recognition, but a fist-clenched “YES!” Finally, a comics fan more like me; an acknowledgement that reading comics wasn’t a wholly masculine activity!

Sadly, Angie’s the only one I’ve ever seen.

Karen’s asking readers to name other girls in comics who read comics, and a few commenters have already chimed in – do you have any to add to the list?

In non-comics books, a LiveJournal friend of mine, tacithydra, reviewed what sounds like a really interesting take on the history of Nancy Drew:

In 1929 Nancy Drew burst forth from the mind of Edward Stratemeyer like Athena from Zeus. Unlike Athena, however, Nancy wasn’t yet fully formed. She hadn’t even gained her proper name yet – Edward originally dubbed her Stella Strong. It took two women, Harriet Stratemeyer and Mildred Benson, to take Nancy in hand and create the girl detective that has lasted for 59 years, fifty-six original novels, movies, several knockoff novel series, and a television show.

This is their story.

Meanwhile, Reb over at Adventures in Lame reports on a signing she attended featuring Scott Westerfield and Jonathan Strahan, among others, and some interesting questions that were asked and answers that were given.

In gaming news, the November issue of Cerise magazine is now live.  There’s a lot of really thought-provoking content this time around, and hopefully a little something to read for everyone.  The editors are currently accepting submissions for their December issue, on the topic of “Gaming as an Industry.”  Check out the submissions guidelines for more info.

Those of you who dig SBG’s commercial coverage here at Hathor will probably be interested to see a very pointed re-editing of the recent Dove “Onslaught” video: “A message from Unilever.”

I don’t have any comics or light-hearted posts to share with you in closing this week, but Skye’s review of Resident Evil: Extinction at Heroine Content made me laugh, so perhaps it will amuse you, as well.

See you next week, internets!  Happy reading!

Comments

  1. sbg says

    Re the Dove/Unilever ads on YouTube: I’m torn. I still like the Dove ads for what they are, and still hate most of Unilever’s other campaigns. I know it’s all marking and knowing who and how to market to whatever target buyer you seek…but the different strategies almost make the company as a whole seem to suffer from MPD.

  2. says

    My take on Unilever’s ads is more harsh. For me, there’s no question Unilever’s only doing these “better” commercials to manipulate women who don’t like to think of themselves as Axe babes, and thus corner the whole market.

    To call this a good thing is like saying it’s okay a man’s a misogynistic emotionally abusive asshole because he donates to Greenpeace. And that’s not meant to be an absurd example – I’ve seen people demure about stuff like that when you point out how vicious a man is toward women, or certain women.

    To my thinking, accepting these commercials in the spirit Unilever WANTS us to think they’re being offered is cutting them too much slack.

    That’s just my opinion – I totally get why others feel differently and am not arguing there’s one single “right” answer.

  3. sbg says

    I totally get that, too, BetaCandy, but then I sometimes thinks it’s like if someone holds me accountable for, say, my parents’ voting practices. Is it my fault that they are single issue voters (and ridiculous issues at that)? Am I automatically painted with the same brush?

    A weak example, but I hope you know what I mean.

  4. says

    That’s a good point if you look at it in terms of Dove not having any say over Axe, which may well be the case.

    But that’s why corporations layer themselves that way: to escape culpability for anything and everything. And I’m just tired of that.

  5. MaggieCat says

    To my thinking, accepting these commercials in the spirit Unilever WANTS us to think they’re being offered is cutting them too much slack.

    I’m just cynical enough not to care what the corporation wants people to take away from any given ad campaign, but want to find a way to use it to get what I want. Brass tacks? They are there to make money. They can say all the want in their Dove campaigns that they’re trying to make a difference, and maybe the person who designed it meant that, but not everyone did- the company approved it because people like to delude themselves that they are giving money to non-evil corporations, even if it means ignoring that self-interest trumps all.

    So the only way to get through to them is through their self-interest. So criticize the Axe ads until pressure forces them to change them, since that’ll cause enough negative attention to cost them money. Compliment the Dove ads until they get enough attention to positively affect sales, because in the end it does get the good images out there that we want. I can’t be surprised when money is the only thing that motivates them, but at least knowing that makes it easier to know where to hit them so it hurts.

    The only way to change what they do is to make it unprofitable to send out the bad images, and profitable to promote better ones. Cutting down the good images just because they didn’t really mean it feels counter productive, since I rather doubt they ever mean anything- I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that the person who approved the Axe campaigns hates them but okayed them because they’re profitable. Which makes sense for the same reason I’m not going to be surprised if the big bad wolf tries to eat me. If you move the money, they will follow.

  6. says

    You know, I think all the ways of looking at Unilever’s ads we’ve brought up are valid, and I’ve used every one of them at some point with some show or fandom I’ve been involved in. But what’s bugging me is:

    I keep thinking, why are our only choices sexist ads that come from misogynists*, or less sexist ads that come from misogynists? (read as shorthand for “companies not above engaging in misogyny to sell product”)? Why isn’t there some company that’s not connected to something like Axe doing ads like Dove’s (or, preferably, even better)?

    Is it because if you don’t have a portion of your corp that peddles sexist fantasies, you won’t have enough money to launch a campaign like Dove’s?

    It’s 2007, people. We should have a better choice than any of this, and I think that’s what’s pissing me off too much to enjoy the Dove ads for what they’re worth.

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