Between my birthday (which was on Monday) and Thanksgiving (which was on Thursday, as they generally are in my country of origin), I have been doing much more eating than reading of the internets this week. Fortunately, something like the ultimate in internets reading was done for me by Racy Li, who put out the Seventh Blog Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans on the 20th (to those of you browsing from work – you might wanna wait until you get home to check this particular edition of the carnival out. Racy Li has some provocative artwork up in her sidebar that might make your coworkers a little more curious about your browsing habits than they need to be). She pulled together an excellent assortment of posts, and you should go check them all out (and I’m not just saying that because one of mine is in there, I swear)!
On the subject of the Feminist SF Carnival, I believe that the organizer, Ragnell, is interested in volunteers to host future editions. If you’ve got a blog, and you’re interested in feminist takes on sci-fi and fantasy (and comics, and video games, and all that awesome geek stuff), you should totally volunteer for one. It’s fun! Really! If you’re interested in hosting, I believe you can shoot Ragnell an email at ragnellthefoul[AT]hotmail[DOT]com.
Aside from the posts Racy Li rounded up for the carnival, I’ve mostly been reading reviews this week on the internets. Kameron Hurley wrote about The Privilege of the Sword [post since removed], which I just recently read, myself. Hurley liked a lot of the same things I did:
There are some nice things Kushner does here: Katherine isn’t a slap-dash 20th century heroine eager to put on pants and dance around with a sword. She misses the relative “safety” of skirts that don’t “show” her legs. She misses the idea of parties and suitors. She’s only fifteen, afterall, and very much wants to live the life of masked balls and gowns that all of the other girls of her age and class are experiencing. Instead, she’s been asked to dress as a boy and learn the sword, and though she eventually takes to the lessons (in no small part because she’s been inspired by a lurid romantic book about a dashing swordsman), we’re always aware of the awkward and sometimes humiliating feelings she has while walking around town dressed so “ridiculously.”
And she was less enthusiastic about pretty much the same things that left me a little cold. In fact, I don’t think I’ve read many posts that I agreed with more wholeheartedly, especially because Hurley concludes with: “Which goes a ways toward explaining why I write what I write. I think we all end up writing the books we wished we were reading.”
Meanwhile, Liz Henry at Feminist SF – The Blog! writes a quick couple of paragraphs about Cleopatra 2525, which I may need to add to my Netflix queue. I think there’s some room in there after Jack of All Trades and before the next season of Xena, so that should work out nicely. I’m pretty sure the costumes will make me roll my eyes, but I’ll put up with a lot of pleather for the sake of cheesy sci-fi featuring a cast made up predominantly of women. My needs, they are simple.
For a webcomic take on what usually happens to women in sci-fi television, check out this (kinda vintage) strip from Home on the Strange. I saw a link to that one somewhere-or-other earlier this week (scans_daily? G-W? Does tryptophan cause memory loss?), and I’m totally adding that comic to my “to read the backlog of” list.
When we trap ourselves in tit-for-tat, in ideology-for-ideology, we accomplish nothing. When we accomplish nothing, no one is saved. When no one is saved, we all lose. Is fashion “not feminist enough”? Is shopping “not feminist enough”? Is Circe correct? Is Wonder Woman “not feminist enough”? Are there more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in Amazonian philosophy? I don’t have a definitive answer, Friends, but I have a suggestion.
Salvation comes from action and ideals, from deeds and words, from physicality and philosophy. And while I think the Amazon Princess may occasionally value one over the other, particularly on Earth, I think that we can certainly see the benefits of both.
At the risk of repeating myself – Hell yes.
Winding down, I saw some visuals on the internets this week that reminded me of the many conversations we’ve had here at THL about the representations of “normal” and “ideal” weights for women in film, TV, and on the runway. First, Jill at Feministe writes a couple of lines about Ana Carolina Reston, a model who just died from kidney failure related to anorexia, and attaches a picture at the top of her post which kicks off some major controversy in the comments. Meanwhile, anne at Big Fat Deal is posting two videos that frame the sexuality of plus-size women in dramatically different ways.
That’s all the internets I’ve got for you, this week. See something you think I should read for next time? Email me at robyn [dot] fleming [at] gmail [dot] com with a link.