I Read the Internets – 12/16/06

Readers of the internets will no doubt be pleased to learn that the latest edition of the Feminist SF Carnival has been posted at Dance of the Puppets.   And writers of the internets should know that the call for submissions for the upcoming edition has been posted at League of Substitute Superheroes.   Yay, geeky feminist carnivals!

On the subject of geeks getting organized to promote stuff, though in a rather different way, video-gaming voters in the US might be interested in checking out the Video Game Voters Network, which aims to organize voters in protection of gaming interests:

The Network opposes efforts to regulate the content of entertainment media, including proposals to criminalize the sale of certain games to minors, or regulate video games differently from movies, music, books, and other media. The Network also enables gamers to stay educated about issues, reach out to federal, state, and local officials, and register to vote.

Moving on to other internets – I’ve been thinking about heteronormativity a lot this week (I’m even working on a little article about the prevalence of same in a peppy family comedy I made the mistake of watching last Saturday), so I was particularly interested when I stumbled across a website for an Australian public art project called “Hey Hetero!“

Orion of Four-Colour Commentary was also interested in constructions of sexuality this week.   Writing about TV show Torchwood (which I have yet to see any of, by the way – please pause to admire how bravely I go about reading things that are going to totally spoil me just so I can pass the interesting ones on to all of you!), he begins:

And then there’s the sex… I love that Jack is omnisexual. As an ultra-sleazy, intergalactic time adventurer, it makes perfect sense. It’s hard to quibble about gender if you’re doing aliens with four tentacles and feathers. What bugs me, though, is that the sexuality of the characters, at least three of whom are queer, is mostly used for throw-away gags, instead of having some narrative meat (so to speak).

Queer visibility in video games, and the potential normalization of queer characters and plotlines, came up last week at Gamasutra, so maybe it’s in the air, or something.

Oh, hey, look – discussion of (in)visibility of gay male characters in comics (read the comments if you’re not sure what’s going on)!   Definitely in the air.

Speaking of comics – and of things I’m seeing (or maybe not seeing?) all over – have any of you missed the horrified reaction of the feminist comics blogosphere to the Green Lantern cover that debuts the new Star Sapphire costume?   If you haven’t seen this stuff already, and are gonna be clicking these links, brace yourself.   You might suddenly experience the urge to apply a spork to your eyes.

The first I saw about it was Ragnell’s minimalist approach (I like how she just posts the picture, and then the address to send your complaints to.   Very to-the-point), but there is also, of course, a Girl-Wonder.com forum thread about the cover, and Karen Healey made some interesting visual comparisons.

Ugh.   Seeing that thing again makes me kinda want to apply a spork and some brain bleach”¦

Or maybe a humorous take on another kind of sexualized cover art would be a better choice.   The Onion comes through with “How Did I End Up On The Cover Of This Romance Novel?“

Last week at the supermarket, while shopping for my weekly supply of three dozen eggs and 12 pounds of mutton, I spotted a rack near the checkout lane containing several romance paperbacks. Normally, such trash wouldn’t get a second glance from my coal-black eyes, but the sight of one book practically made my chiseled jaw drop. There, on the cover of Dark Passions was yours truly, Duncan Larksthrush, in the flesh.

At first I thought it must have been a coincidence. There must be thousands of men with huge, glistening pectorals and shoulder-length golden hair whose steadfast gaze betrays immeasurable fathoms of passion.

In other literature-related internets this week, Betty asks the sort of hypothetical question that is always dear to my heart (right up there with “who would win in a fight between __ and __?”) – the sort that requires time-travel:

If you could go back in time and stop someone from writing at a given point, who would you pick, and when?

I said Orson Scott Card, after Ender’s Game, but I see several other very good choices!

That’s all for this week, guys.   See you next Saturday!


  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    As always, a great selection of links – but due to time constraints, I’m just going to respond to one topic your post raised: heteronormativity. I’ve been thinking a lot about this force in our society: while gays and lesbians may suffer the most from this worldview, I think heteronormativity is also what makes happily uncoupled people doubt their choice to remain celibate or simply unattached. It’s really not a simple mathematical norm, a la “most people do this, therefore it’s normal”. It’s a heavily promoted construct, and everyone who doesn’t participate is subjected to some level of shaming.

    That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with heterosexual couplings. There’s not. It’s just that there’s also nothing wrong with people who choose other options – ranging from homosexuality to celibacy. It’s one of the few constructs that’s so powerful and unquestioned, that even passively refusing to participate in it can be seen as actively attacking the construct. That’s insane.

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