I Read the Internets – 3/24/07

It’s gonna be a short but eventful IRtI this week, dear readers. I’ve been called away from home by a death in the family – my great aunt, Gayle, who passed away at age 87 on Monday – and, understandably, my reading of the internets has been somewhat curtailed this week as a result.

Nonetheless, I’ve got a few exciting links to share with you! First among them is something that tekanji of Official Shrub.com Blog and I (along with a great deal of help from 100LittleDolls, Lake Desire and Rachel Edidin) have been putting together for a little while now: The IRIS Network, a community for women gamers (tabletop, video, etc.) and their allies. We’ve got forums, a directory of women gaming bloggers, and we’re going to be launching an associated magazine, Cerise. Awesome, yes?

In other gaming-related internets this week, Mighty Ponygirl at Feminist Gamers had a quick look at a totally inexplicable Sony advertising move.

In light of sbg’s latest post here at Hathor, I’m tempted to draw some kind of “girls + toilets = hawt!” conclusion, but I’m pretty sure that that’s only actually true for a pretty small segment of the population.

Moving quickly from gaming to reading, Reb of Adventures in Lame has a post up this week about Bruce Coville’s awesome female characters:

As a kid, I didn’t realize how hard it can be to find dynamic female characters, and girls I can identify with. But Coville novels are chocked full of them. Willie, obviously, is a good example. But glancing at my bookshelf (yeah, I own a few and am slowly acquiring more – first the ones I had as a kid, and then, hopefully, the many I missed before rediscovering my love of them in college) I see quite a few with girls in the lead (all of whom are ripe with personality and quirks of their own) and even in the books which center around guys, there are usually a few girls in the background.

Meanwhile, Richie over at somewhat-new blog Crimitism has a post up about gender constructions in webcomic The Wotch:

As girls, previously male characters engage in stereotypical girl things. They hang out at the mall, they try on clothes, boys hit on them, they have slumber parties, they show off their bodies, they have “girls’ nights out”, they gossip etc. Yeah, whatever. But after the spell is reversed, they never do anything like this again”¦ until the next time they’re turned into girls.

Read the whole thing.

And then, when you’re ready for some silliness, check out the series of Dinosaur Comics that ran this week about literary techniques: Anachronism, Anthropomorphism, Allusion and All the Rest.

I’m going to close with a special dose of additional humor, this week. My great aunt was famous for collecting and retelling jokes – and this is a paraphrase of one of her favorites:

Timmy was playing in the backyard when he heard the sound of someone crying. He looked over the fence, and saw his neighbor, Sally, patting a mound of dirt and sobbing her heart out.

“What’s wrong, Sally?” he asked.

“My goldfish died!” Sally wailed.

“Oh,” Timmy said.

Sally continued to pat the earth down, crying all the while.

“So you’re burying it?”

Sally nodded, still weeping.

The mound looked awfully big for one little goldfish, but Timmy felt awkward about asking more questions in Sally’s time of grief. Finally, though, he couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer.

“But Sally,” he said. “Your goldfish was really little – why’s the grave so big?”

“Because she’s inside your stupid cat!”

I’ll have some more internets for you next week!


  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    I have no idea what Sony’s going for, there (and in the other examples shown there). Just trying to offend people as a way to draw more attention?

    *jots down Bruce Coville for next trip to the bookstore*

    Re: The Wotch. In a way, I thought the article started identifying serious problems as soon as this sentence appeared: “The Wotch is a comic where men get magically transformed into women an awful lot, and sometimes get turned back again.” It’s not a comic in which people get transformed into the other gender. No, “men” are the default, so as an agent of the male gaze, this comic is all about the default getting turned into the other. (I felt this conclusion was well supported by the time I finished the article.)

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