I Read the Internets – 5/12/07

I read about an awesome new blog carnival on the internets this week:  People of Colour SF Carnival.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the first edition.  Those of you who will want to submit posts (and I hope there will be many!) should check out the rules.

Artists who read the internets will no doubt be interested to learn that Cheryl Lynn started a “Draw Torchy Brown” meme last week.  If you want to see how other people are drawing the character, some really fabulous renderings can be found at Holding a Torch at The Ormes Society’s site.

Wrapping up submissions requests this week, I’ll remind you all that the deadline for submitting for Cerise’s next issue is May 15th.

Not wanting to risk turning I Read the Internets into I Talk Endlessly About the Gaming Magazine I Edit, I’m resisting the urge to post links to every single response to the first issue of Cerise.  But I’ve got to link at least this one, because Zach at Molten Boron put things so very well:

The comments to that post are a wonderful microcosm of the entire debate on women and video games that occurs on mainstream websites. About half of the posts are people complaining that they don’t see why women need a special, separate community and they should be integrating, not segregating. The other half are commenters remarking on the sexual desirability of the woman pictured on Cerise’s title page, or other similarly denigrating comments (My favorite, this charming contribution from Lixie: “A new mag for when they’re on the rag”).

Be sure to read to the end of the post for some hilarious examples of what it’d be like to encounter dismissive internet personalities in real life.

In other gaming internets, there’s a really interesting article by Lara Crigger up at The Escapist titled “Resident Evil’s Second Sex.”  Simone de Beauvoir + Ada Wong = a seriously thought-provoking piece.  Go check it out.

In film-related internets, miss sophie has a post about how Princess Leia shaped her as a feminist at Building an army of misplaced lovers?:

She’s a leader, valued for her intelligence and her passionate commitment to a political course. She’s a fighter, in fact she’s the best shot out of anyone in the original star wars films. And she doesn’t just sit and wait for stuff to happen to her, she instigates, she’s more important than her love interest and he isn’t threatened by that. Their relationship is based on antagonism sure but also respect.

And in television, The Angry Black Woman wrote a post about Doctor Who:

One thing I’ve noticed about Doctor Who (and some other BBC shows) is that the show does not suffer from the “all white universe” syndrome that American SF shows do. No matter if they’re in the present or travel into the future, there are brown people there. Brown people of all kinds — leaders, lackeys, stupid, smart, important to the plot, background filler. There are even some brown people in the past.

Posting more from her TV Corner, ABW also wrote about Family Guy this week.

Before we leave the world of video entirely, check out this post at Feministe, wherein Jill loves Avril Lavigne (and her latest music video) about as much as scarlett loves The Pussycat Dolls.

There was not a lot of love for print on the internets this week.  At Feminist SF – The Blog!, Liz Henry is “Perturbed on Pern”:

Since I’m feeling really bitchy let’s pick apart some of the more annoying things about Pern. If I read it with feminist consciousness? Or just any sort of critical awareness?

Let’s start with Dragonflight. It’s easy to pick on. Especially if you’re a totally ridiculous Pernologist.

In general, Pern is one of the nastier more patriarchal fsf societies. Women are slaves and have no rights. Not that there’s any law at all. But women can’t read. They don’t seem to have jobs or property. Rape and sex slavery is completely normal.

Read the post for much, much more.

Meanwhile, in the world of comics fandom, a whole lot of people are pretty goddamn perturbed about Sideshow Collectible’s Mary Jane Comiquette.  I can’t even start, with that one.  The gendered absurdity is so strong that it’s like my brain turns off feminist analysis in self-defense, and I’m left staring at the images and wondering, how is she holding that suit up?  Is it supported entirely on the tips of her thumbs?  The design is thoughtless on several levels, really.

Finishing up the week, The Onion is currently running a “Special Women’s Issue.”  If you usually dig The Onion’s humor, give it a look for sure.

And this last thing isn’t funny, exactly, but I defy you to look at Knut, das Eisbärbaby and not smile.  Go on, just try it.  Can’t be done!

Next week: more internets!


  1. says

    Oh lord. I love Pern, I have all the books except the very very recent ones, and I was obsessed with them in middle school/high school. But everything in that post was so dead on. I also read them now for nostalgia’s sake, but they are awfully mysogynistic and old fashioned.

  2. says

    I was all about Pern for years and years. And then I started to pick up on some of the things Liz Henry was talking about, etc., and I just couldn’t enjoy them the same way anymore. :-(

  3. Jennifer Kesler says

    I didn’t read Pern until I was in my 20’s. I made it partway through the first book, then came the scene where the dragons were doing so the guy rider raped the woman rider, and I was totally sickened and never read further. I recall the text sort of trying to dress it up as a really romantic rape, but that scene alone was enough for me.

  4. MaggieCat says

    Knut! Aww, I love him ever so. (Which if you’ve noticed my email address will be no surprise. Heh.)

    I can’t decide what’s the most offensive aspect of the MJ collectible: the clothing, the pose, or the fact that she’s doing his laundry. Have they no sense of decency??

    No, wait. The most offensive part is neatly encapsulated by this comment from the maker’s website (emphasis mine):

    # Mike K Says:
    May 11th, 2007 at 11:55 pm
    >why isnt she this hot in the movie??
    Possibly because in the movie she’s played by a real women, and real women, sadly, do not look like comic book drawings.

    And this is actually being used as PRAISE for the evil thing. There are so many unfortunate comments running through my head right now that I shall have to wait for the screaming to stop before I can pick one.

  5. Gategrrl says

    I read the Dragonrider books years ago (in Jr High, I think) and never reread or went back. They didn’t make an impression on me other than, geez, what utter CRAP.

    There are much better books out there that also have such female repressive social systems, but are written with *knowledge* that way. Try Elizabeth Moon’s books. She writes of an entirely repugnant male-oriented society that actually mutes their female captives from raids, and systemically rapes them until they bear babies. It’s horrific; and hugely better written than anything McCaffrey coughs up out of her lungs.


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