Links of Great Interest: Hip hip!

Yo, this might be short, since I’m GETTING MARRIED TODAY. Hip hip.

Goblin Fruit celebrates its 20th AWESOME issue.

Disney Princess: Deconstructed. Again. And again. And again.

From SunlessNick: Uhhh. Public proposal? Awkward.

This is why you’re broke.

JT sends along No Longer Quivering, which talks about how toxic the Quiverfull movement is.

From MC:

Take a great film scene between men and recreate it with women:

Dude steals women’s identities to get their nude photos to blackmail them.

A prostitute is more likely to have sex with a police officer than be arrested by one…

Check out this write up of the Tunisian Revolution!

From SockBonobo:

This is the first time in the magazine’s 88-year history that Weird Tales has had an all-female editorial/management staff.


  1. Attackfish says

    Congrats!!! (There are not enough exclamation points)

    You know, I always kind of thought public proposals were a bit coercive, emotionally. Are you really going to say no and make a scene in public? You big meanie. Hopefully most of the time they aren’t meant that way?

    • SunlessNick says

      Yeah. I mean this story seemed to work out ok, but my first thought when I saw it was “what an asshole.”

      The article doesn’t say, but I also wonder how far into the flight he pulled this – it doesn’t seem likely that it would be have been far in, or else he’d have risked being spotted. Which means that had she said no, she’d have been stuck with the whole planeful of passengers many of whom would be castigating her for not following the romantic script, and to whom she would have been professionally obligated to be polite. That comes off as even more coercive than most public venues where you can at least make a run for it.

      • Attackfish says

        exactly. She would have “broken the poor guy’s heart” and “he was just trying to be romantic, what a bitch!” And she would have been trapped in a giant tube in the air with them for hours.
        Which of course is probably not how the guy meant it, but still.

        • The Other Patrick says

          I always held it that if I was proposed publicly like that, I would say no – no matter if I wanted to marry the person, I’m not consenting to this kind of proposal.

          • MaggieCat says

            Ditto. Also, anyone who would come up with the idea clearly does not know me at all and I’ve always thought it was a terrible idea to marry a complete stranger. 😉

  2. SunlessNick says

    The Girls on Film scene is intriguing – they also have a scene from a film called The Town (which I’d never heard of, but would now rather see the whole thing with the GoF team than the original).

    • The Other Patrick says

      There’s a mini-interview here:

      “Flipping the genders reflects our collective quirkiness; we want to have fun with our work! Additionally, we want to give our viewers a fresh reason to tune into our episodes. Go online and you can see tons of movie recreations people have filmed on handi-cams in their basements, so lets approach the recreation thing from a new angle: what would a female Kirk be like? I wonder, if Pike was a woman, would she be bitchy or motherly?”

  3. says

    I agree. To me, it’s a total dickhead move. He’s lucky it worked out for *him*. But notice that she had to fight off enough embarassement *twice* or she would have ended up locking herself in the bathroom. You don’t do that to your beloved, unless you think you own her already. I’d have made him wait until after I got off the goddamned airplane to give him an answer.

  4. Casey says

    Congratulations, Maria~! 😀

    (This is semi-OT, but isn’t deconstructing why Disney sucks kinda like beating a dead horse by now? I don’t disagree with the criticism AT ALL, but…)

    • says

      I think that depends on the ways in which Disney work is being deconstructed; especially when you’re talking about messages/relationship standards that are still being pushed as “romantic.” Seeing the deconstruction of the princes is a bit of a fresher take than deconstruction of the princesses, but I think being able to make a bulleted list is pretty neat to see, too.

  5. Jenny Islander says

    Ugh, public proposals. I have only heard of one that didn’t include a queasy amount of pressure. I heard this story on a tour bus on the Big Island of Hawaii. There is a stretch of highway that runs past rugged lava formations on which local people make graffiti with arrangements of white stones. “Jane” and “Joe” both took the highway to work. One day, “Joe” asked “Jane” to keep an eye out for any unusual new graffiti. And there, in huge letters, but using only her rather common first name, was the inscription, “JANE,” WILL YOU MARRY ME?

    On the way home, he checked his work and found beneath it a huge YES!!!!!!

    A local news station tracked the couple down and profiled their apparently quite sweet relationship and lovely wedding.

    • scarlett says

      See, that scenario doesn’t put her on the spot in front of dozens of even thousands of people. Worst case and she says no, a few people might wonder who she was and why she said no – but there’s not the immediacy of her physically being there to have people think ‘that cow’.

      I was at a concert one day and this guy convinced the band to serenade his girlfriend and there propose to her. I think 50K tickets were sold to that event. She said yes but I would have loved to hear her say ‘I might have said yes, had you not pu me on the spot in front of all these people’. Best case scenario, I think a public proposal is thoughtless with such potential to backfire badly, and at worst, the deliberate actions of a manipulative man – ‘she won’t turn me down in front of all these people’.

      • SunlessNick says

        I would have loved to hear her say ‘I might have said yes, had you not pu me on the spot in front of all these people’.

        I have that fantasy too.

        • scarlett says

          Hee, I probably picked it up from you. I brought it up after the concert about 3 years ago on the forum and someone mentioned it would be great if the women in question said ‘I would have had you not pulled that stunt’ – ever since I’ve been longing to hear about that happening.

    • says

      See, as an art/pop art/street art nerd, if I was involved with somebody who made something that spoke to me really deliberately in “coded” language/visuals (using your SO’s name is hardly coded or subtle, but it’s coded in that other people won’t interpret in the same way as the intended receiver of the message), I would really get a kick out of that.

      But I’m also very private; I wouldn’t even want to be proposed to in front of my parents, let alone trapped in a claustrophobic screaming metal death trap in the sky with a bunch of strangers who are also my clients/customers. NOT COOL.

  6. says

    Happy Wedding Maria!

    And thanks for the link plug. :)

    @Casey, it may be a dead horse, but I’m always entertained! Everything they say is too true.

    Public proposals have always made both me AND my husband squirm. It really does put the woman in a terrible no-win situation.

    As far as the Star Trek scene, I kind of wished they changed the words “son” and “Jim” and stuff. Because I really liked their performance, but every time they uttered those words it sort of took me out of the moment and reminded me they were reading lines written by men, for men. To have roles like that, for women! That would be so great. A crusty female bartender trying to get some female delinquent to live up to her father’s lagacy. The non-sexualized delinquent with blood all over her face and tissues stuffed in her nostrils! To have the movie take the Jim-woman’s character completely seriously when the bartender tells her how badass and genius she is, all without sexualizing her!

    Well, I can dream, can’t I??

    • M.C. says

      As far as the Star Trek scene, I kind of wished they changed the words “son” and “Jim” and stuff.

      And why exactly do you think that every human has to fit your narrow definitions of “man” and “woman”? God forbid that someone born with two x-chromosomes defines themself as male and asks of their parents to call them “son”…

      Or are you just surprised that a future egalitarian society would respect everyone’s right to define or not define their own gender any way they want?
      Because let me tell you that male and female as you know it, has been accepted this way by most human societies only for the last 300 or so years. And even to this day for example many Native American tribes know more than only 2 genders.
      And if you set a story a few centuries into the future, then the social construct of gender will have changed again.

      • says

        I’ve been thinking lately: maybe we need different terms for sex and gender, in which “sex” is defined as one’s chromosomes and possession of male and/or female biological sex traits, and gender is the social construct that gets heaped on us based on our sex. It might point out how flawed the assignation of gender is, and that it is indeed an assignation, not a biological reality.

        Because in biological reality, we would need to label more than two sexes, because there are more than the two chromosomal combos everyone thinks of as standard sex-definers. These other combinations are the minority, for sure, but they occur consistently with every generation and have probably been around forever. They should be acknowledged as “sexes” of their own instead of being crammed into one “gender” or the other, based on our desire to reduce biology to a just-so story of reproduction.

        • The Other Patrick says

          Not sure I follow you: isn’t that already the difference between sex and gender? I know at least in Germany, the English “gender” is used to differentiate from the biological “Geschlecht”, i.e. sex.

          • Casey says

            I thought that’s what it was too. I mean, people make fun of Christian Weston Chandler (a rather “infamous” high-functioning autistic man obsessed with Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokemon) for conflating sex with gender, with trolls even going so far as to try to hook him up with transwomen for dates (he’s REALLY desperate to have a girlfriend).

          • says

            Oh, I was totally unclear – sorry. I meant to say: we use “male” and “female” to denote gender, and maybe we need a separate SET of terms to denote biological sexes. Like, I would be “Female” in terms of my assigned gender, but my sex would be “[some other term]” based on the fact that my chromosomes are whatever and my body has these parts rather than those.

          • iiii says

            Those terms already exist, for the most common sexes and genders, at least: female and male for sex, feminine and masculine for gender.

            I agree that it would be useful to have conventional signifiers for the less-common sexes and genders. Thing is, since I identify and present as the most common case (female/ feminine), I am loathe to start making suggestions about how a persecuted minority to which I do not belong should be designated.

            • says

              Those terms already exist, for the most common sexes and genders, at least: female and male for sex, feminine and masculine for gender.

              Those could work, but that’s not how they’re explicitly or exclusively used (man/women, boy/girl are also used in unhelpful ways). Most people don’t even realize there’s any point differentiating between sex and gender. They think that somehow the biological assignation of a sex naturally flows into certain cultural roles for your gender, when in fact, that’s an extremely misleading view.

        • says

          Doesn’t that terminology already exist, though? Cis(man/woman), Bio(man/woman)– though I prefer not to shorten that so everyone knows I’m speaking based on chromosomes and genitalia, and I usually just say “biologically male/female”– Butch vs Femme (referring to the social constructs of masculinity vs femininity), Genderqueer, Metrosexual, Androgyne, ftM/mtF & Transman/woman…

      • Alara Rogers says

        And why exactly do you think that every human has to fit your narrow definitions of “man” and “woman”? God forbid that someone born with two x-chromosomes defines themself as male and asks of their parents to call them “son”…

        Actually, then the character would STILL BE A MAN. Just a man played by a woman.

        Bart Simpson isn’t female because he’s played by a female voice actor, and a trans man isn’t female because he has a female body and is played by a woman. If the point is that you’d like to see a character exactly like Jim Kirk, but a woman, then having a woman play the character but using terms like “son” *will* throw you out of it, because it implies that the character is still male, just a female-bodied male.

        I mean, I’d love to see more trans people in media too, in positive ways (I am ready to go beat the crap out of everyone at Adult Swim on Cartoon Network for their mistaken belief that extreme transphobia is funny), but I don’t think it’s nearly as interesting to have James Kirk played by a woman but still be a man as it is to have Jane Kirk. A trans person as a starship captain is a cool idea, don’t get me wrong, but women are 50% of the population. I’m a lot more eager to see women in charge, acting like “the person in charge who just happens to be female”, than I am to see trans men or gay men, because of the difference between “5% of the population is unrepresented in this category” and “50% of the population is unrepresented in this category.” (It would be cool to have a trans woman or a gay woman, although those risk a certain other kind of fail, where it’s implied that she’s only a good captain because in some sense she’s “really” male or she’s more “masculine” than other women.)

        • M.C. says

          Actually, then the character would STILL BE A MAN. Just a man played by a woman.

          Actually, no. The character might identify as male or transgender, but they could also define themself as bigender. Then this Jim wouldn’t be ‘a man’.

          btw: I just found this blog entry titled ‘Lois Lane is Captain Kirk’
          A quite interesting comparison that fits into our discussion.

          • Casey says

            It could go either way really, it could be “literal”, as in a woman playing a male role like in Takarazuka theater or the character is a transman…I’m just spit-balling here.

          • says

            “Bigender” is an awesome term and I love it and I’m using it in the future, btw. It’s much better (and less aggressively… I don’t want to say exhibitionist, but performative?) than “genderfuck” at expressing the blurring of typical gender lines while not being a traditional transsexual/cis/drag/transvestitism role.

            WHICH, by the way, I hate every time it comes up on RuPaul’s Drag Race, because often the drag performers on the show are reeeeally transphobic, though it’s cut from the episodes generally and shown in the “behind the scenes” separate show feature immediately after each episode of Drag Race.

      • M.C. says

        Yeah, I absolutely understand what you mean, and I agree that we need ‘women roles’ that are written like Jim Kirk (otherwise I wouldn’t be on this blog).

        But then again I’m against drawing such rigid lines between genders and think it actually hurts feminism. Just like how the whiteness of early feminism has hurt not-white women.

        • says

          Believe me, I am too. Seeing transpeople, men or women, in movies roles without the roles being soley ABOUT them being trans would be great. We are only just now getting gay/minority roles that aren’t strictly about the being The Gay/The Minority Person. Women’s roles, too, are so often The Woman. See “The Chick” trope on Tv Tropes (which I won’t link out of mercy! lol)

          But thinking about it even more, whether Jim Kirk is played by a cisman or a transman, it would still remain a role for a *man*. And that’s the only reason I’d like to see a female-identified-woman play it; not because I want to stuff people in boxes, but because seeing those roles for female-indentified-women where their womanhood is not made a spectacle is so rare. Which is also why this site exists.

          I never saw the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, where Starbuck was played by a woman. Was the role changed from the male one to reflect that fact that she was, first and foremost, A Woman, with all other personality traits a distant second? That’s what bugs me about male roles made female in media. They take a general male role, make it female, but then add all these Woman Qualifiers (like sexualizing them, making them more stereotypically emotional, shunting them into supporting roles, depowering them, etc), lest the audience forget she is a Woman and therefore different from Regular Humans (white cismen). Gay/trans/minority people are treated as different too, and have their own Qualifiers applied to them.

          • M.C. says

            I stopped watching BSG somewhere in the 3rd season. I liked the way Starbuck was written in the first few episodes with the drinking, smoking, gaming, getting into fights and basically being an adrenaline-junky. But then they started ‘feminizing’ her, making her fall for her best friend and then marry another man… Oh, and I think they killed her off in the end.

            There really are very few female characters that are written like male characters on tv. Olivia Dunham on Fringe is one of them, while her male sidekick/love-interest Peter is written like the usually female ‘mad scientist’s beautiful daughter’ trope.

            Also Nikita and Alexandra on the new Nikita show are surprisingly little sexualized. I started watching the show after reading The Other Patrick’s post here, and if you ignore the pilot and a few scenes of Michael giving Alex creepy looks, then you could replace Nikita and Alex with male actors and it wouldn’t make any difference.
            Both Nikita and Alex are given a typically male story line of avenging the dead family/lover. And all the fight scenes are filmed in a way that you don’t look and t&a, you look at fists and guns.

          • Shaun says

            Starbuck was a great character. She was female, but the writers didn’t seem to feel the need to mute her personality traits to express this (or add in “feminine” or “nurturing” traits). Yes, she fell for her best friend… and slept with him, and then the day after married some other dude and proceeded to cheat on him with said best friend, eventually even openly. And she’s still the best pilot, she still kicks ass, she still does all these other things that Starbuck does. Even THAT behavior isn’t written as feminine or bitchy–she tells the Oracle she’s a massive fuckup, and the Oracle’s response is, “Who hurts everyone she cares about. That was your mother’s gift to you.” She’s kind of a self-destructive and dynamic character from the beginning.

            Also, Bechdel test all over the place. But yes, BSG sort of fell off the horse somewhere in the third season, probably due to the writer’s strike, but I never felt like they failed Starbuck.

    • says

      I wasn’t too bothered by leaving in “Jim” and “son” (and even “father,” because oh yeah, I just went there), because I think it helps promote the analysis of the use of gendered expectations in writing and heteronormative cisgendered language/roles. I’m a big fan of “flipping the script” to analyze gender/sexuality/class/race/ethnicity/etc. roles as proscribed in mainstream media.

      Another example of that that I thought was very well done was in the movie Across the Universe, where a scene opens up with Prudence, a cis, femme, Asian-Am cheerleader singing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” As the camera progresses throughout the number, it’s revealed that instead of pining after the quarterback framed in the opening shot, she is really singing about her head cheerleader (who was in the same shot), and the “Oh please / say to me / you’ll let me be your man” line was left as is… when it occurred before the “reveal.” No lyrics from any songs were changed for the movie, but I thought that it was an interesting way to use the tools at your disposal to send a message without being too heavy-handed.

      • says

        I wasn’t *bothered* per se. Like I said, it would just be nice to see female sexed-and-gendered people in roles like Kirk’s, acknowleging them as women yet with none of the usual bullshit attached to Women’s Roles.

        When I see that scene played completely straight by 2 women, it really drives home some of the ridiculous things they do to actresses as women. For example, the camera did not once pan up “Jim’s” body nor linger anywhere “sexy”. Neither women “performed” sexy, either by facial expression, speech or body language, for the camera and a presumed straight male audience. “Jim’s” face was non-sexily bloodied and she drank and sat in a non-“sexy” way. The bartender did not, for example, stand in such a way as to push her cleavage up; she did not roll her shoulders forward suggestively. Little changes make all the difference.

        PS When I sing a karaoke song orginally by a man to a woman, I do not change the lyrics either. I sing as a woman singing to another woman, because I don’t need to make it all heteronormative, even though I am actually straight. It can raise some eyebrows at my (conservative) family gatherings. Why, yes, I am the black sheep of the family!

        • says

          Oh, yeah, definitely! That’s what I meant, that the gender/sex reversal without changing the script draws attention to the change BECAUSE more “male” roles for women (and more “female” roles for men) are needed/desired in mainstream media. (Also, Pike’s not a bartender. He was at the bar because Kirk got into a barfight with another member of Starfleet; Pike’s actually a captain. WHICH IS STILL AWESOME. :D)

          And the first time I heard “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” it WAS with changed lyrics, but it was also a really crappy pop cover that was put on a CD for the Sailor Moon dub, which had its own issues with changing character gender/sex, their presentation of such, and sexuality that was readily apparent even to casual viewers. The dubs are really, really, bad on their own even without the dramatic cuts and rewrites, though. The shows/comic unedited does/did some really interesting and progressive things regarding homosexuality and transsexual identity, represented equally in “good” and “bad” characters and not as “good” or “bad” traits (though characters I’m interpreting as trans may actually be characters who are perceived to be of a different gender than they identify, since Sailor Moon translation has been pretty inconsistent; and I know in the manga-to-anime transition, at least three female characters who lived in drag as men were changed to actually shift gender in their “transformation sequences” to be less confusing). Even the live action show did a decent job with gender expression… I can’t speak for the musicals, though.

          /irrelevant ’90s side rant

          • Casey says

            Something that bugged me about Sailor Moon is that for the most part lesbians were good guys and gay men were usually bad guys…I must admit I DID CRY when I finally watched the original uncensored first season in Japanese and Zoicite died…WHY DOES GAY LOVE HAVE TO BE SO TRAGIC, HUH~!?!?! (at least Fish’s Eye got to live in Mamoru’s aquarium)
            I also wondered if “NO MAN CAN BECOME A SENSHI SO WHY THE FUCK DID YOU CHANGE THE STARLIGHTS” (according to Word of God) was maybe trans-phobic?…but this also reminded me of an episode about a little boy who practiced kendo that’s so inspired by the Senshi that he dressed in a seifuku in their honor (and of course they changed him into a girl in the English dub…ARGH).[/brain fart]

          • says

            You know, now that I’m thinking about it, yeah, most all the homosexual men were some kind of evil character… the only exception I can think of is in the live action adaptation of Sailor Moon, where Usagi’s mother’s best friend is an incredibly flamboyant show business guy who also works with Minako (who is a pop star in that version), and that the Shitennou are all redeemed; it really only covers SM/SMR territory, and it deviates from the manga and anime plots rather dramatically after a while, so no Starlights or Outer Senshi. There is also an Evil Pseudo-Lesbian, who claims she’s in love with Usagi to cover for her obsessive stalking and abusive behavior (in the show, she’s portrayed as a schemer and liar, plus, later character information reveals her to be a sort of projection of Queen Beryl intent on kidnapping Mamoru, so: definitely not true) but Usagi is very chill about it and still wants to be friends. The only reason Minako (who brought the behavior up in the first place) seemed pissed is because it was unsafe to keep the other girl around and her plan to dissuade Usagi from hanging out with her didn’t work. But PGSM is very different from all the other iterations of Sailor Moon, and actually had a lot more direct influence from Takeuchi, so idk?

            Even in the Sailor Moon R movie, the character Fiore (an alien symbiote guy who’d been nursing a childhood crush on Mamoru for years) is villainous primarily because of his actions due to his obsession with Mamoru. But I don’t know if that’s just because Mamoru usually has Dangerous Potential Love Interests and everyone wants in his pants, as evidenced above.

            Regarding the Starlights, I had always thought that maybe it was that the TV producers had, like, met their Lesbian Threshold and wanted more dudes in the show? Or more conflict for the Mamoru/Usagi pairing? The same way I didn’t question that the show was SO girl-centric that most guys were just going to be Bad (even if that badness was “competing for the same boyfriend”), I didn’t question whether or not a lot of the manga-to-anime edits (inserting male love interests for many of the female characters when in the comics there was usually a heavy emphasis on the girls’ friendships/devotion to each other) were coming from the same place as the Americanized edits re: sexuality/gender expression. I don’t know enough about Japanese culture to make any kind of informed statement on the differing cultural or personal attitudes that influenced those decisions, though.

            Nice catch!

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