I’ve been busy moving house the past couple of weeks, dear readers, and finally got my desktop computer set up in the new apartment today. But even as I was drowning in boxes and packing tape, I managed to read some high-quality internets – and now I shall share them with you!
First of all, carnivals! The Feminist SF Carnival has found a host for its 17th issue at Spawn of Blogorrhea. Send in your links by September 19th! And for your reading pleasure, the second edition of the People of Color SF Carnival is currently up at Wychwood’s LiveJournal. Details for the next PoC SF Carnival can be found at the bottom of that post.
When you’re ready for some more reading, the Angry Black Woman has been flooding the intertubes with a bunch of awesome posts, lately, and has put together a little linkpost hitting the highlights that’s a bit like a mini-carnival.
I know that a lot of the readers (and many writers) here at Hathor participate in fan activities and culture. There’s a new community on LiveJournal, It’s a Woman’s World [since purged], that may appeal to people interested in discussions about fandom from a feminist perspective.
I read a couple of great posts about television on the internets recently. At TVsmack, there’s “Big Brother 8: Kudos Jen Johnson, & Gloria Allred–Where Are You?”, exploring abusive behavior targeted at one of the contestants, Jen:
Where are all the reality tv bloggers? Why are so many feeding into the CBS spin of “The Dickelle Show” edit? Unlike the CBS spoon feeding the regular viewers eat up, bloggers have more real knowledge as to what’s going on (as live feed watchers). But just like the houseguests, the payoff is greater to “tolerate, keep silent, justify or participate” in the abuse than it is to speak out about it.
The main difference between the un-/semi-consciousness scenarios? The adult male character is active, threatening, and smarter than his “adversaries.” The young female character is as passive as one can possibly get. She has stepped out of her appropriate role by assuming power over older male figures, so she is punished for it – ironically while attempting to maintain her power – and stripped entirely of all agency, then used as an object in order to get the boys what they want (in this case, meeting celebrities). She is quite literally treated like garbage.
For this movie, Molly the ultimate warrior was reduced to Jane the twitchy adrenaline junkie, complete with a debilitating nerve disorder that makes her completely unreliable as muscle. She’s often more interested in beating up people and showing off than in getting the job done, which consummate professional Molly would never do (even though she loves her work). Also unlike Molly, Jane has no political skills, no worldwide network of connections to call on, and she wears a backless chain mail halter top.
I remember being very puzzled when I saw the movie, myself, and wondering where the heck the strong, awesome female character I remembered from the story was, and who this Jane person was supposed to be. Gahh.
She’s the young (always young, unless she’s someone’s mother), pretty (always pretty – do I even have to explain this?) ingenue who is introduced as the love interest or fresh-faced bride of the hero, and then quickly and conveniently dispatched – either by villains or unfortunate events – in order to motivate the hero.
She has no real personality and serves the same function in the plot as, say, a piece of expensive furniture or rare jewelry.
I’ve reached a point in my life where, if a such a character is introduced and I know at once from the associated markers framing her introduction that she is present solely so that she can be killed AND if I then I then flip forward a few pages to, indeed, find her untimely and tragic demise, I will stop reading a book that otherwise up to that point has weighted to the positive side.
Elliot goes on to ask commenters what some of their “stop reading the book” triggers are. The disposable woman trope is definitely up there on my short list.
Something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately are my personal default settings. By this I mean, what does my mind automatically think of when I read something, hear something, etc. I think that everyone has defaults, and a lot of them are common among individuals in a society. For example, when I pick up a book to read, unless explicitly told or indicated otherwise by the author, the characters default to Caucasian.
Read the post, and discuss your own defaults in the comments, if you’re so inclined.
Ending with some silly stuff, crafters will certainly appreciate the hard work and genius that went into this awesome Wonder Woman sweater. And anyone who is, like me, planning a wedding – or spending too much time with someone who is – will probably get a kick out the Godawful Wedding Crap blog. Finally, for the writers out there, a very silly ficathon that I run with Karen Healey is currently in the sign-up phase. Check out the community info page for The Argonathon on LiveJournal, and consider joining us for some fun storytelling at the end of October.
See you again next week, internets!