Welcome to the Sixth Feminist SF Carnival! I’ve got some really interesting and thought-provoking posts rounded up for you all this time around, and I hope you’ll want to read each and every one of them – and comment on them to let the authors know what you thought, when you do. Before you start clicking links, please keep in mind that any and all posts (and/or the comments attached to them) may contain spoilers for the show, book, or game they discuss. If you’re spoiler-shy, you should probably wait until you’re all caught up with the latest material before you start browsing.
Let’s start right off with some Hot Topics in the Feminist Sci-Fantasy Blogosphere (with apologies to those of you who hate the word “blogosphere”):
Heidi McDonald, of The Beat, has a good overview of the recent flurry of posts about How to Make Money Like a Pornstar. Be sure to check out the blog posts she links!
I wasn’t able to locate a comprehensive listing of all of the posts that have been made in reaction to the scans (if you know of one, leave me a comment, ok?), but here are two very artistic feminist responses:
While we’re on the subject of art, let’s take a look at some Feminist SF Creativity:
Karen Ellis, creator of Planet Karen, who recently celebrated her 200th comic, spends some time considering the sorts of threats we all worry about, now and then.
And in another corner of spaaace, No_Nym writes “SPACE CHICKS: An alternative history of the future” at Bitch Ph.D:
Son of Nuggan, what a day! First I’m late to work. A bunch of frakking men’s libbers were protesting the launch. Apparently you can’t fix a climate mitigation sat unless someone on the repair team has a penis. Sometimes, I wish these woman-hating andronazis would just shut their mouths, put on their workboots, and get back to the ditchin’. Then there was the interview….
As T-Rex notes, “male gazey stuff” is as applicable to video games as it is to film. That certainly seems to be the case in this edition’s selection of Posts About Gaming:
100littledolls, who has discussed the difficulties of being a feminist member of geek/gaming culture before on her blog, talks about yet another disappointment in her post entitled “4 Color Rebellion Links to Porn and Misses Point Entirely (or Porn is not Art).”
Tekanji, meanwhile, writes about “The 55 Greatest Moments in Gaming”¦ as long as you aren’t a woman” at the Official Shrub.com Blog:
Though last on the list, it’s first to be seen. The DoA series has become legendary because of its so-called “jiggle physics”. While the game is entirely populated by women “” something pretty much unheard of in most video games “” their purpose is primarily for titilation and the gameplay is made secondary to that. Not exactly the most memorable in terms of making strides for gender equality in video games.
Meanwhile, at Heroine Sheik, Bonnie Ruberg has discovered one way to enjoy playing a non-sexualized female character in a video game – play as a wolf. Check out her post on the subject, titled “Mother to Us All.”
It would be hard to come up with a better segue between video games and comics than a post about a superhero-comic-inspired video game. Read Lyle Masaki’s post at Crocodile Caucus, wherein he is interested to see [post since removed] that the creators of Justice League Heroes are thinking about an audience consisting of women and inexperienced gamers (who may or may not be the same people), as well as men, and then check out these Posts About Comics:
So next time anyone tells you that they recognise the problem but things can’t be changed overnight, feel free to point out that after twenty one years you are fed up of waiting.
On a similar topic, Megan tells us “Why better treatment for women in comics does matter.” in a post on her LiveJournal, Dude! It’s a chick!!.
At Written World, Ragnell points out that there’s more than one kind of inequality in her post titled “ So You’re Erasing the Expiration Date to Prolong the Shelf-Life?“:
“I won’t kill a female character” does not in any way mean “I will treat female characters with the same respect as male characters.” It doesn’t exclude female characters being ‘damsels in distress,’ being motivations/rewards for the hero, being shot and paralyzed, being impregnated mystically, being raped, being dragged through the mud, being used solely as eye candy, being retired from action indefinitely or generally being put through any of the shit we’ve been complaining about for the last seven years.
David Arroyo is also concerned about the treatment of women in comics, and posts about a written communication between himself and comic book writer Robert Kirkman in “Did i touch a nerve?” and a follow-up post.
Of course, it’s hard to go for very long in any discussion of comics without bringing the art into the conversation. Spiralsheep, of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, has a few things to say about anatomical improbability in “In which David Finch is named and shamed.”
In addition to posing, there’s always plenty to say about costumes – and about Supergirl’s costume, in particular. Kate WillÃ¦rt does an illustrated tutorial [since removed] about the “key rule when it comes to showing off one’s belly and/or wearing a mini-skirt…which is that you never do both at the same time.”
Meanwhile, Matt Morrison of Looking to the Stars is pleased to see a writer treating Supergirl like “a real teenage girl” [post since removed] for the first time in a long time, and giving her some personality and agency that he feels have been lacking:
What isn’t immediately obvious is that until recently Kara has been a blank slate outside of being a metaphor for teenage girls in general. Her stories by Loeb were not so much about Kara as they were the reactions of other characters TO Kara.
But Johanna Draper Carlson, at Comics Worth Reading, still wonders if there’s a Supergirl that’s appropriate for, well, girls. Read “Looking for Supergirl,” and see if you can think of any suggestions for her friend’s daughter’s bookshelf.
Now that I’ve posted links to discussion of superheroes in video games and comics, I think it’s time to move on to the fertile field of Posts about Television and Movies:
Of course, I can’t discuss this show without touching on – you guessed it – race and gender. It’s far from perfect in its treatment of either of these issues, but at least I can evaluate it. Most TV shows are so hopelessly mired in racial and sexual stereotypes that it isn’t worth trying. Heroes seems to be trying to step outside these bounds, though it still remains a mainstream series with views compatible to the mainstream.
And dustdaughter, of Psychotic Cocktail, has a few brief “Thoughts on BSG” [post since removed] to share.
Rounding out the currently-on-television set, the Hathor Legacy’s own sbg was not thrilled with the season finale of Eureka. Check out her post, “Eureka, You Reeka.”
In slightly more “vintage” television/film, Lake Desire writes about Serenity in “Agency, Chivalry, and Self-Replicating Men: Another Look at Gender in the “˜Verse” for Feminist SF – The Blog!.
Now, I hear your objections already. Girl must kiss the boy to break the spell! Girl is rendered mute! The old hag stereotype! These things can’t possibly be very feminist, right?Yet in many ways, the entire theme of The Little Mermaid as told by Disney (the original fairy tale is a very different story) is a young girl doing her best to subvert patriarchal authority.
Almost requiring a category of her own, Kotetsu writes about a genre-spanning franchise (which I’m filing under “tv and movies” because an anime show is one large component) that she believes has moments of accidental feminism, even though the video game(s)/anime/manga are “basically a) male wish fulfillment, b) sexy girls, and c) porn.” Read her post, titled “If unintended misogyny is still misogyny, is unintended feminism still feminism?,” and marvel at Gilgamesh’s shoulder pads.For those who prefer their escapism in book form, sans pictures, here are some Posts About (Non-Comics) Literature:
In her LiveJournal, Akiko reviews and discusses [post now locked] a more recent novel, Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Sharing Knife: Beguilement.
I guess I would ask authors to ask themselves, as they sit down to craft a speculative world, WHY are you creating a world in which virginity matters?
And winding things up for this edition of the carnival, here’s a little Spotlight on New Blogs:
I Am a Tree is a new blog penned by Michelle, a self-described “burgeoning feminist.” Check out her post about fannish reactions to a Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories character, titled “You Feel the Need to Overcompensate by Being More Ruthless Than Your Male Counterparts.” [blog since removed]
Jade Reporting is a new link-collecting blog (in the mode of When Fangirls Attack, but focused on video games rather than on comics) that seeks “not to pass judgement on the news that we offer up, but rather to collect them in the hopes of enabling more dialogue to happen in the blogsphere on the topic of gender and video games.” Links are compiled daily by Tekanji, 100littledolls, and Lake Desire.
And that’s all I’ve got for you all, this edition! I hope you enjoy the collection of posts, and that they get you thinking, and maybe doing some writing that you’ll be able to submit to the upcoming Seventh Edition of the Feminist SF Carnival, which will be hosted by Racy Li at Racy Thoughts on November 20th. Also be sure to check out the call for nominations for the anniversary edition of the Carnival of Feminists.