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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

In this gender reader: 10 years and no movement on the separate surnames bill in Japan, the feminist power of Sailor Moon nostalgia, feminization and slurs in Korean queer terminology, wrist-grabbing isn’t sexy, Teddy girls, and more!

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Let’s all take a mental health break and look at some camellias.

Camellias Seattle | The Lobster Dance 8

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Update: sign the bilingual petition to Fuji TV to stop the performance on Change.org.

I’ve spent all weekend ranting about the Fifty Shades of Grey, but in the meantime, the Japanese band Rats & Star is planning a joint performance with idol group Momoiro Clover Z for Music Fair on March 7. Rats and Star plays Motown-inspired music–and performs in blackface; Momoiro Clover Z will be joining them, also in blackface. There are some images of this in the tweets embedded below.

Of course, there’s all the usual excuses used regarding cultural appropriation devoid of any sense of the history of minstrel shows in the US or race in Japan. I want to signal-boost some important links and tweets here. Content warning: links may contain images of blackface; racism, ignorance.

Major hat tip to Hiroko Tabuchi for re/tweeting many of these and calling out the performance.

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Welcome, Feminist Friday readers! Although I’ve written about the wonderful world of genderswap* before in regards to Ôoku, today I’ll be taking a look at mainstream- and fan-created genderswapped works in English-language media and what they reveal about social norms and fans.

You may have read “Bilbo Baggins is a Girl,” but for me, it’s not just reading Bilbo as a woman. (more…)

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Live On: Mr.’s Japanese Neo-Pop at the Seattle Asian Art Museum is, to use an old slang term, frantic. My friend and museum companion hadn’t been through the permanent collection yet, and after an hour or so of contemplating mainly contemporary ink pieces, delicate snuff bottles, and lavishly detailed Persian paintings set in the elegant art deco building, we arrived at the eye-popping, jarringly neon moé world of Mr.’s neo-pop art.

MAKING THINGS RIGHT, 2006, MR., JAPANESE, B.1969, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 118 X 177 IN., © 2006 MR./KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, PHOTO COURTESY GALERIE PERROTIN.

MAKING THINGS RIGHT, 2006, MR., JAPANESE, B.1969, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS, 118 X 177 IN., © 2006 MR./KAIKAI KIKI CO., LTD., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, PHOTO COURTESY GALERIE PERROTIN. via Seattle Asian Art Museum

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the ways in which marginalized geeks (women/nonbinary people, queer individuals, people of color, people with disabilities, et al.) interact with fandom. In particular, I’ve been thinking about how creative expressions of love (such as fanworks and cosplay) for media are treated poorly by society in general as well as individuals in their lives. (Specifically, of how individual straight male geeks fear that others’–particularly their female partners’–interests in shipping, crossplay, etc., somehow invalidates their delicate grasp on cultural masculinity.)

At Geek Girl Con, I attended an amazing panel of “Geek Elders” who told us all about female Star Trek fandom and making Kirk/Spock ‘zines in the 1960s and 70s–how many of these women’s husbands felt their participation in fandom detracted from their care of the home and children. How one of their colleague’s husband’s tried to have her committed. 

What I’ve learned, not just from this panel, but from years of reading about our geek forbears, is that we’ve always been here. We’re not going anywhere. On that note, I present a gender reader of geekery, with a very special Christmas song at the end!

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Dear readers, my apologies: November has been a lousy month for writing. A lot of personal issues are eating up all my time, and I hope to get to some of that backlog of posting in December. That said, I headed out for my annual momiji-gari (紅葉狩り, “fall foliage hunting”) at the Seattle Japanese Garden on Nov. 9 (2013 post here). Getting “out” into nature, even just to the Arboretum and the Japanese Garden, is something I didn’t get to do often enough last year. But a new year is coming, and I am resolving to make nature part of my self-care regime again, like it was in the first few years in Japan.

Seattle Japanese Garden 2014 | I'll Make It Myself! 2

 

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