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Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

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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RocketNews24 has some questionable content, but the site has really dropped the ball with Amy Chavez’s “Women in Japan” series, first offering 5 “powerful reasons” to be a woman (?) in Japan–you know, if your only aspiration is to be a mother and you are in a heterogamous marriage to a man who earns enough and you have no fertility issues. Powerful! (Do read the comments.)

Amy Chavez of the herbivore-man-shaming “humor” column that graces The Japan Times has written another contribution that both ignores big-picture institutionalized sexism but also includes a number of “female friendly” items that are generally available to men and women (of a certain class) because why not have some fun with gender essentialism?

Criticizing this list and, thus both Chavez’s writing and Japan, is not to say that the US and other countries do not have institutionalized misogyny, fatphobia, etc. However, for this list of “uniquely” Japanese “perks” “for women” is so out of touch with reality that it boggles.

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Every blog I follow seems to be covering problematic costumes this week, and you’ve still got one day to read up before the big day! Racist, sexist, fatphobic, transphobic, and appropriative costumes like these don’t have a place in Halloween fun. Let’s see what’s trending this year!

Via Jezebel

Via Jezebel

Warning: these links are about costumes that are, as stated, racist, sexist, fatphobic, transphobic, and appropriative; and include discussions of domestic violence, medical trauma, etc. (Also: tastelessness.)

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IMG_0597We’ve discussed gender and female movie monsters, but which monsters are often coded as masculine? Stinekey on Lady Geek Girl discusses werewolves:

Vampires might represent a powerful person draining us of our own power for personal gain. Zombies drawn on our fear of pandemics and the ignorant masses destroying those of us just trying to survive. But what about werewolves? The most common answer I find is that werewolves speak to the changes a teenager experiences during puberty. Pisces already explored how this dynamic works in Teen Wolf. But if that’s the case, then where are all the female werewolves?

 

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Quick video link today via Buzzfeed’s “If Women In Horror Films Were Played By Men.” (Video is slightly NSFW.)

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Like many people who grew up in the 90s, I loved The Craft. While it didn’t send me into goth mode, it did inspire some less-than-rousing rounds of “light as a feather, stiff as a board” at sleepovers and wanting to be a special snowflake “natural witch.” (I was in junior high. Go away.)

I re-watched it about 6 years ago, and then re-watched it in the spirit of Halloween last week. While I’d say the first half of the movie “holds up” as a campy, fun movie about female friendship, the second half, which was scary to me as a teen, falls short of what I wish the movie could have been.

 

In The Craft, Sarah, the new girl at a Catholic school in LA, falls in with three unpopular girls rumored to be witches. Together, they learn “the craft” for fun and to improve their lives–until, of course, everything goes wrong. (Moderate spoilers.)

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