Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

Welcome to the inaugural posting of the Non-Binary Book Club! This is a review (with the mildest of spoilers) of Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice (2013), which won the 2014 Hugo and Nebula Awards–and our hearts.

What’s the Non-Binary Book Club?

Long version here.

Our focus is on books (and media) about characters with non-binary sexualities, gender identities, or gender expressions. That is, characters who are bi/pansexual/queer-identified, or whose gender expression or identity is not strongly fixed to the gender binary (may include agender, transgender, gender-nonconforming, gendervariant, genderfluid, intersex [as identity], non-binary, genderqueer, et al). We tend to read speculative fiction novels (as opposed to non-fiction, including autobiographies), but graphic novels, comics, and short stories may be on our list.

Leckie_AncillaryJustice_TP-220x325Overview: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was Justice of Toren–a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose–to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

Major themes: the intersections of gender, colonialism, religion, language, race/ethnicity, music


Read Full Post »


You're damn right this page has issues.

You’re damn right this page has issues.


To be clear: I have not read the book, and I assume the movie is faithful to the original plot points.

Review contains so many gifs and some spoilers–the plot twist is embedded in a link, but there are a lot of pictures.

Miyazaki protégé Yonebayashi adds Studio Ghibli magic to Joan G. Robinson’s classic ghost story of a shy teenage tomboy who befriends a young blonde girl who may not be of this world. Subtitled, Ages 8+.

Here was my thought process throughout the movie:




Read Full Post »

"Off to flip a table at the PM!"  Hiromi Nakasaki holding an umbrella poses for a photograph in Tokyo. Now, Nakasaki visits Tokyo every month to promote herself as a freelance business consultant. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

“Off to flip a table at the PM!”
Hiromi Nakasaki holding an umbrella poses for a photograph in Tokyo. Now, Nakasaki visits Tokyo every month to promote herself as a freelance business consultant. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Not too many links this time, but some longer commentary on gender and eldercare, marriage rights, and trans rights in Japan.


Read Full Post »

Leckie_AncillaryJustice_TP-220x325It’s no secret that I’m enamored of the “cross-dressing and sword-fighting” genre, but I had a moment a few months ago when I got so fed up with a novel of that description that I almost threw it out the bus window.

You know the story: guy 1 (a straight cis man) meets guy 2 (a cis-identified woman in disguise as a man for Reasons); there’s an attraction; guy 1 has queer panic about his homoromantic inclinations; and then guy 2 reveals himself to have been the princess, sister of some lord, or heir all along! Boom, heterogamous marriage may commence! Heterosexuality is defended!

Some spoilers for The House of Four Winds below; basic plot for Ancillary Justice.


Read Full Post »

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!


Read Full Post »


As with many of the stories contained within Yoshiya’s Hana monogatari, “Yellow Roses” ends in tears. The story’s focus is not on plot, however, but rather the beauty of the two young women and the depth of their feelings for one another. Entire paragraphs are spent on detailed descriptions of mournful eyes and chiseled cheekbones, and the poetry of Sappho is quoted at length. As in the above passages, Yoshiya’s writing is characterized by fragments and ellipses, which heighten the emotional impact of certain scenes while leaving the reader free to fill in the suggestive gaps in the text with her imagination.

Originally posted on Contemporary Japanese Literature:

Yellow Rose

Title: Yellow Rose
Japanese Title: 黄薔薇 (Kibara)
Author: Yoshiya Nobuko (吉屋 信子)
Translator: Sarah Frederick
Publication Year: 2014 (America); 1923 (Japan)
Publisher: Expanded Editions

I’m absolutely thrilled to write that one of Yoshiya Nobuko’s stories has finally appeared in a readily available English translation. “Yellow Rose” is drawn from Yoshiya’s acclaimed collection Hana monogatari (Flower Stories), which first appeared in print in the 1920s and has been a major guiding influence in shōjo manga, literature, and aesthetics. Thankfully, Yoshiya’s fiction is not just important from the perspective of literary history but also a true delight to read.

The short story “Yellow Rose” is about Katsuragi Misao, a twenty-two-year-old college graduate who accepts a teaching post at an all-girls prefectural academy “a thousand miles distant from Tokyo” to avoid getting married. On the train departing from Tokyo she meets Urakami Reiko, who happens to be a student entering her…

View original 1,300 more words

Read Full Post »

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…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 690 other followers