In this gender reader, I’m focusing on geek topics from genderswapped and non-binary characters in SFF to the history of Wonder Woman to respecting fanfic authors.
Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category
Welcome back, readers! I’m hosting Feminist Friday again this week. Last week, we talked about the gender segregation of bath products. This week, we’re going to discuss two specific techniques of advertising directed at women consumers. First, we’ll be hopping back into our time machine to look at the “shaming” technique circa 1930-1960, and then we’ll return to the present (mainly 2010-2014) to look at attempts to use “empowerment” to sell goods to women.
My co-panelist Kathryn over at Contemporary Japanese Literature took the time out of her summer of research and writing to do a summary post of the essay version of our panel on cross-dressing, which I am reblogging here.
Some final notes: I have wanted to write about this topic for a long time, and Kathryn has been an incredible resource, motivator, sounding-board, supporter, and editor. It’s been a treat being her co-panelist and collaborator on this project. Since my own research lies in performing masculinities, I’ve enjoyed learning about performing femininities from her, and I hope we’ve been able to discuss effectively the pitfalls and triumphs of series that feature cross-dressing.
Kathryn’s own work in the field of gender and media studies is incredibly important, and her blog about Japanese literature in translation is a wonderful resource. Check it out here: http://japaneselit.net/
Originally posted on Contemporary Japanese Literature:
This past April, the ever-amazing Leah of The Lobster Dance and I gave a panel on cross-dressing in anime and manga at Sakura-Con in Seattle. Because we had an enormous turnout and not enough time to say everything we wanted to say, we decided to expand our talk and post it online.
Our essay is meant to be friendly and welcoming to newcomers to the fascinating field of Gender Studies, but readers should be advised that some portions of this essay contain mild spoilers for the series under discussion. For those of you who are looking for recommendations for anime, manga, and formal academic scholarship, feel free to jump ahead to our conclusion in Part Seven.
The Superpositionality of Gender
Gender plays a strong role in the life of each and every human individual from the moment of birth, even despite our difficulties in defining what “gender”…
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Wrap-Up: The Endless Potential of Gender Performance
Cross-dressing can help us see beyond gender binaries, and studying other cultures in a respectful way can help us understand more about how gender expression varies from culture to culture. We endeavored to provide a brief history of ideas about gender and cross-dressing in Japanese culture as well some general gender theory to create a framework for discussing the characters and tropes in manga and anime. (more…)
Ôoku: Cross-Dressing in a Matriarchy
We’ve already discussed several speculative fiction pieces with cross-dressing characters in them. Yet, where a piece like BeruBara focuses on alternate history by adding in a few fictional characters to actual historic events, the world portrayed by Yoshinaga Fumi in Ôoku (大奥) is an alternate history in which most of the historical figures’ genders have been swapped. The author’s use of speculative fiction serves to illustrate contemporary issues of gender and sexism by showing them to us through a tilted mirror. How does cross-dressing function in a gender-swapped world?
Content: this section contains mild spoilers for the manga series Ôoku, and some spoilers specific to the plots of the Iemitsu (vol. 2-4) and the Ieshige-Ieharu arcs (vol. 8-10). The spoilers are primarily events that occur in the first volumes of each story arc (vol. 2 and vol. 8). (Keep in mind that because this is historical fiction, general information about said historical figures will contain some spoilers.) Some discussion of misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and domestic violence. All images safe for work.