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Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category

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.

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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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LM:

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…

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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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In this gender reader: the ongoing saga of Rokudenashiko’s censored kayak; historical Japanese beauty practices; commentary on the absolute train wreck that is Fifty Shades of Grey, which is literally a fanfic which manages to be even more poorly written than the novel on which it was based and shows a complete lack of understanding of kink–oh, let’s just get started.

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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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