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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

I love the spooky atmosphere of Halloween, but I severely dislike the misogyny in the horror genre and the sexist and racist costumes that crop up each year around this time. Instead of a Halloween gender reader this year, I’d like to try to do a nearly-daily short (hopefully positive) post on items that other feminist Halloween-lovers can enjoy, including recommendations for horror and horror-adjacent works, writing on representation in the horror genre, and discussions of combatting sexism in Halloween.

This is a rather ambitious undertaking at the last minute, so I hope I’ll be able to keep up.

Today, I’d like to take a look at a chart from Seattle’s EMP Museum’s Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film exhibit that explains the subgenres of horror for its timeline of influential horror films:

EMP Horror Chart

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HT to Bitch Media! This article is just too good for a social-media shout-out.

Lisa Hix interviews Trina Robbins and Steve Leialoha about the history of women comic artists, comics about women, and women comic-readers in regards to Robbins’ 2013 book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists, 1896-2013 (Fantagraphic, which also published No Straight Lines).

Trina Robbins’ cover for “It Ain’t Me, Babe” the first women’s liberation comic anthology, first published by Last Gasp in 1970. (Via “Pretty in Ink”, via Collectors Weekly)

Trina Robbins’ cover for “It Ain’t Me, Babe” the first women’s liberation comic anthology, first published by Last Gasp in 1970. (Via “Pretty in Ink”, via Collectors Weekly)

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Okiura Hiroyuki’s 2011 film A Letter to Momo (Momo e no tegami/ ももへの手紙) had a short run in Seattle, so I went to see the subtitled version this week. This review contains very minor spoilers established early in the plot.

In describing the plot of A Letter to Momo, I suppose the most obvious comparison I could make is to Miyazaki Hayao’s My Neighbor Totoro, with which the film shares a number of narrative elements, but at the same time, the comparison seems reductive and lazy. (more…)

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ギリギリセーフ!

Art by Murakami Takashi. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Art by Murakami Takashi. Via Spoon & Tamago.

There is a lot to cover since I did my last gender reader at the start of June. In this gender reader: Shiomura Ayaka and the harassment case at the Tokyo Assembly, updates to koseki (family registry) laws, Rokudenashiko, and more.

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Leah:

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.

Dan Savage Drawn by Ellen Forney

Part One
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

 

Source unknown, related to this

Source unknown, related to this

 

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…)

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Ôoku: Cross-Dressing in a Matriarchy

Part 5 here.

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.

Ooku, Vol. 2, p. 117.

Iemitsu and Arikoto. Ooku, Vol. 2, p. 117.

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