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Readers, I am excited to be hosting the Feminist Friday discussion for Part-Time Monster and Sourcerer this week. Get your Axe ready, because we’re going to talk about the gendered marketing of bath products!

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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:

Hi, readers! If you haven’t been following Feminist Friday on Sourcerer and Part-time Monster, check it out this Friday right here on The Lobster Dance. We’re going to discuss gendered marketed toward adults, especially product segregation by gender. We’d love to have you, my regular readers, join in, too!

Originally posted on Sourcerer:

Leah of The Lobster Dance has graciously agreed to host the Feminist Friday discussion this week.

The topic: Gendered Marketing aimed at adults.

I couldn’t be more thrilled that Leah’s offered to host. If you want to know why I’m saying that, check out this piece she wrote at I’ll Make It Myself last month about pointlessly gendered food blogging.

You’re welcome to join us (and to chime in if you’re feeling chatty on Friday).

Leah’s post will be the eighteenth of these discussion threads we’ve posted since we started them in March, and The Lobster Dance will be the seventh blog that’s hosted. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

All previous installments are archived here.

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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. Continue Reading »

The Writing Process

David of DBCII and Comparative Geeks nominated me for The Writing Process Blog Tour. Normally I’m a little shy about meta-blogging, but I think that this is a really interesting look at bloggers “behind the scenes,” and I enjoyed writing it. We’ve been geeking out together for 10 years now, and it’s always fun to compare notes.

The Rules

In the words of Gene’O:

The rules are very simple and, if I may say so, designed to not require a lot of work, which I truly appreciate:

  1. Link to the blogger before,
  2. answer 4 questions,
  3. and nominate 3 bloggers to keep the hop going.

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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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