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Archive for the ‘Geek Culture’ Category

Check out the (mostly spoiler free) review of Gone Home, an atmospheric feminist game on Steam, that I wrote for Comparative Geeks:

Gone_Home

When I joined Steam, the first game [my younger sister] sent me was Gone Home, a game about sisters. You’re Kaitlin “Katie” Greenbriar, the older sister, who arrives back in Oregon after a year abroad in Europe to discover the lights are on but nobody’s home at her parents’ house–and there’s a mysterious note from her younger sister on the door.

 

June 7, 1995. 1:15 AM.

You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. Something’s not right. Where is everyone? And what’s happened here?

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Or, “Why is Florence + the Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful the soundtrack to my trash ship?” 

ilovetrash

Source [Image of Oscar the Grouch holding a sign that says “I heart Trash”]

Spoilers for X-Men First Class (major), X-Men Days of Future Past (moderate), NBC Hannibal (mild), and Battlestar Galactica (mild). Contains gifs; discussions of music and films featuring abusive relationships, alcohol abuse, and moderate violence; links to music videos with disturbing imagery of the same nature. I’m sure that Florence Welch actually wrote her music about her experiences and not about fandom, but seriously, have you seen the X-Men prequels? Or NBC Hannibal? Do you see?

There appears to be no one definition of a trash ship*, so my definition is a ‘ship that you know is objectively bad, either because the characters bring out the worst in each other or because one of the characters is literally a cannibal serial killer (or somesuch). Cherik (Charles Xavier/Erik Lensherr)? Trash ship.Starbuck/Apollo? Trash Battlestar. Hannigram (Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham)? Trash spiral-galaxy.

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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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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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IMG_0597For those of you looking for a brief but in-depth run-through of all the lady monsters and their tropes in horror films, check out “Women That Go Bump In the Night: Lady-Monsters Of Cinema” by Stef on Autostraddle.

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I wrote about Frankenstein, M.D. before, and, more than halfway through the show, I am obsessed. (Spoilers for the original text and for Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, none for the show.)

FMDForBlogs

I first read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley in high school for fun, and while I enjoyed it, I don’t feel like I really “got” some of the themes or really appreciated that a woman invented science fiction. Last year, the Jonny Lee Miller/Benedict Cumberbatch Frankenstein* had a showing nearby, and it rekindled my interest in Frankenstein–but I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted a woman to play Dr. Frankenstein.

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I always do a little blurb on Take Back Halloween, since the site has been around as long as this blog has! The site aims to show readers how to make positive feminist costumes for Halloween.

Bessie Coleman via Taking Back Halloween

Bessie Coleman via Take Back Halloween

The site highlights notable historical and fictional women of all races from all over the world; gives instructions on how to create the outfits–usually through a combination of off-the-rack items and accessories, so even if you can’t sew, you can make the outfits; and also provides history lessons about the characters and historical figures, who fall into four major categories: Glamour Grrls, Goddesses and Legends, Notable Women, and Queens.

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IMG_0597If you like YA paranormal fiction and you’d like a feminist short story about a vampire high-schooler, check out “The House of Aunts” by Zen Cho over on Podcastle (audio) and GigaNotoSaurus (text). (My review of Podcastle is here.)

Ah Lee is an average high schooler: she studies hard, has a crush on a classmate, doesn’t like the cooking or supervision at home–and just happens to be a vampire who lives with six old aunties who are also vampires.

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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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