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Posts Tagged ‘queer’

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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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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In this edition of the gender reader: queer issues in the Tohoku Disaster recovery, the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, why the “economics of sex” video is wrong, wrong, wrong, and more!

3 out of 4 women agree: "Not a feminist? Get out of my bed." (Via Business Insider, originally from The Economics of Sex)

Let’s reclaim this image. “Sorry, bro, the goddesses have spoken. Misogynists don’t get sex OR vintage NES time.” (Via Business Insider, originally from The Economics of Sex by the Austin Institute)

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If you need a palate-cleanser, I wrote a guest post about Welcome to Night Vale over on Have You Nerd?

Have You Nerd

All Hail the Glow Cloud:

How Welcome to Night Vale Won My Heart

By: Leah Zoller

I tend to describe the podcast Welcome to Night Vale as a surrealist fantasy version of Prairie Home Companion. Each 20-25-minute episode is narrated by Night Vale Community Radio host Cecil Gershwin Palmer (voiced by Cecil Baldwin), who gives community updates for the rural desert town of Night Vale, where John Peters–you know, the farmer?–grows imaginary corn; a floating cat hangs out in the radio station men’s bathroom; wheat and wheat byproducts may attack; and a five-headed dragon is running for office.

night vale

In addition to community updates, the weather report features music from an eclectic variety of artists, and the (fake) sponsorships have been targeted to serve the needs of the community:

Step into your nearest Subway restaurant today, and try their new 6-inch mashed potato sub! Top it with a delicious assortment of…

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Reblog all the things from Inequality by Interior Design? Don’t mind if I do! Today’s reblog is a subject near and dear to my heart: androgyny, doing gender, and queer visibility.

Inequality by (Interior) Design

by Tristan Bridges and CJ Pascoe

gwptwittericon2Originally posted at Girl W/ Pen

WarpaintCoco Layne got a haircut.  She shaved both sides of her head, but left the top at a length that falls roughly to the bottom of her face.  As a feminist fashion, art, and lifestyle blogger, she was quick to recognize the ways that she could subtly re-style her hair and dramatically alter her presentation of gender (here).   So, in classic feminist art blogger style, she produced an art project depicting her experience.  Coco’s project—“Warpaint”—comes on the heels of several other photographic projects dealing critically with gender: JJ Levine’s series of photographs—“Alone Time”—depicting one person posing as both a man and a woman in a single photograph (digitally altered to include both images); the media frenzy over Casey Legler, a woman who garnered attention, recognition and contracts modeling as a…

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On counting and reporting sexuality in regards to desire, experience, and identity.

Inequality by (Interior) Design

Cross-posted at Social (In)Queery

When nationally representative surveys first started appearing that addressed issues of gender and sexual identities and practices, most people had the same question.  It was some derivation of, “How many gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans*/etc. people are there?”  And, from a sociological perspective, it’s a question often associated with a fundamental misunderstanding of how complicated a question like that actually is.

0226470202In 1994, Edward Laumann, John Gagnon, Robert Michael and Stuart Michaels published an incredible book on one of the first nationally representative surveys of the American population concerning issues of sexuality, sexual behavior, and sexual orientation–The Social Organization of Sexuality.  In their chapter, “Homosexuality,” they begin a brief section of the book on the “dimensions of sexuality” that encompasses some of my favorite findings out of the study.  In it, they write,

To quantify or count something requires unambiguous definition of the phenomenon in question.  And we…

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I attended Geek Girl Con in Seattle over the weekend, and it was beautiful. I’d like to recap some of the panels and provide some commentary and helpful links.

First of all, why does Geek Girl Con, now in its third year, exist? The panelists for “Changing Culture in Mainstream and Alternative Spaces” discussed how GGC came about and what we can do to make geekdom safe and fun for everyone.

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I usually focus on Japanese media on this blog, but I did a guest post over on Comparative Geeks today about queer American comic anthologies. Enjoy!

Comparative Geeks

Guest post by Leah of The Lobster Dance, a blog about Japan, gender, media, and culture (with a heavy dose of manga and geekery) and I’ll Make It Myself!a food blog.

People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect. But actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey… stuff. — Doctor Who

“Wibbly-Wobbly, Sexy-Wexy”…: sexuality, like time, can be looked at from a “non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint.” —Anything That Loves, based on a comment at Comic Con

My taste in comics has always run a bit queer*of the center. If a comic has a sword-fighting woman or an androgynous character (or both at once if you please), I’ve probably read it. And much to the horror of misogynist nerds who think nerd girls do it for the ships (and what of it?!), the one thing guaranteed…

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One of first things I learned in my very first gender studies class was the distinction between sex and gender. I feel like it was useful at the time, but that the narratives about biology vs culture have changed in the last 10 years. For example, if we assume that sex is purely biological, where does that leave trans and intersex people? If you feel strongly that you are male or female, it’s not just choosing pink or blue and that’s it–there are so many ways to do gender (boi, hard femme, soft butch, androgyne) that the personal performance of what society expects vs what we want to do begins to make the assignment of fashions, mannerisms and interests seem ridiculous. Enjoying contact sports might be “aggressive” or “athletic” but there’s no reason to assign those attributes to a gender, and, ultimately, to praise what society deems masculine and ridicule what society deems feminine. And if gender expression is dangerously conflated with ideas of biological sex, wouldn’t using self-identity for gender help dismantle the biological-cultural complex? It seems very simple and yet very radical, and I am really interested in seeing how this new idea develops in sociology.

Family Inequality

Or, the sex/gender distinction which is not one?

sexgendermaze

(This post includes research from my excellent graduate assistant, Lucia Lykke.)

Recently I was corrected by another sociologist: “Phil – ‘female’ and ‘male’ refer to one’s sex, not gender.”

Feminists — including feminist sociologists — have made important progress by drawing the conceptual distinction between sex and gender, with sex the biological and gender the social categories. From this, maybe, we could recognize that gendered behavior was not simply an expression of sex categories — related to the term “sex roles” — but a socially-constructed set of practices layered on top of a crude biological base.

Lucia informs me we can date this to Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex. In 1949 she wrote:

It would appear, then, that every female human being is not necessarily a woman; to be so considered she must share in that mysterious…

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In this Japan gender reader: Sailor Moon, sex and gender statistics, gender-equality Jizo, and more!

From Sailor Moon Wikia

Concept art by Takeuchi Naoko. From Sailor Moon Wikia

Warning: some links may be NSFW.

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