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Posts Tagged ‘representation’

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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New to Ôoku? Start here. Introduction to this arc here.

Major spoilers for the Iemitsu (vol 2-4) and Tsunayoshi arcs (vol. 4-6), including the drama and the Ôoku: Eien film. Warnings: the plot of this story arc contains sexual assault and abuse, dubious consent, murder, the death of a child, and back-stabbing, and is generally NSFW.

Vol. 5, p. 16.

Tsunayoshi plays a game with her daughter Matsu-hime. Vol. 5, p. 16.

Hideous Beauty

One aspect of Tsunayoshi’s character that I found fascinating was her relationship to beauty ideals. (more…)

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Introduction here. Spoilers for the Iemitsu (vol 2-4) and Tsunayoshi arcs (vol. 4-6), including the drama and the Ôoku: Eien film. Warnings: the plot of this story arc contains sexual assault and abuse, dubious consent, suicide, murder, and all the back-stabbing. I’ve kept the mostly images PG-13 (there’s a little gore in one) but the content is not safe for work.

"I'm not like the former Shogun, who agreed to anything." Vol. 183.

“I’m not like the former Shogun, who agreed to anything.” Vol. 183.

Brought to you by the Bechdel test

Let’s start with the most obvious point: Tsunayoshi can be a morally reprehensible woman precisely because the Ôoku has equal gender representation, both in her story arc and the work at large. (more…)

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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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This piece also appeared in Feministe on 1 April 2013.

One of the most striking scenes in the 2012 miniseries version of Ford Maddox Ford’s Parade’s End is one in which suffragette Valentine Wannop takes refuge in an art museum during a rally. While she is quietly admiring a painting of Venus, another woman enters and slashes the painting with a cleaver, shouting, “What are you all gawking at? Do you think that is all women are good for?”1

Parade's End, Episode 2: The Destruction of the Venus

Parade's End, Episode 2, damage

As someone with a deep love of art, I was alarmed as Valentine was. I do not believe in the destruction of art, but what the stand-in for Mary Richardson said stuck with me. Consider the status of women in the art world: often considered the “muse,” rarely the artist; lauded as the pinnacle of beauty but having no worth otherwise: the Venus forever looking in her mirror, the object of the (male) gaze, not the subject of her own agency. Should a gallery or museum try to strive for the inclusion of women artists (and artists of color, queer artists, and so on), there may be criticism of ignoring the masters, so-called “female privilege,” and the desire for a gender-blind meritocracy that simply does not exist at present. If you were wondering what such an article might look like, look no further than C.B. Liddell’s “The diverse works of Asian women artists,” a special to The Japan Times.

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