First off let me say how honored I am to host this carnival. I’ve been a fan for a long time and it’s great to take part in it.
When I sat down and thought about hosting this carnival I decided that the best way to present it was to try and be as objective as possible. I wanted to show articles that were from a wide range of feminist beliefs. As such none of the articles should be assumed to be my personal point of view. I also tried to limit people to one post but there are a few people you’ll find in this carnival more than once simply because I couldn’t decide between two wonderful posts or one of their articles was submitted after I had already decided to include the other one.
– As April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month Rachel Edidin has decided to blog about Sexual Assault (in Comics) in an ongoing series all month at her blog Inside Out. The parts so far are: Introduction, Rape in the Gutters, Writing Sexual Violence Part 1, Writing Sexual Violence Part 2, The Widowmaker, Is It Too Much Too Ask? & Rape Is Rape Is Rape:
When sexual violence finds its way into comics–when writers choose to portray sexual violence in comics–that ambiguity comes into immediate conflict with the traditionally cut-and-dried morality of mainstream superheroes. In worlds where right is right and wrong is wrong and each is defined by colorful costumes, it’s hard to express the confusing and often conflicting cultural and individual factors that surround and therefore define an assault. Even after the popularization of grim ‘n gritty antiheroes and the introduction of a degree of moral ambiguity to comics, the form remains more likely than most to oversimplify both characters and their actions. Furthermore, they’re only gradually emerging from a long tradition of sexism, if not outright misogyny, and the problematic portrayal of women in comics further complicates the issue of sexual assault within the medium.
– Over at Sequential Tart Katherine Keller addresses An Open Letter – On The Topic of Stephanie Brown to Senior Vice President — Executive Editor, DC Universe, Dan DiDio:
Once upon a time in Gotham, there was a bright, plucky girl named Stephanie Brown. Her father was a third rate villain named Cluemaster. She donned a costume, called herself Spoiler, and set out to thwart his crimes. She became an ally of “the Bats.”
She even became Robin.
She was fired (after being held to an unrealistic double standard) and set out to prove herself again. Her motives were pure, but the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. She was captured and suffered hours of brutal torture and still held true to the ideals of her father-figure. She died in his arms.
And Dan DiDio? Well … he thinks she doesn’t count, that she doesn’t matter, that in the grand scheme of things Bat, she wasn’t important. That she wasn’t really a Robin.
The problem is, she’s become much more than a mere Robin.
She’s a very powerful symbol to many women, myself included.
– Sleestak deconstructs a hostess ad from 1977 featuring Josie & The Pussycats in Comic Book Ad: Count The Upskirts on the blog lady, that’s my skull:
In this Hostess advertisement from Archie’s Madhouse #107 (1977) the catty Josie and her Unnamed Black Friend realize that the way to attract a man is not through being equal to their male counterparts, wearing pants or through hard work and skill but by manipulation and acting “like a girl”.
– Amy Reads at Arrogant Self-Reliance posts Make Mine Amazonian a review of Wonder Woman #7 and a discussion of Wonder Woman’s otherness:
I have been a Wonder Woman fan for over 25 years. I have read countless incarnations of her. I supported Diana Prince, lover of Steve Trevor. I supported Princess Diana, ambassador of peace. I even supported Wonder Woman, killer of Maxwell Lord, savior of humanity. And throughout this, I have always known that *Wonder Woman Is Not Human*.
Why, why, Friends, do so many try to insist she become so?
– Also about Wonder Woman, alexinwonderland over at Alex in Wonder Land posts on the lack of males in the Wonder family and the stereotypes that might be applied to them if they existed in How To Bring Your Wonder Boy up Gay:
The problem here isn’t that a Wonder Boy would be necessarily effeminate because he had a female namesake, but because it’s imaginable people would joke about it anyway, both within the text and outside it. I can just see the whispering during his first outing with the Teen Titans, or the questions about whether he’d wear a tiara too…And moreover, I wouldn’t place the line at being a questioning of his masculinity, but also his sexuality. I daresay a Wonder Boy wouldn’t just be the focus for joke about femininity, but for homosexuality as well. The way in which we live in a culture that still predominantly views gender and sexuality as collapsible categories makes it inevitable that expectations about femininity will become linked to the desire for men as a love-object, and vice versa. If Wonder Boy were questioned about his masculinity, questions about his sexuality would go hand in hand.
– Over at FemiNerds a post on their Top Twelve Graphic Novels:
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Comics and graphic novels are pretty “low brow.” They’re crude literary devices, and are only suited for boys who have trouble reading, and nerds. Women certainly don’t read comics – it simply isn’t done.Excuse me while I snort derisively.
– At Digital Femme, Cheryl Lynn posts on the request for visual interpretations of Witchblade and her personal view of Witchblade in Blades of Glory:
But seriously, fuck a costume. Previous versions of the Witchblade were always in line with the bearer’s cultural style of dress and method of combat, right? So why should the Witchblade suddenly go all Sci-Fi Channel with Sara?
–Christopher Butcher posts Afraid Of Cock in response to the furor over Alex Ross’ painting of Citizen Steel over at Comics212.net:
Brian and his ‘buddy’ Jake are ‘creeped out’ by a bulge in another guy’s pants (artistic or otherwise). The idea that an artist chose to give a character an impressively-rendered package is actually frightening to these fellas, and the idea that his model might’ve had a good-sized package in real life? And Alex Ross decided NOT to neuter him for some insane reason? Equally as creepy.
–Lisa Fortuner‘s article Just Past the Horizon: Censorship at blog@newsarama details the derailing of discussions of race, gender, sexuality, etc.:
For other cases, consider the poster worried about offensive images of black people in imported Manga, or the poster who wants to see two gay men in a relationship in a superhero comic. Such posts cause much the same argument. Instead of discussing racism or homophobia, we end up discussing censorship and artistic freedom.So, for future reference and to prevent such derailments, let me let you in on a little secret. Nobody who wants to see real diversity in any medium wants to support censorship.
– liviapenn posts about the new “Minx” line of comics, from DC, targeted at young girls at her journal Skullcrusher Mountain:
Wait, okay, I do. I mean, yes, yes– real girls, real issues, but the thing is? Teenage girls don’t need *comics* to give them “real insight into teenage girls.” Why? Because they *ARE* TEENAGE GIRLS, and therefore *presumably*, they know what it’s like to BE a teenage girl a little better than the *overwhelmingly male creators of the Minx line*.
–Laura Hudson relates her experience of The Girl Who Wanted to Buy Green Lantern at Myriad Issues:
“I wanted to buy the new Green Lantern,” she said, “but, well… I couldn’t really read it in public, could I?” I raised an eyebrow, then glanced around her to the rack, looked at the cover, and nodded.
–Karen Healey over at Girls Read Comics (And They’re Pissed) explains that Big Barda is big not just tall in I Think We Need A Bigger Barda :
According to recent BoP scripts, Big Barda is “hefty”, “large”, a “lummox”, “fat” and (of course) “big”. And sensitive about it, to the point where it’s a running joke. But according to the art… she’s not, not always. Mostly, she’s tall. She’s proportionate to that height and she’s got developed shoulders and abs, but her chain-mailed behind is not as hefty as advertised in the dialogue. She doesn’t look wee, but she doesn’t look bulky. Sometimes, she looks downright lanky.
– Super Like a White Man? Searching for the Black Superhero in Comics and Film over at megatrouble, dissects comic books and their relationship to the ubermensch ideal of Nietzsche. From Blade, Xero and Steel to the “statement” of Storm:
In the following essay (still incomplete, I need to write about Berry in Catwoman*), I try to come to terms with how my past writing has only focused on white people (for feminist comic book critics, this is a good question to ask yourself if you haven’t already!). Taking on black gender certainly doesn’t solve all of my racist assumptions. Also, the issue of black superheroes has been written about extensively, so I felt naive jumping into the fray of race and comics. I’m learning that talking about race adds a lot more dimension to the problems of comics than simply using a sexist critique. An intersectional perspective (race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, and nation!) can make our little slice of geekiness more fun for everyone . And remember, kids, it’s all good until some dumbass forgets that we write these things out of a concern for the genre, not Werthamist hate. Like the activist diva bell hooks says, we have to learn how to criticize what we love, or else we’ll never understand why we love it in the first place.
–Sequential Tart has just released their May Issue including interviews with people like R. Stevens, articles such as Putting My Foot In It and much more!
– I Really Wanted to Like Smallville an ongoing series of posts by Patrick over at The Hathor Legacy discusses issues with Lana and Clark’s scary stalkerish obsession with her.
Part 1: Everybody’s Girl, Part 2: I’ll Be Watching You & Part 3: Lost boys and Golden Girls (so far):
I’m a huge fan of all things Superman. He’s my favorite superhero, however un-cool that may be in general geek culture. So, when I started renting Smallville, I really wanted to like it. I made it through two seasons, and it was not until the third episode of the third season, “Extinction,” that I finally gave up. I just can’t keep watching this.
– Johanna over at Comics Worth Reading reviews the early 80’s t.v. show Automan:
Automan can do anything he’s seen on the videotapes he watches (sometimes on his own chest display) and talk with any computer system. Sometimes these abilities were taken a bit too far — I can understand disappearing and reappearing in a new location, and maybe the electric hand blasts, but I’m still unsure on how being a hologram makes you able to get whatever dice roll you want at a craps table.
–The Losers, a post by Ide Cyan over at the Feminist SF Blog talks about the shows that don’t have any episodes (or very few) directed and/or written by women:
First, I’d already started noticing that a pretty good number of episodes of Supernatural were written by women, which is a good thing, despite this being a show that’s so much about a return to a pre-BTVS, pre-X-Files, men-fighting-monsters set-up. And some other shows do give more than a token number of creative credits to women, like Jericho, for instance.
But this entry is really about the losers, the shows that don’t include women as writers or directors, or only on extremely rare occasions.
– tekanji over at Official Shrug.com blog has a post about Harassment, silencing and gaming communities the methods used and where such things can lead:
The editorial content on these sites are “official” which, especially when we’re talking about sites with a certain amount of popularity, gives them more weight than a personal blog or a comment in the post. What this means that, when women read these sites — and if you’re a woman interested in gaming you will come across them, most likely long before you find any woman-positive sites — you are shown time and time again that your perspective and your opinions are not only lesser than that of men’s apparently pressing need to drool over boobies, but that if you speak out against it (and even if you don’t) you set yourself up to be an object of ridicule — and who is going to be taken more seriously, the bloggers at these popular sites (many of whom have some sort of journalistic training behind them) or you and your personal site?
– The Iris Network has just released the first issue of Cerise, a gaming magazie for women. Articles include 5 steps to Attract Girl Gamers, Playing with Patriarchy and more!
– In response to the post by tekanji, Lake Desire over at New Game Plus posts her thoughts on the Silencing of Women in Gamer Communities:
While blog commenters might feel deprived their freedom of speech when they are banned for calling us hateful names or being dismissive our writing, what bloggers like myself are trying to do, in banning them, is protect our own voices. The male “right”, rather privilege, to always have men’s voices heard deprives women of our own speech in both public and private discussions. Men use their power to be invalidating, bullying, and harassing, and this shuts women down. (I’m focusing on gender in this post, but people are silenced based on all sorts of identities: men who don’t fit into this macho paradigm, people of color, transgender individuals, people with disabilities, young and old people, poor folks, etc. We should be talking about that, too.)
– Also from tekanji a post on Acclaim treating white as the default in their new game Dance – “Black is an EXTRA feature… Therefore, you hav[e] to PAY for it.”:
This situation is, perhaps, one of the most clear-cut examples of how the privileged groups are normalized and the non-privileged groups are Othered. First of all, this game seems to be still in the development stage; they’re testing out game mechanics and the like. Just as with Fable, as I discussed in my gender-inclusive video game thread, treating a female option as an “extra” rather than an intrinsic part of a game that supposedly lets you be anything, Acclaim’s Dance treats white as the default and non-white as an extra feature. As one of the moderators on the board explains, “Black is an EXTRA feature. It makes your person look unique, so that is an EXTRA feature. Therefore, you having to PAY for it.”
–Johanna over at Comics Worth Reading wonders at the posing of the three Harry Potter stars on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in What’s Wrong With This Cover?. It’s interesting to point out that aside from the first commentor (who is female and agrees with Johanna) the rest are all men who have “different” critiques of the cover:
Ah. She’s just standing there to be looked at, not doing anything but glowering at us. Is there some reason she doesn’t get to gesture? That she’s shown as passive instead of active? Beyond her sex, I mean?
– cleojones makes a post over at deadbrowalking about the connection she found between Grindhouse and Feminism:
Now is wasn’t perfect, by no means…The preposterous use of “nigga please” to another woman, for one. And Tarentino’s need to insert it EVERYWHERE, for another. And I’m sure there are other things, people can point out…But, boy I was impressed with these films almost reverent treatment of women!
– Another commentator on Grindhouse is lilycain. In her blog Who you callin’ a bitch? she discusses her reaction to Death Proof calling it female-centered if not feminist in Grindhouse, the Mo Movie Measure, and comic book covers:
The second half of Grindhouse, Death Proof, is an action/slasher movie with the heroes a group of female friends. And a good half of the movie was women just spending time together, talking, gossiping, laughing. The film was very much female-centered; we were not, as in most slasher movies, meant to empathize or identify with the male killer.I can’t even express how strongly that affected me.
– Skye at Heroine Content gives us a review of Resident Evil and it’s inclusion of women and people of color:
After 100 minutes of gunfire, zombie dogs, and general mayhem, though, I don’t have a lot to say. If you took an action movie, cast women and people of color as if that were just the normal way to do things, and then went on about your business, you would end up with something very much like this movie.
– Another post by Skye over at Heroine Content entitled In Defense of Ripley where she links to various blogs that have discussed Ripley and presents her own opinion on the heroine in question:
Alien is not an action movie, it’s a horror movie, and Ripley’s basic challenge is simply to survive. This may sound strange, but the science fiction setting of Alien is more like reality than most action movies that are set in the here and now.
-In So it goes, Twisty Farmer at I Blame The Patriarchy discusses the death of Kurt Vonnegut and the fact that while he understood some things, his feminist score still leaves a lot to be desired:
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr is the American author venerated as a visionary for having invented the idea that certain patriarchal customs, particularly war, are absurd.Of course Vonnegut didn’t really invent the idea; that was Aristophanes, or possibly Hawkeye Pierce. Vonnegut certainly popularized it among prep school proto-intellectuals, though, this spinster aunt included.
– Liz Henry at the Feminist SF Blog reviews Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky and how there is a difference between violence against women that has a point (such as in the feminist novel – Walk to the End of the World) and simply a sexist novel where the violence against women is the point. A Patriarchalness in the Sky:
So right about the time the brain-damaging rape and mindwipe scenes started hitting, I had a sort of feminist rage nostril-flareout and started going back and marking up the book.One main thing that pissed me off hugely was the ways that the child character, Qiwi, starts off a child and then because of the rest of the crew being in coldsleep, grows up, but is constantly described to emphasize her child nature. She’s juvenilized in nearly every scene. I suppose this is done to make her an appealing character and to be all symbolic of the Nation (or as I came to think of it, the not-quite nation or sorta-empire trading entity of free market libertarianly wankeriness) abused and born anew.
– The Angry Black Woman at her personal blog discusses How to Promote Diversity in Fiction Markets focusing on such issues as the dichotomy between when editors say they want diversity and the ways some neglect the ideal when advertising or calling for submissions.:
The problem with the argument is several-fold. First, any given slushpile at any given magazine (with few exceptions) is not balanced. There will likely be far more male authors. There will certainly be a high percentage of white authors. Most of these authors will be of the same class, the same or similar cultures, and from the same country. Given that there will be so few stories from women, ethnic minorities, people of different classes, cultures, and countries, and given that very few stories in any given submission pile will be accepted, the chance for diversity is very small.
– bug_girl at Memoirs of a Skepchick asks Where are the Women? in regards to the “Most significant SF/F books of the last 50 years” list and the invisibility of women scientists:
No, this isn’t about where to find a date, but where the female authors are on the list PZ linked to today of the “Most significant SciFi/Fantasy books of the last 50 years.”
There are a total of 4 women authors on the list, and one of them is J.K Rowling.
–Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray refutes the argument that Frankenstein was too profound to have been created by an “ill-educated 19-year-old whose later writing were just ordinary”. The argument is put forth by John Lauritsen in his upcoming book. She brings in two people who have written on Mary Shelley before to explain the reasons to believe Mary Shelley did write the famous horror novel:
In all likelihood the book, coming out from a small indy publisher, would not have gotten too much popular notice but Camilla Paglia was sent a review copy and she wrote about it last week in her column at Salon. (it’s on the last page after the Hilary/Obama stuff.) And now the new book is about feminism as well as male love – or about how feminist scholars and academics are so quick to put someone on a pedestal that they ignore the truth.
– oyceter reviews Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop and explains why she likes The Black Jewels Trilogy despite her issues with Bishop’s other works at her blog Oyce’s LJ:
… but the crack for Black Jewels actually works for me. I suspect this is because in the Black Jewels trilogy, Bishop has written directly from her id, and everything is so over the top and insane and cracktastic that it works its own strange magic on me. I mean… there are gender issues like no other and characters who are either Good or Bad as exemplified by sexual perversions or the lack thereof and unicorns and magical cock rings and Capital Letters and Colored Jewels and the Mary Sue to end all Mary Sues and not just one, but THREE, devilish sexy alpha bastards and the most abused people ever (who also happen to be the most powerful people ever).
-Fictive Speculator at Perrynomasia reviews The Moon & The Sun by Vonda McIntyre discussing the setting and the problems she had with aspects of the novel:
Court intrigue follows and she, being quite beautiful (of course) becomes the target of lecherous men all around her, except for Lucien de Chretien, the king’s most trusted advisor. As if learning how to deal with Versailles in the Sun King’s reign is not difficult enough, her father is a renowned Jesuit natural philosopher who has just accomplished a mission of the utmost importance to the king–capturing a live mer-creature and returning it to Versailles for study. Louis and her brother, Yves, believe that mermen have an organ that gives immortality, and they are seeking it in the best scientific method of their time–which involves dissection and detailed comparative study.
– Rebecca over at Active Voice gives us two reviews, first The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau where she compares it to the two others in the series. She also reviews Inkheart by Cornelia Funke discussing the main character Meggie and her need for male rescue throughout the book.:
Yonwood is the prequel to The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, which I absolutely loved. Those take place two hundred years after a Crisis (consisting of a series of wars and plagues) almost wipes out humanity. This book is the lead-up to that Crisis, and as such, is creepier. Also lending to its air of creepiness is the fact that it’s much closer to our own world. Nickie lives in the United States, with technology barely a step ahead of our own; they talk of fighting terrorists and the President (who is unnamed) keeps saying war is imminent and asking the country to pray for their success. It reads as our world, ratcheted up a notch—a creepy feeling indeed.
I really…well, I can’t say I didn’t care for Meggie, but I can say she had no personality to speak of. She liked books. But that’s not the same as having or being a character. I got no sense of if she was supposed to be shy or outgoing, stubborn or compliant. She was a complete blank. And she also was very passive—kidnapped twice through the books, both times rescued by someone else.
– Gwyneth Jones discusses the novel A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski, her opinions on the difference between male writers and female writers when they tackle traditional SF storylines and Feminist SF in and of itself at her blog Bold As Love:
. . . And this, I recall, was and still is one of the problems for feminist sf, or indeed for any woman who takes on the natural topics of sf (war, invasion, thrillers), and tries to write well. The punters want violent fantasy, they don’t want it real. They want the torture scenes to be fun, and the bit where the revolutionary hero blows up the bad guys (hey, we all want to be on the side of the angels), to be a riotous firework display. . .
– shadefell in her blog Mostly True Tales posts Melusine and Gender Roles about the novel Melusine by Sarah Monette and how she almost didn’t finish it.:
Magic use. Intuition. Fine clothing and jewelry. Rape and abuse. Passivity. Felix felt very much like a Poor Downtrodden Female Fantasy Character. In fact, in the first few pages I kept flipping back and forth trying to puzzle out why the chapter was headed “Felix” and why this woman was being called by a male name. I decided that it was a female name in the book before I realized that no, it was just a male character with a lot of stereotypical, negative, female traits. It was confusing, and not in a gender-bending, challenging way. Instead, it kind of felt like Felix was written first as a female character and then changed to a male character.
– sundre at pretentious meanderings discusses The Female Man by Joanna Russ and connects quotes from Joanna and from the book to the silencing of women and denial of their experiences.:
This is far more familiar than it should be. And I wonder how many people read this passage and identify with Jack? There must be some. But so many of those that might see their own behaviour reflected would simply feel uncomfortable and look away, and edit it out of their memory without a second thought. I know how malleable memory can be. So I can write around things in a way that spirals nearer. If I try.
– Mary Bennet from Reading Underwater reviews Glory Season by David Brin and the emphasis on gender roles in Easter and Parthenogenesis:
One of the books I read before Easter was Glory Season by David Brin. He’s a complicated American SF writer with strangely right ring politics. So far so dodgy. Trouble is he writes like a dream and creates these internally consistent worlds so you find yourself admiring his detailed description of the effects of a double sunset or moonrise on the alien plant life without noticing the utter repugnance of what he’s on about. For a while anyway. I’ve been trying to work out exactly why this book makes me feel so very uneasy.
– extrajoker shares her opinions of the Harry Dresden book series by Jim Butcher in Butcher’s a Hack!:
Harry Dresden, the narrator/protagonist, calls himself “old-fashioned” while acknowledging (more than once) that others would call him “chauvinistic.” Sadly, these self-assessments do nothing to diminish the offensiveness of his narrative voice. It seems that Butcher is trying to deflect criticism from Harry by showing him to be not a mere tool, but rather a self-aware tool. If such was the author’s intent, it didn’t work with me. Instead, I’m remembering an Oscar Wilde quote: “There is luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel no one else has a right to blame us.” Unfortunately, our feeling that way doesn’t make it true.
Book Subsection – Hugo Controversy
There’s been a lot of discussion over the fact that out of twenty fiction nominees for the prestigious Hugo Awards only one of them is female. I’m sure you’ve all probably read about this a few times by now so just a few tie-in links.
–Ellen Kushner posts a letter from Geoff Ryman about the nominations . Commentors take offense at many of his points and make their opinions known in their replies to the post:
From the letter:
SF is driven by an underlying dream, and part of that dream is profoundly hostile to domesticity, which is traditionally assigned to women. It is hostile to staying at home on Earth. It dreams, Peter Pan-like, of magic flights to a Neverneverland in the stars, full of pirates and mermaids and Indians. It is largely a land of and for Boys. Women love it too, perhaps because they also want to escape domesticity.
One of the many replies:
…and then I have no idea how he gets from there to here. I mean because following the logic as I understand it:
1. SF offers the wish-fulfilment of escaping from domesticity.
2. Women, historically, are the class trapped in domesticity, who have been legally, physically, practically barred from escaping it — except, for the most part, in imagination.
3. ….therefore boys can more easily relate to the dream of leaving it behind?
This really seems to me to be backwardsed all to heck.
– Abigail Nussbaum replies to the letter in her post Not to Confuse Anyone With Facts at her blog Asking The Wrong Questions:
An interesting discussion ensues, with many of the commenters taking Ryman to task (in a thoughtful and civil manner) for over-generalizations and faulty logic. None of them, however– perhaps because of the larger definitional implications of Ryman’s argument–seem to have taken the obvious step of reviewing the Hugo nominees to see if they bear out Ryman’s thesis. They do not. I’ve only read one of the best novel nominees, and there are four short fiction nominees that I haven’t yet read, but of the stories I have read–all of them written by men–an overwhelming majority are concerned with domestic matters.
–perkinwarbeck2 joins in with 2006 Award-Nominated Books by Women a list of sf/f novels that have been nominated for other awards such as Phillip K. Dick, Nebula, Locus, Tiptree…:
However, people have been asking mostly what novels by women should have been nominated. So, in the hope it might be useful, a list of books by women that have been nominated for other awards this year, with links to online reviews.
– Over at Twisted Kingdom, Kailana posts some interesting statistics on women writers vs. male writers and percentages for all the major awards, in Random Thoughts for a Saturday Morning -Women in Fantasy. Although the statistics only go up to 2000 it’s still worth a look.:
In my experience, I will read both male and female authors, but I know lots of people that will only read their own gender. Men only reading male authors, and women only reading female authors. People say that feminism is dead, but it is not. There is still so many avenues in daily life that are sexist. It is just not the 70’s anymore, and people are not as geared up for protests.
– hederahelix ties personal stories to the history of race in America and breaks down many of the race issues in fandom in her essay, Race, Fandom and the Shoes of Other People Pt.1 & Pt.2:
Any personal dislike that gets elevated to an oppression (with a capital O) is never just the action of a handful of individuals. It is a prejudice that gets writ large into society as a whole. Racism gets woven into the very fabric of life in the United States. Sexism permeates the very air we breathe. Homophobia becomes so pervasive and insidious that it becomes like background noise to everything else. Metaphors that reveal abilityism become so commonplace that it’s like being in a room with a smell for too long; when that happens, our nerves that sense a scent overload and refuse to notice them anymore. Anti-Semitism plays into stereotypes in such subtle ways that if you didn’t know what to look for, you’d never even notice it (Watto in The Phantom Menace for example, replicates anti-Semitism in his manners and his speech patterns.)
– In She got her ghetto pass the old-fashioned way. She *earned* it, WitchQueen talks about racism and what you must do to earn your ghetto pass. Plus a postscript of terms /phrases/ideas that will anger Fans of Color.:
Two, you have to be prepared to get your ass kicked. Being accused of racism is akin to being accused of making the Baby Jesus cry. It may make you physically ill, it may make you gafiate3, it may make you think life was better when you wrote about pretty white people getting it on. It’s not going to kill you. It’s not going to mark you forever (even in fandom!) unless you make an ass out of yourself in public. It’s not going to kill you. It’s not going to beat up your kids at school or poison your dinner or put you in jail. It’s going to hurt, and it’s going to suck, but it’s not the end of the world. Write your story. Apologize when you fuck up. Figure out what you did wrong. Don’t do it again.
-In the essay Women/Writing 1: How Fanfiction Makes Us Poor cupidsbow relates the ideas in Joanna Russ’ How To Suppress Women’s Writing to the culture of fanfiction.:
The reason the title of this essay includes a reference to poverty is because I have a lot of issues with capitalism as it’s currently practiced in the West, and especially with the way blame is directed at individuals for being poor. One of the things I’ve always loved about fanfiction is that it’s largely free of the most obnoxious aspects of capitalist culture. However, due to both a recent conversation with a friend who works in publishing, and the feminist reading I’ve been doing, I’ve been forced to re-evaluate. In particular, I’ve felt compelled to ask: is the non-capitalist aspect of fanfiction actually a method of silencing the artistic voices of women? And does it take away what should be legitimate opportunities for us to earn an income from what we create?
There are so many replies that she makes another post titled Women/Writing 1: The Response So Far:
This post isn’t a formal continuation of my essay, “How Fanfiction Makes Us Poor.” It’s more in the nature of a debrief. The discussion in response has been so vigorous that some of the threads are starting to become hard to follow, and I wanted to record some of the interesting trends I’ve noticed while they are fresh in my mind. I thought some of you might find it useful too.
– Karen Ellis from Planet Karen has a series of comics about various stylistic and storyline tropes and tribulations entitled Missunderstanding Comics:
General SF/F – Misc.
–Niall Harrison over at Torque Control reconstructs a recent panel from Contemplation – Eastercon 2007 in Panel Report: is UK SF publishing overly masculine?:
This is, obviously, incomplete, reconstructed from notes I didn’t think I was going to have to rely on. Corrections, attributions, and/or expansions from others who attended the panel are welcomed.
Is UK SF publishing overly masculine?
Sunday 8 April, 11:00–12:00 “I hear that a number of women writers have felt that the atmosphere in the UK is very hard science, hard men at present — not that all the editors are male or whatever, but that the culture seems to be for quite macho-type books.” True?
Jaine Fenn, Jo Fletcher, Gareth Lyn Powell, Graham Sleight, Liz Williams, John Richards (M)
– Gail Martin contemplates the question Are Science Fiction & Fantasy Subversive to the Status Quo? in her myspace blog (I realize this is a little older but I hadn’t seen it posted anywhere so decided to include it in the carnival.) :
We often use the word “subversive” in a very negative sense. It’s been used so many times as a smear by folks like Joseph McCarthy who wanted to shut up anyone who disagreed with them that it has something of a taint to it.If you go beyond the political connotations of the term, I think subversion really means anything that shakes up the status quo, the established power structure (social, religious and cultural–not necessarily political) and advances new ideas and new ways of thinking.
-The Guest Blogger over at The Angry Black Woman, N.K. Jemisin talks about being an SF writer of Color and the reactions she receives, how SF has historically been all white and how it’s kept People of Color out for so long without being overtly racist in No more lily-white futures and monochrome myths. :
Speculative fiction (SF) has been, historically, one of the most racist genres in American literature. Oh, it hasn’t had as many Stepinfetchits or Uncle Toms as the mainstream, but there are few more powerful ways to wrong a people than to wipe it out of existence, and this is precisely what countless SF novels have done. If the crew of the Space Navy Vessel Whozimawhatsit is all white; if a vast medieval epic spanning several continents contains no chromatic folk; if the scientific accomplishments of ancient nonwhite empires are dismissed as alien leftovers; if China is the only continent toasted by an invading space warship; all of this is a kind of literary genocide. (Yes, genocide.) And it’s something that SF has not only done well for years, but continues to do; shit like this gets published all. the. time.
I know this isn’t a normal category in the Carnival but we’ve had a couple of modified bingo games pop up in the last month:
-From Betty & Karen Healey over at Girls Read Comics (And They’re Pissed) it’s The Anti-Comics-Feminist Bingo. Head on over and see how many of your last few conversations fit the bill.
-From tekanji at the Official Shrub.com Blog we have “Geek Girl” Stereotype Bingo. See how many of the boxes you recognize from articles.
Calls For Submissions
-Ragnell the Foul points out that Off Our Backs is looking for submissions and that they might need a comics article.
–Cerise, the new online gaming magazine for women is calling for submissions for their next issue.
Well that’s it for the 13th Carnival, it was a lot of hard work but fun too. Tell me what worked for you/ what didn’t work for you and if there are any problems with the above links please do not hesitate to let me know!
The 14th Carnival will be hosted by Heroine Content! Submission deadline is the 27th of May and the Carnival will be up on the 30th.