And with the simple utterance of “cosplay”, I lose half my readership, but probably gain aaaaaaaaaaall the bumps to my Googleability.
One day, Chaka Cumberbatch started the first big cosplay race war by having the gall to cosplay as Sailor Venus. While being a woman of colour. A badass, damn hot woman of colour (personally, I think the shit would have hit less of the fan if she wasn’t damn hot: much less threatening to the racist geek psyche.)
Read all about it at Racialicious.
In referencing that post, I initially wanted to make an addendum to the previous cosplay-related “new rule” about not complaining about the lack of [mandatorily fuckable] women in fandom. But here’s the problem: the dominant geek paradigm is really, really white. And you don’t hear the voices of that paradigm lamenting the lack of people of colour.
It’s dehumanizing both ways: geeks whinge about no [hot] chicks coming to their clubs because they only want to fuck them, but they don’t whinge about no people of colour coming to their clubs because they don’t even want to fuck them.
And one day, Ryan from Mad Art Lab decided it wasn’t enough just to casually gender-bend the traditional Princess Leia/metal bikini costume. He had to gender-fuck its shit right up.
Cosplayers: subverting subversions of the dominant paradigm’s dominant paradigm since awesome o’clock.
They’ve remade Edge of Darkness.
With Mel. Fucking. Gibson.
I am going to find the perpetrator of this obscenity and unleash the wrath of Gaia on them.
Fortunately I have the original on loan from a cultured and tasteful friend so I’m just going to go scrub the evil from my brain.
A post on the Te Papa/menstruation thing shall follow.
And of course they’ve fucking made the main character a fucking American fucking fuck.
It’s that time of the month again – carnival time!*
Here it is, people, Volume XVII of the DUFC, containing the very best of Southern Hemisphere feminist discourse for the month of September.
Ten Simple Rules for Surviving Patriarchy
1. Mess Up That Dominant Paradigm Good And Hard
Boganette is leading the charge here with her sheer audacity in letting people know she isn’t going to change her name on marriage. Gold star for the bonus cognitive dissonance caused by having a male partner willing to take her name! It’s just not right!
Chally needs to you understand that you cannot actually be that progressive if you refer to things as “lame”.
In A Strange Land destroys Greg Sheridan’s reasoning why women shouldn’t be allowed in frontline combat positions. I’m just amazed he didn’t raise the extra cost involved of shipping manicurists to warzones. Then she takes on gender essentialism and what “woman” means.
2. Speak Truth to Power/Bigotry/Douchebags/Patriarchy
Just in case there were any concern that feminists just don’t talk about important issues enough …
Lauredhel reports on a Canadian study about the actual risks of injuries to mother and baby in homebirths vs hospital births. Jo Tamar provides some analysis of why, despite the facts, doctors still prefer hospital births.
Spilt Milk writes an open letter to Kyle “Trigger Warning” Sandilands, whose work I am eternally grateful has never made it over the Tasman.
Julie at the Hand Mirror reports on the Roundtable on Violence Against Women’s factsheet, released in response to the sentencing of Clayton Weatherston; and Anna takes on the odious CYFSWatch.
3. Break Down Controlling Narratives
shinynewcoin takes apart the notion of being “high maintenance” and the way it punishes women for doing what they’re supposed to.
Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony draws a fantastic comparison between men’s and women’s “risky” behaviour.
Richie dissects the good old “But I didn’t meeeeeeeeeeeean to!” line.
4. Don’t Forget The Men
Feminists are often criticised for making it all about the chicks and not caring about the poor oppressed suffering men. There’s something in that.
We should definitely care about the men who get to have parental-celebration barbeques while women-parents shop, as documented by Fuck Politeness. And we would be terribly remiss not to care about fathers getting governmental thank-yous for having the balls to financially support their own children, as brilliantly savaged by shinynewcoin.
Boganette has a Public Service Announcement about how it’s not your period that broke up your relationship, it’s the fact your boyfriend was an asshole.
5. Eat, Drink, Wear a Size Blah and Be Merry – or don’t
Chally links to an online feminist bookclub.
Boganette would be most delighted if you could not tell her she’s lost weight, asshole. PodBlack Cat doesn’t drink, and has not been stripped of her Aussie citizenship for it.
Boganette and News With Nipples both cover the report which shows some women drink before sex due to self-esteem issues with their bodies. Boganette is full of scorn, NWN wonders what the connection is with the study’s funders, Femfresh (for all your labia-deodorant needs),
6. Be Inspired By Women Who Rock
The Hoydens About Town presents an obituary of Barbara Moore: Feminist, Lawyer, Writer & Grad Student of the University of Melbourne. Bloody powerful stuff there.
Godard’s Letterboxes has the mighty Sarah Connor at #3 on their Top 100 Sci Fi and Fantasy Women list. So far, so kickass, but if there ain’t a Servalan or an Ivanova showing up shortly there shall be a reckoning.
7. Have Kids and Consign Yourself to the Fight Against Gender Stereotyping and Societal Expectation
This is clearly a big issue of our times, and that’s just going by how often it crops up in the Australofemiblogosphere. Heck, it starts before the bub even arrives!
Godard’s Letterboxes has boys, not aliens. blue milk has a boy and a girl – clearly the perfect sample for making wide conclusions about inherent gender differences.
Wildly Parenthetical wonders what’s so great about having a normal childhood. Made in Melbourne sees people comparing the pole-dancing doll to the breastfeeding doll and is perplexed. Tor notes that the lovely paradox of performing femininity hits you good and young.
Lauredhel struggles with the eternal question, “How can feminist mums avoid being humorless childhood-ruiners?”
8. Celebrate Suffrage Day
September 19 was Women’s Suffrage Day in NZ. Anne Else used the occasion to savage Chris Trotter’s waxing lyrical about the NZ Labour Party getting its manliness back on – apparently those 9 years in power under a woman leader were the worst thing to happen, or something.
In A Strange Land reprints the Women’s Christian Temperance Union’s reasons why women should get the vote, and Homepaddock features a cartoon from the era – why my househusband isn’t in the kitchen cooking my dinner right now is my question!
9. Refuse to Give a Fuck About Artistic Careers
In A Strange Land looks at the concept of moral luck, and about sums up the Polanski argument for me:
I don’t care how great a filmmaker he is. The fact is that he was convicted of raping a thirteen year old child, and he fled from justice.
An Irritating Truth gives good tips on how to be a socially-acceptable sex offender.
10. Remember, Little-p Politics Matter
The policing of trans people’s gender presentation. Being a feminist in the open-source world. The wider issues about “right to die” arguments – like the limited options people may be given. The dominance of the male voice. The wording of and assumptions underlying “scientific” surveys. Whether privileged people’s “choice” trumps basic cultural sensitivity. And why fear of genital mutilation doesn’t warrant refugee status in Australia.
That’s all she wrote! Remember to submit your posts for the next edition of the Carnival, being hosted by Jo over at Wallaby. ETA at Jo’s request: The theme is Carers’ Week / Caring. See her comment below for more info!
And if you’re ever at a loss for some good reading material, check out my own DUFC Contributors’ List (soon to be updated with this month’s new additions, I promise!).
Next time on Ideologically Impure: savaging critique of the “posts” that didn’t make it into the Carnival, largely due to being horrible spam.
*Remember, boys, if you don’t actually want to know the details of my menstrual cycle, you are free to (a) not ask and (b) not ascribe my annoyance at you to it.
No Right Turn has been doing a bloody good job covering the request of new MP Su’a William Sio to be sworn into Parliament in Samoan – and the surprisingly (to me) vociferous reaction against this in other parts of the blogosphere.
Unless there’s some wacky trait in the Samoan language that means “I, …, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.” can’t be accurately translated, which I doubt, I don’t really see a problem.
But then, I did watch a lot of Babylon 5 as a child.
“The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. The language is not Narn or human or Centauri or Gayan or Membari. It speaks in the language of hope; it speaks in the language of trust; it speaks in the language of strength, in the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. And always it is the same voice.
It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us and the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born. It is the small still voice that says, ‘we are one’.
No matter the blood, no matter the skin, no matter the world, no matter the star. We are one! No matter the pain, no matter the darkness, no matter the loss, no matter the fear. We are one, here, gathered together in common cause.
We agree to recognize this singular truth, and this singular rule: that we must be kind to one another, because each voice enriches us and enables us. And each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future. We are one. We are one.”
Personally, though, I’d go for the Pratchett approach:
I square bracket recruit’s name square bracket comma do solemnly swear by square bracket recruit’s deity of choice square bracket to uphold the Laws and Ordinances of the city of Ankh-Morpork comma serve the public trust comma and defend the subjects of His slash Her square bracket delete whichever is inappropriate square bracket Majesty square bracket name of reigning monarch square bracket without fear comma favour comma or thought of personal safety semi-colon to pursue evil-doers and protect the innocent comma laying down my life if necessary in the cause of said duty comma so help me square bracket aforesaid deity square bracket full stop Gods Save the King slash Queen square bracket delete which is inappropriate square bracket full stop.
This comment over at The Standard cites one of my favourite (or, really, least-favourite) bits of political bullshit often parroted in this country (and sorry, Standardites, it ain’t the one about y’all being a Machiavellian Secret Labour Party Front, that’s just lol-tastic).
It’s the, “Well you’ve had nine years to do suchandsuch, and you haven’t!” line, which gets brought up, almost invariably, any time the Labour Party have announced a radical new (and, let’s face it, vote-attracting) policy. Like universal student allowances, or tax cuts (and GOD did we hear it constantly when Cullen finally rolled them out).
And it’s always pissed me off, but I had a hard time explaining exactly why. Last week? Lightning bolt!
Yoinked from Ami Angelwings:
B5 fans, when you see this, post one of your favourite B5 quotes in your journal.
Who am I? I’m Susan Ivanova. Commander. Daughter of Andre and Sophie Ivanov. I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart. I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you’re ever going to see. God sent me.
Best. Episode. Ever.
Ami Angelwings has a post up with which I cannot agree more:
It pisses me off so much that if a female hero succeeds, not even to the degree that male heroes succeed at, but just merely SUCCEED, just merely SAVE THE DAY and not need a guy to hold her hand doing it, the cries of “OMG MARY SUE” come up! >:| It pisses me off that heroism is seen as a guys only job, and that the idea of a female char that can fight just as hard, stand up just as tall, and fight without backing down or crying, is seen as this UNREALISTIC thing PUSHED into the story, and any success she gets is seen as forced into the story by the writers… >:|
It’s exactly the argument I’ve tried to make before, elsewhere, about Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean, frequently decried as a terrible Mary-Sue: hang on a tick, people, if she were the Governor’s plucky son Elijah Swann, not all her undiscovered talents and knack for being in the right plotline at the right time and occasional good moments of dialogue would hold a freaking candle to the combined Gary-Stu-ness of Will, Jack, Barbossa, Norrington, even that freakin’ monkey.
The only thing I can add to Ami’s rant is this: you want to bitch about Mary-Sues in Star Wars, people? Start with Kyle fucking Katarn.
Estelle Getty passed away on Tuesday. I am so damned sad.
The news set off another one of those conversations the SO and I have every now and then about just how bloody brilliant Golden Girls was. Talk about Bechdel’s Law, this was a show about four women living together, being human-fucking-beings, and not spending at least four lunchtimes a week discussing fucking.
Yes, SATC, I’m looking at you. One of my best friends started rewatching the series some months back in preparation for the movie, and related how much it really bugged her how a few episodes in, Miranda (of course) gets exasperated with the other three. “We’re intelligent, successful women! Why do we spend all our time focused on men?” Cue approximately five minutes of thoughtful internal monologue, and then straight back into however-many seasons … focusing on men.
I have a theory, folks. In decades to come, our kids will be watching True Hollywood Story specials on SATC and Golden Girls, and they’re going to turn around and say, “Wow, Mum, look how far things have come! In your lifetime, women on TV have gone from being superficial stereotyped clotheshorses into witty and multi-levelled personalities!”
And then I’ll have to break their little hearts by pointing out it was the other way around.
So it’s a particularly appropriate week for me to stumble upon this post at The Hathor Legacy.
I had to understand that the audience only wanted white, straight, male leads. I was assured that as long as I made the white, straight men in my scripts prominent, I could still offer groundbreaking characters of other descriptions (fascinating, significant women, men of color, etc.) – as long as they didn’t distract the audience from the white men they really paid their money to see.
BetaCandy raises a damned good point – how can this bullshit still fly in a post-Ripley,* post-Sarah Connor world?
How does Warner Bros honestly say, “Well clearly it’s a problem of people not liking female leads, not us not making good movies with female leads”?
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the Angry Dome.
*And not just “post-Ripley” either, because we simply cannot forget the fantastic Vasquez of Aliens. Getting a strong, inner-conflict-facing female protagonist and a kickass, in-touch-with-her-heritage WoC whose gender is only commented on by the acknowledged dickhead of the team? COME ON, PEOPLE.
Lauredhel at Hoyden About Town posits a fascinating question – what TV couple defines our decade, the difficult-to-find-a-non-dodgy-nickname-for 00s?
My answers, a bit more fleshed out (and not in any particular order), follow – shouldn’t be any fear of spoilers as NZ TV? Not great with the screening-things-any-time-soon.