Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sexism & Feminism in Geekery 15

This week edition brings us a wide range of articles related to sexism and feminism in geek culture.  From really famous authors saying something stupid, to somebody tearing about a poorly-reasoned article in beautiful fashion let's just get to the links! (Note: This article was written before the SFWA petition situation. That will be in the next edition). 

Stephen King Eats His Foot

Stephen King said something really stupid about the Dylan Farrow letter on twitter (for the unaware Dylan Farrow wrote a letter about her alleged molestation by Woody Allen that was heartbreakingly honest and has created a big controversy because people aren't supposed to speak out about those things, especially not against famous fathers.)

He does apologize and seems to genuinely mean his apology but I'm not quite ready to accept it myself.  I understand that we don't want it to be true, but usually when people say that it feels like they're not saying that they don't want Dylan Farrow to have been abused, but rather they don't want someone they like artistically to be a rapist.  I'm uncomfortable with so many people hoping that a little girl is lying rather than looking at the facts (read article here) and being genuinely concerned for her suffering.  Read full article and Stephen King apology here.

Frozen Feminist Smackdown

I have this great affinity for what I call "Disney smackdowns" on Tumblr, which is where when someone tries to take a Disney movie out of context to prove a point someone with more Disney knowledge responds with bitingly intelligent commentary.  Probably because of it's popularity, Frozen has been receiving a lot of analysis from people wanting to tear down the film.  I've had enough of it and so has this writer.
Was there a special on PBS outlining that one of the goals of feminist theory is that female characters shall never be flawed? Did I miss that memo? She then goes into a thousand-word spiel for why Anna’s social awkwardness somehow doesn’t make logical sense and is a bad thing and works to the movie’s detriment. Flaws are bad. I hate Anna. 
You know, I see a lot of the same vitriol channeled towards Skylar White from “Breaking Bad” and Sansa Stark from the A Song of Ice and Fire series, particularly Sansa. At the beginning of A Game of Thrones, Sansa is a young, lovelorn girl fawning over Prince Joffrey. She believes in the social contract. Moreover, she wants to be a princess. As the narrative progresses, she finds her dreams dashed by increasingly horrifying circumstance and becomes trapped in a system she must learn to manipulate quickly in order to survive. 
However, despite Sansa starting from a place of such naiveté and immaturity giving her room to grow into one of the more interesting characters in the series, she more often is shit on, because teenage girls with teenage girl-emotions are for shitting on. God forbid young girl characters start from a place of immaturity (in this case, falling in love with the first guy she sees) and then growing from there. Oh, no, they must spring forth from the thigh of Zeus, fully formed Strong Independent Women, guns blazing and kung fu fighting!
This article is very long, ranty and gif-filled.  And it is beautiful in it's anger.  Honestly, I immediately shared it with two friends who are Frozen fans.  It'll take some while to read but it's well worth reading.  Read the full article here. Honestly, I want to buy the writer a drink and be her best friend.  Someday maybe I'll get around to the post about Disney Princesses and feminism (a story about how even if they're problematic I think they made me a feminist at a young age) but for now, just go read this.

Women of Marvel

This article is an oldie but a goodie.
Perhaps even more notable than the large and enthusiastic attendance was the way in which the panelists directly addressed sexism in the industry and expressed their commitment to increasing representation of women and people of color in the industry.
Read full article here.

1 comment:

Cassi said...

Great post. I have seen a lot of this going around lately too.

I especially love the comments about Sansa. I surprise a lot of people by telling them she is my favorite character in A Song of Ice and Fire. I get very defensive when people harass her for being obsessed with knights and fairy tales in the beginning. She's a teenage girl with teenage girl feelings. What it really amounts to is the fact that she's a hopeless romantic and an idealist. We should celebrate her idealism not squash it for being unrealistic, the other characters do that enough. In my opinion she is the most feminist of the characters, because she is
not trying to be a warrior or a ruler. She is playing the game and
using her strengths to her advantage. In the face of adversity she has
so much inner courage and is becoming a great leader and doing it in a
feminine way. Sophie Turner, the actress that plays Sansa in the TV show, likes to say that Sansa is going from a chess piece to a player and that is totally true. Her inner strength and determination does not play very well on the show but in the books there is a lot more of that and has a great character development as to series goes on.