02 April 2011

Sexism and comedy-mmmm

Troll comments from a friend:
She's SO shit!!! What is the point??? ARRRGH female comedians just aren't funny! They're only nasal and sarcastic!!!
Tryggers, it's a sad fact that certain genders are more suited to certain professions than others. Case in point: you ever seen a female builder? Or a female firefighter? A male midwife? Nothing to do with sexism - just common sense. Stand-up comedy is much the same. men are just more suited to it. Female comedians tend to suck.
He may have said it in jest, but this is generally society's view on women in comedy, so how do we fight that? What do we say to people who we like and have a good friendship with who says this kind of thing, honestly or not? This did not get my Saturday off to a good start!

(not to mention the complete erasure of any comedians of colour, apart from (in the UK) Lenny Henry. White men are not so brilliant that no-one else can contribute. It's so fucking irritating.)

01 April 2011

Links Links Links

Seriously, I need a name for these end-of-week linky listy things. Suggestions welcome.

Much lighter than last week, for which I think we're all grateful.

So they're revamping the Wonder Woman franchise. Which might be a yay, right? Conceived in the 40s as a deliberately feminist superheroine! Amazon! Peace and justice and whatever! And ... the revamp is being done by David E. Kelley, so it's that peculiar brand of misogyny that disguises itself as feminism. (If you don't think it's feminist, maybe you're just not feminist enough, huh? No. No, that is not what's happening.) The Daily Beast has done a beautiful takedown of the pilot script.

TRIGGER WARNING. I'm not sure how reliable The Daily Mail is (I feel like it's the English version of Fox News. English posters?) but they have an article up about the virginity checks that women protesters in Egypt got when arrested. If that's true (and I can believe that it is) it is disgusting and infuriating. (Obviously.) (Without doing a lot of further research, the article presented the information fairly neutrally, and without obvious moments of victim blaming. It's bad that I consider that kind of a win.)

It's not especially feminist or current events related, or whatever, but if you spend time thinking about books (all of us here do!) you might check out Patricia C. Wrede's blog entry about themes in books and the divide between literary and genre fiction. (Full disclosure: I consider the hyper-thematic literary fiction almost universally obnoxious, and skew heavily toward genre in my own reading habits; that may be one of many reasons I love Wrede's books.) (Other reasons include the fact that her books are BOSS. Seriously. Dealing With Dragons is I think the only book I've ever read where I had to stop reading to laugh out loud for ten minutes and then resume. My own laughter was distracting me from the plot. In a good way. Anyway.)

I read Go Fug Yourself for a lot of reasons, too (some of them being that it is boss, and its writers are hilarious) but it's not exactly where I go to get my daily dose of feminism. Which is why posts like this (wherein they say: shut UP, Rolling Stone) put a huge smile on my face. It's like a surprise bit of caramel syrup in my coffee, or a reference to my hometown in the novel I'm reading. Word, ladies. Rolling Stone should shut up, and quit it with the non-edgy exploitative nudity on their covers.

 John Scalzi wrote a piece for FilmCritic about the dearth of female writers and directors in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. It was a little off-putting to me how neutrally (and almost conservatively) it comes across; he doesn't lambast anyone or offer up blame, he just sort of ... notices, without a lot of analysis. Interesting, though.

Bitch told me, and now I'm telling you: there's a new website all about birth control! Actually, I enjoyed poking around it (rimshot!). So. Don't say we here at FnBs never did nothin' for ya.

Feministing takes on some of the more insulting female TV Tropes in a new series of video blogs. The first one is an excellent analysis of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. (I'm impressed with the job they do partly because feminism and TV tropes are two great tastes that ... you know the rest, and partly because their analysis is more than throwing up their hands and saying "GOD, the MPDG is so motherflipping ANNOYING," which is what I would have done.)

GRAPHIC SEXUAL CONTENT WARNING. So I forget which blog recommended this to me (Slog, maybe?) but that blog is awesome because I never would have found this on my own. There's an article up at Pluck wherein a guy describes how his understanding of women changed after he and his girlfriend started experimenting with penetrative sex. (Him on the penetrated end, that is.) If you don't mind the descriptions (he doesn't get too graphic, but he doesn't exactly leave things ambiguous, either) it's a fascinating read.

Sociological Images and SCOTUSblog have posts up about the massive lawsuit by female WalMart employees about the company's sexist policies. (The issue before the court is whether this suit is legitimate as a class action lawsuit or not.)

Oh, and Tomato Nation is having its annual contest this month. (It's not a skill contest. It's a let's-see-how-much-money-we-can-raise-for-charity contest.) Amazing, inspiring, and totally full of prizes you can win for donating. Go forth!

29 March 2011

The Separation of Looks and Character: Lessons Learned in Modern Fairy Tale Retellings

So yeah, let's just call last week a posting failure and move on.

So I've done several RNTNs about fairy tale retellings and YA feminist fantasy. I've been trying for days to figure out how to stick my latest thoughts into that format, but it won't work; these books are all about on par in quality (I'd give any of them four to four and a half stars out of five, say). Still, they beg me to compare them, as all three deal with the same themes through different approaches. Live well in the body you have, say these books, and know that it has nothing at all to do with your character. Such is the lesson learned by the heroines in Princess Ben, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine, and Fire, by Kristin Cashore. (Fairest and Fire are prequels/companions to previous RNTN faves Ella Enchanted and Graceling, respectively.) Spoilers are present; I've tried to keep them fairly mild, but I do quote from the endings of the books, since that's when the heroines express their new thinking to the reader.