Posts tagged: gender
Thanks to @ThePurplePagefor pointing this article out.
Natasha C. Brooks skillfully argues that the current narratives around minorities in the sciences are heavily burdened with backward looking themes that can prevent the self- actualization of individuals, with the disturbing potential of stagnating the sciences as a whole.
In this week’s #BlerdChat, we’ll delve into the issue of narrative as it relates to the themes outlined by Natasha C. Brooks.
Does the current focus on past minority disempowerment in the sciences reinforce this problem?
Does the intense attention paid to disparities prevent us viewing the full spectrum of participation? Brooks points to the focus on minority health disparities to the detriment of health successes to make this point.
Does the highlighting of minority science prodigies who have “beaten the odds” reinforce the toxic assumption that minority participation in the sciences is abnormal or freakish?
To be clear, neither Natasha C. Brooks or I contend that the actual fact that barriers have and continued to exist should be ignored. The real bone of contention is how we tell these stories and to what effect.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
A quick editorial cartoon about the intersection of self-pity, entitlement, rape, territoriality, misogyny and fear of women. You see it all over the place online in the form of Men’s Rights Activists (of whom there are a few reasonable non-misogynists), Men Going Their Own Way, Pick Up Artists, and dudes touting the “Red Pill”, because The Matrix is a good movie. Look any of these up if you have the stomach for it. These are extreme examples, but watered-down forms of these ideas are everywhere.
In lurking their blogs and youtube channels for a while, I’ve noticed that beyond the standard patriarchal chauvinism there is this deep fear of women - what they will do to me, how they will reject me, how they will use me, how they are changing society in a way that does not favor me, how they are making men into something I don’t like, how they are making themselves into something I don’t like, that they won’t give me what I want, and that they won’t give me what I think is rightfully mine. This goes beyond fear of feminism- this is fear of women at its purest. And that, to quote a puppet, leads to anger and hate. It’s sad.
I am a feminist. I think there’s enough ice cream to go around, but it does mean those of us with 3 scoops might have to give one or two up. Also, The Matrix is a fun movie but probably not anything you should be basing a philosophy on.
It’s like this…
You’re fourteen and you’re reading Larry Niven’s “The Protector” because it’s your father’s favorite book and you like your father and you think he has good taste and the creature on the cover of the book looks interesting and you want to know what it’s about….
I just noticed something strange on Wikipedia. It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too.
The intention appears to be to create a list of “American Novelists” on Wikipedia that is made up almost entirely of men. The category lists 3,837 authors, and the first few hundred of them are mainly men. The explanation at the top of the page is that the list of “American Novelists” is too long, and therefore the novelists have to be put in subcategories whenever possible.
Too bad there isn’t a subcategory for “American Men Novelists.”
Dove hired a forensic artist to draw how women see themselves versus how others see them - the results are moving.
Inspired by Anita Sarkeesian’s Video Game Tropes vs Women, I wanted to pitch a Zelda game where Zelda herself was the hero, rescuing a Prince Link.
Clockwork Empire is set 2,000 years after Twilight Princess, and is not a reboot, but simply another iteration in the Zelda franchise. It just so happens that in this case, Zelda is the protagonist. I’m a very big Zelda fan, and worked hard to draw from key elements in the continuity and mythos.
This concept work is meant to show that Zelda as a game protagonist can be both compelling and true to the franchise, while bringing new and dynamic game elements that go farther than being a simple gender swap.
Hope you like it!
Brides Of Science
Adventure Time’s “Princess Cookie” gets Comics Editor Carol in her heart zone.
In a lot of ways, Finn is who I would’ve wanted to be when I was a kid—if I couldn’t have Jake’s rad shapechanging abilities. (Shapechanging abilities are mathematical). I’m sure there are still boys upset at the thought of a girl pretending to be Finn, but it’s pretty clear that Finn, Jake and Adventure Time don’t mind girls being adventurers and boys being princesses and not just in the two episodes with Fionna and Cake, the gender and species-swapped versions of Finn and Jake. (Also, featuring the excellent Prince Gumball, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris). But while I love Fionna and Cake, somehow Princess Cookie got me in my heart zone.
Natasha: Do you know why I’m here?
Laura: It is not to help these girls. You are the spy, Black Widow, an Avenger. The Avengers cannot stop slavery or help hurt girls.
Natasha: Neither can the X-men. But we try.
Just as a final meditation on today’s impromptu theme: one of the things Natasha’s had a special interest in throughout her superhero career is sex and child trafficking. Laura points out that this is an unusual preoccupation for an Avenger, and she’s right. This is not the kind of thing that usually gets dressed up in capes and tights. But Black Widow deals with this stuff semi-regularly, even, because she’s not a typical superhero and this is why she fights.
As much as her origin story has been muddled recently it has, in every iteration, been wound around themes of control and liberation. Natasha was once a loyal servant of lies and half-truths, a perfect agent who blinded herself into ignoring her conscience and her masters’ cruelties for the sake of being a perfect agent. But she couldn’t let them tell her who to love, and she broke free.
There’s a gendered element to this, too. The Red Room trains only women, the chemical treatments given to their best operatives drive men insane. And so the men in charge of this whole twisted scenario christen their best agents after a spider that devours her mates, something that they fear, but also demean. They sharpen these women so that they may be seen as tools, weapons, something manufactured and replaceable. Not women at all.
(Natasha knows she is one-of a kind, unique, and is therefore unstoppable.)
So her career in espionage gave her ability and paranoid edges, but it also commodified her. This is the basic Marvel formula: power is the gift and the curse together. And as a result, she has a special interest in keeping women from being manipulated, from having their bodies and their sexualities be treated as commodities or weapons, instead of tools of their own enjoyment. Instead of bodies.
That’s why she tries to help rescue these trafficked girls but recognizes that their trauma isn’t something that can be fixed with punching. It’s why she reaches out to Laura Kinney, who has been grown in a lab and taught to kill for other people, and offers to teach X-23 how to be useful on her own terms.
(It’s also the reason why I cringe sometimes to see her twisted around for easy ass shots, to see her uniform tweaked and modified so that we get a better view. It’s like Ms. Deconnick says about Carol Danvers: It’s bizarre. There’s a part of me that’s like, “Why do you care?” And part of me that gets angry about it. That’s not what she’s about. Or at least, I don’t think it’s what she’s meant to be about.)
From X-23 #20, by Marjorie Liu and Phil Noto.