All of this has happened before, and will happen again.
– Battlestar Galactica
We’re not the first to write about feminism, privilege, pop culture, or just about anything. We won’t be the last, either. (Thank non-specified deity!)
Here’s a short list of what has informed our approach to these issues/ this blog/ our senses of humor. This is a continuing project as we encounter new and classic perspectives on the subject. We’re all on this exploration together, so feel free to suggest other articles and blogs for us to check out in the comments. (Baby animal pictures also welcome.)
- Peggy McIntosh – The Invisible Knapsack: “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group”. Really concise reframing of privilege of all sorts and what that realistically entails.
- Melissa McEwan – The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck AND its alternative: – How do I trust otherwise good men who are unthinkingly sexist? AND How do I make myself trustworthy to those over whom I have privilege?
- Phaedra Starling – Schrodinger’s Rapist (via Shapely Prose): Title is pretty self-explanatory!
- The Pervocracy – The Missing Stair: We do not have to continually make adjustments, negotiations, and contortions in how we get through the day. We do not have to say, “It sucks, but that’s life.” We have the option working to ensure basic expectations are met – for instance, a stair existing where it should.
“… [I]t’s the same with violence. You’ve got to be able to put your hand in the air and acknowledge your capacity for violence, and then deal with the behavior, and have the people whose lives it’s messed with define that behavior for you. And it’s not going to go away, you’re going to be dealing with it every moment, in every situation, for the rest of your life.” I say, “Okay, I’ll try that.” And Amon said, “It’s not enough.” I said, “Oh.” He said, “You were born a white man in mid-twentieth century industrial America. You came into the world armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons. The weapons of privilege- racial privilege, sexual privilege, economic privilege. You want to be a pacifist, it’s not just giving up guns and knives and clubs and fists and angry words but giving up the weapons of privilege, and going into the world completely disarmed.”
Just plain neat:
Ted Talks: The Danger of A Single Story – Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
Kate Bolick- All the Single Ladies – An interesting (and deliberately thought provoking and inflammatory) examination of emerging feminist attitudes about marriage.
The Bechdel Test – If you don’t know what this is, it will mess you up. In its essence, it’s a feminist check for films. 1.) do they have at least two (named) female characters, 2.) do these female characters speak directly to each other, and 3.) is it about something other than a name. Its surprising how many movies fail this test. This is an interesting tool, best used as a launching point for examination and conversation, not as a hard and fast evaluation of quality or worthiness.
The Hawkeye Initiative A silly but eye-opening site aiming to raise awareness of sexism in comics and illustration. The premise is: “How to fix every Strong Female Character pose in superhero comics: replace the character with Hawkeye doing the same thing”.
Coverflip An interesting article on the norm of gendered book covers – asks why books written by women tend to get a softer, “chick lit” cover? Why does “chick lit” exist as separate from regular literature? Has some great artist’s renderings of what popular books might look like if written by a person of the opposite gender.
The Mary Sue The tagline explains it all. A guide to girl geek culture.
- ElfQuest Comics Online – This is an archive of every ElfQuest comic ever published, available to read for free. Wendy Pini may be the most important woman in the history of American comics, as well as one of the most important people in the genre, regardless of gender. Though ElfQuest is by no means her only work, it’s her most beloved and most influential project, which has defied conventional perceptions of femininity and masculinity, sexuality and sexual orientation, race, and other key social issues since it started in 1978. There’s a great interview on BoingBoing.net that covers a lot of her and her husband’s work as a team; Wendy writes and draws, Richard edits.
- TED Talks: Tavi Gevinson: A teen just trying to figure it out – Tavi Gevinson is one of my favorite minors. Tavi has maintained a style blog on fashion called Style Rookie since she was eleven years old, and founded Rookie Magazine, an online magazine for teenage girls, when she was fifteen. Her TED Talk is about what makes a strong female character and it’s a brilliant and charming 7.5-minute distillation of that issue.
- Kate Beaton’s Tumblr – Lucinda already linked the Hark! A Vagrant comic website, which is brilliant, but Kate Beaton’s Tumblr site as well as her Twitter contain a lot of great info on feminist issues and women in comics, as well as just funny and/or pretty stuff. Kate Beaton is just generally a quality human being.
- A Mighty Girl: Top Graphic Novels Starring Mighty Girls – I admit that I haven’t had much of an opportunity to explore A Mighty Girl, but their site is great and I really love that they have this list.
- MaximumFun.org – Home to nearly all of my favorite comedy podcasts, including Jordan, Jesse, Go!, Judge John Hodgman, International Waters, and My Brother, My Brother and Me. There are a few hosted by some very hilarious women as well.
- Penny Arcade – These guys have gotten a lot of shit for vulgarity and their unwillingness to back down when they offend somebody, but I think they’re absolutely brilliant. Gabe’s art has become downright stunning in the past few years, and I’m constantly in awe of how one of each of the three comics in a given week can be obscenely crude, the next breathtakingly gorgeous, and the third deeply moving. The PA guys also get major props for consistently defending the equal status of female gamers and game developers.