feminism

Bitch Planet: Radical Feminism, Empowerment Apologists, and Everybody In Between

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Bitch Planet: Radical Feminism, Empowerment Apologists, and Everybody In Between

In an NPR interview last week, Kelly Sue DeConnick talked about how some fans reacted to her reimagining of Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers went from a long-sleeved bathing suit with thigh-high boots to a full-cover flight suit, and that among other changes caused an outcry of “feminist agenda” and “angry feminism.”

To paraphrase DeConnick, who seems fairly laid back and thick skinned but doesn’t like the internet jumping on her any more than anyone else would, she responded with “This is not angry feminist. You want to see angry feminist? Let me show it to you.”

Out of that came Bitch Planet, a stand-alone series from Image Comics. A graphic novel of the first five issues came out last week, and I had no idea what to expect when I started it; I had some vague idea I might be offended, and that it’d either be some campy cheesecake prison fluff, or enraged political propaganda.

Turns out, it’s hilarious, and at the same time incredibly powerful, if you’re not the easily offended type. There’s tons of nudity, and the men in this world are most definitely the bad guys, but if you can jump past any knee-jerk reactions you have to those things, you’ll find a funny, intelligent, very entertaining book.

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Well, Why Shouldn’t We Call Black Widow A Slut?

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Well, Why Shouldn’t We Call Black Widow A Slut?

So Jeremy Renner is in “internet trouble” because in an interview last month he called Black Widow a slut, and then this week on Conan he defended that statement; Black Widow is definitely a slut.

The internet jumped on him (though, seriously guys, can we keep the death-threats to a minimum? Like zero?) and people are upset and telling him to shut it. I don’t want to attack him (I honestly do like the guy, most of the time, and I admire his resolve to not back down under pressure) but I want to look at what prompts that kind of comment, why people are entitled to their opinions no matter what they are, and why some words are unhelpful.

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Anita Sarkeesian Is Not Trying To Take Your Games Away

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Anita Sarkeesian Is Not Trying To Take Your Games Away

If you haven’t heard about the Tropes Vs Women Kickstarter, you should really read this article. Regardless of one’s opinions on Anita Sarkeesian’s gender-studies analysis of pop culture, the response to her project from far too many internet denizens (before the inspiring counter-volley from others) was appalling.

Male gamers and geeks struggle to overcome generations-old stigmas about our relationships with women and our ability to be grown men. Female gamers fight to be taken as the serious participants and co-players they are. And now we have a vocal flock of hateful man-children pretty much reminding the rest of the world how far we have to go.

So, you know, thanks guys. Real credit to the team.

I recognize Sarkeesian’s study might raise some knee-jerk hackles. With broadly accusatory topics like “The Sexy Sidekick,” “The Man With Boobs,” and “The Fighting F#@k Toy,” her study is easily dismissed as simple vitriol. And after having read some of her Tropes Vs Women series it’s understandable why a (male) audience might feel as if they or the things they love are under attack. Reducing a pantheon of oft-beloved characters to simplistic caricatures (and implying that creators, and by extension their audiences, really see their heroines this way) is bound to stir outrage.

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Women Gamers – You are Not Alone

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Women Gamers – You are Not Alone

Women who game are everywhere.  We’re not all that new to the scene, either.  Back in the early 90s, the people who first introduced me to the SNES were not my male siblings or even my father (he did, however, introduce me to the Atari console he had from the 80s).  No, it was my two female cousins that I would visit for weeks at a time in southern New York state.  I owe my love and dedication to video games directly to them.  Their passion and skills are the reasons I love playing video games today.

But even at my young age, I realized that video games were never really “meant” for me.  That didn’t stop me from playing them, but all my favorite games were with male protagonists saving their female counterparts.  It was always a boys club, and I constantly felt like I was betraying my gender by enjoying video games.  I know that I’m not the only one who felt that way.

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