Cyborgs were too smart, people had complained. They were cheating the average man out of his wages.
Cyborgs were too skilled. They were taking jobs away from hardworking, average citizens.
Cyborgs were too strong. They shouldn’t be allowed to compete in sporting events with regular people. It gave them an unfair advantage.
And then one small group of cyborgs had gone on a spree of violence and theft and destruction, demonstrating just how dangerous they could be."
Cress, Chapter 34
In the Lunar Chronicles, cyborgs have always stood as a symbol for prejudice and discrimination. It’s no accident that Linh Cinder is a woman of color, and the fact that she is adds extra resonance to her struggle—it draws a parallel between fictional discrimination and the sexism and racism that run rampant in our own world.
Cinder and Scarlet were subtle about the parallels, letting readers connect the dots for themselves. But Cress takes them a step farther. It uses the fictional construct of cyborg discrimination to make a sharp critique of our own prejudices.
Because isn’t this exactly how we talk about the Other? They’re thieves and cheats, benefiting off the undeserved benevolence of the system. They’re taking away our jobs, our glory, our opportunities, things that we had first, that we therefore deserve. Then those little bits of resentment build to a mountain of anger and spite, and as soon as one person steps a toe out of line, we seize the opportunity to condemn the entire group.
That is one of the best things about Cress: it turns subtext into real text and takes a much more obvious social stand. This series is going in a fantastic direction, and I can’t wait to see what Winter brings.
Have you noticed how the sexy sexy liberal white feminism totally partakes in that thing where they cut up women’s bodies into easily consumable sex objects to sell their products
Gotta make sure we’re sexy and consumable or else its not really liberation
there’s nothing wrong with the bechdel test because something can still be feminist and not pass it. the bechdel test is a series of questions to illustrate a particular point about the lack of women with individual and independent narratives in media.
ok. if you’re in math class and you try to use the pythagorean theorem to solve a calculus problem, you’re not going to get very far. the pythagorean theorem isn’t fundamentally flawed because it doesn’t address every single math issue. your understanding of math is inaccurate and/or incomplete.
the bechdel test isn’t flawed. your understanding of feminist critique is inaccurate and/or incomplete.
[What have you learned that you would like to share with South Asian women, as an ethnic woman in a position of power?]Everyone has power in her life. I just happen to be on television. For me, the greatest lesson I have learned comes from understanding the strength of my heritage. I come from a slew of cultures that constantly reinforce ambition, education and compassion. I come from a family that taught me that my uniqueness was my greatest asset in life. In an industry that has historically presented obstacles to ethnic women, more and more of us are being represented because we are different and I feel very fortunate to be a part of that.
the big bang theory makes me furious and it’s for a reason not a lot of people bring up which is that it has a lot of really interesting and even important themes that get totally fucking turned around in its sexist, racist, unfunny bullshittery.
like, “HEY TUMBLR, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE A SHOW WHERE THE CENTRAL CAST IS MADE UP OF”
- an immigrant poc
- two women who do not fit the mold of “conventionally attractive” (one is short, rotund, large nosed, and has a high, nasal voice, the other is extremely plain, dowdy dressed, has a monotone nasal voice) but are both portrayed as desirable romantic love interests
- actually, apart from one female character, none of the central cast are conventionally attractive
- one of them has a cognizant disorder (autism)
- one of them is an alternate sexuality (asexual)
- another female cast member is confident, self-aware of her own faults and shortcomings, unashamed of them, sexually confident and unperturbed by social labels deriding that (“slut, whore”), and the physically and emotionally strongest member of the whole cast
- previously mentioned conventionally unattractive women are two of the most intelligent members of the show and are leading in their field based on their own merits
- it displays an asexual romantic relationship between two of the main characters
- it had a run with a character with severe MI (crippling social anxiety)
like, don’t fucking lie to me, if i described this show to you before the big bang theory ever existed, you would be like, “what the hell that sounds great”
but then look at what we’re actually given, where all these great themes only exist to be used as punchlines. where the (sole) poc character regularly makes racist remarks about his own background and culture, and not in a “its my culture so i can do it” way, because you’re regularly reminded that he’s from an upper class family and lived in comfort and luxury and regularly makes derisive remarks about the destitution of his home country. and the strongest character of the show is regularly mocked and belittled. and the ace couple is regularly treated as a joke by both the shows and characters, and they’re aware of it, because at one point amy actually gets seriously upset and says, “they think our relationship is a joke [because it’s not sexual],” and that would be actually a really strong moment except that previously they set her up to be pushing for a sexual relationship because of her stupid lady hormones that make her all hysterical and emotional and she implicitly agrees that their relationship is less real and valid because of the lack of a sexual component because she uses it as a way to coerce her partner into pushing his own comfort levels and boundaries. and the character with severe social anxiety that drives her to having panic attacks in public situations like being at a shop or restaurant or generally interacting with anyone she doesn’t know? is constantly the butt of jokes and her boyfriend regularly shames her for her crippling MI (the boyfriend being raj, by the way, who is the most misogynistic character in the show, even more so than sheldon, which is amazing)! and the only time she stands up for herself is when she dumps him and then he’s positioned to be the sympathetic figure in the situation!!
the big bang theory is awful not because it’s just stupid and racist and sexist and terrible and unfunny. it’s awful because it has a lot of elements that could make it a great amazing show but they’re regularly trampled on and mocked and every time it even comes close to showing something actually really astounding and even ground-breaking, it turns around and spits on it. it’s one of the worst shows on television because it cock-teases you with its potential and then gets so mired in its own stinking bullshit. it’s fucking terrible and i hate it so much and i’m so mad at what it has achieved in terms of representation because it’s doing more harm than good.
Last week I hit a nerve with my post about the New York Times YA Bestsellers list.
Pictures above is this week’s NYT Bestsellers List.
People still suggest women “dominate” YA fiction, but I beg to differ. They do better on the YA series list (which is a beast I have yet to look at) but again, it’s worth thinking about what it means when 9 of the 10 NYT Bestsellers are MALE, 4 out of 10 are one single MALE, 2 out of 10 are a close MALE friend of one of those MALES, and the female on the list was connected to the MALE in 4 out of those slots.
Why this worries me is not that it’s John Green. Instead, one reason why it worries me is that when a single TYPE of book dominates a list, then that TYPE of book is what continues to be put into the market. It’s reductive.
The funny thing about the YA list is the bestsellers are largely literary. The series books are something else, and while there are far more women on them than on the regular YA list, they are treated like a different animal—as a friend pointed out, these authors are like Hawthorne’s scribbling hordes. They are producing entertainment, but men are producing the “real” books. You can be a literary writer and be a bestseller in YA fiction—if you are a man.
I’ve said it a million times before, but I really wish they hadn’t combined hardcovers and paperbacks onto one list. First, because the adult side of the industry has about twenty different lists to the children’s four and it just seems unfair and indicative of the general public’s perception of the worth of this side of the industry. Secondly, because paperbacks sell at a different volume than 90% hardcover books. They’re at a lower price point (read: cheaper), making them more attractive and affordable to the casual reader and for in-school adoption. Many state book award lists also wait until paperbacks are available before considering titles, as well. The Book Thief has consistently been on the list for years even before a movie was announced, both because of word of mouth and its adoption into classrooms. (I know Wonder is a rare exception to this—its hardcover has been adopted widely by schools.)
I think the inclusion of e-book sales into the mysterious, secret formula the NYT uses to calculate these lists was supposed to offset the disadvantage pricier hardcovers had of making the list, since most ebooks sell at the same price, or slightly lower, as that of a paperback. Most teens, though, still prefer physical books to e-books. It’s adults that dominate that side of the market. You know what all of these books have in common to my eyes? They’re largely considered adult crossover titles—titles most adults, even the casual readers, won’t feel embarrassed if they’re caught reading because they’re 1) critical darlings or 2) tie-ins for movies that were marketed to them. There’s also probably something to say here about the general population’s view of genre fiction, both adult and YA, but that’s a whole separate topic.
I’ve always thought the overwhelming presence of JG on the list is indicative of how many people are reading TFIOS and then, having loved it, are purchasing his backlist. You cannot avoid TFIOS—it’s everywhere, in every newspaper, in every magazine. The cover doesn’t scream that it’s a young adult book. The number of books consumed yearly by Americans is already so small that it wouldn’t surprise me if people are feeling more secure in spending money on an author they know they love, rather than trying to experiment with new authors.
Just thinking, you know, some thoughts on this fine Saturday.
More interesting commentary, especially this part: “You know what all of these books have in common to my eyes? They’re largely considered adult crossover titles.” I can totally see this, too.
It should also be noted that of the books on this list, only like… two were released in the last year. And I mean literally the last YEAR, not just since the start of 2014.
Which means we’re seeing the same books on this list for almost a year or more (notice length of weeks on list), which means only certain books are getting the NYT Bestseller exposure, which has some impact on sales, which keeps them on the list and makes it difficult for other books to get in edgewise.
Also agree that YA series, largely written by women, are treated like fluffy candy entertainment, while this is the “serious” list.
“The land of the dawn-lit mountains, Arunachal Pradesh, is a disputed territory lying between two super-powers with nuclear weapons, India and China. If you live in India, Google Maps shows you Arunachal Pradesh in India; if you live in China, Google Maps shows you Arunachal Pradesh definitely in China. The world’s leading search engine isn’t just a search engine but a camouflaged political persuader.”
FYI, I’ve taken my Google Map screenshot from the UK and Arunachal Pradesh appears to have a dotted line border.
Having been a fan from 1977, I’m proof that Star Wars was never just a boys’ franchise. In 1980 the president of the Star Wars fan club was a woman, Maureen Garrett. The Star Ladies are a fan group invaluable in the running of the Star Wars conventions known as Celebration. Not to mention the simple fact that movies don’t become worldwide phenomena without engaging a broad base of fans. As a young woman I was sold from A New Hope’s opening scroll, which didn’t mention the saga’s hero but rather a princess who was “custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy.” In her first on-screen moments Princess Leia transferred the stolen plans to R2-D2 and engaged stormtroopers as a diversion for the droid’s escape. That was the moment I realized girls could be heroes too.
To add to that last post about creator-fandom interactions, the presumptious nature of assuming you “know” creators off of limited interactions was highlighted to me when I took a class with Audrey Niffenegger last year. Audrey, if you aren’t familiar with her, wrote The Time Traveler’s Wife. It was a very popular book with some controversy amongst readers who wanted a happier ending , but people really flipped out after her second book came out because it wasn’t what they expected.
I agree with everything you are saying but my point was more on the editing side of things not race in itself.
except it doesn’t work like that. what you do doesn’t exist in a vacuum. your editing experiment ended up having racist implications because you weren’t careful. editing & race have a long, unpleasant history together and that should have been one of the first things you thought of in your experiment. you need to offer up a proper apology for saying and doing something racist, regardless of your intent.
Rita Morenowins the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Her name is Rosita Dolores Alverio. They wanted to make her name Hollywood-friendly, so when she signed to MGM at 17, they used her stepfather’s last name, Moreno, and a casting director changed her first name to Rita before running through the names Ruby Fontino, Marcy Miranda, and Orchid Montenegro because her birth name sounded too Italian…
From her memoir: “He was saying, ‘Your name has to go. Too Italian.’[…]The names got worse. I didn’t want to be Orchid Montenegro. Or any one of them. The truth was, I liked my name[…] ‘I got it!’ Bill Grady said. ‘How about Rita, after Rita Hayworth?’ I trembled. ‘Rita Moreno,’ Bill Grady decreed. ‘That’s who you are and that’s who you will be.’ In that moment my old life would officially end.” They wanted to make her into the “Spanish Elizabeth Taylor.”
jamie moriarty isn’t unfeminist because she had a kid. jamie moriarty is unfeminist because she’s an emotionally abusive racist.
#the existence of a character like jamie is feminist #but the character herself is unfeminist. #there is an important distinction the viewer has to make and ppl are failing to make that distinction. (via shazampanic)
it’s also important to note, in light of her much-championed line “as if men have a monopoly on murder” that i don’t think we’ve seen hint of a single woman on her payroll.
she’s not feminist. she’s a narcissist who happens to be a woman.
#problem is she relies on stereotypes when she reads people #so she hasnt been able to see joan as any more then either a mothering figure or a clingy friend #diabolical kind #elementary #women are harder to read #far as i can determine you’re a sort of mascot #that comment about joan wanting to sleep with him #moriarty is so filled up with misogyny even while defying tropes and inverting them she relies on them all the time (bulletproofbell)
I fucking love this meta because it made me realize that Joan is defying stereotypes not only with fans, but also within the show. She’s breaking tropes textually and metatextually.