Over at the Guardian, Emma Jane Unsworth considers the apparent likeability divide between anti-heroes—as it turns out, a heavily gendered archetype—and their female counterparts. Why does it seem that readers have a more negative reaction to women behaving badly and having existential crises in fiction?...more
Posts Tagged: gender
2014 may not have been an especially good year for female writers in general, but it apparently saw a rise in prizes and accolades for women writing science fiction. Unfortunately, this is but a small step forward toward gender equality within the genre....more
Salon has published an excerpt from The Vulgar Tongue: Green’s History of Slang by lexicographer Jonathon Green. While ancient sex slang is sure to elicit a few giggles, Green also explores the deeper implications of our ability to dance around the issue:
The question, however, is not whether or what, but why.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, a Heroes Con panel devoted to LGBT visibility in comics was hosted by Kate Leth, Bryan Pittard, Terry Moore, Eric Punzone, and Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez. The sextet spoke on internal censorship, Internet trolls, and straddling gender boundaries in print:
During Q & A, a fan asked how the panelists felt about being straight, writing gay characters, and whether they’ve been criticized for it.
Bobby J. Robby talks about labor issues, gender identity, and the perils of dating other dancers....more
VIDA is launching a new roundtable discussion series on issues in writing by women on June 2nd at Housing Works Bookstore in Manhattan. The event is the first of a series that will take place every fall and winter/spring. This time, they conversation centers on how women write about other women, featuring a panel including Jill Lepore, Rebecca Mead, Salamishah Tillet, and Ruth Franklin....more
Writers who deal with oppression are as varied as the forms of oppression they face. Kiese Laymon and Leigh Stein come from two disparate backgrounds, writes Rachel Edelman in Critical Flame, but both end up critiquing gender and racial oppression in similar ways:
Laymon is a black man from Mississippi; Stein is a white half-Jewish woman from the Midwest.
In honor of the Bard’s 450th birthday, The Millions presents us with an analysis of Women Making Shakespeare, a new anthology from The Arden Shakespeare series edited by Gordon McMullan, Lena Cowen Orlin, and Virginia Mason Vaughan. They have a few questions about the representations of gender found in Shakespeare’s work:
The anthology contains short essays on anything related to women and Shakespeare — as characters, as actresses, as critics and scholars, as educators, as suffragists and feminists, and as readers — over the past 450 years.
The unreliable narrator lends a particular type of voice to a story. After breaking down unreliable narrators by gender, Elizabeth Weinberg concludes that there are differences between male and female unreliable narrators—primarily, that male narrators lack empathy.
I’m a firm believer that although most fiction isn’t autobiographical in the sense that the events of a story actually happened to the writer, writers tend to write about what they find psychologically compelling, and they tend to write about what they, on some level, know.
“Women are more likely than men to change form and style,” or so Stacey D’Erasmo writes in this New Yorker piece. Female artists tend to transform their work over the course of their careers, while male artists are more likely to remain faithful to the styles with which they make their debuts....more
Women’s work has always been awesome, just as the work written by people of color, minorities, and other classes of people who aren’t white men has been. The work of white men has been awesome, too, but it has benefitted from a system where their work has been assumed awesome, rather than graciously granted the chance to be awesome.
Rumpus cartoonist MariNaomi wrote a powerful essay at XOJane about being sexually harassed during a comic convention panel.
“This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Years ago, at another comic convention, a fellow panelist blatantly looked me up and down and said it was “getting hot in here” — onstage, humiliated in full view of an audience of hundreds.
Matters of gender and sexuality come to the surface repeatedly in the scuffles discussed in The New Yorker piece called “Literary Feuds of 2013.” In the past year, there have been debates over the double standard to which the personalities of female protagonists are held, criticism of a female writer’s novel as being “too macho,” and an article promoting the idea that mothering more than one child can be detrimental to the work of female writers....more
How did video games go from being completely gender-neutral to being the centerpiece of a male-dominated, often misogynistic subculture?
Polygon’s Tracy Lien investigates in a fascinating history of the industry’s relationship to gender.
It’s interesting whether you’re into video games or not—though, as the article points out, if you play Bejeweled, Angry Birds, or even Windows Solitaire, you may be more into video games than you think....more
When I was coming up, my household owned just two videos, which I watched in perpetual rotation: the musical The Wiz, and Eddie Murphy’s 1983 stand-up act Delirious....more
As I look toward the East River and my teenage summers, I sometimes see my old body continuing on without me, living the slow-and-steady life I’d planned for so carefully and not this spectacular mess I’ve come, I think, to prefer....more
Guernica has a lengthy excerpt up from White Girls, the genre-warping new collection of cultural criticism, personal memoir, and who knows what else by the New Yorker‘s Hilton Als.
It’s complex, challenging, and completely, enthrallingly beautiful, so it’s impossible to choose just one quote to represent it, but here’s an attempt:
We were something dark and unforeseen: two colored gentlemen who moved through the largely white social world we inhabited in New York (the world where art and fashion and journalism converged) who did not exploit each other or our obvious physical traits…for political sympathy or social gain.
1. Pretend it’s okay that your birth certificate labels you as female. You know perfectly well you’re not....more
White people clamoring to up their cred by appropriating nonwhite culture do so hoping to be rewarded for choices that are falsely seen as inherent in people of color.
In an essay on cultural appropriation for the New Inquiry, Ayesha Siddiqi dissects “the awkward sexism of white supremacy” and what we really mean when we say “white girl.”
It might rearrange your whole way of thinking about certain intersections of race and gender....more
What would it look like to slut shame a middle-aged, heterosexual man? The Anthony Weiner scandal is giving us a clue....more
In lieu of a “Funny Women” column today, please read all of Reductress, a new satirical women’s web magazine like The Onion that “tells the stories of real women, written by real women, for other real women who like to read about women.” At last, a news magazine that “that empower[s] women with feminine ideas, feminine emotions, and feminine products.”
Reductress “parodies woman-focused marketing and the consumer identity built around it, taking on the perk and patronizing tone that saturates online media today....more
With the recent announcements of two male gay professional athletes, there has been a general feeling of widening acceptance for the LGBT community.
But, just as the election of a black president does not mean the end of racism, these two cases of acceptance do not mean the end of homophobia....more
I guess that’s what the dream wants: for me to know that the worst kind of man, the man I was scared of becoming, doesn’t frighten me any more....more
“Women are bitches,” says a young man as he sits down. Apparently a woman at the bar wouldn’t give him her number. He’s talking to the man sitting on his left in spite of the fact that I am sitting two feet to his right and at the same table....more