Tag Archives: Tumblr

Weekend Reading List: Star Trek, superheroes and supercuts

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Weekend Reading List: Bikes, biases, and bisexual heroes

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  • Guys guys guys I forgot to share this before, but Elly Blue sent me the Kickstarter for Pedal Zombies, her awesome bicycle-themed, feminist science fiction anthology, and it looks great and is so near the deadline and aaaalmost has enough money so go check it out!
  • There’s a long history of racebending Hermione Granger, and Buzzfeed has a lovely piece on why it’s important, and what it meant to a little biracial girl particularly.
  •  Woo this trailer for Goodnight Mommy looks scary/amazing. [AV Club]
  • The Swedish crime thriller My Name is N just came out in North America, and the backlash against the rugged bisexual action hero has already started. The Mary Sue has some interesting thoughts on the dearth of male bisexual characters, and the need for them.
  • So these Tumblr users took a throwaway line in The Goblet of Fire about Slytherin student Warrington potentially becoming the Hogwarts champion in the Triwizard tournament, and spun the most beautiful alternative reality story. I legit teared up.
  •   Hey ever thought that Disney movies would be a lot better if they were a lot queerer? (It’s not just me right?) Well if pairings like Aladdin/Hercules, Jasmin/Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty/Pocahontas sound interesting to you, you’ll want to check out these great gifsets (like the amazingness above). [Dopeybeauty.tumblr.com]
  • And finally, the Mary Sue on the absurdity of gendered children’s merchandise.
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Weekend Reading List: Baby bears and sailor senshis

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Weekend Reading List: Safe sex and Susan the Gentle

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BAMFiles: Velma Dinkley

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“Velma,” by Yui Martinez

Anyone who’s kept up with my Montreal Comic Con experience (which is everyone, right?) knows that I’m a big Velma fan. I love how talented at mystery-solving she is. I love how she never really seeks out the spotlight. I love that she is flawlessly competent at her job (I’ll forgive her constant losing-her-glasses-and-feeling-around-for-them routine, because I know that feel).

Basically, I could talk about Velma all day, and I shouldn’t be the only one. Everyone should love Velma. Velma had her shit together.

I mean, why on Earth was Fred the leader? You’d think the kid who finds clues, uncovers plots, and unmasks bad guys would be the natural choice. But no. No one ever seemed to appreciate Velma, even though she had her amazing catch phrase (all heroes should have amazing catch phrases).

Though Scooby-Doo‘s sexy lady-smart lady dichotomy was undoubtedly absurd (and even the most recent 2010 reboot fell prey to the trope), I’ll always have a soft spot for “the brains” of any group. Weirdly, Velma’s undergone a bit of a resurgence in popularity. She’s now the poster girl for the “sexy nerd” (it took me a really long  time to find a non-pinupy illustration of her on Tumblr, for example). But regardless of whether she’s being overlooked in favour of Daphne, or being hailed as a sex symbol in her own right, Velma stands out as a character who always had a plan, always had an explanation, and has been kicking ass since 1969.

Velma forever. Velma for president.

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“We’ve got some work to do now,” by Travis Pitts

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Weekend Reading List: Last airbenders and lost faith in humanity

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Top image: The Four Seasons by swade-art.tumblr.com

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Upcoming Disney movie leaves me chilled

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Disney’s Frozen, their take on the Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Snow Queen,” will probably be disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to love about it. It’s a movie with a female lead, and at least one other major female character. There’s an all star cast that includes Kristen Bell, Alan Tudyk, and Idina Menzell. It’s set in an unnamed Nordic country, which is something we’ve never seen before, and, in an interview with MTV Geek, Bell, who voices the protagonist, says she “made this girl much more relatable and weirder and scrappier” than previous female Disney leads. All of this is great.

But here’s some context: the original story follows Gerda, a girl who goes on a cold journey to rescue her (male) friend Kai from the titular Ice Queen. It’s a pretty great reversal of the damsel in distress narrative but, so far, it looks like the movie, out this November, will have nothing to do with the original tale. Not only is Gerda (now named Anna) saving her sister, who is the Ice Queen, she’s also not making the trip solo. This time, she’ll be accompanied by Kristoff, a mountain man. Kristoff, incidentally, is one of two male characters who are almost sure to act as romantic interests.

Hanna White over at Bitch gives a pretty good explanation of why these changes are so worrisome:

“It’s disappointing to see a story that was originally about a deeply independent and brave young woman on a rescue mission turned into a romance, as it inevitably will be. No one at Disney has inferred that a romantic relationship between Anna and Kristoff will be part of the movie, but romantic love is central to almost every Disney princess’s story—and besides, why else add the character of Kristoff in the first place? Even if they don’t fall in love, and he merely acts as Anna’s guide, the fact that she needs one at all reproduces stereotypes about female weakness and the need for a strong male helper that the original narrative of ‘The Snow Queen’ bucks.”

The presence of deeply entrenched gender norms, however, isn’t this film’s only potential failing. Once again, the “princess” (and they always seem to end up being princesses regardless of actual royal affiliation) will be white. Keep in mind that Frozen will be set in an area of the world that is home to many indigenous cultures, among them the Inuit and the Sami. In fact, Mike Gaimo, the film’s art director, directly says that one of his many inspirations for the film was the Sami people. Aside from the fact that it’s extraordinarily disrespectful to lump an entire culture into a listicle that features such points of interest as “castles” and “snow,” it seems strange that the Sami would inspire a world that, so far, seems entirely populated by white characters.

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Their whiteness is so blinding it’s making her cross-eyed.

This is a huge missed opportunity for Disney who, besides the fact that they’ve basically made a carbon-copy of Rapunzel, seem fiercely committed to having as few princesses of colour as possible. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans, and among quite a lot of backlash, a tumblr named Snow Queens and PoC has taken on the task of reimagining what the movie might have looked like had a woman of colour been chosen. The tumblr—often featuring a protagonist who is either Inuit or Sami, but also sometimes Mongolian or Kazakh, among others—features some great art, but has also managed to start a conversation around the film, and about Disney’s overall track record. I can’t help thinking that any of the proposed character designs would make for a more creative and compelling film, and with so many amazing alternatives available, it’s hard to warm up to the story that Disney is actually proposing.

Top image by Rah at weepingrockrock.tumblr.com, via Snow Queens and PoC.

P.S. Get used to the pun in the title, puns are here to stay.

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