Tag Archives: X-Men

Weekend Reading List: Trailers and time travellers

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Image from Belle & Tina are Time Travellers

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Monthly Reading List: The Sequel

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Weekend Reading List: Christmas appropriation, Korrasami, and queer everything

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Weekend Reading List: Back, bigger, badder

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Welcome back everyone! Unfridged has been away for a long time now, so there’s plenty of great internet reading to catch up on. Let’s get started:

  • First off, a great piece on video game diversity. It’s called “no one is coming to take away your shitty toys,” which is pretty much all you need to know about it.  [Midnight Resistance]
  • I would have been all over these IAmElemental action figures growing up. They’re so wonderful!
  • Teen Vogue talks about growing up in fantasy worlds, discovering self-worth, and finding queer love in Tamora Pierce books.
  • Dungeons & Dragons turns forty this year, and everyone is lining up to talk about how important it is! First the New York Times discusses how the game influenced the storytelling of a generation of writers, and the New Yorker published a piece on a more personal experience. (I’m choosing to ignore the fact that the author categorically denies that women play the game. Dude. No.)
  • In other D&D news, the Mary Sue talks about the game’s new focus on sexuality and gender diversity with lead game designers Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford.
  • RITA SKEETER (or, you know, J.K. Rowling) WROTE A THING. AND IT IS GLORIOUS. Best recap of a World Cup ever. [Today Books]
  • What’s that you say? You’d love to see an 80s-tastic Dazzler music video? Complete with mutant special effects and derby girls? I live to serve.
  • Dorkly has a list of ten conversations that would have radically changed Harry Potter. Just call it Harry Potter and the Healthy Communication.
  • Bitch tackles the ever-present problem of convention harassment, with some interesting survey data.
  • If you’ve never stopped to consider the racial implications of having your few characters of colour act as sidekicks, then this is a must-read (I mean, everyone should read it, especially because it uses James Bond as an example, but you know). [The Nerds of Color]
  • Still doing amazing in-depth writing on video game sexism, Polygon presents real examples of the abhorrent conditions women working in games face, drawing parallels and conclusions, and making me really sad.
  • On the surface, Autostraddle’s piece on anime web series RWBY is just a review of one show, but the criticisms levelled against it—the show’s paper thin characterization and dependance on pernicious female stereotypes, for starters—apply to much of our media.
  • Hey you know Emily Graslie? That awesome person who does a YouTube show called the Brain Scoop? Well you totally should and, what a coincidence, Cosmopolitan has a great interview with her.
  • Presented without comment: “46 times Captain Janeway was outta control sassy.” [Buzzfeed]
  • This wonderful thing is happening: In Sussex, horses were mysteriously getting their mane and tails braided at night. No one could figure out why this was happening, until the police realized that all the reports were coming in during white witchcraft festivals. Yes. You read that right. White witches are going around in the dead of night making ponies prettier. The world is a glorious place. [Horsemart]
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Weekend Reading List: Style, Streetfighter, and children’s stories

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  • First up for your viewing pleasure, an “X-wear Through the Ages” poster! [modHero Tumblr]
  • Felicia Day, always delightful, takes to her blog to explain the difference between complaining about Michael B. Jordan being cast as the historically-white Human Torch, and being disappointed that the role of Tiger Lily will go white actress Rooney Mara in a rebooted version of Peter Pan.
  • GitHub engineer Julie Ann Horvath recently left the company, and shared her hellish experiences dealing with the social network with TechCrunch. There’s intimidation, a lack of respect, sexual harassment, all that good stuff.
  • So the Veronica Mars movie continues to be a great success, so much so that a sequel is already being proposed. Kristen Bell is apparently on board, and creator Rob Thomas says the next film would centre more on the unsolved case and would maybe resemble Chinatown. Also there may be a Dick Casablancas-centered web series. You know, just for fun. [TVLine]
  • The Atlantic takes an amazing, in depth look at gender parity in the workplace, putting together international statistics on math skills, unpaid labour, executive positions and more.
  • The Nerds of Color really want Marvel to cast an Asian American actor as Iron Fist, and have some solid character-building reasons to back it up.
  • Despite the nostalgia surrounding Street Fighter II, it was undeniably racist as hell. [NPR Code Switch]
  • This New York Times piece, titled “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” tackles the heartbreaking lack of characters of colour in the stories children are exposed to, and includes some really wonderful sentiments, among which: “Children of color remain outside the boundaries of imagination. The cartography we create with this literature is flawed.”

Image by Kris Anka

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Weekend Reading List: Racebending and the Red Viper

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Rubber Spine Syndrome: A message on RSS prevention

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I just spent a little while trawling Escher Girls—which is never a great idea unless I’m trying to whip myself into a Righteous Feminist Fury™—and I’m writing this out of genuine worry for the video game/comic book/anime women who seem to be missing a major chunk of their skeleton. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a significant number of women walking around without a spine.

Now this is clearly an oversight of epidemic proportions, so here’s my public service announcement:

GIVE YOUR CHARACTERS SPINES.

THEY NEED SPINES.

REALLY, THEY DO.

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Call it what you want—Escher Girls, The Brokeback, Rubber Spine, the list goes on—but it’s totally disconcerting that so many artists, working in so many genres, are willing to break any and all rules of proportion and perspective in a ham-fisted attempt at getting both breasts and butts in the shot. Some of these illustrations (and presented below is a tiny random sample) defy everything we know about anatomy, gravity, and bone density.

Now, I would never try to infringe on anyone’s artistic vision, but if you find yourself incapable of drawing women realistically and in ways that don’t reduce them to an awkwardly-assembled collection of sexy parts, I reserve the right to call you out on it. It’s bad art, and I expect better.

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I expect Black Widow to know how to take off her shoes properly (in this context “properly” means “in a way that doesn’t give me sympathy hip pain”).

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I expect X23 to actually be X23 and not, say, Elastigirl.

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I expect racist caricatures with missing left feet not to be running around New York City, posing for invisible cameras. (Seriously, what even is this.)

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I expect this illustration to be some sort of terrifying, Exorcist-type rotating torso, not a sexy pinup.

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I expect a warrior who presumably battles dragons to have a better way of dealing with hemorrhoids.

These are understandably not genres that hew too closely to realism, but the ways in which the fantasy manifests is deeply misogynistic. There’s no reason for any of these women to be contorted like this. Many of these characters (though I’m admittedly not familiar with all of them) are really fantastic, and deserve better than to be twisted and moulded into grotesque approximations of some arbitrary “sexy” template.

They’re heroes, and it’s not fair to render them literally spineless.

All images from Escher Girls.

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