Tag Archives: feminism

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer At 18

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ea_b_s1bIt’s hard to believe how long it’s been since we first heard that opening howl and entered the Hellmouth. The Atlantic has a great piece reflecting on Buffy eighteen years after its premier, and on the show’s importance.

In its first two minutes, “Welcome to the Hellmouth” establishes a universe, as the camera creeps slowly through a high school in the dark, lingering on skeletons in a classroom and shadows behind a door. But it also establishes a premise—that this is a show about female power. The pretty blonde, a vampire named Darla, isn’t a victim but a predator, just as Buffy has strength and acuity that belie her looks. At the end of “The Harvest,” the second part of the two-episode debut, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) watches Buffy and her friends walk away, cheerily discussing the ways in which she stands between the world and its total destruction. “The earth is doomed,” he says, wearily. It’s this kind of assumption—that being young and frivolous and having profound influence are mutually exclusive—that Whedon would go on to dispel throughout Buffy’s seven seasons.

Go read the whole thing.

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SJW Link Roundup

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Some progressive nerd news and discussions from the past week:

10931594_10153551345353345_6791788542611331807_oRewriting The Future: Using Science Fiction to Re-envision Justice
More on Octavia’s Brood, the project we mentioned on our podcast a few weeks ago, by one of the editors, Walidah Imarisha:

We started the anthology with the belief that all organizing is science fiction. When we talk about a world without prisons; a world without police violence; a world where everyone has food, clothing, shelter, quality education; a world free of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, heterosexism; we are talking about a world that doesn’t currently exist. But collectively dreaming up one that does means we can begin building it into existence.

(via Nerds of Color)


 
Star Wars Adds First LGBTQ Character to the New Canon

Yub fucking nub: not only does Star Wars now have canonically female stormtroopers, but Paul Kemp’s upcoming book Lords of the Sith is also about to introduce the first official LGBTQ character to the new canon.

(via The Mary Sue)


 
Black developers speak out on stereotypes in gaming
Professor and game designer Derek Derek Manns and Dennis Mathews of Revelation Interactive Studios held a roundtable discussion at GDC 2015 (the Game Developers Conference) on how black characters are portrayed in games as well as stereotypes of black game developers and designers.

Mathews summed up the biggest reason why diversity is needed in one phrase: “People don’t know what they don’t know.” He explained that often developers who aren’t black don’t even realize when they’re drawing on stereotypes because they don’t have any black coworkers to call it out.

(via Polygon)


 
Doctor Who vs. the Bechdel Test
Sarah Barrett of The Mary Sue watched all 117 episodes of modern-day Doctor Who and analyzed how many times it passed the Bechdel test, and frankly we’re surprised it did so well. (Though things aren’t as good when you measure by people of color.)

(via The Mary Sue)

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Rat Queens Has A New Artist

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10830934_377678572405164_5780013658778201651_oWe were all sadly unaware as we raved about Rat Queens on our podcast and here on the blog that there had been some unsettling news surrounding the series. Back on October 31, 2014, John “Roc” Upchurch—the artist who helped create Rat Queens—was arrested for domestic violence after allegedly beating his ex-wife. The entire story has been recounted here, here, and here (you might want to skip the details if you’re sensitive to triggers). While all cases of domestic abuse are tragic and anger-inducing, in this case there’s the added twist that the alleged perpetrator contributed to such a feminist and empowering piece of work.

The Mary Sue had this to say, which sums up my feelings pretty well.

It’s always difficult when someone who creates content you love does things with which you just can’t align yourself. It’s especially difficult when you recognize that stopping your monetary support of said content also punishes the other, not-problematic people who work hard on the final product. You are still allowed to enjoy the content you enjoyed before; but it’s also important to recognize something like this has happened, so that you can make your own informed decision about how you feel about further supporting that particular creator’s work.

The good news is that Upchurch has been replaced with Stjepan Sejic whose style is equally engaging and true to the spirit of Rat Queens. This sneak peek at a teenage Violet as drawn by Sejic pretty much solidifies my optimism for future issues. In more good news, today brings the release of “Rat Queens Special: Braga #1” drawn by interim artist Tess Fowler and it looks fantastic.

Life is complicated and talented people can do shitty things (as we’ve seen quite a bit lately). Maybe donate a little something to the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network if you pick up a copy.

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Rat Queens Is My New Favorite Comic Series

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Rat Queens Vol. 1I’m not gonna lie: I love being a late adopter. When I started watching Supernatural in its 8th season I had hours and hours of binging ahead of me before I was forced to wait for new episodes. So while I’m thrilled that Rob turned me on to Rat Queens, I’m also a little bummed it’s a fairly new series because I WANT MORE NOW. The first issue was released in September of 2013, with issue #9 due out at the end of February of this year. THAT’S LESS THAN TEN ISSUES. Which is not enough issues.

So, why am I obsessed with Rat Queens? First, it’s a hilarious chronicle of the exploits of four drunken, rowdy, badass adventurers. Second, the artwork is gorgeous. But most importantly I immediately fell in love with all of the leading ladies: Hannah, the elven mage with fantastic hair; Dee, a human cleric who’s left her religion behind her; Violet, a dwarven warrior who’s shaved her beard; and Betty, a smidgen thief who loves drugs and candy. THEY ARE SO MUCH FUN. They’re heroes-for-hire but their wake of destruction includes plenty of bar brawls as well. I saw someone describe it as “Lord of the Rings meets Sex In The City” but since I haaaaaaate Sex In The City I reject that description. Just imagine your favorite scoundrels and rogues in a raunchy Middle Earth, and also they happen to be female. Which isn’t to minimize the importance of their gender, it’s just that they’re allowed to be human(oid) instead of being sex objects or drama-obsessed shoe trees. Anyway, I dig this series hard, I’m probably going to build a costume around it, and you all should definitely read it. Also, thank you, Rob, for giving me one more thing I have to wait around for installments of.

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Assassin’s Creed V: Unity Looks Amazing But Is Still Disappointing

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UPDATE: Ubisoft backs away from their excuse about workload after a former Assassin’s Creed animator calls bullshit.

Original post:

Last night I watched the E3 trailer for Assassin’s Creed V: Unity, and man does that game look badass! Intense cooperative multi-player action, an unbelievably detailed open-world recreation of revolutionary-era Paris, thousands of NPCs crowding the screen… I mean, watch the trailer and see for yourself. It’s just generally gorgeous.

I have, as of late, thought of Ubisoft as slightly more progressive than some other game companies. On Assassin’s Creed 3 they worked closely with two members of the Kanien’kehá:ka nation, Akwiratékha Martin and Teiowí:sonte Thomas Deer, both who praised Ubisoft’s attention to ensuring that the portrayal of colonial-era Native Americans was sensitive and accurate. In AC3: Liberation, a shorter game set in the same time period as AC3, you play as Aveline de Grandpré, a biracial female freedwoman. And while you couldn’t play as a female in AC4: Black Flag, there were those that felt the NPC females were well-rounded and interesting.

But let’s get back to Unity.

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Guys Are Bad At Pretending To Be Girls

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I find the sociology and psychology of what kinds of characters people choose to play in RPG video games endlessly fascinating: do you prefer to do ranged damage or melee? Play male or female? Be attractive or ugly? Play as you are or how you wish you were? I want to read all the studies on all these things! So I found this to be very interesting:

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