20th Carnival of Feminist SF – The Diamond Age

(This 20th Carnival of Feminism and Science Fiction is brought to you by Podblack.com with sincere apologies to and acknowledgment of the book by Neal Stephenson)

The brilliant nanotechnological neurobook, the illicit, magical device crammed with folklore, science and arts, designed to teach young women how to think for themselves about the world around them – what if it got in the hands of a female member of society who was not of the elite?

The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer began the tales of the day for little Nell, who quietly huddled in the bleak, stained subterranean apartment…

Heroine Content.net‘ brings it with an interrogation of Hellboyjust what does it teach us about leading ladies?

… In fact, given how little relevance she has to the main plot, it could be argued that Liz is actually just The Girlfriend with a quasi-superpower tacked on as an accessory. She gets manipulated by the bad guys, abducted, stripped, held hostage, and finally rescued by the hero. Yawn. Why would I want to be that?…. For a woman in a movie to be a heroine, the viewer should want to be her. In Hellboy, Liz just doesn’t cut it. Ilsa wins.

Nell nodded in agreement. Perhaps the upcoming sequel would be worthy of a close analysis and a better lesson about what really makes a leading lady lead. What was this that the Primer revealed to her now? A picture swirled in front of her eyes…

image onePlanet Karen – “it’s scary how much you’ve thought this through…” – a witty reflection on the foibles of illustrating action heroines in such limited action-wear!

Nell twiddled her be-sneakered feet. She’d have no worries running from the bad guys, no matter what these graphic designers thought was ‘suitable attire’. She gazed at the book’s dissolve to a discussion about a brand-new tale that was appearing on viddy screens these days… so was it worth watching?

‘Mind On Fire’ – the Sarah Connor Chronicles: “I Netflix’d Terminator… and Terminator II… I was prepared, then, for Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles…”

The story of Sarah Connor should appeal to feminist scifi fans on another (non-Summer-Glau-related) level, because it is fundamentally the story of a single mother trying to make it in a big, bad world where she routinely deals with robots sent from the future to kill either (a) her, (b) her son, (c) both, (d) random other people, or (e) any combination thereof..

The pages flipped over, as Nell took a mental note to make sure she caught up with the two-hour premiere and see for herself just how this progressed beyond robot-badgirls and the popular cinematic plots… but what about differences between men and women on things unproved by science? Were women different when it came to confusing the real and unreal in the world?poster

The Skepbitch‘ – Women, Science, Skepticism and the Paranormal ‘Are women more prone to paranormal and pseudoscientific belief than men?’

A belief in the paranormal and pseudoscientific isn’t gender exclusive, or necessarily gender preferential.
As human beings, we are prone to belief in the paranormal and pseudoscientific.
There’s a certain equality to bad thinking.

Nell thought of the strange concepts that were said around her by the adults and other children that were more fantasy than fact. Maybe they needed a chance to think with a good book in front of them more often…

The Primer flickered and presented her with an image of a memorial case… and a man in a strange black suit, mourning…

League of Substitute SuperheroesIn Her Memory: Batman #673

Batman #673 means so, so much more than any of these. Because, in two panels, we were told everything that mattered: that inside Batman’s heart, Stephanie was Robin, the same as Dick and Jason and Tim — her gender made no difference at all to that. That her loss is felt as keenly as those other losses Batman has been shaped by.

Little Nell wiped a tear from her cheek and blinked. Just how long had it taken for that tale to be told to anyone, let alone a girl like her?

Lisa Paitz Spindler.com – Danger Gal Friday: The Starkiller Who Could Have Been – “Evidently, Luke was supposed to be a girl.”

Talk about a paradigm shift. How would this saga have been different if Luke Skywalker would have been Luka Starkiller? Evidently, Han Solo was also supposed to be a Jedi.

Nell smiled at the thought of how the classic SF saga could have been told very, very differently… and turned to the pages with the paper-bound Cthulhu:

Storyjunkie – Behold a Grisly Sight – “I’m currently reading The Best of H.P. Lovecraft, and enjoying it, despite some qualms about certain depictions…”

The only thing to make me actually put the book down so far has been Robert Bloch’s introduction, which would have been more aptly titled “In Over-Defense of H.P. Lovecraft” rather than “Heritage of Horror’… [he] refers to “little Mary Shelly” – the only author from his list to receive a diminutive of any kind.

Diamond Age

InsideOut – There’s Something About Lynda Carter / Blogging for Choice – “This is the second post in a series looking at the cultural and personal significance of Wonder Woman as a character and a symbol.”

“It was a very conscious decision on my part to play against what was expected. I never played sexuality. I never tried to ‘play’ Wonder Woman. She didn’t think she was all that! She’s not all full of herself, and certainly not against men…but for women! It was just about being who she was, and trying to connect to that secret self that we have.”

Nell tucked the paper armbands around her wrists and tried a few Amazon-style bullet deflections in the air. The Primer coughed pointedly and began to frame the next narrative in neat Japanese kanji…

Tequila – Women and Sexism in American and Japanese Comics – ‘Some hail shoujo manga as a liberating front in girls’ and women’s comics, but is this invasion a boon for young women… or a curse?’

I think that the problem is that American comics do not provide the emotional content girls crave. That is why we love Japanese comics. Neither really provides a decent role model, and Japanese comics tend to reinforce sexist, negative stereotypes of girls and women, but at least the characters are three dimensional.

Nell turned to the last page – to see a bold statement about the narratives that unfolded and a message behind these electronic entries she perused…

Blog@Newsarama – Just Past the Horizon: The Important Thing To Remember – “I had a happy thought today.”

I’m watching another “women in comics controversy” in the community. This is what I do. I watch and I collect links and I react. I’m seeing people get offended, and people react to that offense, and people react to the reaction to that offense. I used to see these things in waves, but tonight I’m seeing it in levels…

Nell settled back and closed the book, pressing the cover to her. So many stories and so many puzzles as to why and how come. Would it ever change for the better? Maybe if she kept reading and questioning – it would.

Many thanks to EVERYONE and looking forward to the next Carnival – check out the site at carnival.feministsf.net!

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Filed under Blogroll, Challenges to Science, Cool stuff, Education, Favourites, Links Elsewhere, Literature, Media, Paranormal, Pseudoscience, Science, Science fiction, Skepticism, Technology

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