[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by Josephine Tsui


Hi all,

For the month of March we're going to host Sasha Garwood as our monthly blogger.

Here's Sasha's introduction.
Queer litgeek, writer, academic and critic Sashagoblin has a PhD in the cultural meanings attached to women, food and the body and a general obsession with pulling apart the more damaging bits of culture until people notice how fucked up we all are. She's been a writer since first producing an illustrated story about rabbits aged four, and an academic since discovering books were much more fun than real work about six months later. She loves London, sushi, social history, old houses with big windows, being a redhead and John Wilmot Earl of Rochester, and hates making assumptions and writing biographies of herself. Her first book is with the publishers at the moment, which makes her nervous.

She blogs about at Can Opener in a Worm Factory and Ballad of Dissatisfaction, lives in the real world here, and needs more sleep.

Please give Sasha a warm welcome.

The illustration above depicts a woman in front of the underground symbol. Thanks Giuseppe Milo for the photo.

ruuger: Londo from Babylon 5 and the text: "And now for something completely different - a Centauri with seven tentacles" (And now for something completely differe)
[personal profile] ruuger
For [livejournal.com profile] little_firestar: I think I saw you talking about Farscape? If you did, I wanted to ask you if you knew that Claudia Black had played the alien in STragate SG-1, alongside her farscape alumn Ben Browder... and if you did, when you heard it, what did you think, and did you react?

This is actually both difficult and easy to answer, because...

a) I have indeed watched Farscape
b) I have also watched Stargate SG-1, but
c) I have not managed to watch Stargate so far to have actually seen either Ben Browder or Claudia Black.

Because unfortunately both shows have fallen victims to the Finnish television channels' tendency to use scifi shows as fillers that are moved to whatever timeslot happens to be available.

You may remember my struggle to keep up with Farscape's changing timeslot, and though I think in the end I managed to watch most of it, I'm not entirely sure because it never really gripped me enough to make any kind of an impression. I pretty much only watched it for Aeryn Sun/Claudia Black.

(Sorry, I know this makes me a bad scifi fan)

Stargate, on the other hand, I have loved since the 90's but due to the way that Finnish TV is, I have not seen it beyond whatever season it is where Daniel Jackson comes back from the dead. And it's been about ten years since I watched it. In fact, I'm not entirely sure I've even watched all of that season...

So my opinion of Claudia Black on SG1 is basically: "Yay! More Claudia Black! Now if I could actually some day watch it..."

eta: Ooh, I just checked out my local library's database and they've got SG1 up to season 9! I've just never seen it on the shelves because the DVDs have multiple reservations - now including mine ;) )

False Dawn by Patrick Lane

3 March 2015 12:21
[personal profile] substructure posting in [community profile] poetry
We turn to words because there’s not much
more to turn to. I love you becomes what I used to call
the dark. I prayed this morning. It wasn’t much,
just me and the god I understand. The earliest birds
wake me now and I keep getting up into what
others call false dawn. I know it sweeter.
That’s the hard part, knowing darkness is there
and singing anyway. Becoming more
becomes less. It’s like an origami dove
chased by a flying child, a kind of solitude
so perfect you keep searching even as you know
there is no cure. I think misery is mostly
what we know. Yet there are days I overflow with love.
My friends are so fragile I’m afraid
to take their hands for fear I’ll break them.
This morning I set out the early sprinkler
and out of the darkness robins came
and varied thrushes I thought our cats had killed.
The water from our highest mountains turned
and turned above our earth
and all the birds went under that falling
with everything they had.
Maybe that’s the measure.
Maybe in the morning light we pray
and rain falls and we lift to its falling
as if we still had feathers, as if with words
we could scrape the sky clean of every kind of pain.
likeadeuce: (writer)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
I'm regretting my general lack of brainspace/energy/ inspiration for fiction writing these days. Does any body want to request a commentary/timestamp (ie, what happened X amount of time before or after the fic for anything I've written?

AO3 archive lives here.


Alternatively, anybody who wants to spitball in the comments about stories that should exist, I'm here for that.

The final hurdle: surmounted

3 March 2015 16:30
nanila: (tachikoma: celebratory)
[personal profile] nanila

This is my British passport.

I'm afraid my first contact with it rather lacked the reverence it deserved. I stepped on the envelope with a muddy welly boot as I walked in the door.

It's been 18 months since I became a British citizen & over a decade since I moved to the UK. I have handed over a lot of money to the Border Agency and jumped through innumerable bureaucratic hoops to achieve this. It means a lot to me. It's the last bit of documentation cementing my life here, with my large partner, chosen children & beautiful mortgage. I may have mixed up my adjectives there. Forgive me. I'm emotional & might need to have a bit of sugar in my cuppa to calm me down.

Yes, my British friends, you're stuck with me now. And I'm also now indistinguishable from you (so long as I don't open my mouth, which is unlikely).

Finally, apropos of nothing, cat and boy.
[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by Shiha Kaur

daffodils 3.jpg

Welcome to this week's round-up and open thread. The following are links that we have found that might interest you. If you have found anything that you think other readers will enjoy, please add links in the comments section below. As usual, please note that a link here doesn't imply endorsement or agreement, and some links might be triggering.

11 Bisexual Girl Problems (SheWired)

The Disturbing Effect Our Beauty Standards Have on Women Across the World (Mic)

Black Trans History Is Inspirational (TransGriot)

Real Betis supporters' vile chants prove we can't continue to let sexism in football go unnoticed (The Offside Rule)

Trigger warning for violence against women, sexual assault

India's Daughter: 'I made a film on rape in India. Men's brutal attitudes truly shocked me' (Guardian)

The Black Renaissance is Here (Media Diversifued)

Women seeking asylum: closing the protection gap. Globally the British government is pushing for better protections for women, yet the same protections are unavailable to those seeking asylum. (Open Democracy)

Black British by V V Brown (Pride Magazine)

Someone Tell Me That I'll Live: On Murder, Media, and Being a Trans Woman in 2015 (xojane)

Image shows three daffodil flowers against a blue sky with white fluffy clouds. The daffodils have bright yellow trumpets and pale light yellow petals. Photo taken by Flickr user Anvica, used under a Creative Commons License.

Phone Call by Tony Hoagland

2 March 2015 09:30
[personal profile] substructure posting in [community profile] poetry
Maybe I overdid it
when I called my father an enemy of humanity.
That might have been a little strongly put,
a slight exaggeration,

an immoderate description of the person
who at the moment, two thousand miles away,
holding the telephone receiver six inches from his ear,
must have regretted paying for my therapy.

What I meant was that my father
was an enemy of my humanity
and what I meant behind that
was that my father was split
into two people, one of them

living deep inside of me
like a bad king or an incurable disease—
blighting my crops,
striking down my herds,
poisoning my wells—the other
standing in another time zone,
in a kitchen in Wyoming
with bad knees and white hair spouting from his ears.

I don’t want to scream forever,
I don’t want to live without proportion
Like some kind of infection from the past,

so I have to remember the second father,
the one whose TV dinner is getting cold
while he holds the phone in his left hand
and stares blankly out the window

where just now the sun is going down
and the last fingertips of sunlight
are withdrawing from the hills
they once touched like a child.

Untitled by sabo(?) (SFW)

2 March 2015 14:25
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] sylvaine posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Naruto
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Uzumaki Naruto
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: I think it's a digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: NA
Artist Website/Gallery: on Tegaki
Why this piece is awesome: I really like the colours and the art style - there's something really fairy tale-like about it.
Link: here on Tegaki (if the link breaks I have reblogged it here)
fandomcalendar: dandelion flowers and puffs on a bright blue background (Default)
[personal profile] brightknightie posting in [community profile] fandomcalendar
FKFicFest banner with 3 season cast photos

[community profile] fkficfest | [livejournal.com profile] fkficfest | FKFicFest AO3 Collection

Shall we play a sixth annual Forever Knight ficathon game this year? If so, when? And with what rules?

If these questions interest you, please share your answers! The annual pre-game poll (on DW | on LJ) is open until 6:00 PM Pacific Time this Friday, March 6, 2015. (As a reminder, the community voted to wipe away all past defaults in celebration of the game's fifth anniversary last year. The slate is clean!)

Thank you for playing, and thank you for loving Forever Knight!
snickfic: Jo and Ellen Harvelle (Jo)
[personal profile] snickfic
[profile] spnspiration’s April Fools’ Fanwork Challenge! 1 March - 1 April, 2015

Give a prompt. Get a prompt. Subvert a prompt. Curious?

Oh hey, another SPN fic exchange thingy! A little bit like Spring Fling in that it has a prompt, a character, and a 500 word minimum, but a much longer lead time and also you are supposed to twist the prompt while sticking to the letter of it, which sounds like lots of fun. :D (Even though I'm not sure my prompt is really great for twistiness. Oh well. Hopefully rust and linen will charge someone's imagination anyway.)
[personal profile] jjhunter posting in [community profile] poetry
For more about the author, check out the A.R. Ammons episode of Essential American Poets.


The filled out gourd rots, the
ridge rises in a wave
height cracks into peaks, the peaks

wear down to low undoings whose undertowing
throws other waves up: the branch
of honeysuckle leaves arcs outwards

into its becoming motion but,
completion's precision done, gives
over riddling free to other

motions: boulders, their green and white
moss-molds, high-held in moist
hill woods, stir, hum with

stall and spill, take in and give
off heat, adjust nearby to
geomagnetic fields, tip liquid with

change should a trunk or rock loosen
to let rollers roll, or they loll
inwardly with earth's lie

in space, oxidize at their surfaces
exchanges with fungal thread and rain:
things are slowed motion that,

slowed too far, falls loose, freeing debris:
but in the outgoing warps, the butterfly
amaryllis crowds its bowl with bulbs.


1 March 2015 16:38
likeadeuce: (buffysurvive)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
So it's March, which is when I usually switch over to my Buffy Summers 'survive and advance' icon except that I left it up for the whole year I think (at least on DW and since I let paid my LJ account expire, I don't even know how managing that thing work anymore. So anyway, March -- I'm excited about basketball as usually, only more so because my Cavaliers are unexpectedly good this year (they've only lost 1 game even though there are a few more that they probably should have, and they've been without their most talented player for a few weeks and I'm not sure how much longer.)

Anyway, mostly I'm updating because I've neglected to update much. I feel like things are going well on the macro level if poorly on the micro level if that makes sense -- generally having fun and spending time with cool people, while at the same time I have days where I'm tired or crying for no reason etc etc. Stressed about debt and having to pay to repair and replace things in my house/ probably should skip going to any cons or doing major travel this year so I can catch up with my finances + repair the parts of my car and house that keep breaking. So that's a bummer if it means I won't be able to see long-distance friends unless they come visit me -- need to get the taxes done and then maybe I'll have a better idea what I'm looking at.

On the good side, I inherited a sweet, pretty cat, Hadassah, who is excellent company, and I have even better company in [personal profile] spuffyduds, my part time roommate for at least a few months as she's taken a new job and has some time until her household is resettled. We're sharing cooking duties (ie, mostly her but I'm trying to step up my culinary game) and watching TV together.

Entertainmentwise, I inherited (at least for the time being) my brother's PS3 because he (and under his influence, I) decided that video games were a bit of cultural literacy I was missing out on. So I just finished playing through BioShock (on easy, though I was probably not completely incompetent on it by the time I was done?) Gamer types should give me advice on what to play next -- I have some kind of Batman game + also Skyrim tho when I tried starting Skyrim, I decided it was too complicated (too many decisions!) and I need to work up to it.

In music, I haven't discovered much new lately (I think my most listened albums of 2014 were the one Neko Case put out in 2013, and The Suburbs by Arcade Fire which is even older, not that I think digging into the catalog I already have is bad. I didn't get to see Sleater-Kinney on this tour after all, though on Valentine's Day I went to see Doomtree in DC with [personal profile] queenbookwench -- which was super fun in spite of very cold weather and surprise snow (my winter experience has been mild and fortunate compared to many other East Coast/midwest folks, but it has taken me by surprise a few times.) And last night, I went to see Kacey Musgraves with [personal profile] jrho -- KM is such a delight, I even forgive her for implying that any audience members born after the mid-80s were 'olds'. Funtimes.

While she was here, J also gave me a crash course in hockey RPF fandom so that I sort of know what people are talking about now, though I don't anticipate growing a deep interest in it except being distracted by this silk dress shirt Sidney Crosby was wearing in one interview I watched because I'm not made of stone. Anyway, I'm clearly forever out of sync with fandom because I just now started binge-watching the first season of Glee (after [personal profile] stultiloquentia accidentally got me interested in the current season and then I had to go back to the beginning)

In 2021, I'll probably see Jupiter Ascending and be sad no one wants to talk to me about it.

I loved the Agent Carter finale though! I have the persistent problem of being interested in the wrong things (Howard!!!) but seriously I love them all and if I ever remember how writing works again there might be fic.

bunches of fannish things

1 March 2015 09:31
snickfic: text: Geno 71, I'm Score (malkin)
[personal profile] snickfic
Okay, when I say bunches I mean mostly hockey, but there's a few other things, too, which I put first.

* [livejournal.com profile] spnspringfling is open for signups! This is quite possibly my favorite fannish event of any kind, just because of how it's structured - low min AND a max word count, prompts but you don't know your recip, tight deadline, anon posting. If you're into SPN at all, definitely consider giving this a try. It's way fun.

* You know that 3 Sentence Ficathon I linked to a while back? It has 3500 comments now and is still going. It's like people are pining for the prompt memes of yore. Or something.

* On the paucity of data available in women's sports (shocking, I know)

* Marc-Andre Fleury, ruiner of things

* My Geno/Flower feelings, let me show you them. Also did you know that they roomed together for the latter half of the 2011-2012 season? Did you? HMMM. :D

* The Pens did a Casino night for charity. Apparently Flower kept tossing cards on the ground if he didn't like them, and meanwhile Geno gave good face, as usual. I have about 25 posts in my Tumblr likes; IDK how I'm supposed to choose which ones to reblog.

* This article by Pascal Dupuis about his two blood clots in a year is really a gut-wrenching read.

* This failure to score a goal is like how Charlie Chaplin would fail to score a goal.

* Have a bunch of hockey microfic. Only a tweet long each. There's a bunch that are awfully fun.

Art Lessons, by Yoon Ha Lee

1 March 2015 23:30
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] poetry
witches' daughters learn to draw
with blackened hearts and sharpened bones
crayons the color of curdled ambition
paper pounded to the point of ripping

witches' daughters learn perspective inside-out
and memorize the anatomy of shadows
they turn stick figures into Rorschach stains
and scribble their names outside the lines

witches' daughters learn to hide their self-portraits
and poison their still lifes with crushed smiles
of course, it's the same thing that anyone learns
growing up a woman
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
[personal profile] beer_good_foamy
Here's a fic I had to write after the s1 finale of Agent Carter.

Title: Don’t Rock The Moat
Author: Beer Good ([personal profile] beer_good_foamy)
Fandom: Agent Carter
Rating: PG13
Word count: ~830
Characters/Pairing: Peggy/Angie
Summary: Late one night a few months after the season 1 finale, Peggy gets a phone call. Apparently, that thing she did on Brooklyn Bridge has come back to haunt New York City. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to pose a major threat. Or a captain one either.

Having a phone in every room was really swell, most of the time. But 3AM on a cold night was not one of those times, especially when they were all extensions of the same line. )
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] poetry
You wake from dreams of inlaid
mother-of-pearl with your hair
in seaweed tangles and your legs
wound in damp sheets.
A fishy smell percolates
through the apartment,
and the shower tastes like brine.
When you sing to yourself
the neighborhood cats purr on the sill
and the delivery man
whistles from the street. He knocks,
but forgets why because the song
dies on your lips.
Beneath the bus's hum and screech
you hear the susurrus
of waves and distant cries of gulls.
Your clothes constrict -- at work,
during your lunch break you loosen
your blouse past the point of decency
and splash chlorinated water
on flushed cheeks. Behind your reflection
a beach awaits you -- volcanic sands
polished by the tide, and your sisters
weeping for joy in the surf.
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Wonderwoman
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Wonderwoman
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: wingwingwingwing on DA
Why this piece is awesome: One last "minimal tits and ass" Wonderwoman artwork as it's still Feb 28th most places on the globe. This last one's an action shot, with Wonderwoman seeing to a bad guy with her lasso. I like the composition, the slightly muted colours, her calmness, and also her thighs are pretty impressive!
Link: Wonder Woman
ruuger: Heart-shaped version of the Finnish flag with the word 'Eurovision' (Eurovision Song Contest)
[personal profile] ruuger
It might be relevant to some of my f-listies interests that the Finnish representative for this year's Eurovision Song Contest was just selected and it's Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, a punk band that was made famous by the documentary The Punk Syndrome.

Untitled by zaki-mizer (SFW)

28 February 2015 20:42
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] turlough posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Bandom
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Party Poison aka Gerard Way
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: [deviantart.com profile] zaki-mizer / [tumblr.com profile] subtlelifelines

Why this piece is awesome: This is such a stark and arresting work. The harsh, almost garish colour palette combined with the comics-inspired framing feel just right for the Killjoys universe. And the emotional turmoil his body language hints at makes it very intriguing.

Link: Untitled (DeviantART) or here (Tumblr)

Hockey Recs #6

28 February 2015 08:29
snickfic: Evgeni Malkin, looking up and grinning (malkin happy)
[personal profile] snickfic
Oh gosh, SO MANY RECS. I waited too long. Soulbonding is a major theme here; I think I have four or five? Lots of Sid/Geno. Lots other random pairings. Lots of fic, basically.

Sid/Geno )

other Pens pairings )

other pairings )

"love is a place" - e.e. cummings

28 February 2015 23:23
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] poetry
love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] sylvaine posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Discworld
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Sibyl Vimes
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital, I think?
Artist on DW/LJ: NA
Artist Website/Gallery: [tumblr.com profile] k-cervantes
Why this piece is awesome: Happy fat clownfish mermaid Sibyl! There's something so warm and kind and lovely and fabulous about this art piece.
Link: here on tumblr (if that link breaks, I have reblogged it here, too)

New interview with Desiree Akhavan

28 February 2015 01:11
[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by Ania Ostrowska

"Love or hate Girls, Desiree Akhavan currently has what seems like the best job in the world," says Sophe Mayer introducing her interview with director and lead of Appropriate Behavior, opening in UK cinemas next week. "If you're a fan, envy her character Chandra hanging out with Hannah (Lena Dunham) at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Not a fan? Thrill as Chandra takes Hannah's writing to pieces."

Desiree Akhavan in Appropriate Behaviour.jpg

Desiree Akhavan in Appropriate Behavior, courtesy of Peccadillo Pictures

As Desiree's debut feature opens in the UK, she joins the cast of Girls for its Season 4. That makes perfect sense: after Appropriate Behavior debuted at Sundance in 2014, it earned the epithet of "the bisexual Persian-American Girls". Asked how she felt about this comparison, Desiree told Sophie:

I feel greatly influenced by television, including Girls, including Broad City, they're really badass. I've been asked: "When do you think this phase of the Brooklyn girl who can't get her shit together will be over?" Sure, Brooklyn is a thing right now, but women being entitled and wanting to live by their own rules just as much as any other asshole is not something that should change. I find it absurd that we've been living in this world of movies about young man-boys who can't grow up and that was entertaining and fun and fresh, but the minute women start doing it, it's a phase we need to outgrow.

Read the rest of Sophie's interview and comment.

You can win a pair of tickets for 23 March Bechdel Test Fest screening at Greenwich Picturehouse!

[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] poetry
Is it for now or for always,
The world hangs on a stalk?
Is it a trick or a trysting-place,
The woods we have found to walk?

Is it a mirage or miracle,
Your lips that lift at mine:
And the suns like a juggler's juggling-balls,
Are they a sham or a sign?

Shine out, my sudden angel,
Break fear with breast and brow,
I take you now and for always,
For always is always now

(no subject)

27 February 2015 23:30
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
If you're seeing slow page load times, pages not fully loading, missing icons, 'naked' pages (the text of the page only, without any styling, etc): please shift-refresh your browser, clear your browser cache, and then just hang tight. We're switching CDN providers, so your browser may have cached the wrong copy of things.

If the problem hasn't cleared up by tomorrow, then let us know and we'll look into it further!

Another quick 3-sentence fic

28 February 2015 01:24
beer_good_foamy: (Default)
[personal profile] beer_good_foamy
Another fill for the 3 sentence ficathon

Star Trek / Tolkien, Spock & Bilbo, the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

"It's strange," Bilbo said from his cot as the Grey Havens disappeared behind the horizon, "I never knew sailing could be so... Did you ever hear about how I escaped in a barrel from the elf-king's halls?"

"I've heard that, yes," the tall Vulcan standing next to said with a thoughtful nod, "though I don't think this trip will be quite as turbulent... save, perhaps, for the odd whale."

The ship kept sailing steadily west as night fell, and the dark calm waters reflected the myriad of stars above.

The Blue Screen Of Death

27 February 2015 09:12
petzipellepingo: (heads desk spike by lmbossy)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
is still causing issues so it's back to the shop for the tower. I don't know for sure when I'll be back. Hopefully soon. And hopefully they can figure out what's wrong because we've put a dedicated electrical line in and a battery backup and it's still misbehaving.

 photo 152014ericgif_zps310841dc.gif

Mask kisses by hedgehawke (SFW)

28 February 2015 00:02
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Wonderwoman
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Wonderwoman/Batman
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: hedgehawke on DA
Why this piece is awesome: There's a truckload of Wonderwoman/Batman shipping out there, so here's one featuring them kissing. It's cute and hilarious as Batman's obviously thoroughly enjoying being tied up with the lasso and kissed on his masked nose. I much prefer pics where Wonderwoman's dominant and has various other superheroes at her mercy. *g*
Link: Mask kisses
[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by Guest Blogger

Elke Weissmann puts out a call for people to take part in her forthcoming piece of TV-related research.

 I am a woman. I am a feminist. I like watching television. And I am an academic.

In the 1980s, these parts of my identity would have probably led to the following problems: I would have encountered a barrage of popular and academic publications which would have told me that television, particularly the kind typically categorised as 'television for women' (i.e. the soap opera) is bad for me. I would have probably been repeatedly told by my peers, family and friends about examples of susceptible women who, after watching Dallas or Dynasty, demanded a more lavish lifestyle or went out to buy shoulder-padded clothes like the ones Joan Collins wore. And I would have probably encountered quite a few people who prided themselves on not owning a television set.

All of this highlights two things: that women were largely perceived as 'vulnerable' audiences, easily duped and passively absorbing content, and that television was perceived as the bad object, particularly in its most 'feminine' forms.

In the 1980s, some emerging feminist academics were in this position. As a result, they conducted a number of studies into British and US soap operas, all of which stressed the complex ways in which women used soap operas in order to engage with and make sense of their everyday lives. Today, their publications are considered canonical in my field of study.

But it's not the 1980s and the status of television, particularly of US television drama, has changed significantly. If all US television was derided as trash by the cultural elite of the 1980s, despite such wonderful dramas as Hill Street Blues and (still one of my all-time favourites) Cagney and Lacey, US television is held up today as the pinnacle of 'quality', despite such dross as (yes, let me say it) Homeland (which, of course, is not US-based in its origins anyway). If those television-watching feminists in the 1980s were told that all television was bad and women should stay away from it, it is now the case that I find quite a few people telling me that I absolutely have to watch these programmes. And all too often, they ask me -- a feminist scholar of television -- if I don't think they are fantastic, particularly because they offer "strong women" in their stories. And this is when my enjoyment of North American Quality Television Drama comes to an abrupt end.

The reasons are simple. I am not sure these women are so strong or depicted in any way that I find interesting. Take Betty in Mad Men for example. In the first season, she clearly suffered from the "problem with no name" that Betty Friedan identified in her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique. But then, from season two onwards, she just turned into a horrible person and her problems were simply forgotten. Mad Men is actually one of the specific dramas that leave me conflicted. The other (and I have noticed I am not alone) is Game of Thrones. Both are quite explicit in their misogyny and place this within the context of the time period they portray: the pre-feminist 1960s in the case of Mad Men and a pseudo-medieval period in the case of Game of Thrones. Both dramas highlight the problem of the sexisms of their times, particularly for their female characters, and this is often understood as part of the feminist potential of these programmes. But there is something that still doesn't quite sit comfortably with me and much of this seems to be connected to the female characters in them. Yet, I am absolutely drawn to these dramas; I find them utterly compelling.

I am trying to make sense of all this through a study that I am currently conducting at Edge Hill University. This study will be presented at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies in Montreal, Canada, in March, and I would like to write another piece for The F-Word blog as well as a journal article about it. If you watch these programmes (or one of them), would you be willing to write to me and tell me what you enjoy and what you don't enjoy about them? Any responses -- no matter how short or long -- are very welcome. I will of course anonymise your responses. Please contact me at elkeweissma@gmail.com. I look forward to your responses. Thanks for your help!

Elke Weissmann is Reader in Film and Television at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, north of Liverpool. She has published a book on British-American relations in TV drama production, Transnational Television Drama, and has co-edited Renewing Feminisms with Helen Thornham.


Image description:

This is taken from Mad Men, episode 409 ('The Beautiful Girls'). It shows the characters Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) and Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) standing in front of a wood fixture. Both wear dresses that are characteristic of the 1960s and each woman has a just-visible leather bag hung over her arm. Joan's dress is a purple floral number, while Peggy's is light green cross-check. Peggy also wears white gloves and white hat. Image Courtesy: AMC TV/Mad Men, posted on Flickr by Steve Garfield and shared under a Creative Commons License.

Open rec period

26 February 2015 12:31
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] sholio posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
I decided to pull this out and put it in its own post this month, because I, um, *cough* hadn't actually been reading that far down in the recruitment posts, even though I watch the comm. (I mean, I think did actually know, or at least knew at one point, that there was an open posting period at the end of the month, but I hadn't noticed there were now prompts and such!) But I figured maybe it would draw more attention to it if I put it in its own post this month.

Of course, it's going up late because I am The Disorganization Queen, but posting is now open 'til the end of the month (all 2 days of it, shhhhh), so if you have come upon a beautiful piece of fanart you'd like to rec, you can do it without being signed up! Your entirely optional prompt for the rest of the month is:

Alternate Universe

But you can of course rec anything. However, recs do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] sholio posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Apologies for being a bit late with this. I'm filling in for [personal profile] ratcreature this month!

Anyway, it's time for our regular reccer recruiting post, and to look ahead to the next month. So far we have two volunteer reccer who signed up for March with these fandoms:

* Doctor Who ([personal profile] turlough)
* Hellsing ([personal profile] sailorptah)

So while we won't be entirely rec-less in March, it would of course be awesome if we had more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.

Looking even further ahead, so far NO reccers have volunteered for April, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for March, April or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.

I should note that [personal profile] ratcreature is the only one who can edit the signup post, so new signups will not be added to the list 'til she gets back, but you can still begin reccing on March 1 just like normal!

(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)

New Black Mirror review

26 February 2015 15:19
[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by Holly Combe

What role does gender inequality play in how we approach issues of privacy and autonomy? D H Kelly follows Gemma Varnom's Black Mirror review with an examination of the blocking theme in the show's most recent episode.

Mild spoiler alert for those who haven't seen this episode.


Charlie Brooker's most recent Black Mirror drama, 'White Christmas', aptly demonstrates a gender divide in the concerns we might have about technology; men are afraid of being ignored, while women want to be left alone.

The episode is set in the near future, where most people have volunteered to be implanted with Z-Eyes, an augmented reality device that works like a permanent smartphone in the user's head. One application of this is that you can 'block' someone from your field of vision; they are reduced to a hazy shape, with their voice muffled beyond recognition. Neither party can see or hear each other, even in photographs or recordings. As Matt (Jon Hamm), says, "It usually only lasts for, like, an hour, but when they leave it going... Price of progress, I suppose." Over the course of 'White Christmas', we learn that both protagonists, Matt and Joe (Rafe Spall), have been subject to this treatment by ex-partners.

This is a cruel idea and the ultimate use of the technology is especially nightmarish. And yet, compared to Black Mirror's other dystopian extensions of the way we live now, it struck me that this particular device could have a gloomy appeal to many women, who might be more concerned with peace and privacy than the need always to be seen and heard.

The ubiquity of social media has changed the way we withdraw from failed relationships. Old love affairs are no longer confined to a box in the attic; photographs, memories, announcements and even flirtations between a couple may now be archived and tagged on Facebook, where we might go every day. When once, only a handful of people might have had to navigate remaining friends with both parties after a split, a couple may now be connected by a vast network of close and casual friends online. And these connections are very close at hand, threatening to haunt us any time the phone vibrates in our pocket...

Click here to read the rest of D H's review and comment

Call for reviewers! We've now covered '15 Million Merits', 'White Bear' and 'White Christmas'. Would you be interested in writing about any of the other Black Mirror episodes? If so, get in touch through tv AT thefword DOT org DOT uk!


Image description:

The characters Joe, Greta and Matt (left to right) sit cross-legged on a white sofa that blends with the stark white background behind them. They cast a slight shadow behind them. Greta and Joe look serious, while Matt is smiling. Joe wears a brown jacket, with a grey and brown striped polo shirt, navy trousers and brown boots. Greta wears a white shift dress. Matt is dressed all in navy (suit, polo shirt, visible socks and boots). Picture from Channel 4 website, used under fair dealing.

final verdict

26 February 2015 15:45
deird1: Sokka, with the picture he painted (Sokka picture)
[personal profile] deird1
If I take a yellow crayon, draw a circle, surround it with lines, and put a smiley face on the circle, you'll probably recognise it as the sun.

Even though the sun looks nothing like that.

Supposing, though, that you see these smiley-face-on-a-circle suns in books for years, and then one day you travel to the country of Storybookia, and you suddenly look up in the sky and realise that the reason the sun is always drawn that way in picture books is because, in Storybookia, the sun really looks like that.

...That's kind of what it's like going from Australia to Europe.

In my head, there's "what things look like", and "what things look like in picture books". These two things are rarely the same.

In Europe? Ducks look like picture book ducks, with the green heads and the neck stripe. Forests look like picture book forests. Houses have chimneys. Grass is green. Flowers grow out of the ground like it's nothing special. Squirrels exist! So do flamingos! Churches have church bells that actually ring on the hour. Birds say tweet (except for cuckoos, which really do say cuckoo). Christmas has snow and twinkly lights.

And no - the sun is not a big yellow smiley face. But it wouldn't have surprised me.


quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

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