Category Archives: Comics, cartoons, manga, and anime

No more token women!

Whether we recognize it or not, we all know about The Girl. Sometimes the Love Interest, or the Sidekick, or the Little Sister, or what have you, she has existed in literature and popular culture from time immemorial. Those of you who are of my generation may be thinking of Smurfette, who was literally defined in both name and action as being the (only) female smurf while all the male smurfs were defined by their actions. Later on, some female smurf kids were added, but kids tend to fit more into a “gender neutral” category than adults in our society.

Enter And Then There’s the Girl: “Women Characters” vs. “Characters that are Women”, a Blog Against Sexism post from a couple days ago that I missed highlighting. The author, kalinara, uses Cheetara (do you notice a trend in taking a word and “feminizing” it for the token women?) to represent the phenomenon of The Girl. Continue reading

Posted in Comics, cartoons, manga, and anime, Gender Caste, Gender Democracy, Video Games | Comments Off

Musings on Communication and Romance in Fiction

So, I’ve been reading Elizabeth Kerner’s Song in the Silence series (or maybe it’s better called The Tale of Lanen Kaelar) because I picked up the next (last?) installment of it just recently. Just a warning, I talk in as vague terms as possible, but there are potential spoilers for both Kerner’s series and the manga Marmalade Boy. I’ve made it through the second book and I’m finally starting on the new one, so I’m excited to see how it goes. My main beef with the series, and it’s a small one at that, was that the whole “mating for life” the dragons did and the “ordained by the gods” love that the main characters had always struck me as a bit cheesy.

Fast forward to today, where I’m reading through an LJ post on BDSM spawned by a thread on Alas. What does BDSM have to do with Kerner’s books? Well, not much, although the thought of kinky dragons brings a smile to my lips. In the course of the debate one commenter, skelkins, was talking about the importance of human interaction, and how communication is just as inherent as power dynamics but is not eroticized: “In fact, there’s this weird cliche of romantic fiction that relies for its effect on audience consensus that communication itself is somehow inherently…anti-sexy?” And that got me thinking about the romance in the fiction I’ve read, and the way Kerner has treated it in her series. Continue reading

Posted in Books, magazines, etc., Comics, cartoons, manga, and anime, Gender issues | 1 Comment