Category Archives: Series

Sexist Language [Red-blooded American Sexist, Part 3]

For those just tuning in, this is Part 3 of my series on a small blurb that Joseph Lisner wrote for Wizard’s “How to Draw” series (found here [JPG]).

The language Lisner uses throughout the blurb Others, dehumanizes, and ultimately objectifies the women that he’s talking about — both drawn and real. The chart below compares the language he uses to describe women versus the language he uses to describe men. In terms of variation of terms it was equal (4 on 4), but the distribution of those terms reinforces the general message being sent in the blurb — men as people, women as objects.

Term # of Uses Term # of Uses
Women 2 Men 4
Female 4 Male 1
Girls 1 Guy 2
Ladies 1 Gentlemen 1

Lisner uses “female” the most to describe women and “men” the most to describe men. In fact, the one use of “male” is a correct usage of the term, while most of the way he uses “female” are inappropriate outside of a nature documentary or science lab. Before I get into the nitty gritty, however, let me first explain the differences between “female”/”male” and “woman”/”man”. Continue reading

Posted in Gender issues, Privilege, Red-blooded American Sexist, The Evil -ism's | 27 Comments

Men Stereotyping Women [Red-blooded American Sexist, Part 2]

For those just tuning in, this is Part 2 of my series on a small blurb that Joseph Lisner wrote for Wizard’s “How to Draw” series (found here [JPG]).

In Part 1 I discussed how Lisner relies on stereotypes of masculinity to create a “boy’s club” environment meant to set his presumably male readership at ease. In Part 2 I will be focusing on the ways that he constructs femininity and in the process Others and objectifies women. Continue reading

Posted in Gender Cultism, Red-blooded American Sexist, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Evil -ism's | 3 Comments

Men Stereotyping Men [Red-blooded American Sexist, Part 1]

Disembodied Womanparts, Yay!
What kind of man misogynist are you?

Right now the comics blogsphere is abuzz with criticisms of Wizard Magazine’s latest disaster: their How to Draw series. Well, perhaps not latest, as it seems that there have been complaints about this series for a while now.

Following a trail of links, I came across a 2005 post by LJ user Rat Creature. Which lead me to a link about the “Triple Threat” — which, contrary to what it sounds like, is not a wrestling move. The triple threat, of course, references the three ways (boobs, butt, legs) in red-blooded American guys objectify view women! The blurb that I will be tearing apart can be found here (JPG). For reference, the person writing it is Joseph Lisner, known for drawing Dawn.

I’ve actually split this analysis into three sections, the first of which will deal with the way that Lisner constructs American masculinity. Continue reading

Posted in Comics, cartoons, manga, and anime, Masculinities, Privilege, Red-blooded American Sexist, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics, The Evil -ism's | 10 Comments

Changing Pop-Culture to Change Ourselves [Understanding Popular Culture, Part 4]

In the opening of this series, I talked about how popular culture influenced us because it’s all around us. I talked about how it becomes the elephant in the room because of that. But what I didn’t talk about was how popular culture fits into our battle to change harmful cultural paradigms. And, really, that’s a glaring oversight that I intend to correct right now.

You see, I came across a post today (… oy. by Julia) that gave me one of those headsmacking, “OH!” moments. Not because I agree with her — far from it, I’m about to spend this entire post rebutting the points that she made — but because I finally understand the basis for the argument that [x] concern needs to be shelved so [y] and [z] concern can be taken care of first. Continue reading

Posted in Comics, cartoons, manga, and anime, Popular Culture, Understanding Popular Culture | 12 Comments

Can We Only Win for Losing? [Understanding Popular Culture, Part 3]

One thing that will invariably come up when discussing popular culture, especially where advertising is concerned, is that it’s stupid to talk about it because that’s what advertisers want. Take, for instance, the Burger King commercial that was talked about … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture, Series, Related, Understanding Popular Culture | 7 Comments

Debunking the Myth of Frivolity [Understanding Popular Culture, Part 2]

“It’s just a(n) [insert medium here]!” “It doesn’t restrict what I do or say, so lay off!” “Why don’t you focus on a real problem like [enter “real” topic here].” The list could go on. They’re all different takes on the same idea – popular culture just isn’t important enough to study or critique. That’s all I seem to hear from anyone who doesn’t have the same interest in looking at pop-culture and its intersections that I do. So often, in fact, that I’m beginning to think that most people find the critique of whatever medium is being discussed is so heinous that the mere discussion of it must be stopped immediately or they think they’ll spontaneously combust.

In my introduction, I addressed the general concern of frivolity; namely I said that it wasn’t, indeed, a frivolous topic, but rather one that has immediate relevancy in our lives. In this installment, I would like to examine and debunk the common myths that make up the claim of popular culture being less important a field than traditional ones. Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture, Understanding Popular Culture | 21 Comments

Introduction [Understanding Popular Culture, Part 1]

I originally wrote on this issue for the now defunct articles, but instead of simply reposting it like I did with the other articles I wrote, I thought it deserved a full out rewrite. Predictably, in my revising and expanding efforts, it grew longer than any sane post should be. So, please enjoy the first part of my open series on popular culture.

Popular culture is a pet topic of mine, especially when it comes to how it influences the way that we interact with the world. We are all immersed in it – from advertising that becomes more invasive as the years go by to whatever hobbies we choose to get into. Yet, despite how widespread the phenomenon is, most people are convinced that these things have absolutely no impact on our lives. To the extent that the study of popular culture – whether in a formalized academic setting, or just people examining their own hobbies – is seen as “frivolous”. It is my belief that labels like those stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of popular culture and how it works. In this series, I would like to explore all the facets of pop-culture in an effort to promote better understanding of what it is and why it’s valuable. Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture, Studies, Understanding Popular Culture | 6 Comments

Hate Speech on Campus: Abortion Compared to Genocide

The Center for Biological Reform was invited to my school on Tuesday and Wednesday by Western for Life, my university’s anti-choice club. They put up a display comparing abortion to genocide in the center-most public area of campus. There were … Continue reading

Posted in Gender issues, Hate Speech on Campus, Religion, Reproductive Rights, The Evil -ism's | 2 Comments

Gaming While Female [Gaming Communities, Part 3]

I know this installment was supposed to be about the greater “boy’s club” of gaming, but getting a new gaming group here has brought some more personal issues to the forefront. In particular, being “one of the boys” (but not really). You see, I can never be “one of the boys” because, well, I’m not a boy. Or a male. Or so much male identified, although I tend to fit more into “masculine” gender roles than “feminine” ones. I am female, and that’s enough to set me apart because my main gaming group consists of two men.

I know of two women here who like games, but I haven’t had a chance to have them over to play yet (one of them was supposed to come Saturday, but apparently her previous engagement went long, so she didn’t make it). It also doesn’t help that the guys I game with live in my building, whereas the women I want to game with don’t. For reasons that I want to explore, it seems harder for me to form primary gaming communities with women. I could brush it off here as random obstacles — physical distance, language barriers (the men are American, the women are Taiwanese), etc — but, I think it goes deeper than that.

Do the sexes game differently? Is my inability to game “like a woman” what keeps me out of primarily female gaming environments? Is that fundamental difference why I often feel like an interloper in my gaming communities? I don’t know, really, but I want to find out. Continue reading

Posted in Gaming Communities, Gender issues, Personal, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics | 4 Comments

"Girl" Gamers Not Welcome [Gaming Communities, Part 2]

I have been a gamer almost all of my life. I was 4, maybe 5, when a cousin who was staying with us introduced me to Dragon Warrior. I could barely get my character around the world, but I was in love. I played with my mom, I played with my best friend, I got calls from the elder brother of a family friend when he and his friends were stuck in games like Zelda. When I was old enough, I started playing them by myself. I bonded with many of my friends over my Nintendo, or Genesis, and later my SNES.

It wasn’t until high school, though, that I realized I wasn’t quite welcome in the greater gaming community. I would be at a party held by my male gamer friends and they would all gather around the N64 and play Goldeneye or Mario Party and I wouldn’t be welcome. It’s not like they said, “No, Andrea, you can’t play this,” but if I tried, they’d do little things like forget my turn, or gang up on me first, etc. I don’t think they meant to do it, but they still did. So I started just playing games alone. If I got to the parties early enough, I could hog the big TV and play Space Channel Five or whatever, but if not then I was stuck in another room playing whatever PSX game was available. Unless people were in there trying to play Marvel vs. Capcom or Street Fighter or something. Then I just sat around and watched. Which suited everyone just fine. Everyone, except me. Fighting and shooting games are probably the most shitass boring things to watch. Continue reading

Posted in Gaming Communities, Gender Caste, Personal, Series, The Evil -ism's, Video Games | 3 Comments