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Today we present a wonderful Wonder Woman post from Diana super-fan chaila.


I will state my biases up front and acknowledge that as a veteran of being a fan of Wonder Woman on the internet, I was pretty determined to like Wonder Woman from the moment it was announced. I am thrilled and relieved that it has not only exceeded my expectations, but also has apparently escaped the crushing weight of being the first female-led superhero movie and become a critical and commercial success. Diana has a movie!



Many reviews have already covered a lot of what I loved about the movie: Gal Gadot’s performance, the refreshing neutrality of the gaze, the Amazons, the fight scenes, the Amazons in the fight scenes, General Antiope, and the simple narrative power of centering a woman in a story like this. Other reviews have pointed out its obvious failings, particularly the lack of significant roles--or even names--for any women of color, and the treatment of disability.

What I want to talk about is Diana.

What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you’d think. )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Today we're excited to welcome [tumblr.com profile] justira to Lady Business to talk about Agent Carter! Ira is a kickass illustrator, writer, and web developer who gained their powers by consuming the bones of their enemies. They make art, comics, and writing when they are not distracted by way too many video games. You can find more of Ira's work at their tumblr.


So (this season of) Agent Carter is over and one of the most interesting bits of noise to emerge from the finale — besides, of course, the speculation over renewal and, less positively, continued criticism of the show's lack of racial diversity — is the furor over a possibly bisexual Howard Stark. But why are we (again) so excited about a white dude and his feels on a show that is, for once, explicitly about a woman? Well, let's take a look, because we're going to cover Peggy/Angie, Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson, love interest roles, Captain America: The First Avenger retcons, and sites of transgression — but most of all, we're going to talk about how much heteronormativity blows. Spoilers for Agent Carter and both Captain America movies below!

Peggy and Howard face off.

Read more... )
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Today, all round media devotee Clare explains how she got hooked on Harley Quinn and why you should too.





Harley Quinn got me into comics.

Like every geek in the late nineties and early aughts, I had consumed a metric ton of anime and manga (Yu-Gi-Oh!, anyone?), but, unlike every geek in the late nineties and early aughts, my only experience with Western comics was with my brother’s lovingly curated Asterix collection. A collection which I had vandalized as a small child and was thus banned from touching. After my brother went off to college and my father and I began raiding his possessions, I finally came across his Big Two books: Marvels, Kingdom Come, and, most importantly, Les Daniels’ Marvel.

Daniels’ extremely biased account of the rise of Marvel gave me a quiet hankering for good old-fashioned superhero comics, although my fond childhood memories of Batman: The Animated Series and The Adventures of Lois and Clark steered me towards DC. I investigated the 1998-2003 Young Justice and liked what I saw (namely, nineties Superboy, who is my forever Superboy), but I could never quite get into it. Casting around for something else, I stumbled across the 2001 to 2003 Harley Quinn and devoured it in one of my teenage self-soothing media binges.

So when the first issue of The Unwritten finally lured me into a comic book store in 2009 (it was a dollar!), it made perfect sense to supplement that purchase with Gotham City Sirens, which started around the same time. I still give people that advice when they want to break into comics: find a character you like and just focus on them for a while to get your feet wet. Those two comics were the first in my now small but sizable comic collection, and Gotham City Sirens was the first comic I ever owned in its entirety in single issues. They’re special to me.

But reading Gotham City Sirens made me realize how lucky I was to start reading Harley Quinn comics with, well, Harley Quinn.

Read more... )
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Vidder extraordinaire, [personal profile] beccatoria covers why, when and what to care about when it comes to comics (and then sets you free to make your own judgements). Lady Business accepts no responsibility if her recs cause you to lose your money and your heart in a comic book shop.





So to begin, the title is a lie. At the very least it is misleading. I hope very much that this will work as a guide, but not as a one-size-fits-all feminist negotiation of comic books. I hope this will help you create your own guidelines — I hope it will help you decide on the angles of your own approach.

If I had only one thing I could say to you it would be to set your boundaries and to guard them fiercely, but to make sure you are setting your boundaries.

With that in mind, there are really three things I think we need to cover:
  1. Why should I care?
  2. When should I care?
  3. What should I care about?
Read more... )
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Get in our invisible plane, losers - it's time for a Lady Business theme week.

Over the next seven days, we'll be presenting a host of posts about Super Women & Comics from a team of smart, persuasive readers and comics enthusiasts. And what better way to kick off the week than with words from Wonder Woman superfan, chaila?

chaila has previously written posts about awesome action stars Sarah Connor and Mako Mori for Lady Business. Now she's back to convince you that Diana of Themyscira is essential to your life. You can try to resist her but, frankly, I don't like your chances.

Wonder Woman might be the most famous superhero that people know the least about. Before I started reading Wonder Woman comics just over a year ago, I thought I knew enough to know I wasn’t interested. I knew something about an island of women, and something about bracelets that stop bullets. She seemed to be associated with a kind of “empowerment” feminism that didn’t seem very complex. I wondered why she couldn't wear pants. Mostly, I knew her as a vintage pin-up: a face on a t-shirt, symbol of superficial girl power, mostly devoid of content or context, who perhaps had been relevant thirty years ago and but didn’t really seem so today.

Oh how much I was missing!

Wonder Woman blocking arrows with her bracelets

tl;dr Diana is amazing )
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Today we're beyond excited to welcome Kameron Hurley, author of The Bel Dame Apocraphya series, to Lady Business. This is not a drill!

Kameron's non-fiction work about writing, gender and SFF has won her hearts, minds, and two Hugo awards this year. She is a fire-breathing feminist, a writerly icon, and creator of one of the toughest ladies in fiction. It's a blogging highlight for us to be hosting her words.





Someone once asked me why "alpha males" were so popular in so much romantic speculative fiction, and I hesitated to answer it. Not because I didn't know, but because I knew I was going to have to have a discussion about teasing out the difference between finding pleasure in something you genuinely find pleasurable and taking pleasure in something you think you're supposed to find pleasurable. This is a tough question for anyone who's taken it up — do you truly delight in displaying certain types of behavior, or receiving certain behaviors from others, or are you just taught you're supposed to like it, so convince yourself it's great? Read more... )
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A lady after our own data-loving hearts, KJ, awesome librarian and feminist mentor extraordinaire agreed to share with us some data related to gender and categorization within the NPR's Young Adult list from 2012. You can read more of KJ's writing at [personal profile] owlmoose or [tumblr.com profile] lifeofkj.





I have long been interested in the issue of representation of female authors on best-of lists and in different genres of writing, particularly sci-fi/fantasy. There were two such SF/F lists that caught my attention during the summer of 2011, both based on reader polls, one run by Tor Books and the other by NPR. There were some notable differences between how these polls were run, which lead to some interesting contrasts between their final lists, but both suffered a lack of female representation. Tor's list (2 of the top 10, 24% of the top 50) was a bit better than NPRs (none in the top 10, 15% of the top 100). There are a number of possible reasons for this, but I would look to two in particular: Tor's poll was limited specifically to books published in the most recent decade, 2000 through 2010, while the NPR list was all-time; and the Tor list was a reader free-for-all, while the NPR list was curated, 200-some nominees culled from reader submissions with some strict rules about what genres were to be included. And though I hesitate to ascribe any intent to the NPR editors' choices, their genre exclusions — horror, paranormal romance, and YA — are areas in which female authors tend to be better represented than in other areas of SF/F, particularly the latter two. Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, J.K. Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer come immediately to mind, but the list hardly stops there. I was not the only person to side-eye this decision in terms of how many popular female authors this choice would leave out — NPR's own Monkey See blog even mentioned it as a reason that fewer women were represented — but at the time, the NPR poll editors promised that they would do a YA poll in the summer of 2012. So I was curious to see what would happen with that poll. Read more... )

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