April 13, 2014

alivechihiro:

things about capitalism people take for granted:

if you don’t prove your worth (and not to society at large, but specifically to the people who already have the money), you’ll literally fucking die. this is considered totally normal and not at all evidence that the system is evil

(via hugyoutwo)

April 11, 2014

nicoleanell:

Bear McCreary documentary gifs: Part 11/?

(via datagoddess)

April 11, 2014
VIDA releases report on gender representation in children’s literature

feministdisney:

(can I just say that this is all the proof you need that pie graphs are not an incredibly useful tool for perceiving information?? lol)

VIDA, the organization that brings us piechartsshowingthe gender gap in literary bylines, recently released an assessment of gender representation in children’s literature.

The prevailing opinion held by many is that the realm of children’s literature favors women writers and illustrators. But VIDA’s Children’s Literature Count revealed that while men make up a relatively small portion of the industry, they are actually well-represented among award winners and list mentions. 

Children’s literature also has a representation problem when it comes to its characters. A 2013 study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin revealed that out of 3,200 children’s books published last year, only 93 were about black people. And the study wasn’t representative of an off year. This infographic demonstrates the diversity gap in children’s books over an 18 year period.

handy info?

April 11, 2014
thefutureisbroken:

mamasam:

patronustrip:

iamdugsmaster:

Dale & Mini Elsa by nickalodieon on Flickr 

are they plotting some murder?

Hi, I’m Dale and I like warm blood!

Do you wanna kill a real man?

thefutureisbroken:

mamasam:

patronustrip:

iamdugsmaster:

Dale & Mini Elsa by nickalodieon on Flickr 

are they plotting some murder?

Hi, I’m Dale and I like warm blood!

Do you wanna kill a real man?

(via datagoddess)

April 11, 2014

the-treble:

I figured most of my Facebook friends would miss out on some of Martin Luther King, Jr’s quotes that are less palatable for complacent America. So I made some aggressive and hard-to-ignore photos to bomb their feed with for today.

(via fandomsandfeminism)

April 7, 2014
bigplanetcomics:

51pegasi-b:

By Maris Wicks. (x) (artist’s Tumblr) (artist’s Blog)

Adorbs.

If he’d just start wearing super-stretchy yoga pants, all his problems would be solved.

bigplanetcomics:

51pegasi-b:

By Maris Wicks. (x) (artist’s Tumblr) (artist’s Blog)

Adorbs.

If he’d just start wearing super-stretchy yoga pants, all his problems would be solved.

(Source: chaosconqueso, via datagoddess)

April 7, 2014

hairofgoldeyesofblue:

OMG.

(Source: idolizingidina, via datagoddess)

April 7, 2014

hollylderr:

Nate Silver shows that films that pass the Bechdel test make more money domestically than those that don’t and sell just as well overseas as movies with no women. They do, however, get smaller budgets, and no more Bechdel-passing films are being made today than 20 years ago.

(Source: fivethirtyeight.com)

April 7, 2014
The Bechdel Test (and others not unlike it): A Masterpost

characterandwritinghelp:

(Inspired by jennirl's post on the topic.)

We are ALL ABOUT representation in media. (At least, we all should be. After all, you can’t be what you can’t see.) So, let’s chat about how women are a full half the population of the earth, and yet there are pieces of media set in settings where having two women is pushing the population cap. Why not discuss the portrayal of people of color? How about GSRMs (Gender/Sexual/Romantic Minorities)? I would love to be set straight on this point, but screenwriters being taught that white, straight male leads are the way to go seems detrimental to the cause to me. How many countless people get inspired by films? Of these people, how many cannot find one who looks like them?

Bear in mind that just passing these tests does not make your story perfect; they are meant to help you see what your trends are in how you as a creator portray women, people of color, and GSRMs. 

Hopefully, someone will find this helpful. Here is a handy guide to representational critiques of narrative, in handy bullet-point/quiz format.

  • TESTS ABOUT FEMALE CHARACTERS

The Bechdel Test.

Does your story have:

  • More than one (NAMED) woman
  • Who talk to each other
  • About something other than a man?
  • (JennIRL’s amendment) Who are alive at the end of the story?

This is a pretty standard one that I feel pretty certain everyone has at least heard of. Sweden recently started grading movies based on this test! Bechdel is a pretty good shorthand for whether women are being represented in your story, and whether they are being represented as people rather than props.

I like Jenn’s addendum, as well! It helps root out the practice of shoving women in the fridge or treating them as expendable characters. 

Bear in mind: Just because a story fails Bechdel does not automatically make it anti-feminist. Twilight passes Bechdel but is STRONGLY problematic in the way it portrays the main character’s relationship. Bechdel is not an all-encompassing test, and it is easy to dismiss media that cannot pass it because there are A LOT of stories that do not pass it. Fortunately, Bechdel is not the only test out there.

The Sexy Lamp Test. Kelly Sue Deconnick came up with this one, noting that “[women] have to be protagonists, not devices.”

  • If you replace your female character with a sexy lamp, does the story still work?

The Sexy Lamp test helps you see if your women are relevant to your plot. This test not only asks you if women are represented, but if they are there to do something. The Sexy Lamp test has a slight variant in Sexy Lamp with a Post-It Stuck On. This variant covers female characters who serve as an information source for other characters (and nothing more). Its s meant to make sure that your female characters have something more to do than act as a (sexy) vehicle for information.

In a few ways, I like Sexy Lamp better than Bechdel as a shorthand test (but Bechdel is not a bad test); a good example might be the The Avengers film, which fails Bechdel. Natasha Romanov and Maria Hill never talk to each other in the movie, but if you replace them with lamps, Fury would probably be dead because Lamp-Maria can’t put a bullet in his attacker’s head, and Clint would probably still be working for Loki since Lamp-Tasha can’t break him out of it. Not to mention Lamp-Tasha wouldn’t be very good at jamming a scepter in the Tesseract at the end of the movie. In this way, Avengers passes Sexy Lamp with a Post-It, but still fails Bechdel.

The Ellen Willis Test.

  • If you flip the genders, does your story make sense?

The Willis Test is originally designed for sexist lyrics, but I think it can still hold water for longer narratives as a way to root out male bias and gender-specific stereotypes. This one can come with a lot of caveats regarding plot (like switching a single father to a single mother, coming-of-age stories swapping from teen girl to teen boy), but if you are looking for something to test the balance of male and female and whether or not you’re treating your female characters fairly, this might be your go-to. For example, Harriet Potter could work as The Girl Who Lived and suffer many of the same troubles and character developments that Harry does without too much suspension of disbelief, but I’m willing to bet money that not many people would be into Twidark, the story of Ben Swan whose romantic choice between stalkerish vampiress Edwina Cullen and superbuff werewolf Jacobina Black drives the plot.

The Mako Mori Test. (I really, really love this test.)

Does your story have:

  • At least one female character
  • Who gets her own narrative arc
  • That is not about supporting a man’s story?

This test comes to us from Pacific Rim’s Mako Mori. (If you have not seen Pacific Rim, please do so as soon as possible. Please. For me.) This test is a good indicator of how well women are being represented in your story, as well as how capable said women are of commanding their own storyline without being defined by male characters. This definitely should not REPLACE women interacting with each other (female friendships are sorely lacking in many forms of media and is one thing I personally want to see more of), but nothing is going to be the be-all-end-all, your-story-is-totally-perfect litmus test. Rather, I think it is important to at least examine how you treat women.

The Tauriel Test. This one comes from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’s character, the elf Tauriel.

Does your story have:

  • At least one woman
  • Who is good at her job?
  • (An addendum) If she has a love interest, explicit or implied, does she drop everything (namely her job) to pursue said interest? If yes, bad.

This is one I have only come across on Tumblr in passing, but I love the idea of it and have added a third point for extra credit. (I believe that) Tauriel’s story arc in DoS is incredibly important in a story entirely dominated by a company of men. She has been pretty heavily criticized for being at the center of the “love triangle” with Legolas and Kili, but the beautiful thing about that love triangle is that Tauriel herself doesn’t see it as a love triangle. She has no interest in Legolas, and while she is (at least to some degree) interested in Kili, her motivation for going out against Thranduil’s orders is not “maybe I can get closer to that hot dwarf,” but “this is dangerous to my home and I have to protect the elves in my care.” (In other words, “I have a job to do and damn it I am going to do it.”) Points 1 and 2 give you a successful female. Point 3 helps ensure your successful female remains that way.

The Finkbeiner TestThis test is originally designed as a “reverse” checklist (by which I mean you want LESS points, not MORE) for articles written about female scientists, but I think it’s worth an honorable mention at least.

Does your article contain:

  • The fact that she’s a woman?
  • Her husband’s job?
  • Her childcare arrangements?
  • How she ‘nurtures’ her underlings?
  • How she was taken aback by the competition in her field?
  • How she’s such a role model for other women?
  • How she’s “the first woman” to do [x], accomplish [y], etc.?

I really like the concept of the Finkbeiner Test, since it asks the question of whether or not the article’s subject’s gender as her most defining aspect. Basically, this tests asks whether you are flaunting the fact that she is a woman above her accomplishments. Sure, Dr. McScience is a groundbreaking contributor to her field and that’s cool and all, but did you know that she’s a LADY?¿?¿?

  • TESTS ABOUT RACE

The Racial Bechdel Test. Pretty much a straight conversion of Bechdel from females to characters of color.

Does your story have…

  • At least two characters of color
  • Who talk to each other
  • About something other than a white person?

Like the “vanilla” Bechdel test, this one is not without its flaws. While Hunger Games doesn’t pass Racial Bechdel, Hunger Games speaks VOLUMES about race relations. District Eleven, the agricultural district, is comprised mostly of black people to allude back to slavery. While Thresh and Rue are integral to the story, Hunger Games is told from Katniss’s point of view, and Katniss almost never sees them together.

Harris’s Test. This one comes to us from Tami Winfrey Harris over at Clutch Magazine.

Does your story have…

  • One or more named people of color
  • Who talk to each other
  • Who don’t act in a service capacity (no magical brown people!)
  • And who are reflective of their culture and history, but don’t communicate it through stereotyped actions (such as an accent)?

This is a bit better version of Racial Bechdel since it makes a point of outlawing Magical Negro characters, which is definitely a problematic portrayal of people of color. Another good point is the disallowance of stereotypical actions. While having a Chinese character who owns a laundromat and speaks in heavily accented Engrish may technically count as representation, it’s not a positive or healthy representation and feeds into negative Asian stereotypes.

Making sure characters of color aren’t portrayed in a service capacity is also really important, since that feeds into the subconscious idea that white people are superior to non-whites. This isn’t to say that you can’t have any person of color in any service position EVER, but more to draw attention to where you might be doing it unnecessarily or too often.

The Deggans Rule.

Does your story have…

  • Two non-white human characters in the cast
  • In a story that is not about race?

This test strikes me as being in a similar vein as the argument that “GSRM characters don’t appear outside of stories about their sexuality/gender identity/similar,” and I think this test can easily be altered to test that as well. On that note…

  • TESTS ABOUT GSRMS

The Deggans Rule, v2.0

Does your story have…

  • Two GSRM characters in the cast
  • In a story that is not about sexuality/gender identity/similar?

Stories containing [ANY minority] do not always have to be about said minority. Characters can be of color, GSRM, whatever, and not have it define their development or character/narrative arcs. Minority characters of all designations need and deserve representation in stories outside of “niche” stories about gender or sexuality or race.

The Gay Bechdel Test.

Does your story have:

  • Two gay characters
  • Who interact in some way
  • Who do not offer sassy advice to the protagonist
  • And who are not dead by the end credits?

This test comes from the old Bury Your Gays trope, coupled with a lack of positive GSRM representation in media. While this one is geared a little more towards the stereotypical portrayal of gay male characters (like the Sassy Gay Friend/Camp Gay), this could easily work for any story with GSRM characters.

Going back TEN YEARS in Oscar history reveals very few Best Picture noms with gay protagonists who pass this test: Milk came close, but Harvey Milk dies at the end. That said, Milk features multiple gay characters doing important things like fighting for equal rights, rather than giving gal-pals dating advice and dying before the end credits. Brokeback Mountain ends with one of the two gay protagonists dead. The Hours sees the only gay male character kill himself before AIDS kills him. Capote and Little Miss Sunshine both feature gay male protagonists, but are rarely given the opportunity to interact with other gay people.

There is plenty of room for improvement here. Surely there’s a healthy way to portray gay people.

The Roberts Test. This one comes from Monica Roberts at TransGriot.

Does your story have…

  • At least two named trans* people (of color)
  • Who talk to each other
  • Who aren’t shown putting on makeup
  • Who aren’t killed off in the first five minutes of the show
  • Who aren’t the butt of a demeaning joke
  • Who aren’t sex workers or drag queens/kings
  • Who are accurately portraying the complexity of trans* lives and reflective of their culture and history
  • And who don’t communicate that through stereotyped or exaggerated actions such as speaking in drag queen English?

This test was originally designed to test portrayal of trans* characters of color, and that’s certainly something that we need more of. This test can also be used to test how you portray trans* characters in general without immediately excluding them for being white. As with anything involving representation, it would behoove you to do your research on what the trans* community is like, what trans* culture means for your character, and how to healthily portray a trans* character. Using drag queens as a gimmick or for shock value is likely detrimental to any portrayal.

(If you know of any similar shorthand litmus tests for similar use that I have not included, please let me know and I will add it to this list. Got any in mind?)

-Headless

April 7, 2014
the Bechdel test, the Ellen Willis test, ALL THE TESTS: or, a handy guide to feminist critiques of narrative

jennirl:

(reference for when i am trying to explain these to people and they are looking at me like “huh”):

  • the Bechdel test: does the story have a) more than one women, b) who talk to each other, c) about something other than a man.
  • the Ellen Willis test: if you flip the genders, does the story still make sense?
  • the Sexy Lamp test (courtesy of Kelly Sue DeConnick): can you replace your female character with a sexy lamp and still have the story work? if yes, YOU ARE A HACK.
  • the Mako Mori test: there is a) at least one female character, b) who gets her own narrative arc, c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.
  • the Tauriel test (which i made up in response to The Hobbit 2 [which passes] and Skyfall [which fails]): a) there is a woman, b) WHO IS GOOD AT HER JOB.

and in justification of my recent TV obsessions, i would like to note that Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Buffy, and Nikita (ALL HAIL MAGGIE Q) pass all of these tests with flying colors.

UPDATE: i just discovered the Finkbeiner test and it is FANTASTIC.

FURTHER UPDATE: these were noted by oranges8hands and are EXCELLENT and add some much-needed intersectionality:

The Deggans Rule: a) At least two POC characters in the main cast, b) in a show that’s not about race.

The Racial Bechdel Test (I first saw it laid out by Alaya Dawn Johnson): a) it has two POC in it, b) who talk to each other, c) about something other than a white person

and then I offered an amendment to the Bechdel test: d) both women have to be alive at the end

April 7, 2014

brainstatic:

I’m sorry, but if you’re reading in a paper book, you’re not really reading. You’ll never feel the click of the buttons, you’ll never see the movement of the progress bar, you’ll never know that satisfying blink as you slide the e-reader on and off. It’s not reading without that.

(via spider-xan)

April 7, 2014
http://chaila.tumblr.com/post/58379322134/spider-xan-also-i-was-thinking-more-about-why

spider-xan:

Also, I was thinking more about why white women saying they’re boycotting ‘Pacific Rim’ and urge others to do so because it doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test and is therefore Terrible for Women and Feminism bothers me so much even though that’s their right to do so and I wouldn’t…

April 4, 2014

popculturebrain:

Leading Men Age, Leading Women Don’t | Vulture

There are more charts if you click through.

After looking at all the other charts, it’s weird how likable Tom Hanks seems, because he consistently works with actresses who are “only” 9 or 10 years younger than him. But relative to the castings other male stars get, that seems almost feminist. Yeesh.

(via kellysue)

April 4, 2014
I can just make up outfits on the fly, rather than stopping drawing pages to design an outfit, but the resulting clothing tends to be extremely repetitive and bland. Much better to try and think the outfit through, and wind up with something that doesn’t look exactly like all the other outfits I’ve drawn Fruma in. (Although it’s clear that Fruma likes horizontal stripes, since I think this is the third or fourth time I’ve used horizontal strips in one of her outfits.) I haven’t shown Fruma wearing boots before, but this story takes place in the autumn, so I think boots make sense.
I like this outfit; it seems to occupy the sweet spot partway between frumpy and pirate.

I can just make up outfits on the fly, rather than stopping drawing pages to design an outfit, but the resulting clothing tends to be extremely repetitive and bland. Much better to try and think the outfit through, and wind up with something that doesn’t look exactly like all the other outfits I’ve drawn Fruma in. (Although it’s clear that Fruma likes horizontal stripes, since I think this is the third or fourth time I’ve used horizontal strips in one of her outfits.) I haven’t shown Fruma wearing boots before, but this story takes place in the autumn, so I think boots make sense.

I like this outfit; it seems to occupy the sweet spot partway between frumpy and pirate.

April 3, 2014
"HEALTH TIP: when you’re about to sneeze be courteous and cover your mouth with the nearest anti-vaccination activist."

Clayton Cubitt (claytoncubitt) on Twitter (via theladygoogle)

I admit it. I laughed too.

(via dytabytes)

(via datagoddess)

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