Filed under TV and Film

Many Links for a Friday


Static Shock: Blackout (Short Film)

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

Banned from Kickstarter for being a Stalking Victim — Wow, Kickstarter. Good. Fucking. Game.

Internet Entrepreneurship is Getting Arab Women into the Business World

‘Sandwich Makers’ Finally Described as ‘Female’ in Facebook’s Leet Speak Option — “In the interest of hearing all sides of the situation—it’s only fair—I fired off an e-mail to our contacts at Facebook PR asking for comment on the “54ndw1ch m4k3r” description. Not long after the e-mail was sent, I checked the settings again and “54ndw1ch m4k3r” had quietly been changed to “Female” under the Leet Speak option. But why did Facebook wait until now to do so?”

Hackerspace for Moms in Berkeley — Holy cow, this is so cool.


Female Science Fiction Author Reading List

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story — I may have linked this before and I’m likely to someday link it again, but every time this comes back on my radar, I just want to share its awesomeness.

Amy Boggs on Diversity in Books and Why She Wants to See More


Before you ask, I’m not linking to the stupid Oatmeal bullshit because no.

The Type of Women I Want to See at PAX — A personal essay on being trans at a gaming convention.

Colonialism and Games — A game specifically designed to bring up discussion about colonialism.

Ten Year Old Makes Audio-Only Game for his Blind Grandmother — HANG ON I HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYE


Tosh.O Suggests Dudes Should Grope Women For Laughs — So can we arrest him yet? I discovered that making mediocre television isn’t a crime (unfortunately), but surely this must be?


How to Spot a Male Fauxminist — Male Fauxminist, better known as The Nice Guy

Why the ‘Girl’ Matters: Yet Another Post About Geek Girls and Gamer Girls — While I don’t agree with using the word “girl” to self-describe, I respect opinions and think that, of the opinions that disagree with mine, this is well-stated.

Hot Girl + Nerd Culture = Poser

Hey Everyone: Stop Taking This Picture. No, I Mean It — The tits/ass/glance over the shoulder shot. You know the one.

Fan Artists, Stop All Your Whitewashing. You Are Making The Rest of Us Look Bad

The Legend of Korra premiered Saturday and naturally the fans are all abuzz with fan art and other ways to celebrate the show. A recent Tumblr blog by Where’s The Beef? did a great job talking about a problem that is prevalent in the fanbase, and other fandoms that have characters of color: whitewashing.

Whitewashing — or racebending as it’s referred to in the Avatar fandom — is taking characters who are non-white, and making them lighter-skinned or just flat-out Caucasian. This was seen in the movie version of Avatar: The Last Airbender with a predominantly white cast playing Asian characters.

When you get your own slang term for whitewashing because of a terrible movie but it sticks around for fan art, you’re being a bad fandom. There are people out there who consider themselves huge fans and dedicate their time and energy in artwork, only to think (whether knowingly or not) “This character is just too dark-skinned for my tastes, better lighten them up”. This is a problem and it helps explain why we got a casting call looking for white actors for Asian characters.

As WTB brings up the importance of role models and the effect such figures have on everyone, especially children in regards to self-worth. He talks about how there are people out there who already hate the color of their own skin, how they don’t feel good enough when compared to white or lighter-skinned people. How it’s important that the media positively portrays more characters of color, so children have one less system against them in regards to their skin. Whitewashing a character reinforces this and it should make everyone furious.

WTB mentions how it could very well be that the artists of such whitewashed fan art don’t even realize how racist their actions are, but he makes it clear: unintentional racism is still racism. He goes on to explain the reciprocated feelings between society and the media:

And that’s the problem here: unconscious racism IS STILL RACISM. What lesson do you think Hollywood is taking away from this whole debacle? The sad truth of the matter is that the reason so many racial stereotypes exist in Hollywood is that part of appealing to a wide audience means appealing to their prejudices, whether those prejudices are conscious or not. They’ve learned that if they don’t cater to all our preconceived notions, their movies won’t make money.

He’s right, and I can’t say it any better than he already did, so go read what he said. Pass it around, reblog it, post it where you can. His message is right and it should be widely known.

Many Links for a Friday


Whitewashing, Racebending, and Why “We’re All Human” is Bullshit — I am putting this first for a reason. READ IT.

John Carter is from Mars, and Women are Nowhere in Sight — So apparently the female character in John Carter… does stuff? Is active? You wouldn’t know she even existed going by the trailers. Marketing fail.

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

Cookie of the Week: Chad Whitacre — Came up with a name for something that was dumb; got called out on dumbness; apologised and changed the name. Win.

Female Students Wary of Engineering Workplace — “Women who have internships or jobs find they are too often relegated to ‘female’ roles of note-taker, organizer or manager…” and “a fair amount of the older men in my working environment treat me like I know nothing and I’m only working there because my dad works there.”

Etsy Hacker Grants: Supporting Women in Technology — in conjunction with Hacker School, Etsy is announcing a new scholarship and sponsorship program for women in technology

Visualizing What it Takes to be a Woman in the Tech Industry: An Infographic

Internet Entrepreneurship is getting Arab Women into the Business World — “Adbullah Alghadouni is CEO of the, a Saudi-Arabian site aimed at helping women find jobs in a nation where they are not legally allowed to drive.”

In a letter from a little girl to Albert Einstein:

I forgot to tell you, in my last letter, that I was a girl. I mean I am a girl. I have always regretted this a great deal, but by now I have become more or less resigned to the fact.

Anyway, I hate dresses and dances and all the kind of rot girls usually like. I much prefer horses and riding. Long ago, before I wanted to become a scientist, I wanted to be a jockey and ride horses in races. But that was ages ago, now. I hope you will not think any the less of me for being a girl!

And Einstein responded:

I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind. There is no reason for it.



Women at Gaming Events — A positive note on women at gaming events: Seems there are more! And not just women, but families! Kind of awesome.

Titular Characters and Gendered Titles — “… when I hear the term ‘Lady Captain’, I hear an unnecessary gendering of my character whose gender was never in question anyway.”

MTG Tournament Participants Not Immune to Sexism — Excuse me while I recover from the shock.

Network of Video Game Creators Tries to Equal the Playing Field — “They just assume the woman at one of these events isn’t a game developer in her own right but just there as somebody’s girlfriend… We need to get reality to catch up.”

Bastion and Men as Automatic Protagonists — Why all the characters with stories and motivations gots to be mens, and the one lady character is just a prop? Spoilers for Bastion within.


Sharing my Own Privileged Dumbassery — I feel like it’s been a little while since we’ve talked about how awesome Jim Hines is. Let’s talk about that! He’s awesome!

The Problem is Not the Books — Oldie but a goodie. When people cry about how there are no books for boys to read, maybe let us ask ourselves why we think boys can’t read books about girls (but girls can read books about boys).

Cover Trends and the Female Body — “In thinking about these covers and thinking a lot more about the notion of gendering books, I’ve really found myself finding fault with a lot of ya covers. More specifically, the ones marketed to teen girls.”

The BSFA Awards — So, that happened, and Meaney happened, and it’s worth reading and chasing the links, just to know. It’s also a happy-making to know that apparently many people simply walked out of the award ceremony in protest. That pleases me.


Newcastle Ad: Brewer’s Hands — So, I think what they wanted to say, if I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here, is that they don’t need to use scantily clad women to sell their beer? Maybe? Eh, who am I kidding, they’re sexist assholes too. Great going, beer!

The New Aesthetics of the Male Gaze — An interesting take on New Aesthetic, surveillance, and male gaze.

ok lets see if that thing with glasses chicks suddenly becoming super weird feminine when they whip off their glasses works — hilarity ensues

Why Rape Jokes Are Never Okay — They’re just not, mkay?

Many Links for a Tuesday

Emptying the link coffers. This is just part of it, I don’t want to drown you in links.


Is Game of Thrones Too White? — by Saladin Ahmed

Step Into My Film School: The Importane of Casting In Breaking Open Movie Stereotypes — This is what internalized –isms looks like.

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

NASA Girls, New Mentoring Program — Eligible girls in grades 5-8 can apply to be selected in this program where they will be mentored one-on-one by a woman working at NASA.

Abandoned by Facebook and Foursquare; Creepy, Stalker-Enabling App “Girls Around Me” is Pulled by Developer — This is just gross and I’m so glad it was pulled. I can’t believe it was ever approved in the first place.


There’s No Such Thing as a Good Stereotype — Discussing why stereotypes of positive qualities are still a bad thing.

We’re All the Same Deep Down — Why this statement of how we’re “all the same, really” kind of misses the point.

Evil Straight White Dude — Why opening your comments with “I’m just a straight white guy so you’ll probably ignore what I have to say” is really really stupid.


Mists of Panderia: First Impressions and Nitpicks — World of Warcraft’s new expansion and — surprise!! — sexism.

The Unsung Female Game Designers of Japan — My favorite part? There’s only pictures of the games they made!


Grammar Tip: Woman vs Female — Apparently it’s hard for some people to know when to use “woman” and when to use “female.” Spoilers: one is a noun, one is an adjective.

Misogyny Isn’t Caused by Male Horniness — There was this Cracked article recently about how men are trained to hate women, which kind of missed the mark for me, and thankfully there’s a writeup as to why.

Legend of Korra Premieres Early Online (Legally) and It Is The Greatest Thing

SPOILER ALERT: This whole post is filled with spoilers on The Legend of Korra, so if you don’t want anything ruined you best go on and get.

This past weekend the people at Korra Nation gave us the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra television series (which are sadly now gone since they were only up for the weekend only). This is the follow-up series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, a brilliant show on Nickelodeon for both kids and adults. Well I watched Korra and well…

Oh my god, this was such a good way to bring us in. The show had us get Korra’s personality the moment we saw her burst through a wall bending Earth, Water, and Fire saying “I’m the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!” You know this is a young woman who does not take crap from anybody.

Korra is a strong, stubborn, powerful person and she knows it. She is a 17-year-old who wants to experience the world but has so many responsibilities she feels tied down. She knows she has power but also is terrible at the spiritual aspects of her role in the world. She fights with her teacher but will go out and protect shopkeepers. Korra questions and defies authority but does try to follow the rules as best she can so she’s a great role model as much as she is fun to watch.

Every introduction of a character gives us plentiful information about them. Seeing Tenzin and family fly in (on a Sky Bison!) and we already receive a plethora of information.

Tenzin is a somewhat patient if tired man who has a handful for a family. His wife Pema is exhausted trying to raise three airbenders, with another child (possibly a bender as well) on the way. Jinora is the quiet eldest daughter who is smart enough to know when her father pleas for her to not be as difficult a teen as Korra, that she makes no promises. Ikki is the middle child and chatty as can be with an inquisitive nature to match. Finally there’s Meelo and… that boy aint right, and I love him for it, the kid is nuts. This is all stuff we get in the first few minutes of meeting them. That is some swift storytelling there, folks. Kitara shows up to tease long-time fans about Zuko’s mother, that is such a sick burn to the audience.

We get a new animal best friend to love in the Polar-Bear-Dog, Nana, this is a toy that will sell like mad since who wouldn’t want a bear-dog hybrid that you could ride around on? The music for this show is amazing as it was described as “if China had developed jazz music”. The animation is top notch with crazy amounts of detail given to the setting of Republic City and the fights, both bending and mundane.

Oh my sweet mercy, the fighting in this show. In the original show we had 4 martial arts represent the 4 kinds of bending, now that pro-bending (a competitive sport version of bending) is being introduced we are being shown a Mixed-Martial-Arts evolution to bending styles that give the world more depth and logic. It’s also a fictional sport I found myself actually interested in.

We also get two characters from this end with the brothers Mako, the moody loner firebender and Bo Lin, the wise cracking ladies man earthbender. There is trouble a brewing in Republic City with the Equalists forming with an Anti-Bender movement on the rise and with bending organized crime, it’s not too hard to see their points.

Okay, so now I’ve talked about what the show is but let me get to why this show is awesome. This was a long shot, pretty much everyone was expecting this to not live up to the monumentally high expectations. Yet it did, these characters we meet feel like real people. You have probably met Tenzin and his family (I’m pretty sure I was Meelo at that age), Korra is someone you’ve probably argued with and still wished to be friends with, Bo Lin has probably hit on you or a friend of yours. These characters are new yet instantly recognizable and lovable. You want to watch these people develop and carry on in this world, you want to watch them succeed and feel bad when they fail.

The world we once knew is altogether different in Republic City but it still feels familiar to us, we really have just moved forward in time. You want to explore the city, try the food, dance to the music, and buy stuff from the shops. YOU WANT TO WATCH AND PLAY PRO-BENDING AND THEN GET SAD THAT THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. The game looks so cool and I can’t believe they made a fictional sport enjoyable and still make sense.

The show has a great lead who happens to be female, a cast of characters that are a variety of ethnic (fictional with factual basis) backgrounds, and a strong sense of characters and story.

The Legend of Korra was wonderful and I cannot wait for more episodes to come our way. The show premieres April 14th on Nickelodeon.

Racist Hunger Games Fans Outraged That Black Character is Black

So on Monday, the Jezebel pointed out the Hunger Games Tweets tumblr which is a sad display of humanity and may make you feel new levels of rage. See the “problem” these fans tweet about in regards to the Hunger Games is that Rue is played by a black girl in the movie. Now for those of you who haven’t read the books, Rue is a young black girl as described by Suzanne Collins.

The problem here isn’t really the reading comprehension of a pile of racists (Racists don’t pay attention? WHO KNEW?) it’s that these racists lose empathy for the death of a character because they learned she was black. There are people who will openly and publicly admit that they don’t care as much about a black character. This is disgusting.

I want to thank Hunger Games Tweets for letting everyone get a look at the horrible people out there. Many of these racists have shut down their accounts or gone to private. This is one of those times I wish the internet had struck back and made a mess of things for these people. Shame isn’t enough.

Things like this Tom, The Dancing Bug comic show where we are in modern racism. We’re not anywhere near done with racism, you know who says racism is over? Racists. We have all sorts of horrible race related issues going on and people still find ways of adding them into forms of entertainment. This is where we are with racism, have a surplus that we can add it to anything.

So for all of you out there who can feel sad when a child dies, whether fictional or real, regardless of color or nationality, congratulations you have passed at least one test of proving you aren’t a racist. Fun Fact: While watching the Hunger Games film, I realized the teen audience IS the Capitol and they will likely never realize it, and that was the saddest moment of all.


Feminist Harry Potter Tumblr Makes Us Laugh and Think About Feminism in the Wizarding World

A new Tumblr showed up just a few days ago and I’m already a big fan. Feminist Harry Potter by Kristie L Yandoli, takes images from the film versions of the Harry Potter series and either has characters discussing feminist theory or explores the feminism or lack thereof from characters and situations. It’s at its best when it is pointing out problems or showing how the series shines, the one above and the one of Hagrid (go check out the site to see, I don’t want to take away any traffic the site deserves) made me  smile. Calling it “the Wizarding World” is pretty indicative of how male dominant the magic world is, can’t wait to see more.

So Imma Talk About Once Upon a Time and Racefail

Note: This post is nothing but spoilers for the Once Upon a Time episode titled “Fruit from the Poisonous Tree.”

Okay, so, hopefully by now everybody’s at least heard of Once Upon a Time. If not, it’s a show on the televisions where all the fairytale characters of McEurope are in a small town in Maine and they don’t know they’re fairytale characters, and the evil queen is now the mayor and ruining their lives. Enter Emma, the hero, who’s going to fix all the things.

I like this show. I like it a lot. To itty bitty bits and pieces. It’s strong female characters dukeing it out. It treats Emma’s decision to give up her child for adoption with a lot of respect, especially compared to how that shit usually runs. She doesn’t regret her choice, she knows it was for the best, and she’s not overcome by her ovaries upon seeing her child. And when Cinderella wants to keep her baby rather than give it up, Emma’s all about that too, because she’s like, hey, it’s your choice, and she doesn’t push her own choices on others. Like, for reals, wins all around there.





I’ve talked in the past about liking problematic things. This is an example of that. I like OUaT for the things it does right. But Jesus Christ on a cracker it does some things wrong, some things which I really can’t ignore, and I kind of feel compelled to talk about.

So from the first episode, I noticed there was just the one person of color in the entire town of Storybrooke. Just the one dude, whose name I didn’t catch at first. “Well, whatever,” I thought, “good job being like all other TV.” Then eventually I caught his name: Mr. Glass. And I realized, oh fuck the only person of color in Storybrooke is the only non-humanoid character in Enchanted Forest that we meet. He’s the magic mirror.

Yikes. Okay. Well. That’s pretty crap. But he’s kind of a minor character (another problem) so maybe this’ll be the end of vastly problematic elements concerning Mr. Glass. Right?

Well then Mr. Glass got a whole episode unto himself, and oh holy lord.

So, okay, first off, in the Enchanted Forest, he’s a djinn, and check that picture out, he’s totally exotic amirite? Because people of color are totally exotic. But that’s not the worst of it. He’s a magical wish-granting djinn who is there to help others on their journey. Do not let this shit slip past you: The only black man in the entire Enchanted Forest is quite literally a Magical Negro. Who is there to grant three wishes to his master. I’m not making this shit up, folks. I’m not even digging for it. This isn’t subtext. This is text.

And look at that outfit. Do I even have to say it?

Okay so Kingy McLeopold gives the djinn his freedom (sure) and did the djinn ever get a name? I don’t think so. I think he was called “Genie” the whole time. So okay, Genie is taken to the castle to live with the king while he sorts out his new life, and meets the Evil Queen Regina and is instantly in love with her. And despite the fact that King Leopold did him a real solid on setting him free, he immediately sets his sights on wooing Regina because, you know, black men loves to go after dem white wimmin?


So then Regina manipulates Genie into killing the king for her — and I’m not going to touch the part where Regina seems to control most of the men in her life through sex, nope — and then totally pins it on him, revealing Genie to be both dumb and led exclusively by his idiot love for Regina instead of any sliver of common sense. You’d think an all-powerful mythical being who’d lived through many ages of man and saw how grasping for selfish wishes always lands badly for others might stop and think. But nope. Because that would be inconvenient to the plot, and furthermore it would give Genie some depth, and we can’t have that. And ultimately, when he discovers he’s been manipulated and betrayed? He wishes to be by her side for all time.

Really, dude? Really? Give the black man some freedom and he gonna come up ins, murderin’ you, stealin your wimmin, and then being totally loyal and effectively enslave himself to the traitorous white lady?


Furthermore, the fact that Regina was kind of bitchy all along in this episode is pretty bland, and a real missed opportunity. The Regenie lovestory could have panned out interestingly, and instead, it was this. But that’s kind of an aside to the massive piles of racefail up above.

So, yeah. Yikes. I mean, yikes. I’m a little sad I haven’t seen anyone really calling this out. I mean, I really had to dig to see if anybody even agreed that there was a problem here.

I like Once Upon a Time, but goddamn is it problematic when it comes to race.

Ladies Take Top Honors at Sundance

Film Reel

So this is pretty cool. I hope these directors get to direct some major films, because that would be awesome and stuff.

  • U.S. Directing Award for Documentary Film: Lauren Greenfield, director of The Queen of Versailles
  • U.S. Directing Award for Dramatic Film: Middle of Nowhere, director Ava DuVernay
  • U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, directed by Alison Klayman
  • Special Jury Prize: Dramatic: Smashed producers Andrea Sperling and Jonathan Schwartz
  • U.S. Documentary Editing Award to: Detropia, edited by Enat Sidi
  • World Cinema Screenwriting Award, Dramatic: Young & Wild, written by Marialy Rivas, Camila Gutierrez, Pedro Peirano (Chile)
  • World Cinema Documentary Editing Award: Indie Game: The Movie, edited by Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. (Canada)
  • Shorts Audience Award: The Debutante Hunters, directed by Maria White
  • Audience Award, Documentary: The Invisible War a film by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering

Congrats all around!

Why Men Always Tell You to See Movies

I curse this article for making me look up the trailer to Gone in 60 Seconds. Here, allow me to inflict it on you.

Still, plenty of voice-over jobs remain, especially in television, though women are seldom cast. “There are some very talented, very gifted women in this business that can satisfy any request for a narrator, but the opportunities aren’t given to them,” said Mike Soliday, a talent agent who represents prominent male voice artists like Scott Rummell and Tony Rodgers.

As Mr. Danis put it, “Trailers are really the last frontier for women.”