eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
[personal profile] eruthros
1. [personal profile] helens78 sent me a bunch of knitting books that she was done with, some of which are pattern books and some of which are books about knitting. Mostly I have been flipping through pattern books and going "ooh" or "hmmm." And so I was flipping through one of the prose-and-patterns books called The Joy of Knitting and noticed this, partly because it's right at the beginning of a chapter:

    From prehistoric times, knitting, like most other fiber-related activities, has been women’s work. [...] [E]arly human societies could only afford to rely on women for those forms of labor which were compatible with childcare, since breastfeeding routinely continued until children were two to three years old. Women’s work was whatever could be performed without danger to small children, what could be interrupted and resumed easily and without damage. Thus spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, and most other tasks connected with clothing were women’s work, as well as most aspects of food preparation -- but not, for instance, hunting, mining, or smithing.
Yeah, seriously. And that’s in the chapter titled "A Feminist History of Knitting." As if rigidly defined gender roles that explicitly link gender to sex are feminist. Gender essentialism = totally awesome!

And also as if anything should start with "From prehistoric times..." -- freshman who try that in the openings of their essays get cranky comments.

2. I only just now got N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms -- I’m never really good at getting new-releases when they’re, you know, released. And so I was reading happily along, enjoying the worldbuilding, when all of a sudden:

    "Sky is both very large and very small, Lady Yeine. There are other fullbloods, yes, but most of them waste their hours indulging all sorts of whims." He kept his face neutral, and I remembered the silver chain and collar Scimina had put on Nahadoth. Her perversity did not surprise me, for I had heard rumors of far worse within Sky's walls.
... and later it turns out that the people who indulge in all sorts of whims are also rapists. Oh, and pedophiles. 'Cause those things always go together!

And it’s not like that’s exactly new or unusual in fantasy -- fantasy novels often mark the villain as evil because zie’s kinky, or enjoys pain too much, or whatever. Perversity is evil, and evil is perverse. (I read more fantasy in high school, and at the time my friends and I used to refer to a whole genre of fantasy novels as "everyone wears leather, but the villain likes it.")

So it’s not that it’s uncommon. It’s just that I was unprepared for finding it here, in this highly-reviewed best-selling popular-in-fandom fantasy novel. Both because it’s fucking lazy broad-strokes villainy and because it’s that you-don’t-belong-here slap in the face.

Oh, and btw, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms? If there isn’t a same-sex relationship in the novel other than the one that turns jealous and possessive and starts a war that kills billions? Yeah, I’m going to be pissed.

Date: 2010-11-30 03:21 am (UTC)
cypher: (sugar and spice--er. sticks and stones--)
From: [personal profile] cypher
It has been a few months now, so this is all somewhat hazy! But.

There were a few places where I felt like things really were cool and interesting -- like where she explores how really unlike mortal sex it is when you hook up with a being of divine power.

But I felt like there was also this gender stuff happening that annoyed me; sure, in Yeine's culture they've flipped the confining gender roles around and come up with a "reasonable" justification that follows different lines of reasoning than people use in our world. But that's really not new ground, you know? And it doesn't fix any problems, or create any more space for -- read, acknowledge the existence of -- anyone who doesn't fit the binary. And, you know, it would have been nice to see queer relationships that weren't either a footnote (warrior women apparently have bonds with each other?) or world-shattering. ...And you've already covered the issues with kink-as-shorthand-for-depraved-and-horrible pretty well.

...Apparently this is something I needed to rant about! I could probably go on. *cough*

Date: 2010-11-30 04:17 am (UTC)
cypher: (chosen by gods)
From: [personal profile] cypher
And why would Mr God of Order Whose Plans Are Too Vast For You To Comprehend, Mortal spend the whole book hanging around in human form so he could scheme on a mortal level and gloat about his brother being at the mercy of the cartoon sadist lady?

And yeah, the gender roles, for the gods especially. Yes, these god roles make sense, they're really archetypal and all, but also...they're really archetypal? Which is to say they're easy to buy because they're old as the damn hills. "Two brothers fight about a woman" is kind of not a new trope.

idk, I feel like I am not quite her audience. (Did you read "The Effluent Engine"? What did you think of that?)

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