Friday Links is a Heroic Lady

Lots of Sarah Rees Brennan in this one! Here, she answers a question about what traits she likes best in a heroic lady character, and manages deftly to expand her answer into a very important discussion about feminist critique, and the way talking about female heroes can so easily turn into a bitchfest about which fictional women don’t make the grade.

Avante garde artist Sarah Maple reveals her new work, a series of self-portrait photographs of Disney Princesses as modern day career women and university graduates. I’ve seen so much sickening art which involves the mutilation or mockery of the Disney Princesses, and it’s lovely to see female artists like Maple (and the excellent cartoonist Amy Mebberson) who use their iconic images to create something that subverts expectation, and has something positive to say about women.

I missed this before – a piece from the 7:30 report that screened before the Stranger With My Face women in horror film festival. Includes gore, lesbian zombie musicals, and some nice interview footage with the two women behind the project, Briony and Bec. It was such a cool event – I hope they do it again! It made me want to write a horror film script…

Jeff Vandermeer talks about panicking about your career path and productivity as a writer, something I can identify with strongly, especially right now.

Meanwhile, Catherynne Valente is inspiring over at the antipope blog, talking about the many faces of publishing, and how a writer doesn’t have to choose between traditional, small press and even self publishing, but can construct a career out of all the options.

Back to Sarah Rees Brennan now, and the announcement that Elementary, the modern version of Sherlock Holmes that they are making in the US that made us all roll our eyes cynically, suddenly got interesting with the casting of Lucy Liu as Watson. Sarah talks not only about how the casting of a (40+) woman of colour is an exciting move that marks this adaptation out as different, but also addresses the cynical criticism that is already building up around the casting choice.

Differences will exist! Media is imperfect. But ‘until we can achieve perfection, let’s stick with the white dudes’ is not something I believe in. I’ll see how Dr Watson of Elementary plays out: and if I don’t like it, I’ll stop watching.

Till then, I am uncomfortable with how much easier, on far less evidence, people seem to find it to dismiss a woman: she won’t be good enough, won’t be strong enough, Elementary hasn’t done ENOUGH.


i09 interviews Courtney Stoker about crossplay, femme cosplay and the rise of the female Doctor at conventions.

Speaking of Courtney and feminist Doctor Who stuff, there’s a whole lot of great new posts over at Doctor Her. Some I found particularly interesting:
Are You My Mummy? The power of motherhood in New Who, by cathannabel
Too Many Dads in Doctor Who by Ritch Ludlow
The Bechdel Examination: Rose and the End of the World by daisybones
The Doctor and the Subtext of Loneliness by K.N. Porter
Companions in Comics: Getting into Sharon’s Head, by Kmasca (did anyone else know the first black companion joined Tom Baker in 1980??)
and I wrote a piece about the awesome first producer of Doctor Who back in the 60’s, Verity Lambert.

Finally, doing my bit to signal boost to the internet that ‘The Avengers’ doesn’t always mean Captain and his shiny friends: