- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Fujoshi: Fujoshi, which literally means “rotten girl,” refers to a type of anime fan who is especially interested in imagining male homoerotic subtext in her favorite media. But while the term “fujoshi” was only coined in 2001, rotten girls and their male counterparts, “fudanshi,” have been around since the Edo period. In “The Forgotten History of Fujoshi,” Keith and Mari Minton—two self-professed fujoshi—shared some of the fascinating origins of a subculture that is typically somewhat misunderstood.
- The Ostrogothic Military: Whether the Ostrogoths themselves were an army, the nature of the army’s settlement and salary in Italy, and ethnic identity’s role in the formation of the army are all discussed. The army itself has rarely been studied as a separate institution, which may be because, throughout the Ostrogothic kingdom’s short life, the military was inextricably bound up with the nature and the fate of that polity.
- Alternate Futurescape: The Bubblegum Crisis We Never Got: Where Bubblegum Crisis’ Knight Sabers were a mercenary team that’d take any job for the right price, FutureScape’s “Night Saviors” were advertised as “Four girls who will accept no money in their never ending battle against the Boomers!“ Fans familiar with Bubblegum Crisis and the Knight Saber mercenary group that were mostly motivated by revenge would probably have been a little more than shocked to see them instead portrayed as a super-heroine team fighting for “freedom and justice” under the new name of “The Night Saviors”.
- X-Force by Cory J Walker: Great, 90s nostalgia drawings of various X-Force characters.
- Your audience doesn’t think you suck: To make your audience happy, you don’t need to be the most talented person. You don’t need to invest tons of cash into a project to make it watchable. You need an idea that you believe in and the enthusiasm to power through and put it out into the world.
- The Left’s Long History Of Transphobia: Trans people generally lean left because we feel that we have to, but we’re also aware that liberalism won’t protect us when the chips are down. It’s easy to oppose an enemy that is consistently hateful, and at the end of the day trans people know where Republicans stand on whether or not we should exist.
Sometimes a small, seemingly insignificant change can make you lose all trust in an adaptation. Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon recently got an English dub courtesy of Funimation, but when the first episode aired it turned out a small, but important line was altered.
In the original Japanese dub (and English subtitles) Kobayashi-san says, in answer to Tohru’s declaration of love: “But I’m a woman though”. Which, as MayaScientist demonstrates on Twitter, is an old, old Yuri cliche, when a woman is first confronted with another woman’s love for her. in context, what with Tohru’s unfamiliarity with modern life and Kobayashi’s overall appearance, it also makes sense for her to say something like that, to drive the point home to both herself and Tohru.
The dub changes this line to “I’m not into women or dragons”. Which is an outright rejection of Tohru, rather than a gentle confirmation that Tohru knows what she’s doing. Worse, it turns Tohru’s displays of affection from amusingly over the top to downright creepy.
There's a reason she can't tell Tohru that living with Tohru makes her happy, but she can tell Lucola.
— Andrea Reventon (@andrearitsu) 2 February 2017
In the original manga and the anime series so far, though Kobayashi never states it outright, it’s clear she accepts Tohru and her love at some level, that it is more than just friendship. The entire series is as much about Kobayashi coming out of her shell as it is about funny dragon antics, as Andrea Reventon argues in the series of Tweets linked to above. Yet you cannot get there if you start with her outright rejecting the possibility of being lesbian, of falling in love with another woman. That’s why this is such a bad change and such an important one, as it means that Funimation will probably change more things in the anime, erasing the queer (sub)text of it.
I’m always leery of arguments like this, that want to dismiss the different axises of oppression various groups of people struggle with in favour of some vulgar marxist idea of the working class and not asking too many questions. Too often this has been used by alter kakkers to just dismiss any struggle that doesn’t fit in their century and a half old ossified world view:
Where people on the left should be focussed on what unites us, us here referring to the working class rather than the left in general (lol, as if that’s going to happen), as workers -the foundations from which we can build the new society- we now see attempts to stratify through definition the working class under the guise of intersectional analysis. An intersectional analysis is a useful tool to have in one’s box if one is studying Sociology or writing academic papers but in the real world it doesn’t translate well, not well at all. In fact one of the reasons that I began my abstention from generalised political activity was the emergence of this approach -along with the increasing popularity of privilege politics- as I saw early on that the praxis that would develop from this approach would inevitably see a return to the embarrassing ‘hierarchy of oppressions’ which permeated the radical politics of the 1970s/80s (before my time -I’m not that old!).
He may not be that old, but his criticisms are. There’s always been a tension within socialism about how to define the struggle. Rightwing socialists tend to define it narrowly, purely as the struggle of the working classes against the bourgeois and anything that isn’t directly related to that struggle as a distraction. Depending on the decade — or century — you’re talking about this could mean feminism, civil rights, gay rights, or today, intersectionality and online activism.
The leftwing has always defined the struggle much more broadly. There’s a long and proud tradition within socialism and communism of not just fighting for the rights of (white) working men, but also recognised from the start that you can’t build a classless society when half the population is still powerless because of their gender, that it’s immoral to let the welfare of the British worker depend on the continuing exploitation of the Indian worker. So there’s always been a strain in socialism that defined the struggle much broader than just defending workers’ rights, that strived for an utopia for all people.
That is intersectionality pur sang and the thing about it is that it works both ways. There’s always a tendency to assume that these causes always distract from your own, much more worthy and important one, but intersectionality also gets you allies. That’s what happened in 1984 when at the height of AIDS paranoia stoked homophobia a group of London gay men and lesbians reached out and supported the South Wales Miners Strike:
Both groups were canny enough to understand that they struggled against the same oppression. The gay and lesbian activists recognised the police violence and oppression the miners were subjected to from their own experiences with them and believed in solidarity enough to not just recognise it, but take action. And the miners reprociated, send delegations to Gay Pride, supported them in their struggle. It was of course mocked by the establishment — now the perverts support the pits, as The Sun put it.
But you might say, gay liberation, strikes, those are real political actions, real causes, not frivolity like what I’m talking about, but that was far from the mainstream view back in 1984. So many socialists for so long saw homosexuality as a capitalist perversion, not as part of their struggle, not something that could be easily portrayed in terms of class struggle. And that’s why this bloody cartoon included in the post annoys me so much:
Not just because it’s a lazy cheap shot and doesn’t understand that in 2015 it’s really hasn’t been possible for at least a decade to pretend that that online space is less important than offline spaces. No, it’s because I’m old enough to know that all the examples of worthy causes given here –take back the night, ending rape culture, lgbt rights — would have been ridiculed and dismissed as fauxtivism and middle class vanities not too long ago. It’s breathtakingly ignorant.
Now AW Hendry started his post by mocking the Sad Puppies, which is how I stumbled upon it, thanks to Mike Glyer’s sterling work rounding up Puppy related material. He used it as his example of how people waste time with online activism and throughout his piece the unspoken assumption is made that online doesn’t matter and economic considerations should be much more important than cultural fights like this. What this misses is that, even apart from the simple fact that quite a few of us now live our lives as much online as in the real world, online follows you home — ask Zoe Quinn or any other SWATting victim. What he also misses is that the struggle over the Hugos is more than just the misplaced vanity of a few rightwing culture warriors: as Kameron Hurley explained, the Hugos meant she got $13,000 more in her post-Hugo book advance.
Not the highest of stakes perhaps, but for your average struggling writer that is a large chunk of money. I also have the suspicion for at least some of the ringleaders, this kerfuffle is a way to help themselves to some of that sweet, sweet wingnut welfare. People like Tom Krautman or Dave Freer may seem dangerously unhinged to normal people, but they’d fit in well with Vox Day’s old haunt, Worldnet Daily. Voxy himself of course is trying to establish his vanity press as a serious rightwing proposition and arguably does all this for the publicity. Which means for him at least it’s not the winning that’s important, it’s keeping the fight going, the better to keep fleecing suckers.
This post by Sigrid Ellis, about Chris Claremont, the X-Men, Kitty Pryde, hiding in hindsight pretty blatant lesbian flirting from the Comics Code Authority and telling Rogue you think you might be gay is adorable in its dorkiness:
I re-read this scene over and over again. I knew, now, in 1992, what this looked like. This looked like Spin-the-Bottle or Truth-or-Dare, it looked like the drunk and stoned random kissing games people played in the dorms on a weekend night. It looked like a challenge thrown down and accepted. I stared at the art. Courtney or Sat-Yr-9 or whoever was seducing Kitty Pryde. And Kitty was saying yes.
Davis knew something about Claremont’s intentions that I did not know, and drew what he thought a lesbian relationship, with willing participation from both parties, would look like. Kudos to him, it looked rather a lot like the same-sex flirting I saw monthly at the GLBUnion dances – licking of the fingers, et cetera. What I did not know is that Claremont included this sort of girl-on-girl sensuality in all of his comics, hiding it from the CCA as heterosexual female friendship. It wasn’t until 1992 and Davis’s fairly blatant art that I got the hint; actual straight women maybe don’t feel this way about their friends. It was entirely possible, I realized slowly, that finger sucking and licking was not a strictly heterosexual activity among friends.I can blame Claremont – and I do – for my not coming out earlier than I did. But I also have to credit him for slipping queers into my comics when the CCA forbade it. When I did finally come out to myself, the X-Men didn’t judge me. They accepted this new form of oddball difference the same way they’d always accepted me; with open hands and an invitation to be a hero once more.
The flirting and licking of fingers all happened in Excalibur #24, which was in hindsight quite blatant about it, but which went completely over my head when I first read it back in 1992 or so as an out of context back issue. I just thought it was a fun wish fullfillment story, but with the subtext, well, text visible behind it, i’ts slightly creepy as well?
Not for the not so hidden lesbianism of course, but because you have an adult woman seducing a fifteen year old girl. As the very first page points out this is Kity’s fifteenth birthday, so Courtney Ross, clearly an older woman, getting all flirty with her is a bit dodgy. Though not as dodgy as Kitty’s previous relationship with Collossus, when she was thirteen and had just joined the X-Men and he was at least eighteen. The inappropriateness of that relationship was never brought up in the books as far as I know, certainly not when I was still reading them. The only time people were upset with Pyotr was when he broke off the relationship.
Of course, reading The X-Men as a teenager all this passed you by. Kitty may have nominally been thirteen or fifteen but since she was thirteen for years it was easy to lose sight of it, especially as she was usually drawn slightly more mature than that, though she never suffered from/enjoyed the most common super power as much as her team mates…
Now here’s a great soppy love story I ran across when reading Jan Morris’ Wikipedia entry, about how she was forced to divorce from her wife after her gender reassignment surgery and how they got remarried again in a civil partnership in 2008:
. In a touching story of constancy, they stayed together after Morris’s trip to Morocco in 1972. He went as a man, and came back as woman. The law, then, did not allow same-sex marriages, so the couple were obliged to go through an amicable divorce. Morris used to describe her as her “sister-in-law”, but on BBC Radio 4’s Bookclub yesterday, she revealed that the relationship was closer and more enduring than that implied.
“I haven’t told this to anybody before,” she said, “I’ve lived with the same person for 58 years, I married her when I was young and then this sex-change thing – so-called – happened and so we naturally had to divorce, but we’ve always lived together anyway. I wanted to round this off nicely so last week Elizabeth and I went to have a civil union.”
The ceremony was held at the council office in Pwllheli on 14 May, in the presence of a couple who invited them to tea at their house afterwards.
“I made my marriage vows 59 years ago and still have them,” Elizabeth told the Evening Standard. “We are back together again officially. After Jan had a sex change we had to divorce. So there we were. It did not make any difference to me. We still had our family. We just carried on.”
I was looking at her Wikipedia entry because I just bought her Pax Brittanica history trilogy, which were still credited to “James Morris” but did have this dedication in them:
During the writing of the Pax Brittanica trilogy James Morris completed a change of sexual role and now lives and writes as Jan Morris.
Which is, changing language aside, a decent thing to do and it goes on to consistently talk about her as female, but the edition I have is from 1980, some eight years after her public gender switch and I wonder why they kept her old name on the books.