rhythmia: (Default)
Musings that have been floating around in my brain for the past several months re: fic and changing bodies and identity and gender and how that plays out in different fandoms.

Okay, so you know those fics where X character wakes up or gets zapped by an Ancient machine or magic or what-have-you, and a previously female character ends up in a male body, or a male one ends up in a female body? (I've never read anything where the author tackled intersex people, so I can't speak for those)

It kind of varies between fandoms, but I've been noticing a spate of it in the Japanese/Jpop and Korean/Kpop fandoms I'm in lately. And it happens a lot where when, say a male character wakes up in a female body, suddenly everyone around them is awkward and treats them like they changed genders, and switch pronouns, and that character starts trying to display traits marked as "feminine", and usually somewhere in there we have a party of describing their new appearance (and clothes) and somehow sex ends up getting involved in the name of exploration.

...honestly I am guilty of some that in one fic I wrote, but that fic gave me so much trouble because I was adamant about keeping the pronouns, because in my head I *knew* the characters still thought of themselves as male, they were in essence borrowing the bodies for a while, and deciding to try performing a different gender as part of the experience. But I still felt kinda icky at myself for putting them through that gaze experience of "hey, let's dress you up girly and describe every bit of how you look for the audience now". Sorry for putting you through it, lovely betas! ^^;;

And honestly I should have known better than to call it genderswap, given all the stuff I've done in school about sex and gender not being the same thing. But that was the term available, and I didn't think to try a new or different one. And then I hit Kpop fic and the pronoun-switching was going on all over the place. On second thought, it might with a stretch be considered genderswap because the authors were making their body-switched characters think of themselves as a different gender, and perform a different gender. It still kind of bothered me that the sexswap caused the person to suddenly change their behavior and thought-processes so much, because in most cases I'm not sure the author was trying to discuss issues of gender identity at all.

Anyway, I'd hesitated to post anything about it because while I like being kind of androgynous, I mostly identify female and I don't think of myself as being trans, so I didn't want to speak for that experience.

*****
Luckily! And the point of this post! Iambickilometer made a post called Five+ Ways Being Transgender in Fandom Really Sucks, and Why I Stick With It Anyway and [livejournal.com profile] gyzym linked to it and had some interesting discussion of her own here.

I'm curious about your thoughts? .____.

...love to you all, I'm still alive. ♥
rhythmia: (Default)
Still alive. At some point I should probably post about life.

In the meantime! I found this via friendsfriends and it's very interesting to me. [livejournal.com profile] gnine has this to say:

"As you may or may not know, I’m currently working on my MA in Critical Media and Cultural Studies at University of London, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies). For my thesis, I’m delving into the question of how culture, one’s own, as well as that of the source material one is fanning on, affects how fans identify and interact with said media and the fandoms surrounding them.

I am very aware that academic scrutiny of fandom has at times been…less than pleasant, shall we say. With that in mind, I’d like to make clear that it is not my intent to place fen or fandom under the microscope, but rather to use them as one concrete example in the broader investigation of culture’s impact on the field of media studies."

Here is her survey, and I figure my flist is an interesting spectrum of people, who may also be intrigued by her topic. So. Have at! I already did my tl;dr thing on her post.

I'm curious to see what people say, because I've had interesting experiences being in both Western fandoms and East Asian fandoms and RPF and books and whatnot. Heck, if people want to have discussion here, I'm always up for it. :D

Love to y'all~
rhythmia: (Default)
So I was reading the [livejournal.com profile] je_secrets comm, and the comments because I am masochistic perhaps, it's interesting to see the kind of wankery that people get up to.

And I realized, I am That Kind of Fan. That got into Arashi because of the music.

Yeah, you heard me. XDDD )

Whew, that was long! ^_^;;; So I'm curious. Which are your favorite Arashi songs, and why? I still haven't worked my way through all of Arashi's discography, I think, though I downloaded a lot back when arashianfiles was still up. Discuss! :D
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I'm not cutting this because this is very important to me.

A couple years ago, my friend M introduced me to this amazing animated show called Avatar: The Last Airbender. I was visiting him, he showed me the first episode, and I ended up watching something like four or five episodes in a row before we went for dinner.

Why was I hooked? I was 22 years old at the time, and it was the first time I had ever seen an American cartoon that had dark-skinned characters opening the shot, where their skin color was just part of them and not something to be "A special teaching moment for the white kids", and they were hilarious kids who didn't get killed off. Katara and her brother Sokka had me in the first five minutes.

They were heroes, they coded as Eskimo/Inuit/some flavor of First Nations and their fantasy world drew me in. Aang is a young boy trapped in the ice, they rescue him, and I saw him and was all "jfaojra he's adorable and he looks like a monk-let!"

This was an amazing world with different cultures that I could see were based on East, South, Southeast Asian, Tibetan, First Nations and Native American Indian, and Pacific Islander cultures. I learned from the community that the (white) creators were dedicated to accurately portraying those parts they drew from, and they didn't exoticize them, and they didn't screw it up. *_* This was the characters' world and they lived in it and it wasn't like anyone drawing attention to how cool and Asian it was. *__*

It was an animated show NOT, for once, based on Western/European aesthetics and cultures, and wasn't full of wince-worthy crappy kung fu wannabes. This had martial arts styles I (and my friend M) could actually recognize! :D

And then I learned the movie was coming out. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. And here is what the initial casting (not final, I hope hope hope it's not final) looks like.

D:

I just. I can't. This hurts so much to see. They whitewashed the leads. Completely. And it's like a slap to the face. It's already so rare to see people of color on screen, when a role calls for someone of "any race" it always seems to default to white. People of color get to be thugs, Magical Negroes or Mystical Asian/Indian Wise Man, the sidekicks, the token who gets killed off, the sexy native girl who snarks back and resists the Great White Hero but gets won over and falls in love with him anyway, etc. etc. And now this is a chance to have a full of cast of POC, with awesome roles that aren't stereotypical, for a smart show that has already won over kids and 'grownups' of every age, race and ethnicity.

I call bullshit. Complete bullshit on Hollywood, that you have to have a white face to sell to white audiences. First assuming that the only audience that matters is white, which makes me a nonentity, and then condescending to white people that they're so dumb that they won't watch anything with people that *gasp* don't look like them. Like I've been doing ALL MY LIFE.

You know what's really kind of a shock? Shyamalan is Indian, and he got interested in the project because his daughter wanted to dress up as Katara. Think of all the kids who love this show, who are people of color and get to see characters who look at least a little bit like them, and learn that Hollywood is saying, "No. You don't count, you don't matter."

Once the Christmas retail rush calms a little I'm going to be writing a letter as in the link below, believe you me. Please spread this around, it's not "just a kids show," it's about sending a message that we can't stand for this sort of institutional racism. It's going to be yellowface, people! Orientalism at it's finest!

Links with things to read here:
The Letter Writing Campaign!

Vejiicakes' post
Tablesaw's post
Rawles' post
Angry Asian Man's post
Angry Black Woman's post (faojra I love her writing)

Personal references during the bloghopping:

oyceter's post on films and tv: What These People Need is a Honky

Smillaraaq's post on Native American Indians portrayal in media

ETA:
A possibly hopeful note from vagabond_sal
Clearinghouse of info at glockgal's place and also here
More links and reactions from jbramx2
Racefail bingo on deadbrowalking comm
Lemon Press's reactions and links
old, but an interview with the creators of Avatar
rhythmia: (Default)
So I was reading through [livejournal.com profile] mistful's journal and got sucked into a couple of essays she wrote about children's books such as The Secret Garden and hilarious reviews of various YA fantasy novels.

And it got me thinky. Below is thinky (well, it's squee liberally laced with thinky). )

Here below is a brief (hah!) list of some children/YA fantasy that left a deep impression on me. So, what's your list? Any recommendations?

Bring on the books! )

Okay, that's enough verbiage for now. But yes! I want to hear from you, have you read YA novels? What sorts of books have left deep impressions on you? Any recommendations? Want to convince me that adult fiction isn't all bad? Get to it! :P
rhythmia: (Default)
So I'm catching up on SGA fandomness, and saw some photos from the SGA panel at Comic Con. And saw Rachel Luttrell (the actress who plays Teyla), thinking- wow, she looks really different from on TV. Mainly I think because she has her hair natural (i think?) at that con pic, and it's lovely, frizzy/curly brown hair. And then I started thinking of how she looks on TV. And wondering what the HELL kind of chemicals and junk they must do to her poor hair to make it all straight and kinda bronze. ehehe.

(which descends in my head into this bizarre discussion of ethnic/phenotypic stuff, since I know that she's Tanzanian, and with the hair she has on SGA I got really confused, eheh. Also discussions I had with other women in New Orleans about women of color bonding through gripes about hair and skin and products. :P)
rhythmia: (Default)
Hey all, thought I oughta tell people (ehehe) that I will be gone for about a month, I'm not entirely sure yet. I leave July 19th by Amtrak (whee trains) with a couple day stopover in San Antonio to visit a friend, then from the 23rd til the end of August I will be in New Orleans.

I'll be volunteering there, with the People's Hurricane Relief organization. Maybe office work, maybe organizing in the community, maybe construction, maybe all of the above. The super spiffy Tasia and Mary Rose will be there too. I haven't bought the return tickets yet, but I'll be back before or at the beginning of September, I reckon. Anybody gonna be in the area while I'm there? Gimme a call on my cell, perhaps I can visit at the end or something.

Meanwhile- Stories of my daily life )
that's all for now, all my love ^_^
rhythmia: (Default)
Bleach manga made me all thinky. Huh.

Cut because it is long and rambly and you prolly don't need the entire meta clogging up your flist. )

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