The Lunar Chronicles: Fairy Tale Heroines in the Future

lunar-chronicles-marissa-meyerThe Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer may not have caused as much public excitement as some of the other female-led sci-fi/dystopian YA series of the past several years, but it doesn’t mean it’s less deserving of our attention. In fact, it’s a very solid series, led by a team of awesome kickass teen heroines. The plot is engrossing and action-packed and has an intriguing twist to boot—the main four books of the series offer loose, but still recognizable, retellings of four well-known fairy tales: Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty.

Spoilers below for Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter (the main four books of The Lunar Chronicles).

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Throwback Thursdays: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

After being somewhat let down by my re-watch of Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, I was kind of loath to put my nostalgic favorite Scooby movie under a critical microscope. Thankfully, I discovered upon rewatching that it was still pretty enjoyable.

scoobydoozombieSpoilers for a movie that’s old enough to vote after the jump.

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Sexualized Saturdays: “The Answer”, Fairy Tales, and Heteronormativity

Many of you have seen the Steven Universe episode “The Answer”. Many of you had the same reaction I did which was an unequivocal “this is the sweetest thing ever!” Some of us were surprised (and impressed) that they’d been allowed to “get away” with it, even in a show like SU. But what was it about “The Answer” that was so groundbreaking? It was a seriously cute love story about two immediately likeable characters; a fairy tale romance that was as innocent as it was beautiful. It was also the first fairy tale most of us had ever encountered where the two star-crossed lovers were both female.

the-answer-show-imageIf ever there was an example of innocent (and insanely adorable) love in a cartoon, this was it. It’s a storybook romance about an aristocratic seer and an impulsive soldier falling in love and defying the established order to be together, becoming rebels fighting for the survival of Earth in the process. That is the kind of story that seems like it would be a natural fit for a Disney movie. It’s the kind of story kids are exposed to on a regular basis and it’s considered appropriate, healthy, and even necessary. But none of those stories have queer characters, especially not in the leads.

The fact that Ruby and Sapphire are depicted as women is what made this groundbreaking, even though it is the kind of story most kids grow up watching over and over. By featuring two female characters instead of a heterosexual couple, this episode pushed boundaries—boundaries that make no sense to begin with. I mean, this isn’t an Adult Swim show we’re talking about. We’re not seeing or hearing about anything that could be considered remotely explicit; there’s not even a kiss in the episode! It’s a cartoon that no parent would consider objecting to if it told a heteronormative story with the exact same plot and dialogue. The simple fact that the two leads happen to be women made it seem taboo; or at least “edgy”. It often feels like these stories can’t exist in children’s media.

the-answer-page-shouldnt-exist

But, like all inclusive stories, the people being included gain while nobody else loses. Everyone who watched got to see a fairy tale romance about two of our favorite characters, and girls realizing that they love other girls got to see that their stories are just as beautiful and inspiring and normal as any other. It is precisely the lack of stories like this that give them the air of controversy and sometimes make them feel… different.

That is what Rebecca Sugar and SU’s other creators attempted to address with The Answer and in adapting it to book form, they have taken an incredible (and incredibly cool) new step in that direction.

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Sexualized Saturdays: More Happy Than Not and the Dangers of Compulsory Heterosexuality

more-happy-than-not-tc-coverI typically don’t like to read sad books. So from the get-go, I was leery of a book titled More Happy Than Not, as anything with a name like that promised to be bittersweet at best. While I wasn’t wrong in this first impression, I don’t regret having read it. More Happy Than Not is a beautifully told story about regret, memory, and queerness in the very near future, and contains an important message about the damage compulsory heterosexuality can do.

Major spoilers for the story below the jump, as well as mentions of suicide and violent homophobia.

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Sleepy Hollow: “Kindred Spirits” Review

sleepy-hollow-season-3I went into this week’s episode pretty much expecting not to like it (thanks, terrible preview), and while the main plot was just as bad as I thought it would be, there was still something very enjoyable about the characters. I’m not sure why Sleepy Hollow doesn’t want to advance its overarching plot at all, but it really, really doesn’t. Either way, let’s talk about our characters’ attempts at dealing with Frankenstein the Kindred and his search for a bride. Spoilers below the cut!

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Sexualized Saturdays: Where Are My Butch Queer Heroines?

supergirl

The epitome of a female hero?

I love female superheroes, I love female heroes with tragic backstories and redemption arcs. Basically, I love female heroes. They’re great because they don’t conform to traditional female character roles of being quiet damsels in distress, and they show women as complex characters with stories and goals. However, while they break the mold of traditional female character narratives, these characters still overwhelmingly conform to heteronormative societal standards of beauty, gender presentation and sexuality.

So, while we should celebrate all awesome female characters, we should also be mindful of the heteronormative ideas that these characters reinforce and what type of character could challenge them even further. To put it bluntly, I want to see butch queer (super)heroines, but they‘re near impossible to find.

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Thinking Too Hard About Inside Out

inside outA new Pixar offering is always going to get me in a theater seat, and Inside Out was no exception. I saw it a few days ago, and while it was definitely a good movie, I don’t know that I’d call it a great one. Mild spoilers below the jump.

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