Sexualized Saturdays: Ace’s Top 10 Headcanon Asexual Characters

Asexual flagWell, it’s that horrible, horrible time of year again, when Lady Geek Girl forces all of us here to list our Top 10 fanon and canon pairings, successfully turning our blog and mission of equality into a giant shipping war for a day. This post, however, is not that list. You’ll get that later on today, but in the meantime, let’s talk about asexual characters. Asexuality is not well represented in popular culture, and when it is, it’s not represented very well. Unfortunately, this leaves me with very few characters I can related to sexually. Coming to my rescue, though, are headcanons. Headcanons are hardly the same thing as representation in the source material, but at least they’re something.

So without further ado, here are my Top 10 characters who I think could be asexual.

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Breaking Out Of The Fridge: Subverting Women’s Victimization in Pop Culture

women in refrigerators

My dismembered girlfriend?! That’s an awful surprise!

Several years ago, comics writer Gail Simone introduced the term “women in refrigerators” as a way to describe women in comics who have been hurt or killed as a way to further a man’s pain. Since then, it’s entered the general geek vernacular as a way to describe any woman who ends up dead for manpain’s sake, and while more and more people are likely to call out The Powers That Be for writing women this way, it does remain an often-used trope. The whole premise of Supernatural revolves around two fridged women, Mary Winchester and Sam’s girlfriend Jess, and women regularly are hurt or die to make its leading men sad. (A short list: Anna, Sarah Blake, Pamela, Meg, Amy Pond, Jo, and Ellen, just to start us off.) Barry Allen’s origin story in the upcoming Flash series centers around his mother’s death. Rachel’s death in The Dark Knight was purest fridging, and so were Allison’s death in Teen Wolf, Frigga’s death in Thor: The Dark World, and Spock’s mom Amanda’s death in Star Trek XI.

The problem with this trope is that it reduces women from people with agency into objects that are acted upon; they go from characters who make choices to tools whose purpose is to make someone else sad or angry or motivated, and that propagates the idea that objectifying women is a legitimate storytelling technique. One interesting thing about this trope, though, is that it’s become so expected that writers have started to use it in a subversive and surprising way.

Spoilers for Arrow Season 2, Elementary Season 1, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 below the jump.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Mya Gosling

Web Crush Wednesdays—A moment of silence for Blanco, aka Shadowfax, who, much like Chris Hemsworth, galloped his gorgeous, commanding, and impressively white form into our hearts.—

Gentle readers,

It’s been well-established that there’s lot of potential at the intersection of history and webcomics. Just ask Kate Beaton. There’s really no substitute for gentlemen and ladies of state and grandeur being drawn with squiggly lines as they go about changing the course of two-dimensional, three-panel history. To that point, who has been a greater collector of the great personages of history than William Shakespeare? When he wasn’t too busy being a gay man, or any number of women, or having serious jungle fever, or being legion (for apparently he was many), Shakespeare captured giants of history from Julius Caesar to Richard III to Pericles.

As such, that makes his work fertile ground for the sometimes droll, oftentimes hilarious work of one Mya Gosling, the author over at “Good Tickle-Brain”. This title, as Gosling is glad to inform us, is one of Shakespeare’s most delightfully absurd insults. It also serves as a good touchstone for the kind of referential humor she’s wielding in her three panel Shakespeare comics. Take this one for example:


These three-panel plays fill the void in your life where CliffsNotes used to be or where Thug Notes would be if you’d always secretly imagined your literature professor in a do-rag. They’re rarely the sort to make you fall out of your bed from laughter, but they’re at the right intersection of dryness and pith to call loving attention to the many absurdities in both Shakespeare’s work and the history he describes.

lestrade mya goslingIf tiny laugh-without-opening-your mouth comics aren’t your thing, well, you’re actually probably out of luck, but, there’s more than just Shakespeare summaries to be had. You could repose while enjoying a tiny version of the classic Beowulf or something promisingly titled The Adventure of Inspector Lestrade’s Crumbling Self-Esteem. They’re both quite charming. In fact, you’d be well-served not to ignore her collection of comics derived from Canada’s Stratford Festival, or the slowly growing collection of Shakespearean What-Ifs.

It’s all delightful, but that’s actually not the reason that Mya Gosling’s work is my web crush this week. Rather, it’s what they reflect on Gosling’s part that has grabbed my attention. Of herself, she says, “my destiny was to be an extremely enthusiastic and discerning member of the audience, and that I should leave the acting business to the professionals.” She’s taken a passionate obsession and turned it into creative endeavor, which is the point.

Adorable as they are, these comics aren’t simply throwaway jokes. If you’re not up on your Shakespeare, some of them will make you work a little bit. That’s a good thing. You can read a comic artist’s entire web presence and not learn anything, and that’s simply not the case here. You can check out Gosling on Twitter and Facebook. I’ll leave you with this pleasant reminder of all the ways that Titus Andronicus is just like A Song of Ice and Fire:


In Brightest Day: Addiction in Geek Media

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (x)

demon_in_a_bottleFrom Tony Stark’s alcoholism to Sherlock Holmes’s 7% solution, geek media is rife with portrayals of addiction and substance abuse. As someone who has watched close friends and family members struggle with real addiction, I have a very personal stake in these fictional portrayals. It means a lot to me if a show that includes an addict among its characters takes the time to treat addiction as the complex problem it is. And because of this, I am tremendously turned off by shows that act like an addiction is something that can easily be gotten rid of.

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Fanfiction Fridays: It’s Not Always About the Romance

Every Valentine’s Day, we at Lady Geek Girl and Friends vote on and compile a huge list of our favorite pairings to share with our readers. (This is not that post. Check back around noon.) However, we also always do a post that takes some of the emphasis off romantic love, because we are strong proponents of the idea that while having a significant other is cool, it isn’t the be-all end-all of life or this day in particular. We’ve listed our favorite platonic duos and our favorite unattached anime characters over the past two years, but since V-Day conveniently falls on a Friday this year, we’re taking the opportunity to share five awesome fanfics where the focus is not on romance. Enjoy!

Warning: some fics involve spoilers for their respective series, specifically Shingeki no Kyojin (and, like, Harry Potter and The Avengers if you somehow haven’t read/seen those).

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Sherlock: “His Last Vow” Review

his last vow sherlockSo here we are, the last episode of Sherlock before another agonizing wait. As much as I’ve enjoyed the first two episodes of series 3, they felt incomplete to me. My feelings about each episode are pretty much summed up in both Saika’s and Luce’s reviews. This series has felt much more character-driven than the past two series, which were much more of a “case of the week” or “overarching villain” nature. The first episode was very much about repairing John and Sherlock’s relationship, and the second episode dealt with how Mary would fit into that dynamic. Now I see that both episodes were absolutely necessary to prepare the audience for this series’ final act, “His Last Vow.”

Spoilers abound under the cut.

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