Stay Pretty or Die: Gender Dynamics in Geekdom

Sexism is something all of us here at LGG&F are familiar with. Positive gender dynamics, or the relationships between people of different genders, is an important component of feminist storytelling. We all know that the messages we consume in our favorite media will normalize positive behaviors and ideas, or negative ones. That’s why it’s so important that everyone gets fair representation, and everyone gets treated like a human being, not an object. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case, even in geekdom. More often than not, men are treated like people and women are treated like objects: by the plot, by other characters, and in real life. Recently I stumbled upon a particular trope that is especially good at articulating this double standard: “Men get old. Women get replaced.” Not only do some of the most popular geeky stories take this trope for granted, but incorporate it into the basic plot structure.

Spoilers for the Captain America movies, Doctor Who, and The Legend of Korra after the jump.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Bolin and Eska’s Relationship Is Not Funny

I’m a latecomer in the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom; I just finished watching the series a few weeks ago and I’m now making my way through The Legend of Korra. Even though I loved Avatar more than I’m enjoying Korra so far, both shows are great. But they’re not perfect. I can let a few things slide here and there, and they don’t diminish my enjoyment of the show. However, Book 2 of Korra contains one plotline that seriously bothers me: the relationship between Bolin and Eska.

bolin-uncomfortable

Yes, Bolin, I’m very uncomfortable about this relationship as well.

Trigger warning for discussion of dominance/submission, physically and emotionally abusive relationships, and PTSD. Also, spoilers for Legend of Korra Book 2.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Can Religious Violence Ever Be Good?

We geeks have a complicated relationship with religious violence. We live in a world where religious fanatics are practicing conversion by force, and that’s putting the situation in the Middle East in the most sanitized terms possible. It’s hard to find anyone today who would condone any type of religious violence, or try to defend it. Even historical religious violence, which occurred in a different cultural context than our own, makes us uncomfortable. With such an intense reaction to real religious violence, one would think that our pop culture would reflect it. Instead, geek culture seems to accept religious violence in some contexts, but not others. So why is that?

Spoilers for His Dark Materials, Doctor Who, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra below.

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Legend of Korra: “Old Wounds” and “Original Airbenders” Review

book-3-changeWhen we left off last week, the Metal Clan household was frankly overflowing with family drama. This week we got a peek at the backstory that inspired said drama, as well as a POV-switch over to Tenzin and his crew. Spoilers for both new episodes below the jump!

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The Legend of Korra: Book 3 Premiere Review

Seemingly out of nowhere—the trailer for Book 3 only premiered a few weeks ago—Avatar: The Legend of Korra came back to Nickelodeon on Friday night. And although in the past I’ve been more of a fan of the idea of LoK than I was a fan of the actual series, I couldn’t be happier with the season so far.

book 3 changeSpoilers for the first three episodes below the jump.

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