One of the most common criticisms we at Lady Geek Girl and Friends have of geeky media concerns a lack of representation in our books, films, and TV shows. So why, exactly, is it so important to have diversity in our geek media? Why does authentic representation matter so much? Is it enough to simply have diverse characters on our screens, or is there something more? In order to dive into these questions a little more deeply, let’s take a look at how one group, Black women, are represented in geek media. Continue reading
The trope of the siren seductress is probably one of my least favorite things. A story involving this trope usually goes something like this: evil woman with otherworldly powers seduces good man (or men); man does her evil bidding against his will; good women are betrayed and jealous but have to save the day anyway. It’s sexist: it promotes the idea that female sexuality is an evil thing; it’s heteronormative: it assumes that men are only attracted to women, and women are only attracted to men; and it’s insulting to both men and women: it boils them down to base sexual interactions and stupidity.
Imagine my chagrin when I tuned in to watch Lady Sif guest star on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and discovered that the plot was the most boring and predictable iteration of this trope.
Trigger warning for discussion of rape beneath the cut. Continue reading
When it comes to fanfiction, what I read is about 90% shippy, whether it’s het, slash, or femslash. I look to fanfic to portray in-show, -book, or -movie relationships in a way I wish their source text would and so I tend to avoid gen fanfic. In fact, I’ve probably linked to most of the gen fanfic I’ve ever really liked already in this segment. But every once in a while I come across something that’s really great, and Lunch and Other Obscenities by Rheanna27 is one such fanfic.
This story is set in the Star Trek reboot (aka Star Trek XI) universe, and focuses on the relationship between Gaila and Uhura as they start at Starfleet. They’re assigned as roommates because Gaila’s last name is transliterated Uhu, and they immediately start off on the wrong foot. It’s less that they dislike each other as people, and more that both of them adhere to cultural norms, which, though totally acceptable by their species’ standards, the other finds taboo and gross. Over the course of the fic, Uhura learns to question what she sees as ‘normal’, to accept the things she first considers ‘weird’, and that effective cross-cultural translation can save both relationships and lives. And, okay, it does have a teensy bit of Spock/Uhura in there but it’s not at all the focus of the fic, and their relationship is canon in nu!Trek, so I still consider gen fic.
I discovered it on a list of fanfic that passed the Bechdel test, and I found it a really refreshing portrayal of female friendship as well as an intriguing look at the way norms can differ across cultures and the way things that are second nature to one group can be absolutely taboo to another group, without either group being necessarily morally superior.
Here’s the link again—go check it out!