Feminist Monday is as Loud as Thunder

The storms we were expecting on Sunday arrived this morning along with the cold front. So, it's 44F this morning. That's damned odd for Texas in mid-April. I'm not complaining. This is my favorite kind of weather, and everything is so wonderfully green. Plus, my garden is busting along with little to no effort on my part. We're getting all the rain we've been missing for the past couple of years--maybe even over the past ten. Of course, the rest of Texas is not in as good a place--north Texas in particular. Ah, climate change. I'm so not happy to see you. That said... today's links.

In entertainment/SF news: Under the Skin, An Interview with Jonathan Glazer is about a SF film in the works starring Scarlett Johansson. In order to shoot it, Scarlett bravely goes into situations with a fleet of hidden cameras/cameramen and the unsuspecting are filmed. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Frankly, I'm more than a little uncomfortable. First, here we have another stupid premise about a super sexy female Alien whose entire purpose for being on our planet is to have The Sex with Human Males. Because, you know, that would be the only reason a female alien would show up on this planet. Because her own species isn't hot enough for her. Or something. [rolls eyes] Um. Guys? Really? How is that even taken seriously as a story outside of Cinemax Late Night? Gorgeous art depicting Disney Princesses. And here's some genderswap art. Author Juliet E. McKenna talks about Reviews, Reviewing, Reviewers, and Gender. From the article: "Of the nineteen authors featured in this [BSFA] issue, seventeen are men. There’s one non-fiction title by a woman writer discussed and one piece of fiction. That fiction review is not a positive one." This problem is real and continues. Stating you're aware of the problem and have fixes in the works is not enough. The fact of going out into the world with this type of skewed list contributes to the problem. Today we'll spotlight Women in Fantasy Illustration: Kristina Carroll because women who happen to also be writers aren't the only ones getting ignored. From Bitch Magazine--Don't Be a Dick: The Gender Dynamics of Marketing Comics. An important message from author Seanan McGuire. Why Sansa Stark Is the Strongest Character on 'Game of Thrones' That article has a lot of really great things to say about Sansa and GoT fandom in general. It is significant to note that "The elder Stark daughter is often cited as one of the most reviled characters on Game of Thrones, which is really saying something; this is the same show that brought us a king who ties up a prostitute and shoots her to death with a crossbow, so it's a bit odd that people are harping on a teenage girl for the crime of being "utterly useless and whiny." To be honest, I can't stand her in the books. Why? Because she's a fucking cliche and almost never acts outside those bounds. However, I love her on the series because I'm seeing her grow out of her immature romantic notions of chivalry and developing into someone (a morally good character, no less) who could eventually stand against Cersei Lannister at court. Frankly, that's something I'd LOVE TO WATCH. But that may be just me. I love political fantasy. (For the record, I still hate Dany.)

In general news: Meet The Three Female Medical Students Who Destroyed Gender Norms A Century Ago (And guess what? They aren't American.) Because this needs to be re-posted: A Mighty Girl's list of biographies of important women in history. (Note: there are 13 pages of them.) Gender-flips are a simple and smart way to turn sexism on its head (It's solid Feminism 101, mind you, and not 100% foolproof.) Texas Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Trans Widow, In Defense of Twitter Feminism, Women's Contribution to Classical Islamic Civilisation: Science, Medicine and Politics--one of the things that annoys me is when Christians criticise Muslims for how they treat women. Um, hello? Christians don't exactly have a great track record either to this day. Neither Female Nor Male. As someone with friends who are having babies, I can totally see all the pressure there.
If I understand, the alien in Under Her Skin is here to consume human males, using her sexuality to prey upon them.

Which is just as problematic, but in a different way.
I can't remember where I came across it, maybe an In Our Time podcast, but so much of the x-ray crystallography that was done in the 20th century was done by women, all because one man, a pioneer in the field, decided to not actively close the gate on female students. So a large number of female science students ended up in crystallography, and because crystallography was a kind of "glue" of material science, biology, electronics, etc., the field tended to be a good background for other fields once the other gates lost their keepers. It comes down to the fact that people with the power to say "no" can choose to allow an implicit "yes."
Under the Skin
I take it you haven't read the book? Your summary leads me to think not. It is deep, heartbreaking and profoundly feminist, leaving me to wonder how they will ever do it justice.
Under the Skin finally hit the cheap local theater inside my lazy walking radius and from my perspective it explored feminist issues in sex work in a very gripping way. Gripping, especially for a very quiet indy film, it's a body-snatcher pic from the existential perspective of one particular alien. I kept thinking of Taxi Driver, right until the end. I'm not sure what I think about the end. Probably going to go see it again.

All that said, it needn't be said that the entire thing is one giant trigger warning.