two random things for you to enjoy, possibly

So, for a variety of reasons, yesterday was a suck-tastic day for me, so no Zimzum post this week, I’m sorry. I’m trying to give my wrist a break, since my tendonitis is acting up– but that doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff I can’t share with you all.

I have another post up at The Mary Sue, and once again I am over the moon at the opportunity to write for them. I geek out every time one of my posts go up. This one, in particular, I am very proud of since it was pretty labor-intense on the research side of things. Watching women die over and over again so I could try to capture what happened to them in as few words as possible was … an interesting way to spend last month, let me tell you.

Anyway, here it is: “It’s [Not] Ok”: How Women Die in Comic Book Movies.”

I also had another opportunity to be interviewed for a radio program, this time for BBC4’s “Beyond Belief,” covering Moses, the Exodus, and interestingly enough the Christian homeschooling movement and the “Generation Joshua” nonsense. If you just want to listen to my segment, it starts at 14 minutes in, but the whole program is worth listening to.

You can find it here. It’s the January 5th episode, which you can download there, listen to it streaming in their player, and it’s also available for download from the iTunes store if you are an Apple person.

I think some of the scholars might have gotten the impression that I’m anti-Judaic (I mention something about God condemning how the Israelites were greedy and power-hungry in the minor prophets and how the conquest of Canaan is a pretty disturbing bit of the Bible), but hopefully you all know that I’m not. If not, well … I’m definitely not anti-Judaism or anti-Semitic. Like every other white person in America I have absorbed anti-Semitic ideas, and there was a lot of “the Church has replaced Israel because they just kept messing it up” in my Sunday school, but I will always fight against those things. If you think that something in what I said sounds anti-Judaic, I would appreciate having that conversation with you.

Photo by Ilmicrofono Oggiono
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  • That’s odd. It was the liberal Christian guy who said he sensed some anti-Judaicism in what you said, but the conversation basically comes around to include the points you were talking about (i.e., Moses as a figure that liberates, but the liberated becoming the oppressors when they have state power). That comment and a few other things about his manner sounds to me like he’s one of those lefty scholars who spends so much time policing boundaries of how people are talking that he never really gets around to saying much out of fear of being slightly misinterpreted or unintentionally mildly offensive. Alas, that was at least half of all the grad students I knew back when I was in a lit PhD program. I generally agreed with their politics, but not their constant fearful treading on eggshells.

  • I have been reading your blog for a bit now, and I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that seemed anti-Semitic. In fact, from what i have gleaned, you and some of the folk that comment here seem to have a pretty high regard for Jewish culture and the influence it has on scripture. This is something that I have found agreeable. Interestingly enough, I have never been able to accept those ideas about the church replacing Israel, and my views on the modern state of Israel tend to make most IFB folks a little uneasy. I can’t help it.

  • Ugh, euthanasia in fiction. Funny how rarely they seem to really evaluate the consent issues, and how sympathetic they make the perpetrator look when consent is an issue. I’m not blaming the portrayal of euthanasia in fiction for the Nancy Fitzmaurice case/precedent, but spreading these sorts of attitudes about how the relevant internal state is that of the perpetrator, and how it’s so hard for the perpetrator, and how when people in “bad enough” positions want to die, the right thing to do is to help them die, is bad and I do not like it.

    Euthanasia stuff is, while not technically triggering in that I don’t get medical symptoms other than a standard shiver reaction from hearing about it, the sort of stuff I would appreciate getting content notes for, if that’s within site policy.

    You don’t seem anti-Semitic in any way. You’re not even involved with stuff that I think is often related to anti-Semitism. I don’t see why someone would call you anti-Semitic.

    I think of tropes as “themes that show up a lot in media”, and using that definition, they average out to neutral, but some are bad. For example, the TVTropes wiki has a Futuristic Tech index of tropes, and I don’t think that it’s offensive or bad. I think we must be using subtly different definitions here, or I must be misinterpreting.

  • I’m curious, Samantha (and since you just did all of this research, I figure you might know the answer off hand!), about if the trope use is dramatically one-sided. How often do men die in order to further the woman’s storyline or to provide motivation?* Obviously, there are far more male “main characters” to look at than there are female (which hopefully will start to become less true – we can hope, right?), but I’m curious if it’s more of a sexist trope, or a standard writing trope. What do you think?

    • Here’s this list: “Dead Men Defrosting.”

      • Thank you, Samantha.

        I dabble at writing fiction, and one of my fears is that I’ll accidentally be an ass. In public. Reading up on tropes like this is important to help keep away from such eventualities.

    • Tim

      Well, or, as was pointed out to me by the women in my household when I brought this up for discussion (after getting past the OMG! Why are you reading feminsts blogs! They like me, they just think I’m amusing), men dying in order to further another man’s story line – think Uncle Ben in Spiderman. I bow to Samantha’s research, but I think there may be a reasonable case that it’s a trope with a sexist bias in the way it’s employed, but isn’t necessarily inherently sexist.