The fedora is fairly well-established as a symbol of the “men’s rights” “movement” (aka misogynists) and I think that’s great. It’s convenient to have a cultural shorthand for such things, not to mention having a specific uniform to tip you off to dudes best avoided. But MRAs are only one kind of misogynist douchebag, and I think that we should have a similar identifier for self-identified “male feminists” who use the language of anti-opression to hide their sexist, objectifying motivations.
I’ve said before that I would never review Homestuck. Everyone has already read it, and if they haven’t they still have an opinion about it regardless. The market for Homestuck hot takes is pretty well saturated. Besides, no one even reads it anymore so who cares right? Is it even still updating? Isn’t it over?
When Victor Frankenstein created life, he was unprepared for the consequences of it. The monster he created needed a parent, a teacher, a caregiver, but instead he abandoned it. The monster, learning to fear and hate through the necessities of survival, dedicates its life to vengeance upon its creator. But what if the doctor hadn’t left his creation to fend for itself? Would it have been better? Or would it have brought up a host of other uncomfortable issues and power dynamics?
In the last site news, I talked about how simply including people of various identities in your work isn’t enough. Creators have an increasing awareness that representation of marginalized identities in fiction is important, but lacking good examples, many don’t know what good representation actually looks like. This leads to an effect where creators fill their work with as many different identities as possible without giving those experiences the depth of treatment or culturally competent touch they deserve. Such works can feel like they were cast by checklist: “Okay, we’ve got a lesbian character, a trans woman, and a trans man, we just need a gay guy and a bisexual. Flip a coin for the bisexual’s gender.”
Many, many hands are wrung all the time about the dearth of original ideas in the world, and how to create something new. Sometimes the answer lies in simply combining elements from existing genres – supernatural detectives, alien spies, pop witches. And while the results of these mashups can be a lot of fun and, yes, original, sometimes a better route is to take an existing genre and subtract things from it.