Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Linkspam: why Black dolls matter, spoilers, and Iron Man 3

Lashings of Ginger Bee TimerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

Iron Man 3: neither as subversive or as anti-racist as it likes to think of itself. Two excellent critiques [CONTENT NOTES: racism, spoilers] are provided by crossedwires and wistfuljane. (Content note: The crossedwires article appears to refer to actor Ben Kingsley, who is a multi-ethnic British man, as though he were white -- the analysis of orientalism and racial bait-and-switch in the film is still complex and interesting, though). Elsewhere on the Internet we've also come across a round-up of disabled characters and ableism in Iron Man 3, and a discussion of how difficult it was to get a movie that contained both a woman and a black guy. While we're at it, why not have an essay on how to be a fan of problematic media?
Tumblr wishes you to know that [NSFW] sexism is over... or at least, it doesn't really believe that, but it does consider drawings of male game characters, in the style of female game characters, a good way to illustrate the point. You want pictures of young men in stylised bicep-emphasising armour so huge it's a wonder they can move at all? Tumblr has them for you.

Sociological Images reports on the makeover of Disney's Merida in preparation for her release as a doll. Unfortunately few surprises, here.

... speaking of characters: however careful you are, it's incredibly difficult to avoid spoilers these days - especially if you want to read twitter. 17-year-old Jennie Lamere coded up the solution... and won the Boston hackathon, at which she was the only woman present. Diversity in tech: it's a good thing.

Sophieology takes a look at societal messages given to teenage girls in an article entitled This Trendy “Strong is the New Skinny” Thing (and what it could mean for the next generation of girls) [content notes: dieting, body-policing, disordered eating, weight loss with numbers given, implicit acceptance of "fat is bad"].

This is amazing -- Black is Beautiful: Why Black Dolls Matter tells the story of a new documentary film by Samantha Knowles that will be premièring later this year (trailer below). The article contains interviews from several dollmakers and doll collectors, plus some fascinating photographs.

(video description: Trailer for Samantha Knowles' film 'Why Do You Have Black Dolls?'. A short montage of dollmakers, collectors and historians talking about why it is important to them to have, make and learn about Black dolls, interspersed with images of the dolls themselves).

On the topic of the stories we tell, Indigenous History asks: What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are gathering data on LGBTQ people working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields for a report to be published as an academic paper. They are focussing on the US, but respondents from around the world are invited to provide their experiences.

The British Humanist Association is calling for the upcoming marriage bill to permit humanist marriages, in line with Scotland and Wales - in England, humanist ministers are currently unable to perform legally-binding services. Here's an easy way to write to your MP.

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