Romancing the Beast
Paranormal Romance almost always features the hero as a paranormal being and the heroine as an ordinary human. How does this resonate with gender relations and power relationships in our society? And is it emblematic of women seeing men as Other?
Porn Crushes The Patriarchy, The Sequel
Is it erotica, or is it porn? Or is yours porn and mine erotica? I posit that it's all in your point of view, and though most female readers today feel it's acceptable to read "erotica" or "erotic romance," they object strongly to the idea that such fiction might be read solely to inspire sexual fantasy and to physically arouse, in particular if the literature doesn't include a love relationship.
Are the majority of women still ashamed of liking sexual literature? If so, why? And what about visual erotica? Is it still stigmatized among women? Do women "not like looking"? Why is one format different from the other?
What are the uses of omniscient pov in fiction? Why is it less common these days? How can omniscient pov be used to give the reader a deeper, more nuanced view of the characters and the story? And how can women writers use omniscient pov as a way of undermining a narrative structure that is steeped in patriarchy? [suggested Gwenda Bond as moderator.]
Revisiting Gilbert and Gubar
The classic feminist critique THE MADWOMAN IN THE ATTIC discussed nineteenth century women writers and how society and patriarchal literary history constrained them into writing characters who were either angels or monsters. Are these same issues still with us in contemporary sf/f? Let's use Gilbert and Gubar as a lens to examine women's writing of today.
The Kids' Books That Made Us
What books are in your earliest memories? How did they affect your imagination, your actions, your knowledge of the world? Do you remember reading childrens' books featuring powerful women? Other races and cultures? Which books do you choose or plan to choose for your own children?
The New World of Netbooks
Asus EEE, Acer Aspire One...those names sound familiar? Have you seen people surfing the net on wee laptops that aren't really laptops? Bring your netbook and show it off! Discuss the pros and cons. Q&A for those looking to purchase their very own netbook.
My Big Fat Paranormal Wedding
Instant, unbreakable soul bonds; choosing immortality to be with your lover; arranged marriages to save the world. All these plot tropes in paranormal romance damage or negate the element of choice in relationships. Are these tropes a plot convenience, or symbolic of something deeper in our society's views on marriage?
Women in Whedon's Astonishing X-Men
Joss Whedon's ASTONISHING X-MEN gives a lesser role to perennial fan favorite Wolverine and expands the roles of Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost. Villain Danger is ostensibly genderless but is drawn with feminine shape. New character, Agent Brand, is a hard, expedient agent who shows brief vulnerability in her attraction to the Beast. Let's discuss this series, how the women are portrayed, and what this will mean for the future of X-Men.