Episode 42: Gatekeeping in Geek Culture

Andi and Lise discuss gatekeeping in fandom, and how it excludes many already-marginalized groups from participating in fan culture, including various elements of it like cosplay.

They also discuss how fandoms and pop culture are reflections of the larger society in which they exist, and Lise brings up how that might keep women and other marginalized people from going into STEM fields.

Sadly, gatekeeping isn’t something that is imposed on marginalized groups by a non-marginalized group. LGBTQ gatekeeping occurs, too, and Andi and Lise discuss how that was exemplified by the announcement that gender-fluid lesbian actress Ruby Rose would be portraying Batwoman in the forthcoming Arrowverse crossover event on the CW. Rose was accused of “not being queer enough” and had to leave social media because of the harassment along those lines directed toward her.

For further reference:

Andi mentioned Heather Hogan’s article on Autostraddle about the new Dr. Who. Here’s the link.

Also, Clare McBride at SyFy Wire did an op-ed called “ ‘Not Gay Enough’: Ruby Rose, Gatekeeping, and Toxic Fandom.” Link here.

Lise mentioned a YouTube video by Jessie Gender about gatekeeping in queer culture. Catch the link here.

For more information on what Andi and Lise are geeking out about right now, check out Orc Haven by Beryll and Osiri Brackhaus, and The Gifted on Fox.

Episode 37: Nanette

Andi and Lise had their minds completely blown by “Nanette,” the comedy show/performance piece by Tasmanian comedienne Hannah Gadsby, currently available on Netflix. In this brilliant and searing examination of comedy and who it serves, “Art, [Gadsby] makes clear—from painting to comedy—does not liberate everyone equally. It can replicate the same privileges and exclusions as the culture in which it was made,” Moira Donegan says in her piece on “Nanette” in the New Yorker.

“Nanette” is a blistering tour de force in which Gadsby lays part of her soul bare and then leaves the audience to grapple with its role in perpetuating the marginalization of those it demands entertain us.

And in the wake of the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement, Gadsby’s indictment of homophobia and misogyny and her dissection of comedy has become a phenomenon and a statement. “I really was writing as though I was throwing a grenade,” Gadsby told Rolling Stone, “and I fully expected for the show to seal me off in the margins. I am so shocked and overwhelmingly stunned. It’s become bigger than me. And I’m happy for that.”

Both Andi and Lise are of the opinion that this is the first major piece of art—a blistering fusion of comedy and storytelling—to emerge since the 2016 elections and will probably come to define this era in ways we don’t yet even know.

Hannah Gadsby’s “Nanette” on Netflix (US; check your local Netflix site if you’re not in the US).

Gadsby’s just released memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette is available at various booksellers. Check your faves.

Rolling Stone interview with Gadsby

Moira Donegan at the New Yorker on “Nanette”

The WIRED crew on “Nanette”

Sophie Gilbert at The Atlantic on “Nanette” as a radical, transformative work of comedy

Episode 13: Queer Rep

Andi and Lise talk about queer rep in media following the now-infamous incident at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, which occurred over the July 20-23 weekend and involved members of the cast of Supergirl. The upshot was an impromptu song in which a cast member sang an overview of Season 2 that included a belittling of Supercorp, a f/f fanon* ship** between Lena Luthor and Kara Danvers (Supergirl’s “secret” identity—omg glasses are not the best disguise…). That cast member then went on to say that he “debunked Supercorp” and was told by another cast member that what he did was “pretty brave.”

The fallout was immediate, and LGBTQ fans were hurt and bewildered, so Lise and Andi wanted to address this, which isn’t just what happened with Supergirl. It’s about rep overall, and this is just the latest example.

And yes, Andi and Lise have some strong feelings about this, so language may be strong as well.

*fanon: a term used in fanfiction and in fandoms to describe commonly accepted ideas among authors and fans even if the idea is not expressed in the canon work, which is the official storyline from the original work.

**ship: in fanspeak, a “ship” is a relationship (often romantic) between two characters, whether canon or fanon. “Shipping” is when fans imagine a relationship between characters (say, in TV shows or movies) that may or may not have been intended by writers or creators.

Some other links about this incident:

The Mary Sue
The Refinery
Pink News
Affinity Mag

Episode 4: The Women of Star Wars

Lise (LMac) and Andi talk about three women characters from the Star Wars franchise. The iconic Princess Leia (the late Carrie Fisher and omg we miss her so) from the trilogy that was first released beginning in 1977; Rey (Daisy Ridley) from 2015’s The Force Awakens, and Jyn (Felicity Jones), from Rogue One, the 2016 standalone/prequel to the 1977 movie Star Wars: A New Hope (the first one released).

 

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