This week we're talking about the radical history of women comic book creators, the state of fandom on the internet, ballet's sexism problem, the street art honoring indigenous nations, a web series about quirky female leads, and why porn is the best weapon against Trump.
The Radical Story Behind The First All-Women Feminist Comic Book Series
Through graphic depictions of swinging superheroines, Robbins created a fantastical outlet to express her very real frustrations as a woman in a patriarchal culture. "I started seeing how women were left out," she said. "How women were thought to be less than men. How women were stereotyped in every way. How they were stuck with the housework and the kids and the responsibilities, while the man kicked back with a drink. And it was all just expected to be that way." (Read more here.)
Are Fans Getting Too Entitled? Nah.
In the beginning, there were the creators. The creators made movies, TV shows, and even actual comic books and novels. Audiences paid money and silently watched the movies, read the books. A few professional reviews appeared; some ardent fans wrote letters to the directors and authors. The creators rested in the comfortable knowledge that they'd produced a piece of art. And then they began again.
Back then, audiences voted primarily with their dollars. If a movie or a comic book were enough of a disaster, the message — something went wrong here — would get through. Art or no, studios and publishers intend to turn a profit by creating entertainment that audiences will happily pay to consume. But frankly, "we didn't want to pay to see this" is not that much information, not enough to tailor the next attempt around the audience's previously unmet desires. So the creators (historically, mostly white men of a certain privileged background) would just get another swing to do something similar, maybe with certain tweaks publishers or studio execs thought would appeal to the masses. Heyo, artistic freedom.
Then, something happened to this Eden. Let's say the internet was the serpent in the garden, and social media the apple of knowledge of good and evil. We all took an enormous bite, then another, and another, and the creators woke up the next morning to find we'd left a bunch of angry tweets in their mentions and launched innumerable earnest fan Tumblrs shipping Sherlock and Loki. (Read more here.)
Ballet Has A Sexism Problem, And Even Its Brightest Stars Don't Know How To Solve It
The dearth of women choreographers matters, because, as Wheeldon's moment of awe in Petipa's studio demonstrates, choreography can live forever. The ballerina is the symbol of the art form, and her tutu and pointe shoes are its most evocative icons. And some of the greatest teachers, those who pass on the knowledge of the art, have been women. But a ballerina's career lasts two decades, at most, and teachers pass away. Choreography gets written down, which makes it far more likely to survive over time than a person, or that person's knowledge.
It matters that women are excluded from the part of ballet with the most longevity. There are troubling ramifications when the bodies that represent an art form are female, but the minds moving those bodies around on stage — for the last century and in the coming one — are mostly male. Dancers come and go. Choreographers can enjoy a kind of eternal life, and immortality shouldn't be granted to one gender but withheld from another. (Read more here.)
Colorado Street Art Pays Tribute To Indigenous Nations And Sacred Mountains
"What we do to the mountains we do to ourselves," says the blocky handwritten text across the Native American activists Klee and Princess Benally, and on the face of it, you're bound to agree with this gently oblique environmental sentiment. However, at the base of this black, white and crimson red portrait is a far stronger critique of the commercial practice of using wastewater to make snow for ski bunnies. (Read more here.)
Hilarious Web Series Breaks Down Exactly What We Love About Quirky Female Leads
Maybe you haven't heard, but there are a whole lot of female-fronted shows on TV right now — at least in comparison to the good-ol'-boy days. It's kind of amazing and refreshing, but let's be real: Comedies created by, for, and about women ("New Girl," "The Mindy Project," "Girls") can lean just as heavily on narrative cliches and stock characters as any Tim Allen vehicle. In case you're not so sure, the parody web series "Quirky Female Protagonist," created by Aliee Chan and executive produced by Adrienne Rose White (also the show's co-stars) will have you convinced in no time.. (Read more here.)
Why Porn Is The Perfect Weapon To Fight Hatred, Fear, And Trump
Artist Rebecca Goyette's solo show at Freight and Volume will feature two new NSFW films along with a series of graphite and gauche drawings inspired by the Salem witch trials. On July 13, 2016, Goyette will be joined by spiritual adviser and modern-day witch Demetrius Lacroix for an interactive ritual performance titled "Protection Spell for America." The spell aims, as Goyette put it, to "oppose hate and create a forcefield of positivity and likemindedness that can spin out energy from its center and put it out into America." (Read more here.)
Book of the Week!
A woman remembers her youthful involvement with a violent, Manson-like cult, in a promising debut. (Read more here.)