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missturdle:

amarielah:

Bay Alexison’s findings: The problematic portrayal of minority characters in the FMA manga and Brotherhood: an explanation.

CUT FOR LENGTH AND MASSIVE SPOILERS! 

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Some really good points made here. I’m always impressed by the amount of though missturdle puts into things especially. 

(via )

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fyeahlilbit2point0:

searchingforthesublime:

an essay by science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler

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originally published in Essence magazine in 2000

“SO DO YOU REALLY believe that in the future we’re going to have the kind of trouble you write about in your books?” a student asked me as I was signing books after a talk. The young man…

“I was poor, Black, the daughter of a shoeshine man and a maid. At best I was treated with gentle condescension when I said I wanted to be a writer. Now I write for a living. Without the excellent, free public education that I was able to take advantage of, I might have found other things to do with my deferred dreams and stunted ambitions.”

(via fyeahlilbit3point0)

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What was the first novel published by an African-American woman?

fearfullymade-locs:

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from African-American Firsts:  Famous, Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America: 


Harriet Wilson’s 1859 novel, Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, was the first published novel by an African-American woman and the first novel by a Black writer to be published in the US.  By being the recollection of a free African-American woman’s experiences as a servant for a white family in Massachusetts, Our Nig provided a picture of racism in the antebellum North.

Virtually unnoticed when it was published, the book was rediscovered in 1981 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who conducted research into Wilson’s life… In 2001, Gates acquired an unpublished manuscript that he said was the first known novel by an African-American slave.  The handwritten manuscript, titled The Bondswoman’s Narrative, was written about 1857 by a slave who had run away from a North Carolina plantation.  The novel, signed by Hannah Crafts, tells of a woman’s life as a house slave an later as a teacher in the North

(via blackwomenworldhistory)

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nerjj:

Happy birthday to the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks. Today would’ve been her 100th birthday. 

It kind of saddens me that Google doesn’t have a doodle for her (I know they had one on Dec. 1) or that it wasn’t mentioned in my history class, or that no one else really knows about it, Not a lot of people think about it, but Rosa Parks basically put the Civil Rights Movement in full swing with her refusal to give her seat to a white person.

She’s the reason why people fought for our rights like no one did before. I hope everyone takes the time to think about what she has done for this country. 

(Source: satindolls, via fyeahlilbit3point0)

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girlgoesgrrr:

Because he was GAY ….

So why have you never heard about Bayard Rustin in history class? 
Bayard Rustin was an activist, teacher and administrator who played a key role in the Civil Rights movement — he acted as a secretary to Dr Martin Luther King, helped organise the Freedom Rides and bus integration protests, and was the key organiser for the 1963 March on Washington, at which King gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. 
Because Bayard Rustin was gay. 
In 1953, he was arrested in Pasadena, California for having consensual sex in a parked car with two male partners. He was initially charged with vagrancy and lewd conduct: the charges were later altered to a lesser count of ‘sex perversion’, to which he pleaded guilty. After his conviction, he was asked to leave the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the pacifist Civil Rights organisation that he worked for, and was later shunned or encouraged to take a behind-the-scenes role by many members of the movement (it’s important to remember that this may not have been completely due to the homophobia of the other civil rights leaders — they were acting under  the fear of being smeared or blackmailed by right-wing opposition). Nevertheless, he managed to live through this stigma, and spent the rest of his life working for both African-American and gay civil rights. 
Read more and find links to follow at the Secret Histories Project.

girlgoesgrrr:

Because he was GAY ….

So why have you never heard about Bayard Rustin in history class? 

Bayard Rustin was an activist, teacher and administrator who played a key role in the Civil Rights movement — he acted as a secretary to Dr Martin Luther King, helped organise the Freedom Rides and bus integration protests, and was the key organiser for the 1963 March on Washington, at which King gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. 

Because Bayard Rustin was gay. 

In 1953, he was arrested in Pasadena, California for having consensual sex in a parked car with two male partners. He was initially charged with vagrancy and lewd conduct: the charges were later altered to a lesser count of ‘sex perversion’, to which he pleaded guilty. After his conviction, he was asked to leave the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the pacifist Civil Rights organisation that he worked for, and was later shunned or encouraged to take a behind-the-scenes role by many members of the movement (it’s important to remember that this may not have been completely due to the homophobia of the other civil rights leaders — they were acting under  the fear of being smeared or blackmailed by right-wing opposition). Nevertheless, he managed to live through this stigma, and spent the rest of his life working for both African-American and gay civil rights. 

Read more and find links to follow at the Secret Histories Project.

(Source: fuckyeahhistorycrushes, via elle-lavender)

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spiralingoutwards:

Source: Queer and Trans* Youth Visibility Project
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The Great Feminist Manga and Anime List: Fullmetal Alchemist

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

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Note: This is referring to the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and its direct adaptation, which is called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in the States and Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Fullmetal Alchemist in Japan. I am not referring to the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation, which I don’t consider feminist due mostly to less central female characters, more problematic handling of race and most prominently its bad treatment of Rose and to a lesser extent, Winry. It’s okay if you consider it feminist, but this is my review. I detail my problems with the anime on feminist and other grounds in the top posts here: http://adventuresofcomicbookgirl.tumblr.com/tagged/fma-2003-anime-liveblog-action. Beware spoilers for both series.

I will forever find it pretty fantastic that it’s a woman who wrote what I consider to be the best shonen manga ever. Hiromu Arakawa’s masterpiece should be an example to other artists of how it’s done. It’s tightly plotted, well drawn, has a huge cast of complex characters and it never lags, but comes together to be a beautiful and inspirational tale. Forget one of the best stories in manga, the Fullmetal Alchemist series is one of the best stories out there, period. Not only did Hiromu Arakawa continue the legacy (started by artists such as Rumiko Takahashi) of proving women can dominate in action-oriented manga, she also showed that you can do a story in a genre typically targeted to young boys with male main characters and still have a diverse, prominent and fantastic cast of lady characters. You can also explore serious themes like war, genocide, prejudice, faith, hubris and the nature of humanity and how to move on after committing great sins.

Fullmetal Alchemist is the story of brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric (usually called Ed and Al) who live in Western-fantasy world where alchemy is a highly touted science based on the principles of equivalent exchange. The two of them tried to bring their mother back to life using alchemy when Ed was eleven, but Ed ended up losing an arm and leg, and his brother would have disappeared entirely if it weren’t for Ed binding his soul to a suit of armor. Now, with Ed aided by a mechanical arm and leg made by his childhood friend Winry, Ed and Al are on a journey to restore what they’ve lost, but find out about a deep conspiracy within their country and secrets about their own family on the way.

Fullmetal Alchemist is a story that’s really about people, and Ed and Al’s journey is really about the people they gather around them on the way, and the state of humanity in general. Though it has a very intense and well paced plot, it’s a really character-driven series. And a lot of those characters are important and well-developed women, who have a variety of different strengths and roles and all have their own goals and character arcs. Boys’ manga in particular can fall into the trap of not developing female characters as well, only including one decently prominent female character and calling it a day, shunting girls to the sideline or, even if they have more than one female character, adhereing to the idea that women can only be important if they imitate the male characters and act hyperviolent. Female characters can be there just to be put in hostage situations, or have their lives only revolve around the male main character.

Fullmetal Alchemist subverts all of that spectacularly. The best mechanics in the series are women, and while Winry Rockbell is the main character’s love interest and a non-combatant, Ed depends on her to support him at all times because he wouldn’t be able to walk or do alchemy without the limbs she made him and her constant repairs and he points this out. She loves the Elric brothers dearly, but her life and goals are not dependent on them. She is dedicated to helping people as the best healer and mechanic she can be, and tons of customers depend on her and adore her. She’s also an incredibly driven and courageous person in her own right without busting villain heads. She has her own rich character arc where she struggles with abandonment issues, her anger over the death of her parents and tries to figure out her purpose in life and philosophy.

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I’d just like to remind everyone this is also the series of my heart and soul.

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The Great Feminist Manga and Anime List: The Twelve Kingdoms

strange-and-amazing:

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

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The Twelve Kingdoms (also called Jūni Kokuki, “Record of 12 Countries” or “Juuni Kokki”) is a story by Fuyumi Ono that is both a series of novels and an anime. It’s one of the most well constructed and positive fantasy stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

The most prominent narrative centers around Yoko Nakajima, a submissive sixteen year old girl who lives to please those around her, reared by her controlling father to believe a very narrow idea of what girls should be. Everything changed for Yoko when a strange man approached her at school and informed her she was being hunted by demons. The man bowed to her and offered her his protection and allegiance. Yoko was panicked into accepting his offer, and given a sword to fight demons with. She was chased by the demons into the fantastical world of the twelve kingdoms, separated from her mysterious protector and stranded. The world of the Twelve Kingdoms is filled with strange customs and dangerous creatures, and in some places the outsiders that blow in from Japan and China aren’t welcomed due to the calamity caused by the storms that blow them in. This meek schoolgirl who built her life around serving others now has only herself to count on, and she is going to have to find out who she is and what she’s really made of if she wants to survive.

               If you’re looking for a story that has a) has ridiculously complex and thorough world building that delves into every facet of the mythology, geography, population and governance of a high-fantasy alternate word and b) massive character development, intense psychological examination and characters having to examine the effects of abuse of power and oppression and facing sticky moral conflicts with no easy answers and oh did we mention that these complex and conflicted characters are mostly excellent ladies….well, this is the right story, my friend.

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 Okay, because I want to get as many people as possible into this series, I’m reblogging this review and posting something I wrote about this review and the series on my LJ a while ago. I have many followers who I’m positive would love it. 

One of my favourite people on Tumblr, adventuresofcomicbookgirl does feminist reviews on anime and manga, looking at their themes and handling of social issues. I was excited that  yesterday she posted a review on The Twelve Kingdoms. This series is an amazing, but still rather obscure. As mentioned in the review, it has extremely detailed world building, phenomenal character development and morally complex situations. There are also amazing, fully fleshed out ladies who go through incredible journeys to discover who they are outside of societal pressures. 

There is a link in the review to both the anime, which is sold on amazon, and online translations of the original light novels. I personally prefer the light novels because we get to see inside the main characters head in the anime doesn’t allow. And as mentioned in the review, the anime adds two characters who were awkwardly inserted into the plot, and really didn’t need to be there. However, I would still highly recommend the anime. It has beautiful animation, wonderfully done music and top notch voice acting. And aside from the aforementioned changes, is very faithful to the source material. Everyone should read the review. It’s one of my favourite stories, and I can’t emphasize enough how amazing this series.

Aw thank you!

Yes, everyone needs to read and watch this series. It is basically the fantasy narrative of my hesrt.

(via elle-lavender)

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The Great Feminist Manga and Anime List: Simoun

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

Simoun

The premise of Simoun is that it takes place in a world where everyone is born with breasts and a vagina, and everyone is basically identified as female by society until they are seventeen. Once someone hits that age, they are able to go to a magical spring to choose their sex. At least, in the land of Simulacrum., they are. One other land (Argentum) uses surgery because they don’t have a spring. The spring isn’t the only thing Simulacrum possesses that other nations want. They also possess mysterious aircraft called Simoun, thought to be chariots of the gods. The Simoun can outfly everything else, and also draw shining trails in the sky called “Ri Maajon”. These designs are usually used in prayer rituals, but also can destroy enemy airships in war. As a result, other countries wage war against Simulacrum to capture the Simoun.

Only priestesses who haven’t yet gone to the spring and chosen their sex can fly the Simoun, and they have to do so in pairs. As a result, these supposedly sacred young people get dragged into the war and into using what are supposed to be sacred vessels as weapons.

Obviously, the premise itself is heavily tied to concept of gender, and the very concept deconstructs the idea that ones gender identity must be tied to the sex they were born with In a very sci-fi sort of way, the system in place in Simulacrum can relate to some of the stuff trans people deal with. The process of the Spring is similar to transitioning after surgery in that it all doesn’t happen instantaneously. The breasts slowly shrink, the voice slowly deepens, and the adjustment of the body is gradual. To drive this point in, the series has an all-female voice cast, so even the adult men clearly all originally had higher voices that just went a little deeper. Also, people can not really be interested in changing sex regardless of gender identity, in the same way that a person who is transgendered may not want a surgery even if they can do it, so apparently to incentivize the change, more career options are available for men in this society.

A lot of the characters in the series are uncomfortable about the idea of permanently choosing a sex, meaning they clearly don’t identify completely with either a male or female gender identity. Their feelings are not derided or invalidated, but explored. It is clear that society disapproves of those who don’t want to choose, and some characters struggle to escape that. One girl finds herself very unhappy after choosing her sex, presumably because she thought something inside her would change with that decision, and it didn’t, and she found this wasn’t to her liking. The social constructions of gender aren’t heavily discussed beyond these struggles being presented, though there is a very nice discussion that questions the idea of wanting to become a man to protect someone else or “be strong”. A lot of the development is wrapped up in the idea you shouldn’t choose your sex based on what you want to be for other people, but what you want to be  for yourself. Which is a pretty great message.

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looking through my tags and remembering how wonderful this anime was about gender and queer love holy shit

See the rest of my reviews of manga and anime from a feminist perspective here

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The Great Feminist Manga and Anime List: The Twelve Kingdoms

adventuresofcomicbookgirl:

The Twelve Kingdoms (also called Jūni Kokuki, “Record of 12 Countries” or “Juuni Kokki”) is a story by Fuyumi Ono that is both a series of novels and an anime. It’s one of the most well constructed and positive fantasy stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

The most prominent narrative centers around Yoko Nakajima, a submissive sixteen year old girl who lives to please those around her, reared by her controlling father to believe a very narrow idea of what girls should be. Everything changed for Yoko when a strange man approached her at school and informed her she was being hunted by demons. The man bowed to her and offered her his protection and allegiance. Yoko was panicked into accepting his offer, and given a sword to fight demons with. She was chased by the demons into the fantastical world of the twelve kingdoms, separated from her mysterious protector and stranded. The world of the Twelve Kingdoms is filled with strange customs and dangerous creatures, and in some places the outsiders that blow in from Japan and China aren’t welcomed due to the calamity caused by the storms that blow them in. This meek schoolgirl who built her life around serving others now has only herself to count on, and she is going to have to find out who she is and what she’s really made of if she wants to survive.

               If you’re looking for a story that has a) has ridiculously complex and thorough world building that delves into every facet of the mythology, geography, population and governance of a high-fantasy alternate word and b) massive character development, intense psychological examination and characters having to examine the effects of abuse of power and oppression and facing sticky moral conflicts with no easy answers and oh did we mention that these complex and conflicted characters are mostly excellent ladies….well, this is the right story, my friend.

Read More

Link to other Feminist Anime and Manga reviews