This was a great podcast. Informative, but also fun and conversational. I’d like to her more in this vein, maybe about particular fandoms or series that the staff/creators are a part of!
I was listening to this on the bus, and took a few notes that I will attempt to reassemble into coherent thoughts.
1) Very good points were made about the formation of sexuality, particularly the complex and sometimes contradictory messages girls receive. As a male I can attest to a very different experience, particularly in regard to the access and nature of sexual material. The media doesn’t show healthy relationships for either boys or girls, which is really messed up considering how prevalent sex and romance are in society.
2) I really liked the explanation of female gaze media, and the idea of damaged relationships as the “female gonzo.” Something that’s not realistic or healthy, but done to hook readers emotionally. That’s the sort of thing I think is fine to read as an escape, so long as the reader understands that’s it’s not healthy. Otherwise you end up with Twilight fans hooked on the idea that it’s okay to have the most important thing in your life be a man who watches you sleep. Sadly the target audience doesn’t always have the maturity or experience to realize that.
3) Speaking of bisexual love triangles, everyone should read The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson.
4) Holy crap, I never realized that about Honey & Clover and Nodame Cantabile. I mean, the fact that the biggest josei titles (as far as that goes) are about male protagonsists who love artistically gifted but weird, childish girls. And those are two of my favorite series! I mean, I’ll still enjoy them, but that is something I’ll have to keep in mind. Also, lol at “josei is about how much it sucks to be a woman.” (I’m looking at you, In Clothes Called Fat)
5) Your mention of Guardians of the Galaxy and other movies getting praised for tiny bits of progressive content in otherwise typical works reminded me of something one of my friends has said. She is basically over men who call themselves feminist, at best espouse traditional liberal feminism, and act like it’s some praiseworthy thing. Her view (which I agree with) is that that is the bare minimum they should be doing. It shouldn’t even be a question; it’s not an end to a belief, it is the start of a discussion. In the case of movies, they can have an awesome female character, but if she’s one of the only female characters and is portrayed in a male gaze-y way, they’re still doing it wrong.
6) It was a little unexpected to hear that Sparkler readers weren’t really interested in heterosexual romance. I’ve never been active in fandoms or shipping, so it was interesting to hear more about the seemingly ubiquitous gay pairings. I can understand it though. It makes for a better escape. With two guys in the relationship a girl doesn’t have a horse in the race, so to speak, and is free from any unwanted baggage or projection from the real world. Heterosexuality is everywhere else in the media, and not always in the most appealing way. Hell, I’m skeptical of mainstream het portayals, and I’m of the gender that’s got the easier time of it.
7) Princess Jellyfish is the best.