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Sparkler Podcast #04

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    Lianne Sentar

    More blabbing from your editors, this time about love and sex in the Female Gaze. Questions, thoughts, etc. below!


    I have to say this has been my favorite podcast episode so far! I just loved hearing you guys pick apart this type of stuff and would love just hear more ramblings of this nature in the future <3

    Lianne Sentar

    We’re glad you liked it, Scotty! This episode was VERY loose and rambly, so I’m glad it wasn’t too unwieldy for you, heh. We figured there were enough sex jokes to keep it afloat.


    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.


    This WAS a really good episode! I liked it a lot– I love hearing people pick apart ideas near and dear to my heart. I just want you all to know I was talking back to my screen the entire time. :3

    I was also interested to hear that Sparkler readers had that immediate reaction to het romance. I used to feel that way for a long time, but I don’t anymore I guess?? It’s… interesting. (I mean some of my favorite comics I’m reading right now are like… Happy Marriage?! and stuff. Pretty uh romance novel-y.) I don’t think it surprised me, but it interested me!

    I had coherent thoughts but I lost them… still, great episode guys. :D

    EDIT: Also I was so stoked to hear Yuki Yoshihara mentioned– I LOVE her so much. She’s absolutely hilarious. It’s a real shame that the only thing that came out in English so far from her is sort of impenetrable for a lot of readers– especially if you haven’t read like 50000 stories about office ladies like I have


    I’m late to the party but who cares~!

    I’ve just listened to the podcast and I must say it was great to hear a lot of things you said in it. It’s interesting to hear some of the hmm market analysis :) and I must say hearing it and hearing your preferences makes me so much confident about stuff I write myself. I definitely feel better about things I am planning in my webcomic and how I purposefully try not to talk about if/what kind of romance would appear in is as I want people to see for themselves. I mean it’s great that there are people who appreciate romances/relationships that happen organically (I was kind of suspecting lots of shipping stems from that but I didn’t realize it’s up to that degree).
    I also really need to read or listen to Tokyo Demons now :)

    Also, along with other podcasts, you ladies sound really fun :) Hearing you geek about stuff while I do boring things at dayjob is what keeps me going!

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