- 1:05 am - Wed, Aug 24, 2011
- 48 notes
This is an interesting link making the rounds.
Not much in it about the book world, but it did cause me to flash back to a moment at a book conference earlier in the year at which there was a panel called “Making Nonfiction Sexy.” Also, the confusion and then, anger, I felt as a result. Because why on earth does nonfiction need to be sexy? Why should we want that? By what definition of the word sexy can a genre even be defined as such? It’s ridiculous.
You know? I feel like everything else in the whole world wants to be sexy, and wants me to be sexy, all the time, and it would be nice if there was one goddamn thing that wasn’t sexy, and I feel like the shelves with the presidential biographies would be a fantastic fucking place to start.
Every time a woman suggests that what books need is to be sexier, I wonder why she isn’t as tired as I am of everything being sexy. Doesn’t she want a break from the madness as much as I do?
And every time a man* suggests that books should be sexier, I think, hey, dude, everything is already being geared to be sexy for you. Take your boner and go look at all of the advertising on the television instead. Keep that thing away from my books.
You know what else? Sexy is the lowest common denominator. Sexy is what advertising agencies do when they can’t think of anything clever. I think books can do a little better than that.
Kate Beaton knows what I’m on about. Take it away, Kate.
(This post brought to you by my extreme frustration with the game of cricket.)
*straight man, I guess. If there were more commercials on geared towards gay men I wouldn’t have written this at all and instead would be on YouTube a lot
Being sexy all the time is exhausting. Also, who’s to say what’s sexy? For some, a girl in sweatpants reading a presidential biography is pretty damn hot. Maybe we should change our definition of what is sexy instead of changing the world to fit that narrow stupid boring outdated everything-that-makes-me-roll-my-eyes definition, hm? Cool, glad we had this chat.
Also, getting back to the original article… as someone who has friends in, and is heavily promoting, Epic Win Burlesque: The Star Debate Trek VS Wars, I think the article about geek-girls and cosplay (and ensuing commentary) is fuckin fascinating. And it made me think about whether I think the women in the show are pandering to fandoms/geek-boys, etc. I really dont think so. The women I know in the show created their costumes and acts based on their own interests and geekdom (save for a couple who just aren’t starwars/startrek peeps but that’s ok too!). I don’t think the aim of Epic Win is to pander to geekdoms, in general, although the nerds definitely come out to the shows. I believe that by establishing a positive nerd-friendly space where women (and a couple dudes but mostly women) can creatively express themselves and their perhaps off-center love for the “uncool”, EW Burlesque make women more than sexy objects in recognizable-but-sexified costumes. There’s not that much of that at all. The message, to me, is, “look at what this person did with this idea to make it her own” NOT “look at how sexy this person is in this costume.” Sure, the sexiness is there. And that’s awesome. But how one gets from A to Sexy is interesting. And it fits with my feminism.
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