by Dominick Marconi
There was this popular meme that recirculated in 2020 which featured a still frame from the Dreamworks animated film Madagascar. It showed the four main characters, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Marty the Zebra, and Melman the Giraffe with puzzled expressions on their faces and overlaid text that read, simply: “Why are you black?”
Everytime I see it I laugh. Everytime I think about it I laugh. I cannot speak as to why anybody else might find it funny, but to me, the comedy not only stems from the absurdity of the question's nature, but in its truth.
by Sarah Knapp
The above videos contain clips from two very different, but two very popular TV shows: RuPaul’s Drag Race and Steven Universe. What do all of these seemingly unrelated scenarios have in common? In each clip, there are quite a few different uses of pronouns, some of which seem confusing or don’t exactly fit our expectations. There is a powerful force at work here: gender is being redefined. Subtly, and sometimes very overtly, the language used to talk about gender is being changed and shaped by the media that surrounds us.
by Kathryn Brining
In 2013, President Barack Obama championed initiatives encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), fields where many feel women are underrepresented. Publishing and media is another arena where men seem to outnumber women, so it should come as no surprise that sexism seems to reign where these two interests meet: science fiction.
Both science and science fiction have long been considered masculine, male-dominated pursuits and the reluctance for some to embrace women working in technical fields may be closely linked to their exclusion when writing about the sciences. Though some might argue this is simply a case of genre, not gender, inequality, all too often, the aspiring female science fiction writer feels stranded in a hostile alien world.