Thursday News: Samhain, the male gaze, and Disney can’t save Donald Trump
Samhain was never closing? – So, we’ve always been rooting for Samhain, and for readers it was good news to hear recently that the publisher wasn’t going to have to complete its “wind-down to close” detailed in this letter from Christina Brashear. Understandably, that apparent turnaround frustrated some authors who had books with Samhain (and/or had their rights reverted), and there appears to be more frustration with the advent of a new letter that claims the publisher was never planning to close. You can read the newest letter in its entirety here. Among the claims causing some consternation are that “While it is true that Samhain has undergone some recent changes, it is not liquidating its business or winding up its affairs.” The link above goes to the Absolute Write thread in which all of the recent changes have been discussed, and I’ve also been seeing more authors speaking out on Twitter and blogs. I find the whole thing confusing, especially given this conclusion to “the long goodbye” letter:
Saying goodbye is always hard. I will miss working with all of you. Samhain has been my greatest adventure and I’m bereft at having to give it up. Please accept my thanks for all the trust you’ve invested in Samhain and I hope you understand that this choice to begin the wind-down to close is made to honor that trust. – Absolute Write/Sahmain
Renee Zellweger, Margot Robbie, and Blake Lively Exposed to Hollywood’s Insidious Male Gaze – Jen Yamato’s essay on the persistent and damaging objectification of women in Hollywood, ranging from the obsession with Renee Zellweger’s changing face to Margot Robbie’s bikini-ready body. And yes, women can mimic the male gaze, too, which is why simply hiring more women to write films and articles won’t necessary fix the problem.
In her seminal essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey coined the term “male gaze” for the effect that occurs in film when the audience is subjected to the default perspective of a heterosexual man through which women are reduced to objects.
“In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female,” she posited. “The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female figure which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness.” – The Daily Beast
Trump Defends Star of David Tweet With ‘Frozen’ Book – This is actually a decent, quick explanation of the difference between a Disney product image and an anti-Semitic symbol. In other words, it’s not just the symbol, but also the context and an accumulation of images and connotations. Relevant for writing about difference in general.
Of course, there is a marked difference between putting a star graphic on something and putting a star graphic on something that accompanies a pile of money and the concept of corruption, which can conjure up anti-Semitic tropes. – U.S. News & World Report