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FINE: A comic about gender
August 11, 2013 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Last year, Rhea Ewing started asking questions like "What is gender? How do we relate to it? How do we talk about it? Does it mean the same thing for everyone?" In trying to answer them, she interviewed people and turned their responses into a zine, only to find that those answers sparked more questions.

Ewing has taken her gender comic done documentary-style and started expanding on the original and making the comic more visually interesting and dramatic. Her aim is to "to spark and encourage conversations about gender from all people". She's also looking for more interviewees, particularly queer and trans people of colour from the US Midwest.
posted by Athanassiel (10 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oooooooooooo!
posted by odinsdream at 7:10 PM on August 11, 2013


It was a huge relief when I realised that gender wasn't about being a girl or a boy. It was about correctly inflecting words to agree with arbitrary classes of nouns. This made things a lot easier.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:38 PM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


It was a huge relief when I realised that gender wasn't about being a girl or a boy. It was about correctly inflecting words to agree with arbitrary classes of nouns. This made things a lot easier.

With respect, I don't quite find this to be accurate. Grammatical gender doesn't necessarily dictate social gender roles at all. I'd be very interested to know if scholars have researched whether there's any sort of tendency towards a correlation there, but it's definitely not a clear and simple correspondence or anything like that.
posted by threeants at 7:45 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


(That is to say, speakers of languages that lack grammatical gender distinction between humans of different biological sexes don't, to my knowledge, lack a separate cultural construction of gender; etc.)
posted by threeants at 7:49 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, there's been some research done into whether gender in languages is arbitrarily assigned or has semantic/social constructions. I can't find the particular paper I read a few years ago, but this one has some very interesting data, especially in the bit where the participants talk about motivation and gender assignments, ie: "If I think about sun and moon, I imagine a man and a woman; sun and light make me think of strength, while night and the pale moonlight make me think of delicacy, silence and balance, so I think that the Italian gender assignments are more appropriate."
posted by Athanassiel at 8:04 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting study. Its findings sort of corroborate my earlier comment, in that the participants clearly conceptualized "masculinity" and "femininity" as qualities that could be described in terms of-- but were not particularly tied to-- grammatical gender.
posted by threeants at 8:23 PM on August 11, 2013


Anyway, this is a really cool zine! I like how it doesn't offer an Answer but presents a variety of folks' own feelings on the central question as filtered through their lived experience.
posted by threeants at 8:31 PM on August 11, 2013


The "Grandfather's cats" drawings on Rhea's website are superb. Great idea for the zine - it looks like the it would be great to use to discuss gender with children.

"I want to be dashing and handsome, compassionate, strong, passionate, logical, sensitive, bold, free, and loving - does this make me male or female?" - excellent!

Well done on the redo, glad you took the time to do it.
posted by marienbad at 2:05 AM on August 12, 2013


This is a great find, thanks for posting.
posted by Solomon at 4:01 AM on August 12, 2013


Love this-- thanks for sharing!
posted by TardisCompanion at 9:09 AM on August 12, 2013


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