Friday, February 10, 2012

Sara's Favorites From Year One

by Sara N.
Photo by Iestyn Jones on Twitter @bugail
What can I say about our one-year anniversary that my fabulous fellow bloggers haven't already covered? I've been inspired by their passions and frustrations and triumphs. And wow, the things I wrote over the past year! What a joy to be regularly writing again after going into academia and leaving my journalism career behind. And forthwith, here are my favorite posts from the past 365 days:

Shirtless Thor and the Female Gaze

In the film Thor, our hero, having just landed on Earth after being expelled from Asgard, is changing into mortal clothes. Shirtless, he emerges to talk to his two female rescuers, who both stop and stare. Then the camera does something strange: It lovingly pans up Thor's naked torso. It lingers. It practically leers. The shot is pure beefcake, and it is definitely there for an admiring sexual gaze — certainly not typical for an action/superhero movie, where an unclothed dude is not intended to be a sex object. This shot inverts that typical male gaze and tells us something about changing audiences for superhero films.

Nerd Crushes Galore

I'm not sure how or why, but I've become Stellar Four's go-to writer for waxing poetic about the nerds we love. From the very real James Franco to the larger-than-life Weird Al to the (sadly) fictional Harry Dresden, I've lauded some of the best genre crushes out there. (Don't worry, Stephen Colbert. Your turn is coming in Stellar Four year two.)

When It's OK for You to Hate Twilight and When It Really Isn't

Sometimes, you have a legitimate reason for loathing Stehanie Meyer's vampire series. And sometimes you don't. Here's a rundown of when it's OK to give in to the hate and when you should just keep your mouth shut.

SF/F Characters Who'd Be BFFs ... and Some Who'd Be Enemies

I love "what ifs" and conjecture based on our favorite books, movies and TV shows. In a similar vein to my recent dealbreakers post, this one imagines which women from science fiction and fantasy would get along like gangbusters, and which ones would hate each other on sight. Give it a read, and let me know if it needs to updated in 2012.

Zombie Marie Curie Encourages Future Female Scientists

This post lauds the message of xkcd's comic featuring zombie Marie Curie, and it expands the message to all young women: Work hard in your classes. Compete. Question. Push. Figure out what you love and pursue it, even (or especially?) if it's in a traditionally male-dominated field.
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