Luna's first Call for Papers, 'Gender Identity and Sexuality in Fantasy and Science Fiction' will be released on Wednesday the 9th of August. Explore the ten brilliant papers you will find in the book.
Today, we introduce you to Anna Milon (Russia). She is presenting the paper: "Bikini Armour: Women Characters, Readers and Writers in Male Narratives".
"This essay owes its title to the blog www.bikiniarmourbattledamage.tumblr.com, whose writers poke fun at the unrealistic and often downright hazardous female ‘armour’ in various franchises. I have chosen the title for two reasons: firstly, to highlight hyper-sexualisation and the demand for physical prowess, the rock and hard place between which fantasy heroines are often caught; secondly, because, like the impractical armour, narratives that we female readers expect to protect us often turn against us.
Fantasy, because of its setting in a remote past (albeit an imaginary one), and its roots in male-centred narratives, is often not expected to challenge gender inequality and lack of representation. Because ‘that’s just how things were back in the day’. And yet it is a genre exponentially growing in popularity. That and fantasy literature’s association with a young demographic: children and teenagers – forces an uncomfortable question of what exactly are we teaching our children.
Drawing on a wide range of gender criticism of modern fantasy literature and conducting close reading comparisons between male-coded and female-coded protagonists, I shall navigate the temptations, as female reader and writer, of buying into the false security of the male epic and discuss whether there is such a thing as ‘the female gaze’."
You can follow Anna on Twitter.
Pre-order 'Gender Identity and Sexuality in Fantasy and Science Fiction' now!