Daphne “cursed” to be “size 8″ because it’s “what she holds most dear.”

And the winner for Most Scornful Quotation Marks In A Title goes to…!

A new Scooby-Doo movie came out on Tuesday: “Scooby-Doo: Frankencreepy,” in which the gang investigates a haunted house and are cursed to lose “that which they hold most dear.”

For Daphne, that means losing her good looks:

There’s a lot wrong here, so let’s break it down.

1. Being fat isn’t a punishment. The average American woman is size 12-14. Plus-size clothing starts at size 12. Odds are good that you, your mom, your sister, your friends – not to mention many thousands of the women purchasing the Scooby-Doo movie for their kids – are size 8 or more. Life goes on! Unless you’re watching a movie with your kids and suddenly a character is horrifically cursed to look like…well, like an average woman.

2. Nor is being fat hideous. The worst thing Daphne can imagine happening to her is losing her good looks – so the movie gives her extra weight and frizzy hair? Why not, I don’t know, making her sprout a third eye, or tentacles, or turn green, or have her limbs be reversed, or dissolve into shapeless goo? It’s not bad or wrong to be a size 8, and for Scooby-Doo to equate it with ugliness is incredibly hurtful and damaging.

Now THIS is ugly.

3. That’s supposed to be what size 8 looks like? On their scale, a size 20 woman is apparently the size of the Moon. The age demographic watching Scooby-Doo probably isn’t paying too much attention to the number on their clothing labels just yet, but they will soon, and when they try on size 8 clothing, guess what image is probably going to come to mind. Good job, Warner Brothers! You’ve found another way to introduce fat phobia to kids. I hope you’re pleased with yourselves.


10 Things Feminists Hate

You might have seen a blog a couple weeks ago full of women holding up lists of reasons why they don’t need feminism. You may have also heard of actresses like Shailene Woodley claiming reluctance to call themselves feminists.

The funny (and by “funny” I mean “kind of heartbreaking”) part is that these statements tend to follow a pattern:

“I’m not a feminist, but I believe in X, Y, and Z feminist beliefs.”

“I don’t need feminism because (results of decades of feminist activism).”

I think people are afraid to refer to themselves as feminists because of the widespread misunderstanding of what feminism really is. Feminists don’t hate men. Feminist women don’t want to be better than men. If you say you don’t need feminism because you’re your husband’s equal, congratulations! You’re a feminist. If you think you don’t need feminism because you can vote, well, you have previous generations of feminists thank for that.

Men seem to be particularly afraid to identify as feminists, again forming their opinion on an untrue belief: that feminism is only for women. It isn’t, just like the civil rights movement wasn’t only for racial minorities. (And while women usually like having the platform to ourselves for once, we do appreciate it when someone else stands up for us.) If you are a man and you believe women deserve equal pay, the ability to choose what they want to do with their lives, and freedom from street harassment, congratulations! You, too, are a feminist.

So if feminists don’t hate men, what do we hate? Here’s my list – you might be surprised at what you have in common with a feminist.

1. Sexual inequality. We hate that women still earn less than men. We hate gender double standards. We hate that one parent is viewed as more skilled or better at parenting than the other. We hate being bullied into embracing unwanted gender roles. It’s a long list – feel free to add to it.

2. Paper cuts. They’re the worst, right?!

3. Racial inequality. When the book “Lean in” came out, it stirred up a lot of controversy because of its portrayal of one white, cis-gendered, upper-middle-class woman’s experiences. There is no one-size-fits-all feminism, and when we try to act like there is, many women get shut out. This is where intersectional feminism comes into play, taking into account the varying experiences of women from different races.

4. All other kinds of inequality. Intersectional feminism also addresses the experiences of women from different classes, gender identities, ages, and levels of ability. Feminists don’t want any woman to feel shut out.

5. Having food go bad. You’re finally going to eat healthy and have salad for dinner, only to discover that the lettuce has turned into brown goo. And that fancy cheese left over from that party? Yeah, you should have finished that by now. And don’t even get me started on that last half-inch of milk with a five-day-old best-by date that everyone is too afraid to test.

6. People who don’t pick up after their dogs. We went to the beach on Saturday and twice I saw people leave their dogs’ poop right there in the sand. You know people are walking barefoot in that sand, right? And kids are playing in it? Just checking.

7. Having our words disregarded or ignored. Whether it’s a long-hidden story of abuse that someone was afraid to share out of fear of not being believed, or an instance of street harassment that someone just wants to vent about, nothing riles up a feminist more than wanting her (or his) words to be heard and not having the space or freedom to say them and have them be taken seriously.

8. Being sick. Especially when that space between your nose and your upper lip gets all chapped. Not fun.

9. When something goes wrong with your laundry. I just tried to wash our pillows and mine came out looking distinctly un-pillow-like. Sigh.

10. Trolls, apologists, deniers, devil’s advocates, derailers, etc. The events in Ferguson have been widely discussed this week – but I’ve kept my opinions to myself, because as a white girl from the Pacific Northwest, it’s not my place to weigh in. If you’ve ever made an issue somehow about you when it wasn’t; if you’ve ever played devil’s advocate simply to have something to say; if you’ve ever made excuses for someone’s behavior even when it was pretty definitely wrong; if you’ve made a joke to “lighten the mood” or to get a rise out of someone, you probably made a feminist angry at some point.

Sometimes, like Ferguson is not about me, the issue is not about you. Please leave the floor open for someone directly affected by it to share what’s on their mind, without being interrupted by jokes or explanations, no matter how well-meaning they might be, because that person may not get much opportunity to do so otherwise. Just sit back, take your hands off the keyboard, and listen for a while. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Links Lundi

Confused about what a strong female character should look like? This comic will help clear things up.

Speaking of strong female characters, Marvel Studios is suddenly all weird about their lack of a Black Widow movie, blaming “timing” and their crowded schedule for their unwillingness to produce a female-led movie. Meanwhile, Joss Whedon apparently made room for four “prominent” female roles in the next Avengers movie. Please oh please oh please let one of them be Captain Marvel.

Make your house look like a geek cathedral with comics-inspired stained glass stickers!

Cosplayer Emily has an amazing blog, The Stylish Geek, which showcases her various costumes, plus the geeky fashion she works into everyday life.

Via Already Pretty, here’s a great video about gendered marketing:

Currently: August

We’re finally having a bit of cooler weather, which reminds me fall is coming, whether I’m ready for it or not. (I kind of am.) The change of seasons is always a good time for a meme.

Well, all the time is a good time for a meme, but here we are.

Current Book(s): Um, several. “Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest, “Mission to Paris” by Alan Furst, various Wonder Woman books, and “Jesus Feminist” by Sarah Bessey.

Current Playlist: My videogame soundtrack playlist for writing, my Lord Huron playlist for driving.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Working my way through the giant bag of chocolate covered sea salt caramels I got at the beach.

Current Color: black – black sweats or black T-shirts.

Current Drink: white wine.

Current Food: sea salt caramels! Also salads with chicken on them.

Current Favorite Show: We’re still working our way through TNG, but I keep finding myself peeking over Kevin’s shoulder whenever he’s watching “White Collar.”

Current Wishlist: New jeans :( This Captain Marvel T-shirt. More Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman graphic novels. Captain Marvel’s uniform jacket, which doesn’t exist in real life unless you make your own. A lightsaber for my Luke Skywalker costume. Better wrists.

Current Needs: To finish revising a damn short story already.

Current Triumphs: I conducted two interviews for church promotional project!

Current Bane(s) of my Existence: Tendonitiiiiiis. Sexism in comics. Procrastination.

Current Celebrity Crush: Matt Bomer. Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Current Indulgence: Sea salt caramels. White wine. Not writing.

Current #1 Blessing: Writing!

Current Slang or Saying: can’t really think of anything…

Current Outfit: T-shirt tucked into my gray maxi skirt.

Current Excitement: I’m hosting a baby shower this weekend for which I get to make tiny peach pies!

Current Mood: hungry… I tend to forget to have breakfast until, well, lunchtime.

Links Lundi

Tabletop roleplayers will probably appreciate #diceshaming, in the tradition of dog-shaming.

A look at the exo-suits used in “Edge of Tomorrow,” which weigh 135 pounds in some cases! It gives a glimpse into the character development of Emily Blunt’s war hero Rita, aka the Angel of Verdun.

A mom writes about finding a photo her kids secretly took of her: “Who took this hideous picture of me?!

A 17-year-old girl cosplaying at San Diego Comic-Con was discovered unconscious early last Sunday morning. Ultimately, the investigation ruled her injuries to be the result of a fall, but given past incidents, it’s not a surprise that everyone’s minds jumped to sexual assault. The girl is recovering, and while I’m relieved this girl wasn’t attacked, I don’t want to see this incident swept under the rug.  Sexual harassment is a problem at cons. If there’s a con in your area, check its website to see if it has a sexual harassment policy (like Geek Girl Con‘s or Emerald City‘s). If not, write to them! Help make cons a safe space for everyone. (More resources can be found at Geeks For Consent.)

Links Lundi

First of all, if you haven’t seen this yet, you absolutely need to: it’s 5-foot-tall, 100-pound gymnast Kacy Catanzaro straight-up dominating the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. She’s the first woman to ever qualify for the finals.


Find our where you lie on the Geek Zodiac:

Alice Coachman, the first black woman to win Olympic gold, passed away last Monday at age 90.

Ha: honest box art for video games.

This is not easy to read, but it’s crucial: I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault, a new blog designed to say the words all sexual assault survivors need to hear most.

In case you missed it, Thor is now a woman and Falcon is now Captain America! I’m trying to reserve judgment on the Thor change because, well, Marvel hasn’t made much sense yet and maybe it’ll be awesome when it actually goes down in October. Sam Wilson as Cap, however, is one hundred percent awesome.

7 Mythological Women Who Could Replace Lady-Thor

I will very rarely say no to having more female characters in comics. That said, Marvel’s recent decision to turn Thor into a woman has left a…not necessarily bad, but definitely weird, taste in my mouth.

For one thing, the gender switch feels like a publicity stunt. For another, it seems downright lazy and it hardly makes sense (is “Thor” a title now?).

My biggest issue, though, is that Marvel seemingly can’t be bothered to seek out another fascinating, powerful mythological woman to introduce to their canon. Here are my seven suggestions:

1. Oya is a Yoruba goddess, a warrior associated with lightning, wind, thunder, and fire. She guards the underworld and unleashes hurricanes and tornadoes by dancing. She also represents transition, particularly the chaotic aspects of change, as encapsulated in her guarding the transition between life and death.

2. Morrigan is an Irish shapeshifting goddess of war, similar to a Valkyrie. She often takes the form of a crow, but has also been depicted as a wolf and an eel. In one of her stories, she takes on Celtic hero Cú Chulainn and attempts to sabotage his battle while utilizing several animal forms.

3. Aide is a Basque deity who basically has a light side and the dark side, one which results in gentle breezes and the other in devastating storms. If that doesn’t make for an interesting comic character, I don’t know what will.

4. Bellona is a Roman war goddess, the equivalent of the Greek goddess Enyo. She went to war armed with a whip and a torch. Roman Senate meetings pertaining to foreign war were held in her temple, and she both prepared her brother Mars’ chariot for battle and joined him in the fighting.

5. Inanna is a Sumerian goddess of warfare and fertility, associated with lions. She certainly has plenty of material for comics. In one of her stories (which features in the book “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson), she tricks another god, Enki, into giving her the Mes, which are the blueprints for everything a thriving civilization needs, ranging from abstract notions like justice to practical instructions like how to write or build. She tracks down a man who raped her by unleashing plagues upon the city he’s hiding in, ultimately driving him out and killing him. And in what might be her for most famous story, she descends into the underworld – a dreary kingdom run by her sister, which no one can ever leave – for unclear reasons. Inanna sits on her sister’s throne, dies there, and is revived by Enki – but she can’t leave until she’s found someone to take her place. On her way back to the entrance of the underworld, she keeps running into people she knows, and she won’t choose any of them to take her place. Finally, she exits the underworld and finds her husband – lounging under a tree, not missing her at all. Guess who’s sent to the underworld.

6. Kadlu, Kweetoo, and Ignirtoq are sister Inuit deities who create thunderstorms by jumping on hollow ice to make thunder, sparking pieces of flint together to generate lightning, and (well) “urinating profusely” to create rain, respectively. They were so noisy and unruly that their parents finally kicked them out, so they joined up with the sea goddess Sedna to create storms whenever she needed them.

7. Sif! Sif already exists in Marvel comics, but it looks like she’s been woefully underused, mostly as yet another person for Loki to play tricks on. She deserves a reboot in the spirit of her movie self.

What are your thoughts on Lady Thor? Who would you pick from mythology to star in her own comic book?

An Open Letter to the Teenage Girls Helping Their Friend Find a Swimsuit

from “6 Bikini Body Truths” by Winona Dimeo-Ediger

Dear Teenage Girls at Target,

Maybe your shopping trip the other day was completely normal, but for me, it was something completely new.

All four of you gave me deer-in-the-headlights looks when I joined you in the dressing rooms. I smiled politely and slipped into my room, expecting to overhear the usual assortment of teenage-girl snark and cattiness.

The conversation I heard was much different.

Three of you were helping the fourth find a swimsuit. It was clear she been having a hard time finding one and was feeling bad about herself, but the other three girls were nothing but positive. You gave honest constructive criticism on every suit Number Four was brave enough to show you: “This part is cute, but I think you’re looking for a suit that does X.”

You talked about friends who weren’t present, but, unlike far too many conversations I overhear, everything you said was kind. You commented – nicely! – about the wide variety of body types present in your circle of friends. You complimented each other! You complimented people who weren’t even there! Not once did I hear any of you say you wished you had Friend A’s legs, or Friend B’s stomach.

I had to text my friends. “There’s a group of teenage girls in the fitting rooms all united to find one of them a swimsuit she feels good in, all of them being super positive about their different body types and how great they look in different stuff. I WANT TO HUG THEM.”

Honestly I have never, ever overheard a conversation like that. It made me realize, first of all, how much negativity I hear in conversations between people of any gender, and how many of my own conversations veer towards the negative. We really like to gripe, and we especially like to gripe about people who aren’t around to defend themselves. Among women, who have largely been socialized to have low self-esteem and to think that self-deprecating or downplaying their individual beauty is ideal, those conversations are even more painful to overhear.

I wanted to know how you’d all done it. How have you managed to escape the pressures that force so many women I know into feeling ashamed of their bodies? What have you been reading or watching that inspired so much positivity? If any of you were jealous of your skinnier friends, you never said so. You never teased or shamed your friend. You were always helpful, encouraging, and gentle.

After a few minutes, everything had been tried on, and you were going to leave empty-handed. You reassured Number Four by telling her “you just haven’t found one you like yet.” I think two of you left to return the rejected suits while one of you stayed with Number Four.

That was when she started crying.

Now this was familiar: the feeling that you don’t fit into the world, that it doesn’t want you to participate in quite the same way – and it never will. It’s the feeling that inspires a thousand anguished swimsuit try-on sessions every summer, and prompts another thousand pleas for women of all shapes and sizes simply be who they are and wear what they want. I texted my friends what I wanted to be able to say to her: “HONEY YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, HANG IN THERE.”

But, because we live in a world where complimenting the girls I’d been eavesdropping on for the last twenty minutes would be creepy, I could only send good vibes in your general direction. Besides, it was clear Number Four already had an amazing support network, one that I wish every teenage girl – and some grown women – could have access to. At the most vulnerable time in her life, she’s already managed to find friends who can see her beauty and will never let her forget it.

I bet it won’t be long before she sees it herself.