The Abstracts — Femspec 13.2, Vol 13, Issue 2, 2013
Summary: This issue is dedicated to Madre Divina, for Returning
By BATYA WEINBAUM
(The following is an extract of the Editorial Remarks for 13.2.)
This issue contains two critical articles, one on the victim’s perspective on rape in speculative literature, which won an award at the Popular Culture Association; and another which was originally a submission to the Paula Gunn Allen special issue. Then psychiatrist and poet Janine Canan interviews the founder of the field of Matriarchal Studies, whom I met at the 2012 Matriarchal Studies Conference in San Francisco.
Next, board member Gina Wisker keeps us replenished with her creative output in the form of a poem, and Alix Kates Shulman’s speech at the Kate Millett celebration appears along with some photos of the event from last June. I covered an event in Mexico that ushered in the Age of Aquarius. We present three book reviews - one, of Ben Hatke’s Legend of Zita, a graphic novel and sequel to Zita the Spacegirl, and the other two, of books related to Tarot—one, the journey of a reader as she travels to explore its origin in India, and another about the exciting Tarot sculpture garden in Italy.
Our regular Books and Media Received section is followed by Notes from the Board. The issue also includes the 2012 Annual Report. We wish to acknowledge the support of the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) and the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) for continuing to list Femspec at a discount, as a benefit to its members upon joining the association. We also wish to thank Robert Vonderosten, Sylvia Kelso and Jennifer Swift-Kramer for their generous donations to Femspec.
Suanna Davis notes that "speculative fiction authors have written descriptions of rape and its aftermath that give rape survivors a voice and create spaces where rape can be examined, even in the silences." To begin this examination of silences, Davis analyzes the rape survivor’s experience in the novels of Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, Elizabeth Moon, and David Weber. Davis tracks rhetorical strategies such as avoidance of the word rape, a tendency to focus on the violence of the sexual assault over other aspects, and silences imposed on survivors from the outside, resulting in an examination of the "the languages and silences of rape."
In this analysis of Paula Gunn Allen's "Deer Woman," Russow details how "Allen employs the ubiquitous cautionary tale of the Deer Woman to confront and subvert internalized colonial patriarchal values that have become embedded in contemporary American Indian society."
Janine Canan interviews Heide Göttner-Abendroth, author of Matriarchal Societies, a "study of living egalitarian, matrilineal societies in Asia, Africa and the Americas, was written in German during the last decade or so of the 20th century," which came out last year in an English translation. The interview explores topics such as the origin of Göttner-Abendroth's interest in the topic and reactions within academia to her research. Göttner-Abendroth also stresses key findings, the need to reclaim the term "matriarchy," and the fact that matriarchies exist in the world today.
A talk by Alix Shulman that was originally presented at the Kate Millett Celebration in New York City in June of 2012. Shulman's praise for Millett, who is little-known to some third wave feminists, speaks to a need for all feminists to learn about second wave history.
Weinbaum's coverage of the logistical trials and philosophical tribulations of Synthesis 2012. "I wondered if I shouldn't rather stick to myth and avoid those trying to adapt myth and utilize it in any way shape and form for modern reality, even when concerning feminine energy."
Book and Media Reviews:
Review of Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, by Ben Hatke by GENEVIEVE A. LOPEZ
Review of Journey of a Tarot Reader, by Ella Jo Street by BATYA WEINBAUM
Review of Niki de Saint Phalle and the Tarot Garden, Texts by Jill Johnston and Marella Caracciolo Chi. Photographs by Giuli Pietromarchi. by BATYA WEINBAUM