The Abstracts — Femspec 7.1, Vol 7, Issue 1, 2006

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EDITORIAL REMARKS:

By Batya Weinbaum

This issue is published in memory of and dedicated to Francoise d’Eaubonne, author of Feminism or Death; Monica Sjoo, author of The Great Cosmic Mother; Octavia Butler, author of Kindred and numerous other books which we have contributed critical articles about; Andrea Dworkin, author of Intercourse and too many books to be listed here; Monique Wittig, feminist Utopian writer from France; to Kady, Ax-Maker to the Queen; to Raven; to Mira Lilliane Splitrock; and to Susan Sontag. The criticism and creative work collected here would probably not have been created without the stream of consciousness that the women above helped to create and sustain.

CRITICISM

Business Girls and Beset Men in Pulp Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Fandom by Eric M. Drown
With the tools and methodology of American Studies, this cultural studies article brings evidence from the readers’ columns in the early SF magazines as they respond to early SF writers exploring gender in relationship to the influx of women into the workforce in SF’s early years.

The Muse Unmasked: Eileen Agar’s Objectives Correlatives by Janet Harrison
This article explores a surrealist woman painter not often included in the cannon of surrealist artists, in particular for her use of female imagery, some of which is reproduced in black and white here.

The Consequences of Disney Anthropomorphism by R.C. Dorozario
This article probingly examines how Disney produces a hyperrealism in which the landscape moves, and how this interrelates with the discourse on ecopsychology, ecofeminism, women and nature. In particular, stereotypes of gender are explored with creations such as Bambi, showing how Bambi in the original cartoon was male, but was later passed on as a female in subsequent movie productions in which the name was removed from the original referent.

Sex and the Single Starship Captain: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Star Trek Voyager by Debra Bonita Shaw Here the author insightfully examines why and how it is in the Star Trek television series that the male Starship captains, when single, are allowed to pursue sexual relations, whereas a single female captain is not (not without negative repercussions).

FICTION

Superfeminist Or, A Hanukah Carol by Marleen S. Barr
This satire continues the adventures of a feminist SF professor to whom appearances are made.

Grasshopper Woman by Stephanie Dickinson
This is a surrealistic, magical realist piece in which a rural community is besieged with grasshoppers.

From the Archives of Drs. Placek and Arriola... by Debra Schleef
This spoof imagines the career of a feminist researcher trying to get her research on male breastfeeding into establishment medical journals.

Thanksgiving Day by Aida Thompson
Terse, poetic prose in which Enlightenment is an Illusion is a note slipped under the door while mashed potatoes are being prepared for a Thanksgiving dinner.

POETRY

The Goddess Rag by Candi Cruz
Blues-like song lyrics—Chorus: I won’t moan. No, I won’t beg. The Goddess, she gonna wash my tears away. I won’t moan; No, I won’t beg. The Goddess, she gonna wash my pain away...

The Avatar Blues by Candi Cruz
Here is another Blues-type song. Chorus: I’ve got the Avatar Blues! It seems they all want me to lose my last little bit of sanity! Why can’t they just let me be? Everybody’s looking near and far for the latest and the greatest Avatar...

Solo, Alone Rabi’a Adawiyya by Cathy Daly
If my love is founded on fear of you, burn me. Will you remove my questions? I will set heaven on fire. If my love furthers my desire for you, lock me out...

False Apparitions by Cathy Daly
Apocalyptic poetry about apparitions of Mary and Christ.

While You’re Waiting for the Wind to Expose What the Fog’s Hiding by Jim DeWitt
Like a Zen koan, this contains great impossible suggestions, such as writing your name on water, slapping your face on wet cement, and clutching at your silhouette to make your body heavy.

Night’s Whispers by Edvina Giunta
Contains provocative imagery, such as purple angels fluttering in quiet despair.

No Elvis Sightings by Marie Kazalia
The poem describes Pablo Picasso eating lunch, a drunk Gertrude Stein, and Jean Cocteau asking for spare change. These are images the author encounters, but no Elvis.

Circe by Susan McLean
This is a poem drawn from Greek mythical imagery, which compares men to the various animals Odysseus dealt with in the Odyssey, such as fox, sheep and pigs. The poem contains humor.

The Siren by Susan McLean
I’m no great beauty-I never was; but I learned long ago that a side-long glance, a tilt of the head, a half-smile, and a sinuous contralto saying teasingly, That’s quite a mast you’ve tied yourself to, would have them swimming toward me like spawning salmon...

Scylla by Susan McLean
This is a humorous poem that represents characters from Greek myths, one in particular that used to be a goddess, but was transformed into a monstrosity due to a curse by Circe.

Melantho by Susan McLean
Here is a poem about a character from myth and her unfortunate interactions with other mythical characters: She called me slut for sleeping with one of her suitors while she sighed alone in her wide bed...

Lonely Girl by Glenis Redmond
This shows an internal escape mechanism of a girl who moonwalks onto distant planets.

She Can’t Read by Glenis Redmond
This shows a sixth grader flying off on a black swan.

Scripted Hope by Glenis Redmond
This poem asks each of us to use magic naming to fill ourselves with the power of survival.

Man Ray’s Muse by Dana Sonnenschein
This is a terse poetic-prose poem about manifestoes from France.

Letter by Elizabeth Kelley
The desire for escape from world horrors is expressed here.

INTERVIEW

Interview with Diana Rivers by Batya Weinbaum
In rural Arkansas, a feminist SF writer who lives in the woods is interviewed about her writing process. Diana Rivers is an artist and the author of Goddess Production scripts for a traveling readers’ theater, and short stories that were published in Feminary and Sinister Wisdom. She describes how her first book, Journey to Zelinder came about. Other books written by Rivers include Daughters of the Great Star, The Hadra, and Clouds of War. She explains the relevancy of speculative fiction in general and her work, in particular, for the present times.

REVIEW

Women Writing Pulp by Erin Smith
An American Studies professor analyzes three of the Femme Fatale novels reprinted by Feminist Press. Excerpt: Pulp fiction authors often received one-time payments for a manuscript in lieu of royalties, and creativity was less important than rapid, consistent production that fit a popular formula. Readers of pulp fiction were widely held to be economically and socially marginal, so even those classes and contemporary bestsellers that were reprinted as cheap paperbacks were biased toward class politics (Dickens, the French Revolution). The Girls in 3-B tells the story of what motivates the happy, domestic housewives of the 1950s to choose a life making a home with a nice guy-sexual assault, their fathers’ incestuous desires, unwanted pregnancies, suicide attempts, abortion, and the threat of unemployment.

ANNOUNCEMENT (Memorial)

In Memory of Monica Sjoo by Starhawk
Artist, writer, visionary and author of The Great Cosmic Mother, is memorialized by a leader of the women’s spirituality movement.

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