12 Blogs of 2014: The Mary Sue
As I mentioned yesterday, today we kick off the 12 Blogs of 2014, where we share some of the blogs that help us be better YA Librarians. Many of the blogs will be librarian blogs, though definitely not all of them. So behold: The Mary Sue.
I have always been proud to embrace my Geekdom and The Mary Sue is a great place to feed my geeky self.
The Mary Sue is a website – probably not technically a blog – dedicated to news and analysis of popular geek culture. You can find great reviews here of things like Doctor Who, science fiction and fantasy movies, and more. They definitely have a Feminist bent and can be counted on to analyze how various forms of geek culture are portraying women, which is something I really appreciate. They are also very good at taking pop culture to task for it’s lack of diversity. They describe themselves thusly on their about us page: “The Mary Sue sits at the nexus of pop culture and the uncharted universe. We love and live geek culture, comic book movies, genre television, space exploration, emerging technologies, the coolest video games, and the weirdest finds on the internet. We promote, watchdog, extoll, and celebrate women’s representation in all of these areas and work to make geekdom safe and open for women.”
The Mary Sue isn’t just about sci fi movies and television, comic books and Doctor Who – they also discuss science and technology. Although I’m not going to lie I go every Saturday after the new episode of Doctor Who to see what they had to say about it. I’m having such a hard time getting into this new season and this new Doctor. The Tween, for the record, hates the new Doctor because “he is so mean to Clara”.
It’s interesting to note that publisher Dan Abrams is the founder of The Mary Sue. There are 8 other people listed as being involved in The Mary Sue, including Editor in Chief Jill Pantozzi, whom I follow on Twitter.
So here’s my confession: before I started reading The Mary Sue, I had no idea what a Mary Sue was. And it took me a lot of research to figure it out. According to the Urban Dictionary, a Mary Sue is an idealized female character that is so perfect she is annoying. Bella from Twilight is often presented as a good example of a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is a sexist and idealized female character, someone who is often incredibly good lucking and easy to like. In contrast, complex female characters will be more realistic and flawed. The male counterpart to a Mary Sue is called a Gary Stu or a Marty Stu. The idea of the Mary Sue is discussed in fandom and fan fiction a lot. You can find out more about the Mary Sue at Know Your Meme.
I don’t just read The Mary Sue for my personal education and growth, I find that it has a lot of great content that it easy to share with my library teens on social media. They want to see the new Star Wars trailer just as much as I do. And as someone who is not a big comic book reader, it is an invaluable resource to me in being better able to meet the needs of my teens in this subject area. The Mary Sue is a great resource and if you’re not following it you might want to check it out.
Some recent posts you might want to check out include:
Goodreads Poll Finds that Readers Stick to Their Own Gender: http://www.themarysue.com/goodreads-poll-finds-that-readers-stick-to-their-own-gender/
This Little Girl Really Loves Books: http://www.themarysue.com/madison-loves-books/
Only 3 Out of 5 Internet Users Know What Net Neutrality Is, Do You?: http://www.themarysue.com/take-the-internet-quiz/
Filed under: Blogs
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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