Steampunk inspiration and resources

How Steampunk Screws With Victorian Gender Norms | Bitch Media

How Steampunk Screws With Victorian Gender Norms | Bitch Media

This is an amazing article that explores women in Steampunk as objects, authors and more.

Here is just a tidbit, but definitely check out the real article, it is a good read.

Vesta Tilly, Photo from Victoria and Albert Museum

Like so much current pop culture revolving around the Victorian and Edwardian periods, steampunk culture does tap into this potentially-retrograde nostalgia. It also participates in a broader obsession with The Fancy Clothes of the Past, a loving and often DIY aesthetic that involves fraught class dynamics as well as gender ones. As many commentators—including Stock—mention, women in the community often struggle against objectification, too often regarded as just a pleasing set of breasts heaving over corsets rather than as actual fans and creators.

Two major features of steampunk push hard against the movement’s gender-retrograde currents. First, steampunk mixes and matches. Men in the community wear corsets, too. Lisa Hager, that delightfully geeky English professor, likes to cosplay steampunk Dorian Grey. Women in big dresses and elaborate Victorian-inspired undergarments also tote stylized brass weaponry, gears and cogs, and goggles (for flying in dirigibles, of course). In Gail Carriger’s bestselling Parasol Protectorate series, readers find a flamboyant vampire who dresses himself and his home absolutely to the nines, a scientist and inventor who wears impeccably-tailored men’s clothes and stashes anti-supernatural weapons all over her person, and (as protagonist) a badass soulless woman who likes tea, adventure, reading scientific papers, and being dominated sexually by her werewolf husband.

How Steampunk Screws With Victorian Gender Norms | Bitch Media

One response

  1. Thanks for sharing this – I went and read the full article, which was very interesting. While I’ve usually thought about this in terms of race and class rather than gender, everything in there rang a bell. Steampunk has so much potential to offer alternative narratives, reinvent the past as well as the present, and create new narratives avoiding our assumptions and prejudices. But when it’s just used as a layer of styling it’s often also used in a way that implicitly reinforces those assumptions, undermining the ‘punk’ element of the movement.


    April 19, 2014 at 5:13 am

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