(definition further explained in this post if you still aren't satisfied)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Steampunk, Cyberpunk, and Boobs

I decided to start getting into some research last night.  You know how I told you that I was trying new things and learning stuff and being exposed to new ideas and all that wonderful mess?  I started some learning by looking up information about steampunk and cyberpunk.  It's fascinating stuff. 

Basically, steampunk is a "culture" (started in literature) in which society operates on steam-powered technology, gears and the like.  What makes it special and more significant than "duh, we went through that age before we have the technology we do now, that's just like going back in time" is that it's set in roughly our time period or sometimes the future.  They're about as advanced as we are technology-wise, maybe even more so, but instead of going with megabytes and computer chips like we did, they stayed with steam power.  It's an alternate reality: how things could have gone for us, but now exist only in fantasy.  Usually, the fashions and styles in general are Victorian based.  It's gone far beyond literature now, and can actually be a style in art, fashion, and some people would even say there's steampunk music.  You can look up all sorts of things online about it.  Heck, I'm not finished looking up stuff by a long shot!  I think I'll keep looking at it for the rest of the week.  If I find anything riveting enough, I'll be sure to share it with you guys!

Cyberpunk actually came before steampunk, from what I understand, and they basically jacked the term and modified it to come up with "steampunk" in the first place.  It's futuristic, where technology is super-advanced to the point that virtual reality becomes as important, or even more important, than actual reality.  Usually it's set in a dystopian society (dysfunctional utopian, and no, I did not make that up) where the protagonist operates outside of or often against authority.  Instead of government, in most cases major corporations have taken over all politcal and economic power.  The "punk" part of cyberpunk is supposed to come from this type of protagonist, being all anti-conformist and disobedient to authority.  Like steampunk, cyberpunk has also become a fashion that you can look up all sorts of examples of. 


The last part of today's post has nothing to do with the first part, so I thought I'd separate them to help your brain a little.  I like to make you think and everything, but not about such mundane things as "how did the subject change so quickly; did I miss something?".  So I made it easy. 

It's just something I noticed when listening to the radio: Why does popular music refer to women as "girls" and "chicks" and "shawty", but almost always give men the title of "men"?  Even when women sing these songs, they refer to themselves this way.  For instance, the song I have in my head right now is by Rihanna, and the chorus says "want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world".  Even though she looks like a woman to me.
Yep.  Those really look like boobs.
Are there any theories on why everyone's lyrics are like this?  I mean, I think there's an obvious sexist slant that you could argue.  But instead of delivering the obvious, I'll turn it over to you and see what points you have to make about it.

Also, anything you want to say on the topic of steampunk and/or cyberpunk is most welcome!

Or, if you have nothing to say about any of the aforementioned, you could just talk about how you feel about Rihanna and why.  Because you have to include the "why" as an explanation to your argument.  I have a policy against trolls, and will delete trolling comments.  Consider yourselves warned!

picture and research found using Google


Anonymous said...

Two things:
1) If boobs are the only things that make you a woman, I'm pretty sure I've been one since birth. (and that there are a lot of "women" out there with penises. lol

2) Haven't you ever heard Nicki Minaj's "Your Love?" I'm almost certain she refers to a man as "shawty." :)

natalie said...

I knew absolutely nothing about steampunk or cyberpunk before reading this, so thank you. Now I feel very informed! And as for the lyrics thing, I agree that a lot of songs do seem skewed in a sexist kind of way. Someone actually did a speech on the way that rap music is degrading towards women in my English class. Definitely interesting stuff to think about.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Yes, women need to call themselves women, not girls! It is the ageism thing in US. Now, thanks for the lesson there on steampunk and cyberpunk!

Kaely said...

i've looked into steampunk and cyberpunk before. but more along the fashion side of it. i didn't know it started in literature. thanks for the information.

I'm actually writing a speech for my speech class about culture/fashion. i hadn't even thought about those. i'd forgotten completely about them actually. but i may add them in there.

as far as the whole 'music degrading women' thing, it happens way too much unfortunately. i think it's what men made popular, and women write what sells. i find it a bit disturbing that women would sell themselves in such a way just to make sure they made the money. but that's just a small part of it. we live in a generation that in a lot of ways has taught women that's just how they're referred to. too many people don't see a problem with it. they just go with the flow.

Didactic Pirate said...

Even though steampunk has been a whie, my first real exposure to it was Alan Moore's "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" graphic novels. Which I ended up loving.