Friday, October 20, 2017

Bernie Backs Out of Women's Convention

What more can you do but look into the camera like Jim from The Office:

 "In seven days, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders role for the Women's Convention in Detroit went from a primary speaker to a panelist to not attending at all.

Sanders said he can’t attend the event because he’ll be in Puerto Rico to survey the devastating damage from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island about a month ago.

'I want to apologize to the organizers of the Women's Convention for not being able to attend your conference next Friday,' Sanders said in a statement. 'Given the emergency situation in Puerto Rico, I will be traveling there to visit with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and other officials to determine the best way forward to deal with the devastation the island is experiencing.'"

It's odd, right, that he has yet to comment on the controversy. A simple, "Women, I hear you, my presence at your convention is clearly a distraction. I'm going to respectfully bow out," would have gone far to let the women who were critical of his presence know that he listens to women who have concerns about his politics.

Let's hope he's able to offer some tangible aid and support to those in Puerto Rico. If he does, and it's not just an awkward photo-op gimmick like when he went to "meet with" the Pope, I agree that going to Puerto Rico is probably a better use of his time than talking at women at the Women's Convention.

We Walk Together: Thoughts on the Women's Convention

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Isn't It So Much More Than In High Heels and Backwards?

Queer women love to drag The L Word's Jenny Schecter, but I still maintain that she's a far better character than people give her credit for. She has her flaws, but her feminist sensibilities are certainly more progressive than those of most of the other characters on the show.

I always viewed the Season 2 plot of the heterosexual man secretly installing a camera in Shane and Jenny's house, so he could spy on the women and film them having sex, to be an implicit critique of the heterosexual, white male gaze that the show had to implicitly cater to in order to have ever been produced in the first place.

Here is Jenny, confronting the predator, in an epic take-down:

Heterosexual men undoubtedly watched the show. Yet, did they fully understand it wasn't a documentary, or representative of the full breadth of queer women's culture? And thus, rather than them being voyeurs privy to "a lesbian world," did they get that this L Word-universe was at least partially created for them, too, in that the leading women were all primarily thin, femme, conventionally-attractive, and rarely outspokenly-feminist. Such women exist, to be sure, and I love them. But, these women are not fully representative of the spectrum of queer women who do exist, and who many queer women would have loved to have seen represented in a TV show about queer women.

The theme feels particularly meta these days, with woman after woman in Hollywood - including Mia Kirshner, who portrayed Jenny - revealing Harvey Weinstein to be a sexual predator.

Perhaps this is a statement of the obvious, but it's often hard to enjoy pop culture and be a feminist.

As I tweeted earlier this week, "It's almost like the fact that our national industry for storytelling being run by harassers and abettors has an impact on our culture." Themes of rape culture are weaved throughout our TV shows and movies. This too, is a statement of the obvious. But, I truly believe the representation of rape culture in TV/film is a reflection of the rape culture that has long been allowed to thrive within Hollywood -that "open secret" that Hollywood's most powerful people just let persist.

(Isn't West World, and its fantastical world built precisely for men to rape actor-robots, one of the biggest, most recent admissions of all? Remember: Show, don't tell!)

And now, more than ever, I'm left to wonder: what have the women I watch on screen had to endure to get there?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 3.1 "Girl of Steel"

After a, in my opinion, lackluster finale last season, Supergirl has returned. To recap, Supergirl and friends stopped a Daxamite invasion, Mon-El had to leave Earth, and Alex had proposed to Maggie.

First off, I'll say that it's good to have Supergirl back. I've been watching old episodes of Arrow and Flash in the "off-season," so it's good to be watching a superhero show with a woman in a leading role again.

Secondly, we learn that Supergirl is sad because Mon-El is gone. We know this because she does her job whilst not being 100% cheerful at all times.

But, on the upside, this:

That's right. In the alternate timeline in which I want to be living, Cat Grant is apparently the Press Secretary for President Wonder Woman and she's on the news telling the populace that Global Warming is a real thing in the real world and, oh hey, I bet there's also no Nazis in that motherfucking White House.

Sadly, some jerky guy (who Lena calls a "sentient ball of cheap cologne" he he) has announced that he's buying CatCo because he thinks they've become too biased. Cheap Cologne wants to have editorial control over what's published and also to defame Lena. We'll see about that.

Shortly thereafter, Kara quits her job as a reporter at Catco. James had been pressing her to do a story about Supergirl saving Earth from the Daxamites and it seems Kara's been too angsty to want to write it. Indeed, she goes to some dark places in this episode, acknowledging that she's not a human and saying that "Kara Danvers was a mistake." Yikes. Let's see if and how she can pull herself out from this darkness.

The foe of the week is some dude named Bloodsport. Shrug. He attacks the city during the unveiling of a statue of Supergirl. True to form, Supergirl saves the day. In fact, it seems that she's been Super-Supergirl since Mon-El has been gone, channeling all of her sadness/anger into crime-fighting.

Meanwhile, Alex and Maggie are in wedding-planning mode. Pause for a moment of appreciation of Alex Danvers:

Alex asks J'onn to walk her down the aisle and it's super cute. They both tear up and Alex says, "Don't cry. Because if you cry, I'm gonna cry, then everybody here's gonna know that we actually can cry." She also says she's wearing Kevlar and boots to the wedding. Oh, honey.

In SuperCorp news, Lena ends up buying CatCo so she, rather than Cheap Cologne, can have control over it. In response, Cheap Cologne storms into Lena's office in a menacing manner, because I guess he can just do that. Kara is there, too, and look how she puts herself between Lena and danger:

Kara then storms out of Lena's office, takes off her glasses, and then approximately 7 seconds later comes back as Supergirl, while of course neither Lena nor Cheap Cologne know Kara and Supergirl are one and the same (lol).

Later that night, a Shawn Colvin song is playing and Kara texts Lena that she'll go back to CatCo. Let me just zoom in and depixelate Lena's response:

Oh, Lena, just buy some Kevlar and boots already:

Monday, October 16, 2017

We Walk Together: Thoughts on the Women's Convention

I have a piece up over at Shakesville about how the recent outrage about Bernie Sanders speaking at the Women's Convention fits into the context of longstanding divides on the left.  Although, the lack of clear communication from the event organizers didn't help de-escalate the conversation.

Check it out!

Friday, October 13, 2017

What a Week, Huh?

To look on a bright side, season three of Supergirl premiered this week, so I guess I'll continue writing recaps so it's not all gloom n' doom around here.

I also continue to be highly entertained by humorous fan vids and will never get tired of watching some Kara Danvers/Lena Luthor flirting to the sweet 1980's sax in George Michael's "Careless Whisper" (see, e.g., the vid below at moment 1:09). That goes double for any fan vid featuring a Strong Female Character set to the tune of "I Need a Hero" (see, e.g., 3:18).