Friday, March 31, 2017

Femslash Friday: Kyss Mig Edition

Have you seen the the movie Kiss Me (Kyss Mig)?  It is a Swedish delight of a film.

If you haven't, it is still on Netflix just in case you like good queer women's movies. Yes, it involves (spoiler alert) cheating which leads to the same-sex relationship, which is something of a trope I suppose. But, I've watched the movie a good half dozen times and each time pick up something new to appreciate: the portrayal of complicated sexual identity; the way dialogue sometimes fades out at key moments in the script - leaving us with suggestions of character development, rather than definitive answers; the way homophobia still exists in a country that often tops the charts in terms of social progress.

And, the vebabs, of course. Would I eat all the vebabs with Frida? Absolut! (That sounds dirty. But, it's not.)

Super cheesy fan vid below (NSFW).

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Supergirl 2.3 "Welcome to Earth"

So, have I mentioned yet that Season 2 has introduced a pod person? Well, it has. A pod like the one Kara arrived in has landed in National City, and a hostile alien has escaped from it and is on the lam in National City.

Also, the President is coming to town for a visit to talk about her alien amnesty plan. And, the President is a woman. Fun Fact: this episode originally aired before Election 2016, back when we were all hopeful and shitting our pants at the same time. BUT WHO'S EVEN KEEPING TRACK?

In happier news, the President is played by Lynda Carter, which is amazing:

You ought to see her other jet.
When she exits Air Force One, however, she's attacked. By what, you might ask? Obsessive reporting about an email server? Ridiculous "both sides are just as bad" moral equations between herself and a deplorable political opponent? Smears that she's unqualified and corrupt? Russian hackers?

None of the above. Here, it's just a fireball. A simple fireball. Luckily, Supergirl is there to intervene. She and Alex then speculate that the attack came from the escaped pod man.

In CatCo news, Cat is on her leave of absence, which I hate. But, James is filling in for her at CatCo. While he's leading a meeting, Snapper is being super obnoxious, "Well, actually-ing" everything James says and generally undermining his authority. I don't like this Snapper guy. For whatever reason, the name Snapper reminds me of that singing fish plaque ("As Seen On TV!" please tell me other people remember this) and I have the urge to refer to him as Trapper Keeper. I can't explain it.

Also, in addition to Lena Luthor, there's another new sheriff in town. Sawyer. Maggie Sawyer. Detective. NCPD.

She immediately flusters Alex with a local/federal jurisdictional dispute over the presidential attack crime scene. Well well.

Kara then goes to interview Lena, who reveals that her company is developing an actual gaydar device except that it detects aliens instead of sisters who don't know they're gay yet. Kara expresses concern that such a device will force aliens into the closet, which goes against the President's amnesty plan. Also, I just want to point out that Kara seems giggly and anxious in general around Lena. Now, it's true that could be due to Lena having asked Kara to test out the alien detection device, but I like to think it's due to other, gayer reasons.

"Look at us, acting 100% straight around each other!"
Anyway, Kara writes a story about the device and, as Trapper Keeper belts out, it's horribly slanted to her own pro-alien viewpoint, so she has to revise it to be more objective. After she revises it, Lena is super impressed by Kara's writing skills. Because they have a date or something to discuss such matters.

Important Update: Maggie takes Alex to "an alien bar." It even has a password you have to say to get in like at an old-timey gay bar. Maggie also reveals that she's gay, as in she's actually gay in maintext and not my over-zealous subtextual readings. Alex acts too-cool-to-make-a-big-deal-about-the-gay-thing which sometimes means one is freaking out for either a bad reason (homophobe) or a good reason (she thinks Maggie is hot). Let's hope for the latter.

In pod man news, Supergirl tracks him down and captures him. It turns out he's from Daxam, a rival planet of Krypton's, and his name is Mon-El. While he's in the DEO jail, a different alien attacks the President, so everyone realizes he's innocent. Also, his home planet is a wasteland so he, like Supergirl, is a refugee.

Finally, J'onn goes to the alien bar. When there, he learns that another Martian is alive: M'gann, "the last daughter of Mars."

Deep Thought of the Week: So, the Kryptonian language exists, but why are all the Kryptonians always speaking in English in flashbacks? Why doesn't Kara have an accent if she lived most of her childhood on Krypton? How does Mon-El know English if he's never been to Earth before?  There's a moment where Supergirl says the word "President" and Mon-El says something like, "What's a presibem?" Like, he understands all the other English words, but somehow doesn't know what a President is or how to say it?

[Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Quote of the Day

Via Jill Filipovic in the New York Times, on the oft-tweeted photo of Donald Trump and dozens of men sitting around a table making health policy decisions about women's bodies:
"Mr. Trump promised he would make America great again, a slogan that included the implicit pledge to return white men to their place of historic supremacy. And that is precisely what these photos show. The same kind of men who have been in charge of the United States since its founding, so very proud of themselves for trying to ax the rights that make it possible for women to chart their own futures — and to compete with men. If women can’t decide for themselves when and if to have children and are instead at the mercy of men and nature, there will simply never be 50 percent of us at that table, or in any halls of power. The men of the Republican Party know this just as well as women do."
That's why, Filipovic suggests, the all-male photos might have been intentional "red meat" to Trump's base of aggrieved, entitled white men.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tired of Winning Yet?

Via the New York Times, on the Republican failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week:
"....[I]t was the biggest defeat of Mr. Trump's young presidency, which has suffered many.  His travel ban has been blocked by the courts. Allegations of questionable ties to the Russian government forced out his national security advisor Michael T. Flynn. Tensions with key allies such as Germany, Britain and Australia are high, and Mr. Trump's approval ratings are at historic lows."
Stay engaged. Resist. Speak out. Write. Call. Email. Do what you can.

And remember to celebrate every goddamn win.

As another reminder, the actual world we live in still imposes constraints on the executive branch of the US government. I make this observation because politicians, from time to time, often make sweeping promises of revolution and other forms of really big anti-establishment change. Yet, in our political reality, the Affordable Care Act has not yet been repealed, even with a Republican-controlled executive and legislative branch.

Please please please, I beg of you (again): I would love for the US to have more than two major political parties. But, when Jill Stein or any third party candidate runs for President despite their party holding exactly zero seats in Congress, remember that there's close to zero chance of them being able to actually implement a radical platform given the constraints of our political system. If this candidate were somehow able to widely implement their platform without garnering legislative support and building political allies, it would likely mean we were, unfortunately, living in a dictatorship.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Femslash Friday: Mean Girls Edition

In more than a decade of watching Mean Girls, I never shipped Cady and Janis (I know, can you believe it?), but then, there's this fan video/mock trailer and everything has changed. 


PS - I've come to accept that as I get older I sympathize more and more with Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) far more than any of the main characters.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

His Extremely Presidential Voice

I will never forget that, at 70 years of age, misogyny and imagined male supremacy are inextricably embedded within the fabric of Donald Trump's deplorable personality.  I have a short piece about this, a reminder of sorts, over at Shakesville today.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.2 "The Last Children of Krypton"

So, Superman decides to stick around National City for awhile and, lez be honest, he makes a pretty good wingman.

We're treated to an early-episode montage of the Supers teaming up to put out fires and stop robbers whilst engaging in witty banter. At one point, Superman tells a stunned bad guy, "I'm with her," and points to Supergirl. *wink wink*  Aren't we all, here in Fannie's Room?

In CatCo news, Kara is now a reporter and her new boss is a grumpy-ass dude named Snapper who bestows upon Kara the nickname "Ponytail."  I don't like where I think this is going. AND BY THAT I MEAN: *deep breaths, deep breaths* Cat is going on leave from CatCo (and, hence, the show) because "there are new seas to conquer." More on that later. Chop chop.

The villain of the week is Metallo, a guy who Cadmus revived specifically to kill the Supers. He can shoot kryptonite out of his chest. So, when the Supers get into an initial altercation with him, they almost die, resulting in this famous shot (which is a shout-out to Supergirl's DC comic book death):

Thankfully, our Supergirl doesn't die.

At the DEO, the Supers learn that a shipment of kryptonite had gone missing months ago. This predicament gets right to J'onn and Superman's ongoing argument about whether the DEO should stockpile kryptonite. But, they decide to put their differences aside to try to defeat Metallo together because, well, you know the drill: El marayah.

Kara learns that Clark will be going home to Metropolis soon and is upset about it. Here is my paraphrase of Kara telling Alex about it:
Kara: Clark is leaving soon. I thought I'd move to Metropolis so I could be near him.
Alex: Wut? Oh hell no you're not.
Kara: But-
Alex: Nope! Drop it, Ponytail.
Anyway, by this time there's another Metallo guy. (*shrug* Cadmus is evil blah blah blah I'm just here for the flying and subtext). Winn makes the Supers some shields that deflect kryptonite and then the Supers team up with J'onn and Alex to defeat the Metallos. Worth mentioning about this scene: Alex found an upgrade pack somewhere:

After that battle, Supergirl and Cat say their goodbyes. Sigh. Who among us hasn't been a queen-of-all-media power lesbian saying goodbye to her beautiful superhero secret lover?

To end, J'onn lets Superman dispose of the last remaining kryptonite on Earth and Superman goes back to Metropolis. I guess I'm gonna miss the guy. And so is Winn. Winn definitely wants to be Superman's boyfriend.

Deep Thought of the Week -  Re: My feelings on Cat's "leave of absence" from CatCo, please see this fan video, starting at 1:23.

[Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

Friday, March 17, 2017

Femslash Friday: Buffy Edition

You might have heard that the 20th anniversary of the airing of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer pilot was last week.

First, how has it been 20 years already?

Secondly, BtVS remains one of the shows that serves as my point of reference for other TV shows (the other being Xena, obvs). By that I mean, once the baseline of "Does it pass The Bechdel Test?" is established, I consider: what kind of relationships exist among the characters, how do the women relate to one another (primarily as rivals or allies?), how do men relate to and respect (or not) women, are there queer relationships and/or subtext potential, is the dialogue smart and quirky?

But also, BtVS was very white. And, even Willow and Tara seemed to exist as queer islands in a sea of heterosexuality, which is true of  many queer TV characters in general who seem to exist completely disconnected from other LGBT people. If the show is re-booted, I hope a more diverse ensemble is included.

Oh, and also, I've watched the series several times through. I know some folks say that the show is timeless, and perhaps it is in a sense. But, with each viewing, I've felt further removed from the high school, and then college, realities of the characters. If there's a re-boot, maybe the Scoobies could be middle-aged versions of themselves (+Tara).

And yet. Here are the episodes I often return to: "Halloween," "The Wish," "Doppelgangland," "Fear, Itself," "Hush," "Restless," "The Gift," "Once More, With Feeling."  I don't remember much of Season 7, honestly. After "Seeing Red," things get blurry for me.


Fan vid of the week. Willow Rosenberg doing her veiny-dark-Willow-hiding-underneath-a-thick-veneer-of-adorkableness thing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.1 "The Adventures of Supergirl"

Season Two begins with a couple of changes. First, the DEO has moved to the city from the desert. Second, a pod like the one Kara arrived in has landed on Earth, and it has a man inside.

Well, okay then.

More importantly, the writing team spends little time dropping the first glorious nugget of SuperCat Subtext. Cat has offered Kara the promotion of her choice for being such a capable assistant. Here's how their first interaction of the season goes:
Kara: What job do I want? Well, I don't know, I haven't really decided yet.
Cat: Why not?
Kara: Well, it's only been twelve hours since you asked me to choose a new position and for most of those hours I was asleep.
Cat: Really? I offer you the keys to the kingdom and you just.... go to sleep?
Okay, that might be a reach. But, I contend not. Also, you've been previously warned that reading subtext into everything is my one and only superhero skill.

Anyway, Kara clearly hasn't put much thought into what sort of promotion she wants and Cat gives her some mentoring advice about how she really needs to look inward and figure out what she wants to do with her life.

In maintext romance news, Kara is finally having a date with James. He brings pizza and potstickers over to her place. (A man after my own heart). But, right as the date begins, they are watching TV and see that a commercial space shuttle is crashing to the Earth. Naturally, Supergirl swings into action:

Ahhh, it's good to have you back in action, Supergirl.

But wait! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Tyler Hoechlin, already looking like a solid Clark Kent:

Clark changes into his Superman outfit and both Supers then work together to help guide the space shuttle safely to Earth.

Small detail: During the Season One finale, Supergirl was able to carry the entire Fort Rozz prison into outer space. She probs could have handled this space shuttle on her own.

But whatever. Anyway, Supergirl brings Superman to the DEO and everyone sort of fangeeks out. Especially Winn, who apparently is crushing hard on the guy.

Humina humina humina
Hank, however, does not seem impressed. It sounds like there's a backstory there. Cat also meets Clark and she briefly and  not-very-subtly makes it known that the notion of a threeway with Superman and Clark pleases her.

In weekly villain news, the gang then comes to believe that the Luthors may have been behind the shuttle explosion. Kara and Clark go to Luthor Corp to interview Lena, who is a new character this season and Lex Luthor's sister. She tells them that, with Lex finally in prison, she's just an innocent woman trying to transform the Luthor company into a force for good in the world. Clark doesn't believe her, but Kara sort of does. Hmmmm.

However, Winn figures out that Lena wasn't responsible for the explosion. And, she's actually in peril. So, Lena was telling the truth. For now. Never trust a Luthor?

Back at the DEO, Alex has figured out the tension between Hank and Superman. It's due to an ongoing debate the two aliens have about whether or not kryptonite should be stored or destroyed. Superman believes it should be destroyed since it can kill himself and Supergirl, but Hank thinks they should keep it for defensive reasons.

Kara also breaks up with James before they ever finish a first date. I feel bad for them. But, it's also sort of okay with me, because there's a new sheriff in town.


I look forward to seeing whether Ms. Luthor is one day granted the keys to the kingdom. And by that I mean I will 100% read subtext into her and Kara's every interaction no matter how mundane.

To end, Kara finally figures out that she wants to be a reporter, which makes Cat beam with pride. And, Winn begins working at the DEO as a computer expert (or something?).

Deep Thought of the Week: I had heard Superman was coming to Supergirl and have to admit to an initial skepticism. Is the idea that a show about a female superhero needs to be bolstered with the addition of a male superhero? Initially, Hoechlin's Superman is kind, humble-seeming, and respectful of Supergirl, so my first impression is to like him. We will see where the partnership goes.

 [Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Atwood on Handmaid's Tale

Writers-on-writing pieces are my favorites. And, here's Margaret Atwood recently talking about The Handmaid's Tale, and its implications in the age of Trump, over at The New York Times.

Her responses to the three questions she's most frequently asked are classic, and rendered with her typical wit. In addition to answering whether the book is feminist and anti-religion, she's asked whether it's a prediction. She says no, and in her own words, adds:
"But there's a literary form I haven't mentioned yet: the literature of witness. Offred records her story as best she can; then she hides it, trusting that it may be discovered later, by someone who is free to understand it and share it. This is an act of hope: Every recorded story implies a future reader.
....In this divisive climate, in which hate for many groups seems on the rise and scorn for democratic institutions is being expressed by extremists of all stripes, it is a certainty that someone, somewhere - many, I would guess - are writing down what is happening as they themselves are experiencing it."
This so-called age of Trump has many awful aspects, one of which is that it seems we're rising toward an age of Peak Bully.

I have written before of placing Trump's electoral college win into a broader context of Internet harassment culture. Massive amounts of antisocial behavior are normalized in part because political, legal, and corporate responses to it are so severely lacking.

As we navigate these various abuses - not just online, but also the abuses marginalized people experience in physical space - resistance is also a witness, including the writing and documentation of it. Resistance will look different on different people, as we experience abuse in unique ways dependent upon our own life circumstances. Resistance exists in acts small and large, everyday and once-in-a-lifetime, seen and unseen.

We are here, and still we hope.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Reparative" Therapy Leader Dies

[CN: mention of suicidality]

Joseph Nicolosi, advocate and practitioner of "reparative" therapy that seeks to "change" gay, lesbian, and bisexual people's sexual orientation to "heterosexual" and to prevent trans people from affirming their gender identity, died last week.

Nicolosi founded the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), an organization that grew widely discredited over the years for the promotion of, as Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) documented, junk science. Still, he billed himself as the "foremost expert" on this form of "therapy."

If there is a way to quantitatively measure Nicolosi's responsibility for the culture of stigmatization and harm to individual LGBT lives, I don't know of it. And yet, his responsibility seems, in my opinion, undeniable.

I came of age as a lesbian in the 1990s and early aughts when Nicolosi published most of his works. Nicolosi had influenced, and/or collaborated with, notorious leaders of SPLC-identified anti-LGBT hate groups, including historical revisionist Scott Lively, who argued that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust. NARTH regularly submtted amicus briefs in court cases opposing gay rights, arguing that sexual orientation could be changed.

Even in the late aughts, nearly every anti-LGBT person I encountered at various anti-LGBT blogs and forums relied to varying degrees on NARTH and Nicolosi's work. I regularly engaged with anti-gay people who believed I was intrinsically mentally ill for being gay and, if they were Christian, also believed I was innately sinful (yeah yeah, "everybody is," blah blah).

Mainstream health organizations have now widely critiqued "reparative" and "conversion" therapies. And, back in 2009, I wrote about the American Psychological Association's review of the scientific literature examining "reparative" therapy. which summarized that: "efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm." This harm includes loss of sexual feeling, depression, suicidality, and anxiety.

Now, six states and fourteen cities ban "reparative" or "conversion" therapy for minors.

I have nothing kind to say about Joseph Nicolosi. To my knowledge, he died without ever having apologized to the LGBT community.

Instead, I will use his death as an opportunity to suggest that we should not become complacent with the progress we gained on LGBT issues during the Obama years.
We will not go backwards.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Femslash Friday: Supergirl Returns

I'm pleased to report that Supergirl Season 2 recaps are coming to Fannie's Room very soon. From the buzz I've heard, I'm especially looking forward to certain character developments.

And, what can I say, I really also want Kara Danvers to be bi (and Alex to be a lesbian, obvs).  Are there any bisexual protagonists on TV right now, with the departure of Callie Torres from Grey's Anatomy and Lost Girl's Bo Dennis?  I can't think of any, but I also don't watch all the TV.

In the meantime, enjoy this related fan vid:

Thursday, March 9, 2017

When Your "Activism" Primarily Consists of Being a Twitter Jerk

You're not actually ushering in The Revolution.

A certain Twitter user who has taken a hateful interest in feminists has been brought to my attention as of late. This person's basic methodology is to post screenshots of other people's work, render a snarky, trying-too-hard misinterpretation of it, and present it to their followers for ridicule, like so:

It turns out, I have some thoughts about this Internet behavior.

First: "Hot Take Appreciator." We get it, we get it. You don't actually think people's takes are "hot" and you're not actually "appreciating" them. You're being sarcastic. Congratulations to you and the rest of the Internet.

Second: For context, this person also Tweeted about me several months ago, encouraging their far left/socialist followers to hate-follow me, ostensibly so they could continue mocking my work, after which I blocked several users who began contacting me.  One of them told me that their Twittering, which includes mocking "liberals" like me, helps "lessen world suck." Whatever the hell that means, I don't think harassing people on Twitter actually does improve the material conditions of working people. Just a thought, there!

Third: This person appears to be a "socialist" who is upset that I critiqued Bernie Sanders for meeting with the Pope during the Democratic Primary. They posted a small sample of my writing and inaccurately claimed that I think Bernie is "awful" for meeting with the Pope and that I used his meeting as a purity test against him.

On that point, the reference is actually to this post, in which I quoted bell hooks, who observed Bernie's not-quite-intersectional approach to politics. My point was not that Bernie is an "awful" person for meeting with the Pope. I don't think Bernie Sanders is an awful person. I merely think he is a flawed person. I can see how some Bernie fans might get that confused.

Hillary Clinton is not perfect. Bernie Sanders is not perfect. No politician is. No feminist is. No person is.

Yet, from my perspective, I consistently saw (and continue to see) some people give Bernie passes for things they didn't and wouldn't give to Hillary Clinton - and I think why that happens is a conversation worth having. I-M-A-G-I-N-E for a moment the anti-establishment leftist outrage if Hillary had left the campaign trail to fly to Rome to meet with the Pope - the leader of a misogynistic, anti-gay, anti-trans establishment-of-all-establishments. But Bernie does it, and some of his biggest, most purity-leftist fans are all good? Sure, okay.

Critiquing Bernie on this point seems like something reasonable Bernie supporters, and I know there are some, might be able to concede.

Alas, not all Bernie supporters act reasonably.

I have 10 years of experience dealing with various people acting like jerks on the Internet. The Internet bully, harasser, troll, or jerk - that person with no demonstrable interest in engaging with people in good faith - does not often allow for nuance, let alone a fair, reasonable, or intelligent reading of their target's work.

It's not just me this person targets - other feminists are targets as well. Like I've said, feminists are hated from all sides of the political spectrum. So, Amanda Marcotte, Lena Dunham's bangs, Melissa McEwan, and Shakesville in general are targeted, along with people who only just comment at Shakesville. People's words are screengrabbed and posted by "Hot Take Appreciator" so the band of bullies can begin their rounds of mocking. Tweets about feminists' work quickly devolves into man-after-man-and-woman-but-mostly-man then finding additional things to hate and ridicule about their targets and, naturally, these things tend to lead to Hillary Clinton.

Like, for instance, did you know Hillary actually is unlikable? That's the convo my particular writing inspired, which when you think about it is probably the hottest of all hot takes, isn't it? Please oh please:

I can do sarcasm too!
The Twitter user's post about my writing seems to have also inspired this trollish comment here in Fannie's Room, in which the person clearly had no intention of good faith engagement and never even came back to respond.

I have two main observations at this point.

It is not outside of the realm of possibility that this Twitter user's behavior falls into the category of Russian ratfucking to divide the left. If so, well done, comrades! I salute you.

The sadder possibility is that, of all the ways to spend one's limited time on this Earth, one would spend it being a Twitter jerk in this way. If this person is a socialist in the US, I likely agree with them on probably anywhere from 75-95% of substantive issues, and yet here we fucking are. For instance, I am for:
  • Universal healthcare
  • Limited defense spending
  • Criminal justice reform
  • Free college 
  • Reproductive freedom
  • Fair pay
  • LGBT equality
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Strong environmental protections
  • All the femslash fan videos!
And more.

I just also happen to believe that the way to achieve the most enduring, non-violent progressive change, given the fact that millions of other Americans oppose these things, is through the pragmatic, informed, incrementalism suggested by Hillary Clinton's platform. At the same time, had Bernie won the Primary, I would have voted for him. Full stop. But, sure, Insular Wannabe-Socialist Twitter (or Russian Ratfucking Twitter), go ahead and hate me.

However, should one decide that people who hold the above beliefs are the absolute worst, I might offer that if your litmus test for who is/isn't "leftist enough" is "Have you ever rendered a critique of Bernie Sanders?" then you might not be participating in the One True Socialist Revolution, but instead the rank, shallow political amateurism and cult of personality that defines extreme ideologues and ultimately renders movements politically irrelevant because it's less about substance and more about following a savior.

If you're spending time sifting through a decade or more of what-you-deem impure, stupid, frivolous feminist writing and well-intentioned people's blog comments, searching and digging for something - anything - to screenshot and mock because you think these people don't sufficiently Feel The Bern, maybe you're not participating in a revolution, you're just being an irrepressible jerk like the rest of the irrepressible jerks who are a dime a dozen on the interwebs.

If you, for instance, dig through the feminist's archives and find that maybe she once criticized a cartoon, or wrote something that your cruel, cold-hearted worldview finds unserious, and you henceforth initiate a round of Twitter mocking of it, maybe you're not participating in a revolution, you just haven't found a good life-affirming, personal-growth-inspiring hobby.

And, if you think it's pathetic for a feminist to criticize a movie or to talk about pop culture, consider that it might be even more pathetic to spend days mocking the feminist for criticizing a movie or talking about pop culture.

Related! "A Serious Post About the Memes of Production." Because, you understand, this Twitter bullying of feminists is not, actually, trenchant at all.

Nor is it revolutionary. It does not in any way serve working people or people who are resisting what the Trump regime is inflicting upon us, and if you're not standing with us, then at least have the decency to leave progressives alone and stay the ever-loving fuck out of our way.

Because right now, "Hot Take Appreciator," your politics look to me like nothing more than mean-girl socialism, which is like its brocialist comrade, except it's a gateway misogyny of sorts: when women mock progressive women it gives permission to leftist bros to be outright misogynists because it's a woman mocking the feminists first. And then all misogyny is suddenly fair game, because you're a cool girl, right, not like those other girls? You don't even care about stupid trigger warnings and all that girly, shitty, frivolous "PC" feminist stuff, do you?

When you understand that many of these Clintonistas and feminists that you and your pals mock are part of the revolution, not outside of it, you should likewise understand that it's only your small, politically-irrelevant insular leftist bubble that treats us like we're Nazis simply because we didn't Feel The Bern like how you Felt The Bern. Or worse, y'all sneer: we're liberals.

I have a lot more I could say about this type of leftist cyber-circle-jerkiness. I won't even say "grow up," because comparing your behavior to children is an insult to children, who at least usually start out decent. I won't even go deep into the fundamental mistake that mean people so often make in thinking meanness makes you strong and sensitivity makes other people weak.  There is nothing, literally nothing, strong about mocking feminists on the Internet from your "Hot Take Appreciator" Twitter account.

Instead, I'll just cut straight to it.

What I have seen, "Hot Take Appreciator," with your stream of misrepresentations and ridicule of progressive women's work is exactly one thing, and it is this:

While I have learned so much from so many different people on the Internet, I see that I have nothing at all to learn from you, because you seem to have nothing of real substance to say.

[UPDATE, 3/10/17: Well, for all the teeth-gnashing and feigned hipster cynicism/disinterested "too cool to take this seriously" commentary my blogpost has inspired over the past 24 hours from Team "Hot Take," still the unanswered question remains: How does your Twitter mocking of progressive women improve the conditions of working people and, in general, relate to your "socialism"?

So weird how that hasn't been addressed.

I think the most substantive thing they've suggested, which will come as a Total Newsflash to anyone who's been reading for awhile, is that I'm not cool because I write actual articles that are long and I am sincere because I have feelings. Who even uses Blogger anymore anyway, like, how lame, don't you know you're just supposed to write about politics in 140 characters at a time with a snarky screencap?! (Am I being "negged"?) Sorry guys, I'm taken. And gay. Definitely 100% gay. LOL your "socialism."]

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

On Feminists "Owing" People Things

I reject sexist attacks against Kellyanne Conway.

Her behavior and statements are abominable and should be attacked on their substantive merits without resorting to attacking her on the basis of looks or any of the myriad ways female public figures are disproportionately attacked. 

Some of the conversations about sexism against Conway, and against conservative women in general, are always ....something though, right?

While Stassa Edwards, in the cited Jezebel piece, suggests we should let sexist attacks against Conway ride because to do otherwise is to "protect the integrity of white women like Conway," I argue that we should oppose such attacks. Whatever weapons we employ in politics in furtherance of our aims - hacking, leaking, doxxing, sexism, racism - we explicitly or implicitly legitimize their use against our movements as well.

In the case of sexist attacks, if we support their use against women like Conway, we legitimize their use as weapons against all women - even if that's not our intent. Because, trust me, misogynists won't grasp the "nuanced" take of "Oh wait, when I called Conway an ugly bitch, I didn't mean you should call Hillary Clinton one!"  The misogynist sees calling one woman a bitch as a license to call any imperfect woman one, as well. And also trust me on this, the misogynist thinks a lot of women are imperfect!

Also, note the horrendous title of the Jezebel piece. Namely, the notion that it might be feminists who uniquely "owe" Kellyanne Conway something.  It's this same entitlement to feminist work that lets MRAs demand our time, effort, writing, and advocacy for their pet issues.

But, where is this mythical place where feminists have pervasive power to halt world misogyny if we just, I don't know, tried harder for all these various ingrates whom we owe our work to?

The truth is, well, don't the people writing these takes ever notice that it's feminists who are constantly maligned, harassed, and abused by the political left, right, and center for demanding that the political left, right, and center treat women decently?

In light of these conditions, at what point does the question become: What exactly do non-feminists owe women?  And if your answer to that is "nothing," then you should at least have the decency of leaving us alone and getting out of our fucking way while we do this work.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Donald Trump: The Inevitable Republican

Donald Trump is a deeply-unpopular politician, one who refers to those who oppose him as "losers," who has called women "fat pigs," who has called Mexicans "rapists," and who has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without their consent.

And yet, he is also the natural end-result, the inevitability, of decades of Republican bigotry. 

It is no surprise, then, to see Republican politicians lining up behind Trump. They have power in Congress and they have his back in implementing a shared, regressive agenda.

So who, exactly, has the back of the American people?

I explore this topic over at Shakesville today.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Femslash Friday: Xena (Again)

Dear readers, it has dawned upon me that I've been remiss and must apologize. We are now in our third month of a new year and I have not yet posted a Xena-dedicated Femslash Friday.

While my lesbian card is suspended, I might as well also admit that my favorite Xena fan videos are those that fall into one of the following categories: (a) humor, (b) over-the-top cheesy, or (c) those where the video heavily draws from the episode "Heart of Darkness"

(Sorry, not sorry).

Enjoy a ladies-kissing-ladies fan video. Question: were there more kissing or hot tubs scenes in Xena? I'm here to ask the important questions.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I Found It

The most Donald Trump statement to ever Donald Trump. His summary of his first month's performance, via The New York Times:
"Mr Trump gave his presidency an A so far in an interview broadcast Tuesday morning, but he added that he would only give himself a C for communicating how great he has been."
While we're discussing our flaws, I'd say my biggest problem is that I just work too hard, really. Well, that, and the chief complaint my sex partners have about my penis being too big.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

From the Fonts of Unexamined Privilege

Come endless streams of mediocre rubbish.

I have some words to say about the white male trend of offering unsolicited advice to women, people of color, and the Clinton's in the wake of Trump's ongoing assaults. Read it all, at Shakesville.

Recap: Supergirl 1.20 "Better Angels"

At the end of the previous episode, Non had put Alex under the Myriad trance, suited her up in a kryptonite outfit, and sent her to kill Supergirl.

We pick up the action right when the Danvers sisters begin to fight. Alex somewhat easily gets the upper hand, but during the fight, I kept wondering how the trance might be broken. Would Supergirl give her a Xander-crayon-breaky speech and, if so, what would it entail?

Also, to go back to my roots as a fashion critic for Vogue, I kept wondering if Dark Alex's all-black outfit was a nod to Dark Willow's outfit in said crayon-breaky-speech scene, albeit with 99% fewer face veins. Fake News Alert: I was never a fashion critic for Vogue. But still, resemblance?

Dark Apocalypse Willow


Dark Apocalypse Alex

Whatever the case, woof! I love a Dark Female Protagonist.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, Alex has a sword poised to kill Supergirl, but Hank swoops in with Eliza, Alex's mom, in tow. She gives Alex an inspiring speech along the lines of, "Remember, STRONGER TOGETHER, ALEX? You are the strong one!" And, it works. The trance is broken and Alex is free. So, that answers my first question.

Now that that dilemma is solved, Cat has in the meantime hatched a plan to use an old TV station to broadcast Supergirl giving an inspiring message of hope to the people. This plan is the alternative to Max's plan that would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people.  Basically, she talks about how when she landed on Earth, she felt alone, but the people of National City helped her see how much love exists in the world. And now, she needs them to know that they can all be heroes if they choose to be, because she needs their help and oh god, it's just like President Obama's farewell address all over again. *cries forever*

'You have to hope!"
And, the inspiring speech works. The trance is broken and the humans are no longer brainwashed.

Once Non and Indigo realize Myriad has been defeated, they vow to leave Earth to go lord their dominion elsewhere. But first, they want to destroy Earth, so they begin amplifying Myriad (what? how?).

Max explains that, basically, the Myriad signal will cause everyone's head to literally explode in a matter of hours and that they need to find where it's being broadcast from. He also secretly tells Supergirl that she'll probably die trying to save the world, since both J'onn and Superman are down for the count and she'll be on her own. (PS - Superman is lying on a slab at the DEO and we only see his boots. I'm not sure what's up with him. *shrug*)

So, Kara goes to CatCo and says her "goodbyes" to Winn, Cat, and James, while trying not to let them know she may die soon. She also pre-emptively breaks up with James before they even get together. Fun Times! She then tells Hank that she has accepted her fate and can I just say here that I feel like everyone's getting ahead of themselves? Why would they just assume this is like the one mission that would kill Supergirl? What about all that "you have to have hope" business? ANYWAY, she and Papa Hank have a touching "final" moment.

Welp. looks like this is the end.
Max and the DEO figure out that the Myriad signal is coming from Fort Rozz. So, Supergirl and J'onn go to move it. J'onn ends up going with her, even though he's still hurt, which seems bad, very bad, in a Bruce-Willis-at-the-end-of-Armageddon sort of way. When they get there, they have a seriously-dramatic fight with Non and Indigo that involves J'onn ripping Indigo in half and Supergirl winning an epic laser eye battle with Non.

Supergirl then phones Alex (for real, is there an earpiece? What did I miss?) and says she has to fly Fort Rozz into space. Alex tells her that she'll die in space, but Supergirl says she accepts that fate. There is sister-crying, and then Supergirl goes, and it looks like this.

The Gift

Wait no, I'm kidding. And, I'm sure there is something serious to say about female heroes who willingly sacrifice their lives for humanity. There's also maybe something to say when these same heroes then come back, and why. But before I can deconstruct that, Alex is suddenly in a spaceship rescuing Supergirl from outer space. Actually, she's flying the pod that brought Supergirl to Earth.

Now, I've watched a lot of space flight documentaries as well as the film Hidden Figures and logistically, physically, and mathematically I just really don't think.... oh what the hell, I can roll with this. The truth is, I love the Alex/Kara sister bond. Of course Alex Danvers had secretly been learning to fly the pod. It might come in handy one day, you just never know!

And Alex's line, "You saved the world. And then I saved you." Isn't that Stronger Together, in a perfect little nutshell? All of us, even the greatest of superheroes, need allies.

To end, James gives Kara a promotion at work, and Cat kisses her. Wait, reverse that. That's what happened.

Deep Thought of the Week: Has Season 1 ended so soon? Now what? Move on to Season 2? Recap a new show? Watch fan videos foreverrr?

 [Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]