Friday, June 23, 2017

Femslash Friday: L Word

Entertainment Weekly got (some of) The L Word cast back together for a reunion chat and photo shoot.

I miss that show so much.

From the chat:
[Erin] Daniels: We all went to sing karaoke together once.
Sarah Shahi (Carmen): What did you sing?
[Jennifer] Beals: Oh, I had to do “What a Feeling.” They poured water on me with a Perrier bottle. [Beals starred in the iconic 1983 film Flashdance.]
Daniels: Then the three of us got up and sang “Maniac.” We clearly got over our intimidation factor at that point.
Also, the conversation references the Sunday night viewings that were held at (primarily) lesbian bars across the country during the 2004-2009 period the show ran. You know, back when we still had lesbian bars. Anyway, ladies, brother-sestras, and non-binary individuals, I'm here to tell you that you haven't truly known fear until you've been angrily shushed by 75 queer women trying desperately to hear what's happening this week on The L Word.

Enjoy this fan vid of funny moments:

Preferred Pairing: Dana/Lara (the soup chef)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) held its annual anti-equality "March for Marriage" in Washington, DC over the weekend.

Per Right Wing Watch, about 50 people attended what seemed to be an awkward display:
"Fifteen minutes before the event was scheduled to begin, about 20 adults were milling around an empty stage while several children worked to unfurl large red and blue banners to carry during the march. One passerby wondered whether they were going to a kite festival. Gradually, a few more participants arrived, including five men wearing the signature capes of the group Tradition, Family and Property and carrying a 'Honk for Traditional Marriage' sign."
Despite this sad showing, NOM activists are reported to be looking forward to the opportunity for the US Supreme Court's composition to change and, accordingly, for the Obergefell decision to be reversed.

It's tempting at this juncture to scoff at their chances, but I advise against overconfidence.

Anti-LGBT activists talk a lot about "the will of the people," but they don't seem all that interested, actually, in the will of the people.

As I noted recently, Donald Trump is a deeply-unpopular politician who lost the popular vote in the 2016 election. In addition to these factors, that he is also under investigation for having ties to a country that tampered with the election in which he lost severely undermines his legitimacy.

The day after his Inauguration, the largest protest in US history took place, with approximately 2-4 million attendees - vastly outnumbering NOM's little event.

Same-sex marriage, in contrast to Trump's unpopularity, is now accepted by 64% of Americans.

To think that Trump, with his questionable legitimacy and historic unpopularity, could appoint another fringe conservative to the Supreme Court who would potentially overturn a popular decision .... well, that's a lot of things - chief among them a constitutional crisis, perhaps. What it definitively would not be is "the will of the people."

NOM and the far right have forever lost that argument in the United States.

Of course, we've known all along that the "will of the people" argument was usually a mask that covered more unsavory opinions about queers.

Again, via Right Wing News, a quote from one of the speakers at the NOM march:
“We left God,” she said, “then we allowed ourselves to be aligned with ungodly movements. This gay rights movement is ungodly, it’s from the pit of hell.”
If a Trump-stacked Supreme Court ultimately strips same-sex couples of marriage rights, make no mistake that bigotry like this will have enabled it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.13 "Mr. & Mrs. Mxyptlk"

Okay, this one was odd.

It's Valentine's Day and a fifth-dimensional being, Mxyptlk, visits Kara and tells her that he's going to marry her. Fifth-dimensional beings have the ability to warp our reality and bend it to their whims. Except, they can't make people in our dimension fall in love with them. For reasons.The physics of it aren't clear.

Kara says no, multiple times, but Mxy doesn't take no for an answer. He snaps his fingers and Kara appears in Vera Wang and Mxy vows to get her to change her mind. And then he disappears. Charming (not charming).

Anyway, the way to get Mxy to go away for good is to get him to say his name backwards. I don't understand the physics of that either, but that's fine, I guess.

There's then some general Mon-El/Mxy rivalry and pissing-contests. Yawn yawn yawn shrug.  Kara doesn't want to deal with the Mon-El/Mxy macho swordfighting, on top of getting Mxy off of Earth, so she tells Mon-El that she'll deal with Mxy in her own way. Mon-El blabbers something about "defending her honor" and he implies that Kara likes the attention of Mxy, and at this point I start to understand some of the Mon-El hate within fandom.

Moving on to the Alex/Maggie front, Maggie shares with Alex that she HATES Valentine's Day. Alex is like, "Me too." But, she doesn't mean it because she makes this face.

Alex goes to Kara for advice and Kara says that Alex should create a "tailor-made" Valentine's Day for Maggie.

At Close Encounters, Winn is enjoying a lager when he meets Lyra, an alien whose spirit animal seems to be Anya Jenkins. She's very brash, I mean. Winn and Lyra then start hooking up. I told you Winn was the Xander of Supergirl.

Interlude: I haven't sufficiently appreciated Supergirl's prowess in the Season 2 recaps. So, here's an image of her catching a bullet. Woof!

Back to Maggie and Alex, Alex prepares a surprise Valentine's Day thing for Maggie, with scotch and tiramisu. But, Maggie gets really upset and explains that she had a really bad coming out experience with her family and that's why she hates Valentine's Day. Then, she leaves.

Speaking of which, Mon-El steals a weapon from the DEO and challenges Mxy to a duel to the death. It doesn't go so well for Mon-El and Supergirls swoops in and says she'll marry Mxy. Mon-El begs her not to, but she says her mind is made up. I feel like this is a trick, but neither Mxy nor Mon-El realize it.

It turns out, Supergirl is tricking Mxy because of course she is. What about her would make anyone think she'd randomly agree to marry some rando dude? She has Mxy meet her at the Fortress of Solitude and then tells him that love isn't about making demands on people. She then sets the atomic core of the Fortress to explode, effectively threatening to kill herself, and has set the cancellation code to Mxy's name spelled backwards. He types in the code and then realizes his huge mistake.

Mxy then calls Supergirl "a nasty woman" and disappears into the fifth dimension.


Hold on, just .... just let me just try something:


ANYway, later on, Maggie and Alex make up and Mon-El apologizes to Kara for being "an ass." I guess the theme of this episode is "Listen To Your Partner and Respect Their Decisions."

Deep Thought of the Week: Speaking of protagonists randomly (or not) falling in love with a Brand New Male Character, remember in Lost Girl when Bo randomly announced she was in love with Rainer?  That was some weird shit.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Toast to the Toast

Since The Toast stopped publishing about a year ago, I've missed the feminist site at least once per week. Particularly the "If X were your girlfriend/boyfriend" series, the civil quirky discourse, and the unapologetic deletion of troll comments.

Sarah Scoles at Motherboard ran a profile on The Toast and co-founder Mallory Ortberg today, if you're interested.

Monday, June 12, 2017

BernieCon 2017

So, Bernie Sanders and his fans held an exclusive "People's Summit" in Chicago over the weekend.

Per the website, attendance was limited, so people had to "apply to register" and wait 7-10 days to see if they were approved to register.

Per the site's "Diversity and Inclusion" page, the aim with this process was to select for diversity and for attendees who reflected their "political vision," which a first come, first serve registration process would not achieve.

My observation about this process isn't a criticism. Event organizers can select attendees in any lawful manner they choose.

It's more an observation that an event purportedly for The People also seemed to have a political test, and one that at least from the website wasn't all that transparent. Judging by the hashtag on Twitter over the weekend, it looked like a predominately pro-Bernie/anti-Democrat space. In my experience interacting with very pro-Bernie people, they often present themselves as the vanguard of progressivism in the United States, yet use "support for Bernie" as a litmus test, rather than the issues themselves, as to whether someone else is truly a progressive.

I have serious disagreements with this approach.

In all likelihood, I agree with many Bernie fans on the issues probably, I'd say, 75-95% of the time.  Yet, I also believe that Bernie legitimately lost the Democratic Primary to Hillary Clinton. She simply had more votes than him.

I also believe that he never had a real plan for implementing his vision within the constraints and realities of Republican power and obstruction within our political system, as indicated by his disastrous New York Daily News interview over a year ago.

Simply put, his campaign also had flaws, flaws that are often not talked about because of his fans' intense need to continue believing that "the DNC" "rigged" the contest against him. Bernie Sanders could do a lot to unite the left right now, but the fact that he chooses to not shut this myth down or address the flaws of his campaign are probably within the top five impediments to progressive unity going forward.

Many progressives supported Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders and yet are consistently erased or dismissed as uninformed shills. Many people, meanwhile, view Bernie as the leader of the leftist revolution, despite him having accomplished as of yet very little in his political career. Because he holds this place of prominence for some people, he could shut down some of the abuse that Clinton supporters continue to receive.

But, he chooses not to. And, because he chooses not to, as long as Bernie Sanders is hailed as the leader of "the revolution," the left will never be united. Indeed, from my perspective, he and his fans care more about trying to change the hearts of bigoted Trump supporters than they do about giving Hillary Clinton supporters any assumption of good faith or intelligence with respect to politics.

And holy shit, I can't believe I still have to talk about Bernie Sanders in June 2017 when an authoritarian shitlord is in power.

In conclusion, I storified my tweets about the Bernie convention over the weekend:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.12 "Luthors"

Lena's back. FINALLY!

But first, there's a group scene at Close Encounters. Specifically, Winn and James are stoked to meet Alex's new "mystery guy" and are shocked when the "guy" turns out to be Maggie Sawyer. Here, I want to mostly point out that Papa Hank knew the truth all along. Sure, he's psychic, but still, I'm sure he would have picked up on it anyway.

In Luthor news, Lena's mom, Lillian, is on trial. I forget what she did so let's just call it Evil Luthor Businiess. I think the point is that we're supposed to wonder whether Lena, too, is an Evil Luthor or if she can rise above her familial disposition.

Kara has faith in Lena, for some reason, and we're supposed to wonder if her faith is misplaced gullibility. Kara believes in Lena and visits Lena and they sit on the couch together tearing their donuts apart. I don't even mean that in a dirty way. Kara brings Lena a bag of donuts, I guess to engage in "sinful eating" together, but literally zero actual bites are taken. I watched. What is the point even? Just make out already, ladies. The sexual tension is obvious.

Lena also visits her mom in jail and her mom tells her she really is a Luthor, by blood. I guess there was some confusion about that. Her mom also tries to vaguely recruit Lena into Cadmus.

At the trial, I then remember that Lillian is head of Cadmus and they want to eradicate aliens from Earth. Oh yeah. That. One of the key witnesses during the trial, Metallo, sort of hulks out on kryptonite and frees Lillian. To escape, they put Supergirl in a classic "You can capture me or you can save the humans" situation, knowing that Supergirl, being Supergirl, will save the innocent humans every time.

Supergirl, Alex, and Maggie then wonder who gave Metallo the kryptonite that he used to help free Lillian. It turns out..... Lena was the only person who visited the jail the previous night. While Kara goes to question Lena, Maggie shows up and puts Lena in 'cuffs and takes her down to the station.

Oh dear. I wonder how many fanfics this scene has launched. But I digress. Kara is NOT happy with Maggie. And, to make things worse, Snapper Trapper wants the story of Lena's arrest on the front page of the paper.

However, it turns out that while Lena is in jail, Metallo kidnaps her. James and everyone at the DEO think Metallo broke her out of jail and that this proves that Lena is actually evil. Despite all the evidence, Kara still believes that Lena is innocent. People don't understand why Kara keeps believing in Lena. But we know. We all know.

Metallo then takes Lena to meet up with Lillian and they go to some sort of vault that has some super weapons or something. Lillian tries to convince Lena to commit to joining Cadmus. They also need her blood to open the vault. So they're basically just using her. Lena refuses to open the vault, but Lillian's Cadmus goons make her. Lillian is mean.

At the DEO, Winn does his computer magic and realizes that Lena actually is innocent. Miraculously, at the exact same time, the DEO finds out that Lena is at the vault with Cadmus and ascertains their exact location. So, Supergirl and J'onn fly there in a jiffy and rescue Lena.

Lena is vindicated. And, Kara writes a story about it, leading Lena to send her a bunch of flowers and say that she's never had a friend like Kara before. Just a couple of 100% heterosexual women hanging out, you know.

In the final scene, however, we see a flashback of Lena beating her brother Lex at chess and saying, "I really like this game." So now Lena's morality is questionable. But, I want to believe.

Oh, there's also some Kara/Mon-El flirting. (Shrug)

Deep Thought of the Week: This might sound greedy, but I'm ready for a Supergirl/Wonder Woman crossover.

Quote of the Day

"Listening to talking heads on both the left and the right, you’d think that America is facing a freedom of speech crisis. But the crisis isn’t what it’s made out to be. The Jonathan Chaits and Frank Brunis and Sean Hannitys of the world are not lacking in a freedom to speak, nor are the white conservatives on college campuses they seem so worried about. It’s women and people of color who struggle the most finding a platform – but there is a conspicuous lack of concern about that by free speech crusaders.

When Bill O’Reilly and the late Roger Ailes were paid tens of millions of dollars for stepping down from their jobs – far more than the settlements that the women they were accused of sexually harassing received – they weren’t being silenced. And Bill Maher getting deserved blowback for saying 'house nigga' doesn’t make him struggle to speak freely.

Those of us who are routinely called 'bitch', 'faggot' or 'nigger' on the regular –and who are threatened with violence and death – have a much harder time accessing the right of 'free speech.'"
Thrasher goes on to acknowledge both the "uncompensated cost" of this harassment and that harassers disproportionately target women and people of color. Meanwhile, members of the white male media establishment perpetuate a false "both sides" equivalence that posits that it's better to tolerate hateful intolerance than it is to keep people safe.

Easy for them to say.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dispatches From the Queer Resistance (No. 3)

Over at Shakesville, I recapped some current events and political news for Pride Month.

Check it out!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Reporting Live From the "Nothing Is Racist: A White Memoir" Files

It seems to me that one of the lowest possible bars that white people have for not being racist toward Black people is to not say the n-word.

But, take Bill Maher saying it recently, for instance, and my oh my all the passes white people - even those on the left - give him for it. One of the general arguments I saw many a white person make  is that Maher was "just joking." Some of them then jumped to the conclusion that comedy would cease to exist if white people couldn't say the n-word anymore, which mostly is a statement to how pathetic some white people's sense of humors are.

Another argument I saw was that Maher opposes Trump, so if Maher says the n-word, it's "divisive" or "damaging" to "the resistance" to call him racist. More divisive, we are to suppose, than being racist.

This whitesplaining fits into the larger leftbro narrative that nothing really is racist if you just understand where white people are coming from, "identity politics" are unimportant side issues, and it's wrong in general to call people racist or, gods forbid, deplorables.

Oh. Also, I have a new Personal Twitter Rule: Pre-emptively block anyone who follows me who has anything resembling "No sense of humor? Easily offended? F*ck you!" in their Twitter bio, even if they hate Donald Trump.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Hard Is What Makes It Great

It's been awhile since I've made an A League Of Their Own reference in Fannie's Room, so let's celebrate with a special Hillary Clinton/pop culture confluence today AND cause those enlightened snobbish leftists who hate both pop culture and Clinton to combust into a puddle of weeping rose petals.

Did you know that during Hillary Clinton's recent Wellesley commencement address, she called A League Of Their Own one of her favorite movies?! She did so while referencing the scene below, in which Jimmy is convincing star player Dottie not to quit:

I think a re-watch is in order soon.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

Have you read Rebecca Traister's piece at New York magazine on Hillary Clinton's post-election life?  Even though some people notoriously want her to go away, I'm glad that she's not.

There's a lot to say about Traister's piece, which I think is great, but one part in particular highlights how low the bar now is for what counts as presidential:

"Clinton checks with her communications director, Nick Merrill, about what’s happened in the past hour — she’s been exercising — and listens to the barrage of updates, nodding like a person whose job requires her to be up-to-date on what’s happening, even though it does not."
The act of being engaged in current events while also understanding these events and the relevant nuances is a low-level base criterion for president, or should be. And yet, by several accounts, Trump simply does not have this level of engagement, becoming impatient and irritable when sitting for more than a few minutes at a time, which foreign leaders are prepped on how to deal with.

It also speaks to a deep frustration of the 2016 election: many people are more moved by a white man's anger than a woman's quiet, nerdy competence. While Bernie and Donald could both channel anger, a female candidate and a person of color has to walk a fine line with emotion.

"But was she right that she couldn’t have expressed her anger in that debate? There are plenty of people who yearned for Clinton to get mad; during the campaign, an imagined litany of Clinton’s fury titled 'Let Me Remind You Fuckers Who I Am' went viral. 'Oh, I am [pissed],' she says. But as a woman in public life, 'you can’t be angry for yourself. You just can’t. You can be indignant, you can be annoyed, you can be frustrated, but you can’t be angry … I don’t think anger’s a strategy.'
You mean it’s not a strategy for you, I clarify. 'For me, yeah.' She pauses. 'But I don’t think it’s a good strategy for most people.'
But this was an election that was, in many ways, about anger. And Trump and Sanders capitalized on that.
'Yes.' Clinton nods. 'And I beat both of them.'”
And, going forward, I don't think it's a winning strategy for the Democrats to try to re-invent themselves to tap into, and center, white male anger, as it's being from time to time suggested.