Tag Archives: women

Orphan is the New Black

What if our darkest feminist nightmares came true?

Girls who disagree with their fathers get locked in a cage with their mouths sewn shut?

Women are killed unless they can reproduce? And when they can, they are no more or less than incubators?

Women’s bodies are objects of science, subject to constant observation and kept ignorant of their status as experiments?

Sometimes they are artificially inseminated using animal husbandry tools?

Sometimes fathers commit incest meditated by reproductive technology so it’s NOT ABOUT SEX AND/OR POWER AT ALL. Nor is it creepy. Nor is it anti-Christian.

Women on TV are seemingly infinite variants of the same thin, beautiful, vulnerably strong white woman in leather?

Everyone lives in Canada?

 

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Book Reviewlets: The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

You, like me, were wondering. Every night, the salty breezes blowing across the bow of your yacht. Wondering while savoring the peaty elmish notes of scotch.

Scratching your chin stubble and wondering.

What’s the best way to relive the Iraq War?

Through Rachel Maddow’s and Errol Morris’s investigative cinematic journalism?

Through dinner parties where everyone comes dressed as their favorite CNN hologram?

Through nightmares of Abu Graib?

Man. What a bummer. Except for the hologram.

Thinker for Hire, are CNN holograms the only answer?! They CAN’T BE?!?!

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Sexism is So Confusing!

I haven’t watched the show, but I skimmed this review. I admire Paskin’s moxie but I find myself increasingly uncompromising about my feminism as I age.

Call this the Girl with the Dragon Truism Theory.

If you have to question whether or not a work filled with misogyny is sexist or if it’s instead critiquing sexism, can’t you just go ahead and call it sexist?

Conversely.

If you want to make a piece of art critiquing sexism, maybe you want to try not to fill it up with women getting abused, mistreated, insulted and exploited?

It can’t be that hard. Geena Davis has some ideas. You could apply them to race, too, and cast a person of color into a central role that was written “neutrally,” i.e. for a white character.

I know that refusing to portray women as prostitutes, sexual abuse survivors, and trophies can risk the bottom line. It’s risky! To cast a black woman as the lead in a show about a doctor.

Risky!

But give it a shot. Maybe you’ll like how it feels to critique society’s dumbness by not being dumb.

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Oh. That R. Kelly

When I was in college, I earned cookie money working here, a summer enrichment program for low-income girls. In my day, it was dance, drama, and creative writing. I taught creative writing, during which I made up lesson plans out my own head, and I also helped out in drama, and it was lovely.

One of student theater’s many perks is all the break time. Y’all don’t get that in athletics. Break time and the chance to imagine all the possible future selves one might become. During the many break times, these junior high girls would sing and reenact popular R&B videos. Performing on stage for each other and themselves.

When they sang “I believe I can fly,” they believed, during the moments spent singing the song, that they could fly.

Low-income girls, some of them several families to a house, living in what was only recently at that time the number one town for murder, per capita.

And when I think, now, what could have happened to them had they lived in Chicago instead of California.

I believe I can cry.

PS. Does anyone remember or care what Michael Jackson was accused of? And settled out of court for? And they dance dance dance anyway to “Smooth Criminal?” in a bemused retro way?

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Book Reviewlets: Oryx and Crake & the Year of the Flood

Recipe for a Post-Apocalyptic Novel

Apocalyptic Technology: Pick one. Any current ones could wipe us out, given the right combo of corporate, economic, and political forces. Margaret Atwood picked genetic engineering.

Protagonist: Anti-hero, to make his (usually his) salvation of humankind more literary. Atwood made three, so far, across these two books: A boy whose mother’s depression and abandonment gave him a Complex, a young woman who moved from an eco cult into pseudo-elite sex work for totally logical reasons, and an older woman who survived both her parents’ death and the deprivations of a horrifying rapist and torturer (even reviews by Noted Feminists tend not to call this dude a rapist).

Smug Scientific Genius (optional): But how optional is it, really, since the whole premise of the genre is that scientific hubris will do us in? Sometimes (I’m thinking of Butler’s xenogenesis trilogy) this role is played by an alien. In these books, he’s a lonely hacker resolved to engineer humans back to the state of animals, reversing much of what evolution gave us in terms of frontal lobe capabilities etc. Because human emotions are too painful. That sounds like a cliche when I type it, but it didn’t feel like one when I read it.

Impediment to Human Survival: Conflict, right? Something has to happen after the world has ended, because we’re too convinced of our own power as a species to really think that apocalypse is the end. In these books, there’s Blanco, that rapist/torturer/murderer/subhuman, and a few of his co-rapists. There are pigs with human brain tissue. They hold grudges and mourn their dead. There isn’t much food left.

But the biggest impediment to human survival is the potential inability of humans to override decades of programming by the corporate technocracy into creatures of pure consumption.

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