"'Third World' is an obsolete term, (since the Second World no longer exists) but if you're going to use it in the sense of referring to the Global South, it's not horribly inaccurate to say the US is a First World nation geographically coextant with a Third World one, where the citizenship is determined by class (economic and social.)" -- kadath, 2008-03-04
Although I do it a lot. Mainly because I'll re-read the comment or think about what I posted and go, frak. I did not mean to say THAT. I meant to say THIS. But someone will totally think THAT. What to do? DELETE! DELETE!
OR, damn, that didn't come out as well as I thought it did. Note to self, sugar warps the brain.
Also, who makes Bakewell Tarts? I've rarely seen them and never had one. I've had marzipan tarts. But not with that horrid icing on top. Seriously. Everyone knows how to bake or should know how to bake a Bakewell tart? Maybe if you are British and in your 70s.
But I adore this show. And it made me cry this week...Val is such a lovely lady. She said she just bakes with love. And does it to share her love with others. And she's always so upbeat regardless of how well she does. Not that competitive and brings others up.
2. fannish about television -- alas, I'm not really. Nothing is really grabbing me. And the one show that did...got cancelled and didn't have enough episodes. Also...I think when you binge the entirety of a series at once, as opposed to watching it as it airs...the whole fannish bit melts away faster?
I've tried with Doctor Who. But it has so many problems. That said, it may turn around for me...I rather liked a good portion of this season. Much better than the previous season. And I did like the River Song arc. So, the change in Doctors or new Doctor may change my take on it and make it more interesting for me, while simultaneously getting rid of the things that irritated me about the series and kept me from investing in it on an emotional level. Don't know. This season was certainly better than last.
The trailer to the Christmas episode is quite brilliant.
3. Will -- uneven so far, but the play writing bits still fascinate. How Alice convinces him to adapt plays from books or borrow ideas from others, as opposed to coming up with his own. In a way his talent lay more in adaptation that in coming up with new and clever ideas. Also, love how it shows the collaborative nature of the work, and how much Alice influenced him and in a way co-wrote The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
4. Broadchurch -- the third season is better than the second, which I couldn't get into and found unwatchable. So far, I've found compelling despite the subject matter. What works is we have a normal, not beautiful, somewhat ordinary, older woman sexually assaulted. Usually in these shows, it's a pretty young girl, who is model pretty. Or a lead character. Here, it's a new character and I think that works better. Also they don't show the assault or fetish it, which helps. Too many shows fetish it.
Jodi Whittaker, who plays Beth Latimer in the series, I've been watching closely, curious to know what she'll do with Doctor Who. She seems a bit earnest. So don't know. But then that is the role of Beth Latimer. I can't remember her in Venus. I'm pretty certain I saw it, but the movie clearly wasn't memorable. I sort of wish Olivia Coleman had gotten the role. I rather like Coleman, she does world-weariness well.
I have to admit I can't understand half of what Tennant says. His accent is thick. And he mumbles. Same problem with a good portion of the actors. Latimer, I can at least understand. She enouciates and doesn't mumble. That was actually my difficulty with Tennant as Who, I couldn't understand half of what he said. He speaks fast and mumbles.
I keep putting on the close-captioning. In Broachurch, I rewind and sort of guess. Do however love what Tennant does with his face. Now if he'd just not mumble, it would be great.
5. It was either edit this post or write a new one...The Mary Sue keeps posting rather cool things to look forward to in the pop culture world. Such as
* Thor Rorganork, which has a great villain in Cate Blanchett's the Goddess of Death. Except I thought Doctor Strange was supposed to be in it. Don't see him in the trailer.
But the film looks like a lot of fun, with a buddy team up of Thor and Hulk.
*The Star Wars episode 8 trailer looks phenomenal.
* So too does the trailer for "The Gifted" which wonders what would it be like to be born a mutant in a world where the X-men and the Brotherhood may not even exist any longer? Focuses on lesser seen and known mutants such as Lorna Dane (Polaris), Thunderbird (John Proudstar, the Native American mutant), Eclispe, and Blink. Also stars Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer as humans.
* And..the Black Widow trailer. I didn't know they were doing a Black Widow film. It looks official not fan made.
* Apparently Marty McFly is coming back to save us from the Doofus in 2016-17. Will he succeed? Yes, there's a Back to the Future IV coming out. The mind boggles.
* They have actually adapted a film from one of my all time favorite children's books, A Wrinkle in Time -- which appears to have a good cast. And the trailer looks brilliant, unlike A Bridge Over Terribetha, which was a weak film.
* There's some concern over "The Defender's" which may focus a bit too much on Iron Fist, because of The Hand being the principle villain. I don't know about that...the Hand is actually also the main villain in Daredevil. I think Daredevil will be the center of it. Which is as it should be.
* They are apparently doing a film version of Cloak and Dagger, which I think are from the DC verse. Not sure about it.
* The Inhumans could be interesting...it's focusing on Medusa and Black Bolt, from the 1980s comics. Looks a little cheesy though.
Interesting, a lot of the comic adaptations and book adaptations, with a few exceptions, seem to be from the 1980s...which I rather love. Apparently my generation has some nostalgia for the 80s?
* Apparently Ben Affleck had a falling out with the new Batman director, so they are kicked Affleck to the curb...after that movie is done. Which..hmmm...how does that work with Justice League and other films in the franchise, exactly? Won't people notice a recast? Speculation is that Nightwing aka Dick Grayson will take over. Considering I liked Grayson in the comics and the 60s television series, I'm okay with that. Also he had a more interesting back story -- child of two acrobats, who were killed in a circus accident. So, a trained acrobat. Also, with Nightwing, you could potentially do a romance between him and Batgirl. (I've grown weary of Batman, finally. He's been over done. Superman has too, but not as badly as Batman.)
* And oh dear, I really need to catch up on The Expanse, don't I? They already have the third season trailer out.
The Senate health care repeal FAILS the Byrd Rule, according to the parliamentarian. In its current form, to misquote Gandalf, it shall not pass.
Trump's infamous Voter Fraud Commission asked for public comment. They got it.
There's this exhibit of what is purported to be a replica of Noah's Ark in Kentucky. According to the people running it, it's a nonprofit ministry. But it's run now by a for-profit group, in order to get tax incentives from the state. So the Ark project is
now no longer eligible for the tax rebates. How much are we talking? $18 million over the next 10 years.
Stop erasing women's presence in SFF.
The public editor's club at the NY Times, as told by the six people who were public editors. The job no longer exists.
Jeff Sessions authorizes highway robbery by police.
Red state North Dakota is trying an experiment in humane imprisonment for its prisons, based on the way Norwegian prisons are run. I will be very interested to see how this goes. One item in the article caught my eye:
...By 2015, Bertsch was ready to ship excess prisoners to a private facility in Colorado. In Norway, though, she learned that the farther a prisoner is removed from his home community, the less likely he is to have visitors. And that’s a problem, because multiple studies suggest that inmates who have regular visitors are less likely to reoffend later...
It makes me wonder if anyone was paying attention to the NYS prison system's stupidity in sending New York City felons to Dannemora, above the Adirondacks, or Attica. Each of those is hundreds of miles from where the violators' families are in the City. But when I look at the photo of the women in charge, it seems to me they're not old enough to remember the violence at either place -- though I have to say that much of the violence at Attica came from the police and National Guard sent to quell their requests for better food and medical care. I was living perhaps 10 miles from Attica; I noticed, and I remember it.
Now, you go speak truth to power, in regard to this:
From Democracy Now, a transcript of an Amy Goodman interview: Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are supporting a bill that would criminalize criticism of Israel or Israeli political/military actions. Further info ( behind cut )
More info here on how boycotting Israel would be considered a felony.
On free speech grounds alone this should not pass. Please write your Senators to oppose it. Here's the contact list for every Senator, with email, phones and more.
Teenaged girls in Austin, Texas, staged a wonderful quinceanera protest at the state capitol -- in their fancy gowns -- to protest the vile anti-immigrant law. And yes, they met with their elected reps afterward, to deliver the message in person. In case you don't know, a quinceanera is a big formal party on a girl's 15th birthday, to signify she is now an adult and no longer a child in Hispanic cultures.
Speaking of a different form of vile, the attempt to create a narrative of shame and regret for women who choose to exercise their own control over their bodies and futures, someone has come up with an abortion-pill reversal drug.
And damn right, tampons should be free for women in prison.
Tending tenderness and disrupting the myth of academic rock stars.
Six types of essays you should know.
Look at the women you have named as heroes -- not at their actions, but at the qualities of character that propelled them to do these actions. What are the core -- deeply held -- values behind what they did?
Why do these resonate with you? What in you responds to them?
You are a hero also. Your life may not be as dramatic as theirs, but it contains heroism. Which of your own core values match those of your heroes?
(I'd love to read your comments; you need not address all of this in them.)
"For it's not enough to walk the moon, send robots off to Mars
Nor send a lucky handful out to catch a glimpse of stars
We're gonna live and work and space. We're gonna go to stay
And the ones who'll make it happen,
the ones who make it happen,
yes the ones who'll make it happen
are the ones who make it pay"
-- Jordin Kare (b. 1956-10-24, d. 2017-07-19), "Bloody Bastards"
A tale in Stage of Fools, perhaps as practice
For the Yuletide gifting, perhaps to try
To write more now and write more easily.
I am out of practice; all that I wrote
For long months was the acts of foolish men
Enamoured of power, ignoring all else
But their wealth, their women, their greedy lust
For more, and more, and more. I hope this change
Will give me pause to think and dream again
Of a kinder life with gentler rulers
Than well-fattened boors despoiling the land,
Discouraging the people -- there, see? I need
To write something joyous or funny now,
Polish up my pentameter, employ
Wit, and play with sweet William's stories.
Where's my pen? where's the prompt? Lead me onward!
From "Oh this has not gone well" (part 14) by Redditor "ThisHasNotGoneWell":
"Well," I started, how do I explain statistics, and not sound like the boringest boring person in the world, "In the world I come from people have enough free time on their hands, and they take games seriously enough, that people will study a game like a Mage might study magic. I had plenty of time when I was waiting for the pass south to clear, so I spent some time pulling the rules apart, figuring out the probability of any given hand. The other players might have a gut feeling as to how probable a given hand is, but I know the figures exactly. I'll also try to keep track of what cards I've seen played already. Between that, and having worked out the probabilities of each, I usually have at least an idea of how good my hand is compared to the others."
"Wait," she said, trying to wrap her head around what I'd just said, "So, you know what cards they have in their hand?"
"Not quite, I know what cards they probably have. And even if I don't know specifics, I'll at least have an idea of whether their hand is better or worse than mine, and that's really all I need."
"Don't humans have anything better to do?"
I thought of the many hundreds of hours spent playing videogames and watching Netflix.
( the debate continues )
This is fascinating to me, because I honestly do not understand the backlash. Although I have seen it before in fandom. It's why, I've swung clear of fandom over the years. There's...to put it kindly, a kind of craziness that occurs in people when they get obsessed with something. And if they are shipping a character not the story, a specific character as they perceive and identify with that character in their heads...it can get heated.
That's the danger in shipping characters or relationships hard. Or being a devoted fan of a character, not a story or the world or all the characters within the narrative or the narrative itself, but a specific iconic character and/or relationship often at the expense of the canon or all logic.
I saw it in the Buffy fandom. A lot. A telling sign? I just want my television boyfriend to be happy.
(Ahem, the story ends when he is happy. There is no story. It's boring. We need conflict. This is not real life. This is a fictional story.)
2. On a funnier note... DALEKS ATTACK BRITISH TABLOIDS AFTER THEY POST NUDE PHOTOS OF NEW DOCTOR WHO...although I couldn't quite tell if the nude photo bit was fictional, if not, for shame you nasty people you.
3. ( our crazy ass government )
Why Michigan? I have no idea. But they are there.
Five volumes. More than 700 pages in most.
I'm downloading them and plan to read them all. What I'm looking at is the correspondence of Gen. Frederick Haldimand, a Swiss-born British soldier who became the military commander in the Americas. He was Ebenezer's boss, during the time of the events I'm dealing with, and a lot of the other characters involved with Ebenezer are likely to be in them as well. So far I've run into Brigadier MacLean, who was in command at Fort Niagara, and whom I've met in other letters before -- he wrote a friend about how badly Haldimand was dealing with the Sullivan expedition and how disappointed the Indians who were British allies were about it: "The king has a fool for a general" (direct quote from the letter, which is in the Archives of Ontario, filed under Scottish Immigrant Papers.) In the current letter, he's talking about running out of trade goods, asking to be sure the proper things are sent to Niagara and to Erie (which fort he had to borrow supplies from, and promised to make it up to them) and it is clear from his clipped-off sentences that he is really pissed about it all but can't say that to his boss.
It's something like 1800 pages overall. I'm downloading it in PDF and in MOBI, so I can read it on Kindle and cross-reference with the PDF for documenting pages and such for bibliographic info, if necessary.
I'm looking for two specific things (but I'll take others as they come): Ebenezer's promotion to lieutenant and move to the Indian Dept. from Butler's Rangers, and Ebenezer's own letter(s) to Haldimand demanding a reason why he was being detained without being charged and describing how he was being treated in various places of imprisonment (the Ranger camp at Niagara on the Lake, Hamilton (which was called something else then) and Quebec. I would have checked for these in Ottawa on principle, but apparently Ottawa was not that big a deal back then.
So, I'll spend the time I might have spent on the road (and more) in reading this pile of British military correspondence and getting to know the guys better. I can think of worse things to do in August.
I am back in the bedroom with Beautiful, who informed me in no uncertain terms that the new paving stones are too hot for her to walk on. Either that or she doesn't like stone dust between her toes because it tastes gritty. Anyway, she's lying on my t-shirt, a sock and a carry bag on the bed near my feet.
And so you get the links I have found...
The Oakland police dept. has severed its ties with ICE. And I love body cameras on cops, especially when the camera footage shows the cops planting drugs and faking evidence.
A good airplane story: A flight attendant saw 'help me' written in the aircraft toilet, informed the pilot and there were police there to catch the kidnapper and free the girl who wrote it when the plane landed. And there's information about a group of flight attendants that fights human trafficking.
Federal Judge James Boasberg found that the federal permits justifying the Dakota Access Pipeline were not filled out legally -- they lacked vital information on the effect of the pipeline on Native water, among other things -- and the court seeks an additional briefing to consider whether to shut down the pipeline altogether. This is a huge step and victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and the waterkeepers, even if it is not yet the final victory.
Elon Musk says he has verbal approval for an underground 'pipeline' that would take people from DC to NY very fast.
Info on preventing dementia long before it starts.
They thought it was just a rock. It's a million-year-old dinosaur fossil, a rare one.
Confessions of a NYTimes copyeditor. You may or may not have heard that the Times is laying off something like 30 -- or was it 60? -- copyeditors, a move that I look at with horror since those are the people who catch the inadvertant errors before they get in print. When I worked at a daily paper, the news path was: reporter, region/city editor, copyeditor, back shop for compositing and layout. Whoever was copyeditor edited all the stories on the first page of the local news section and designed its layout, and changed it at half-hour intervals for the four editions. But this was a one-printing newspaper -- one paper a day, different editions for different sales regions, such as city, local county, neighboring NY county, neighboring PA county. The NYTimes, on the other hand, has an international edition, a national edition, and several local editions each day, at different times and deadlines. That's an all-day job. And the copyeditors have to be sure that every story is factually correct and matches the style of the paper. (One of these days I'll write about stylebooks.) Anyway, the mere thought of losing copyeditors makes my skin crawl.
Apparently, NY City does not allow pet-sitting without a kennel license, and kennels aren't allowed in the city. This does not make things easy for pet owners, though
the Bloggess's letter to the pet sitter that wasn't sent would scare me off.
Speaking of pets and runaways, Trump's personal lawyer has left, quit, run off, and so has the legal team's media spokesman. Now the head of the team is ... and no, baseball fans, I am not joking ... Ty Cobb. (The baseball player Ty Cobb scored very well and was a bloody sunovabitch to deal with; he wore spiked shoes and if he didn't like you and you were guarding a base, he'd slide into the base and aim the spikes at your legs. He aimed at black players in particular.) Hmm. He'd be right at home with Trump, wouldn't he?
A trying time on a grand jury.
A break: Women win the Internet in tweets. And #10 illustrates why women should be on *every* design committee.
Decolonial theory at work in Australia.
Agatha Christie's coming to your screens, along with a lot of other interesting stuff.
9 classic country songs and the books they pair up with.
Fancy cotton candy art in China.
Jeramiah Moss was here.
Are the 1930s returning in the Left?
Giant metal chicken. Need I say more?
What a president with nothing to hide would say to the NYTimes.
Seven provisions in the Senate health care bill that may not survive committee review. Read this, despite the eyeblinding art at the top.
But you do need to know that a bill funding arts and humanities has made it out of committee. Yay NEA and NEH!
Where does time go? I don't know. I do know that this last link is posted for reference and not for your reading pleasure -- in case you have to look something up: a chronological list of Trump's lies.
The plumber is done, so I'm going to finally get my morn-, no, afternoon coffee.
2. I've been thinking about something that I read in The Mary Sue, which also skips back to a discussion in a friends FB. It's about identifying as a gender. Or a better way of saying it -- identifying a character as "male" or "female", and that being an identifying characteristic that cannot be changed. I'm struggling to wrap my head around it. Because I wonder sometimes what traits we consider to be typically male or female.
Star Trek Deep Space Nine actually handled gender identity in an interesting manner. One of their aliens Jadzia Dax was symbiot. The symbiot jumped from body to body, merging with a new one and becoming reborn. The Captain of the Space Station, Benjamin Sisko had issues with Jadzia at first, because he'd known Dax as male in Dax's prior incarnation.
Jadzia Dax is a joined Trill. Though she appears to be a young woman, Jadzia lives in symbiosis with a wise and long-lived creature, known as a symbiont, named Dax. The two share a single, conscious mind, and her personality is a blending of the characteristics of both the host and the symbiont. As such, Jadzia has access to all the skills and memories of the symbiont's seven previous hosts. Jadzia holds academic degrees in exobiology, zoology, astrophysics and exoarchaeology, all of which she earned before being joined with the symbiont Dax. (DS9 Season 1 Episode Dax)
Jadzia Dax is the station's chief science officer, and is close friends with commander Benjamin Sisko and Bajoran first officer Kira Nerys. Later in the series, she becomes involved with the Klingon character Worf, and they marry during the sixth season of the show. Her character is killed by Gul Dukat during the sixth-season finale (due to Terry Farrell's desire to pursue a role on the then upcoming TV show Becker with Ted Danson). The character of Dax re-emerges in the seventh-season premiere in the form of Ezri Dax.
It's difficult to handle. Particularly when we are socialized to put a great deal of importance on gender roles. Everything in our culture impresses this upon us. It's ingrained in us as babies. Even down to clothing. My niece stated once that she was happy she was born a girl because she could wear skirts and dresses. Which struck me as interesting because I've met men who wore dresses in NYC. Even went contra-dancing with one of them. I wore pants, he was wearing a skirt. Her statement even more amusing when I consider that my brother refused to tell anyone the gender of his child prior to her birth, so they would not get her gender specific items. He wanted blue, not just pink or vice versa.
At work, I once discussed Mad Men with a male coworker, who felt Elizabeth Moss' character was too masculine. That she clearly wanted to wear the pants. And wasn't willing to be female. And wanted to be a man. (I had to take three steps back, swallow hard, and remember he's not aware he's being sexist here. And he's not sexist in other ways.)
Remember being on a fanboard when it was announced that Starbuck in BattleStar Galatica reboot was being recast as a woman. Fans of the previous series went nuts. Dirk Benedict who'd portrayed the role was deeply offended. (Sort of makes me rather proud of Colin Baker who portrayed Doctor Who and adores the idea of a female Who, of course Who is a bit different...in some respects, but still.).
One woman on the board went ballistic. She felt it was an insult. How dare they! The more people complained about it, and they did through the entire course of the series, the more excited the writers became. Starbuck was interesting to me, because in some respects Katee Sackoff played the character more masculine than Benedict, more tough. She was high adrenaline. A Boxer. Took Apollo down in the ring. An ace pilot. Smoked those cigars with glee. Took no prisoners. A complete subversion of gender stereotypes. The writers through the recast challenged viewers and their own concept of gender. And identity. It was a brilliant move, but also a risky one.
Years ago, I wrote a Fanged Four fic with various members of a board. And a fight broke out while writing the fic. One of the writers had come up with the idea of having Angel and Spike dress up as women to infilterate a dance hall and fool a villain. But at least two people in the group, it was a collaborative writing effort, got really upset about the idea of "Angel" wearing a dress. They felt it demeaned the character somehow or was OTT. We compromised, most of the Spike fans had no problems with Spike wearing a dress. And I agreed to write the Spike in dress sequences along with the two other people.
And...I will always remember a fascinating discussion I had once with my brother and father regarding male writers. My brother despises Cormac McCarthy and Ernest Hemingway, he hates machismo and he's never really been a fan of James Bond. He said...that he feels it's limiting, that men are being pressured into falling into some sort of ideal -- the idea of a macho man, alpha, strong, and sort of cruel. My father, a fan of these writers and characters, was bewildered and felt too many books were geared towards women not men. He also had the odd view that women were more nuturing, caring, natural gardners, caregivers, and domestic, while men were more protective, less good with kids, and more pragmatic. My brother and I sort of threw that theory out the window. Since we are sort of the opposite or a hodge podge of both. We, my brother and I, both strongly believe that gender is immaterial and a spectrum. That it doesn't matter. When I mentioned once to him that women navel gaze more than men and are more into emotion and analyzing it, he blew my theory out of the water by telling one of his male friends did this sort of thing all the frigging time.
I'm talking about all this... because several things, not just one, have happened that brought it to the surface. The book I'm reading at the moment is driving me nuts, it's a fantasy novel and it is so...boilerplate on gender. Reinforcing stereotypes. Makes me miss Captive Prince. One of the reasons a lot of women like male/male romances is that a lot of gender stereotypes get exploded, also you don't have to deal with the ingrained sexism that is in the female/male romances. Did you know that a lot of reviewers on Amazon and Good Reads actually capitalize the word "Hero" and lowercase the word "heroine", with H/h? It blew my mind when I first noticed it. I started responding, please stop this, then gave up.
And of course the election from hell...resulting in the President from hell. I guess you could say the Europeans are more advanced in that respect. Except the Europeans don't elect candidates necessarily so much as parties. And it is the party that elects the candidate. So just that district elected Margaret Thatcher or Theresa May. I wonder if the entire country had to vote for them, if the result would have been the same? (Not sure about Germany.) And to be fair, Hillary did get the popular vote. But it's disconcerting that a lot of people chose to vote for a man who had not one but several allegations of sexual harrassment and sexual violence against him, various civil suits, and said derogatory things about women over a woman who apparently had no clue how to use email. Yet, they tell me they aren't sexist or misogynistic. And they aren't. Not in their day to day pursuits.
So why? Why chose to believe the horror stories about Hillary over Trump? Was it about gender? Hard to say...it appears to be. They say it wasn't. Yet. Same deal with Bernie vs. Hillary. They say it's not, and maybe not, yet...so many of the ads screamed it. Hillary was too masculine, too hard, not friendly enough, didn't wear the right clothing.
And now, the ruckus over Doctor Who. In a perfect world, it wouldn't matter. Doctor Who in a perfect world would have been black, blue, a woman, an man, old, young, and something in between. In a perfect world, it wouldn't matter that Barack Obama is black, or that Hillary is female. But alas, we don't live in a perfect world. We live a flawed one. From an objective pov, such as my mother's or various others...this seems rather silly. Just as getting upset over making James Bond female or casting a female version of Bond might. (Which they did, by the way.) But not as James Bond. Not that they can. James Bond is after all human and he doesn't regenerate. And the movies don't necessarily follow a serialized format. I don't why they couldn't cast a female Bond, anymore than they couldn't cast a female Starbuck or female Wolverine. Or, Spike or Angel female. I'd actually like to see someone reboot Angel the Series but with a gender flip. Less so, Buffy, because been there done that.
(There was a British show a while back about a boy who was chosen to fight monsters...) And to be fair, the whole point of Buffy was to challenge a gender trope. (To give you a little back story on Buffy? Whedon studied film in school, and almost all horror films killed the Buffy character off, she was staked, slayed, and often in an alley. With the guy being the hero. Also up to Buffy, all vampire stories had the girl killed, and they guy be the vampire slayer. In short, we've had 100 years of Buster the Vampire Slayer. Whedon was flipping the trope. If you recast Buffy with a guy, it wouldn't be interesting. Actually that's why Supernatural isn't very interesting ...because been there, done that. It doesn't challenge any established tropes. It doesn't do anything interesting. At the end of the day, it's mindless tv. Which is okay. I like mindless tv. But it's not great. Buffy was great because it changed television. And it did it by challenging established gender tropes and archetypes.)
I think the problem with challenging these tropes in culture is two-fold. One, people have a tendency to watch things with their genitalia or as masturbation fodder. I know, I know, insane, but there it is. They won't admit it. But if someone is posting pictures of a hot character...
Two...there's this thing about archetypes and that's psychological. Role models. Needing a strong male hero to fantasize about or love or look up to. And...whether we want to admit it or not, a need to reinforce traditional views and comforting categories that we were taught.
I don't this is speculation for the most part. Because I like flipping the gender roles. I get off on it. I'm doing it myself to an extent, in my writing. I like subvert established tropes. And it irritates me when artists don't. Like with the book I'm reading now. For me, art is more interesting when they aren't playing it safe. It's hard for me to understand why you want it to be safe?
Or maybe I do...I do watch and read things for comfort. Although they aren't necessarily conventional.
Again, I don't know. I don't know why the guy on my friend's FB page can't handle a female Doctor Who. He's rational is that Who is from his perspective identified as male. That the proof of that is how he loved, that he loved in a heterosexual male way. As if there is such a thing. Maybe there is?
I don't know there was never any sex on Doctor Who. It was implied but rather coyly. My friend was as bewildered by this as I was. He suggested that she'd be upset if Wonder Woman was cast as a male.
But that already happened, with Wonder Man. The US has less problems with this sort of thing in its cultural experiments than the Brits apparently. We do it all the time. So part of my bewilderment may be that I'm used to it. Example? Starbuck.
And I don't know why Hillary couldn't become President. Or why we insist on reinforcing these things.
I don't understand my own views on it. But I think we need to ask the questions. Ask why. I don't think it is something as simple as misogyny or sexism ...I think it is more about how we link gender and identity in our heads, giving gender perhaps more importance then we should? Another way of looking at it...a lot of people I've met online...I've no idea from their names what gender they are. I guess. But I've been wrong. They've guessed about me and been wrong. Although I always thought shadowkat was rather obvious. I remember one individual being pissed that we felt the need to out their gender. They preferred to be genderless online. To be without a gender. I think it was interesting that I felt the need to identify it.
Okay, this next one needs a little history. In the Constitution, war powers are given to the Senate: only the Senate, on majority vote, can declare war. George W. Bush managed to get war powers transferred to him, I think in the Patriot Act. A Dept. of Defense appropriations bill was approved that included removing war powers from the President, giving them back to the Senate. After it was approved, Paul Ryan took that wording out of the bill, which had been given bipartisan approval.
ETA: A scientist blows the whistle on the Trumpists moving scientists to non-science jobs in the hope they'll quit, while leaving their previous useful positions unfilled.
A Friend from my Meeting is walking, biking and rowing/paddling the US. Here's his blog, about his journeys.
The finding of a 14,000-year-old settlement verifies the land claim of the Heiltsuk First Nation in Canada.
Armed redneck lefties fight fascism.
Marble helped scholars whitewash ancient history.
(She isn't dealing with race here -- yes, of course, Luke Cage is a hero, how could he not be? And Falcon, and T'Challa. And many others whom I see on cable but whose names I don't know. But the field of combat/discussion is sexism here.)
So. Who are the women I see as heroes in movies, not as 'women heroes'? Not as sidekicks, or (forgive me, Rosalind Russell) as equal-to-men-but-in-a-men's-world, such as Hildy in 'My Girl Friday' (which was originally a man's role)? (I am exempting comedies from this, overall, because being a hero can be largely humorless. If someone has a hero who is female and in a comedy, I'd really like to know about it.) And what is a hero? For purposes of this post, I'm defining a hero as someone who goes up against impossible odds to achieve a goal that generally include keeping 'self and/or one or more other people alive, whether or not they are people the hero personally knows. (There are variations -- achieving an impossible goal can be heroic, but isn't always presented as such.) Another requirement is that the hero is someone with agency who chooses to use it to change the status quo for the better. By the end of the movie, something has to be different because of what the hero did. The stakes must be high, the difficulties many and the resources limited.
(Sexism example: Nobody complains about the Sundance Kid shooting people. They complain about Thelma and Louise blowing up the rude sexist trucker's truck. There's only one shooting in that movie, of a rapist, and I don't even want to hear about how he 'hadn't done anything yet' when he'd brutalized Louise in a way that made it clear that she's not his first victim.)
(Yes, Buffy and Faith are heroes -- but I'm thinking movies here, not tv, and the movie of Buffy was not so much about heroism as about overturning high-school and prom-night-movie tropes.)
Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, in Alien, Aliens, etc. My favorite is the second movie, because I went to see it with a really horrible boyfriend I was trying to break up with, and it gave me the courage to dump him. Ripley is a killer because of circumstances -- self defense and protecting the girl -- and her targets are the enormous aliens that are trying to kill them. Does it not count as being a killer if you use a spaceship to do it? Or if the victims are trying to kill you and are aliens?
(Ripley was originally a man's role -- it was written for Paul Newman, as was Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. The name -- Axel Foley -- is a give-away, half Swedish and half Irish. I can come up with a few reasons why a black character would have that name -- but I seriously doubt that many black kids were named Axel until after the movie came out.)
Sally Field, in both Places in the Heart and Norma Rae. Neither of them has rape involved, present or past. This is steadfast, plugging, get-it-done heroism, not flashy. What changes is that through her hard work and steadfastness, and befriending outcasts (Danny Glover and John Malkovich), she keeps her home. It probably helps that Sally Field looks like a fluffy bunny in Places, and is sweaty and ungroomed in Norma Rae. I've worked in a factory without AC in the summer -- she looked like I felt on the assembly line. And that scene where she is dragged away to the police car, fighting for her life? She broke two ribs on one of the guys carrying her that day; she was dead serious in that fight.
Leia Organa, whether princess, freedom fighter, or general, is a hero. She's also a killer, unless all those dudes in white plastic armor don't count when she shoots at them and they fall down. She's also the Hutt-slayer and a liberator of planets. Over the first three movies (they will always be the first three for me, not the prequels) her character grows and develops. What we have lost when Carrie died was the rest of the story for her -- at least we have Movie 8 coming, with more of General Leia. (I have no idea why The Geek Feminist Revolution didn't include her as a hero, unless she's in an essay I haven't gotten to yet. I mean, she's the one with the two male sidekicks who think it's all about them.)
Karen Silkwood, played by Meryl Streep, is a hero, killed for trying to tell people about workplace safety violations in a plutonium factory. Meryl Streep also plays more of an action hero in The River Wild, and there are no rapes there -- and she does kill Kevin Bacon's character, who richly deserves it. However, Meryl Streep can play anything except a doormat; the closest she came to that was in Sophie's Choice, early on, where she is powerless to save both of her children from murder by the Nazis and never completely recovers afterward. It's a powerful role and amazing acting -- but she is not a hero, she's a survivor, and the two aren't necessarily the same.
Arwen Undomiel, one of two named women characters in Lord of the Rings (seriously: Rosie Cotton is a walk-on so Sam will have someone conventionally female to come home to) is a hero, and a swordfighter, when she rides down to the ford to bring Frodo up to Rivendell. I have fantasized at times about a version of LOTR from her viewpoint -- being the witness, seeing what's happening but not able to change the war, then choosing mortality over immortality because with Aragorn she had found something she could not find with another elf. There are hints in the books of their marriage being considered miscegenation by Elrond and others, but it can't be said overly strongly because he is Elrond Half-Elven, after all. What would her story look like, from her viewpoint? She wasn't Eleanor of Aquitaine, riding bare-breasted toward Jerusalem with the Crusades -- "the troops were dazzled" -- because sexuality barely exists in Tolkien's writing other than bromance. If anything, she is stuck being more like Katherine in Henry V -- outside the "men's discussion" of war and tribute and appeasement, but she escapes being the property that must be exchanged for the treaty to take place. But to get back to Arwen, heroes are people who act, and Arwen does act, in the scenes we see -- that is her choice. The book and movie show us the aftereffect, the willing bride and queen -- they don't show the inner struggle she went through to get there. (FWIW, I have a hard time not reading Merry and Pippin as kid sisters to Frodo, but that's me. Tomboy kid sisters who get into scrapes and out of them.)
Eowyn, also LOTR, is certainly a hero -- gets into armor, rides into battle, kills the Witch King --"No man can kill me." "I am no man." She also shows 'womanly' virtues by caring for the ailing king, her uncle, and mourning her brother. I would dearly love to see a story in which she and Arwen are hanging out and talking, since they are the co-rulers of neighboring countries. Peter Jackson has much to answer for in not having Faramir's courtship of and marriage to Eowyn in the movie. Yes, it was three hours long. It could have been three hours and five minutes.
I don't see Galadriel as a hero. Yes, she turns down the Ring. But that's it. Nothing changes for her after the movie -- she goes into the Weat, where all the elves were going anyway. She's a queen, a wise woman, a visionary -- but not a hero in these terms. And -- JRR Tolkien, why could you not have put Arwen and Galadriel in the same room *once*?
Speaking of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katharine Hepburn plays her as a hero in her own eyes who is stuck in a proscribed women's role and trying her best to get out of it at times by manipulation and scheming (traditionally considered women's weapons). But she also brings knives to her sons when her husband has imprisoned them, so they can fight their way out --"It's 1183, and we're all barbarians." Much as I love Kate's movies, it's hard for me to call her a hero. A strong woman, yes, but in that narrative (play or movie) not heroic. She does not change anything. At the end of the story she's going back to her own prison, and everyone who was alive when the movie started still is, though their relationships have shifted a bit. Hepburn played the roles that were available, and women-as-equals or women-as-partners were her forte. But not heroes. But Kate Hepburn's movies could be an entire other post or three.
I am not sure whether Celie, in The Color Purple, could be considered a hero. She does not overturn the status quo as much as go along with it for her own survival. Much of the time she doesn't have agency, and when she does it's fairly minor -- designing women's trousers is not quite like going over a waterfall in a raft with your son and two murderers (The River Wild).
Regardless of Hollywood's prejudices, Black Widow is a hero, as well as a survivor. I would like to see a movie in which we see both of those -- the agency she has is to change herself after Hawkeye refuses to kill her. And yes, she's a killer -- it's her job. I'm not sure she's written as well as she deserves. Fanfic does better by her than the movies do, at this point, much of the time.
What women are your movie heroes, and why? (Y'all are forgetting to tell me why...)
ETA: It's a series, not a movie, but all the major women in Black Sails are heroes, in particular Eleanor Guthrie (who singlehandedly tries to keep the village of Nassau profitable), Max (who goes from slavery and prostitution to managing businesses, owning land, and not employing anyone enslaved), and Anne Bonney (who is a pirate, no excuses, no arguments, and who takes down a murderous thug who had already killed several men -- she noticed the shards of broken glass over to the side, and once she had them, it was as if she had her swords again.) They are all complex, complicated characters, who love and hate and make deals and make compacts and agreements and understand how their world works when many of the men around them don't.