trinityvixen: (cancer)
The whole fight over contraception has exposed a lot of ugly bullshit, which is actually great. Because sunlight is a great disinfectant, and too long have the same resentments and misogynist undertones been circling without full exposure. It's hard to take a lot of the time, especially when legislatures controlled by a) men and b) Republicans get to change laws that no one asked or wanted them to change. But I have to remember that this sort of thing exposes them for the ignorant assholes they are.

To whit: Responsible women shouldn't be having sex. No really, that's what some asshole in North Carolina said to justify turning down funds for family planning. Because sluts, you know:

Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when "taxpayers are asked to pay money for contraceptives" for women having sex without planning responsibly.

Call me a sex-crazed feminazi (thank you!), but I thought taking contraceptives was planning for responsibly for women having sex. There's a better quote where someone else says something to the effect of lamenting all the sex these women are having (presumably not within ten feet of him, seeing as he's a lady-boner-killer), but the one I've highlighted above was the most hilarious to me.

Someone on Bill Maher's show suggested that women do exactly what these men want--women should just stop having sex with them, Lysistrata-style until they back the fuck off. I know it would hurt some women not to be able to get their itches scratched (except the lesbians and bi-ladies; they can go to town). I think, therefore, we should mandate taxpayer-funded vibrators for all women until such time as we stop fighting the battles of yesteryear for women's rights.
trinityvixen: (bullshit right?)
Care of [livejournal.com profile] xannoside, I have discovered that the attempt to crowd-source what female Shepard of Mass Effect 3 should look like was only the first part of this asinine process.

Look, I didn't get into this in my last post on this issue, but I'm sure as shit getting into it now. This is complete bullshit. If EA hadn't been so stupid as to never put a female Shepard variant onto their covers before now, this idiocy would never have happened. Instead, their failure to think past male Shepard as their default, despite paying Jennifer Hale what must be a significant amount of money (and not enough, given how good she is) to voice female Shepard, has led to this. Instead of proceeding with no more fanfare of their own than they did when female Shepard had another female romantic partner in Mass Effect (the brou-ha-ha over that was not BioWare's doing, you'll recall; they just wrote the romance), they've decided to make a thing of it.

This is not a way to achieve gender parity. I understand what EA was thinking--"We know! People will think we're all progressive and shit when we put a chick on the cover of Mass Effect 3"--and then they failed to see that the way they're going about it undoes any good will that effort might have engendered. It's stupid, it's patronizing, and it really bothers me that there's this much bullshit going on around a game I love that has mostly avoided this bullshit in the game. The only people who give Shepard a hard time about how he/she can't get the job done are a) stupid, b) proven wrong, and c) making the assumption based on the fact that he/she is human, not that he/she is male/female. So EA should not be making a female Shepard dance to the tune of the masses. If they want a particular Shepard, they can customize her. Instead, by insisting that there be consensus, where none was asked for on male Shepard, they are saying that female Shepard is somehow different. The question of how she is different should be obvious, given this rather sexist approach to finding the female Shepard via Facebook.

The most ridiculous thing about all this is that THERE IS A DEFAULT FEMALE SHEPARD. Put her on the cover and be done with it. This is so uncomfortable and grating and, worse, unnecessary. Way to remind us that women need to have approval of the masses, EA.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
Not mine, just the ones under discussion in this blog post about a movie review. Being uniquely situated to comment on this--a.k.a I actually saw Crazy, Stupid, Love.--I feel I needs must add the weight of my opinion to the blogger. At issue, a scene in a movie where an extremely buff man takes off his shirt and a woman exclaims in response, "It's like you're photoshopped!" The reviewer of the movie is so relieved that she finds this gratuitous display of manly hotness revolting and takes it as a given that Hollywood, despite putting said hot-bodied man directly onscreen is likewise relieved that it no longer has to support such body types, really. Lucky break for the men who, unlike the women watching that scene, no longer have to conform to the body types that make others drool over them.

Which would be fine except that, a) see aforementioned comment about Hollywood movie putting -5% body fat man undressed onscreen, and b) that's not how that scene plays out. In the movie, the woman making this loaded comment is looking to achieve...something from this. It is she who asks him to take his shirt off, presumably to work up the courage to sleep with this man whom she barely knows. As such actions are really outside of her character--she's a play-by-the-rules, be-friends-first sort of person, not a pick-up-sleazy-guys-who-hit-on-her sort--it makes a sort of sense that now that she's talked herself into sleeping with him she needs all the courage she can muster. The reviewer would know that if he followed, at all, the scenes immediately prior and post to this line, wherein this heroine downed roughly 20,000 ounces (relative to her presumed tolerance levels) of alcohol she didn't like and then insisted that her paramour woo her as hard as he fucking knew how, respectively. This is not a scene about reassuring men they don't have to look like Ryan Gosling to get laid. This is just a scene, part of a whole psyching-herself-up-for-seduction thing that this woman is doing. If anything, the lasciviousness on wanton display proves that his looking like Ryan Gosling with his shirt off is probably half the reason she can get on with her plan to be seduced by him.

Point is, if you have a movie wherein Ryan Gosling has shirt off and a woman starts drooling (while delivering a line that indicates she's a little intimidated by how hot he is but NOT AT ALL DISAPPOINTED), and you read that to mean "Narcissism is bad!," you should be able to determine that you are an idiot who should not write reviews about films that you cannot possibly understand outside the context of your narrow film-school/film-major degree/focus. Leave the psychoanalysis to those as who get it, mm?

For the record, Crazy, Stupid, Love. was kind of adorable, though it comes with the requisite milestones of any modern romantic comedy. You have your mentor figure who tries to pull the lovelorn out of their slumps; the impossible coincidences; the boy-gets-loses-gets-girl whirlwind; the unfortunate trope that loving someone a lot, against their will, is totally cute and not at all inappropriate, mortifying, or creepy; and, naturally, no one ends up unhappy with their pairings off. There's some real issues raised--how does one be single after being with the same person for so long?--but they're very lightly dealt with for the most part. There's some real sense of melancholy and some of the negative aspects of breaking up and falling in love (jealousy, obsession, dealing with the approval of others), but none of it really pierces through the overall sense that everything is going to work out in the end. I mean, there is a lot of crushing by people on others that they shouldn't (that it is potentially ILLEGAL that they do), and yet it's all treated as candy. So long as no one really fucks this or that person, or they feel reeeeeally bad and are embarrassed a lot for it, then it's okay.

Wow, that review was more negative than I meant. The movie is enjoyable, and there's one scene that it would spoil the whole thing to reveal that was so funny people were laughing too hard to hear the dialogue. Steve Carell is so sweet, you can't be mad at him and his equally adorable onscreen son for some of their antics. Overall, it's one of the better rom-coms I've seen of late, though I grant that that is not saying much.
trinityvixen: (fangirl)
Penny Arcade is occasionally impenetrable to me because despite loving video games, I don't actually play that many. Today's strip, though, was about Mass Effect, a game with which I am so intimately familiar, we are common law spouses in 16 countries. Still, I needed to read the run-down on why this was suddenly a thing to figure out why this comic is even more awesome than previous thought.

I had heard some while ago that BioWare is making a stab at true parity for their games by offering, for the first time, a version of Mass Effect (in this case, the third game) where the cover has a female Shepard on it. (If you call her "FemShep," I kill you. Fuck you, she's not a brand of Shepard. She is Shepard. If you start in with the FemShep bullshit, you better be modifying male Shepard to ButtfuckuglyShep.) Apparently, there is a Facebook poll where you can vote on which Shepard you want to be the archetype female Shepard, since there hasn't been one on a cover before from which to take the basic female avatar.

Except...there has been? There is definitely a default female Shepard, and I'm sure that, despite changing scars and hair color, most of my female Shepards have been largely unchanged from this default. Why not just put her on the cover? Whatever, people are reeeeeeeally pissed that a blonde Shepard is/was leading (with Penny Arcade commenting on it, I'm sure those numbers will change). I don't get why she's automatically dumber-looking/less feminist-looking (buh?) for being blonde. I think she looks pretty fucking badass, actually. She looks goddamn dangerous with that glower, which, whatever the skin-tone politics of these options are, does come across more easily in a picture with a paler skinned avatar. Not that Shepard 2 doesn't look like one serious motherfucker. (She's a demon, you guys. HER EYES. DO NOT LOOK AT THEM.) But Shepard 5 actually looks like she's been through a sweaty firefight, which, okay, I can see how that may sex her up a little to some, but to me it mostly looks like she's walked through the fire and her hair's a mess as it should be. The others are all too clean-cut, unruffled to be really soldier-y.

As far as girly-girl stupid looks ago, I think the model for Shepard 6 is the wors. She looks like Snow White, and a less badass Disney Princess has never graced this world. Shepard 4 looks like she was kicked out of an emo band, with her pouty lips and hair covering one eye. Shepard 1 is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Her precious pixie cut makes her look like you could snap her neck like a chicken's. If anything undercuts Shepard's goddamned dangerous, no nonsense reputation, it's a haircut that last looked good on Twiggy.

So I appreciate Penny Arcade's take. Because precious haircut or hair color shade synonymous with dumb, Shepard is a mean motherfucker. End of story.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
I finished the book a while ago (and am even within a week or three of finishing the second book!) but I had yet to watch the show. Honestly, I needed to give it time between book and show or it would end up being like Lord of the Rings all over again. I read The Fellowship of the Ring all of two days before seeing the movie and I was (it pains me to admit) almost bored by the movie because I was watching things I'd just read. (Funny how that doesn't work with seeing a movie more than once--by the time I'd seen Fellowship a second time, I was hooked.)

It was a good decision to wait. I've only watched one episode so far, and I already need a break. My mental images of the characters are completely out of alignment with the actors on the show. I can't tell any of the Stark boys apart. (One of them must be Theon, but don't ask me which one.) Despite repeated remarks about Catelyn Stark's red hair, I always pictured her as a blonde and much younger than the woman on the show (though it makes no sense that she'd be young since she has a child of fifteen). About the only person I adore is Sean Bean as Eddard Stark, but it's Sean Bean and saying I adore him is like saying I like to breathe. Arya is good, I suppose. She has the right hungry look. Cersei and Jamie Lannister are completely wrong. I don't get the vicious coldness I've come to expect from her from Lena Headey, and whoever is playing Jamie offends me. The one scene where that useless douchebag tried to start something with Lord Sean Bean Stark I was all, "NUH-UH, YOU DO NOT GET IN THE BEAN'S WAY, YOU PRICK."

Anyway, I'll get around to the rest of the series, but not in any hurry. I'd much rather make progress (and there is so much progress to make) on the sequel. I did come across this article about the female nudity on the show (spoilers for the end!) which I suppose will become much more grating as I get through the series. Unfortunately, I came to through this blog post telling this woman objecting to the objectification of women for no conceivable narrative purpose that she should shut the fuck up (and, presumably, since that's what women in these trolls' mindset are good for, shake her moneymakers). Reading feminist blogs has perhaps shielded me more than usual against this sort of lazy sexism. I'd forgotten how troglodytic is is. (Some commenter actually says that it's fine to have all the tits all the time because it's in the book! It's not the book's fault sexism happened in the Middle Ages! Even if the book is fantasy and not set during this Earth's Middle Ages at all!) ::rolls eyes::
trinityvixen: (cancer)
Trigger Warning. )

I'm so appalled. Just when you thought anti-choicers couldn't sink any lower. I also vow never to let the term "pro-life" pass anyone's lips in front of me without correcting them. Because if this doesn't prove--as the restrictions and bullshit hoops have before it--that anti-choicers haven't got one iota of concern for life, nothing will. And I will bring it up. Constantly. To remind anti-choicers. You stand on the side of these people.
trinityvixen: (win!)
The trailer for the new season of Misfits is up! Spoilers for first season in this trailer, FYI:
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Misfits was just too much fucking fun. I can't disown it no matter how gratingly sexist it could be at times. (The slutty girl's power is to make men want to fuck her so badly they basically try to rape her whenever they touch her. Just saying.) Mostly, it's because I really liked the idea of a bunch of utter losers getting super powers and being rather nonplussed about the whole thing, especially the Irish kid. Who, despite the attempt to cast him in the loveable asshole model, is actually played as an actual asshole. Nobody likes him because he is so standoffish as to be unlikeable! Concept! Yet he is totally watchable and all kinds of hilarious a lot of the time. Still don't like him, but watch him? Absolutely.

I just have to manage until November. Balls. I am already more anxious than I can possibly convey waiting for The Walking Dead to come out on AMC, and that's just two weeks away. Siiiiiiiiigh. I should just be happy I've finally caught up with Supernatural and Smallville. Much as I'm actually enjoying both (!), though, nothing is as sweet as something you can't have. AND DEAR CHRIST, I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THE WALKING DEAD SINCE BEING TEASED WITH CONSTANT TRAILERS ABOUT IT SINCE JULY. (To those of you who went to San Diego Comic Con: I hate you.)
trinityvixen: (blogging from work)
I don't truck with that "five things make a post" idea, not least of all because on the way to collecting five things, I have probably already tweeted four of them and see no need to repeat myself. So this is a "two things make this not a tweet" sort of post.

I was trying to find a way to post about this round-up of The 7 Deadliest Deadliest Warrior Experts when I hopped over to Tiger Beatdown and had a full minute's worth of giggling over just the word Menaissance, to say nothing of the fits the rest of the article gave me.

Basically, they're two articles about masculinity, one that revels in it and one that mocks it. Both are fun reading and very funny, despite the lack of irony in that first post. I like that just as Sady Doyle skewers men who so desperately want the world of a fictional 1950s advertising firm to be their 2010 reality, there is a show that celebrates men who are, quite literally, mired in pasts that have been extinct nearly ten times as long. And they are on TV proving their manliness against other men who--shock!--allowed themselves to advance just a little further through history in order to learn the same, reductive "masculine" skill: how to kill the shit out of things.

In short, if you haven't seen the link between Rivers Cuomo's frequently icky lyrics and the direct need to measure you dick by the damage you inflict on other people (preferably those also having dicks since a) women aren't people, much less warriors, so killing them is laaaame and b) because that's the only way you know how to interact with other dudes)...well, you do now, I hope.

It is worth noting that I like the Deadliest Warrior show. I, like the Topless Robot guy and the nerd who runs the simulation data, quite enjoy seeing how weapons shape up against each other. More so than I give a shit about the testosterone fests that are obligatory (this show is on SpikeTV after all) between demonstrations of mankind's limitlessly imaginative means to crush, sever, brain, decapitate, pierce, or explode one another.
trinityvixen: (face!)
Because everything old is new again, have some Disney Princesses reinvented as, well, strippers and porn stars--but drawn in comic book style!

Anyway, as for the art, I think this comment says it all:
So.... boobies and disfiguring spinal injuries all around then.

It may surprise some folks, but I don't really have a problem with this art except where it's bad. Anyone die of shock reading that? )

What kills me is the written content, not the slutty pictures of Disney Princesses. Is it just me, or is it obvious that when you put forward the pwetty, pwetty pwincesses, you're selling them as these perfect, innocent (i.e. virginal) creatures, what you're really doing is inviting people to come up with the flip side of that dynamic, a.k.a. the whore versions? That's all this is. Natural progression, really.

Anyway, back to what the blog post said: apparently, Disney is letting the idiot who wrote the lamentably bad 27 Dresses--which could have been a good movie about how ridiculous it is to expect people to cater to the every whim of the modern bride, who is herself brainwashed by the wedding industrial complex, but of course wasn't--pen a live-action Cinderella movie. Honestly, the description of that travesty is worse than some of these pictures. It's no less ridiculous for the fact that a) all romantic comedies these days are Cinderella movies (what the hell is "girl loses boy" except an elaborate way to dress up the be-home-by-midnight, lose-your-shoe-in-the-process escape?) and b) they have actually made several live-action Cinderella movies. I think, like, Hilary Duff was in one, and she's still popular, so it had to have been in the last ten years, which ridiculous. GRAH.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
What to do about this blog post? On the one hand, yes, the "girls can't play in bands" phenomena is so very clearly a problem. It's pervasive. I remember thinking I couldn't play drums as a kid because I was a girl. That, and the band director was like, "I let ONE person play drums. Try another instrument if you want to play. I only take the best." He said this. To fourth graders. Another fun story about this guy: he threw a stand over the clarinet section when he got pissed off. Yeah, I dropped band.

Point is, though, that there are music snobs, the worst of which are rock music snobs, and their elitism, because it is based on an industry that still finds female rock musicians to be "novelties," whether they're in a band with dudes or not, is among the most obnoxious form of sexism. I'm lucky I don't know people like that. )
trinityvixen: (gay)
One of my favorite occasional blogs (as opposed to those I check everyday, several times a day), is Tiger Beatdown. Sady Doyle is one of those people, who, like [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine, makes absolutely everything fucking funny. It's safe and accessible feminism with humor, thus giving lie to the "humorless feminist" stereotype. That stereotype fucking sucks. It muzzles women. Today, I had to refrain from commenting on a friend's LJ post that was a bunch of sexist drivel made in pursuit of a political point. If you're that friend, you probably suspect it's you. I'll spare you the suspense: it was.

Anyway, Tiger Beatdown has a post up by a dude--dudes who can be feminists!? WHOA-OA. He happens to be gay, which might explain his lack of being cool with patriarchal norms. He has a post about the de-gaying of movie trailers, specifically about the de-gaying of the trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. There really is no argument you can make against his thesis.** While Scott Pilgrim has two gay characters and at least one assumedly bisexual character, few of them appear in the otherwise awesome trailer. Coupled with the other examples he cites about Valentine's Day and, more damning, A Single Man, it's hard not to see the trend. Even when the movie is about a gay man mourning the death of his lover, gayness is absent.

It might have behooved him to do a little more research to ascertain that, yes, those characters are in the movie (neither he nor people in the comments seem to realize that). I, for one, am astonished that Wallace wasn't in the trailer given how fully half the laugh-out-loud parts were his doing. That's okay, I forgive him for not doing his research fully: he gave a shout-out to Hollywood Montrose of Mannequin fame. Yes, it is possible to be famous for being in that movie. I'd also like to point out this character to the Hollywood anti-gay-trailer squad: I didn't realize Hollywood was gay until I was in college. I really just thought he was weird. To be fair to me and my obliviousness, he is weird. (He hangs around--voluntarily!--with Andrew McCarthy, for one.) His defining traits have more to do with his outrageous--even for the 80s!--fashion sense and tendency towards hysterics than they do about his being into guys. Notably, however, he does talk about dating men. SHOCK.



**He's right that Wallace is absent, and the authenticity of the bisexual's dual-gendered interests does read as if it's just a fad, not a lifestyle. But he's talking out his ass when it comes to the other gay character, seeing as she's featured fairly prominently in the trailer. Their choice of phrases about the evil exes is also not as he represents. So, really, perhaps Scott Pilgrim was not the best trailer upon which to launch the Bitch Ship.
trinityvixen: (face!)
Without explicitly stating from whence my aggravation of these issues comes, I'd like to simply, accurately educate the world. Those of you on my f-list pretty much know this already, but humor me. It won't take long. I just have two common misconceptions that I would like to correct. Right. Now.

1) Do you think women are people, with all the inherent complexities, strengths, and failings thereof? CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE A FEMINIST.
Contrary to what you may have heard, women, you don't have to stop shaving any part of your body--legs, "down there," armpits, mustache--nor burn bras, nor hate pornography, nor change the spelling of words to either "feminize" them--WO-mandatory, for example--or "neuter" them--"hyr," "womyn," "semyn"--in order to be a feminist. You just have to think women are people. Men, you do not have to encourage your female friends and significant others to do any of those things nor is feeling emasculated a necessary prerequisite of being a feminist. You can be a feminist by thinking women are people! It's just that simple!

2) You know who likes to molest little boys and girls? PEDOPHILES.
Being sexually attracted to people under the age of 10 is a disease, currently an incurable one. It's a psychological pathology. Some times, that pathology manifests in way that might appear "gay" to you, and not in that Johnny Weir, "That's gay," locker-room-towel-fight gay way. We're talking male-on-under-age-male gay. So I understand it is confusing when I say it's not gay, it's PEDOPHILIA. It is not gay because it's not about having sex with someone who has the same genitals as you. It's about abusing someone who has the same genitals (or will, when they, you know, fully mature) as you. People who are sexually attracted to under age boys or girls are sick, sick people. They're not gay. Even if gayness is sickness to you (and if it is, I'm now 99% sure you're a self-hater), gay is a different sickness, a different pathology entirely from the one that makes you want to abuse kids. Please correct your thinking.

Question

Mar. 23rd, 2010 12:36 pm
trinityvixen: (question)
I was thinking about my earlier post (in which I objectified at least two men and hinted at a history of doing so to many, many others) and the oncoming onslaught of superhero movies (our taste for which is surprisingly still rapacious). Marvel has no less than a dozen movies already assumed: Iron Man 2 and, very probably, 3; Thor (with Thor 2 less likely but not impossible); Captain America (its sequel potential somewhere between that of Iron Man 3 and Thor 2); The Avengers; Wolverine 2; Deadpool; and some variety of X-Men-related films--the long idle Magneto movie and the more active X-Men: First Class.

DC has, to its credit, tried to step up production of the next Christopher Nolan Batman film and is making noise about another Superman film (though they won't film anything until the lawsuits are settled, I'm sure). And, while they do that, Green Lantern is already filming. (Seriously, someone took a shitty quality photo of Ryan Reynolds on set with what looked like a smudge on one of his fingers and the Lantern fans exploded with paroxysms of glee that he was wearing the ring.) The Flash may be getting another script treatment. Don't ask about Wonder Woman, though.

But, no, wait, let's ask about Wonder Woman for a second. Or, rather, since I don't want to hear the bullshit about how they can't figure out how to make Wonder Woman interesting enough to justify a movie, let's focus on what really bugged me as I looked at the Marvel line-up. Forget DC for a moment. I need comics fans to answer (riddle) me this: Who is Marvel's Wonder Woman?

I'm not trying to pick at wounds here, though it is a sore subject for me, personally. I really just could not think of any grand dame of the Marvel universe who stands on the sort of equal footing with her male colleagues that Wonder Woman does in the DC universe. The best I could come up with were the obviously-derivative-versions-of-male-characters, sometimes-members of the Avengers, like Spider-Woman or She-Hulk. Thinking about female Marvel characters, I immediately thought of X-Men, but they're hardly any of them anything like Wonder Woman. You can think of the iconic Marvel characters without ever touching on any X-Man or X-Woman. So the X-Women cannot be said to be iconic enough to Wonder Woman, for all that they are, by far, the most interesting women in the Marvel universe.

So, comics nerds better versed than I: am I wrong? Is there an iconic Marvel character who is on par with DC's Wonder Woman and I'm just not thinking of her?
trinityvixen: (cancer)
It's now homicide if you get an illegal abortion in Utah (a state where pretty much any abortion is illegal). Oh, wait, except this law also applies to miscarriages. So all your potential fetuses had better be veeeeeery well looked after, women. Because even if you wanted that baby more than life itself, even if you're screaming and crying and seeing a shrink for PTSD following your miscarriage, if someone decides that your miscarriage looks at all out of the ordinary, you could be investigated for murder.

As the title of this post points out, this is terrible law. This is on par with that attempt to classify a zygote as a human being. It's something you cannot legislate at least 90% of the time. Miscarriages tend to occur mostly within the first trimester. It is possible that a woman may not even know she was pregnant or that she miscarried. Are all women, therefore, supposed to submit their used pads and tampons as proof of innocence? If a woman miscarries before viability, is it a lesser/greater charge? If a baby dies in utero, is she then subject to laws about handling a corpse?

Bottom line: you cannot declare fetuses to be persons. It is far too problematic. This is terrible law. On the one hand, it's nice to see the people hiding behind OMG BEBBIES! bullshit go the whole hog and finally start trying to convict women they've always believed were murderers. I mean, courage of your convictions and all that, well done. On the other: you're trying to convict women who have lost their fetuses for murder. That is going to go down really well, let me tell you. The fact that such a radical step would be made just proves that anti-choicers hate women. Just in case y'all hadn't gotten the message by the slut-shaming and presumption of women's stupidity that runs rampant through anti-choice messages.

What a crock of shit.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
I don't agree with everything in the top video, but it's a pretty good start on why a lot of video game culture is alienating to women.

Worth a watch and a discussion. Some thoughts. )
trinityvixen: (lifes a bitch)
I don't have any particular dog in this fight over Bayonetta's feminist icon status. I haven't looked at trailers or played demos or the game itself. I've seen a picture of the lead character, which only makes me wonder if the developers managed to bang this game out after Sarah Palin rose to national prominence or if the resemblance between Palin and Bayonetta is purely coincidence. So I haven't got much of any interest in joining the fray over her feminist icon status.

I can, however, respectfully disagree with the following from a pro-Bayonetta statement without weighing in on Bayonetta specifically:

As a woman, I haven't often been satisfied by female character options that effectively boil down to "the same thing as a man, just with breasts and a ponytail." Thanks to its innovative approach to the idea of female power, Bayonetta is the first action game heroine that's made me directly conscious of how cool it is to be a girl.

What makes your game feminist? )

I've no idea what the author at that link means by this other line:
I already know that women can do all the same things men can. This time, I get to see a woman do plenty of things men can't. And I love it.

Does Bayonetta give birth in this game? Does she suckle an infant? Does she get her period? What, exactly, besides those things, can she do that men cannot? (Is it because she's a witch? There are male witches!) This tips me off to wondering what it is that a "girl" can do that a man cannot because this is going to be more indicative of the writer's bias than of the game's contribution to or destruction of feminism...
trinityvixen: (epic fail)
It looks like I was right. I blogged about this before, but this really slam dunks the case I was trying to make in a much, much shorter format.

I'd also like to point out the disproportionate loss of women of color from that map. Every season, you lose at least one female character, usually the non-white female character. They tried to compensate, it seems, by putting in two new female characters in, but one of them always leaves and the others are now all white.

The issue of women on this show is a sore one for me. Every season has, in a list of 11-13 central characters, only 4 female characters AT MOST. Of those four, only two have been around since season one, if you fudge the matter and count Ali Larter as being continuous even though her characters have not been. That's a serious imbalance before you begin to consider how marginalized the women in this list are. The three remaining in the fourth season play the very definite roles of maiden, mother, crone, too. Which helps immensely, let me tell you.

Someone remind me why I watch this again?
trinityvixen: (harley raspberry)
Newsweek took a ton of flak for putting this picture on their cover the other week. The haters claim this move was sexist because it reduces Palin to a pretty face instead of a credible political force.

You don't know from sexism, ya idjits. )

Anyway, regardless, Newsweek felt compelled to prove that they're equal opportunity. So after dutifully printing out the responses to their cover, they cheerfully proved one angry letter-writer wrong by throwing her quote over this picture of Barack Obama. There, now everyone's hot political leader has had his/her sexy action shot in Newsweek and the conservatives who didn't think sexism existed before Sarah Palin became John McCain's running mate can shut the F up.

(I read the comments on the Palin cover with gritted teeth because People. Do. Not. Get. It. When I turned the page to find the picture of Obama, I snorted out loud. On the street. Drawing more than a few looks. Which is even more awkward given that I was looking at a picture of the President wet and shirtless.)
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
"The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese. And that, in erotic terms, is the Catholic Church in a nutshell."

This absolutely piercing gem of insight comes from this debate (in five parts on YouTube). The question is whether or not the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. I think you can tell from that quote who "won" that debate.

Despite my professed agnosticism and atheism, I am not as sure of the answer as either party in this debate. Force for good, no. But not completely NOT a force for good, either. )

As ever, I make the caveat that I acknowledge not all religious people are like that. I have to make that concession because religious people feel attacked whenever someone points out, as I did under that cut, that their shit stinks just like everybody else's. Personally, I get quite annoyed at having to explain that when I cast generalizations, CLEARLY I'm not targeting people who aren't on TV making asses of themselves and their cults. (Because, let's be honest, there is only a difference in numbers between religion and cult, and with the way Scientology has filled its ranks, I'm beginning to think that even that definition no longer holds.) When I paint with this broad a brush, it's not about you, okay? It's that other guy who's making your look bad. It's that organization that controls how you believe whatever you believe in.

That? That to me is the problem: in order for people to have religion, it has to be controlled by an external source. And that external source, imbued with the power to dictate to people without fear of being questioned or forced to defend their work, is just a system ripe for abuse. That's why you get, as Stephen Fry points out, St. Peter's Basilica from the organization built on the back of a man who preached about the necessity of aiding the poor.
trinityvixen: (lifes a bitch)
This woman is spot-on about why women don't go to see so-called "women's movies."

"Amelia" has failed, as it happens. But if you want to know why, it might be more informative to watch the trailer. Every shot is burnished to a monotonous gold, there are period costumes and a booming score, and every other line out of Hilary Swank's mouth is something about freedom or overcoming obstacles or believing in dreams. (“It can't be done!” “Let's change that!” “No one has made it!” “I will!”) No matter how much you like strong female characters, this isn't interesting. And I'm reluctant to see any movie that looks this predictable and obvious out of some kind of womanly obligation. “Strength” can be just as bland as anything else – and just as limiting.

AMEN. I like to see things that are interesting. End of story. I can put up with sausage-fest superhero and action movies because they're about people turning into robots or being able to fly. These are relevant to my interests. Hilary Swank is not relevant to my interests, nor is her rah-rah retelling of Amelia Earhart's story. That biography is interesting, don't get me wrong, but it's been whitewashed to remove all controversy and pumped up with as much artificial girl power as the Spice Girls were. It's malarkey, and women, who--shock!--are human beings with the ability to sense bullshit, know better than to fall for that.

I really like her comment on "strength." I got into this with issues I had with female characters on Battlestar Galactica. I insisted that "toughness" did not a complex female character make, for all that allowing women to be physically or emotionally resilient was (sadly) fairly novel on television. Tough isn't necessarily interesting, and Sady Doyle understands that the "tough" girl is still a girl in a box. She's tough. End of story. It's like how Laura Roslin went from being harsh but human to an uncaring monster at her worst. The second you get lazy about characterization and lose the humanity of your character is the second they become caricatures. Unfortunately, this happens to female characters more often than males because we still write from a male-dominant point of view in most of our fiction. To create conflict for men, women have to be one note. As Hollywood et al. have tried to lure women in with women-centered movies, they've kept women as one-note. That's not an interesting thing to watch as 90% of the focus of a movie. It's not interesting when it's a dude, either, but because they assume women are starved for movies "about them" (like we're aliens or something) the think that women will watch anything where they don't have to be penis-whipped from all sides of the cast list.

What studios need to do is try the Alien experiment: write the story for a character. Then don't be afraid to cast it gender-blind. You'd be amazed at how awesome a female lead can be when you write her as human first, possessor of strange and unknowable girly-bits second.

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