Friday, May 26, 2017

Flashback Friday: Magic Mike

I can't explain it, but I watched Magic Mike on Netflix this week.

Okay, I can explain it. I wanted to determine if it was truly a bad movie or if it was only widely made fun of because it's something many women like (because women are hated, natch).

It turns out, I thought it was decent, and this is a lesbian talking. (Lesbian Addendum: since True Blood, my sexual orientation has been "lesbian + Joe Manganiello." Sookie Stackhouse really blew it there). ANYway, I'm more familiar with male strippers in the context of gay clubs, but we don't often see stories about women blatantly pining over men on the big screen like this. So, that's something. I wish it had been more queer, but I will always wish all the things are more queer.

Also, I have a new appreciation for Jenna Dewan Tatum's lip sync battle, which was modeled after one of her husband's scenes in the movie.  Never forget:




In conclusion, I would like to direct your attention to a recent Ruby Rose tweet, in which she's wearing a suit. You're welcome and good day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

On Cool Girl Politics

On the nauseating topic of the mainstream media's intense interest in running humanizing profiles of Trump supporters, the profile of the person featured in this Cosmo article, about a former Bernie supporter who is now a Trump superfan, is a good example of two things:

(a) The disjointed way the mainstream media buries ledes about those on the left and right who were had by, or complicit in, the spread of Russian propaganda regarding the 2016 eletcion; and

(b) The confluence of how the Cool Girl Left meets the Cool Girl Right.

Today, I'm focusing on the latter, although this particular Cool Girl's ties to Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik, briefly referenced in the Cosmo article, are certainly worth delving into further as well.

The Cool Girl featured talks about how "punk rock" it is to support the (scare quotes mine) "counter-cultural" Trump and, before that, Bernie Sanders. It might seem odd to some that a person would go from Bernie to Donald, but it's not odd to me. The men have important policy distinctions to be sure, but they are also two sides of the same white-man-privileging-masquerading-as-anti-establishment-populism coin.

Now, when I talk about Cool Girl Politics and, specifically, where the Cool Girl Left meets the Cool Girl Right, what I'm talking about is the following.

First, on a general note, we see the adoption of antisocial "just in it for the lulz" Internet behavior. Being "politically correct," that is kind and sympathetic, is largely coded in Internet culture as feminine and weak. Here's the Trump/Bernie superfan opining on her Internet behavior:
“I'll definitely tweet things just to be a jerk and rile people up. I think it's funny. And I think that it's important to push the limits sometimes and force people to have uncomfortable conversations.”
Cool Girls make a point of not just rejecting "political correctness," but bragging about how they reject "political correctness." And, they certainly don't need no stinkin' trigger warnings!

Second, and more narrowly, the Cosmo narrative of this Trump/Bernie superfan is the story of a woman who - like many - gives man after man after man, and even the worst of men like Trump and M1lo, all the benefits of the doubt, while giving none to other women - especially Hillary Clinton.

We saw that disparate treatment repeatedly when Clinton faced Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and then, later, when she faced Trump in the general election. Even though Clinton was rated as more honest than both Trump and Sanders, people consistently believed that both men were more honest than her. It was simply taken as a given by many along the political spectrum that Clinton was History's Greatest Monster.

For instance, even though Trump has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without their consent, the woman profiled in Cosmo is suspicious of the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault. She also carries a "Free Assange" tote bag and is now allied with a notorious anti-feminist man who has said "misogyny gets you laid."

White men are innocent until proven guilty in the court of public opinion. Women are guilty even if hearing after testimony after investigation proves they're innocent.

Three, and related, this disparate treatment of men and women is not examined or questioned.  Instead, we often see a very stupid, yet enduring, narrative in US political discourse that if a woman trashes another woman then it can't possibly be grounded in misogyny.

What I've noticed when I've been targeted by Political Cool Girls is that these women often serve as gateway misogynists. Their own intentional or unexamined misogyny gives cover to male misogynists on the left and right to cheer on the misogyny and engage in it themselves. After all, many people think, if a woman starts it, it's fair game!

Finally let's examine the contention that supporting unqualified and less-qualified men over a vastly more-qualified woman is "counter-cultural." Spoiler alert: It's not.

Since our nation's founding, we've had an unbroken line of (mostly white) male presidents. Refusing to seriously examine why that is, or acknowledge the role that misogyny continues to play in that, is less "punk rock" and more your standard, shitty Ted Nugent concert.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.10 "We Can Be Heroes"

In wanna-be superhero news, Mon-El has decided he wants to be a hero and James has decided he wants Kara to know that he's Guardian.

James and Mon-El are an interesting juxtaposition this season. In Mon-El's case, his superpowers are handed to him, by virtue of him being an alien, but he fluctuates between being a reluctant hero to having questionable motives for wanting to be one. When he does want to be a hero, he seems to be doing it mostly to impress Kara. At one point, James gives an assessment of Mon-El that I, as of now, agree with: "He's a fun guy, he's just not a hero." I guess we'll see.

James, meanwhile, has limited powers by virtue of him being human, but is eager to be a hero and his motives are more pure, fluctuating between him wanting to do good in the world and wanting to be more than just a sidekick. While it's still odd to me that nearly every recurring male character in Supergirl also has to be a hero or wanna-be hero, it will be interesting to see how their superhero journeys shake out. 

In villain of the week news, Livewire is back! Since we last saw her, she's been behind bars nursing thoughts of vengeance against her arch-nemesis Supergirl. Also, she's in a regular-person prison (because, um?), which she breaks out of:


Supergirl and Mon-El get into an early brawl with Livewire where Mon-El's hero traits are tested. Two items of note here. One, his hero "costume" consists of black street clothes and red-tinted sunglasses and I'm not sure why. As far as I know, he doesn't have Supergirl's laser or x-ray vision, so why the shades? And two, Supergirl gives him an order to protect the humans while she takes care of Livewire, but he immediately disobeys her, going after Livewire and leaving the humans unprotected.


Guardian swoops in, however, saves the humans, and ends up getting injured. In a Dramatic Moment, Supergirl removes the unconscious Guardian's helmet and discovers James Olsen underneath all that armor. She's 100% not happy about it. She tells him that if he keeps trying to be a hero, she will stop him, because he's going to get killed. James says Supergirl doesn't get to decide who gets to be a hero. Which, while I agree with that philosophical point, I do think James is squarely in vigilante territory and I'm not sure why the local cops or the DEO are rolling with that.


Anyhoo, the wannabe-superhero duo of Guardian and Mon-El (and their sidekick Winn) then go rogue and track down Livewire behind Supergirl's back. It turns out that Livewire had actually been abducted - she didn't escape - and a mad scientist was harnessing her power for evil. At one point, the scientist calls Livewire "such a nasty woman." LOLSOB.

At one point, Mon-El boasts to Livewire that he's "the other Superman" (as if), and Livewire responds, "Your cosplay sucks." LOL. The scientist guy then swiftly captures Guardian and Mon-El, and things suddenly take an Adventures in Babysitting turn, as they're now dependent on Supergirl to bail them out, which she does (natch).

M'gann has an interesting story arc this episode in the context of what constitutes heroism. J'onn does a mind-meld with her and we see her flashbacks. Although she is a White Martian, she had killed her own genocidal people on Mars and helped Green Martians escape. When J'onn sees her memories, he forgives her for being a White Martian and they become friends again.


I guess the overarching point of this episode was to question the concept of heroism itself. Specifically, what are its essential traits, if any? Supergirl seems to be the full package in that she has both the ability and the will, while Guardian and Mon-El arguably lack one or the other. And then, what is M'gann, anti-hero?

Deep Thought of the Week: Have I mentioned that I miss Cat Grant? Yes, I believe I have. Welp, I'll say it again. I miss Cat Grant. Specifically, the SuperCat balcony scenes. More specifically, the way that Cat looks at Supergirl during the balcony scenes. Never forget:
"To me, you are perfect"

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mashup Monday

Did I miss anything while I was gone?

Ha ha, just kidding. Of course I did.  Let's take it back to San Junipero for one more day then. Or, better yet, to this Taystee/Poussey Orange is the New Black Mirror mashup, which I'm 100% here for.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blogging Update

Dear readers - I'm a bit busy at the moment with usual life things, but will resume blogging (and Supergirl recaps!) the week of 5/22.