Tag Archives: feminism

Sexual Agency on Titanic

Titanic PosterI am a failure as a child of the nineties, because until a few days ago, I had never seen James Cameron’s 1997 classic, Titanic. (You know James Cameron, the one who directed Avatar? Anyone who thinks that directionality of recognition is odd is officially old.) I liked the movie quite a lot. There’s something about Cameron’s willingness to push film-making further than it has ever been pushed that allows the 3 hour length, the oh-so-perfect love story that also manages to be a commentary on class and the saccharine lines of adoration that the romantic leads speak to each other to work within this context of overindulgence on every level. Much has been said about almost every aspect of this movie, from the enormity of the budget, to the selection of the cast, and even to various social issues, such as class and wealth. A feminist analysis, however, has been much lacking. The only vaguely related pieces I could find were written by disgruntled Men’s Rights Activists looking for any reason to hate women and finding, of all things, “women and children first” to be the most egregious example of feminism run amok they had ever seen. Now, the movie takes place in 1912, before the modern feminist movement had really taken hold, but I guess those suffragists (no, I don’t call them suffragettes) were just going crazy, demanding to be saved from boats and all.

Anyway, what I see nothing of at all, despite the fact that in one viewing, it smacked me in the face with its obviousness, is a treatment of Rose Dewitt Bukater, later Rose Dawson’s, incredible sexual agency. Like, seriously. Lady has some game.

(Note: there are clips from the movie preceding every sub-point of analysis, and some of them are NSFW/generally graphic. To be perfectly honest, much of the writing is graphic as well. You have been warned)

On to the sex! (That is, a discussion of sexual agency)

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Filler, Filler, Filler

I’ve drafted and scrapped my music analysis a few times so far because the words aren’t coming out right.   Perhaps I should have taken that course in Creative Nonfiction?

Anyway.  Both as filler and because I think it’s really interesting, I am going to quote the anonymous Internet advice columnist Coke Talk on feminism.   I generally agree with at least 80% of her advice.

What do you all think about it?

-Coke Talk is crude, crude, crude and we love her for it

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What We’re Talking About When We’re Talking About Gender

A post on the intersection between feminism and rationality. How novel. And yet, there are really interesting things to talk about. In particular, while in a past post I discussed the need for rationality to address how it is feminists discuss their theories and ideas with non-feminists or with non-academic feminists (meant in both ways), in this post I would like to point out the ways in which academic feminism has been utilizing a rationalist approach for some time now, even while the rationalists accuse them of playing with words and being nonempirical, and some feminists have criticized even the need for rationality, pointing out that its supreme importance in epistemology is heavily gendered masculine, historically and sociologically. I think both of these critiques have some merit, but of course I feel that both ‘movements’, or sets of theories, paradigms and practices, are valuable, and so I’d like to demonstrate these long-forgotten points of overlap.

Things!

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The Seven Privilege Denying Dudes You’ll Meet in Hell (and Seven Ways to Deal) #1

I had fun with meme generator tonight to make this post. This will be a series that I work on in the next few days (it’s really one long post but I’m splitting int to 7). Here is a list of seven people feminists can often run into, people who can be intimidating at first, but should not be feared and should be confronted. I have created each of these images, and they are inspired by my experience both virtual and personal, with people who just don’t _get it_. As a clarifier: Privilege Denying Dudes come in all gender backgrounds, races, and sexual orientations. I’ve met plenty of privilege denying gays, and plenty of privilege denying women. The “dude” meme is just easier to work with.

Privilege Denying Dude #1: Disinterested Specialist Doing You the Huge Favor of Entertaining Your Defense of Feminism in Civil, Objective, Disinterested Debate That You Will Not Win Anyway  Click here for the rest of the post

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Why I’m Boycotting Season 3: Confessions of an Ex-Gleek

The following post contains all of my relevant feelings about Glee.  As of September 2011, I do not anticipate blogging about this show again.  Ryan Murphy done me wrong one time too many.   I would never command anyone to stop watching a show, but I don’t think it deserves any more of my energy.   I have been known to get literally upset during in-person Glee arguments before, and it was time for me to call it quits for my own sanity.   I welcome your comments, but you are not going to change my mind. 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I must get this off my chest:

I am an ex-Gleek.

Given my unabashed love for all things Broadway, you shouldn’t be surprised.  I also love high school dramedies, goofy pop covers, and Darren Criss.   Really, it’s no wonder it took me until “Rumors”  (Season 2 Episode 19, The One Where That Blonde Guy Is Poor) to give up in a huff.  I actually haven’t even seen the return of Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) except for the “Rolling In The Deep” clip.   And I don’t even care.

Those of you who have always been feminists or annoyed by this show are no doubt wondering what took me so long.  Those of you who are obsessed with this show are no doubt wondering why I’m a humorless, self-righteous witch.   That’s fine.   I’m pretty used to straddling that divide.  :-p

The thing is, Glee had so much potential.   The first half of Season One was witty, irreverent, campy, and GOOD.  It was deliberately making fun of not just High School Musical but all the teen dramas that had come before it as well as all those Inspirational Teacher films like Freedom Writers.  (BTW, I hear that’s a decent movie, but the book was boring. Stand and Deliver is 1000 times more interesting.)   It seems pretty clear it was originally intended for adults, not high schoolers.   Back then it didn’t matter that half the cast looked 25 or there were too many people to keep track of.  Glee was like that sarcastic gay dude you skipped classes senior year with, the one who taught you how to smoke cigarettes and hold your liquor and could do a flawless Barbra impersonation at the drop of a hat.*

*My sarcastic gay friend was straightedge, and so was I.

Thing is, Glee got popular and Ryan Murphy got self-involved.   Reportedly that’s happened on his previous shows as well.   It stopped being about clever cruelty and cute covers and started being about BEING GLEE.   The writing got schizophrenic and the guest stars started rolling In.  Also, they started doing After School Specials that were neither clever nor properly moral-ed.  I maintain that the only two guest stars who were worth it are Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes and John Stamos as Emma’s Hot Dentist Husband.   And you’ll notice both of them had actual character arcs.   Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t count because she’s awful.  Actually awful.  What’s the point of singing Cee-Lo Green if you’re going to do the radio edit?

Basically, when the show started really sucking I started noticing all of the -isms going on.  They’d always been there under the surface (or maybe openly in the name of satire), but Fox is the channel that has the Simpsons and Family Guy, so for a while I accepted it as part of the package with my primetime Broadway entertainment.

Then, “Blame It On The Alcohol” (Season 2 Episode 14) happened.

It is actually surprising how long it took me to find a full version of this scene:

Fangirl Reponses

Yes, he is.

-In Which I Talk About This At Length, With Video, For The Last Time

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Happy Birthday, Amy Poehler!

You make me proud to be a woman.

A [short] open letter can be found on the tumblr.

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Feminist Humor

A contradiction in terms, I know. One of those most common side-effects of the phenomenon I spoke about last Monday is the stereotype of feminists as being humorless, joyless and not being able to laugh at a joke. Usually, this refers not to the whole of comedy, but jokes that make fun of women, feminism, violence against women and rape that are just so funny, why can’t you see it? Oh, because you’re a feminist and therefore can’t take a joke. Comedy and laughter are some of those things that people always point to when thinking about those wonderful, ineffable things that make us human, and it would be a shame if feminists were somehow missing out on all that great humanness, so I’m going to try to deconstruct the debate by looking at different types of jokes, the effects they have and where the role of appropriate discretion comes in. If we can all just get over the irony of a humorless feminist dissecting humor into an oblivion, then we can move on. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to all of these ideas, and there is caveat at the end.
On to the jokes!

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Sexism and Sexists: What did you call me?

One of the problems facing feminist discourse in the United States (it probably exists in other places, but I’m speaking from my own experience) is a conflation of action, intention and identity. Which is to say, when an action is deemed sexist or in some way problematic, it is almost automatically assumed by the public at large that this is an ascription of malicious intent, along with a deeming of the person at fault to be in some way a fundamentally bad person. It probably began with Locke, when in a single sentence of the Second Treatise on Government, he discusses a murder, and then calls the perpetrator a murderer. It’s also probably a cognitive bias of some kind. Whatever the source, this phenomenon undermines the ability of feminists to engage in criticism of actions or messages found in the broader culture, since these frequently stem from the choices of a single individual or organized group, and such entities tend not to take kindly to being called sexist, misogynistic, privileged, or something similar.

Even if they are! Read on for how this applies to the DSK and BHL cases

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