next_to_normal: (Walt/Jesse)
* "I feel like I should be writing something right now about Ben Affleck" pretty much sums up my lack of feels over the Batman casting.

* New Agents of SHIELD promo!

As a follow-up to the Strong Female Characters article I linked the other day, here's one that draws a connection between SFC trope and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.

* I don't watch True Blood, so someone's going to have to tell me whether Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music is a terrible idea or not.

* An interview with Vince Gilligan, plus a NY Times op-ed from Anna Gunn on Skyler hate.

* Also, apparently the Belize Tourism Board is a little concerned about a trip to their country being used as a euphemism for murder, lol.

* We have our first Mockingjay casting announcement, and it involves Natalie Dormer, so I'm happy.

* An interview with Uzo Aduba, who plays "Crazy Eyes"/Suzanne on Orange is the New Black.

next_to_normal: (Hardison geek)
* Interview with Kevin Feige, talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and other Marvel things.

* I already basically recced the entirety of Nerd HQ, but I also want to give a shout out to the Orphan Black panel, which is - while just as hysterically funny as the rest - also chock full of serious talk about acting, deep character analysis, and the philosophical implications of the show's plotlines. And, I mean, Jordan Gavaris sings Taylor Swift while Tatiana Maslany beatboxes. It's not all high-brow shit, lol. Also, an interview with the show's creators on what to expect in season 2.

* Speaking of Nerd HQ, this post about the realities of Comic-Con pretty much convinces me (if I weren't already) that SDCC is totally not worth it at all, and if I were ever to go, I'd just hang out at Nerd HQ the whole time, lol. (It also makes a decent argument for why TV shows and movies show "exclusives" like trailers and clips to the Comic-Con audience that they don't want leaking online. I know a lot of people were pissed off at Moffat for threatening to take his toys and go home if fans posted stuff online - and yeah, not wanting what is essentially promotional video being used to, you know, promote the show seems weirdly backwards, but on the other hand, good lord, those fans who paid thousands of dollars and spent hours or days waiting in line have earned the right to something special that's just for them.)

* One Comic-Con panel I would really have liked to see is the Women Who Kick Ass panel. (Haven't been able to find video, but that link's got a full transcript. If you just want a summary, here's EW's article, and Grantland's summary of the reaction to it.) This is apparently the fourth year it's been held, but there's been a lot of talk about how this year shit got REAL, both in the panelists' discussion of sexism and in the sexist responses to it by the white dudes in the audience.

* Aaron Paul proves once again that he is one of the coolest, most down-to-earth celebrities ever. Also, he talked about interactions with fans during his appearance on Conan: "Sure, I'll call anyone you want a bitch!" Bless.

* LOL the Daily Beast evaluated the singing abilities of the Into the Woods movie cast. At least someone's thinking about it, even if the casting director obviously isn't.
next_to_normal: (Caroline headtilt)
* I love when drunk celebrities do interviews. Here's Amanda Seyfried on Letterman. I generally find Amanda adorable - she seems like someone I'd want to be friends with, if I were the type of person who had Hollywood actors as friends - but she's always so nervous and awkward in interviews, so I can see why the liquid courage might be necessary.

* Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert reveal dirty secrets for a fundraiser. (Spoiler: Jon hates Hugh Grant and Stephen used to sleepwalk.)

* Wondering how in God's name Peter Jackson managed to fill three whole movies with The Hobbit's meager plot? Here's how. I think I'd forgotten just how much Tolkien sucks at "show, don't tell," but there really is a TON of action-y stuff that gets glossed over in the book.

* Lock down your journals, kids. The cast of The Vampire Diaries has found your fanfiction. Candice Accola's dramatic reading is priceless, though. And poor Trevino's FACE. Bless.

* As a follow up to my earlier mention of The Hawkeye Initiative, is swapping gendered superhero poses an effective way to reveal sexism?

* Maybe it's because I'm a nerd, but I thought this was an interesting look at movie industry data for this year.

next_to_normal: (Britta has feelings)
For now, linkspam:

* Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp in a remake of The Sound of Music? There is not enough OH HELL NO in the world.

* Never fear, Community fans. They have a plan to deal with the absence of Chevy Chase.

* Watch Karen Gillan and Craig Ferguson being very Scottish at each other.

* Serbians, be careful. There is a vampire on the loose there.

* Why Brody needs to die. Much as I'd hate to lose Damian Lewis from Homeland, this post does make some valid points.

* My list of reasons for loving Anderson Cooper just got longer.

* I kind of wish I lived in this imagined alternate universe where the model for the best TV dramas is "the rise and deconstruction of female fantasies in the way that shows like Breaking Bad or Mad Men paint glorious specters of masculine badassery [...] and then reveal the rot in them." (Or, in other words, where are my female anti-heroes?)

* The Daily Beast's 2012 Holiday Books Gift Guide.
next_to_normal: Eowyn in battle, text: heroine addict (heroine addict)
I was listening to the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast today, and one of the topics they addressed was the fan reaction to the wives of anti-hero characters. Think Betty Draper, Skyler White, or Carmella Soprano - in any other context, they'd be the sympathetic partner, even considered a victim, but because their husbands (despicable as they may be) are the show's main characters, the women tend to get a lot of hate for (a) inadvertently complicating the husbands' secret lives, (b) trying to find out their secrets, and/or (c) daring to call them on their shit. As if wanting to know what your husband is hiding from you is an unreasonable expectation. As if being appalled is an inappropriate response to the revelation that he is a murderer/drug dealer/mob boss/cheater/scumbag/whatever.

Okay, preaching to the choir here, I know. Anyway, the comment that prompted this post was wondering whether the reaction would be the same if it were a female character who was the anti-hero, and her husband/partner was the one standing in the way of her criminal enterprise, or if their respective genders matter. Now, the podcast is made by dudes, so I'll forgive them for not knowing the obvious answer (yes, of course gender matters) and skip right to what I think is most interesting:

This is entirely a hypothetical question, because as far as I can tell, there are no female anti-heroes like that, much less ones with a hated spouse/partner to use as a comparison.

Seriously - can anyone think of one? Because I'd probably really like that story. The closest I can come up with is Veronica Mars, who's a ruthless and occasionally cruel person who has no qualms about breaking the law to get what she wants. The parallel is strongest in season 3 - before that, she's still the plucky, albeit flawed, heroine, whereas in season 3 she becomes flat-out unlikable at times. But even then, I don't think she ever reaches the level of a Don Draper or a Walter White.

Similarly, characters like Katniss or Buffy or Elena, although they may go through unlikable phases, never lose their "heroine" sheen. They're just good people going through remarkably difficult situations. And frequently THEY are the ones who get the fan hate, not their put-upon male partners, which goes back to the thing about gender influencing fan reactions.

I suppose that answers my own question about why there aren't more female characters that could be considered anti-heroes, doesn't it? If fans will react so negatively to flawed female heroines, God only knows how badly they'd eviscerate a female Don Draper. But y'all know how I love me some flawed characters, especially ladies, so if you can think of any - or have any other thoughts on the subject - please chime in!
next_to_normal: (Britta has feelings)
Gabs has gotten a fantastic response on LJ, but I haven't really seen it making the rounds on DW, so reposting it here and hoping I don't screw up the cool repost button thingy...

Originally posted by [info]gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment

Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.

Sadly, the repost button doesn't seem to work with DW. :( Y'all will just have to C&P the old-fashioned way.
next_to_normal: (books)
It's been SO QUIET in work this week, so I figured it was a good time to knock out a couple of book reviews before I get embarrassingly behind.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Britta has feelings)
More books for class! Trying to get through these a little quicker and failing miserably, lol.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (kitty reading)
Also known as "What I learned in feminism class," lol. Which technically I should be writing my final paper for, but it's not due until Thursday, so I'm not feeling the urgency yet...

So, book reviews, interspersed with class notes! I will probably have quite a bit to say, so I'm dividing them up into several posts. (I already reviewed the first book for class here.)

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (spike onion otp)
A couple weeks ago, a discussion came up on [livejournal.com profile] blackfrancine's 30 days meme, about how we all hate Veruca because of the "does it have dressing?" line and how she totally buys into the double standard of men wanting a woman with a healthy appetite, as long as she's thin (a size which typically requires either being blessed with a miraculous metabolism or a severely restricted diet to maintain).

Apparently, it's a popular topic right now, since Lesley at Two Whole Cakes just mentioned it in response to this New York Times article about the phenomenon of "actresses who eat." Most of the Times article is all "WOW what is this crazy obsession with the eating habits of actresses?" It takes them until the very last paragraph to bring up the notion that actresses admitting how hard they work to look the way they do would be a refreshing bit of honesty. I know this may come as a shock to some people, but the "tiny actress with the huge appetite" trend is only encouraging this warped male fantasy. As Lesley points out, "the eating habits of actresses are not interesting because they tell us anything real about these women... They’re there because dudes find it sexy when a pretty thin woman eats."
next_to_normal: (WTFery)
Hey kids. Long time no see. It's been a crazy busy week (or two). Someday I will regale you all with tales of my awkward match.com dates! (Yes, I caved. But my therapist is very proud.)

But today I am just stopping by to encourage some feminist activism. Remember almost a year ago, I posted about how the National Crime and Punishment Museum apparently doesn't consider rape a crime? Well, now we have a fun new development!

The museum is now advertising its "Crimes of Passion" special exhibit for Valentine's weekend. BECAUSE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS ROMANTIC, YO.

A petition just went up asking the museum to take intimate partner violence and other gendered/sexual crimes seriously.

next_to_normal: (sick Cordy)
Question for the ladies: Is gender a factor when you're picking a doctor?

This is something that's been on my mind, as I am once again perusing my insurance company's provider directory (which I hate doing, btw - exactly how much can you tell from a listing that tells you the doctor's name, address, and medical school?). It may be more of an issue for younger women, since, as my mother pointed out once, you're pretty likely to be comfortable with male doctors if you didn't have a choice when you first started going. But regardless of age, I'm curious whether or not you have a preference.

And if you do, is it for all doctors, or just certain specialties? Have you had prior experiences that led to these preferences? Do you feel that a female doctor has a better understanding of your body/issues/lifestyle? Do you feel that, because you're a woman, a female doctor will take you more seriously than a male doctor would? In choosing a doctor, is gender more important than other factors, such as office location, reputation, or length of wait time for an appointment?

My thoughts )
next_to_normal: (slayer barbie)
I saw a link posted for The Men's Ficathon, and I was all ready to post a rant (using one of my WTF icons naturally, lol) asking why on earth someone would think we needed a men-only ficathon. It's not like men aren't already the overwhelming focus of fic in just about every fandom or anything. :\ But then it turns out other people beat me to it. Good job, other people!
next_to_normal: (feminazi)
So, the other day, [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle made a post questioning the labeling of Angel as a feminist icon. The general consensus, not surprisingly, is that Angel is NOT the feminist icon we are looking for. But it did make me wonder - are there ANY male feminist icons in popular culture? I can't think of any.

Okay. "Icon" is a pretty high bar. How about just a portrayal of a male feminist character? Any medium. How many can you think of?

I'm also including [livejournal.com profile] gingerwall's list of criteria from the same post, just for reference. Your criteria may be different (I expect the third one is particularly difficult to find in pop culture, which might eliminate everybody, lol), but I thought it might be helpful for people who want guidelines.

Here would be my qualifications for the Best Male Feminist Role Model in All of Everything Ever:
- Let the women in his life be autonomous agents and make their own decisions.
- Listen to and carefully consider what women have to say about issues that affect both of them.
- Be aware of how organizations that he is a part of contribute to the oppression of the women in his life and work to change or protest those cultures, all the while getting feedback from those women to make sure he is accurately reflecting their lived experience.
- Encourage the women in his life to defy traditional gender roles and take on powerful positions, even at the expense of his own control and power.
next_to_normal: (buffy happy)
Good news. I am not getting fired, and it looks like neither is my boss. (On the other hand, the organization is in such dire straits that the whole thing may go under in a year, so... yeah. I'd be looking for a new job once I finish grad school anyway, I suppose.)

Also, did y'all know that the Bechdel Test now has a website? Am I behind the curve again?
next_to_normal: (feminazi)
My parents were here this weekend, and since the only time I do anything touristy is when my parents come to visit, we went to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. The museum itself was really interesting and fun, but I was most fascinated by the glaring omission of anything to do with rape IN A CRIME MUSEUM. I blame Gabs for making me all hypersensitive to feminist issues, lol, because as we were walking up the steps to enter the museum, I thought, "I wonder if they'll address rape at all." And... no. They didn't.

The museum chronicles the history of crime (though it's more of a highlights version than a comprehensive history) that includes medieval times, the Salem witch trials, the Wild West, the "public enemies" of the Depression era, mafia families, and notorious serial killers, as well as sections on crime scene investigation and forensics, imprisonment and famous prisons, capital punishment, cold cases, and America's Most Wanted. There were exhibits about murder, kidnapping, robbery, arson, identity theft, counterfeiting, assassinations, fraud, terrorism, and more - and yet, the only mentions of rape were incidental references in, say, the bio of a serial killer who also raped his victims. No exhibit, no statistics, no profiles of cases. Nothing about other forms of sexual assault or domestic violence.

Not exactly a surprise, but still a disappointment. And unfortunately, completely representative of society's attitudes toward rape.
next_to_normal: (London girl)
Already did this one once, but I commented on [livejournal.com profile] gabrielleabelle's post, so she gave me five more things to talk about. Her list:

Fanfic
Spike
Rape

James Marsters
London


Read more... )

I figure anyone who wanted to do this replied the first time around, so let me know if you're just commenting or if you want to play.


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