I’ve been so intrigued by the news surrounding the “Wonder Woman” screening that has angered loads of grown ass men. When this theater in Austin announced that they’re holding a women’s only night of the film, it sold out so insanely fast, I know if I lived nearby I would have snatched up a ticket within the hour as well. But some men don’t seem so excited about this. They claim beautiful chestnuts such as: "Boy oh boy, turn it around and ban a woman from seeing a movie…All hell would break loose! Women would be out picketing…Alamo Drafthouse, epic fail.” Gotta love Alamo Drafthouse’s responses though:
But yes, if there was to be a screening only for men nowadays, that wouldn’t be so chill for us. All hell would in face break loose and we would be claiming it to be sexist as well. I understand that argument men are raising, and it's valid (to some extent). Feminism is all about equality, not separating the sexes.
If the roles were reversed though, and I mean truly reversed: Like say we've had 45 female presidents for the past 240 plus years and the first man to run for president just lost last year. Like since 1920, there have been about 130 superhero and comic book films with solo protagonists in the United States and eight have been male. Like there's no such thing as feminism but there's masculinism. Like men get make 45% - 84% to what women make in the work force. Like 9 to 5 was about three men dealing with their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss. I mean, I guess Horrible Bosses kind of did that, now that I think about it. But, anyway, you get the point. If the tables were really turned and news of an all male screening surfaced, would women be upset? Yes, because in this made up world I'm imagining, men have to live by our rules. You can't forget about us, or ignore us, or empower yourselves because that's just silly. Which is exactly what these men are preaching.This Rolling Stone article said it best:
After all, feminism and female empowerment are only acceptable according to men's terms. Wonder Woman's presence among the DC superheroes (like Superman, Batman and The Flash) is accepted because her strength is a fetish. So long as she is confined to sexual fantasies, men welcome the novelty of a woman who beats men at their game. She becomes less desirable when she resists a conventional male gaze, or when she becomes a model for other women to emulate. And she becomes a bonafide problem when she is rendered inaccessible, even for a night.
Do I think feminism has to do a better job of reaching across the aisle and include more people that don't identify as women in the movement? Yes. Definitely. We need to be more inclusive and not perpetuate the stereotype that we're man-hatting, don't shave our armpits, burn our bras, feminists. But, for Oprah's sake, we deserve one night to celebrate ourselves and watch Wonder Woman kick some ass. If not for the history we've gone through, we deserve to celebrate what she's gone through and what she represents to us as The Last Amazon.
Note: The title is from Q.U.E.E.N. by Janelle Monáe featuring Erykah Badu.
Warning: this blog post contains subject matters such as murder and suicide.
One person was killed and at least a dozen injured when a car struck pedestrians in New York's Times Square this past week. What hasn’t been making the major headlines: Kingston Frazier, a six-year-old who was found dead in Madison County from a gunshot wound while sitting in the backseat of the vehicle. Three teenagers are accused of killing him. They’re 17 and 19-years-old.
When news of Times Square surfaced, I was thinking of all my friends in NYC and while I was glad to hear they were safe upon checking in, I couldn't help but think that the 26-year-old driver had to undergo a series of tests to get his license. What about those teenagers who used the gun on Kingston Frazier though? What kind of testing was involved allowing them to obtain a gun? Definitely not the same lengthy testing that goes into getting a drivers license. It just reminded me, we so need to enforce the same rules between getting your license and getting a gun. There needs to be better background checks for both instances and while we raise this up with our representatives, we also need to pay attention to what's going on around us. Kington was sleeping in the backseat of his mother’s car when it was stolen. Were any people around to see it happen? Maybe not. And the driver in NYC, it all happened so fast. But there were signs of him having mental health issues in the past. How did those go on for so long without anyone raising a flag? I understand it’s really hard for us to keep our eyes open for any behavior that might not seem normal to us (especially as we are growing more accustomed to a society where normal news is such a rarity). Most of us are caught up in our own worlds, and cell phones and technology don’t help much with that. But sometimes the signs are so apparent to us if we just took a moment and looked around.
I stopped watching the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why about halfway through the series. If you’re unfamiliar with the subject matter, it has to do with a young girl in high school ending her own life, but not before she leaves a series of tapes for people to know how they contributed to her death. Now, I don’t think that gives too much away regarding the plot, but if you’re still interested in watching it, maybe don’t read the rest of what I’m going to say about it. For me, the show glamorized certain aspects of suicide and summed up a lot of what teenagers go through by throwing it all on one girl. Yes, one person can go through all that, but it frustrated me to see certain stereotypical situations happen to one character over and over again. It would be interesting to see how other people dealt with similar events or done something differently with the plot to gain perspective. Outside of my critique of the show, The Mighty came out with this video regarding a few things to kick off a conversation about suicide revolving around ’13 Reasons Why.’ I suggest you watch it. Or even watch the episode of Friends (season 7: episode 13) when Phoebe gets involved with a suicidal worker. In my opinion, that episode does a better job of showing people how to pay attention and speak up when they see someone suffering from mental illness. It doesn’t glamorize it or make it any more dramatic than it needs to be. And I’m not trying to hate on anyone who loves 13 Reasons Why with all of this. It’s just the idea that we hold so much power in our hands that I’m focusing on. We have to power to grab a steering wheel, a gun, whatever it may be, and choose to do with it what we want. Sometimes, it’s not even a choice, but something outside our control. And while that’s scary to think about, a lot of us have the power to incite change.
We can choose to get more involved, raise the issues of mental illness and gun violence prevention up to our government, speak out at high schools, sign petitions, check in on our friends, share stories that might be going unheard like Kingston’s, and simply put down our phones and connect to one another. It’s worth staying informed, aware, and present. It’s worth making a fuss about it. Because, yeah, there are lots of shitty things that happen in the world that are outside our control, but we owe it to ourselves and to do what we can to make it a little bit better.
"We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for instability? It was in the air; and it was still in the air, an after-thought, as we tried to sleep, in the army cots that had been set up in rows, with spaces between so we could not talk." - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. That's how the story begins: in what used to be a gymnasium.
I just re-ordered the book because I gave my copy away to someone and haven't been able to track it down. Earlier today, my best friend and I were talking about the book and the Hulu TV show for maybe close to an hour. It's so easy to get swept up into our conversations, especially when we're talking about something that is so deeply rooted in us. I leant her my copy of The Handmaid's Tale years ago. She called me when she finished it, so upset by how it ended. Don't worry, I won't spoil it here for you if you haven't read it. But I'm looking forward to reading it again, myself. It'll be refreshing to go back to a story that resonated so much with me in college, as if I'm returning to one of my favorite professors. It feels safe almost, to return to a dystopian world that is familiar to me. I know how it ends. I know how it goes. Unlike the world in which we live in today.
It seems that everyday there is a new story alerting us of some catastrophe in D.C. Some new thing that the president and his team of minions hid from us, lied to us about, or manipulated to get the outcome they wanted. And yes, it's hard to keep track of it all. A newsletter I just came across and recommend is What The Fuck Just Happened Today? - a good recap of what's going on, because it's so hard to keep track of everything, isn't it?
The talent for instability is something I'm still learning. I'm a very structured person and crave stability in my life. With a new job within the past couple months, my life has felt anything but stable as I learn how to juggle various work loads, fundraising initiatives, writing deadlines, etc. all while trying to stay aware and alert of what's happening in the world. I feel bad because I have gotten used to the headlines and sigh when I see them, no longer muttering to myself "this is not normal." It's become a pattern and I'm writing this out to remind myself to get used to the instability of it all, to embrace the changes and the uncertainties, to go with the flow no matter how big of a current it might be. No matter what, I must be prepared to dive in head first and adjust to the water as it moves around me.