Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gender Fuck Thursday

Look, admittedly we live in confusing times. Men can’t seem to figure out when it is and isn’t appropriate to masturbate in front of terrified/revolted women. A 14-year-old girl is a perfectly good dating prospect if you’re a white Republican would-be senator. And the president calls hostile world leaders with access to nuclear weapons “short and fat” because of course he does. But one thing there should be no confusion on is that Hope Hicks in a tuxedo is not a good thing. Granted, Hope Hicks in a tuxedo is empirically not a terrible thing. It fits her nicely and I always approve of women in what has been traditionally considered menswear, always. But, alas, she is a woman in a tuxedo who works in service of an evil toddler who treats women, POC, LGBTQ people, Muslims, immigrants and anyone who isn’t a rich white man like absolute shit. So yeah, Hope Hicks in a tuxedo is not a good thing. But do you know what there should also be no confusion about? Allison Janney in a tuxedo is a very, very, very (very, very, very) good thing. In these confusing times cling to what we hold most dear. Thank you, Allison. We all needed that.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Amazonian Fail

If you every wondered if it matters who gets to tell stories, look no further than the new costumes for the Amazons. You remember the Amazons, right? Fierce warriors of Themyscira who are tasked with defending the world against the evils of man. They ride horses and shoot arrows and swing from ropes and kick all of the ass. Remember? And to do that they need sensible yet attractive battle armor, right? Right.

Well, not anymore.

Say goodbye metal breastplates and hello leather bikinis in the new “Justice League” movie. Now we’re not talking about their lounging around Paradise Island clothes here, which in the “Wonder Women” film also tended to be leather and midriff heavy. At least makes some sense given the Mediterranean locale. We are talking about what the Amazons actually wearing into battle with their swords and their bows blazing. Can you spot the difference above in “Wonder Woman” at left and in “Justice League” at right?

Here maybe it helps if I tell you who was behind the Amazons.

On your left: director Patty Jenkins and costume designer designed by Lindy Hemming. On the right: director Zack Snyder and costume designer Michael Wilkinson.

Like I was saying, it matters who gets to tell stories.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lesbian Off the Boat

I’ve talked about “Fresh Off the Boat” a little here. Namely, it’s a wonderful show and Constance Wu deserves all of the Emmys. All of this is true, and then this season the show went and added my favorite thing ever: A sustained lesbian storyline.

Earlier this season Nicole, the teenage daughter next door to the Huang family, came out to Eddie (the Huang’s eldest son and de facto show narrator).



I was wondering if it would be a one-off or just a recurring joke. But instead the series decided to explore it further and had the Very Special Coming Out episode last week. And it was sweet, it was so sweet. There was softball and Melissa Etheridge and guitar-playing wiccans who love to camp.

The series creator is out lesbian Nahnatchka Khan, whose previous credits include “Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23” and “American Dad!” But don’t just watch because of that or because it’s one of the only show on broadcast television with such abundant Asian American representation. Watch (it airs tonight, hint hint) because it is, hands down, very funny. And now, also, quite gay.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Reckoning

This seemingly endless parade of Bad Men being finally exposed is a reckoning. After thousands and thousands of years living under the patriarchy, perhaps women have at long last had enough. Perhaps women have, at long last, decided they cannot stomach the subjugation one second longer. Perhaps women have, at long last, decided men – yes all men, not just the abusers and the assaulters – must aknowledge this awfulness once and for all.

What the Weinstein story broke was a dam that supported the status quo of abuse, assault, harassment and horrible behavior of Bad Men. We seemingly allowed this abuse because said men were rich, powerful, important, brilliant, et al. But, truth be told, men don’t need to be any of those things to get away with abusing women (and other men, because both women and men fall victim to toxic masculinity). They just needed to be men. And for women (and, again, other men) the price of existence in this society was absorbing the daily indignities, humiliations, objectifications and abuses that they doled out. That’s show business. That’s [insert work field here]. That’s just life. Suck it up. Deal with it.

I don’t know what the ultimate outcome of this unveiling of the awfulness of far too many men will be. Will we move forward as a society in a way that treats women as more than just sexual objects or secondary life forms? The cynical part of my brain says any purge this successful will be met with a backlash twice as ferocious. The status quo hates to be threatened.

But in other ways I am encouraged. Over the weekend Ellen Page wrote a searing post on Facebook about her own experiences with homophobia and harassment in Hollywood at the hands of serial harasser and all-around asshole Brett Ratner and others. The remarkable piece also takes note of her own privilege in the industry, as a rich, successful white actress. We are hearing these and believing so many of these stories now because the women who are telling them have power. Many of them are incredibly famous and highly acclaimed actresses. But think of the truly countless number of stories women whose names we don’t already know have to tell about these men. The waitresses. The assistants. The clerks. The service workers. Poor women. Women of color. Queer women. The truly voiceless.

If the most famous women in the world didn’t feel comfortable speaking out until now, think of all the other women who still live in fear. We all have to work harder to create a world that believes women. And we have to end the stigma associated with sexual abuse and assault that assumes women were somehow asking for it by simply existing.

This takes standing up for what is right and using our power to lift up other women and root out Bad Men. Also over the weekend we saw this start as it was revealed that Gal Gadot, a.k.a. Wonder Woman herself, will only sign up for the sequel if Ratner and his production company are out. You see, when Warner Bros. signed her as Wonder Woman they did so for three films: “Batman vs. Superman,” the standalone “Wonder Woman” movie and the upcoming “Justice League.” Unlike most male superhero franchise stars they failed to sign her up for a stand-alone sequel to “Wonder Woman,” for reasons one can only assume have to do with her double X chromosomes.

So now what is she doing with the considerable clout she has earned by her massive success as Diana of Themyscira? Using it to make the playing field more fair and remove a stain on the industry. How truly super. Then maybe, just maybe, the time of the Brett Ratners and Harvey Weinsteins and Louis C.K.s of the world will truly be over.

p.s. While Hollywood does a long overdue house cleaning, it would be nice if politicians would read the fucking room. How much courage does it take to denounce a man who had sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl and other teenagers as a 32-year-old man? None, it takes no courage. It just takes being a decent human being. While they have long lost the so-called moral high road, if the Republicans elect Roy Moore next month they truly stand for nothing but clinging to power. And, yeah, I know – don’t get me started on that fucking repugnant pussy grabber in the White House. The reckoning can’t come soon enough.

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Weekend Rage On

It’s been a hell of a year. Take Uma’s measured yet clearly furious response to the recent revelations of serial sexual harassment, abuse and assault within the entertainment – not to mention basically every other – industry and apply it to all your unassuaged anger at the world these last 365 days. Better yet, take her Krazy 88s scene from “Kill Bill,” and consider it our collective literal and figurative response. Rage more weekend, all.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

ValkAzons Unite



Dear Movie Goddesses:

Please make a movie where the Amazons from “Wonder Woman” and the Valkyrie from “Thor: Ragnarok” team up and save the world from all enemies foreign and intergalactic. Picture it, two legendary bands of female warriors from ancient myth bound by destiny to fight evil now side-by-side. It’s a can’t miss blockbuster and every gay lady I know has already purchased 10 tickets in her head.

Your respectfully,
Ms. Snarker



But, for real, can we talk about how much I loved Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie in the new, fun Thor film? (Also, it doesn’t hurt that it also has Cate Blanchett evil vamping it up in skin-tight latex.) Tessa has wonderful swagger in the film. In short, she’s a true badass and I want her to call me immediately.

Now the character of Valkyrie is canonically bisexual in the comics. Unfortunately in the film you have to do some serious reading between the lines to suss out her sexuality. But there is one scene, where it seems her fellow Valkyrie/girlfriend takes a sword for her and she responds with anguish, that hints at queerness. There’s also her general badassness, which I always read as queerness. But hey, I’m biased that way.

The scene also interestingly mirrors a scene in “Wonder Woman” where General Antiope takes a bullet and her right-hand-woman/fellow Amazon comes running up in anguish.

Anyway. What I’m trying to say is the mash-up Valkyrie/Amazon movie is a no-brainer and also super, duper queer. So make it so, movie goddesses, make it so.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

What a Difference a Year Makes

I approach today with no small amount of dread. Today, the one-year anniversary of the 2016 presidential election. Today, the one-year anniversary of the most egregious electoral outcome in modern American history. Today, the one-year anniversary of the dream of seeing a 240-year-old barrier finally broken denied. Today, the one-year anniversary of Hillary Clinton not becoming the President of the United States of America.

When I look back at the hope, the optimism and the belief in a better America I had at the start of Nov. 8, 2016 versus the start of Election Day 2017 and, well. Let’s just go to the meme:


I remember, so vividly, the pride I felt going into the polling place to cast my ballot for history and Hillary. I remember the relief I felt at not having to see or care about Donald Fucking Trump anymore. And I still have nightmares remembering how it all, slowly but surely, went to shit.

It’s hard for me to read things I wrote before Nov. 8, 2016. There’s a hopefulness that hurts and a naïveté about the simmering resentfulness and flat-out ugliness of so many American voters that is still devastating. I believed in an America that does not exist.

But here’s the thing about this big, often unwieldy and too often unworthy American experiment – as many times as it breaks our hearts, if we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and try even harder the next time we almost always find a way (however painfully slowly) forward.

And for proof, I give you Nov. 7, 2017. It was, quite possibly, the first good night for this democracy in 364 days. Democrats win the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey. Democrats poised to flip the Virginia legislature from red to blue. Virginia Democrat Danica Roem beat a virulently anti-LGBT Republican incumbent to become the first out transgender person elected to a state legislature in the United States. Virginia Democratic candidate Chris Hurst, whose TV reporter girlfriend was shot to death live on television, ran on a gun-control platform and beat an incumbent Republican. Lest we think all the good news is out of Virginia, in Minneapolis Democrat Andrea Jenkins became the first out transgender woman of color elected to public office in the U.S.

I could go on and on because it was really that good of a night.

But all I really want to say is to take the rage and disappointment and despair and fear you felt on the night of Nov. 8, 2016 and channel it into work. Channel it into action. Channel it into votes. And on Nov. 6, 2018 let’s have an even better night.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Mind Torv

Kittens, I am kind of disappointed in you. Why did none of you tell me Anna Torv was in “Mindhunter?” And why did no one tell me Anna Torv was (you should really stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled about a slow-reveal plot point – I mean it, this is your last chance) a lesbian in “Mindhunter?” I feel like the whole thing was an epic fail of the usually reliable Big Lesbian Phone Tree.

I’ve been a fan of Anna Torv for almost 10 years. I first started watching her in “Fringe” and then was delighted to realize she also had a very memorable arc on the original U.K. series “Mistresses” (very, very memorable). And then she kind of went away and I almost forgot about her almost. And then this where I rediscover her on Netflix’s new beginnings of serial killer profiling FBI series “Mindhunter.”

What I’ve always liked about Anna is the unshakeable competence she projects. She just seemed so capable. Like you knew she meant business and was not to be fucked with. Also, she looks freaking amazing in a well-tailored dress shirt. What I’ve also liked is how totally OK she is with making out with ladies on screen.

Like, say, on “Fringe” in a Weird Science-y kind of way with a Mila Kunis-lookalike.



And on “Mistresses,” in an OMG-unbutton-those-buttons kind of way with Shelley Conn.



After binging the entire season of “Mindhunter” over the weekend I can highly recommend it to anyone who likes crime dramas, psychological thrillers and loosely historical period pieces (the period in question being the 1970s). It’s essentially like watching the origin story of “Criminal Minds.”

Unfortunately the series’ only deeper delve into Torv’s character, Dr. Wendy Carr, is relegated to one episode (No. 6, to be exact) where it is revealed that she is a closeted lesbian. We also get a few minutes of screentime with her girlfriend and fellow professor, played by the inimitable Lena Olin. Then, poof, it’s back to the boys.



Since “Mindhunter” has already been renewed for a second season we can only hope the show allows its one prominent female character to have as much of a rich on-screen internal life as all the men. Or, at very least, they’ll tell us what is going on with that mysterious laundry cat.

So, thoughts? Have you watched? But, seriously, whose job was it to call me on the Big Lesbian Phone Tree?

p.s. Apologies to Waffles who, indeed, did give me a heads up a while back about the gay lady action in Mindhunter. If only I had listened sooner.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Greet Me Like One Of Your Gals

This is how Gal Gadot greets short women. I am a short woman. Ergo, I need to meet Gal Gadot. I mean, that’s just math. Have a good, math-based Monday, all.

Friday, November 03, 2017

My Weekend Crush

Winona Ryder at the premiere of “The Commitments” in 1991. Winona Ryder at the premiere of “Paterson” in 2016. Twenty-five years later, same T-shirt and still the coolest girl in the room. I look forward to finally being able to binge “Stranger Things” Season 2 this weekend. Happy Winona weekend, all.