actual most feminist show on television

on the socialization of bodies

Been seeing a lot recently about the supposed male socialization of trans women…. both from cis ppl and trans women. This is my contribution for why it is incoherent and just a silencing and oppressive and transmisogynist tool.

First…. there is this notion that children, depending on assigned sex, get one message about gender stuff and not the other. This is largely nonsensical. We all get the exact same message. Because ideas and oppression don’t exist in isolation (this is pretty much the foundation of intersectionality). For the most part, the message boils down to (if'n we’re talking just about gender):

Boys rule and girls drool.

Or something to that effect. Both boys and girls are socialized to behave as if this were true. It isn’t that boys are taught that girls are subservient and that girls are taught to defer to boys. Well, yes, we are taught that, but these are behavioural patterns designed to inculcate all genders with the same message. Children of all genders are socialized to behave in ways that assume only two genders and that one of those genders (girls) is worth far less than the other gender.

So. If we are all getting the same message, how to the difference arise between how one child embodies this message and how another does? Well, largely based on which gender they are told they are mixed with whatever gender they actually are. Outside of the rare moments where you are explicitely and on an individual basis told the message, most of the time we sort of…. just pick this up from our peers, how our parents interact with one another, what we see on tv, what we read in books, etc.

And that is the thing. We all watch (within certain variations) the same shows. Read the same books. Because, um, you know, we all lived in the same culture (obvs. relative to geography but I’m working on a really macro basis rn).

It blows my mind that all these feminist media critics or whatever can spend their lives deconstructing the harmful messages encoded in many of our cultural products and practices and somehow think that trans girls didn’t internalize and embody these things as well.

For example. Just on the impossible standards of beauty alone. We hear a lot from cis women who talk about how this impossible ideal beauty destroys confidence and self-worth and self-esteem, but can’t quite make the leap to how this impacts trans girls.

We see the same impossible ideal of beauty. And I’m not sure if you’ve realized (although, since many of you take exquisite pleasure in de/misgendering us, i’m sure you do realize), just how distant that ideal is for your average trans woman. Especially if you transition late. Many of us understand that even if we go through the entire gamut of surgeries/hormones/whatever we will never be beautiful. We will never be desirable. We will never be attractive. And, the thing is, this isn’t a newborn realization.

Why? Becasuse we’ve been exposed to and socialized with the exact same impossible beauty standards that cis women were. Because. You know, we share the same cultural and were likewise socialized together.

There is no ‘male socialization’ and no 'female socialization’. We are all just socialized in a culture that devalues and oppresses women. And these social behaviours are supported and rewarded and enforced by our institutions.

for the record i’m not even slightly exaggerating when i say crazy ex-girlfriend is the best show on television right now. i didn’t even realize how much most tv characters are unlike actual human beings until this show came along with a cast full of rich, complex, multidimensional characters who genuinely feel and behave like real, normal people.

also, it’s an intersectional feminist musical comedy about mental illness. it’s the weirdest goddamn niche but it appeals to every one of my interests.

Also

Can we please stop accusing fans who dislike a female character of sexism? The Sleepy Hollow fandom has some of the most progressive and feminist fans on the internet right now. The reason why characters like Katrina Crane and Betsy Ross are being so heavily criticized is because the writers’ treatment of their characters is sexist. This fandom stans hardcore for Abbie Mills and Jenny Mills because they are strong and complex female characters who also happen to be black women starring in a genre television show. WHICH IS A BIG FUCKING DEAL. 

So please, stop with the “if you hate Katrina you’re sexist” argument. The reason why we’re so critical of Katrina and Betsy is because we’re actually feminists who want better writing for female characters.

There’s been some total idiocy going around about dear Bryan in the tag lately. I’ve blocked the perpetrator of course, and encourage you to do the same.

As a 41 year old Sociology Professor, who specializes in media, culture, and politics, I can unequivocally state that he’s one of the most pro-feminist men in television since ever. Not just because he’s gender-swapped some of the characters in Hannibal, but there’s numerous other reasons. Essays have been written about how the show inverts the male gaze more thoroughly than I can detail here, and I encourage you to find and read them if you have not.

I’ve actually met him, and he’s just as sweet as you’d imagine. I love him because he’s so great to the fans, and because he has dared to put things on TV that are challenging, unique, and unconventionally beautiful. He reminds me of Vincent Price - cheerfully morbid! He’s never had a bad thing to say about how fans engage with his work. How many other producers have trashed fanworks?

What do YOU love about Bryan Fuller? Let’s put some positive vibes in the tag!

7 Reasons Why Feminists Dating Feminist Men - Oops - Dating Allies - Is A Bad Idea

1. The sex will suck.

He will embrace the Yes Means Yes standard of sexual consent and any hopes you have of coming home after a long shitty day at work to be swept off your feet by a man overcome with his lust for you can be dumped in the circular file right now. He will greet you at the door, notice you are not in the best of moods (a good start, I admit) and then launch into enthusiastic consent. “May I place my arms around you and give you a consoling embrace? Are you comfortable with me kissing your cheek? May I assist you in removing your coat? This may involve some contact with the upper portion of my body. Do you feel at ease with that?” By the time he has your coat off, you will want to punch him in the face, but because you believe in true equality, you will understand that violence against everyone is wrong and you will refrain from doing so. The rest of the evening won’t get better. By the time he requests permission to remove your panties, you will be choking on disgust and you will go to sleep on the couch.

2. Your confidence will plummet as he encourages you to wallow in your victimhood and blame everyone but yourself for your failures.

When you start to talk about why your day was so shitty he will nod sympathetically and (after obtaining consent) pat you on the back tenderly and make soothing affirmative noises as you search for someone to blame. He will agree that it was the baristas fault you spilled latte all over that Women’s Studies report you had to hand in because she made the coffee too hot. He will agree that the bitch in the next cubicle is vindictive and steals your ideas all the time. He will agree that nothing is ever your fault and in doing so, he will basically be saying that you are a child and your actions are futile and you might as well just give up now because there is no way you are strong enough and smart enough to navigate the world of grown-ups.

3. He will empower you by never letting you fall flat on your ass and you will never learn a goddamn thing.

Your feminist boyfriend will be your constant crutch. He will be there to support you no matter how stupid or irrational or just plain idiotic your actions. He will never hold you accountable and will always make excuses for you. He will demand that everyone make allowances for you and your bad habits will become so in-grained they will become second nature. He will accept you sulking and endlessly repeating the same stupid mistake, assuring you that everyone else is wrong and you are right. He will be supportive, loyal and make sure you never grow or evolve as a person.

4. You will look like hell as he encourages you to “reject patriarchal beauty standards.”

Your feminist boyfriend will encourage you to spend the 20 minutes you usually waste combing your hair and applying the bare minimum amount of make-up you need to look professionally groomed and polished in bed. He will go ahead and shave and keep his hair and neckbeard trimmed and neat but that’s just part of male privilege and it is always and only misogyny to suggest that women need to meet similar standards. He will reassure you that hair and skin oils are perfectly natural and feminine odors are always pleasing, except to those that genuinely hate women. Only insecure men are uncomfortable with a natural woman.

5. Your feminist boyfriend will want to share everything with you. No seriously, everything. He’ll even have sympathy menstrual cramps.

Your feminist boyfriend will reject traditional masculine pursuits such as any sports or entertainment that involves the glorification of violence or unrealistic body standards or the depiction of traditional gender roles. He will reject most movies and television shows as perpetuating harmful gender roles and promoting rape culture and you will have to hide your erotic romance book under the mattress.

6. He’ll actually cut your sentences off and tell other people what your opinion is for you more often than an old-fashioned macho man will.

Your feminist boyfriend will know all the talking points and will insert himself into any conversation with catch-phrases like “wage gap” and “heteronormativity” and “cis-gendered” and “privilege” and when you fail to make mention of these important issues yourself, he will finish sentences for you, because he knows exactly how you feel on every subject and wants to show his support and admiration for you. You will really want to punch him now and you might question whether some people really are “asking for it”.

7. You will be a sad, lonely, cranky, selfish, teetering on the edge of insanity basket case when he leaves you for that hot chick in tight yoga pants who knows how to cook.

Eventually, your feminist boyfriend will decide adults are way more fun to hang around with than giant toddlers who have tantrums and blame everybody else for their own problems. Adults who understand how human sexuality work and who respect the differences between men and women are also a lot more fun to be with. You’ll watch him throw his arm around her (without asking first!), steer her down the street towards the cinemas playing the latest film of the patriarchy and furiously seethe while you tell yourself that he’s proof that all cis straight males are scum. But maybe, just maybe, one day you’ll realize the good men haven’t gone anywhere. They just don’t want anything to do with you.

Top 10 TV Series of 2015

So I’m finally forcing myself to do it close to a full month into 2016. Games list coming after I finish “Life is Strange.”

2015 was actually a ludicrously good year for TV. How good? Orange is the New Black actually didn’t make my top 10 this year and there wasn’t an appreciable drop in quality from last season. Some TV critics are calling this phenomenon “Peak TV.” There’s simply too much quality stuff out there if you take even the slightest effort to look for it. Which I did. So in horribly biased, non objective ascending order of how much I liked a series, here are 2015′s best.

10. Review with Forrest MacNeil - Comedy Central

At it’s heart, Review is a brutal, unrelenting satire of the degradation and self-deception of modern employment, Review also manages to be a similarly brutal satire of its various “Reviews” of life experiences rated on a five star scale by the ever over-committed Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly). This is a show that elicits painful, guilty laughs at an unforgiving clip. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone because many of the jokes hurt. But it’s also the show I laugh at with the greatest ease and most consistency, even as I hate myself and the universe for doing so.

9. Daredevil - Netflix

However much I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I think the Marvel brand is actually better served by television. Comic books themselves are serialized and their stories work best when allowed time and episodes to unfold. While Agents of SHIELD is alternately excellent and the blandest thing on TV and while Agent Carter was generally very good, the Marvel formula really worked best on Netflix. This version of Daredevil is a grim and gritty crime saga with enough comic book grandiosity thrown in to remind us we’re in a superhero story. Charlie Cox owns Matt Murdoch in a way Ben Affleck never did and he carries a masochistic swagger into the role. Vincent D’onofrio is equally essential and game as the visionary Wilson Fiske who will rebuild Hell’s Kitchen even if he has to destroy it to do so. Throw in a great supporting cast and the best action sequences I’ve seen on television and you really can’t go wrong. Bring on the Punisher in season 2!


8. BoJack Horseman - Netflix

The story of a washed up sitcom star trying to become relevant again somehow manages to be an astute Hollywood Satire, and perhaps the most existentialist show on television. BoJack is a difficult character to like, and yet his mix of ambition and self-destructive hatred are all too relatable. He longs to feel worthy, but his own inability to move beyond his own sins and guilt often lead him to do wrong just to confirm to himself that he deserves to suffer. Sound bleak? Well, it is. But the show is also frequently hilarious. The Chicken episode alone makes the second season worth watching. And though Will Arnett is great, I can never mention this show without suggested that not casting Bob Saget as BoJack was a wasted opportunity.


7. Mad Men - AMC

While Mad Men went out with something closer to a wimper than a bang, its final season still shone above most other comers. Some characters ended up where they deserved, some didn’t. Some people evolved, others regressed to who they always were. And yet, even in its truncated half-season, the final seven episodes included moments of wit and grace that no other show on TV could manage. And I don’t think anyone will ever forget Peggy’s Power Walk.

6. Master of None - Netflix

I don’t know why I didn’t expect much from Aziz Ansari’s debut as a sitcom star. I’d watched every episode of “Parks and Recreation” and while I enjoyed his performance as Tom Haverford, I never got the feeling that he was the type of performer to play a lead. I was wrong. I also didn’t expect to see a sitcom in this day and age of crude, guilty laughs that was driven by honest compassion. Master of None is a show that loves its characters even as it laughs at them. It revels in differences while actually respecting them. It took time to demonstrate the joy of little things like a good barbecue sauce or a domino rally playset. I love sharp satire, but Master of None showed that comedy can dull its edges and actually be the better for it.

5. Jessica Jones - Netflix

I don’t know if Jessica Jones is an easy sell or a hard one. Best described as a feminist superhero noir, Jessica Jones features a deeply damaged protagonist who has to face her worst fears over and over and over again to protect people she cares about. And those fears? Kilgrave, perhaps the most loathsome, vile, disgusting villain to ever grace a television set. If the show has a flaw it’s that there is less story than there are episodes. But this show manages to have a heroine who is both strong and vulnerable without feeling like a checklist. Krysten Ritten deserves major points for bringing her plausibly to life. And I don’t think anyone will be able to see David Tennant the same way after Kilgrave.

4. Better Call Saul - AMC

Up against the seemingly impossible task of creating a spinoff of Breaking Bad, my personal favorite TV series ever, Vince Gilligan and co. actually manage to pull it off. Finding comedy and pathos in Jimmy McGill, the man who would be Saul Goodman, Better Call Saul managed to handle its tragicomic tone with aplomb. This series actually forced me to compare it to “On the Waterfront” based on a pivotal scene. All this built on a character who was basically Breaking Bad’s comic relief.


3. Fargo - FX

The first season of Fargo caught me off guard with its excellent mimicry of the Coen Bros. style while telling a similar yet different story of crime and hubris in snowy Minnesota. Yet somehow the second season managed to play down the mimicry while upping the mayhem and unpredictability. Fargo Season 2 was wild. Packed wall-to-wall with memorable characters, loaded with witty writing, and soaked in surprisingly well-earned pathos, this season proved that sometimes more can be more. 


2. The Leftovers - HBO

I almost cancelled HBO this year, but then I wouldn’t have been able to watch this show. Even considering Fargo, the Leftovers is the most ambitious show on television with its heavy themes of loss, faith and doubt in the face of unspeakable disaster. Most critics saw season 2 as a large improvement over season 1 while I saw it as more or less on par. Of course, I thought Season 1 was astonishing so that’s not damning with faint praise. Season 2′s relocation to Jarden, TX introduced new characters and brought in new themes and questions while still maintaining the first season’s frustrating refusal to answer the questions on everyone’s minds. Hell, the new opening credits taunted us with it before every episode. And yet this season managed to reward both faith and doubt in unexpected ways. It’s a difficult, often depressing watch. But I actually felt better after watching this season’s finale than I do watching shows that were more clearly intended to be heart-warming. Few shows walk us through so much pain to allow us to earn the sublime.

1. The Americans - FX

I was a baby when this show takes place, but I’m old enough to remember the sensation of living in the Cold War during the Reagan era. I remember the fear and the sense of having an absolute enemy who really could destroy us. I remember my father and older sister going to Washington to rally for the freedom of Soviet Jews. I remember the sense of the world exhaling when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union was no more. The Americans understands the 1980s. It captures that particular paranoia. At the same time it questions the entire necessity and morality of the Cold War by showing how intensely dehumanizing the conflict was to those involved and to those who were caught as proxies in the crossfire. It portrays, with surprising sympathy, the agonizing realization that you are doing evil things that corrupt every single thing in your life and that in your future you can only hope to look forward to doing more of the same. At what point do the rationalizations collapse? Is it when your children die for no reason in wars far away? Or is it when they turn away from you in disgust? And, knowing what we know about when and how the Cold War ends, if you end up on the losing side, how do you tell yourself it was worth it?


Honorable Mentions:
- The Flash
- Star Wars Rebels
- Key and Peele
- Orange is the New Black
- Agent Carter

zorp-schmorp  asked:

So the thing Danny said about the feminist onesie made me feel very uncomfortable, as well as the best man being a woman. I can't deal with all the sexist things he says. Thoughts?

I totally, totally get why you hate this side of Danny, because it’s his worst quality. One of my favourite things about this fandom is how we don’t let the characters slide when they say gross, problematic things.

I love Sexist Danny. It’s my favourite flaw of Danny’s. It feels immensely real and natural to me that a thousand-year-old Italian Catholic man who ‘doesn’t even trust this new Pope’ would be sexist as hell, but in that very specific way.

Danny’s sexism is clearly tied to things he’s been taught, that he holds onto because he values tradition. He respects institutions like the Church. He doesn’t trust change, especially change that he worries will impact him negatively. He doesn’t question The Rules, because he firmly believes that if you meet all of the Requirements to be a Good Man, a Good Italian Catholic, life will reward you. God will reward you. 

Danny is, after all, at the top of the Privilege Tree, at this point in his life. He’s white, he’s a man, and he won the Social Mobility lottery. The myth of the American dream? Yeah, he made it a reality, so he’s the sort of man who isn’t going to have any patience with people who can’t make it a reality. Danny is the man who believes people should ‘pull themselves up by their bootstraps’.

Over our lives, we’re going to run into countless Dannys. In fact, most of the men we meet will be Danny. They will be sweet and thoughtful and composed of at least 50% cognitive dissonance, because while they will be amazed at how hard their wives work, they’ll also remain subconsciously convinced that women in general (not you, not his women, but other women who he hasn’t been confronted with as people), those women are just whingeing about nothing when they complain about the wage gap, or sexual violence, or the housework burden. In your case it’s genuinely unfair, of course, but you’re the exception.

Danny meets very few of the requirements of his church, very few of the rules he was taught as a child. Trying to work out who he is if he can’t be Good the way he was taught to be is constantly confronting for him, a source of perennial angst. When he’s confronted with something else that isn’t Good, his instinct is to reject it, because he’s still fighting to be the man he was always told to be. And he gets sexist.

I love it, because there is no question in the narrative that he’s wrong. He is clearly wrong, even outdated (because Danny is elderly, teehee). We as an audience are meant to read the things he says as sexist, actively, negatively misogynistic, and position our ideas against his. To believe Danny is right would honestly be a hugely resistant reading of these moments.

I love it because when he made the quip about the all-female Nativity, I bet there were a few viewers (maybe mostly guys), who instinctively railed against the idea themselves, and Danny’s satirical positioning as an outdated curmudgeon might just have made those people question their own beliefs. I bet there were a few viewers who were uncomfortable with a baby boy in a purple Feminist onesie, who had to rethink that when Danny was so nauseated by the idea.

And I loved that the best man joke segued into a Glee reference, because we are all Glee trash at heart. We have to admit that Glee’s desperate need to cover all social issues, like a frenetic musical Degrassi, infected our thinking and made us all a little more progressive, at least once. Danny sarcastically thanking Ryan Murphy was, in a sweet way, a way for the show to actually thank him for his influence on the television landscape.

So I love Sexist Danny. Because he’s so wrong, and I feel so comfortable yelling at my TV screen just like I want to yell at all my uncles at family gatherings, but never have the guts to. Because I feel comfortable throwing food at him and yelling ‘Boo’ and knowing that the writers would be extremely pleased about that reaction.

This is one case where authorial intent actually does matter to me, because Sexist Danny is one of the most feminist devices I’ve seen used on the show. All men are Sexist Danny. Give every single one of them your best damn sideeye. Especially the ones with puppy dog eyes and scruff that you can feel through your laptop screen. They’re the worst of the lot.