Halt and Catch Fire is at its best in the moments in which it crafts a narrative in which women and people of color are in the spotlight, giving rise to major tech innovations as leaders.
In the world of Halt and Catch Fire, the most powerful VC is a woman, the inventor of the first search site is a teenage girl, the lead of a VC firm’s best innovation is a black woman, and the most brilliant coder is, again, a woman.
It’s beautiful to watch, and just as gripping, if not more so, than watching a couple of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs stand-ins vie for control of the nascent tech universe.
I know none of my followers care about wrestling, but please care about Chyna
She had a groundbreaking career, including many championships and titles that had yet to be held by any woman, and often talked of how she didn’t want her career judged on the standards of being a male or female wrestler - she represented a very early discussion and identity that I (and probably other young people) would hold on to while building gender non-conforming identities. And for all of her female fans, her identity had a huge part in building the WWE Diva community that now exists.
In 2015, Triple H commented on the legitimacy of Chyna being a Hall of Fame candidate. For those not aware of the epic that is the Hunter and Chyna saga: Chyna’s stardom began with Triple H, which lead to their very real and long-term relationship. As the evil baddie couple, they were successful and popular, but of course their characterization as bad guys made it easy to plan a story of deceit and exile without repercussion. It would later be reviled that Triple H was having an affair with Stephanie Mcmahon, the daughter of the Mcmahon family, who owns the WWE.
The only reason I’m bringing this up is because in that interview, Triple H said he agrees she deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but that it wasn’t something the WWE could endorse because of her career in porn and the issues it might cause for young fans interested in knowing who Chyna is. You can go into the details if you would like on the numerous cases where other inductees have been guilty of far worse and even similar career choices - but its interesting to hear the man that built a career in being a terrible, abusive, evil person say that Chyna’s morality disqualifies her from being given recognition. Triple H by the way headlined this year’s Wrestlemania with his wife Stephanie helping him by the ring - whereas Chyna has for quite some time now, very publicly, tried to apologize and return to the WWE, without any respect from the company.
To crudely summarize her, Chyna was a strong woman whose personal vulnerabilities were used against her. She was a team player who supported her colleges, only to see her male college rise to the absolute top and then use his power to completely remove her and use her as a marketing device. She was someone in charge of her sexuality and sexual energy and used it to navigate her world and her career, only to have it be inevitably used to make her feel ashamed and worthless. She was a sex worker who lost all credibility for any of her accomplishments due to whorephobic mentalities. She was a survivor who, surrounded by extreme machismo, found herself unable to find help that was really suitable, whose mental health struggles were mocked on reality television. She flourished in a masculine space but was still very connected to femininity, and who often hated peers validating her athletic accomplishments by labeling her as “one of the guys”.
It’s perfectly fine if you don’t care about the WWE - I assure you it is a giant dump truck of a mess and problematic, and most fans on tumblr will agree - but please be kind in your considerations of Chyna.