sexist turn ons

Dear ‘Supergirl’, I love you! Also, are we breaking up?!?

I’m one of those folks who is currently in a passion love-hate or else hate-love relationship with the show Supergirl depending on the day.  I wanted to write this long post for folks who are also processing this currently.  I had been thinking for a long time that aside from the single thread of the Mon-El storyline, Supergirl still had a solid, core identity as a show.  The show’s appeal to its audience rested on four foundations in my mind:  1) the incredible likability and reliability of their dynamic lead with her awesome combination of classic hero problems and recognizable lady problems 2) a charismatic and deep sisterhood that formed the central love relationship and unified the dramatic arcs of the show and also let it pass the Bechdel test every episode quite easily 3) positive representations of both women and the men who are also outsiders that they share love bonds with, and 4) general lightheartedness and positivity, so even when it went dark, it was just not all THAT dark.  At its worst, the show was fluffy or annoying. 

With the trust I had established through s1, I thought that what they were trying to do with Mon-El was to depict a narcissistic, sexist guy who turns into one of the good guys.  I thought, well, they think that’s a positive message.  They’ve depicted him an “outsider” or misfit, because he’s among all these high-functioning outsiders acting like an incompetent norm.  And I thought, well, this was a terrible idea.  When you write a subversive story, and then you subvert your subversion, you get normative crap that’s even more generic than the original crap.  It’s a parody that’s hard to watch.  But it’s all well intentioned.  And it will be over soon.  It’s not the show.  This won’t kick the foundations out from under the show.  

I am honestly no longer confident that this was well-intentioned or that it won’t topple the show.  I am holding onto a strong, final thread of trust in this show.  But this feels now more like backlash within this show against its own core identity and values.  The way they have written Mon-El feels like a gender panic and also a heteronormative panic to me.  And it is absolutely NOT the actor.  He’s clearly fine.  He even seems like he’s probably really sweet in real life while acting like a complete jerk on tv, kind of like when Orlando Bloom tries to play a villain, and it’s like, yeah, no, you buy teddy bears for your girlfriend and one for yourself to match when you do, don’t try to play me here, babe.  It’s the character, the caricature they have written.  When they could have written ANYONE - a thousand other men instead of this one.  So why this one?  

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gcnenineteen replied to your post “bc i’m on arya: been bullied / bullied someone”

Honestly, in WaG I only ever saw evidence of jealousy from Cuthbert, not sexism. He wasn’t unfair to Susan at times because she was female, but because she had caught Roland’s eye. I’m definitely in agreement that the writers of the comic threw it in out of nowhere to give Aileen a conflict to face. And honestly, I can’t stand it when good characters are flanderized to show off the traits of another - it feels like using them as devices rather than characters.

Yes, that’s how I perceived it as well, whereas in the comics, he repeatedly puts Aileen down because she’s “a girl” –– and then it’s also implied that he does so out of goodwill because he’s actually smitten with her. And let’s not forget that she’s crushing on Roland, and even though Roland doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings quite on the same level, I find the parallel to the Roland-Susan-Cuthbert trio in TDT4 a little unoriginal tbqh. 

So, on the one hand he’s teasing Aileen for fun (his fun, certainly not hers by the look of it) and on the other hand he hates being bested by a girl. It’s really annoying because I wish that instead of going down the “lonesome heroine” road the creators of the comics would have decided to go for full inclusion of women in the gunslinger order instead, since their intentions with Aileen seem to have been to raise the visibility of female characters. Good intentions, bad execution, as far as my taste is concerned. :/ 

And, Cuthbert being turned into a comic relief device in the comics? Why, they would never! 🙄

You can be male and roleplay as female characters.

You can be female and roleplay as male characters.

You can be neutral and roleplay as male or female characters.

Stop telling people who they can and can’t roleplay as.