Tag Archives: female characters

2016’s Cultural Battleground – Evan’s Account

EDITOR’S NOTE: We end each year by each taking a look back and picking our five best posts, explaining both their importance to us and to the world we currently live in.  Clicking the banner images will link you to each post, so as 2016 comes to a close join us in remembering how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.


To directly quote my co-writer, “**** this year” has been an increasingly common sentiment as the days tick by, but even given the relentless, overwhelming flood of bad news that 2016 has embodied what’s particularly depressing to consider is how little some things have changed. It’s also telling that in spite of us collectively writing more blog posts than last year I’m left feeling like I wrote less, and that what was written is generally of a lower quality as well.

With that in mind and given the handful of bright spots I managed to find I decided to address this year and my coverage of it a little differently by using the “sandwich approach”. Instead of being presented in chronological order below are two positive aspects to 2016 that bookend what amounts to one singular, continuous problem, and one that I take very personally.

tf2overwatchThere’s something beautiful about the way a team can run like a well-oiled machine, each of its separate components working in unison to efficiently accomplish a shared goal. While not always my experience with Overwatch those moments, especially when with friends, have been highlights of my year.

With this post I took a closer look at Blizzard’s latest FPS that, since the time of this post being written, has grown the number of playable female characters to roughly 50%, and its place as part of a growing push in video games to expand beyond the male-only titles of the past.

kimmyasianUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was a high point of 2015, a Netflix-exclusive sitcom with an unassailably positive young woman at its core. It even took up one of my slots in my last year in review post, where I praised them for including an Asian love interest while scrutinizing how much they truly valued the verisimilitude needed to portray them correctly.

One tragedy of 2016 is that I was never able to make it past the third episode of its second season, the reason being that Tina Fey et al. created twenty-some minutes of television that dragged those who value Asian American representation before running them over with a steamroller, and then putting it in reverse. Friends assure me that it gets better, but how could it not after falling to such great depths? Continue reading

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The Evolving Feminism of Game of Thrones: Evidence that Viewers Can Change Problematic Television

There are spoilers below, so very many spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I’ve often felt conflicted about Game of Thrones. 

From the beginning, I’ve been irritated with the gratuitous sex and nudity. I understand that this can sometimes be used to move the plot in an effective way (i.e. Cersei’s walk of shame). But, generally speaking, GOT has used naked ladies as window dressing to keep straight male viewers watching. HBO has been notorious for finding any and every opportunity to throw a couple of boobs into any given scene in all of its shows. However, as CollegeHumor points out in their NSFW video below, HBO’s gratuitous nudity only goes one way.

Unfortunately, Game of Thrones’ sex scenes have not only been irritating, some have also been majorly problematic. In the first season Daenerys Targaryen is sold into marriage with warlord Khal Drogo, who rapes her on their wedding night. While their relationship eventually progresses into “love,” this first scene made it impossible for me to ever really view their relationship as a loving one. It made me even more angry when I learned that, in the books, this scene between Daenerys and Drogo was actually consensual. Continue reading

A Story for the Average Woman: Maleficent on Rape and Motherhood

Spoilers below… and all that jazz.

Unabashedly a Story about Women

At this year’s Oscars Cate Blanchett happily exclaimed that her award proves that women are not a niche market. Some of this year’s top films are evidence that people care about women and their stories. There were the Hunger Games films, which blazed the trail for future female heroinesthen Frozen, which is now the fifth highest grossing film ever.  In fact, movies that pass the Bechdel test are now doing better at the domestic box office than those that don’t. But the latest trend in female heroines tends to imbue them with traditionally male traits, and rarely celebrates the issues that the majority of women regularly engage with. In contrast, Maleficent is a story that is unabashedly about women, and its success demonstrates that people care about the issues that affect the “other” gender.

   

I felt this was fitting, what with female protagonists breaking out of their “niche” market.

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My Little Pony Hates Men!”: A Short Look at Gender, Representation, and Cartoons

I’ve never seen an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I hear good things, though, and understand if people do like it [and they do] because Lauren Faust is the mind behind the show, and she was largely responsible for The Powerpuff Girls which I still think is one of the best things Cartoon Network has ever done. But again, I’ve never seen any MLP.

Anyway, bronies, right? My favourite go-to source for words you won’t find in Webster’s, Urban Dictionary defines the term as:

“A name typically given to the male viewers/fans (whether they are straight, gay, bisexual, etc.) of the My Little Pony show or franchise. They typically do not give in to the hype that males aren’t allowed to enjoy things that may be intended for females.”

Which, given that very broad description, sounds fine. A person viewing something that is ostensibly for male viewers only, something like . . . I don’t know . . . Lego Ninjago, is not something I think anyone would have a problem with. Anyway. just keep this reasonably sizable fanbase in mind as we move forward-

My Little Pony: Misandry is Magic

That’s the title of a post on tumblr a friend of mine linked me to two days ago. Two short bits of context, misandry is the flipside of misogyny, being the hatred of men instead, and this was originally posted by someone who went by nomisandryplease. I say “went by” because heading over to his site reveals what is seen below and absolutely nothing more:

nomisandryplease
To get to what exactly this guy was bullied for, and I actually don’t doubt that he was, to some extent, the main point to his post was that MLP is a show that, while enjoyable, ultimately treats males very poorly.  Continue reading

Girl Don’t Need A Man To Get Into Hilariously Comedic Situations

This past Monday a new show called The New Normal premiered on NBC. I wasn’t able to catch the pilot, though I did make sure to watch a preview to see what it was all about. You can watch the whole thing if you want, but what I want you to see is right near the beginning:

So at around 22 seconds into the trailer we’re shown that Goldie’s good-for-nothing husband has cheated on her, which becomes the catalyst to her drive across America to begin life anew with eight-year-old daughter.

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