feminism, feminist, gender, homosexual, Ireland, misogyny, politics, race, sexism, Uncategorized, violence, Violence Against Women, women, writer

The Woes of Feminism and the Movies

Many of us have been unfortunate enough to witness the vitriol and small-mindedness which accompanied the build-up and release of the gender-reversed reboot of Ghostbusters earlier this year. With it, of course, came the chorus of mostly male laments against feminism: “How dare four women take the place of four men, who do they think they are? When we say reboots, all we want is updates CGI, not feminist propaganda!”

Unsurprisingly, the malevolence didn’t end there, but included the use of intimidation and threats against the spook-filled films selection of female stars, most notably and again unsurprisingly Leslie Jones, the specter-ass-kicking squads resident black sass queen. While Jones’ stand against the intimidation tactics unfortunately involved a loss for the Twittersphere (she recently announced a much needed break from the site following the abuse) the equation which continues to divide feminism and movie media has become once more evident via Twitter trend #FeministAMovie

The hashtag reached trending proportions in early August, catching my own attention on 11 August… of the hilarious possibilities which were available. How excited I was to scroll through potential hilarious gender-reversals, queer puns, and non-heteronormative re-titles.

What I got instead proved the false consciousness which continues to surround the feminist movement. Several of which used Ghostbusters as the bone of contention:

It was only following my disappointment that I discovered the hashtag was, in fact, a response to the all-female cast announced for Oceans 8; the new installment combining the star skills of Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina. The outraged reaction against the positioning of women in public spaces resulted in a reiteration of misogynistic themes,  homophobic and transphobic commentary, and the general array of stereotypical sexist insults which amount to the manosphere’s armory.

Certainly, the stereotype of the “Feminazi,” the “manhater”, the angry, hairy, cajoling cartoon feminist consistently drawn into bad cartoons was redrawn again and again:

2016-08-20 (41)2016-08-20 (30)2016-08-20 (25)2016-08-20 (21)2016-08-20 (28)2016-08-20 (11)

 

These texts reanimate negative stereotypes commonly linked with the feminist figure in popular culture, many concentrating on the negative ways feminist discourse (supposedly) affects women’s most crucial aspect: appearance. A failure to adhere to traditional and overtly-normalised femininity and the beauty standards related to this unnatural state of being is consistently related one’s success or failure in being a woman.

Related to these highly idealised beauty standards and ideals of proper womanhood is the contemporary horror related to female menstruation. Horror movies, blockbuster comedies and the following tweets alike depict this natural and widely experienced event as the abject moment:

2016-08-20 (22)

Many others simply and in-eloquently depicted feminism and feminists as something to be despised and abused, where feminists are literally unknowable (and unloveable) and as at once undeserving of men and unable to keep them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thankfully, and once again in keeping with the Ghostbuster’s narratives, feminists rallied against their would-be oppressors with a selection of their own #FeministAMovie tweets which created new sexual spaces, challenged heteronormativity, repossessed female and coloured space from male and white privileges and generally educated individuals that the humourless, hairy-feminazi figure could at least, occassionally, be funny for the sake of politics:

 

In short, movie media continues to challenge feminist gains, but there is an undeniable movement occurring wherein women are being permitted space to narrate new experiences on screen. Comedies such as Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters and the up-coming Moms are repositioning women’s traditional position on screen, while action genres are redrawing squad goals in Oceans 8, and sci-fi/comics genre is FINALLY due to welcome Wonderwoman to the big screen in the first female-lead movie, and while these narratives are being challenged by the greater masses, we’ll continue to met the challenge.

 

 

S.

 

Advertisements
advice, feminism, feminist, gay, gender, homosexual, sexism, strenght, women

Facebook’s New Gender Options

Facebook has made another notable change to its interface – and this time for the better! – expanding its gender options.

Since its inception, Facebook has offered the two heterosexist, phallocentric options well known to us all – male or female. Now,  the social networking site will offer the fifty choices (see the list below) well known to the LGBT, social community.

faceb

The FAQ information noted some of the following points:

Q: Why is Facebook doing this?

We want everyone to feel comfortable being their true, authentic selves on Facebook.  An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just male or female.  We’re proud to have worked with leaders in the LGBT community to offer these new features to people who use Facebook.

Unfortunately, the options for “interested in” remain men, women, or both.

But, as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

List of Gender Options Available under the Custom Heading:

Agender
Androgyne
Androgynous
Bigender
Cis
Cis Female
Cis Male
Cis Man
Cis Woman
Cisgender
Cisgender Female
Cisgender Male
Cisgender Man
Cisgender Woman
Female to Male
FTM
Gender Fluid
Gender Nonconforming
Gender Questioning
Gender Variant
Genderqueer
Intersex
Male to Female
MTF
Neither
Neutrois
Non-binary
Other
Pangender
Trans
Trans Female
Trans Male
Trans Man
Trans Person
Trans*Female
Trans*Male
Trans*Man
Trans*Person
Trans*Woman
Transexual
Transexual Female
Transexual Male
Transexual Man
Transexual Person
Transexual Woman
Transgender Female
Transgender Person
Transmasculine
Two-spirit

feminism, feminist, gay, homosexual, misogyny, poetry, strenght, Uncategorized

“If My Son Were Gay” Nishat Ahmed

Ahmen’s powerful and stirring poem “If My Son Were Gay” revises the typical and common assumptions and critiques which father’s and mother’s level against their gay children, turning them completely on their heads. Instead of critiquing and judging, the poet champions their bravery and happiness.

“If my son were gay,
I’d slap him
With a nice high five.
Because coming out to your dad,
Takes balls that most men don’t have.
If my son were gay,
I’d beat the hell out of him.
Because he said he was better than me
At Super Smash.
(He basically was asking
For me to kick his ass.)
If my son were gay,
I’d kick him out of the house.
Because why waste June on video games,
When there are sports to be played?
And just because he likes making out with boys,
Doesn’t mean he can’t tackle the shit out of them, too.
If my son were gay,
I’d call him a douche.
But only because this morning,
He ate the last peanut butter cup in the house.
(The jerk knows they’re my favorite.)
If my son were gay,
I’d still give him the talk.
I just wouldn’t have to worry about a baby in nine months.
If my son were gay,
I’d make fun of what he wears.
Because damn, son,
Those heels don’t go with that dress.
If my son were gay,
I’d tell him to be proud.
Because you’re human no matter the gender
On the other side of your mouth.
If my son were gay,
Nothing would be different at all.
Except that twenty years down the line,
I’ll be expecting a handsome son-in-law.”

“If my son were gay,
I’d slap him
With a nice high five.
Because coming out to your dad,
Takes balls that most men don’t have.
If my son were gay,
I’d beat the hell out of him.
Because he said he was better than me
At Super Smash.
(He basically was asking
For me to kick his ass.)
If my son were gay,
I’d kick him out of the house.
Because why waste June on video games,
When there are sports to be played?
And just because he likes making out with boys,
Doesn’t mean he can’t tackle the shit out of them, too.
If my son were gay,
I’d call him a douche.
But only because this morning,
He ate the last peanut butter cup in the house.
(The jerk knows they’re my favorite.)
If my son were gay,
I’d still give him the talk.
I just wouldn’t have to worry about a baby in nine months.
If my son were gay,
I’d make fun of what he wears.
Because damn, son,
Those heels don’t go with that dress.
If my son were gay,
I’d tell him to be proud.
Because you’re human no matter the gender
On the other side of your mouth.
If my son were gay,
Nothing would be different at all.
Except that twenty years down the line,
I’ll be expecting a handsome son-in-law.”
– Nishat Ahmed.