Friday, July 21, 2017

Important Lesbian Sports News

Via ESPN, pro basketball player Sue Bird has revealed that she's been dating pro soccer player Megan Rapinoe.

I think the lede is buried, however:
"Bird might be in the fourth quarter of her basketball career -- at 36, she is the oldest player in the WNBA and is in her 15th season with the Seattle Storm -- but she is expertly managing the clock. She has never been in better shape and isn't talking about retirement anytime soon."
That is kind of amazing.

But seriously, congratulations, ladies.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Twitter Response to Abuse Slow and Inconsistent

Earlier this week, Buzzfeed ran an article on Twitter's response to abuse that occurs on its platform.

For those unfamiliar with the process for reporting abuse on Twitter, the platform does allow users to report other users and tweets for abusive content. Once a report is filed and before Twitter makes a determination about the abuse report, Twitter suggests tips for making "your Twitter experience safer," including not further engaging with the abusive user, using the block function, using the mute function, and contacting law enforcement.

These are all tips that most users, particularly those who receive heavy amounts of abuse, are already aware of. Indeed, I would think that most people who file abuse reports do so because these tips are actually not helpful in resolving the types of abuse they might be experiencing on Twitter, particularly because people continually devise ways to game the few tools Twitter does give people to help deal with abuse.

For instance, many abusers create alternate accounts on Twitter specifically so they can view, screenshot, and re-tweet content posted by other users who have blocked them. In that way, the block function is rendered less effective, as a blocked user can still direct harassment and abuse to other users.

The Buzzfeed article, linked above, highlights an example in which a woman, named Maggie, blocked someone on Twitter and yet that person had, ostensibly by logging in with a different account, taken a screenshot of her Twitter profile picture and photoshopped her face into the crosshairs of a gunsight. This image was then retweeted by another user who found her on Facebook and tweeted her location. Twitter did not deem this behavior to be a violation of its rules.

However, Twitter then later suspended the offending account, after having been contacted by Buzzfeed:
"Though the suspension ultimately granted Maggie some peace of mind, her process of getting justice is one of many examples that show a frustrating pattern for victims — one in which Twitter is slow or unresponsive to harassment reports until they’re picked up by the media."
So, I have two bigger-picture points to make.

One, Twitter was extremely quick to monetize and grow its platform. It's been much slower to put adequate resources into helping its users deal with abuse perpetuated on the platform. Anecdotally, in speaking with other Twitter users, the response to reports is pretty inconsistent - with the same type of behavior sometimes being found abusive, and other times not, seemingly dependent upon who reviews the report.

Two, as Twitter does roll out new tools to help users deal with abuse, it's clear that abusers will likewise adapt to these tools. Twitter, and the people hired to handle abuse reports, need to have a nuanced and evolving understanding of the ways people use its platform to inflict abuse on others.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.16 "Star-Crossed"

There's trouble in rom-com paradise for the Scooby gang.

First, some aliens have come to Earth under the belief that Mon-El is being held captive, and they're demanding his release. It's odd, because Mon-El isn't being held captive and, supposedly, he's the last survivor from his home planet Daxam.

Supergirl is confused. But, when they beam her and Mon-El up to their ship, she finds out that, whoops, Mon-El was not actually a palace guard on his home planet, as he had claimed. He was the prince. And, the aliens who have arrived are his parents.

They all have dinner together and it's tense. For one, Mon-El had lied about his past. Two, Mon-El's parents are pro-slavery. And three, the only reason he survived his home planet's explosion was because of his privileged status as prince. As people were dying around him, he was ushered to an escape pod. Supergirl leaves the dinner, disgusted with all of them.

Then, Lyra convinces Winn to break into a museum so they can supposedly have "hot museum sex." Okay.

The next day, Winn is in a good mood because he got laid or whatever and is proceeding to be the most annoying co-worker imaginable. The DEO, it seems, has an open floor plan and he's loudly singing "Celebrate good times, come on." His co-workers do a bemused eye-roll instead of telling him to STFU. Then, when his cell phone rings, he takes a personal call and has a loud cellphone convo.

Well, on the call, Winn finds out that someone stole Van Gogh's "Starry Night" from the museum the previous night, and the security footage shows him there, but not Lyra. Maggie interviews him at the police station and is convinced that Lyra framed him. She gives the Scoobies some time to track down Lyra.

Also, Lyra is the type of alien who apparently doesn't appear in photographs or videos, which is why only Winn showed up in the security video. Hmm, now that you mention it, Lyra does bear a resemblance to Buffy-verse vampires:

Winn, Alex, and The Guardian then track down Lyra and she confesses to Winn that she duped him. It's sort of sad because Winn seemed really happy in a relationship for once.

The DEO ends up capturing her, but Winn helps her escape so she can sell the painting to the art dealer. There's a story she concocts about having a brother who is being held hostage or something, which is why she had to steal the painting. Winn, The Guardian, and the DEO help get the brother back, and it turns out she was at least honest about that. Winn forgives her.

Later, Mon-El's mom has a talk with Kara. She implies that Kryptonians are sort of snobby and judgemental toward Daxamites. I guess because Kryptonians disapprove of slavery? It also seems odd that a literal member of a royal family would call someone snobby, but hey, we live in weird times my friends.

Mon-El and Kara then talk. Mon-El gives a monologue about how he used to be a rich, spoiled brat but that changed when Kara made him a better man or whatever. Kara says she can't trust Mon-El anymore, however, and breaks up with him. He then tells his parents that Kara broke up with him, but that he's going to stay on Earth anyway.

To end, there is then some weird crossover shit with the Flash series, which I haven't seen. There are so many DC-verse shows on right now that it's impossible to keep up BYE.

Deep Thought of the Week: I worry about James. I like that he questions Mon-El's heroism, because that's on point, but what are they doing with him this season, really? Like, what is the larger story arc for The Guardian? At some point is he just going to get hurt really bad, confirming Kara's belief that he shouldn't try to be a hero? Does he have a love life? What happened to Lucy Lane?

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's Happening! L Word Reboot.

The L Word is coming back. Supposedly. I'll believe it when I see it (And I hope I do):
"Based on the original series, the reboot of 'The L Word' would center around a new ensemble of women, following their lives, loves and tribulations. However, if the project is greenlit, stars Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey are expected to serve as executive producers and appear in the series with their characters as a point of connection from the prior series to the new one. Other characters from the original series may also appear in the new version."
I know queer women are already making wish lists with respect to the reboot. So, here's mine: more ensemble scenes and more sportzball playing.

Never forget the scene that best captures each character's unique persona: The Basketball Game.

There's Shane not giving a fuck; Jenny drinking coffee, smoking a cig, and screaming when a ball comes her way; Bette being ultra-competitive; Papi dunking (LOL sure); Tina whining that Bette's "fouling" her; Alice being a spaz when she gets the ball; Dana being.... oh wait not there because she was killed off and I'm still not over it thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Donald Trump: Christian Culture Warrior

I have a piece up today at Shakesville regarding the massive support Donald Trump has among white Evangelical Christians:

"Hey everyone, there's sure a lot going on! Don't forget that 81% of white Evangelical Christian voters chose Trump in the 2016 election.

Now, to imagine Donald as a religious being is to conceive of an absurdity. Not because bad people can't be religious, in fact they often are, but rather because by many accounts he simply is not a contemplative person and doesn't read. Well, I guess there's one topic he reads about:

"Trump’s desk is piled high with magazines, nearly all of them with himself on their covers, and each morning, he reviews a pile of printouts of news articles about himself that his secretary delivers to his desk."
Yet, during presidential campaign rallies, he began claiming that the Bible was his favorite book. In an interview, when pressed, he had the following to say in response to a question about his favorite verse:
"'I wouldn't want to get into it. Because to me, that's very personal,' Trump said in the Wednesday sit-down.

'The Bible means a lot to me, but I don't want to get into specifics,' he said.

When asked whether he prefers the Old Testament or the New Testament, Trump said, 'probably equal.'

'I think it's just … incredible, the whole Bible…' he said."
I'll bet."

Read the whole thing!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Quote of the Day: The Cyber-Troll Profile

In my ongoing series on Internet culture, Australian researchers have examined the personality profiles of cyber-trolls. Although the study uses the term "troll," I don't like the term as it sort of minimizes what the abuser is doing - inflicting abuse and harm, deliberately.

Via the journal Personality and Individual Differences, the researchers first note that those on the receiving end of anti-social Internet behavior experience similar negative outcomes as though who receive face-to-face abuse. That is, what happens on the Internet is, actually, real, despite what current sociopathic narratives and memes posit.

"Both affective empathy and cognitive empathy (but not social skills) significantly predicted trolling behaviours. Affective empathy was a significant negative predictor of trolling behaviour, corroborating previous research that individuals lower on affective empathy measures are more likely to engage in antisocial behaviour (Warden & MacKinnon, 2003). This negative relationship between affective empathy and trolling suggests that trolls may not experience or internalise the emotional experience of their victims. This is likely a crucial aspect to trolling – if trolls empathised with their victim, perhaps they would be more likely to reduce or refrain from engaging in the behaviour.
....Based on the results of the current study, the prototypical troll is male, high in trait psychopathy and sadism, and has low affective empathy. The interaction of trait psychopathy and high cognitive empathy suggests trolls really are the master online manipulators – they cognitive understand the emotional distress they cause through their trolling behaviour without empathising with their victim's emotional suffering."
I think that final line is important to remember. Many "trolls" understand that their targets might be feeling upset, sad, angry, or hurt - they just don't care.

When people don't give a fuck about the harm they inflict on other people, that will almost always give them the upper hand in online interactions because they are playing by a different, anti-social set of rules than you are.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Amazing Coincidences In Troll Behavior!

It remains a real mystery as to why heavy troll, bot, and harassment often occurs around the same time big news is about to break regarding Donald Trump's potential collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, in which he lost the popular vote.

Meanwhile, the "Hot Take Appreciator" harassment account has, once again, directed their leftist wanking fanboys my way over the weekend.

Needless to say, I blocked more Twitter users in one day than I usually do in a matter of months. I do sometimes wonder why this sad troll-person spends time even stalking my timeline. I have her blocked, but she follows me through an alt-account to monitor my posts, so she can then misinterpret anything conceivably "problematic" to screenshot and tweet out to her "leftist" followers.

I usually know she's tweeted about me again when white man after white man busts into my mentions like the Kool-Aid Man, raging about some weeks- or months-old Tweet of mine, mansplaining to me what a "centrist" I am for not Feeling The Bern.

Yes, it's true that I'm far from a Big Influencer in the Twitterverse or elsewhere. I didn't even make the Bernista "Corporate Shill" hit list of shame. But, some people just need other sociopathic Internet hobbies, I guess?

More to the point of today's post, it appears I'm not the only one who sees regular trolling upticks from time to time.

Melissa McEwan has aptly pointed out that Donald's collusion has been happening in plain sight,  mostly notably by him publicly inviting Russia to hack the State Department. Neither that nor the increasing evidence of collusion stops many on the left and right from gaslighting us about this issue.

I suspect that this post, too, will be screenshot and tweeted to "Hot Take's" followers, so they can have a good guffaw at the loony, hysterical woman who believes all of this Russia mumbo-jumbo.

What's sad is how easily leftist purity trolls, particularly frothing white men, allow their misogyny to be weaponized, leading them into the role of "useful idiot." As Aphra Behn at Shakesville aptly noted, the left fell hook, line, and sinker for Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. It would be foolish to think that has stopped.

All some people, like "Hot Take," have to do is render the worst faith reading of a progressive woman's Tweet and my oh my how quickly the leftist hating begins.

Shill! Neolib! Dem! Centrist! Harry Potter!

(Leftist men hate Harry Potter. Or rather, they hate that "lib women" like Harry Potter. More generally they hate when women like non-Bernie things, things that aren't about the One True Revolution! Liking pop culture is a sign of vapidity, to them. That they too might play video games or listen to music or like pop culture is of no consequence, you see, because they have "roses" in their Twitter bios, which is how they signal to others that they are Oh Wise Enlightened Ones.)

I've been monitoring and documenting the aggregate data in Fannie's Room and, you should know, from time to time I see upticks in hits from Russia. These upticks often correspond with increases in both "leftist" trolling and Big News on the Russia/Trump front, like this weekend's news that Donald Jr. met with a Russian who promised damaging info on his dad's election opponent, Hillary Clinton.

I suspect that one day those of us who care about treason will be vindicated by posterity. Perhaps not anytime soon. But one day.

In the meantime, block early. Block often. Don't spend your weekends arguing with bad faith Internet "socialists" on Twitter. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Furiosa Friday

Welp, I've finally gotten around to watching Mad Max: Fury Road.

During our current political era, it can be chilling to partake in dystopian stories. Fury Road does not explore in great depth precisely how or why the planet became a post-nuclear hellscape. But, as our belligerent, incompetent, and predominately white-male-led Republican Administration seems to flirt with nuclear holocaust on the daily, it is not difficult to imagine Fury Road's wasteland largely having been caused by a dominant class of men.

I was, thus, delighted to find out that it was largely Furiosa's tale. The domination of toxic masculinity has gotten the world into a great many quagmires. It will not get us out.

That is not to say that only women are or should be the future of leadership, or that women cannot also engage in toxic masculinity, but that ongoing requests to center aggrieved white men in politics (coming from the left and right these days) should be soundly rejected in favor of a politics wherein other people's anger, pain, hurt, humanity, and fear also matter. Because right now, they do not. Millions of people voted Trump into office precisely because they resent "political correctness" towards, also known as "having empathy for," anyone other than straight white cisgender people.

What I liked about Fury Road, then, was Furiosa and Max working together, even if reluctantly at first.

As embodied by "the wives," women were uniquely oppressed in this hellscape society, used, abused, and valued by "high-status men" solely for their fertility. Furiosa saw the injustice in this and, on her own, sought to free them. Max, too, had been abused in the hellscape, valued for his blood. Yet, by joining with Furiosa, he eventually gained his freedom, while also helping the women gain theirs. A victim himself, he wasn't an all-powerful hero come to save the weak women. And, neither were the women marginal figures to his freedom story. They weren't asked to put their freedom on hold until he got his freedom, after which he maybe would come back for them.

(It's almost like *cough* stronger *cough* together)

Then, their mission of defeating the belligerent male leader having been accomplished, Max simply left. He didn't rise to be the new leader of society, as would often happen in this genre. Male savior models, both in pop culture and politics, don't often grant that a man can help lead himself and oppressed people to freedom without also being or becoming their Big Leader. So Max, in this sense, was a revolutionary figure of sorts.

In a final scene, he simply blended in with the masses, leaving society in the hands of Furiosa, the wives, and the matriarchs.

(This is the future feminists want if we ever find ourselves in a nuclear hellscape; n=1)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Low-Class Donald Worse Than Internet Troll

What strikes me most about the article CNN ran about the man-troll who created the Trump/wrestling video, which showed Trump body-slamming a wrestler with a CNN logo imposed on his face, are two points of interest:

(1) The man-troll (Reddit username "HanAssholeSolo) had a history of self-acknowledged racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic posts. After Trump tweeted the video, the man-troll wrote on Reddit:
"Holy s—!! I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my s—post but the MAGA EMPORER himself!!! I am honored!!"
However, the celebration didn't last.

After his identity was ascertained, the man-troll expressed remorse and apologized. Per the CNN article, he said he feared for his safety and for the embarrassment it would bring himself and his family if his identity were published. After all, he said, he was merely "posting things to get a reaction." He also said he didn't think Trump's team should have posted the video. In his apology he wrote:
"To people who troll on the Internet for fun, consider your words and actions conveyed in your message and who it might upset or anger. Put yourself in their shoes before you post it. If you have a problem with trolling it is an addiction just like any other addiction someone can have to something and don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Trolling is nothing more than bullying a wide audience. Don't feed your own self-worth based upon inflicting suffering upon others online just because you are behind a keyboard."
This apology, I think, is a good summary as to how what is commonly called "trolling" is actually incredibly sociopathic behavior, behavior that has been normalized and now, even more so, by the Republican leader.

In 10 years of blogging, I see a somewhat common attitude, particularly among people in their early 20s (who have only come of age during the Internet era), that "what happens on the Internet isn't real, so you can just do or say whatever to anyone without consequence." Well, online speech does have consequences and it is real, despite how easy it is to "utter" in this medium, so to speak. It can cause harm. I suspect many people at least intuitively know this, which is why they "troll" in the first place. It makes them feel powerful to cause other people pain so easily.

(2) This man-troll has apologized.

Donald Trump, the Republican leader, has not. It is not likely he ever will, because Donald does not apologize for things.

Let this sink in. Donald Trump has shittier morals than a self-proclaimed Internet troll.

And still, how long must we wait until there we see some man telling , yet again, how "presidential" Trump is after he gives another speech or whatever after some catastrophe of his own making.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.15 "Exodus"

So, the big news this episode is that Cadmus has "the alien registry." Given Cadmus' anti-alien agenda, this is concerning.

Cadmus immediately begins abducting aliens and, during a raid at Close Encounters, they even abduct Winn's alien girlfriend, Anya. I mean, Lyra. As a tangential side note, I feel like during the raid scene, Winn is wearing the same flannel as Adam in the movie Beetlejuice. Is it a sign? But what could it mean? And hey remember that little scale model of the city that Adam built in Beetlejuice? I always thought that was cute.

ANYway, Winn is very upset about Lyra having been abducted. Alex is also in a bad place, after learning that her dad has been working for Cadmus. She even goes all Dark Willow, as I guess she's wont to do from time to time, this time on a Cadmus agent the DEO is holding as prisoner. There is, however, no flaying involved.

We then get some scenes at CatCo with Snapper Trapper. I think the point is that we're supposed to see Snapper as a hard-hitting, old-school journalist who busts Kara "Ponytail" Danvers' chops whilst nonetheless teaching her how to be a Real Journalist. But these scenes make me miss Cat Grant, mostly, because I think she could have been a better mentor (plus, subtext). Or, does the Oh Wise Master always have to be an older/middle-aged white guy?

J'onn then tests Alex's loyalty by shape-shifting into Jeremiah and asking her to help him break into the DEO. Spoiler alert: Alex fails the test and is suspended from duty. Whooooops.

The Danvers Sisters' bond is then tested. Alex begs Kara to talk to J'onn, but Kara says that she agrees with J'onn that Alex shouldn't be on the Cadmus case. So now they're in a fight. Maggie, however, stands by her woman and agrees to help Alex investigate Cadmus. Together, they go rogue and find where Cadmus has taken the aliens and that Cadmus is sending the aliens "home," away from Earth, in a giant spaceship. (Are all the aliens from the same place, or would it operate like a schoolbus situation?)

In other queer news, Lena is back! Hi hi hi (sung to the tune of "Bi bi bi").

Since Trapper won't run Kara's story about Cadmus stealing the alien regisry, Lena encourages Kara to start a blog about it. Kara then writes the "blob" (as Mon-El calls it), and Mon-El convinces Kara to publish it. I hope she names her blob Ponytail Pontifications just to piss off Snapper even more.

Back at her office, Lena is attacked by Cadmus goons and tossed over a balcony. AND THEN THIS RANDOMLY HAPPENS which can clearly only be explained as a deliberate subtextual bonus:

(angel choir singing)

Let's take a closer look, shall we? Mon-who again?

Meanwhile, at Cadmus, Alex has boarded the spaceship that's going to be deporting the aliens to another galaxy (or whatever), but it launches while she's in it, sort of like that movie Space Camp.  It will imminently reach the speed of light - unless it can be stopped.

Supergirl flies in and tries to stop the ship whilst making meaningful eye contact with Alex, who is onboard, so I guess this is the scene where the sisters also make up. Supergirl does successfully stop this gazillion-ton spaceship from jumping, so I never want to see her struggle again with a mere caboose.

At CatCo, Snapper fires Kara for publishing her blob, giving her a lecture about how the lack of journalistic integrity could put a fascist in the White House. So, suddenly, Trump is the lady hero's fault? Sounds about right. BYE, SNAPPER - YOUR LOSS.

Kara isn't sure what she'll do next, career-wise, but Mon-Who comes over with potstickers, and then we see a final scene with Teri Hatcher (from the old Lois & Clark series) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), and they're up to something. Hopefully it involves Lucy Lawless also re-appearing, but I somehow doubt it. I guess Lucy can't be in all the things I like, although I don't see why not.

Deep Thought of the Week: I probably spend way too much time watching SuperCorps crack fan vids. Self care, my friends, self care.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Femslash Friday: Arrow

Had anyone told me about Sara Lance I would have started watching Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow much sooner. Bisexual badass hero? Yes please.

Enjoy the fan vid below (Felicity/Sara).

Also, this is like the third fan video in the past week that I've seen that uses this "Hey Na Na" tune. I've actually heard this song sung live by singer/songwriter Katie Herzig, when she was opening for Brandi Carlile. She said that she had pitched it to Sex and the City (hence the references to "Mr. Big"), although I don't think they used it.

Don't say you never learned anything here in Fannie's Room!

What's everyone else reading, watching, listening to, or playing these days?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Movies I Will Never Watch Based Soley on the Netflix Summary

Part One, in a series.


"Plague by insomnia after a romantic breakup, artist Ben Willis starts working nights in a supermarket, where he discovers he can freeze time. His strange new powers lead to Ben's undressing attractive customers and using them as sketch models."
Men are are given money for the representation and promotion of virtually any and all of their sex fantasies and perversions. Meanwhile, massive tantrums must be thrown when other viewpoints, lives, and perspectives are portrayed.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.14 "Homecoming"

This episode begins with Mon-El having slept over at Kara's the night before. And, before Mon-El wakes up, she has gone around the city doing various Supergirl good deeds, only to return home with some flowers and coffee. It's a cute reversal.

Mon-El and Kara then kiss, even though Mon-El hasn't brushed his teeth yet, because no one in TV or movies ever has morning breath.

Importantly, Kara also tells Mon-El that she wants to keep their relationship a secret. In the very next scene, we see Mon-El making a general announcement to the DEO that he and Kara are dating. So, that's shitty in general to do something your partner just said she didn't want done. It's also a relationship red flag.

Later that day, Alex's dad Jeremiah is freed from Cadmus. He tells the gang that Cadmus has built a nuclear bomb, which they're going to detonate and blame on aliens. Mon-El is skeptical of why Cadmus has let Jeremiah go. He's pretty blunt about his distrust of Jeremiah, expressed doubt right in front of Jeremiah, Kara, and Alex. Kara and Mon-El then get in a fight.

Mon-El has a point, but I guess there are couple of weird parts about this:
  • Previously, Mon-El was a slacker, reluctant hero and now he's all in and gives a shit about solving the mystery of the week? I'm praying this plot is not a "Kara, you make me a better man" character development arc.
  • Relatedly, I find it difficult to believe that Mon-El would be right about something that the whole rest of the DEO gang would be completely oblivious to. I know their personal feelings could be clouding some judgment, but after Jeremiah being gone for 14 years or whatever, I think Alex, Hank, and the gang could have believably been more objective about Jeremiah being a Cadmus spy.
Nonetheness, Mon-El then ropes Winn into spying on Jeremiah, because Winn can literally be roped into doing anything for anyone. Then, because Jeremiah is probably the least sneaky spy in the history of TV spies, he tries to break into the "DEO mainframe" while Winn is standing like ten feet away. Jeremiah doesn't even notice or look around while he's doing it:

Winn and Mon-El tell Kara what Winn saw, and then they confront Jeremiah. He claims he was just looking at case files so he could see what Kara and Alex had been up to while he was away. Winn then confirms that Jeremiah's telling the truth (I guess he and Mon-El didn't think to do that first).  Alex gets pissed at all of them, but especially Kara.

Later, though, Jeremiah does steal some DEO files and then the gang figures out he actually is a Cadmus spy. And a cyborg. Or something. It seems complicated. Anyway, he takes the stolen data - which it turns out is the national alien registry - to Lena's mom. When Supergirl gets there to stop them from getting away, Lena's mom pulls the old "put innocent people in peril" move so she can escape whilst Supergirl saves the innocent people.

Alex then has to pull a gun on her dad.

She ends up not being able to pull the trigger. And, both she and Kara are a mess afterwards, knowing their dad is a traitor. I think the moral here is that in TV shows, unlike in real life, people still care when important people are traitors.

Deep Thought of the Week: I seriously miss Cat Grant this season. In addition to SuperCat subtext, I miss the levity and her low-key feminist "Drunk at 9 am. That's the last time I have breakfast with Ruth Bader Ginsburg" lines.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Happy Fannie's Room Blogiversary

Welp, I started Fannie's Room 10 years ago this month!

Can you even believe it? It's like I always say, time flies when you're playing your part in the homosexualist socialist neoliberal shill feminazi hivemind agenda.

Seriously, thank you for reading, commenting, and sending me kind emails every once in awhile. Is anyone still here from the good old days of the mid-aughts? Or the Obama era, roughly 10,000 years ago?

Back in 2007, the blogosphere seemed different. It was before Twitter really took off, so literally everyone had a Blogger or Wordpress weblog. Now, I get the impression that having a blog, let alone a Blogger blog is kind of dorky.  Commenting, too, has decreased over the years, although the readership numbers have stayed about the same or slightly increased each year. (By the way, can people see comments/DISQUS, or are they not viewable in certain browsers?)

Over the years, I've seen many blogs abandoned or deleted due to writer boredom, busy-ness, harassment, or unknown mystery reasons. As such, I'm always looking for new progressive, feminist, LGBT, political, or pop culture blogs to read, so feel free to drop some recommendations in the comments or my email, even if it's your own.

Although I read multiple other blogs throughout the week, my daily blog reads these days remain (although I comment less these days as well):
I also have no immediate plans to stop blogging. I've written most days for most of my life and I really, really wish I had some of my old journals, because I'd post some entries for entertainment. Hmm, maybe I'll do some digging.

But anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. My point is that writing is something I've always done, for better or worse. Many of my paid writing jobs have been for uncredited content where I've been hired to develop and detail someone else's half-formed thoughts: speeches, letters, various appeals. So, it is a treat to get to write whatever I want, here at least. That some people are interested in it, too, is an added bonus.

Some of my favorite times in Fannie's Room have been:
  • Doing and writing about my (creatively-named) Book Experiment of 2014, where I read only books written by women for the whole year
  • Lightening up the political posts with TV recaps and femslash posts. Although, I do get the impression that writing about politics and pop culture/LGBT stuff lessens my credibility in both worlds. Leftbros mock women who care or write about pop culture as being unserious shills. And, perhaps some pop culture fans are put off by political writing. A plus about this space being non-commercial is that it can exist within this niche. Dozens of people are waiting to read Supergirl recaps followed by me complaining about BernieBros!
  • Writing this post: So You Want To Teach the Lady Feminists
  • Getting in blog and commenting wars with various bigots. Ha ha, just kidding. That's actually a terrible way to spend time usually.  
  • Participating in blog carnivals, adding blogs to my blogroll, getting a post linked to in the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup, and reading Pam's House Blend every day. Boo-hoo-hoo.
  • Being called a "leftist gender warrior"/socialist in 2008 and being called a neoliberal shill, by Internet Leftists, in 2017. Go figure. 
  • Learning that, although exceptions to this rule exist, nothing good comes from conversations about gender or politics from people who use "females" as a noun or who spell it "Hilary" with one "l."
  • Writing a somewhat off-the-cuff Election 2016 Fallout series, shortly after the election.
  • The Great Google Reader Conversation/Mourning of 2013. I mostly just thought it was funny that I posted about MRA shit, casually referencing the demise of Google Reader, and like 20 people started talking about blog readers. I really never know what content will resonate with people or what they'll want to talk about.
Related, here are the most-read blogposts at Fannie's Room (it is true that some of my writing might now make me cringe, but I'm not Hillary Clinton or ever running for President, so I hope it's not used against me too badly):
Anyway, thanks again for reading. I know there are several of you who comment somewhat regularly (Hi Sarah, Aeryl, Jarred, and Howard!). The rest of you: de-lurk, de-lurk wherever you are (if you want).

Should we all drink margs and live-tweet at each other?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Since Donald Brought Election Rigging Up: It Was

I have a new piece up over at Shakesville about the narrative that Hillary Clinton and/or "the DNC" rigged the 2016 election against both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump:
"In light of some of the ongoing narratives about the 2016 election, it has dawned on me that what Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and many of their die-hard fans have in common with MRAs appears to be an entitled sense that if the system isn't rigged for them, then it's rigged against them."
Read the whole thing!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Femslash Friday: L Word

Entertainment Weekly got (some of) The L Word cast back together for a reunion chat and photo shoot.

I miss that show so much.

From the chat:
[Erin] Daniels: We all went to sing karaoke together once.
Sarah Shahi (Carmen): What did you sing?
[Jennifer] Beals: Oh, I had to do “What a Feeling.” They poured water on me with a Perrier bottle. [Beals starred in the iconic 1983 film Flashdance.]
Daniels: Then the three of us got up and sang “Maniac.” We clearly got over our intimidation factor at that point.
Also, the conversation references the Sunday night viewings that were held at (primarily) lesbian bars across the country during the 2004-2009 period the show ran. You know, back when we still had lesbian bars. Anyway, ladies, brother-sestras, and non-binary individuals, I'm here to tell you that you haven't truly known fear until you've been angrily shushed by 75 queer women trying desperately to hear what's happening this week on The L Word.

Enjoy this fan vid of funny moments:

Preferred Pairing: Dana/Lara (the soup chef)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) held its annual anti-equality "March for Marriage" in Washington, DC over the weekend.

Per Right Wing Watch, about 50 people attended what seemed to be an awkward display:
"Fifteen minutes before the event was scheduled to begin, about 20 adults were milling around an empty stage while several children worked to unfurl large red and blue banners to carry during the march. One passerby wondered whether they were going to a kite festival. Gradually, a few more participants arrived, including five men wearing the signature capes of the group Tradition, Family and Property and carrying a 'Honk for Traditional Marriage' sign."
Despite this sad showing, NOM activists are reported to be looking forward to the opportunity for the US Supreme Court's composition to change and, accordingly, for the Obergefell decision to be reversed.

It's tempting at this juncture to scoff at their chances, but I advise against overconfidence.

Anti-LGBT activists talk a lot about "the will of the people," but they don't seem all that interested, actually, in the will of the people.

As I noted recently, Donald Trump is a deeply-unpopular politician who lost the popular vote in the 2016 election. In addition to these factors, that he is also under investigation for having ties to a country that tampered with the election in which he lost severely undermines his legitimacy.

The day after his Inauguration, the largest protest in US history took place, with approximately 2-4 million attendees - vastly outnumbering NOM's little event.

Same-sex marriage, in contrast to Trump's unpopularity, is now accepted by 64% of Americans.

To think that Trump, with his questionable legitimacy and historic unpopularity, could appoint another fringe conservative to the Supreme Court who would potentially overturn a popular decision .... well, that's a lot of things - chief among them a constitutional crisis, perhaps. What it definitively would not be is "the will of the people."

NOM and the far right have forever lost that argument in the United States.

Of course, we've known all along that the "will of the people" argument was usually a mask that covered more unsavory opinions about queers.

Again, via Right Wing News, a quote from one of the speakers at the NOM march:
“We left God,” she said, “then we allowed ourselves to be aligned with ungodly movements. This gay rights movement is ungodly, it’s from the pit of hell.”
If a Trump-stacked Supreme Court ultimately strips same-sex couples of marriage rights, make no mistake that bigotry like this will have enabled it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.13 "Mr. & Mrs. Mxyptlk"

Okay, this one was odd.

It's Valentine's Day and a fifth-dimensional being, Mxyptlk, visits Kara and tells her that he's going to marry her. Fifth-dimensional beings have the ability to warp our reality and bend it to their whims. Except, they can't make people in our dimension fall in love with them. For reasons.The physics of it aren't clear.

Kara says no, multiple times, but Mxy doesn't take no for an answer. He snaps his fingers and Kara appears in Vera Wang and Mxy vows to get her to change her mind. And then he disappears. Charming (not charming).

Anyway, the way to get Mxy to go away for good is to get him to say his name backwards. I don't understand the physics of that either, but that's fine, I guess.

There's then some general Mon-El/Mxy rivalry and pissing-contests. Yawn yawn yawn shrug.  Kara doesn't want to deal with the Mon-El/Mxy macho swordfighting, on top of getting Mxy off of Earth, so she tells Mon-El that she'll deal with Mxy in her own way. Mon-El blabbers something about "defending her honor" and he implies that Kara likes the attention of Mxy, and at this point I start to understand some of the Mon-El hate within fandom.

Moving on to the Alex/Maggie front, Maggie shares with Alex that she HATES Valentine's Day. Alex is like, "Me too." But, she doesn't mean it because she makes this face.

Alex goes to Kara for advice and Kara says that Alex should create a "tailor-made" Valentine's Day for Maggie.

At Close Encounters, Winn is enjoying a lager when he meets Lyra, an alien whose spirit animal seems to be Anya Jenkins. She's very brash, I mean. Winn and Lyra then start hooking up. I told you Winn was the Xander of Supergirl.

Interlude: I haven't sufficiently appreciated Supergirl's prowess in the Season 2 recaps. So, here's an image of her catching a bullet. Woof!

Back to Maggie and Alex, Alex prepares a surprise Valentine's Day thing for Maggie, with scotch and tiramisu. But, Maggie gets really upset and explains that she had a really bad coming out experience with her family and that's why she hates Valentine's Day. Then, she leaves.

Speaking of which, Mon-El steals a weapon from the DEO and challenges Mxy to a duel to the death. It doesn't go so well for Mon-El and Supergirls swoops in and says she'll marry Mxy. Mon-El begs her not to, but she says her mind is made up. I feel like this is a trick, but neither Mxy nor Mon-El realize it.

It turns out, Supergirl is tricking Mxy because of course she is. What about her would make anyone think she'd randomly agree to marry some rando dude? She has Mxy meet her at the Fortress of Solitude and then tells him that love isn't about making demands on people. She then sets the atomic core of the Fortress to explode, effectively threatening to kill herself, and has set the cancellation code to Mxy's name spelled backwards. He types in the code and then realizes his huge mistake.

Mxy then calls Supergirl "a nasty woman" and disappears into the fifth dimension.


Hold on, just .... just let me just try something:


ANYway, later on, Maggie and Alex make up and Mon-El apologizes to Kara for being "an ass." I guess the theme of this episode is "Listen To Your Partner and Respect Their Decisions."

Deep Thought of the Week: Speaking of protagonists randomly (or not) falling in love with a Brand New Male Character, remember in Lost Girl when Bo randomly announced she was in love with Rainer?  That was some weird shit.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Toast to the Toast

Since The Toast stopped publishing about a year ago, I've missed the feminist site at least once per week. Particularly the "If X were your girlfriend/boyfriend" series, the civil quirky discourse, and the unapologetic deletion of troll comments.

Sarah Scoles at Motherboard ran a profile on The Toast and co-founder Mallory Ortberg today, if you're interested.

Monday, June 12, 2017

BernieCon 2017

So, Bernie Sanders and his fans held an exclusive "People's Summit" in Chicago over the weekend.

Per the website, attendance was limited, so people had to "apply to register" and wait 7-10 days to see if they were approved to register.

Per the site's "Diversity and Inclusion" page, the aim with this process was to select for diversity and for attendees who reflected their "political vision," which a first come, first serve registration process would not achieve.

My observation about this process isn't a criticism. Event organizers can select attendees in any lawful manner they choose.

It's more an observation that an event purportedly for The People also seemed to have a political test, and one that at least from the website wasn't all that transparent. Judging by the hashtag on Twitter over the weekend, it looked like a predominately pro-Bernie/anti-Democrat space. In my experience interacting with very pro-Bernie people, they often present themselves as the vanguard of progressivism in the United States, yet use "support for Bernie" as a litmus test, rather than the issues themselves, as to whether someone else is truly a progressive.

I have serious disagreements with this approach.

In all likelihood, I agree with many Bernie fans on the issues probably, I'd say, 75-95% of the time.  Yet, I also believe that Bernie legitimately lost the Democratic Primary to Hillary Clinton. She simply had more votes than him.

I also believe that he never had a real plan for implementing his vision within the constraints and realities of Republican power and obstruction within our political system, as indicated by his disastrous New York Daily News interview over a year ago.

Simply put, his campaign also had flaws, flaws that are often not talked about because of his fans' intense need to continue believing that "the DNC" "rigged" the contest against him. Bernie Sanders could do a lot to unite the left right now, but the fact that he chooses to not shut this myth down or address the flaws of his campaign are probably within the top five impediments to progressive unity going forward.

Many progressives supported Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders and yet are consistently erased or dismissed as uninformed shills. Many people, meanwhile, view Bernie as the leader of the leftist revolution, despite him having accomplished as of yet very little in his political career. Because he holds this place of prominence for some people, he could shut down some of the abuse that Clinton supporters continue to receive.

But, he chooses not to. And, because he chooses not to, as long as Bernie Sanders is hailed as the leader of "the revolution," the left will never be united. Indeed, from my perspective, he and his fans care more about trying to change the hearts of bigoted Trump supporters than they do about giving Hillary Clinton supporters any assumption of good faith or intelligence with respect to politics.

And holy shit, I can't believe I still have to talk about Bernie Sanders in June 2017 when an authoritarian shitlord is in power.

In conclusion, I storified my tweets about the Bernie convention over the weekend:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.12 "Luthors"

Lena's back. FINALLY!

But first, there's a group scene at Close Encounters. Specifically, Winn and James are stoked to meet Alex's new "mystery guy" and are shocked when the "guy" turns out to be Maggie Sawyer. Here, I want to mostly point out that Papa Hank knew the truth all along. Sure, he's psychic, but still, I'm sure he would have picked up on it anyway.

In Luthor news, Lena's mom, Lillian, is on trial. I forget what she did so let's just call it Evil Luthor Businiess. I think the point is that we're supposed to wonder whether Lena, too, is an Evil Luthor or if she can rise above her familial disposition.

Kara has faith in Lena, for some reason, and we're supposed to wonder if her faith is misplaced gullibility. Kara believes in Lena and visits Lena and they sit on the couch together tearing their donuts apart. I don't even mean that in a dirty way. Kara brings Lena a bag of donuts, I guess to engage in "sinful eating" together, but literally zero actual bites are taken. I watched. What is the point even? Just make out already, ladies. The sexual tension is obvious.

Lena also visits her mom in jail and her mom tells her she really is a Luthor, by blood. I guess there was some confusion about that. Her mom also tries to vaguely recruit Lena into Cadmus.

At the trial, I then remember that Lillian is head of Cadmus and they want to eradicate aliens from Earth. Oh yeah. That. One of the key witnesses during the trial, Metallo, sort of hulks out on kryptonite and frees Lillian. To escape, they put Supergirl in a classic "You can capture me or you can save the humans" situation, knowing that Supergirl, being Supergirl, will save the innocent humans every time.

Supergirl, Alex, and Maggie then wonder who gave Metallo the kryptonite that he used to help free Lillian. It turns out..... Lena was the only person who visited the jail the previous night. While Kara goes to question Lena, Maggie shows up and puts Lena in 'cuffs and takes her down to the station.

Oh dear. I wonder how many fanfics this scene has launched. But I digress. Kara is NOT happy with Maggie. And, to make things worse, Snapper Trapper wants the story of Lena's arrest on the front page of the paper.

However, it turns out that while Lena is in jail, Metallo kidnaps her. James and everyone at the DEO think Metallo broke her out of jail and that this proves that Lena is actually evil. Despite all the evidence, Kara still believes that Lena is innocent. People don't understand why Kara keeps believing in Lena. But we know. We all know.

Metallo then takes Lena to meet up with Lillian and they go to some sort of vault that has some super weapons or something. Lillian tries to convince Lena to commit to joining Cadmus. They also need her blood to open the vault. So they're basically just using her. Lena refuses to open the vault, but Lillian's Cadmus goons make her. Lillian is mean.

At the DEO, Winn does his computer magic and realizes that Lena actually is innocent. Miraculously, at the exact same time, the DEO finds out that Lena is at the vault with Cadmus and ascertains their exact location. So, Supergirl and J'onn fly there in a jiffy and rescue Lena.

Lena is vindicated. And, Kara writes a story about it, leading Lena to send her a bunch of flowers and say that she's never had a friend like Kara before. Just a couple of 100% heterosexual women hanging out, you know.

In the final scene, however, we see a flashback of Lena beating her brother Lex at chess and saying, "I really like this game." So now Lena's morality is questionable. But, I want to believe.

Oh, there's also some Kara/Mon-El flirting. (Shrug)

Deep Thought of the Week: This might sound greedy, but I'm ready for a Supergirl/Wonder Woman crossover.

Quote of the Day

"Listening to talking heads on both the left and the right, you’d think that America is facing a freedom of speech crisis. But the crisis isn’t what it’s made out to be. The Jonathan Chaits and Frank Brunis and Sean Hannitys of the world are not lacking in a freedom to speak, nor are the white conservatives on college campuses they seem so worried about. It’s women and people of color who struggle the most finding a platform – but there is a conspicuous lack of concern about that by free speech crusaders.

When Bill O’Reilly and the late Roger Ailes were paid tens of millions of dollars for stepping down from their jobs – far more than the settlements that the women they were accused of sexually harassing received – they weren’t being silenced. And Bill Maher getting deserved blowback for saying 'house nigga' doesn’t make him struggle to speak freely.

Those of us who are routinely called 'bitch', 'faggot' or 'nigger' on the regular –and who are threatened with violence and death – have a much harder time accessing the right of 'free speech.'"
Thrasher goes on to acknowledge both the "uncompensated cost" of this harassment and that harassers disproportionately target women and people of color. Meanwhile, members of the white male media establishment perpetuate a false "both sides" equivalence that posits that it's better to tolerate hateful intolerance than it is to keep people safe.

Easy for them to say.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dispatches From the Queer Resistance (No. 3)

Over at Shakesville, I recapped some current events and political news for Pride Month.

Check it out!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Reporting Live From the "Nothing Is Racist: A White Memoir" Files

It seems to me that one of the lowest possible bars that white people have for not being racist toward Black people is to not say the n-word.

But, take Bill Maher saying it recently, for instance, and my oh my all the passes white people - even those on the left - give him for it. One of the general arguments I saw many a white person make  is that Maher was "just joking." Some of them then jumped to the conclusion that comedy would cease to exist if white people couldn't say the n-word anymore, which mostly is a statement to how pathetic some white people's sense of humors are.

Another argument I saw was that Maher opposes Trump, so if Maher says the n-word, it's "divisive" or "damaging" to "the resistance" to call him racist. More divisive, we are to suppose, than being racist.

This whitesplaining fits into the larger leftbro narrative that nothing really is racist if you just understand where white people are coming from, "identity politics" are unimportant side issues, and it's wrong in general to call people racist or, gods forbid, deplorables.

Oh. Also, I have a new Personal Twitter Rule: Pre-emptively block anyone who follows me who has anything resembling "No sense of humor? Easily offended? F*ck you!" in their Twitter bio, even if they hate Donald Trump.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Hard Is What Makes It Great

It's been awhile since I've made an A League Of Their Own reference in Fannie's Room, so let's celebrate with a special Hillary Clinton/pop culture confluence today AND cause those enlightened snobbish leftists who hate both pop culture and Clinton to combust into a puddle of weeping rose petals.

Did you know that during Hillary Clinton's recent Wellesley commencement address, she called A League Of Their Own one of her favorite movies?! She did so while referencing the scene below, in which Jimmy is convincing star player Dottie not to quit:

I think a re-watch is in order soon.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

Have you read Rebecca Traister's piece at New York magazine on Hillary Clinton's post-election life?  Even though some people notoriously want her to go away, I'm glad that she's not.

There's a lot to say about Traister's piece, which I think is great, but one part in particular highlights how low the bar now is for what counts as presidential:

"Clinton checks with her communications director, Nick Merrill, about what’s happened in the past hour — she’s been exercising — and listens to the barrage of updates, nodding like a person whose job requires her to be up-to-date on what’s happening, even though it does not."
The act of being engaged in current events while also understanding these events and the relevant nuances is a low-level base criterion for president, or should be. And yet, by several accounts, Trump simply does not have this level of engagement, becoming impatient and irritable when sitting for more than a few minutes at a time, which foreign leaders are prepped on how to deal with.

It also speaks to a deep frustration of the 2016 election: many people are more moved by a white man's anger than a woman's quiet, nerdy competence. While Bernie and Donald could both channel anger, a female candidate and a person of color has to walk a fine line with emotion.

"But was she right that she couldn’t have expressed her anger in that debate? There are plenty of people who yearned for Clinton to get mad; during the campaign, an imagined litany of Clinton’s fury titled 'Let Me Remind You Fuckers Who I Am' went viral. 'Oh, I am [pissed],' she says. But as a woman in public life, 'you can’t be angry for yourself. You just can’t. You can be indignant, you can be annoyed, you can be frustrated, but you can’t be angry … I don’t think anger’s a strategy.'
You mean it’s not a strategy for you, I clarify. 'For me, yeah.' She pauses. 'But I don’t think it’s a good strategy for most people.'
But this was an election that was, in many ways, about anger. And Trump and Sanders capitalized on that.
'Yes.' Clinton nods. 'And I beat both of them.'”
And, going forward, I don't think it's a winning strategy for the Democrats to try to re-invent themselves to tap into, and center, white male anger, as it's being from time to time suggested.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.11 "The Martian Chronicles"

I suppose it's time to talk about Kara's love life.

In Season One recaps, I occasionally mentioned that I didn't think Kara and James had great chemistry. The love connection felt forced and one-sided, in that Kara seemed more into James than vice versa. When that romance plot was dropped in Season Two, it made sense.

With the introduction of Mon-El, it became clear that he would be the maintext love interest for Kara this season. (And, James seems happier with Winn anyway). I know there are some shipping wars raging in the fandom about "Karamel" that, quite honestly, remind me of the Lost Girl Bo/Dyson v. Bo/Lauren wars from several years ago (Meanwhile me: Team Valkubus).

I root for SuperCorp even though I know Kara/Lena will likely never be maintext. At the same time, although I'm not enchanted, I don't mind Mon-El. I suppose that's primarily because he's a white male character who doesn't suck the oxygen out of the room by having to be the big dog in every scene he's in. In Lost Girl, I couldn't stand Dyson at first because he was so alpha-possessive of Bo. And also, love triangle plots are the absolute worst. Once Bo/Lauren/Dyson figured their shit out, I came to like Dyson much more.

In Mon-El's case, it's somewhat refreshing that he seems to give zero fucks about performing alpha male. He has an overall reluctance to be a hero in the first place, instead choosing to be a bartender at Close Encounters serving hairspray or whatever to aliens.

That being said, this episode begins with Mon-El having confessed his crush on Kara. In response, Kara says she doesn't like him. I guess we'll see about that.

Speaking of Close Encounters, some White Martians are in town hunting M'gann to make her pay for being a traitor to their purported master race. J'onn brings her to the DEO for protection, but it turns out that a White Martian has shape-shifted into one of the DEO agents.

Also, in queer news, the "Alex's Ex" agent (Vasquez) has made a re-appearance. She's also, I believe, sporting a smart new haircut and I'm not sure how she feels about Detective Maggie Sawyer in general. Is the new look a clear indication to Alex that she's moved on and has resumed Internet dating? (Or whatever people do now, I've been married a long time).

Anyway, the DEO goes on lockdown so they can figure out which one of them is really the White Martian.  Hank concocts a Martian radar-test. Apparently, a flame can reveal White Martians:

Spoiler alert: the White Martian was masquerading as Winn. And also Alex. The Alex reveal was legit frightening.

Holy hell no
The DEO gang, primarily J'onn and M'gann, then defeat the White Martians. I'm not sure what happened to Vasquez in all the action, but I hope she's okay.

Afterward, M'gann says she's going back to Mars to try to find other White Martian resistance members. I understand her reasons, but I feel sad for J'onn that she's leaving.

This episode was sad, and weird.

Deep Thought of the Day: The Martian body-switch-esque plot reminded me of Lost Girl episode 2.9 "Original Skin" where a villain hid in Lauren's body and the gang all temporarily switched bodies with each other.  Fun times. I miss Lost Girl.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Revolution Will Not Be Won By Twitter Jerks

Despite claiming the mantle of "populism," weird segments of the Twitter "left" - let's call them the Feisty Rose Brigade - contain an inherently distrustful and judgmental take on "the popular,"  whether it's the largest protest in US history or pop culture. That is, at least if Clinton supporters like, support, or reference these things.

See, for instance, the fantastical narrative one Enlightened Soul concocted about me over the weekend. Because I support Hillary Clinton, I apparently don't read (ever) and know nothing about politics. This is said not by someone on the right, but a purported person of the left.
Now, I'm sure grounds exist on which I may be fairly criticized, but "har har she doesn't read books" simply isn't one of them. I have about 10 years of book reviews on this blog alone and have averaged reading about 50-75 books per year for approximately the past 20 years, reading habits which likely put me in the 99th percentile for the US.

But, even if what this joker said about me were true, it shows that the Feisty Rose Brigade has zero interest in meeting the masses where they are in their political journey, a trait that dooms their cause into irrelevant elitism. Yes, reading and learning are, in general, social goods. However, this person is so steeped in the notion that they and their insular cabal of three friends are The Only True Leftists In Society that it's as though the Clinton left has been completely defined out of the group "real America," "the left," or "the masses."  

Imagine thinking that only the Feisty Rose Brigade reads books, and no one else in the US does. Imagine being one of the circle-jerky leftist men who so eagerly laps up such narratives about Clinton-supporting women, desperately "liking" such Twitter rants. (See also, the role that Cool Girls play in facilitating leftist misogyny).

You see, the real purpose of these Twitter "leftists" seems to mostly be to posture to one another on social media how much more enlightened they are than the ignorant proles they are purportedly in favor of liberating. If they can do so while maintaining white male supremacy, all the better.

Their commentary often reveals more about themselves, than their targets of harassment.

As a related example, more than one Internet "leftist" has (erroneously) claimed that I write about the, what they deem vacuous, Harry Potter series, because they see at a glance that I write about pop culture. That I write or care about pop culture, and don't also Feel The Bern or have a rose icon in my Twitter bio, proves to them that I am an unserious, frivolous person with zero knowledge about Serious Political Topics. I am, like, such a consumer! Hogwarts is so establishment, man!

Now, I've never actually written about Harry Potter (or read all the books- shame!), because at my age that series is simply not my touchstone for pop culture. In all likelihood, it is their touchstone for young adult pop culture because they themselves are young adults, young adults I might add who grew up with pathological Internet harassment culture that has largely been normalized. Alternatively, Harry Potter is a touchstone that a non-US agent might have as a profile of "US woman who writes about pop culture," if they wanted to shit-stir for ratfucking purposes.

My point here is this: if you see that someone's main form of "revolutionary leftist activism" is to be a jerk to "libs" and "feminists" and "Dems" on Twitter, I recommend blocking early and often. Boundaries are good, my friends.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Flashback Friday: Magic Mike

I can't explain it, but I watched Magic Mike on Netflix this week.

Okay, I can explain it. I wanted to determine if it was truly a bad movie or if it was only widely made fun of because it's something many women like (because women are hated, natch).

It turns out, I thought it was decent, and this is a lesbian talking. (Lesbian Addendum: since True Blood, my sexual orientation has been "lesbian + Joe Manganiello." Sookie Stackhouse really blew it there). ANYway, I'm more familiar with male strippers in the context of gay clubs, but we don't often see stories about women blatantly pining over men on the big screen like this. So, that's something. I wish it had been more queer, but I will always wish all the things are more queer.

Also, I have a new appreciation for Jenna Dewan Tatum's lip sync battle, which was modeled after one of her husband's scenes in the movie.  Never forget:

In conclusion, I would like to direct your attention to a recent Ruby Rose tweet, in which she's wearing a suit. You're welcome and good day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

On Cool Girl Politics

On the nauseating topic of the mainstream media's intense interest in running humanizing profiles of Trump supporters, the profile of the person featured in this Cosmo article, about a former Bernie supporter who is now a Trump superfan, is a good example of two things:

(a) The disjointed way the mainstream media buries ledes about those on the left and right who were had by, or complicit in, the spread of Russian propaganda regarding the 2016 eletcion; and

(b) The confluence of how the Cool Girl Left meets the Cool Girl Right.

Today, I'm focusing on the latter, although this particular Cool Girl's ties to Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik, briefly referenced in the Cosmo article, are certainly worth delving into further as well.

The Cool Girl featured talks about how "punk rock" it is to support the (scare quotes mine) "counter-cultural" Trump and, before that, Bernie Sanders. It might seem odd to some that a person would go from Bernie to Donald, but it's not odd to me. The men have important policy distinctions to be sure, but they are also two sides of the same white-man-privileging-masquerading-as-anti-establishment-populism coin.

Now, when I talk about Cool Girl Politics and, specifically, where the Cool Girl Left meets the Cool Girl Right, what I'm talking about is the following.

First, on a general note, we see the adoption of antisocial "just in it for the lulz" Internet behavior. Being "politically correct," that is kind and sympathetic, is largely coded in Internet culture as feminine and weak. Here's the Trump/Bernie superfan opining on her Internet behavior:
“I'll definitely tweet things just to be a jerk and rile people up. I think it's funny. And I think that it's important to push the limits sometimes and force people to have uncomfortable conversations.”
Cool Girls make a point of not just rejecting "political correctness," but bragging about how they reject "political correctness." And, they certainly don't need no stinkin' trigger warnings!

Second, and more narrowly, the Cosmo narrative of this Trump/Bernie superfan is the story of a woman who - like many - gives man after man after man, and even the worst of men like Trump and M1lo, all the benefits of the doubt, while giving none to other women - especially Hillary Clinton.

We saw that disparate treatment repeatedly when Clinton faced Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and then, later, when she faced Trump in the general election. Even though Clinton was rated as more honest than both Trump and Sanders, people consistently believed that both men were more honest than her. It was simply taken as a given by many along the political spectrum that Clinton was History's Greatest Monster.

For instance, even though Trump has admitted on tape to grabbing women's genitals without their consent, the woman profiled in Cosmo is suspicious of the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault. She also carries a "Free Assange" tote bag and is now allied with a notorious anti-feminist man who has said "misogyny gets you laid."

White men are innocent until proven guilty in the court of public opinion. Women are guilty even if hearing after testimony after investigation proves they're innocent.

Three, and related, this disparate treatment of men and women is not examined or questioned.  Instead, we often see a very stupid, yet enduring, narrative in US political discourse that if a woman trashes another woman then it can't possibly be grounded in misogyny.

What I've noticed when I've been targeted by Political Cool Girls is that these women often serve as gateway misogynists. Their own intentional or unexamined misogyny gives cover to male misogynists on the left and right to cheer on the misogyny and engage in it themselves. After all, many people think, if a woman starts it, it's fair game!

Finally let's examine the contention that supporting unqualified and less-qualified men over a vastly more-qualified woman is "counter-cultural." Spoiler alert: It's not.

Since our nation's founding, we've had an unbroken line of (mostly white) male presidents. Refusing to seriously examine why that is, or acknowledge the role that misogyny continues to play in that, is less "punk rock" and more your standard, shitty Ted Nugent concert.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.10 "We Can Be Heroes"

In wanna-be superhero news, Mon-El has decided he wants to be a hero and James has decided he wants Kara to know that he's Guardian.

James and Mon-El are an interesting juxtaposition this season. In Mon-El's case, his superpowers are handed to him, by virtue of him being an alien, but he fluctuates between being a reluctant hero to having questionable motives for wanting to be one. When he does want to be a hero, he seems to be doing it mostly to impress Kara. At one point, James gives an assessment of Mon-El that I, as of now, agree with: "He's a fun guy, he's just not a hero." I guess we'll see.

James, meanwhile, has limited powers by virtue of him being human, but is eager to be a hero and his motives are more pure, fluctuating between him wanting to do good in the world and wanting to be more than just a sidekick. While it's still odd to me that nearly every recurring male character in Supergirl also has to be a hero or wanna-be hero, it will be interesting to see how their superhero journeys shake out. 

In villain of the week news, Livewire is back! Since we last saw her, she's been behind bars nursing thoughts of vengeance against her arch-nemesis Supergirl. Also, she's in a regular-person prison (because, um?), which she breaks out of:

Supergirl and Mon-El get into an early brawl with Livewire where Mon-El's hero traits are tested. Two items of note here. One, his hero "costume" consists of black street clothes and red-tinted sunglasses and I'm not sure why. As far as I know, he doesn't have Supergirl's laser or x-ray vision, so why the shades? And two, Supergirl gives him an order to protect the humans while she takes care of Livewire, but he immediately disobeys her, going after Livewire and leaving the humans unprotected.

Guardian swoops in, however, saves the humans, and ends up getting injured. In a Dramatic Moment, Supergirl removes the unconscious Guardian's helmet and discovers James Olsen underneath all that armor. She's 100% not happy about it. She tells him that if he keeps trying to be a hero, she will stop him, because he's going to get killed. James says Supergirl doesn't get to decide who gets to be a hero. Which, while I agree with that philosophical point, I do think James is squarely in vigilante territory and I'm not sure why the local cops or the DEO are rolling with that.

Anyhoo, the wannabe-superhero duo of Guardian and Mon-El (and their sidekick Winn) then go rogue and track down Livewire behind Supergirl's back. It turns out that Livewire had actually been abducted - she didn't escape - and a mad scientist was harnessing her power for evil. At one point, the scientist calls Livewire "such a nasty woman." LOLSOB.

At one point, Mon-El boasts to Livewire that he's "the other Superman" (as if), and Livewire responds, "Your cosplay sucks." LOL. The scientist guy then swiftly captures Guardian and Mon-El, and things suddenly take an Adventures in Babysitting turn, as they're now dependent on Supergirl to bail them out, which she does (natch).

M'gann has an interesting story arc this episode in the context of what constitutes heroism. J'onn does a mind-meld with her and we see her flashbacks. Although she is a White Martian, she had killed her own genocidal people on Mars and helped Green Martians escape. When J'onn sees her memories, he forgives her for being a White Martian and they become friends again.

I guess the overarching point of this episode was to question the concept of heroism itself. Specifically, what are its essential traits, if any? Supergirl seems to be the full package in that she has both the ability and the will, while Guardian and Mon-El arguably lack one or the other. And then, what is M'gann, anti-hero?

Deep Thought of the Week: Have I mentioned that I miss Cat Grant? Yes, I believe I have. Welp, I'll say it again. I miss Cat Grant. Specifically, the SuperCat balcony scenes. More specifically, the way that Cat looks at Supergirl during the balcony scenes. Never forget:
"To me, you are perfect"