It’s a normal Monday. We go around, recounting our weekends, which for me, includes a detailed analysis of the season two dynamics in Vanderpump Rules, and how on Earth Jax Taylor is still allowed out in public. (He’s a public safety hazard, and he should be quarantined, but this is a subject for another essay.) And then it begins: “Ugh, how can you watch that mindless shit?”
Last week, news broke that Garrett Yrigoyen of The Bachelorette -- the recipient of the first impression rose, and likely winner of the season -- is an Instagram bigot. He liked posts which are racist, sexist, transphobic, anti-immigrant, and accuse the Parkland students of being crisis actors. He apologized, and maybe he really is learning and growing. I’m all for formerly bigoted people learning, growing and becoming less hateful. More likely, however, is that he’s apologizing because ABC told him this was not behavior becoming of their front runner. They have to cover their asses. He has to cover his ass. He wouldn’t have “learned” or “grown” if he wasn’t on national TV. Becca then defended him: “Everyone is entitled to their opinions.” This is true. And, if your opinions are hateful, vile, racist and bigoted, we’re allowed to call you out for those opinions and those who enable them.
For much of this season of Game of Thrones, I have seen an overwhelming amount of criticism that Sansa is the weak link of her siblings. The last to “level up.” The whiny and annoying one. Certainly, she is not a trained assassin, an all-knowing prophet or an incest-having King in the North, but the conclusion that she is weak is rooted in misogyny. Her story is fraught with abuse, rape and torture, and despite this, she has won battles, regained her family’s home, ruled the north and successfully manipulated a master manipulator to his rightful death. So why then is she regarded as weak?
Because she’s a Lady.
You, along with everyone else in the world, went to see Wonder Woman this weekend. It was powerful. It was magical. It was feminist AF. Maybe you even left the theater thinking that the tide had finally turned. If women can feel this kind of empowerment leaving a superhero movie, what can’t women do?
My first thought was, “I am so happy to be alive in Heben’s and Tracy’s America.” I am so grateful that I live at a time when I have the opportunity to watch women I admire create films, podcasts, articles, stories, and art that I find enormously inspirational. Particularly given the current political landscape, I am grateful that I can surround myself – physically and virtually – with women who are freaking killing it.
Small portions. If only we could have Woody Allen in small portions instead of being force fed a rancid new meal every year.
Oh, "Annie Hall." A movie about a forty something white man going through a life crisis which he will describe to us using his relationships with a cavalcade of beautiful and insecure women. How exciting! How refreshing! Why is this movie called "Annie Hall"? It is less about Annie than it is about the lobsters. A more accurate title for this film would be "Alvy Singer" and an even more accurate title is "Woody Allen." Allen argues that this movie is not strictly autobiographical, yet Alvy has become the prototype for all his subsequent avatars in every future Woody Allen movie. These avatar slash stand-ins for Alvy slash Woody are generally neurotic, down-on-their-luck creative types who show no real creativity, and they're obsessed with at least one younger woman, who is conveniently and inexplicably drawn to him in turn.
It is by sheer luck of birth that I was born a straight, cis, white woman in a middle class family. Yet because of this luck, the world bestows upon me certain gifts others are denied. Since the election, I have thought many times about how easy it would be to sink into my privilege. Turn off the TV, only look at interspecies animal friend videos on the Internet and live in sheer denial of what the world is becoming. I have that gift. Others do not. Feminists with privilege have the freedom to ignore how misogyny affects non-white women in greater and less addressed ways.