Message to Femslash Shippers

Quick Note: I am part of many femslash fandoms including Clexa, Cophine, Shoot and Doccubus. I have noticed there have been a couple of major “ship wars” between these different Queer pairings, which I think is very unfortunate. If you compare the number of canon heterosexual ships and any that go under the label of Queer (f/f,m/m, lesbian/bisexual woman, gay/bisexual man, etc.), then anybody can see how outnumbered we are. For that reason we must be respectful of all ships that Lesbian and Bisexual women support especially since there are so much intersection between fans.

Fandom is a place to have fun not to try to ruin a ship that somebody loves. Plus I believe there are enough polls to go around so Clexa and Shoot both have chances to win best couple.

Sorry if I sound preachy it just hurts when I see Lebian or/and Bisexual women insult each other over something we are all love.

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MAE Podcast

Starting next Friday, I’m going to start posting a podcast where I talk about an episode of a different feminist television every week as I’m watching it. For the first week I’m giving my readers and listeners three episode choices.

I want to add I will continue my daily blog postings. I’m just adding a weekly podcast to the MAE blog.

Here are the three choices. Please tell me your vote in the comments by Wed:

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 Episode 7 ” Once More With Feeling”
  2. Veronica Mars Season 1 Episode 14″Mars V.S. Mars”
  3. The West Wing Season 6 Episode 6 “The Dover Test”

My Special Oscars’ Feminist Post

To celebrate the 2016 Oscars, I will be posting about the female characters whose actresses won Best Actress and Supporting Actress for performing them. I’m going to also do a little write up for Mad Max: Fury Road since its one of the best feminist action films I’ve seen and won many Oscars this year:

  1. Greda Wegener (Alicia Vikander won Best Performance by an Actresses in a Supporting Role) became famous in 1926 for painting her then husband Einar Wegener as a woman named Lili Elbe, which helped the landscape painter realize he was actually a woman. By painting Lili as she actually was, Greda helped awaken an urge within the trans-woman to have a body that fit the female body in her mind. Consequently, Lili Elbe became the first man to attempt to have a male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. Even though at first Greda struggled with the loss of her husband, the painter was there for Elbe until she died from complications. Alicia Vikander revealed Greda to be a passionate stubborn woman who refused to live in the shadow of Einar her famous Danish landscape artist and refused to abandon Einer once he became Lili even though society would of been happy to lock Lili up in a mental hospital.
    2. Ma (Brie Larson won Best Performance by an Actresses in a Leading Role) created a wonderful world for her son Jack within the gardening shed that they were locked up in by her kidnapper. She made sure that her son learned to read, ate well, worked out, and did art and crafts which he then used as toys to play with. Ma is far from an idealized person, which makes the character so multi-layered. The mother has off days where she can’t even get out of bed to feed herself, but on other days she makes birthday cakes for Jack. Brie Larson’s performance as Ma helped transport me into that small shed and into her mind even when she struggled to grow accustomed to everyday life after their rescue.
    3. Mad Max: Fury Road (Won Multiple Academy Awards): With an amputated arm and the ability to drive gigantic truck like a weapon, Imperator Furiosa will go down in celluloid history as one of the most badass heroines in cinema. Furiosa single handedly rescues a group of pregnant sex slaves from a crazy viking steampunk dictator. Then along with a drifter named Max, Imperator Furiosa drives across the desert to her homeland where they meet up with the biker female warriors of her original tribe. This group of misfits brings down a patriarchal society defended by young men designed to live short lives and die while high on fumes.

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Brief Overview of Shipping, Slash, and Canon

First I want to say that I have recently started listening to the podcast Kumail Nanjiani’s The X-Files Files, which I am really loving as a huge fan of The X Files. Though Kumail Najiani and some of his guests have said some incorrect things about fandom. I want to clear them up for any of my non-fandom centric followers.

First off, fans don’t stop shipping fictional couples once they get together on screen a.k.a. become canon. Members of fandoms start making gifs, fan videos, fanfiction, and have discussions surrounding moments or episodes featuring the romantic couple together. For example once Brittana became canon on Glee the shippers started making gifs or fan videos surrounding their relationship. Nobody just moved on to another ship the minute Brittany and Santana kissed on screen.  Just look up Brittana on tumblr and you will see the millions of posts about that one couple.

Second off, the term slash can only be used if its a gay couple. Neither Scully/Mulder or Lexa/Clarke could be considered slash. Though technically Lexa/Clarke or Clexa is a femslash couple, which is the female version of slash. As Kumail Najiani pointed out slash was created by the Star Trek fandom who loved to pair Kirk with Spock, which is why it only applies to gay couples.

Thank you Kumail Nanijani for making sure to cover the involvement of fandom on The X Files. I am a huge fan of your podcasts. I just wanted to clear some things up about the comments on fandom made on your show, but I hope you don’t take any offense.

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Special Holocaust Remembrance Day Post

I first want to take a moment to remember the men, women, and children who both survived and died in the Holocaust. As well as the European and American soldiers who fought in World War Two to free Jews, Gays, Gypsies and political dissents from Nazi concentration camps. I am going to list feminist TV shows that in someway demonstrate the horrors of one group keeping people who are different locked up inhumanly though I am no way saying anything of these shows demonstrate the atrocities that happened to the innocent people in those camps. There are still a few survivors of the Holocaust alive and its important that we take this day to remember for them, but also so we continue to be aware of the immoral actions humans can do to other humans:

  1. Battlestar Galactica Season Three Episode 1-4: In the Cylon Occupation of New Caprica, human beings are kept under martial law where anybody who is part of the resistance against the Cylon’s strict horrific rule are put in solitary confinement and eventually executed. Theres a puppet government like in part of France during World War Two. Dr Baltar the elected President of the Twelve Colonies being the ultimate figurehead.
  2. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season One – Seven (1993-1999): Before the Federation took over the space station Deep Space Nine, the Cardassians occupied Bajor where they treated the Bajorans like second class citizens in their plant. The Nazi like Cardassians sent Bajorans to their deaths in work camps or into the dangerous mines.
  3. Firefly Season One: The all powerful Alliance sent young geniuses like River to special secret labs to experiment on their brains to make super soldiers. Very much like what Dr. Mengala did to Jewish children and adults who were at all different from the normal human being.
  4. The 100 Season Two: The people in Mount Weather have been draining the blood out of the grounders or making them into mindless killers Reapers for generations to keep themselves alive. The leaders excuse this by making the grounders lesser than them in their minds and like the German people the normal citizens just never talked about the draining.

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Is Sex and the City Feminist?

I always go back in forward one the debate on wherever or not Sex and the City is feminist show . On one hand the television show is essentially about a group of  female friends trying to find Mister Right, basically performing the notion that women need to find a husband to be happy. On the other hand Sex and the City is aboutclose successful female friends who will do anything to protect one another. Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte never choose a man over their friendship The female companionship of this HBO television program is pretty feminist. I have decided to make a pro and con list.Please tell me in the comments if you believe Sex and the City is a feminist show or not:

Pro

  1. The whole story is told through the eyes of the female main character, Carrie Bradshaw, whose a columnist writer for The New York Star. She writes about being a single woman in New York City. Throughout the series, Bradshaw goes on to become a best selling  author and a writer for Vogue magazine.
  2.   Carrie Bradshaw’s success as an writer and fashionista leads her to be a icon.
  3. Charlotte York Goldenbatt is a conservative wasp New York art dealer who bends her ideals for a perfect husband to marry the love of her life a Jewish divorce lawyer, Harry Goldenbatt, who does not fit into the traditionally handsome or dashing man category that Charlotte prescribes to.
  4. The public relations guru Samantha Jones is a sort of modern day May West. Samantha  sleeps with all sorts of men of her chose with no strings attached. Jones is extremely sexually liberated and protective of her best friends.
  5. The corporate lawyer Miranda Hobbes is a work alcoholic who is highly cynical toward men. She learns to balance work and life once she has her son Brady Hobbes with low key bar keep boyfriend/husband Steve Brady.

Con

  1. Carrie Bradshaw seems to dedicate much of her time to finding the right man leading her to try to act a certain to please whoever she is dating. Like when Carrie quits smoking for Aidan Snow.  The show’s “happy ending” is all about Bradshaw ending up with Mr. Big instead of feeling content with being single.
  2. The column that lead to Bradshaw’s fame is essentially about trying to find a husband or at least a boyfriend. At least half of her life seems to be about men.
  3. I will be first to admit that the Sex and the City films sort of fix this problem, but this post is about the television run. The proud happy sexually liberated Samantha Jones end up  in a heteronormative relationship with twenty eight year old actor/model Smith Jerrod.
  4. Miranda Hobbes who is the most successful and masculine one of all the friends is portrayed as hating men and being single because she won’t change who she is. Hobbes only softens when she becomes a mother and theres loads of tension over the fact that she makes more money than Steve. Since “men are supposed to make more money than their wives”. Miranda needs to comprise and live in Brooklyn because Steve Brady can’t help pay the mortgage if the house is in Manhattan.
  5.  Charlotte gives up being an art dealer when she marries both Harry Goldenblatt and Trey MacDougal. Charlotte York is extremely traditional about what a marriage or relationship is supposed to be.

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Special Post Honoring David Bowie

 

Please let me start by saying that in this blog I only write about female characters, which is not going to change. I am writing about David Bowie today because he was a creative genius who I have listened to since I was a young child. There’s no way I could pass up a chance to honor him so please excuse this detour.

In many ways writing about David Bowie fits perfectly with this blog since the singer songwriter played so much with gender. In fact, in the music video for Bowie’s song “Boys Keep Swinging” the British pop star dressed up as a couple of different women so he could be his own back up singers. Throughout his career David Bowie proudly cross dressed or performed outside the gender binary. A perfect example of that is the film The Man Who Fell to Earth. Bowie played an alien named Thomas Jerome Newton who had no genitalia and was androgynous in nature.

I believe that, as a male pop star, David Bowie’s adoration of the feminine, helped reveal to the world that there is strength in being fully yourself no matter what your gender man or women. The pop star helped fight for women’s rights, which is something I thank him for.

R.I.P. David Bowie thanks for being part of the soundtrack of my youth.

Tomorrow I will be back to just posting about female characters or figures. I am planning to explore how Sex in the City is a feminist show or not. Thank you and please follow the MAE blog.

Santa Monica Blogger Showcases Women As Powerful Agents

Santa Monica Blogger Showcases Women As Powerful Agents
Paloma Bennett’s blog analyzes, discusses, and suggests television programs and films that feature female characters that stand strong on their own rights without depending on men to drive their stories forward.

For Santa Monica resident Paloma Bennett, television isn’t something to passively consume and move on from. Bennett sees TV as something to be analyzed through a critical lens. In order to discuss media in a deeper way, she runs a blog called MAE. This blog combines feminism and media in order to create a more nuanced view of both.

Bennett’s blog is named for acclaimed 1920s actress and screenwriter Mae West, who served as an inspiration for her blog. As a playwright, West pushed people’s buttons with the content she wrote. Challenging thoughts with West’s material was a controversial yet interesting aspect of West’s career. The idea of challenging people’s preconceptions through sexuality and humor was what made West a powerful figure. Although West is not the focus of this blog, she is the catalyst.

The mission statement of the blog is, in part, to bring to light shows that star complex, edgy, and powerful women. Using a laid back style of analysis of how feminism affects the media to bring forward new ways of thinking.

According to Bennett’s mission statement on her blog, “men are presented as active agents who are the ones who possess and conquer women.”

Showcasing women as powerful agents in their own right brings to light the often overlooked aspect of media: women as main characters who stand strong on their own rights without depending on men to drive their stories forward. Although it is noticeable to Bennett that more and more women are in the forefront of shows, she believes discussion regarding feminism is still important. People should be part of the discussion of how women are treated. Information is key to understanding the reasons behind why women should be more present in media, which can ultimately lead to empowerment.

“Media is still inherently unbalanced with regard to women, and the ideas represented should be equally as focused on women as well as men,” Bennett says.

Bennett wishes to further explore the power of women in media, so she brings forward examples of complex female characters. She uses lists to draw connections between different characters and their traits within different media created by the same showrunner. Bennett also focuses on different aspects of media through rants, musings, and specific meaningful quotes. Her style of analysis is casual yet insightful.

She doesn’t want to focus on jargon in her discussion to be as inclusive as possible. The focus on Bennett’s thoughts on characters and how these characters exist within their media makes for an interesting, nuanced read.

The kinds of characters Bennett is most interested in discussing are women who are complex.

“When I say “complex” female characters, I mean characters who are more than stereotypical passive damsel in distress. Male characters are always able to be well rounded, but women aren’t. I want to bring forward women who are flawed and also strong, including intellectualism, emotional resilience, and physical strength,” Bennett explains.

The desire to hone in on women who are diverse is a driving force behind the blog. She knows that there’s an importance to showcasing women in multiple ways, because women in real life are able to act in a multitude of ways. Bennett brings to life an intersectional approach. There are characters mentions mentioned who are of different sexualities, races, socio-economic status and ways of life. The common factor between all of these women is their strength.

“Strong is the wrong word to describe the kind of women I want to see in media,” Bennett explains.

She goes on to use the example of Buffy Summers from ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer.’ What makes Buffy interesting isn’t because of her powers as The Slayer, but because she is a normal teenage girl who just so happens to be The Slayer. Making a note of unique characters beyond their weaknesses or strengths is her way of combating the unbalanced nature of media.

In short, Bennett’s blog is a force of nature.

Read, comment, and follow her blog at maewpower.wordpress.com. She also has a Facebook page for MAE, http://www.facebook.com/MAEWordPressBlog.

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COURTESY PHOTO
Paloma Bennett’s blog analyzes, discusses, and suggests television programs and films that feature female characters that stand strong on their own rights without depending on men to drive their stories forward.
POSTED JAN. 7, 2016, 9:09 AM
NICOLE HOROWITZ / MIRROR CONTRIBUTOR

Link to the page where Nicole’s article is officially on the Santa Monica Mirror: http://www.smmirror.com/articles/News/Santa-Monica-Blogger-Showcases-Women-As-Powerful-Agents/44929