You'll stand proud, face upheld
And I'll follow you, into Heaven or Hell
And I'll become, as a girl
In the desperate kingdom of love.
side effects of being friends with me include gaining extensive knowledge of bands you dont listen to or care about
Christian purity culture is less about avoiding sex, and more about disempowering women until they are in a context–complementarian, heterosexual marriage–where they are supposedly required by God to have less power than their male partner.
I am rambling again
Professional feminist media criticism is so frustrating because for one thing it seems like female critics are only invited to weigh in on things as a special expert witness on the topic of gender. You can’t just criticize a thing, you have to be there to provide the Female(tm) pov. Otherwise they’ll just have one of the hundred dudes on staff review it. So you get either feminist or anti-feminist (never lukewarm or conflicted) writers weighing in “as a woman” on the topic of gender and not really getting to extend that criticism beyond a fairly shallow assessment of the cast. I feel like criticism has devolved to this soundbyte point where real analysis is not welcome.
A pop-culture site will invite a lady critic on to play Is It Feminist? with some ridiculous piece of pop culture and it always devolves into a head count of how many women are in it and still alive at the end, which to me is a little trite. This is how you end up calling serial killer movies feminist. Media producers have figured out this game. All they have to do is genderswap a woman into their usual dreck and tick a few boxes of the Strong Female Character checklist, and then they don’t have to look any more deeply at the stories they are telling.
Swapping in a few female characters does not magically make misogyny go away. Just look at, for example, Law and Order: SVU. A show with a lady cop as the lead character with a personal background in sexual violence, tough as nails, all that, and yet the show is a mess of victim blaming and false-accusations bullshit. If the genre itself is problematic it doesn’t matter how diverse the cast is. If it’s not actively subverting the dominant narratives of the genre it’s tacitly supporting them, no matter who they have saying the lines.
I blame media outlets for this though, because they love this kind of approach and this is how you get paid as a professional feminist writer, and this is how we end up thinking that’s what feminism is, and that’s what it becomes. What I’d like to see is critics getting to tear into the narrative and themes and tropes of the genre the thing is in, how the thing supports or subverts those tropes, how these stories are nourishing or destructive (destructive like a forest fire, clearing out room for new growth) or just status quo for our culure. I want people other than white cisdudes to define the big picture instead of everyone else being marginalized to discuss their special interest group (gender, race, sexuality) in a little sidebar. Criticism ought to go beyond “how is my group represented in this story” and on to, I don’t know, “why do we tell these stories? these particular stories?” For instance.
I bought another Cocteau Twins album today. I really love discovering new, witchy layers to their songs.