Role Models for Girls: The Good, the Evil, and the Frozen

 

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Or, Why Do Little Girls have to Choose Between Being Good and Being Powerful?

I was never much for Disney princesses growing up. None of them ever spoke to me. I was more into characters like Simba from Lion King. I suppose, for whatever reason, I was more concerned with the personality and journey of the character than their gender. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Ariel…none of them did anything for me. I don’t even remember thinking they were particularly pretty. I liked Megara from Hercules a little, but I was more about Pegasus, Hercules, and Hades in that movie. The complex characters with clear goals and inner journeys were always the ones who appealed to me. (And animals. Being an animal makes a big difference to me.)

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Dear Evan Hansen Rants: Why Does Evan Lie? (part 1)

Evan and the Murphys - For Forever

In the musical Dear Evan Hansen, the title character, a depressed, anxious, socially awkward teenage boy named Evan, spends much of the show living a lie. Evan convinces the family of a classmate who took his own life that Evan and the other boy, Connor, were friends, even though they barely knew each other when Connor was alive.

Many viewers seem to think that Evan is selfish and manipulative, and that he purposefully lies to Connor’s family, the Murphys, and others in order to take advantage of everyone else and use them for his own purposes. I completely disagree with that interpretation. I think that the show makes it clear to us that Evan is not the user in the show – the users are the people who push him into going with the falsehood that the Murphys assumed to be true. Evan’s fellow students Jared and Alana, and Conner’s parents Larry and Cynthia, whether intentionally or unintentionally, guilted, pressured, and scared Evan into continuing the lie.

At a certain point, Evan did fall into perpetuating the lie himself, and become a more confident participant, but he never initiated any of it. And – most importantly – when going along with the lie will help the Murphys find comfort, Evan does. When it will only harm them further, he tells them the truth. That’s how we really know what his true motivations were, even regardless of how active a participant he was in the lie: he lies to help the Murphys; then he tells the truth to help the Murphys.

Before we go any further, let’s establish some facts about the show, and some of my opinions that have bearing on the conclusions I’ll be drawing here.

  • Alana is a flat-out narcissist (Post going deeper into my thoughts on her coming soon), while Jared is an everyday bully. Neither value the truth, only furthering their own interests. The difference between them is that Alana is ambitious about it and takes control of situations while Jared just takes whatever opportunity is in front of him in the moment.
  • Larry and Cynthia are grieving parents who don’t want to believe that the note that they think is all they have left of their son is really some stranger’s creation, and don’t let Evan tell them otherwise. They dismiss him as being in shock. Evan does tell the truth in the beginning. They don’t want to hear it.
  • Zoe, on the other hand, is very doubtful of the lies Evan tells and, rather than insisting to him that the truth is false, she points out all the flaws in his accounts, like she’s searching for falsehoods in it. Or has an analytical mind that sees straight to the truth, which is my belief.
  • Evan has a natural tendency to try to make people feel better. He does this both because he’s a genuinely good person and because he’s so uncomfortable with social situations that he tries to keep everyone around him from getting upset and putting more pressure on him than he already feels.

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Dear Evan Hansen Rants: Evan and His Mom

Evan and Heidi

Ooohkay, I have a lot of thoughts on this show, which is funny because I have a lot of issues with it but I also have a lot of meta about it. Who knows how many parts to this there will be. Whichever part comes first will have a hint of some other parts of my analysis, because no piece is complete without the rest, but I’d have to publish a novel to do it all at once. To start, here’s my analysis of one of the most crucial relationships in the show – Evan and his mom, Heidi.

When the world sees Evan’s “Dear Evan Hansen” note*, thinking it was Connor’s suicide note, they’re horrified by how badly it implies Connor’s parents treated him. But those were Evan’s words. What does that say about Heidi? Heidi is the only one, besides the Murphys, who knows it was Evan. And it makes her realize how distant she’s been. She has the same reaction that the rest of the world had towards Connor’s family, but towards herself. As the “you are not alone” line from You Will Be Found plays after Alana shares the note, images of the letter and people’s reactions to it swirl around, and Heidi is briefly in the center of it, looking up at the images. We’re seeing her react to it, really seeing her son for the first time since his father left. She’s being confronted with how far she’s wandered from being the parent she’d intended to be, and how much that’s hurt Evan.

A person’s childhood and parenting shape who they are. Examining Evan’s mother and father, it’s clear how he ended up with the issues he has. Heidi is so exhausted and overextended from working hard just to keep herself and her son afloat and trying to get them a better life by going to school that she doesn’t have anything left for Evan emotionally. Understandably, she needs him to be okay so that she can focus on work and school. In many ways, he is her whole world. Everything she does, from spending so much time at work, to going to school, to looking for ways to get Evan into college, is for him. She is trying. When she hears about Connor’s suicide, she’s concerned about Evan’s reaction to it and tries to reach out to him. She asks him regularly if he still has enough pills and reminds him and encourages him to do the assignments his therapist gives him. She loves him dearly and is doing the best she can, and it’s not her fault that she’s only human and can’t be everything Evan needs.

That said, she also isn’t doing as well as she could. She hasn’t set aside a regular night, perhaps every Saturday or Sunday night, for them to have dinner together. Instead, as Evan points out, she randomly takes nights off without asking him or letting him know about it beforehand and expects him to drop everything and spend time with her.

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Why I Think “Ghost in the Shell” Is Racist As F*ck, But I’m Still Planning To See It

ScarJo in Ghost in the Shell

Since I heard about the extremely controversial casting of Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost in the Shell,” I’ve been about as enraged by it as anyone. At first, I resolved not to see the film in protest. As a woman, I understand how meaningful it can be to see yourself represented in mainstream media. It makes you feel seen and accepted by your society, your people. It makes you feel like an equal and someone who matters. And as a lover of women in general, I don’t want to see any kind of woman shut out of our culture’s media. Every kind of woman, no matter what she looks like or how old she is or where she comes from or who she’s attracted to or what she believes in, deserves recognition and acceptance.

The film is nauseatingly racist. In addition to the blatant racism of casting a white woman in an originally Asian female role, it reportedly attempted to yellow face some of its extras, and possibly even Johansson herself.

I had a friend once who was half Chinese and half Scottish. She was outgoing, excitable, charming, feminine, and beautiful. We took ballroom dance classes together, and that was where I first realized how marginalized Asian women are. The men looked at her like she was a sex toy – old, often married men and this 14 year old girl. They flirted with her and ogled her. She was their favorite dance partner, and it had nothing to do with her dancing ability. Her personality had quite a bit to do with it, but I’m also quite certain that her race made them feel much more confident in treating her like she existed purely for their pleasure.

I often get ads for Asian women from dating sites. I get those more than any other dating site ad. I’ve seen statistics that Asian women are the most fetishized women in America. What comes with that fetishization? Viewing them as non-human.

Which is why it was so deeply offensive for this film’s producers to take an iconic, inspiring female character like Major Motoko Kusanagi and make her the default woman that we always see on our screens, rather than an underrepresented minority who deserve to see themselves as these inspiring people.

But despite feeling so strongly about that, I also couldn’t ignore that it was a female lead, who is meant to carry the film. Now, I don’t mean to say that it is REMOTELY okay that they whitewashed this character. But I kept thinking, how often do we have a female lead in a big-budget, mainstream cyberpunk film? A woman starring in an action film is unusual enough, but what’s even more unusual is a story that focuses on the humanity, or lack thereof, of a female cyborg. The cyborg trope and the question of whether cyborgs and human-like robots should be treated as equal humans has been so deeply explored within the science fiction genre that I’m sick of contemplating those questions. (I’m a sci fi baby.) It’s a very unique way to explore the human condition, and relevant to our modern world.

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New(ish) Poster for The 100 Season 4

 

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This is definitely the most stunning poster this show has ever released. My heart starts to race a little bit just looking at it.

There are several things I notice about this picture that are especially interesting to me, beyond its sheer beauty and sense of motion. Specifically the fiery, explosive motion coming at you.

It may seem strange, but what struck me first was the fact that the three people in the center are Clarke, Bellamy and Monty. Clarke in the center and Bellamy just off from her is no surprise, but Monty being part of the main three certainly is, and it’s a very happy surprise for me. I adore Monty. He’s kind and smart and cautious, but when he needs to be ruthless, he will be ruthless. I’ve always felt that he’s an invaluable member of the team for those qualities, and it seems that he’s starting to move up in the ranks of the team leaders. (Maybe he’s the Duke?)

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P*ssy Grabs Back: Metamaiden’s Story of the Women’s March on Washington (Well, Albuquerque)

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Today (Saturday, January 21,2017), I (Metamaiden) joined millions of others around the world in marching for women’s rights. Though it was freezing for Albuquerque, it was a super fun, inspiring day, and I’m glad I got up a little earlier than I prefer (heheh) to be a part of it.

We arrived at exactly 11 AM, just as the march, which was really more like a rally, was starting. As we were crossing the street to the plaza where the march was being held, an announcer was giving guidelines for how to handle aggressors. Then, as we were starting to make our way into the crowd, the speaker said, “There are some people who don’t think there are this many people in the whole state of New Mexico!” 😏😋👏

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Bearly Dressed: Photo of Bear Embracing Woman Illustrates Misogyny in Photography

Today I came across this picture, by Olga Barantseva, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed.

It’s a beautiful, captivating picture. For a moment, all I saw was how great it was to show a woman and a bear being friends, the bear protecting her rather than being shown as aggressive and dangerous. The bear is in the classic position that, in this type of photo, a man would usually be in. The bear is standing over and behind the woman, its arm around her protectively. The photo looks like the cover of a romance novel, the woman seductively in a state of semi-undress and the man holding her in his arms, except here the man is a bear. I love the idea of showing humans and animals interacting as equals.

Then I realized that the bear and the woman are not equals in this photo.

Yes, they are positioned exactly the way a man and woman would typically be position in a photo like this, but that doesn’t mean they are equals. Rather, it means that the woman is in some way submissive.

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CNN Commentator Receives Trump-Style Pat Down by TSA

She’s Not the First, She Won’t Be the Last.

Metamaiden:

I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens to me at some point. TSA sometimes decides it’s “policy” to pat me down and search all my stuff because I ask them to hand check my external electronic medical devices, so they don’t get ruined by the x-rays. I still walk through the metal detector, and the rest of my stuff goes through the x-rays. They don’t consistently pat me down, it depends on the airport and who’s working that day. Sometimes they argue with me about whether the devices need to be hand checked at all, instead, which is my right according to their own policies.* They’ve spent 10-15 minutes trying to force me out of an inspection that takes them 2 minutes. TSA basically likes to go on power trips, as far as I can tell. This is a perfect example of that. This poor woman.

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The 100 Season 4 Trailer: Holy Radiation Poisoning, That Was A Lot (VIDEO)

OKAY I have a lot of feelings so here we go:

  • Toxic rain and incinerated pyramids. YAAAS.
  • Clarke’s speech. ❤️ I feel like it’s been a while since we had her standing in front of a bunch of people inspiring them and leading them. She was so broken throughout season 3. It was painful. But it looks like she’s getting her hope back, settling back into being the inspiring leader she naturally is. She seems a little brighter than she was last season.
  • WHY ARE THERE RADIATION BURNS ON CLARKE’S FACE. I’m gonna assume this is a dream or a hallucination or something of the sort.
  • ECHO. ECHO MY LOVE. I am SO excited to have her back. The actress who plays Echo, Tasya Teles (awesome name), is so charismatic and so good. I’ve been sad that we didn’t get more of her for a long time.

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Metamaiden’s Denver Hedwig Reviews: Alone Again in Some New Wicked Little Town (AUDIO)

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Hedwig 12-10-16 Mat Review – EUAN AND HANNAH TIME

These were my initial thoughts after seeing Euan and Hannah the first time, with some minor edits to make it a little more coherent. (I was very excited and fangirling all over the place.) My main impression was: HANNAH. My review of the evening show is below my review of the matinee.

As soon as she came out on stage I was taken with her. She looks a LOT like Lena, more than Shannon does, and she has a catlike quality that I haven’t seen in a Yitzhak before. The way she carries herself is captivating. When she made her announcement just before the show, I loved the way she spoke. She sounded a little like she was singing even then, particularly in one little part where she almost did a little trill, of sorts. Then she started SINGING. Her voice is beautiful. It’s very clear and pleasantly high-pitched but full and husky, and the way she uses it is effortlessly smooth. The little riffs and trills she does are amazing. She tends to slide down at the ends of notes (called a glissando, I’m a huge fan). Her voice reminds me of a stream, the smooth transitions she makes from note to note.

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