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Archive for August, 2010

dollhouse body issues

Posted by pocochina on August 17, 2010

Not that it takes a lot of stimulus for me to be thinking about Dollhouse, but Nick’s recent poll and post about body issues in the Jossverse got me thinking about one of the reasons that I really love the show. And that – despite the eventual fail that Nick points out in his incisive post, with which I do vehemently agree – is that one of the ways Dollhouse is subversive is that it is, quietly but consistently, anti-diet.

Say what? I hear you asking. Summer! Eliza! Amy! Dichen! They thought Miracle was “heavy,” for fuck’s sake! And that’s true, but it’s not all there is to it. Both in-universe dialogue and authorial intent point firmly towards not just discontent with but outright derision of the narrow range of acceptable bodies in popular American culture, and extreme skepticism about the lies that we tell ourselves in order to choke back the poison more easily.

(cut for discussions of disordered eating, please read with self-care in mind)

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pet peeve: “reduced” to feminism

Posted by pocochina on August 16, 2010

Since I’ve been having some more time to read reviews, discussion, and meta of shows I love, and since I nearly exclusively enjoy shows that have strong, interesting female characters and at least some awareness of feminist politics as a part of their high-quality storytelling, this has naturally resulted in my reading discussions of shows wherein dude reviewers talk about female characters and feminism.

Which is cool.  I have no issue with that – in fact, it’s at least as important for men to see shows which feature feminist politics and characters as it is for women.  Stories, perhaps fictional more than biographical, are the way we learn how to empathize with people who aren’t like us, and can help us examine our own privilege in a way that’s far more accessible than academic texts.  And I’ve actually largely been quite pleasantly surprised by the intelligence on feminist issues shown by these reviewers.

But sometimes, and this is the exact wording I keep seeing, is praise of a character or character’s storyline which recognizes that a female character has expressed a feminist thought within the context of her greater storyline by saying that said character isn’t “reduced to being solely feminist” or “just about feminism” or other minimizing language.  And this is really problematic.  It is an incorrect interpretation of what feminism is.  On a philosophical level, this is a misunderstanding of feminist storytelling.  And when this language is used by men, even men who seem to be explicitly politically feminist, it comes across as an exercise of privilege which trivializes women’s lives and concerns.

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we now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming

Posted by pocochina on August 10, 2010

I kept thinking I was going to have a Real Post, with a coherent theme and shit, on the Prop 8 decision.  But I don’t.  Fuck it.  This is just awesome.  Scattered thoughts and lots of links below – please feel free to leave the same in comments.

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Q: what’s two inches long and has NEVER RAPED ANYONE?

Posted by pocochina on August 3, 2010

A:  An IUD.

Apparently, doctors in Scotland are following some new sexual health guidelines, concerning the discussion long-term contraceptive options with young teenage patients who ask about the contraceptive pill, “as long as the doctor does not suspect exploitation or coercion.”  The Express, the paper which originally reported on this, stressed the sex panic angle, claiming that Scots are “up in arms” in terror about the prescription of a safe, legal medication by a doctor for a patient.  (I’m kind of the opinion that anyone who goes to the Catholic Church for a quote about sexual exploitation of minors shouldn’t be allowed to report on the grand opening of a supermarket, but whatever.)  RH Reality Check took a more pragmatic line, saying that if someone is too young for sex, she’s definitely too young to be a parent.  And Jezebel, in a rather spectacular example of trading point for sensationalism, argues that capacity to consent to sex is an individual thing and therefore concern is misplaced, and besides, the contraceptives won’t be given to anyone doctors suspect is being coerced or exploited.

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