More often than not, the victim of violent crime in film and TV is a woman. With your average procedural, almost every episode features a woman who has been raped or one who has been raped and murdered. In real life, women are disproportionately the victims of violent crimes and these stories increase awareness of the physical and psychological aftermath faced by these women, their friends and family and society.
However, by positioning a narrative to begin with the victim already dead and voiceless, she is only that, a victim in the story, never allowed to become a person.
While these Native American comedians are trained and practiced in Western stand-up forms, they are adept at mediating between the worlds of indigenous experiences and Euramerican ignorance of the mess, mayhem, and trauma of our shared histories. Native American stand-up comedy performances of today are commissioned and composed for a public purpose, as well as sharing an outsider status as simply entertainment rather than powerful and convincing forms of discourse that can create social and cultural change.
The first season was released in February 2014, and features the animated banter of Linda Dianne, Delly P, Nicole Ryan, and Kelly Lyn. These women are earnest, joyful, and excited to talk with each and share their experiences about topics that include (but are not limited to): period shits, gender representation in the media, and their feminist roles models in real life and television.
Tip to showrunners: WE KNOW you can kill anyone off. We’ve been watching TV the last ten years. It is not that shocking anymore, and not even remotely surprising when it is a woman or person of color on the chopping block. Some cast members are more expendable than others, and it’s easy to guess who you think they are. Please stop sacrificing representation on the altar of high drama.
Remember that uncomfortable moment when ‘Doctor Who’ became a story about how women destroy themselves to rescue an emotionally volatile man from his loneliness? It’s OK if you don’t; I’m going to remind you of it now.
Overall I thought the episode was excellent and I can’t wait to see the next one. One of my favourite things about ‘GoT’ is theorising about who might make what moves next.
The journey of Daenerys Targaryen is a prototype for female liberation, one that charts women’s emancipation over the centuries and encourages us to push harder and dream bigger for even more freedom now.
I can remember hearing about a study which found many people use the characters on their favorite television shows as surrogate “friends.” I wonder what those same researchers would make of our post-Televison-Without-Pity cultural landscape, in which a endless stream of writer analyses–sometimes accompanied by roundtable discussions–dissects every detail of every episode of popular television shows, making up a big chunk of the internet. If online effluvia is an indicator, many viewers now spend more time thinking about characters on TV than they possibly could about their real-life friends and maybe even their own partners, family members and selves. We spend so much time thrilling to drug dealing, beheadings, poisonings, secret identities, sudden, improbable career success, zombies, and vampires that we decry as “boring” the few series that have realistically explored issues that are more likely to affect us day-to-day: relationships, work and friendship.
With a slight tonal shift, this could have been a really interesting story. There are all kinds of interesting places this could go, but ‘Hateship Loveship’ doesn’t take this route. It’s a shame, because it winds up being rather a non-story.
‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ is vampire romance for grown-ups. It’s the rare vampire film that tries to convey what it would actually mean to live for centuries, questioning the world around you and turning your nose up at everything human and mortal. The titular lovers here are shadowy figures lurking just on the edge of history, indulging in a tortured and eternal love, more believable and sexual than any of the recent rash of tween vampire lore.
Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!
Menstrual studies is a discipline very close to my heart. While earning my master’s degree, I temporarily became obsessed with texts like ‘Periods in Pop Culture’ (Lauren Rosewarne, 2012) and ‘Flow’ (Elissa Stein and Susan Kim, 2010) as I composed my thesis. I was blessed with a supportive advisor who made me realize that those who shot me disgusted looks in the past were in fact the weird, misinformed ones. I find it perplexing that so many have capitalized on menstruation, yet many are still terrified of discussing it in any form or on any platform. Menstruation is uniquely female and yet suggestive of violence, sacrifice, and trauma: that’s compelling. The menstrual cycle reminds us all of our own mortality, the devastating truth that our bodies will eventually decompose or burn into ashes, and that’s terrifying for many people. Why has the “fairer sex” been assigned this burden?