Theme Month

What Your Doctors Really Think About You: Fatphobia on Medical TV

Jessica is an overweight 10 year old, treated cruelly by her doctor

Fat bodies have a curious position in medical drama, reflecting the fatphobia existing within the medical profession. Doctors tend to assume weight always a cause rather than a symptom and overweight patients are either lazy, uneducated or poor. The wealthier we are, the more opportunity we have to strive for thinness. As a class, doctors are incredibly privileged, both highly educated and wealthy, they have the privilege of deciding to be thin that many of their patients do not.

‘Shallow Hal’: The Unexpected Virtue of Mockery

"Only a man this shallow could fall in love this deep."

Its challenge to fatphobia is covered in fat jokes and gross-out humor, tailored to trigger our prejudices. We can laugh, if prepared to question why. We can sympathize, if braced against an awkwardly half-choked, giggling snort. Humor strikes faster than self-censorship.

‘Scarlet Road’: Sex Work and Disability

Scarlet Road promotional poster.

Mark says he wants a girlfriend and that although he understands Rachel is a sex worker, he likes that Rachel makes him feel as though he has a girlfriend. That’s an important distinction that the trailer conveniently cut out. People with disabilities are not children who form childish emotional attachments from fantasies. We understand reality, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to escape it from time to time like everyone else.

Sex Workers Are Disposable on ‘Game of Thrones’

Ros and Tyrion Lannister

When we are introduced to Ros, she is working in Winterfell but as war approaches she decides to try her luck in King’s Landing expressing the view that if all the men leave for war there is not going to be much for her in Winterfell. Once there she goes from being “just a sex worker” to getting involved in the politics of the realm by becoming the right hand woman of Little Finger and subsequently double crossing him by becoming an agent for Varys. However despite her many interesting qualities and potential for interesting storylines, Ros basically exists for one reason to provide exposition regarding male characters on the show while naked. She is sexposition personified.

The Shock of ‘Sleepaway Camp’

On the surface, Sleepaway Camp isn’t much different than your average 1980s slasher movie. The comparisons to Friday the 13th can’t be ignored – Sleepaway’s Camp Arawak, much like Friday’s Camp Crystal Lake, is populated by horny teens looking for some summer lovin’, and is the site of a series of gruesome and mysterious murders that threaten to shut down the camp for the whole summer. But unlike Friday the 13th and other slasher films, the twist in Sleepaway Camp isn’t the identity of the murderer, and the final girl isn’t exactly who you’d expect.

Women in Sports Week: The Roundup

“Edge of America: Indigenous Communitism on the Hardwood” by Amanda Morris Based on the opening scenes, the viewer might assume that this story is about Kenny, but it is not. This movie ultimately focuses on community, defining one’s own identity, and the grounding strength of women… This film privileges the indigenous perspective from the start […]

Call for Writers: Older Women in Film and TV

Call for Writers: Older Women in Film and TV “Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as  grotesque on some level.”  – Meryl Streep As female actresses age, their roles–in film and television–seem to rapidly diminish. In a 2012 interview with Vogue, Meryl Streep said that when she turned 40 in 1989, “I […]

Women with Disabilities Week: The Roundup

Crazy Bitches Versus Indulgent Little Girls: The Binary of Mad Women in Girl, Interrupted by Sarah Domet At its core, Girl, Interrupted strives to be a feminist film. However, I find the film’s representations of “mad women” problematic, particularly the ways in which mental illness becomes so closely linked with eroticized otherness. And here is […]

Call for Writers: Women in Sports

For some reason, Netflix keeps giving me a list of Sports Movies I Might Like. It took me about nine years of scrolling through the list to find a single Sports Movie featuring a woman—A League of Their Own (which is also the only woman-centered film Complex included on their list of “25 Best Sports […]

Disabilities Week: The Patronizingly "Adorable" Side of Schizophrenia in ‘Benny & Joon’

Movie poster for Benny & Joon This is a guest review by Carleen Tibbetts. When Bitch Flicks put out the call for reviews regarding the portrayal of “disabled” women, I had a mixed reaction. Most of the suggested films and TV series deal with both physical disabilities and mental illness, but there’s far greater stigma […]

Wedding Week: The Roundup

Father of the Bride Values Relationships With Women by Mab Ryan Father of the Bride (1991) is aptly named, as its focus is not on the wedding itself or the couple involved but on the titular character’s neuroses and journey to maturity. The wedding is the backdrop and the incident that provokes growth in the […]

Call for Writers: Representations of Women with Disabilities in Film and TV

It’s rare to see people with disabilities onscreen. On top of that, films and television shows love to tell the stories of heterosexual white men, so it only makes sense that the most prominent characters with disabilities are heterosexual and white. We could create a long list of those representations in film and TV, but […]