Saturday, April 30, 2011

Attack of the 50-Ft. Woman

Something I've heard repeatedly is that Attack of the 50-Ft. Woman is a example of classic feminist science-fiction. It's available on Netflix instant streaming, so I decided to give it a look. It does not hold up. It might have been a refreshing change of pace back in the '50s, but it's not really feminist. The titular woman is never treated with respect even when she gets power at the end. It's more about having a horrible male antagonist than having an appreciated female protagonist. Also, the subtly sexy scene in the poster never occurs in the film.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Robinsons: Lost in Space

Even though it basically flopped, I was a big fan of the 1998 Lost in Space movie when it came out. Because of it, I started watching the old 1960s TV show reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel, which was something me and my grandmother sometimes did together. I was disappointed when the reruns stopped being aired. So, I became curious when I recently heard that in 2004 they put together a pilot for a Lost in Space remake television series that never got picked up, called The Robinsons: Lost in Space. As it turns out, this unaired pilot for an unproduced series is available on YouTube. Isn't the Internet wonderful?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ten Misunderstandings About Sadomasochism

While websurfing the other day, I ran across Being open to the idea of anti-porn ideology myself, it seemed like a good resource. But then I ran across their "Ten Lies About Sadomasochism" section, which is paraphrased from a longer article by Melissa Farley found here. It's basically saying masochists are delusional losers victims who need to be liberated by smart, loving feminists. It's really condescending. Sadly, this is a popular attitude, so this makes this first Going Rampant screed attacking the words of someone I wouldn't describe as a straight-up nutter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Robert J. Sawyer's Reused Joke

I'm a bit of a fan of science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer. I often don't agree with him politically, but he's always got interesting ideas and seems like a really smart guy. I've read several of his books, and I recently noticed that he used a joke mentioned in one book in another book. I understand that he's a fan of this joke, but it really seems uncreative to use it twice, especially in different books.

The following quote comes from Hybrids, page 280:
Mary briefly thought of an old joke: the bad news is that the CIA reads all your e-mail; the good news is that the CIA reads all your e-mail.
And the next quote comes from WWW: Wake, page 49:
Besides, he'd heard the old joke: "The bad news is that the Communist Party reads all your email; the good news is that the Communist Party reads all your email"--meaning, or so the joke would have it, that they were many years behind.
You know, just changing "CIA" to "Communist Party" doesn't make it new material. If there are any writers reading this: please don't do this. It just looks sloppy and uncreative.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thanks, HBO!

Thank you, Halo.Bungie.Org for linking to my Examination of Female Characters in Halo article series on the main page! Do note, however, that it's not just three parts long. There are two other parts posted on the blog, and I will be writing more later when I have time to go through everything.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Loving Domestic Violence

In fiction, physically abusive relationships are generally regarded as irredeemably bad. When a person attacks their partner, they are depicted as a horrible villain. Should the abused partner say it’s okay, that they’re willing to ride it out, they’re depicted as in denial about their loved one’s villainy, possibly because they’ve been victimized to the point that they’re no longer capable of thinking rationally. I’ve noticed a problematic trend that subverts this, however, and depicts relationships that would be characterized as abusive instead as loving relationships that get a little thorny but if both partners work at it, their relationship can last. Not only last, but become stronger because only people who really love each other can look past such acts of violence. Examples of this are seen in the book New Moon by Stephenie Meyer and its film adaptation, the book Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer, and the television episode “What Happens Next” of Private Practice.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dollhouse Is Feminist (Part 2, 3: Feminist Frequency)

(The following is an adaptation of a video response made, spanning this video and this video)

I like the YouTube show Feminist Frequency, but I highly disagree with the first video’s assertion that Dollhouse is misogynistic. I’d like to take this moment to address some of its points.

Anita Sarkeesian brings up the issue of how constructing a personality to have sex with someone would be rape because the imprint wouldn’t be able to give proper consent. This is actually explored a bit in the second season, but she’s right because it’s not in the first season when the video was made. I would say that Dollhouse would have explored it in detail if they had enough freedom from the Fox executives. They were kind of under a time crunch and had to develop characters and storylines while trying to explore various philosophical issues. I think it’s kind of amazing they got as much in as they did. It is a fault of the show that the issue was never explored in detail, but I think some allowances can be made considering how rushed the show was.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dollhouse Is Feminist (Part 1: Joss Whedon)

(See the 13-minute video version here)

It is mind-boggling to me that most of the feminist blogosphere is convinced that Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse is antifeminist and misogynistic. Not just extremely over the top feminists like _allecto_, but mainstream persons with whose opinions I would usually agree. As far as I’m concerned, Dollhouse is incredibly feminist, save only for some problematic sexualizing that was most likely executive meddling and not Joss’ intention. As many would have it, though, Dollhouse’s creation made Joss reveal his true colors as a misogynist. This is a mistake. The show depicts the female character Echo fighting against oppressive authorities, and we are on her side despite many of the corrupt authority figures being sympathetic characters.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feminist Analysis of Troll 2

(see also the 13-minute video here)


Okay, okay… Troll 2. Possibly the worst movie ever made, this film is best known for a YouTube meme reproducing and playing with a clip. “They’re eating her! And then they’regoing to eat me! Oh, my God!” It is extremely hard to watch this movie without laughing out loud.

Despite its status as a walking joke, it is still an attempted serious narrative, and it can still be analyzed. Yes, it can. Once you look past all the crap, it’s basically your standard monster movie story with themes of good vs. evil and mysticism, and you can analyze the gender portrayals there.