Good morning, y'all. I hope your weekend was wonderful and restful because we've got a lot of work to do, and you are much needed. Ready for some inspiration? Let's go!
While searching the internet this morning I came upon a chart that listed Wonder Woman as one of the most influential Feminist events of last year. Here's the thing. If you're listing films and use Wonder Woman and neglect to list Black Panther, then you're not as Feminist as all that. Because Black Panther is, hands down, the most Feminist film I've ever seen--and the women weren't even the center of the story. Watch those two films back to back and you'll see what I mean. In Wonder Woman, Diana is running up against the usual misogyny and blocks to her power. The film isn't telling us anything new. It's merely portraying the day to day struggle of women everywhere. There is no big revelation--no new lessons learned. It's just the usual: "Hang tough there, little lady. Eventually, men will come around if you show them you can perform twice as good as they do." There's a reason I adored the first part of the film set on the Amazon island while the rest of the film left me a little cold, up until the Dead Man's Land push. That was real. That demonstrated the day to day struggle in terms that were hard to argue with. It illustrated the vehemence of the attacks women endure online. That felt like progress. Still, toxic masculinity was everywhere. Sure, it was mocked, but here's the deal: humans often use humor to demonstrate the working power dynamics. This frequently underlines those power structures instead of destroying them.
It wasn't until I saw Black Panther that I understood what Feminism really looked like. The women in that film truly were equals. They didn't have to prove shit. They weren't struggling. Women were thriving. And the best part was the whole country was thriving with them. There was no toxic masculinity to push against--except that which existed outside of Wakanda. It wasn't assumed that women were lesser. Every character who happened to be female had their own life outside of their relationship with men. They had agency. And every plot point didn't rest upon a man's choices. I adored that. It was like a bomb went off in my head. I saw Wonder Woman for what it was: an attempt to show progress but only so much progress. It only allows women to go so far and no farther. It was as if women were being told "Dream of your fight against Patriarchy, but never imagine a world without it." I learned a lot that day.
We need more imaginings of a world without Patriarchy. We need less about the struggle of living with it. The same is true of all the bigotry. We cannot create in reality what we cannot imagine. And that's the truth.
Look, if your job is to listen to the majority of the citizens over which you have power, and you refuse to listen during office hours (I know my representatives often have full mailboxes and no one answering the phones.) then you're leaving the people with no other option than to confront your ass during off-hours. This is how Americans react to burgeoning dictatorships. Get used to it. Also, perhaps you should stop blowing off 70% of the population that disagrees with your policies. Otherwise, this is the least of your worries. It goes nowhere good from here.
And now, today's links.
Literary/Entertainment: Kameron Hurley talks about what happens if we let the trolls win. It's About Ethics in Revolution. And “Brazen” Brings Little-Known Stories Of Rebel Ladies To Life. And Jaime King on Self-Care and Empowerment. And Study: Women Underrepresented Behind the Scenes in Off Broadway Plays. And Cellist Tomeka Reid convenes a bold Jazz String Summit. And My Interview With Danai Gurira About the Diversity of Black Women in Black Panther. And This is America: Donald Glover’s Video is a Gripping Read.
General: Fake “Radical Feminist” group actually paid political front for anti-LGBT James Dobson organization. As Russian hackers, trolls, and other disingenuous persons begin to take advantage of the internet and unregulated news, we're going to have to learn to look carefully at groups like this. Also? TERFs are dangerous, terrible people. Trans women are women. #CampaigningWhileBlack: Someone Called the Cops on an Oregon Legislator Who Was Out Canvassing. I'm so ready to see this trend stop--but only when white people stop being dangerous assholes to black people. Calling the cops on people of color is not a harmless thing. The frequency of police shooting of PoCs in the US means that you aren't just an asshole, you're complicit in attempted murder or assault. And, yes, white people who indulge in this type of dangerous behavior deserve to be shamed. Next, when have corporations' need to sell products gone too far? Food firms could face litigation over neuromarketing to hijack brains. And this from Twitter: This all-Black girl science team won $4,000 from NASA for developing a lead filter for water — even after racist trolls tried to sabotage them. Lastly, Black Women Are People. Expecting Them to Be Our Saviors and Superheroes Is Killing Them.
Trigger Warning: THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY & SEXUAL VIOLENCE. And I've posted this before but it needs re-posting: Canada’s inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women gets a failing grade.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.