Tag Archives: Feminism

The one Christmas present I can’t return: Wonder Woman 1984.

Oh I’m so disappointed I just want to cry. What’s a feminist superhero fan suppose to do with that??? Like a kid, I climbed into bed to watch the new Wonder Woman, filled with anticipation, and within minutes was like, What the fuck? (I said “what the fuck” when I was a kid. I learned it from my 80-year-old aunt so I was allowed.) It’s like I opened a present on Christmas morning only to find a doll instead of a Lego set. Not that Gal is a doll in any way. She’s fantastic. No, so maybe it’s like getting a Learn How To Read book rather than Choose Your Own Adventure that respects your intelligence level? I dunno. I’m at a loss here. Can you tell this film has scrambled my brain? I’m actually dumber than when I sat down to watch it.

I am not going to critique specific elements, since there’s plenty of that out there right now, and I don’t want to spoil it in anyway because I want everyone to rent or buy it. Why? Because I believe in paying women to make superhero movies even if they suck. Just pay for it, turn it on, and then turn off the volume and read a book or something. I don’t care. Just give Gal and Patty and the gang enough dough so they can try again and make a better one next time. Come on, I mean did Jar-Jar keep us all from watching Attack of the Clones? Of course not. Well, I mean almost. But no. In the end, we kept hope alive. 

And there are some good bits of course. As my husband said about one section, “That was a really good 12-minute romcom.” Eye roll. He didn’t even pause the movie while he went to get a snack. 

What is striking me today is that I’m actually glad I am able/willing/determined to sit down and write something negative about a movie with my heroine, my childhood obsession, someone I’ve even played in a satirical sketch on stage.


A girlfriend and I saw both Wonder Woman and Black Panther and we were like, “Look everyone, can we just not critique these two firsts? Can we just give them a complete pass on the little stuff and be like, I fucking LOVED it, let’s move on.”

But now that we are on WW#2, I actually think it’s a huge step for feminism to be able to say, “Guys you totally didn’t nail it this time, but keep going, let’s see what you got next.” Because it means women filmmakers and female superheroes are in the game. Yes! Just criticize like you would any dude’s movie. Finally! Excellent! I’ll take a bad movie just to prove times have changed!

It’s like when I noticed people criticizing Kamala for her legislation rather than if she smiled enough. Okay, the woman is a smile maniac, so that’s not a good example, but you know what I mean. (Also, I love the Chucks, Vice President. I do. I will happily objectify you and your shoes with enthusiasm.)

So, if you’ll indulge me, I’m hoping enough time has passed and I can just self-indulgently criticize one aspect of Black Panther that from a feminist and writer perspective has driven me crazy. I am hoping that this will be understood as an act of respect, that now that things have moved along a bit, I can critique this one thing: The king gets determined by who can punch the shit out of the other the best?!?! What?!?! 

Okay seriously, I was so disappointed in this one thing. It’s the WORLD’S MOST TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED SOCIETY!!! And the entire country of Wakanda all agree that the king should be the one who’s the strongest and toughest, but not the smartest?? I just was like, “Who missed this in the writer’s room?? Did the women all go pee while this was happening??” Because, right? I’m thinking this was not a woman who came up with this idea. But that is for a longer piece. This is just a two-paragraph digression. Black Panther is one of my favorite movies ever and yes I overlooked this point. Okay, no wait. I didn’t. Clearly I did not overlook this point. (Palm face, breathe, sigh, move on.) 

As a writer and comedian and actress I know that an audience’s reaction and journalistic criticism can shape our future work. I once wrote and thanked a critic for pointing something out that we’d done in a show that was somewhat accidentally anti-male. We hadn’t realized it and I appreciated it. He told me that was the first letter he’d ever gotten thanking him in his 20+ years as a reviewer. Which didn’t surprise me, but seemed like something people should do more, like it’s a wasted opportunity. As far as shithead comments on Youtube (and there are many) I never write back, and these days I don’t even read them. I mean, I’m not a masochist. I want constructive criticism for my work. And for the work of those I admire.

So Patty, you’re welcome. I’m sure this is going to be a rough month for you. But give us #3. (I hear it was greenlit yesterday!!) Set it today with all the issues of women in 2021, perhaps. Get your finger back on the pulse. I look forward to all the hearty, respectful, criticism. Especially the negative ones. That will let you know we’re finally in the game.

No News is Good News

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 11.40.03 AMSo, you wake up every morning with a sort of looming dread. It’s been a year or more of this. The newspaper is sitting by the front door or you grab your phone to read it online. You go from a state of relatively refreshed well-being (because unconscious), and then you basically screw yourself. Bam. The reality of what’s happening in our country and our planet comes crashing back down. Great way to start your day. You’re a genius. Fun times.

So how do we protect ourselves and still remain decent citizens who give a crap about making the world a better place? If we don’t pay attention, we feel guilty or we feel out of it. And then guilty. I have met several people who say they are empaths and this time is just too difficult for them. Dude. You don’t have to be an empath. It sucks for everyone. So what to do?

Here are some strategies both emotional and practical that I have been working with this year that can maybe help.

1. Drink heavily.

2. Okay kidding. Let’s start over.

1. This one is stupidly obvious: don’t start your day with the news. Seriously though, give yourself at least one hour of carefree ignorant bliss. Make pancakes for your family. Brush your teeth. I mean how do you expect to save us all from North Korea when you haven’t brushed your teeth. First things first. And then experiment with that. Can you possibly go until lunchtime? Unless you work in news or education or perhaps political satire (gaaahhhh, I know, I screwed the pooch), the only real repercussion that will probably happen is that you’ll not know what people are talking about and have to hear about the news at the water cooler. I’m going to shock you: I’ve decided not to read the news until lunchtime. Your coworkers will look at you, horrified, but give it one month. You’ll be changed. And they will either sneer at you with jealousy, or follow your lead. Either way you win.

2. Change the way you read your news. One thing I did for a little while was save to it up. Read the papers all at once but only every 3 or 4 days. My husband was concerned that I was becoming a hoarder, because of my stack of 4 newspapers, which were eventually relegated to the closet until I was ready to read them so friends didn’t do a hoarder intervention… Cuz, I’ve already been on one reality TV show… It was a great way to skim what I needed to know without having to do it every day. And in fact – – bonus! – – by the time you get to it, three out of four stories are moot anyway! Or at least all you really need to know is what’s in that fourth installment of that news item and you didn’t need to know all the steps along the way. Start on the 4th paper and work your way backward in time.

3. Weekly magazines or weekly online wrap-ups! I love the week in reviews. I also like weekly magazines because you get more in-depth conversation and complexity rather than just up-to-the-minute hyperbole and clickbait.

4. Talk to humans. This one feels important. But it’s certainly more interesting than reading headlines or catching CNN’s Breaking news. This probably doesn’t hold for you if you’re doing weekly visits to your Breitbart-obsessed uncle. In that case try a quick conversation changing distractor like: “Hey! Did you know The Jews invented football?” Then watch him try to work out what to do about that.

5. The history channel: when all else fails, watch something about The American Revolution, The Civil War, The Holocaust. And while you might think this is a horrible idea, because your brain starts making connections to the dystopian future that seems to be looming, it does help to remember that everything is cyclical. Most of all, politics. There will be a moment again in our future where we can look forward to more of that hopey-changey stuff. I promise.

6. Watch the show “Bob’s Burgers.” I don’t know. It might help.

That’s all I got.

Whatchew got? Tell us here:

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