Hi, my name is Jess and I am a millennial. I was born at the tail end of the 80s, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but after the Challenger explosion. I was raised middle class and don’t really feel a sense of entitlement. Not because I don’t think I’m entitled, but because I think the older generations don’t know the difference between what is earned and what is a right.
Now before you go running to every newspaper and say “She said this and that and the third”, your generation has told me that I’m responsible for killing things like Applebees, diamonds, oil, honeymoons, bar soap, golf, and whatever else keeps you up at night.
Look, some of those things are practical: diamonds are usually bloody unless lab-created, oil isn’t going to last forever, and as much as some of my family likes golf (my late grandfather included), it’s probably the least exciting sport that isn’t driving around in circles for 5 hours.
My point is I don’t feel a sense of entitlement, I just want a better life than my parents? You know, the American Dream™? Is it so much to ask to be able to afford college (I still owe $116K and that’s WITH scholarships and grants), to be able to buy a house when I was 30 (my parents bought a house when I was 16, my parents were 37 and 39 respectively), and have rights not being threatened (Roe v. Wade and LGBTQ+ rights come to mind).
I’m upset that you just lump us in as the “Me me me generation” and tell me that I’m not good enough. I should not be worrying about my finances at this age (I’m currently 32 and no way NEAR paying off my debts to college or otherwise). I should be thinking about a house or where to go on my honeymoon or who I should invite to my wedding (the answer to that is like 5 people including my dad and my stepmom).
I don’t want to have a huge wedding because that’s money I can use as a 20% down on a mortgage. That’s money I could invest in retirement or my own business. There are so many things I could do with $40000 that I could not list how may things that would be.
But yes, I’m somehow entitled because I wish to be more frugal and pay off my debts before I’m old as hell and pushing 75. I shouldn’t have to hear of my friends who have lots of experience and degrees only earning $13/hr. That’s not entitlement, that’s wanting a wage that moves with inflation.
That’s basic economics. In my neck of the woods, here’s what the living wage: $19.81 for two adults with only one working. I don’t know about you, but that math which is from MIT is kind of not okay. Is it entitlement to ask to be able to buy what my parents did at my age?
And before you say this is my complaining, I’m not. I’m just pointing out the flaw in your logic with my three degrees and $116K in debt. And not for nothing, but why are we the only Western country without healthcare for our citizens? INSURANCE COMPANIES.
I wouldn’t mind paying slightly higher taxes if that means more infrastructure. Some the happiest countries in the world (like Scandinavia) have some cool things like healthcare and paternity/maternity leave. You know, things that would benefit us and make us more productive?
I’m not trying to be that guy, but when someone screams entitlement at me now? I kind of raise my eyebrows and ask “What in the hell are you talking about?”
I’m going to talk to you all about representation in media. Yeah, I know. But Black Panther, Get Out, Moonlight, Bridesmaids, and a bunch of other movies exist, Jess. True, but it’s really only the start of representation in media. Let me show you what I mean:
I mean blackface was a whole thing that existed and if you want to see how I feel about that, Rap Critic and I did a crossover on The Jazz Singer under my previous show before I started only doing “Superhero Rundown.”
Not just blackface, as late as today, there has been trans erasure (45 banning transgender people in the military), bi erasure (Hi, Bohemian Rhapsody), disabled erasure (to my knowledge Mr. Eddie Redmayne is not disabled like the late Mr. Stephen Hawking), and a variety of other negative portrayals. There’s Muslims as terrorists when not all Muslims are terrorists, just to name one.
Okay, so what about it? What’s so important about representation in media? Well, numbers don’t lie. Black Panther made a billion dollars in less than a month because black people were like “That’s me, that could be me!” One of the reasons representation is so important is because there are more than white dudes on the planet: there are black people, Asians, women, Muslims, Indians (from India), Native Americans, among other minority groups and it kind of sucks that they have not had the representation they deserve.
For fuck’s sake, Wonder Woman didn’t even get her own movie until 76 years AFTER her inception and we’ve seen Superman and Batman rebooted more times than a drunk girl giving out her phone number to frat boys at a party.
So, I’m going to pull the “What about the children?” card. If film roles continue to be whitewashed, children will keep developing unhealthy conceptions of racial equality. But if kids see more positive and empowering depictions of POC – especially in film and television – it will undoubtedly begin to have a powerful affect, as many celebrities have attested to. And that’s part of the problem. We don’t have good representations of anyone but white people. Women to a degree are infantile or given the damsel in distress role and most people of color unless a movie made with them at the fore is dedicated to killing those people of color or making them out to be less than human.
We are an ever-changing society; our entertainment industry should continue to represent that. There are children who watch these TV shows and movies and look for someone they can relate to. Think about it. Why do you enjoy the shows you watch? Compelling plot? Sure. How do you feel about the characters? I’m sure you probably enjoy them, but are there any you feel particularly drawn to? So, shouldn’t we make media to reflect our society?
What’s this got to do with Black Panther? And then Black Panther—with its virtually all-black cast, fantastic representation of strong women, African setting, and nuanced characters and storylines—happened. For a brief two hours, our superhero is T’Challa, an African king hailing from a technologically advanced country who uses his superhuman strength to protect his people and their way of life. He’s surrounded by fierce women, including Shuri, his brilliant engineer/princess little sister; Okoye, the general who’s loyal to her country but is also someone’s beloved; and Nakia, the love of his life, a humanitarian, and a spy.
To go farther than that, there’s a different reason that representation matters. Audiences—especially those with little exposure to those outside of their community—typically equate these limited, and harsh, media representations with the real world. That, in turn, can lead to “less attention from doctors to harsher sentencing by judges, lower likelihood of being hired for a job or admitted to school, lower odds of getting loans, and a higher likelihood of being shot by police,” the authors write.
So, it’s not just about getting minorities into film and television. It’s about changing the perspective of the audience. Specifically, the white audience. Though to be fair, some of the films mentioned above were not made for white people by any stretch of the imagination.
And it doesn’t just hurt audiences. It hurts the actors: As a minority, breaking into an industry where white people star in almost three-quarters of the movies produced is an arduous endeavour. As experiences of other groups fall by the wayside in the face of white protagonists, Hollywood silences their important voices from being heard and their stories from being seen. As a result, movies exist in a skewed version of the world that fails to truly reflect its diversity. In addition, exposing audiences to different cultures and heritages makes P.O.C feel more accepted and strengthens their belonging in a community.
And a lot of the time, they played stereotypes. But despite the strides in this department, we aren’t exactly going fast enough. There are so many white people movies, it’s ridiculous. Slowly, the film industry has acknowledged its institutionalized sexism and is making strides to be more inclusive. The Marvel movie franchise included a powerful scene in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” featuring all of the franchise’s women standing together, ready to save the world. And don’t even get me started as to why “all of the franchise’s women standing together” is fucking straight up wrong.
And so far, I’ve only been talking about in front of the screen. What about the writers? Directors? Best Boys? Film Criticism? Producers? Like why is only Ryan Coogler and Jordan Peele the only names that come to mind for directors respectively? I mean there are definitely other people of color that do these roles, but they aren’t as prevalent as white guys.
So, my fellow white guys do me a favor and read this quote over and over again until you get it in your brains: The beauty of television and movies is that there are so many to choose from. If you are an individual who gets “offended” by a race-bent character or a person of color lead, an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) character or plot line, or even a show or movie with a dominant and strong female lead, change the channel or skip the movie. Bashing it online or complaining about it in public gets you nowhere. These characters are doing so much for individuals who identify with them. Recognize the privilege you were born with and understand some people aren’t lucky enough to always have representation in television or movies.
Okay, so what about queer people or disabled people? The same thing applies. If you aren’t disabled, cast a disabled actor. If you aren’t queer, don’t take a queer role. Why is this so difficult for people to grasp?
Anyway, in conclusion, do not get me started on whitewashing. I’m serious. Don’t fucking do it, Scarlett.
So, I don’t know if I’ve made this clear, but I am not a supporter of capitalism with the 1% having everything and the rest of us kind of living paycheck to paycheck. I’m sure Theodore Roosevelt would be rolling around in his grave if he knew the extent of Disney’s holdings.
Before we get to the Mouse, however, let’s define the monopoly and what holdings Disney actually has, then we’ll talk about the Fox merger, the Spider-man thing, and how the Mouse seems to also pretty much be cool with Star Wars and Marvel doing their own thing.
A Monopoly (from the Greek) exists when an enterprise (or person) is the only supplier of a particular commodity (in this case, entertainment, though we do have some other media conglomerates currently). They are characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce a good or service, a lack of viable substitue goods, and the possibility of a high price that leads to a high profit.
So let’s look at this logically: Disney doesn’t really have competition or a spending rival so to speak, as it appears in the media. They bought Fox straight up and the juggernaut of Star Wars and Marvel are also under the umbrella. Of course, they always had the Disney princess lineup and their films, but this seems a bit more than the classic Walt Disney I grew up.
Here’s where it gets interesting: In many jurisdictions, competition laws restrict monopolies (hi Teddy Roosevelt!), but holding a dominant position or a monopoly in a market is often not illegal in itself. BUT there are certain categories of behavior that can be considered abusive and can incur legal sanctions when a business is dominant. (Which we have yet to see and as the Senate is vastly pro-corporation, it’s doubtful to happen in this election cycle.)
Now, what are Disney’s holdings: Well, we have Walt Disney Pictures, ABC, Fx, Freeform, National Geographic, Marvel Studios, Star Wars, Disney Parks (Including Disneyland, Disney World, and EuroDisney among others), D23 (their exhibition every year), Fox Searchlight Pictures, Pixar, Blue Sky Studios, Lucas Film (including Industrial Light & Magic), LucasArts, Skywalker Sound, Buena Vista Theatres, Disney Music Publishing, Hollywood Records, Walt Disney Records, Disney Theatrical Productions, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney, It’s a Laugh Productions, ESPN, A&E Networks, Lifetime (yeah, Disney owns your mom’s soul too), The History Channel, The Disney Store, Disney Magazine, Disney Cruise Line, Disney+ (coming in November), ESPN+, Hulu, Oh My Disney, several international channels in various countries, Marvel Comics, Marvel Animation, Disney Legends, and that’s only naming a small fraction of the holdings. There’s a bunch of holdings they have that I’m not even sure what they are or what they do.
So like I said, Disney owns a lot. So, my friend Leon who runs Renegade Cut, a video essay series on YouTube, summed up the Spider-man deal here:
Side note: I have not seen Venom or Spider-man: Far From Home.
Other side note: Good on Sony for not being strong armed by Disney. Come at me, haters.
And yes, I know the fanboys are all like “But Spider-man should be in the MCU still and Sony sucks.” Yeah, well, unless you’re sitting at the negotiating table? Slow your roll there, Chad.
Disney owns about 36% of the entertainment industry which is a LOT. And as this is very close to the ten year aniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe being a Disney entity, I figured it would be worth mentioning exactly why people think it’s a monopoly, which Leon pretty much summed up extraordinarily above.
But that doesn’t mean, I have nothing to say. According to The Verge, Disney has had the most successful year of any movie studio ever with 7.67 billion dollars in the first SEVEN MONTHS of 2019.
I mean, it’s okay that Disney now owns the Fantastic Four and the X-Men for Marvel again? But is it really worth it for them to be our corporate entertainment overlords just so we can get a decent Doctor Doom who’s not a whiny so-and-so?
I mean, I don’t exactly see how it’s good that they are gobbling up everything, but hey, I only have a degree in superheroes right? I mean IndieWire has discussed that Fox Searchlight Pictures can become New Line Cinema which would be a good route for it to go, but as far as that goes, we’ll have to play the time game.
But Disney isn’t all bad: I mean, it’s a huge part of my childhood. Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and a few others basically are my nostalgia trip. And Disney + looks promising with new shows and vaulted stuff coming. The packaging of Hulu, ESPN, and Disney + doesn’t hurt either as I already have Hulu, I want to watch hockey, and I would like to see some of the Disney Channel original movies again. I mean: “At launch, Disney+ will have more than 500 feature films and over 7,500 show episodes, including Disney’s entire movie library and its full Pixar and The Simpsons catalogues.” So, it’s going to basically be Netflix, but better because Disney? They keep touting quality over quantity, but we’ll see about that.
Don’t get me wrong, Moon Knight, The Mandalorian, and freaking Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) all look amazing, but they are part of an empire that keeps expanding under Iger.
I will say though that Snow White is still awesome for helping that autistic boy.
Look, the Mouse is in our lives now, but that doesn’t mean we should just give up and love the monopoly. Teddy Roosevelt is so disappointed in the fanboys of the MCU right now, you guys. Just so disappointed.
I’m of two minds on this: Obviously speculation can be a good thing because it motivates fans to have their drive for their favorite hero/villain/franchise. It drives fanart like the one of David Tennant as the Riddler and such.
There are some media outlets who like to sensationalize speculation to the point where some people question if it’s real. I’m obviously aware of the people who need to sell advertising space on the Internet and such. But I’m talking about headlines like “David Tennant as the Riddler” and then you click on it and it’s a speculation piece.
Then there’s the speculation about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and while I’m all for that (again it drives the conversation), Marvel is a lot better about reigning it in as far as speculation is concerned.
Most of the time, Kevin Feige is pretty quick to shoot down any speculation. Now I understand that once a movie is released, some speculation is to be had. Such as when everyone was debating what timeline that Captain America was in before he gave up the mantle. (I was right about that by the way. YAY TIME TRAVEL.)
But to sensationalize the speculation before news is announced is incredibly misleading. It’s part of the reason I don’t give credence to specific articles until they are confirmed by the director, the head of MCU, or by the actors themselves.
With Crisis on Infinite Earths coming to the Arrowverse soon, I have noticed the ramping up of speculation of who’s going to be in it, even outside of the trailer. I like speculation, but maybe news outlets should frame it as such?
Okay, it’s time to talk San Diego Comic-Con superhero news and I’m sorry, Picard was the best announcement at the whole con for me. Sorry, that’s just my opinion. Especially since it looks like Santiago Cabrera (of BBC Musketeers’ Amaris fame) is involved.
Marvel and DC didn’t have a bad showing either.
Let’s start with DC because Crisis on Infinite Earths is happening as the big crossover this year. I like that they are suiting up Brandon Routh as Kingdom Come Superman. I can’t wait to see him interact with Tyler’s Superman from Supergirl. It’s going to be great.
And they confirmed that all the shows are part of the Arrowverse, so shut up:
Arrow: Final season for the show. I’ll miss it especially since I just did an episode on Season 2 that’s waiting to be released, but at least I can catch up now? I am digging the logo though for the final season. It looks great. I also like the mix of some of the previous seasons and the glimpse of Ruby Rose as Batwoman in there. Bravo!
Batwoman: I like that right of the bat (pun intended), Batman seems to have abandoned Gotham. “I’m not about to let a man take credit for a woman’s work.” OH MY GOD, I have a mighty need. I can’t wait to see how this series takes off, especially with Arrow ending.
Black Lightning: I love this show with a fiery passion. Tobias is still around, but I still like that the show is focusing on the family. I also like the rules that Jefferson has set down: don’t reveal your identity, don’t go it alone, and don’t kill. Can’t wait for this season
Flash: Oh, goddammit, Barry. What is going on this time? Bloodwork. OH NO. But it has apparently been teased that there will be a Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis villain. I’m all for Goddammit, Barry as it is my favorite of the Arrowverse shows, but goddammit, Barry, what have you gotten yourself into this time?
Legends of Tomorrow: I’m still salty about Captain Cold, but I have high hopes for how well this show is doing.
Supergirl: The technology addiction angle is a good way to go and I like the motivation of Lena Luther. Also, always nice to see Lex. (He’s still better than the current President, fight me.)
Watchmen: Okay, I’m intrigued, but not much else. The trailer is interesting and Regina King as the main character is nice, but I don’t have much else to go on.
Doom Patrol and Titans: Haven’t watched them yet, but I hope to at some point in the near future.
DC Movies: The promo art for Birds of Prey looks good and James Gunn has confirmed he’s finishing Suicide Squad before he goes to Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Which brings to the MCU.
Eternals: Female director, all star cast including people of color. I’m not entirely sure if I’m on board with the story, but I will wait for a trailer before I say anything more.
The Falcon & Winter Soldier: Glad they have the Cap shield in there and that Zemo is coming back as a villain. The dynamic between these guys is hilarious and I cannot wait for more.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: I’m glad Marvel Studios has decided to get freaky with Phase 4 and try out some new things. Can’t wait.
WandaVision: Looks interesting, especially with Maria Rambeau in there, but I’m still unsure how that’s going down since Vision is dead.
Loki: Great that Tom Hiddleston is still going to be Loki. That logo could use some work though.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Together with Scarlet Witch, huh? That looks pretty damn fun and if it’s a horror movie? All the better.
What if…?: Though animated, it looks like a ton of fun. I won’t be covering it on Superhero Rundown as per my strict live-action media rule, buuuuttt, I might tweet about it when I finally see it.
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop? HELL YES. I’m in.
Thor Love and Thunder: Tessa and Chris are back and Natalie Portman is wielding the hammer as Thor. I’m excited especially since Tessa has said the King of Asgard needs a queen. Also Watiti is back, so I’m here for it. Ragnorok was great and I am certain this one will be good too.
Black Widow: I’m on the fence about this. I would rather a new character introduction, but I know that a lot of people were clamoring for this.
Blade: Mahershala Ali is our Blade. I’m stoked. I don’t like that it seems they are leaving the Netflix shows behind because Jessica Jones, Kingpin, Daredevil, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Luke Cage, Night Nurse, Madame Gao, and Colleen Wing were PERFECTLY cast. But whatever.
Successful announcements all around. I’m stoked for a lot of this. I’m glad that some things are happening and disappointed about some others, but I’ll take this as a win for DCTV and the MCU.
Hey, I know it’s been a while, but man has it been busy over here in life. I got engaged, I started rescuing cats, and I got a hard symptom onset of my PTSD. It’s been hectic to say the least.
But you aren’t here about that. You want to know what’s next for The Cultural Superheroine.
First of all, I’m re-picking up my show Superhero Rundown and I hope Iron Fist will be out next week for patrons. Speaking of patrons, if you want early episodes, scripts, or producer credits, please subscribe here.
I have 3 episodes that just need to be edited and am currently researching and scripting an episode on Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold and his arc from full-fledged villain to full-fledged hero.
I am also starting to write a book, so I’ve also been busy doing that.
I am hoping to start writing more content here. I dropped the ball because my live kind of went haywire for a minute there.
I will say that I am working on a secret project that is due out in June of 2020. I am also working on a few other projects at the moment. I’m staying busy is what I’m saying.
I will also be posting some episodes here as well. My YouTube channel will house most of my content that is video and stream related, but other than that, I’m hoping this will also be a hub for my content as well.
Thanks for keeping up with me. My next post will probably be on the San Diego Comic-Con news that’s superhero related.
Sidenote: I am here for Star Trek: Picard. Fight me.
I’m going to preface this post with a number of things: First, this post took me three weeks to write because I’m still reeling from a number of personal things. Second, in order to understand waht I’m writing about I have to discuss Batman v. Superman (which I hated for the most part) and Wonder Woman (which I loved for the most part) and not mention Suicide Squad or Man of Steel (if I can at all help it). Finally, the last preface is: THIS WILL BE A LOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGGG post. But if you make it all the way to the end, I hope you’ll leave constructive analysis in the comments or something.
In order to understand the title, we need to understand what went wrong with Batman v. Superman. And there are a million thinkpieces about it, but so far Moviebob’s analysis on Youtube here has been the most thorough and as of this writing Part III has yet to come out. But the first 3 HOURS of the analysis are well worth watching as you see the breakdown in narrative structure and he made me rethink some of the things I actually liked about the film (I.E. Wonder Woman).
I’m not going to rehash it all here, but his analysis is thought-provoking to say the least and I am extremely impressed with the amount of time, energy, and content. So what went wrong with Batman v. Superman? Well, the concept on paper is interesting: having a vigilante in Gotham not like a Jesus-like figure from Metropolis sounds like a good idea if the reasoning is good, but spoiler: it wasn’t a good reason (Martha indeed) and the movie fell flat on its face in terms of narrative structure and overall tone (which was DARK). Zack Snyder has remade Watchmen like 5 times now and I want a DIFFERENT thing.
Okay, so fast forward to Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: firstly, though she loosely held the plot together and showed up at the end to help our titular characters, did she have any other role in the film? Not really, other than to set up her own titular movie.
Which was good for the most part. Ares, my god, man. SHAVE YOUR MUSTACHE. But I digress: The point here is that Wonder Woman was a movie that many of my friends wanted and though they had problems with the villain, it was a movie that we could very easily see what Wonder Woman stood for. Also, that No Man’s Land scene was amazing and so was the village fight scene and I will fight you. Importantly, it was the film leading up to Justice League.
Justice League. THERE ARE SPOILERS STARTING HERE.
There were a lot of things in the structure that could have made sense had it been Darkseid, but you know what? It worked for me. I liked that they brought in the New Gods (even though it was a throwaway, but the mere fact that they exist in the DCEU is good enough for me). I liked that they had Superman fight the Justice League, even if the way they brought him back was dumb. I liked that Aquaman was at least fun. I didn’t like Flash, I wish they had gotten Grant Gustin, united the universes and had a bunch of cool stuff happen, but you know what? For what Justice League was? It was a step in the right direction.
Did it help that Joss Whedon stepped in to help with reshoots? Yeah. But honestly, it does feel like an apology for Batman v. Superman and I wish other people would realize it, even if it blatantly ripped off Marvel, but that’s a ball of wax that I will not be getting into here. Maybe soon, but not here.
Justice League had a good concept going with the motherboxes, even if I wish that Cyborg was a fourth one, but on paper the concept sounds great: New God from space comes to Earth, steals a bunch of shit, outpowers all the superheroes, so the heroes band together and use magicky science to bring back Jesus after he died saving the world. Jesus gets muddled and fights the team until his lover shows up and he takes off leaving the rest of the team to fight the New God from space until the final act where he actually SAVES CIVILIANS INSTEAD OF CAUSING COLLATERAL DAMAGE (looking at you Man of Steel) and helps the team beat the New God from space and they agree to be a team when the need arises again.
SOLID foundation of a concept. Was it poorly executed? Yeah. But it was colorful (at least more colorful than Batman v. Superman) and it was somewhat fun. Though Wonder Woman and Superman match each other’s strength, so…
But I digress. Justice League was okay. It was a good step, but not much more than that. Though I did genuinely laugh at a few of the one liners. Specifically, “I’m rich” and the pay off that came with it at the end of the film with Martha getting her farm back.
So where does the DCEU go from here? Hopefully up, but if it doesn’t, maybe using Justice League as a template and improving it wouldn’t be the worst thing.
First of all, this is not meant to inform you why life is complicated. It was a catchy title and it was a third thing to help make life LESS complicated for me. That being said, you’re in for a wild ride today reader, because we’re getting into the nitty gritty of cultural studies, intersectionality, and other such buzzwords that helped me through graduate school. (Thanks, Amy and Michael).
So first off, Film Crit Hulk, the Incredible Hulk guy who runs around critiquing film and culture recently wrote a rather long essay on Intersectionality which you can read here. I warn you though, when I say long, I mean LONNNNNNGGGGGGGGG. In the article, he explains about his background of being a “doofy white guy” when he isn’t “Dr. Banner” and what the word intersectionality means.
So what exactly does it mean? Well, let’s go to Google and find out how close they actually are for the purposes of this small chunk of an essay: “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.”
Not a bad definition and pretty close to the definition I usually use. Okay, so we know what intersectionality is, we know who Film Crit Hulk is, and for the sake of argument I will assume you know who Joss Whedon is and what Wonder Woman and Game of Thrones are as well as what fanboys are and why they are pissed off a lot of the time. If you don’t, congratulations, you are pure and need to get off the Internet immediately.
Film Crit Hulk, or as I’ll refer to him from this point on, Hulk, explains that there was a Wonder Woman script that Joss Whedon wrote a number of years ago that pissed off quite a few people. As most people know, Joss Whedon made Disney a literal billion dollars with The Avengers and wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So what’s the problem? Surely he knows how to write women?
Well, people got angry and it turned into a large discussion about his entire career and of course Whedon gave young people a connection to Buffy whether they be women, progressives, or LGBT, BUTTTTTTTTTTT. Joss Whedon is also a human being like you and I. Because of that he only knows what he’s told about the female experience, because he is not one. He may be a feminist, but I’m sure we can agree he’s never been catcalled for wearing a short skirt in New York City at 10am when you’re on your way to your day job. Guess who has? *raises hand*
Why is this important? Well, it brings us back to intersectionality. Joss Whedon is a male who I imagine is well off financially. I, am a female bisexual thirty year old who just got out of graduate school and am in debt. I can speak to that experience better than Joss Whedon can.
So fanboys were mad about Joss Whedon and Hulk made an excellent point: “Think about it. When you’re angry, your anger makes complete sense, right? Whether you are angry at Trump or Libtards or the pop culture moron du jour, there’s nothing ever wrong with your anger. But for women, POC, LGBT, and marginalized groups? Maybe they’re angry because the entire system around them is laughable. Maybe it’s because they have a universe of dire issues to be angry about. Maybe it’s because we talk about not believing what our country did last election, and yet 94% of black women voted for Hilary against Trump. Maybe it’s because white liberal folks talk about how they fear one day living in a police state, but black people have been living in a police state for centuries now (and worse). Heck, given our backgrounds and sliding sense of justice, if white people were immediately put into the world that black people had to live in, we would be grabbing a brick in two seconds, without the realization of the oppression that comes next. Because when that happened in Ferguson, white America shrugged and wondered why it couldn’t be like the MLK days…”
Now I have read the Joss Whedon Wonder Woman script and I’m extremely grateful we got the Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman script we got instead. Hulk explains “Which is perhaps the biggest reason for we needed Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman script over Joss Whedon’s old one. It’s because her perspective and positivity was sorely needed, especially in this current landscape.” It’s not a perfect movie, but I only consider one movie in existence to be the perfect movie in terms of many monikers and that filmmaker is dead.
But let’s be real: the criticism of the Joss Whedon script is on the system and if you claim to be an ally, what you can do to make it better. Joss Whedon is a white dude, if he was really an ally he would let a woman write Batgirl, a black man write Cyborg in the Justice League reshoots, etc. He can write Batman, Superman, and even Flash.
This brings me to my second example. So for those of you who love Game of Thrones (Team Tyrion and Drogon forever, I don’t care), the showrunners announced that after they finish Game of Thrones, they’re going to be doing Confederate, a setting in which the South apparently won the Civil War.
Someone is going to tell me “Wait for a trailer before you judge it!” But honestly? I date a black man. You really think that me waiting for a trailer is going to make me more sympathic to a system that until the 1960s told my boyfriend and others of his skin color they had to have separate water fountains, lunch counters, the back of the bus, and separate bathrooms because racism. And still systematic kills black people because the police get away with it most of the time. If you had any idea how difficult it was for a black man in America, maybe you wouldn’t “Wait for a trailer before you judge it.”
I’m saying that I’m not giving a series called CONFEDERATE the freakin’ benefit of the doubt because there’s no trailers. Don’t feed a show that will show oppression of black individuals that isn’t written by black Americans. For that, I’ll watch Jordan Peele’s Get Out.
Research for Captain Marvel, Black Canary, and Storm is going well. As for Huntress, there’s not a lot of scholarly research for her other than when she’s with Birds of Prey along with Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk, and Oracle.
That being said, it looks like I’ll be reading a lot of Huntress comics and drawing my own scholarly conclusions, hence “inventing sources” in the title. How do I plan to do this?
Well, considering the lack of comic book heroine research out there in the first place other than Batgirl (for disability/feminism intersection), Wonder Woman (because feminism), Harley Quinn (for abused victim turned anti-hero along with her relationship to Poison Ivy), and Jessica Jones (for her Netflix series on rape culture), there are a ton of sources about Storm (first Black superheroine) and about Captain Marvel (mostly as a comparison to Kamala Khan (who in turn will have her own section on the website at a later date)).
It’s hard researching scholarly articles that don’t exist. I have found plenty about Huntress in regards to the failed Birds of Prey television pilot, a lot on the Arrow version of the character, and a lot of the Birds of Prey comics. With that said, there isn’t enough about Huntress by herself unless it’s in one of these three forms. It’s frustrating.
So, I feel like this will be a reoccuring theme for me with this project. Some heroines will be easier to find than others. Kamala Khan will be easier than Wonder Girl if for no other reason than Kamala representing a minority in America after 9/11 and what that means for the hero who idolizes Captain Marvel.
My goal is to have these resources fleshed out by the end of August and written by the end of September. My end goal for these four is October 15th. Whether that actually comes to fruition depends on a lot of factors, but this is my current goal.
Comic book research is not fledgeling by any stretch, but some heroes are more neglected than others. A lot of research has been put into Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Captain America, Storm, Kamala Khan, and a few others. Some have more intersectionality with other subjects like patriotism (Captain America/Superman), vigilantism/justice (Batman), African-American experience (Storm), Muslim experience (Kamala Khan), and feminism (Wonder Woman). But many are neglected.
I’m hoping to change that. This project, I believe in my heart of hearts will make people realize how important heroines are to research. While there is scholarly writing of how comics are used to teach values, very little of it is in reference to heroines or their superpowers. They are usually mentioned in passing, but not as the crux of the genre.
And that’s the problem. Because women are also part of the conversation. They draw, write, read, cosplay, and breath comic books. It’s time to give the superheroines their due time in the sun and it’s time to tell people why they are important to life, our values, and most importantly our culture.
Wonder Woman did so well as a film. And it’s not an anomaly. It’s a powerful message that women are part of the industry. It’s a part of our culture. It might not be the perfect movie, but it definitely shows heart and qualities that define Wonder Woman herself.
Shouldn’t we want that for other superheroines? Shouldn’t we want to idolize all heroes, not just men? Culture is ever-changing and it’s time to adapt to what comics have been telling us for over 75 years with Wonder Woman: Women are heroes too and they are here to stay.
Dammit HYDRA is exactly how I feel about job hunting. I spent about 25 years in school and will have two MAs at the end of July, but as of right now, most jobs require said MAs to actually interview. Most of the emails are like this:
Dear Ms. Jessica [Last Name Redacted]
Thank you for your application. Unfortunately, we are not accepting canadiates without Master’s of Art degrees. Please reapply when you receive yours and we can include you in the process.
[Organization Hiring Manager’s Name Redacted]
So, the nice thing is they are still willing to include me in the process, but they’ll hire before my degrees are awarded. Dammit HYDRA. In the meantime, I’ll be working a gig, which is nice.
I’ve started to work on the critical acclaim of the Wonder Woman movie for the website Be A Heroine! and that’s coming along somewhat. I hope to finish it by today if possible.
As soon as that’s finished, I’ll start my research for Black Canary, Huntress, Captain Marvel, and Storm so I can post them in late Fall. A lot of research goes into this. About three months worth to be precise, which means they’ll be posted as soon as I move some stuff on the website around, add new pages, get the artwork, and other minor things.
In the meantime, I’ll be starting my gig Thursday and I’m really excited. I’m packing A LOT of sunscreen, my extra battery pack, and wearing my FitBit. Lots of walking will happen. It’s going to be great.