btchflcks:

"A Girl Worth Fighting For: Ava Snow Battles Death” by Max Thornton
For all my cynicism, fall TV season secretly fills me with (false, inevitably dashed) hope every year. I may not always admit it, but I do give a fair chance to any new show that strikes my attention even a little. (Grad school has robbed me of many things – NaNoWriMo, the concept of disposable income, alcohol, the ability to stay awake for more than eight hours at a stretch, my last slender grasp on mental health – but it has not yet made a significant dent in the truly irresponsible amounts of TV I watch.) On some level, I think I’m still searching for something to fill the Buffy-shaped hole in my heart.
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btchflcks:

"A Girl Worth Fighting For: Ava Snow Battles Death by Max Thornton

For all my cynicism, fall TV season secretly fills me with (false, inevitably dashed) hope every year. I may not always admit it, but I do give a fair chance to any new show that strikes my attention even a little. (Grad school has robbed me of many things – NaNoWriMo, the concept of disposable income, alcohol, the ability to stay awake for more than eight hours at a stretch, my last slender grasp on mental health – but it has not yet made a significant dent in the truly irresponsible amounts of TV I watch.) On some level, I think I’m still searching for something to fill the Buffy-shaped hole in my heart.

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Reblogged from Bitch Flicks
Power feminism is just another scam in which women get to play patriarchs and pretend that the power we seek and gain liberates us.

bell hooks

Let’s talk about this quote for a second.

I remember I attended a college lecture about what feminism means in America and how imperial politics and economic gaps between the West and East render what women want and consider pivotal to their feminsim as conflicting and even antagonistic to each other.

My feminism, first and foremost, will always be anti-imperialism.

Imperial politics are dangerous and the very essence of narcissism. Imperial politics demonstrated within a feminist frame usually goes as follows: the most privileged women, ie. those who have access to technology, representation, occupy a particular media-friendly image or ideology and have access to those in higher slots in society are allotted platforms to speak about their experiences as women and without question, this gets presumptuously labelled “women’s experiences”. Being that women who are globally bestowed the highest tier are usually allowed such room to speak, their minimal struggles are then homogenized as the quintessential female experience and misogyny is wholeheartedly announced a tangible issue that can be easily eradicated out of modern Western society.

Its no accident that women of color, women in occupied regions and those who face mass political or economic repression and their words which don’t satisfy neoliberal, imperialst gaze are deemed anti-progressive, race baiters, backwards, terrorist apologists, etc. Our complex, multi-faceted struggles within a white supremacist empire tap into too many accepted status quos for the average American moderate. It forces those who legitimize the war on terror and view racism as an entity of the past to confront their own unsightly prejudices and the systematic brutality their nations enacts on various global societies, as well as within its borders. Its easier to find (and fabricate) any reason to demonize the likes of Trayvon Martin and his family for his own tragic demise or deem young Yemeni children necessary collateral damage for “the greater good” than to examine what other oppressions beyond misogyny exist that unquestionably burden the lives of otherized communities, including and especially the women in said communities.

Power feminism expects women to unanimously rejoice in the presidential election of Hillary Clinton, while her administration carries out the same murderous policies as her predecessors. Power feminism labels any legitimate criticism of influential women as inherent egregious misogyny. Power feminism devalues the loss of women’s lives abroad, while infantizling their independent resistance and stripping their agency by shamelessly declaring intervention as saving them. Power feminism within an imperialistic frame needs the hyper-demonization of otherized communities to justify its occupation. Power feminism can be even more dangerous than ruthless misogyny because of its insidious nature and lack of culpability.

(via maarnayeri)

Reblogged from princess thundernuts

Anonymous asked: While A:TLA is probably one of the most feminist tv shows out there, what do you think are the top 10 most feminist moments? I'm just curious.

avataraang:

You would be spot on with that assertion. Not only does ATLA master Bechdel bending it’s has fantastic female role models of all persuasions. 

Top 10 feminist moments in ATLA! 

#10. Ladies Showing Off Their Skills

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If there is one thing ATLA is overflowing with, it’s ladies absolutely walloping the shit out of everyone. Nothing says gender equality like breaking people’s bones. And while there were many exceptional fights involving ladies, Suki channeling her inner spider-man is a definite highlight. Plus she made Sokka really hot while doing it. 

#9. Ladies Performing The Ultimate Sacrifice 

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Yue’s sacrifice in the season 1 finale is one of the most outstanding moments of the entire series. Excellently foreshadowed, emotionally poignant and above all heroic. Up until that point her narrative arc had been rather traditional and romance focused, but in her final moments it completely transcends that as she makes the noble decision to give her life back. It’s heartbreaking and she’s rightly remembered throughout the series for the choice she makes. 

#8. Ladies Outsmart Everyone  

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Politics is more often that not dominated by men, but that doesn’t mean they are better at it. It’s a fabulous moment in the series where two villains face off, and there was only ever going to be one winner. Azula absolutely wiped the floor with Long Feng with her superior cunning, wit and ruthlessness. In return she gets control of an army of well dressed men. Oh and it should be mentioned that it took men 100 years to try and defeat Ba Sing Se, Azula does it in less than a week. You go, gurl. 

#7. Ladies Choosing Their Romantic Destiny 

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This may seem an odd choice for one of the most feminist moments, but I actually think it’s crucial. So many people completely misinterpret this scene and write if off as ‘The Hero Getting The Girl!’ It implies that Katara is a prize and has no agency in this decision. Utterly and completely missing the point. Katara makes a big statement in 3x17 about how she and Aang are not ready for a relationship with a war going on and that he should back off. Aang respects this decision and promptly gets lost (literally, actually). When the war is done Katara turns up on that balcony and makes the clear decision that she wants him. She initiates the kiss. They make a massive point of this on the DVD commentary about how it’s Katara that properly starts their relationship. It sends a great signal that ladies should operate on their own romantic schedules and that if the dudes worth it, he’ll still be there. 

#6. Ladies Beating Up Fully Grown Men

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What is more feminist than a 12 year blind old girl emasculating and then promptly beating the shit out of a fully grown man. Nothing I tell you. Nothing. 

#5. Ladies Defying Gender Norms And Expectations 

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There’s a whole lot of this in ATLA of course, but one of my favourite moments is Kyoshi’s whole philosophical attitude. It’s really unconventional for a hardline consequentialist philosophy to come from a woman. Avatar Kyoshi is just a brilliantly fascinating character that show upmost conviction in her beliefs and fulfills them with great assurance. Her speech about killing Chin the Conqueror and what that meant to her is a lesson in great character writing. Plus she’s the oldest ever Avatar, ladies represent. 

#4. Ladies Having Excellent Friendships 

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So many outstanding female friendships in this show, all with different dynamics and nuances. And while the relationship between the Azula/Ty Lee/Mai is fascinating, I think the interaction between Toph and Katara is in the end obviously more satisfying. They represent polar opposites in terms of gender norms. Katara with her traditional girly tendencies, while Toph with her far more masculine rough approach. They clash over their perceived differences but in the end they find common ground over mutual admiration for each other’s strengths. 

#3. Ladies Being Both Girls And Warriors

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If there was a tagline for ATLA’s feminism, this would be it. It’s a complete inversion of the pervasive line of thinking that warriors have to be masculine. ATLA was fantastic at showing that being a girl and being a warrior are not mutually exclusive. 

#2. Ladies Being Dangerous 

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The Dangerous Ladies are everything that I could have wanted and more. An elite hit squad filled with intricate and well written ladies that have hugely satisfying individual and cumulative plot lines. Not only do they beat virtually everyone they come up against, they always to do it with such style and great punch lines. “Don’t you know fans just makes flames stronger?” or of course Mai’s eternal classic, “Oh well, victory is boring.” The Dangerous Ladies might not have won in the end, but they certainly made a fantastic team. 

#1. Ladies Fighting Patriarchy 

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A defining moment in Katara’s character arc and the series as a whole. The whole of season one had built up to Aang and Katara finding a powerful Waterbending Master, only to realize they were trapped in a society that had institutional sexism. Despite her male peers telling her to find another solution, Katara takes matters into her own hands. What follows is nothing less than a sensational battle where Katara proves definitively that actions speak louder than words. It’s a groundbreaking moment in the series, both highlighting that the “good” guys are not always that good and equally that change can come despite the odds. 

chaila:

spider-xan:

Also, I was thinking more about why white women saying they’re boycotting ‘Pacific Rim’ and urge others to do so because it doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test and is therefore Terrible for Women and Feminism bothers me so much even though that’s their right to do so and I wouldn’t tell them not to do it, and now I think I know and can put it into words.

It’s really easy to throw away a film because of that test (which is flawed and used incorrectly in a lot of ways) if you’re a white woman and can easily find other films with white women who look like you and represent you, even if that representation isn’t as good in quantity and quality as white men (and yes, I’m specifying WHITE men and not just ‘men’ for good reason). If ‘Pacific Rim’ does nothing for you, there are plenty of other films that will generally do quite well for white women.

But as an East Asian woman, someone like Mako — a well-written Japanese woman who is informed by her culture without being solely defined by it, without being a racial stereotype, and gets to carry the film and have character development — almost NEVER comes along in mainstream Western media. And honestly — someone like her will probably not appear again for a very long time.

So you’ll understand why I can’t throw her and the entire film away as meaning nothing in terms of representation — because she’s all I really have right now. I can expect and push for better while still appreciating what she means to me. Mako Mori means more to me than the Bechdel Test if I have to compromise (and as a WOC, I have to compromise all the damn time, and no, I don’t like it), even if it would have been nice for the film to pass it as well. And don’t fucking dare accuse me of ‘accepting crumbs’ and how that will ‘bring down all women’.

*facepalm* A boycott? WTF why. What is it exactly that we’re saying we don’t want? Heroines of color with their own stories. PSHAW get that crap out of here.

And apparently I’m going to take this opportunity to flail about the Bechdel Test? OOPS.

1) @sanguinarysanguinity has recently been smartly pointing out (here’s one post; here’s another) how the Bechdel test was never intended to be a test “for feminism,” it was a test initially created by a lesbian in the context of a comic about lesbians, and thus shorthand for determining whether a movie might reflect any hint of a community centered around women.  Everyone should go read her posts, they are very relevant! But basically, she discusses how now lots of discussion tries to twist the Bechdel test into something it was never intended to be.

2) It has often been a useful test for me, as someone who is just by default more interested in media with multiple women who have relationships with each other, but as it becomes more and more some ultimate “test for feminism” and thereby a fairly reductive tool, it is less useful (and again, as sanguinity says in her posts, it was not intended for this use). If Jane and Darcy talk about science for one minute at the beginning of Thor, Thor apparently is a more feminist movie than Pacific Rim? (Not slamming Thor, this is just an example drawn from two movies I’ve recently seen). That’s arbitrary. I think we can discuss lots about the feminist elements/female representation in each, or lack thereof, and I’m not saying we should pit movies against each other, but just that relying only on the Bechdel test is reductive of feminism (and media representation issues).

For example, yes Pacific Rim fails the Bechdel test. Pacific Rim is not perfect. There should be more women! The Russian and Chinese teams should have gotten a lot more to do. Mako and Sasha talking would have indicated that both roles were stronger/more present in the film. There could have been less focus on white dudes. But the above perspective by @spider-xan on Mako is important and should be listened to and considered by all people dismissing the movie in the name of feminism. (It doesn’t mean you have to like the movie! I more than understand someone who wouldn’t, because there aren’t more women or for any other reason. But your perspective =/= universally feminist). She’s a female lead of color who gets her own hero arc, and whose function is not to support or admire a man. Why would we want to send the message that we don’t want that? Why do we think that is automatically not feminist or anti-feminist, because it doesn’t meet this one arbitrary “test for feminism” (women minimally interacting)?

Let’s propose the Mako Mori test, to live alongside the Bechdel test (not to supplant it! My point is not that we shouldn’t care about women interacting—I care about this A LOT—but that isn’t the pinnacle of feminism or the only thing we should care about). The Mako Mori test is passed if the movie has: a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story. I think this is about as indicative of “feminism” (that is, minimally indicative, a pretty low bar) as the Bechdel test. It is a pretty basic test for the representation of women, as is the Bechdel test. It does not make a movie automatically feminist. (Many movies/shows would not pass it). 

2) Why are so few people talking about the fact that Pacific Rim DOES pass the Bechdel test as modified for race (two characters of color talk about something other than a white character) with almost flying colors?! Mako and Stacker both have their own arcs, and also have an arc TOGETHER, which gets multiple scenes and is one of the emotional centers of the movie. As far as I know, this is really freaking rare in any sort of mainstream media. And is also feminist, yes? Again, I’m not arguing that this should supplant women interacting, or that the fact that people of color interact means we should be quiet about the movie’s other flaws. Not at all! But the Bechdel test is NOT the be-all, end-all test for feminism. (And, to bring it full circle, as sanguinity says in her posts, it was never meant to be).

3) I will probably continue to use the Bechdel test, though honestly I really only find it useful for my specific purposes when using it among people who apply the same “spirit” of the Bechdel test—multiple women with prominent narrative roles who interact, because I like media that does this—and don’t apply it in the highly technical way it has come to be applied, where any random, short conversation between two women makes a movie/show pass “the feminism test.”

Reblogged from

spider-xan:

Also, I was thinking more about why white women saying they’re boycotting ‘Pacific Rim’ and urge others to do so because it doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test and is therefore Terrible for Women and Feminism bothers me so much even though that’s their right to do so and I wouldn’t tell them not to do it, and now I think I know and can put it into words.

It’s really easy to throw away a film because of that test (which is flawed and used incorrectly in a lot of ways) if you’re a white woman and can easily find other films with white women who look like you and represent you, even if that representation isn’t as good in quantity and quality as white men (and yes, I’m specifying WHITE men and not just ‘men’ for good reason). If ‘Pacific Rim’ does nothing for you, there are plenty of other films that will generally do quite well for white women.

But as an East Asian woman, someone like Mako — a well-written Japanese woman who is informed by her culture without being solely defined by it, without being a racial stereotype, and gets to carry the film and have character development — almost NEVER comes along in mainstream Western media. And honestly — someone like her will probably not appear again for a very long time.

So you’ll understand why I can’t throw her and the entire film away as meaning nothing in terms of representation — because she’s all I really have right now. I can expect and push for better while still appreciating what she means to me. Mako Mori means more to me than the Bechdel Test if I have to compromise (and as a WOC, I have to compromise all the damn time, and no, I don’t like it), even if it would have been nice for the film to pass it as well. And don’t fucking dare accuse me of ‘accepting crumbs’ and how that will ‘bring down all women’.