Sunday, July 31, 2011

Modern Lady


My friend just sent me this great clip of Target Women (love ya Sarah Haskins, such a hero) which reminded me of Modern Lady, which is the current Current TV lady-oriented clip show. I love these clip shows because they're both so so good at pointing out the ridiculous gender stuff we put up with. Dear lord. So, watch, and say goodbye to the next 2 hours of your time because you're going to watch all of the clips.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quotable

“I’m constantly telling girls all the time everything is airbrushed, everything is retouched to the point it’s not even asked. None of us look like that. ... It’s a form of violence in the way that we look at women and the way we expect them to look and be for what sake? Not for health, survival, not for enjoyment of life, but just so you could look pretty. -Rosario Dawson in a Shape magazine interview.

She also told the mag that while filming Rent she kept getting compliments on how she looked although she was underweight to play a junkie with AIDS, and as she says, “I looked emaciated.” I only saw Rent once so I really only vaguely remember her character singing that one song that every annoying musical-theater-girl-ever wants to sing all the time (the year of high school this movie came out was rough), but I am sure this is true. When Mila Kunis went down to 98 pounds for her role in Black Swan, she said, "I could see why this industry is so f****d up, because ... I would literally look at myself in the mirror and I was like, 'Oh my God!' I had no shape, no boobs, no ass ... all you saw was the bone. I was like, 'This looks gross.' In real life, I looked disgusting, but in photographs and on film, it looked amazing."

Actors and actresses lose and gain weight for specific roles, but do so under the watch of a doctor. Mila Kunis said that it only took her 5 days to gain the weight back that took her a couple months to lose. Actors and actresses are also so trim all the time because it is literally their job to look good. I'm sure I'd have a tight bod if I worked out for six hours a day, but that is ridiculous because I am a real person, and I have work and school and Netflix. However, I think there are strides being made in this modern fight against photoshop--L'Oreal ads in the UK with Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington were pulled after Britain's Advertising Standards Authority deemed them misleading. Good for you, UK!

Feminist Rapper Friday: Rocky Rivera


Listen to the lyrics of this one... she's awesome! Sometimes I use Feminist Rapper Friday to just highlight female MCs who I think are interesting or underrated, but Rocky Rivera actually is really interesting, underrated, and raps about social justice issues! And bonus, she's totally friendly to her LGBT fans. And she's Filipina! I'm so excited about this one.





I love that this one samples "Chick Habit" by April March--awesome!

Here's "Heart" live

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Today in Boob News

When I was a sophomore in high school, my friend Emma and I were the only female members of the Kung Fu Movie Watching Club. (That's right... that club existed at my high school.) Mostly we had an awesome time because we'd watch these really sweet kung fu movies, but one time the dudes chose some anime movie that we could not take seriously... I honestly do not remember what it was called and the fact that it was set in space but also Earth (sometimes?) and featured a prominent female character with a tiny, tiny shirt and ginormous, reality-defying boobs probably won't narrow it down for anyone who actually knows anything about anime. Anyway, the boobs were fixating for us because we are 1.) ladies who have boobs and 2) humans who know that the anime-woman in this movie was actually impossible.

I don't really get Tumblr, but I really wish Boobs Don't Work That Way had existed back then. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of references to anime on this blog, because as far as I can tell, the Japanese are not incredibly interested in the actual physics of boobs. And, you know, dudes in general. Here's an interview with the BDWTW creator. All I can say is, thank you, Toni, for demanding people at least acknowledge the ridiculousness of cartoon breasts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Awkward Episode 2: Knocker Killer

So at the end of the first episode things were looking up. Maybe Jenna could overcome all her awkward obstacles and become a triumphant teenage weirdo...

But that wouldn't make for a very interesting show. Although Jenna gets her behemoth cast off, she still has a ginormous sling because she got freaked out at the doctor's, fainted, and fell off the table.

Back at school, Jenna is obsessing over Matty. And duh! She's 15 and lost her virginity to a dude who more or less ignores that she exists. And he's hot. (Beau Mirchoff, who plays Matty, was born the same year as me, thank god high schoolers never play high schoolers.) However, all this pent-up teenage angst is pretty pent up-- considering she hasn't even gotten around to telling her BFF Tamara that she and Matty hooked up. Kind of like a reverse Easy-A.

Sadie, head cheerleader/resident high school Mean Girl, has it in for Jenna. She uses Alyssa, who is her BFF/minion, by building up her insecurities to get her to take a cell phone picture of Jenna while she's changing for gym which, like cell phone boobie pics of teenage girls do, spreads around the school like wildfire. And amidst the collective obsessing over her boobs, Jenna overhears Matty telling people there isn't "much to see." Ouch! I liked Tamara's reaction to Jenna's crushing crush moment: "He is so the what in whatever!"

God, I love the dialogue in this show! "I needed to tell Tamara that I had given Matty the gift of my vagi." As far as witty dialogue goes, I would say this is on par with Easy A and Juno. Teenagers speak in weirdass made-up lingo! I mean... I still do, deffo. Why is this show so freaking SHORT though?? Only 20 minutes! And it only comes on once a week! Augh, stab me in the heart why don't you, MTV?

Jenna's child-mother offers to buy her a boob job after she hears about the Knocker Nightmare on her newsfeed. (Okay, they establish in this episode that Jenna's parents were teenagers when she was born, however, I'm pretty sure the actors playing her parents are too young for even that. JUST SAYING.) Jenna asks her mom to stop trying to give her body dysmorphic disorder. (Really, thank the freaking lord of television for this dialogue! I want to kiss the feet of the writers of this show!)

Meanwhile Jake, who is deffereff going to be Jenna's love interest in about half an episode more, is all about being nice to Jenna through her hardships, which might give Alyssa an aneurism. Especially since Jake is saying that the person who sent the cell phone pics is evil, and Alyssa is that person.

Sadie confesses to the cell phone drama in a meeting with Jenna and dysfunctional guidance counselor, Val, in what was a truly hilarious but also genius scene. I really like Sadie's character. Besides being mean and a cheerleader, Sadie is also a bigger girl, which adds an interesting dimension to her character. Her body-image issues are wildly different than her friend Alyssa's, and from Jenna's bizarre injury-related insecurities. But they motivate her aggression, and after a second (accidental) humiliation from Jenna, Sadie is going to be un-yeilding in her mean. Mean characters are rarely every geniuses, and while Sadie is no genius, she knows how to get what she wants, and her manipulation of Valerie in the scene was so on point of ... actually how a lot of women think they should act, and was just very, very funny.

That night while Jenna and Tamara are talking on the phone, Jenna finally tells her BFF that she had sex with Matty. But just as Tamara demands deets, Matty shows up at Jenna's window with the Jenna boob-pictures he tore down from the school. What a knight in shining armor. They make out. Note--this is still in private. Matty is insecure too (ohmygod ARMPIT SNIFFING! So funny!), and I knew even before I saw the preview for next week's episode that this did not spell out Jenna's path to going steady with Matty.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Switched at Birth Episode 8: Pandora's Box AKA Errabody Gone Karazy

As Daphne looks through Regina's secret stash of Bay-info, Regina walks in. And just as Regina starts to explain to Daphne how she knew, Catherine rings their doorbell. Oops! Daphne has to go to school and stew about this.

Actually, neither Daphne nor Bay go to school today it appears. Bay shows up at Carlton, and after a fast-paced monologue about their recent kiss (go easy on him, girl! He's reading your lips!), Emmett responds by just kissing her again. Then they go off to go kiss some more in the park. (Damn!)


Daphne is distracted, DUH, because she found out her biggest life-surprise ever was not such a surprise to Regina, and runs into Wilke at Buckner. Since Wilke is as delinquent as they come at Buckner, they cut class together and go off to the wrong side of town to drink from a flask. (Damn!)

Catherine and John are agonizing about their up-coming deposition, and the certain information the hospital knows about Regina that's going to mess up their case. Catherine gets all flustered in their practice-run of the court room, which just really makes me ache for some character development on her part. I have a hard time empathizing with her character because she is so ... Diane Keatonish. You know what I mean. Diane Keaton always plays these women who should be smart but spend nearly all their screen time blustering and blubbering and obsessing over her family in a more or less useless manor.

Meanwhile, Bay's crazy switch has turned on. It seems that dudes are Bay's kryptonite. Pre-kiss, Bay and Emmett were awesome. I was hoping that the two of them would just be adorable and great together, but I have realized what it Bay will undoubtedly realize after several failed high school relationships, a brief lesbian "experiment" in college, following a 30 year old Marxist to an arts commune in Germany post-undergrad and then 2 years of therapy: she gets too attached too fast. Slow your roll, chiquitita. First she asks Emmett if he's ever tried speaking--when she already knows this from Daphne, and then she goes all bezerko-psycho on his friendship with/crush on Daphne. Oh, god, my head is hurting already. Does Bay actually have friends? She needs a girlfriend to sassily tell her to get her shit togetha.

Daphne and Wilke return to his car and find a boot. Which is totally fine because they're both drunk. FYI under 21-ers, your pre-frontal cortex develops into your early 20s, as in you know, 21. If you drink alcohol before then, the development of your pre-frontal cortex, which is the part of your brain that helps you make good decisions, will be stunted. Anyway, since the only logical thing drunk teenagers with cars (or sober teenagers with cars) can do is make out, that's what they do. No, Daphne, no! Since Daphne grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, she has a whole different and classed understanding of what boys are like. Let me tell you, idiot rich boys who bet tens of thousands of dollars before they're old enough to get their wisdom teeth out are a whole different story. Don't make out with them. However, he's pretty good looking in an blonde way. When Wilke brings up The Switch, Daphne slows down and tells him "not tonight." She texts Emmett to pick her up.

Back at Emmett's house, Bay unleashes Crazy-Bay. She became aware of Emmett's unrequited love for Daphne a couple episodes back, and knowing that kind of info isn't just going to go away once you start making out with the teenaged, deaf version of James Dean yourself. She's crazy, but she's not stupid. But Crazy seems to outweigh any shred of dignity/intelligence, and she flips out on Emmett for having a photo wall devoted to Daphne (okay, I admit that might give me pause) and getting texts from her. Bay storms out in a cloud of teenage hormones, and Emmett motorcycles away to get Daphne.

I really like the ASL-only sections of the show, but I also like it when characters speak ASL to one another in front of characters who don't get it. It reminds me of a friend I had in middle school who was Albanian. Whenever this friend's cousin came to visit, they would inevitably slip into speaking Albanian asides, undoubtedly swearing or making comments about the rest of us.
Emmett: "Your taste in guys has gone from bad to worse."
Daphne: "It's not like that."
Emmett: "You missed a button."
Daphne bids farewell to Wilke. He's probably trouble, but I still sort of like his character. Every high school show needs a Dick Casablancas.

Bay returns home and immediately tries to call Ty in army-land. This obviously doesn't work. Luckily for her dignity, Toby walks in when she's only 30 seconds into leaving Liam a voicemail. Says Toby, "You just drunk-dialed Liam when you were sober. Bad judgment runs in the family." Ta-ruth.

Meanwhile, Regina is desperately trying to book it outta there with that stupid guitar case of evidence. But obviously everyone notices, since she lives with the Kennishes, and Catherine, John, and Bay never do anything but butt into others' business. Even when that business is kind of their business. She gets away undetected for the moment, but we all know the shit-storm is about to roll in. She has a pissed off, headstrong non-biological daughter to contend with.

And so John and Catherine go off to their deposition and get the shock of a lifetime--Regina has known about Bay since a blood test in 1998. Oh, crap. John, who clearly watches too much Dateline tells Catherine that she must be a psychopath.

So back at the Kennish residence, obviously everything blows up. Daphne's mad, Bay is mad, and John and Catherine are rich-people enraged (which is normal anger + a sense of entitlement stemming from their large pile of cash). And so Regina begins to tell her side of the story, which is actually pretty reasonable.

Angelo started getting itchy about having a blonde and blue-eyed daughter, and accused Regina of cheating. All the while, the two of them are alcoholics and not so good at the whole relationship thing. Daphne gets meningitis, and during her hospital stay, Angelo gets a paternity test, which proves to himself that Daphne is not his daughter, Regina must of cheated, so he splits. Regina knows she didn't cheat on him, so she gets a test done as well, and... Daphne is not her daughter. So she hires a private investigator, who figures out the whole switch thing. But Daphne was like 3 years old, and once you've had a baby for three years you get kind of attached to it. Not that I know from personal experience, but this was the conclusion I gained from the switched at birth plot line on Veronica Mars. Television informs me on how to feel about everything. So Regina cleans up her act, joins AA, and is the best mother she can be to the only daughter she has ever known. Personally. Ever known personally. Since she's curious, she follows Bay around, and her private investigator takes surveillence-style pictures of her. She knows, because she knows how America works, that if she had confronted the Kennishes about it, that they would have taken Daphne away from her. Because alcoholic single mothers don't usually make the top ten in "most-trusted" polls. Regina kept the secret because she wanted to keep the family that she knew intact. Even though it killed her to know that her biological daughter was living with someone else.

Obviously, this was not a perfect solution to anything. However, this made a lot of sense to Regina because her class position and social location had rightly taught her not to trust "the system." The Kennishes firmly believe in that system because they have always reaped the benefits of being privileged within that system, and even though Catherine said that they wouldn't have tried to take her daughter away... that's exactly what the Kennishes talked about ("We're going to get custody of both of our daughters.") in the next scene after everybody storms out, mad, and Regina goes to stay at Melody's house.

Okay, Daphne has a right to be mad. And so does Bay. Like teenagers don't go through enough identity crises on their own without you know, actual identity crises. However, I'm a little disappointed with Regina basically rolling over after her emotional confession! She limps off to Melody's house without a fight! Not that immediately after telling everyone that she knew about the switch was the best time to take them to task... but she has to know that the Kennishes are going to gang up on her! Because they will. And ... I'm trying to think of some war or sports metaphor or something to go in here but I don't actually know enough about either of those things to come up with one that would make sense to anyone. In any case, where is the strong, independent Regina who decided 12 years ago that she was going to fight for the welfare of her family by keeping a really big and serious secret to herself? Where is the savvy woman who defended her daughter through the challenges of being a single mom, poverty, and jumping into deaf culture?

So the shit has hit the fan and it's going to be hard to clean it up. I'm not expecting much from John and Kennish, but I am curious as to whether or not Daphne and Bay will actually begin to bond because of this. As Daphne said in an earlier episode, they're basically the only two people on the planet who can remotely understand what they're going through, so they should be using each other as resources. And I am always for TV examples of female friendships. Don't get me wrong, I love Daphne and Emmett's friendship, but Bay isn't actually shown with friends in this show. Perhaps they haven't been written yet, or Bay is actually a loner... but I would actually like to see Bay and Daphne become friends and get over their switched-lives-competition with each other because they are actually smart, independent female characters, and should be friends. Or at least allies.

As Regina slinks away, Toby comes out and tells her (something like), "Well, I don't want to get involved, but you were there for me. So I just wanted to say, I'm sorry."


And here I see a glimmer of hope. Because clearly Switched at Birth is the better show of ABC Family's Baby Mama Drama Monday block (the other being vomitrocious Secret Life of the American Teenager). And I have faith in Lizzy Weiss, creator of SAB. Because you don't graduate college with a degree in sociology and women's studies and go on to create stuff that isn't actually useful programming. When you major in sociology and minor in women's studies, you know stuff.

What I appreciated about Greek (RIP 2007-2011) is that it actually was a good example of ABC Family's motto: "A New Kind of Family." The families and communities portrayed on Greek were unconventional, but in the end they worked because unconventional is the new conventional. No one wants to watch TV shows like 7th Heaven anymore. Bleagh. And I think Switched at Birth has the potential to engage in some really interesting conversations on what the meaning of family is in the modern world. I think there have already been some interesting parallels drawn in the show between the Kennish's easy, affluent life, and the Vasquez's lower-class, multi-racial one, and as the two families begin to understand each other (which I hope they will), it will become clear to the viewers that family isn't just a term that refers to your mom/dad/siblings. Family members are adopted, adapted, and added. I think a part of what the feminist and QUITBAG movements do so well is redefine conventional boundaries by questioning them. Who says that one day Regina, John, Catherine, Bay, Daphne and Toby will not consider each other family? I think Switched at Birth has the potential to portray a truly modern family. (aside: I don't think Modern Family does. It's hilarious and I love it, but it's very retro. Not really modern at all.)

Linksalot


Lady explorers and photographers, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher talk about their work.

Slutwalk redux with Rebecca Traister and Feministing writers



Still separated and still unequal--a high school in Arkansas proves that racism is alive and still sucking in America. What's that idiots who said that since we have a Black president there is no racism?

The From the Back of the Room trailer looks awesome.

Can Snow White be modernized into a girl-power flick? K-Stew is involved so I am skeptical. I want my girl-power with a little less blinking and lip-biting.

However I totally support a Guillermo Del Toro adaptation of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson. That sounds like pure win to me. Emma Watson is awesome.

Some good media news out of England for a change.


Mariah Carey might be ca-ca-crazy. Or a new mother. These two things may be one in the same.

A whole buncha gays got gay-married! Listen to Portraits from the New York City Marriage Bureau.



And more possible good news: Could Birth Control go No Co-Pay?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Girls Rock

Okay, so this is from a show about parenting, but I think it's still really interesting and duh... Carrie Brownstein.

Watch the full episode. See more The Parent Show

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review: Friends With Benefits


I just saw Friends With Benefits by myself on a Saturday night. We're in the middle of a fucking heat wave! Movie theaters have the best air conditioning! Definitely worth the $9.50.

Wait a minute, you might be saying to yourself. Didn't I see this movie already? Girl from Black Swan, movie about a "racy" concept that is actually just a normal rom-com? Well, yes.


But I swear, this one is way funnier than the one that came out a couple months ago. First of all, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are much more likable. And you see their butts. What's not to like?

I mean, I did enjoy No Strings Attached. It's cute. I'm not usually into rom-coms and I'm fine with that movie since it's a lot punchier than the crap Katherine Heigl and Reese Witherspoon come out with every other month. But I think Friends With Benefits is better.

1. First of all, FWB wasn't pretending like NSA was that the movie was feminist and groundbreaking and stuff. Don't give me false hope movie people, that just makes me mad when you disappoint me. There were no false pretenses. I just expected to be entertained (and air conditioned) and I was.

2. Mila Kunis is better than Natalie Portman. Oooh, former co-star comparisons! Okay, I'm not always into Natalie Portman. I think she was amazing in Black Swan. You know, amazing, terrifying, nightmare-inducing, but in an Oscar-worthy way. She's not a rom-com girl. It's just not completely convincing. Mila Kunis gets the job done though. She's spunky. I like her.

3. So I got like super annoyed watching NSA because Ashton Kutcher F's it up and it's really all his fault. He had no green light. Slow the roll, buck-o! But he didn't listen, and he ruined it. Ugh, what a dummy. It was like super unrealistic the way that they "fell" for each other in that movie, not that rom-coms ever are, but I was annoyed because the dialogue was so funny, and then it gets boring and serious because Ashton Kutcher had to go and say that he wanted to be in a real relationship. Shut up! Anyway, FWB is about Justin's and Mila's characters actually being friends, and when they fall for each other (whoops sorry, but if you did not know that was going to happen then you are brain dead or have never seen an American rom-com) you believe it because the movie actually gave their characters the time to do that.

4. Sort of in the way Scream is hilarious and awesome for doing this meta-analysis of the horror genre by commenting on it and making fun of it throughout the movie, FWB does that to romantic comedies. Sure, lots of expected rom-com plot devices occur in the movie, but the characters talk about them, which ends up making them funny (and clichéd) instead of predictably boring (and clichéd). The fake rom-com with Jason Segel and Rashida Jones within the movie is a hilarious touch as well.

5. Plus, you get a whole lot of Justin. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE, REALLY!? Or, if you're not into that, Mila. And air-conditioning for two hours. Everyone wins.

Book Time!

So you may be under the impression that all I do with my time is watch TV. You are incorrect. Sometimes I eat.

And other times I read.

Praise Jesus I finally got to read Bossypants. I really do value the power of internet booksellers, even though they are perhaps ruining books and reading in the contemporary sense forever and getting rid of thousands of jobs, but it's cheaper. HOWEVER, due to shipping mishaps and living in a neighborhood of Philadelphia where things rarely get left by the postal service (JUST LEAVE IT IN MY MAILBOX! I WILL GET IT!), it took me like 2 months longer than I'd wanted to get a copy of it. All to save some $$. Anyway, when I finally got it about a month ago I did not let it go until I was done. Nothing occurred that Sunday until I was done. And that is totally fine, because Bossypants is a totally enjoyable read. It's not a tell-all and it's not full of advice, it's just like listening to Tina Fey monologue for 3 hours (if you read it straight through and do nothing else) and that is wonderful. It's super funny, I love her bits on women and appearances/her appearance and Amy Poehler. Good times to be had with this one.

I think I got The Whistleblower because a.) it was coming out in paperback, b.) I saw a trailer for the movie, and c.) the internet recommended it to me. I really recommend it. It's not written well--I will say that. I rarely find any book that's ghost written to be really well done. However, I think it's really worth getting through the simplistic, clunky sections to get to the heart of the book. I think anyone who is concerned with human rights, women's rights (women's rights are human rights), and the military industrial complex should read this. It's about Kathryn Bolkovac's experiences as part of Dyn Corp's military contracted "peace keeping" task force in post-war Bosnia. As Bolkovac becomes more involved in women's rights in Bosnia, she comes to realize that many of the men in Dyn Corp are actually exacerbating the problem by trafficking in women from other Eastern European countries. When she begins a process of investigating these abuses, she is promptly demoted, threatened, and eventually kicked out of Bosnia. There is no happy ending to this story because Dyn Corp continues to function worldwide and despite "official" changes, does and will not prosecute its employees for human rights abuses.

I started The Help by Kathryn Stockett yesterday and finished it about an hour ago. I don't usually read fiction or best-sellers, but I liked The Help. It's an incredibly engaging read, and although fiction, reminded me (sort of) of Nickled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and Global Woman (edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild). The novel switches perspectives between two Black domestic workers, Minnie and Aibilene, and a rich white woman named Skeeter. I think it's important to note that the book was written by a white woman from Jackson, Mississippi who had grown up with a Black nanny. Stockett says in an essay at the end of the book that she does not presume to know what it is like to be a Black woman in Mississippi, let alone one in the 1960s, but that fiction was her way of trying to understand the complicated set of race relations she has learned and re-learned since growing up in Jackson and then moving to New York. I am a white lady, I know that, and I know there are a lot of people out there in the blogosphere rolling their eyes at this book. I don't think it falls into exactly the same "white savior" tropes as other books and movies have, but I just watched the trailer again after now having read the book and it looks like the movie might. In any case, I think it's a good read and should initiate some interesting conversations about race relations, domestic workers, and what has and hasn't changed since the 1960s. I'm interested to see how the controversy surrounding the publication of the book turns out, and how good the movie adaptation is. As it should, the ending of the book is bittersweet. If the movie ends with gospel choirs and smiles, I will be annoyed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Retro Feminism: Dorothy Parker


"The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue."

My friend Emma recently alerted me to the genius of Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), and while we exchanged our new favorite quotes via facebook chat, we also lamented the fact that we'd never heard of her. Woe is us! But woe no more, because now we know.

A writer, satirist, poet, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, civil rights activist, and left-winger, and inspiration for Daria, Dorothy Parker was pretty darn cool person. (I on the other hand, am not. You can tell by my use of the phrase, "pretty darn cool.") You can read about her yourself on wikipedia, or get one of her books of poetry, but here I'm going to share some of my new favorite quotes:

"Tell him I was too fucking busy-- or vice versa."

"And if my heart be scarred and burned,
The safer, I, for all I learned."

"This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it."

"If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you."

"Time doth flit; oh shit."

"There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words."

"Brevity is the soul of lingerie."

"Women and elephants never forget."

"Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair."

"The only “ism” Hollywood believes in is plagiarism."

"I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feminism In Plain Sight


I'm all caught up with In Plain Sight. And this is an awesome, really pro-feminist show!

5 Reasons why In Plain Sight is My New Favorite Feminist Show:

1.) Mary's an awesome badass. She takes down bad guys with gusto, never worries about being pretty or feminine (or nice), and is the top in her field. She's also smart AND funny, which tends to be an either/or thing for female TV characters.

2.) Mary's family, her mother, Jinx, and sister, Brandi, both kind of suck at the beginning. But as the series goes on, neither remains static. Brandi's and Jinx's lives both hit basically rock bottom, but they both work back up. They start out as hopelessly ditzy stereotypes, but are more than that.

3.) The writers add consistently awesome, strong female characters. I think this is partly because the contrast of Mary against other female characters is great, but I think they're also probably concerned in creating a show that is gender-balanced. The intros of Eleanor Prince (Holly Maples), Marshall Delia Parmalee (Tangie Ambrose), Detective Abigail Chaffee (Rachel Boston), Allison Pearson (Allison Janney), and Theresa Simmons (Erica Alexander) aren't just characters introduced to be extra female bodies, but are super-accomplished, super-smart, interesting people.

4. Mary is really sexually independent. She has her issues, but she's not a character who's written to be totally reliant on having a boyfriend. (This is where I take fault with two of my other favorite TV badasses, Buffy Summers and Veronica Mars. Even though they have a ton of other stuff to fill up plot, the writers made their boy-drama almost an all-consuming part of their identities. I love a lil boy drama, but after a while it just got repetitive. On Veronica Mars it was literally repetitive.) She's been in serious relationships as well as had one night stands. When she gets pregnant in season 4, once she comes to terms with the fact that she is, in fact, pregnant, she decides to give the thing renting her womb up for adoption. And even though in the last episode I think it made it seem like she was a little on the fence about adoption, I hope the writers still go with the adoption thing. It's much more consistent with her character, and adding a baby to the cast is so cliché.

5.) Marshall Mann's feminist rant about season 4's episode Love in the Time of Colorado. And I thought I loved him before. Duh, I love him more now! This episode also had Mary's awesome meta-analysis of rom-com suckage.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: MTV's Awkward

(I'm home with a fever which means free time!)

It started with a misunderstanding of epic proportions. And then another misunderstanding of epic proportions.

After Jenna loses her virginity (in a typical, lackluster way in a utility closet) to a popular boy at summer camp, he promptly tells her that no one can know he likes her. Womp-womp.

As soon as Jenna gets home, still wallowing in her disappointing de-flowering, she gets an anonymous letter telling her basically that she sucks. Uh! Whammy! Depressed, Jenna decides to take 2 Advil and take a bath. But when she tries to dry-swallow the Advil, she chokes, and in a slapstick turn of events, breaks the bottle and spills all the pills on the floor, knocks a bucket of razors and a hair dryer into the tub, slips on the pills and breaks her arm on her way down to the bathroom floor.

You can see how this scene might be construed as a suicide attempt.

So Jenna starts her sophomore year with a big ole cast and a neck brace. And in the way that teenagers do, everyone spreads equally ridiculous rumors about Jenna's misfortune. To add insult to injury, in the most literal interpretation of that phrase, that's the way she looks the first time she and Matty, her secret de-virginator, see each other post-tryst.

I think this show is hilarious. I love dead pan humor, and the writing for Jenna is great, as is actress Ashley Rickard's execution of the character. Jenna and her two best friends, Tamara and Ming are great at being awkward outsiders + gigantic arm cast. You want to root for Jenna! MTV isn't known for creating quality TV shows (Skins remake anyone?), but I think they could have a hit with this one.

Also in the cast are Jenna's cheerleader foes, who despite being sort of a predictable choice, seem like they'll be pretty interesting characters. After Jenna defeats head bitch, Sadie, in a pep-rally challenge, Sadie definitely has it in for loser Jenna. And they seem to have control over dumb jock Matty, but fellow jock, Jake, seems sympathetic. (Love interest!) Jenna's dysfunctional guidance counselor, Valerie, also seems promising for some slapstick fun.

My only beef is that Jenna's irresponsibly ditzy mom is definitely not old enough to be a mother, unless she was a teen mom. And it looked like they lived in a pretty big house, and teen parents don't often turn out to be millionaires. Her dad looked like a baby dad too. What gives, MTV casting?

After Jenna's triumphant pep-rally win, she goes home to find 22 new friend requests on her fictional social networking site of choice (or was it myspace? Looked kind of like it.) to add to her paltry 11-friend count. Tamara calls to let her know some guy asked if he could give Jenna a sponge bath with his tongue. Jenna may be awkward and have half her body in a cast, but things are looking up.

I think this looks like a great show. I love that Jenna is a smart and funny character, and while her friends seem a little ditzy they can be developed. As Bust pointed out, this show has the same sort of tone as My So-Called Life, Juno, Saved!, and Rocket Science, all TV shows/movies with awesome, underdog, smart, and funny female leads. I'm looking forward to seeing how Jenna's character develops as the show goes on.

You can watch the pilot now online or watch the premiere at 11pm tonight on MTV.

Columbiana

Sigourney Weaver predicts there are going to be more ass-kicking female roles in the future: "I think everything is going to change, we're going to have a big revolution. I'm sure we're going to see, even in very real films, women being much more physical and just being the kick-ass women that they are. Then they don't have to be in outer space, it will be contemporary — look out!"

Cue perfect timing for Zoe Saldana's new action flick Columbiana. I'll go see it!

Dieting while Feminist

First, Can a Feminist Diet? via Sociological Images.

This is a fairly recent post that has brought up some questions that I've been wrestling with all summer.

I am a feminist and I am on a diet.

Not a diet like, an actual diet-diet. But, I have made dietary changes this summer. After seeing Forks Over Knives, I made the choice to go vegetarian again (I took a year-long hiatus) and start limiting animal products a little bit (last weekend I split a large stuffed crust pizza with my friend... I am no vegan) for health.

Usually when I hear anyone start talking about eating restrictions in the frame of health I hear "eating disorder." This is obviously an overreaction. Some people actually do care about their health. Nearly everyone in my family has some sort of annoyingly-serious health problem, whether they are fat or skinny, so it appears that I have actually won the gene pool lottery of worst possible health outcomes.

At the same time, I've actually started exercising with some regularity. Anyone who knows me can attest to the farce that is my resolve to exercise... My first two years at college I lived a block from the gym and did not go very often, my sophomore year only 3 times in one semester. Anyway, Groupon, tricky imps they are, had a coupon for 3 months of a gym membership, and since I'm not doing all that much this summer anyway, I bought it, and I am trying to get my $30 worth. And I actually like exercising, sort of, minus having to shower more often, ugh, what a pain in the butt. In any case, what I'm focusing on is stamina and endurance. I'm generally okay with my body and I've never been overweight, but like most people wouldn't mind losing weight. We'll see what regular exercise does to the condition of my butt. I've got a donk, it's like a mini-Kardashian. I suspect it's not going anywhere. I'm taking a 2-credit Personal Defense for Women class in the fall so I am looking forward to learning how to do some badass stuff, and I'd like to be stronger to make all that easier. Xena: Warrior ME, here I come!

But here's where the feminist ambivalence comes in. Bitch had a couple really good post series called Sex and the Fat Girl and Size Matters about fat activism and acceptance. There is massive discrimination against fat people in the US, and it's really not okay to make character assessments based on someone's size. Conversely, there are lots of assumptions, both positive and negative, made about skinny people. And health issues are not necessarily a result of being overweight; there are lots of healthy fat people, and there are lots of unhealthy skinny people. Sociological Images has a great recent guest post on the Fit Fat Fight if you want to read more about that. I usually find celebrity converts to veganism who also magically lose tons of weight suspect (Lea Michele). What's their actual motivation for a lifestyle change? Is it actually for the tenants of veganism or for the weight loss?


And so I have to refocus this kind of skepticism on myself. Why is it that I'm suddenly caring about my health? Perhaps my family history? Perhaps my disinterest in meat? Perhaps a realization of my own mortality? Perhaps a desire to be sUpEr SeXXxY?

I think the depressing realization that I've come to is that I can't actually separate my desire to live longer, be healthier, get stronger, run longer, and eat healthier from my desire to look "better." Despite my feminist tendencies and awareness of the media's lockdown on oppressive beauty standards, I'm still drawn to them and want to fit into them. What I'm trying to do to make my health kick more feminist is to not focus on numbers. Other than the numbers of what I can do. Like how long I can run. I'm not weighing myself obsessively, and that's really only something I do a couple times a year. Getting healthy for me probably has less to do with losing weight than it does being in better shape and having better stamina. I know my diet and lifestyle changes have ulterior, not-so-feminist motives along with the healthy, good motives, and I guess I'm okay with that. I'm a feminist and I'm on a diet.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Switched at Birth Episode 7: The Stag Hunt

Secrets! Secrets! Secrets!

What an episode!

Buckner Academy sends out an e-mail because, duh, fancy ass private schools figure it out when tests get stolen. And when their students pay $1,000 for a peep. Uh-oh, Toby's debt has been paid, but he might get in trouble. Cue melodramatic pulling away.

Bay continues her search for her bio-dad. Now that she knows his name, she googles the Angelo Sorrento's in the area and finds a DJ of the same name. Emmett is down to go find him, but when Daphne catches on, she's kind of pissed. When the heck did Emmett start hanging out with Bay!?

Meanwhile, things are getting hot and heavy with Regina and Bruce. Ow! Sexy adult sex. But, womp-womp, Catherine is still not all that happy with the pairing. First of all, her nosey friend, and one of Bruce's ex-wives, Denise, keeps making a big deal of it. So when Bruce brings an earring over for Catherine to deliver to Regina... and the earring turns out to be Denise's... Catherine feels obligated to let Regina know that Denise is an XWSEX with Bruce. Turns out, Bruce is living up to his player reputation. ("Player" is an incredibly useful word. When my Ecuadorian friend and I taught each other slang words from our respective first-languages, one of the first words I taught her was "player," which she has found immeasurably useful. Especially with Ecuadorian guys.)

Toby confesses to Catherine that he was the one who stole the tests and sold them. This is Catherine's worst nightmare. I mean, obviously it's a parenting issue (rich TV parents tend to not be good ones), but Catherine is really concerned with her image, so when Denise starts complaining about her delinquent heirs buying tests, Catherine can't be high and mighty about her perfect children. Because she doesn't have perfect children. She has test-stealing children.

Regina confronts Bruce about his sex with the ex. He confesses, no shame, it wasn't exclusive... but Regina's no dummy, so she breaks it off. Too messy. So she goes to tell Catherine it's over. Catherine tells Regina that's just what friends do. Regina points out that they're not friends, and Catherine points out that "friends" is the easiest thing to call them. Until some fun acronym comes along. I will start brainstorming.

Wilke confesses to test-stealing, so he gets suspended and Toby is in the clear. So he's totally feeling good. But Bay, in an act of good siblingtude, realizes it's intervention time. She's been a lot nicer in the past 2 episodes, much less moody. She and Daphne ask Regina to give Toby the addict talk. He can't go on like this 1.) because even rich people run out of money, and 2.) because his addiction to gambling is controlling him. He needs to be accountable to someone other than himself. So he goes to his dad. (What about Gambler's Anonymous? No? Still too public for the Kennishes?) They hug. I'm glad there's some affectionate masculinity being shown, but why haven't I heard the word "grounded" in this episode?

Daphne confronts Regina about her dad (Bay's bio-dad), who walked out on them when she was 2. Did he leave because she was deaf? Regina tells her it's because he was too weak to belong to a family. If he could see the great young woman Daphne has grown into he'd be sorry, but that doesn't change the fact that he was a losah 14 years ago. Good, but vague, answer. Obviously the questions have begun for Daphne, and those are hard to quash in a teenager.

Amid the family drama, Bay and Emmett continue to hang out. And Bay's been learning sign language! They dance to the tape that Bay's bio-dad made that they found together. Regina walks in on this cute-fest and doesn't realize where the song is from... Right. But she's a down lady and lets them get back to their pre-relationship relationship. Even though Ty was hot, I've gotta say, thank god for an age-appropriate relationship for Bay. When I had 15 year old campers who talked about having 18 and 19 year old boyfriends I was so uncomfortable with that. Ick. Anyway, even if I hadn't seen the preview, I would have totally known that they were going to kiss by the end of the episode. I wasn't a teenager that long ago, and teens do not get that close together unless there is some real sexual tension. BUT WHAT ABOUT EMMETT'S RULE ABOUT HEARING PEOPLE!?

Dapnhe decides to go with Bay and Emmett to see this Angelo Sorrento that Bay found, if only to chew him out. Turns out, he's a DJ at a gay club. Because he's gay. And definitely not the Angelo Sorrento who was with Regina. (BTW Emmett's signing diversion to get into the club was hilarious! He is one of my favorite TV characters.) Drat! Bay says she's donezo with looking for her dad, but we know that's not true. She brings up the guitar case with Daphne, who protects her mom's right to privacy, but is obviously interested. Too many damn secrets!

Daphne asks Emmett what's going on between him and Bay. Nothing! He says. Daphne, who is no fool, keeps at it. Uh, then why all the hanging out? Everyone knows teenage boys and girls don't hang out alone unless they're interested in heavy petting. This isn't the effing Disney Channel. What about his beef with Liam? Deaf and hearing people can't be in a relationship? Although he doesn't reiterate that statement, he asserts there's nothing going on, but we all know that's a lie. Nothing going on yet. We watched the preview.

John is interested in figuring out what the hospital has on their case, so he keeps calling them and eventually stalks his golf buddy at work to find out what he doesn't know. (Side note: doesn't John ever work?) What could they possibly have on John and Catherine! Exasperated hospital dude who doesn't want to get stalked anymore says it's nothing to do with them, it's the "other one." Meaning Regina. Quoi? What could it be? More reason for Catherine and Regina to fight no doubt.

Emmett goes to Bay's school the next day, and she's surprised to see him there. Daphne doesn't have her cooking class! But he's there to see Bay. Aw, yeah. We all know what's coming. Emmett says that he likes her. Bay hasn't learned that sign yet, but she gets it when they kiss. Adorable! But this will surely cause drama later. I'm so pleased.

When Regina goes to girltalk at Melody's house, Daphne makes a break for the guitar case, which is locked with one of those number-locks. She gets out her cell phone and converts the numbers into words, and eventually gets to the combo "B-A-Y." And it opens. Surprise! And when she opens it... wait, what the fcrasfjhal?! Surveillance-style pictures of Bay and old report cards? This is the point in the episode that my mom and I both started yelling things like, "OH! WHAT A TWIST!" Regina has known about Bay for a really long time. Which sort of makes sense, because as my mom has been complaining, how did the parents not notice the difference between a dark-haired baby and a red-haired baby? Regina is apparently a little smarter than the Kennishes, but I suspected that anyway. Oh, damn! What a twist! I did not see that one coming. I thought this was going to be more daddy-issue stuff!

DRAMARAMA AHOY NEXT EPISODE!

Reader Confusion: Benevolent Sexism

In response to my post called "Benevolent Sexism Watch," reader Chris says:
The solution to feminists objecting to "benevolent sexism" is to treat feminists like (equal to, no better than) men but continue to offer ladies chivalry, if they so desire.

If you wouldn't stop to help a man fix a flat, don't stop for a feminist. If you wouldn't help a man carry a heavy something, don't help a feminist. Give feminists strict equality. That should satisfy everyone.
Well, not exactly. I'm going to try and clarify this a little bit.

I think we've got two main issues in this comment, and the first is that Chris is saying that "men," "ladies," and "feminists" are all separate categories. Many ladies are feminists, as are many men. You can't really go around almost opening doors for women and then prefacing it with a "Bascuse me, are you could be a feminist?" and then slam the door in her face with an affirmative answer. That's silly. I'm fairly certain that unless someone knows me or sees me wearing my THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE t-shirt, your average person wouldn't be able to tell that I am a feminist and thus decide whether or not he should help me change a tire or not.

The second issue here is that I think maybe definitions of sexism and benevolent sexism are not really clear. So sexism is the belief that one's gender directly affects and limits a person's abilities to do something. We think of sexism a lot in terms of sexist things men say about women, but women can be sexist against other women, women can be sexist against men, men can be sexist against men etc. I think a lot of people forget that men have gender as well. It's sexist to say that, for example, all women are bad at stapling because they are women. It is also sexist to say that all men are bad are screwing on water bottle caps because they're men. Those are ridiculous examples, but making sweeping gender assumptions generally gets you in trouble factually. Sexism often encompasses more serious accusations, like, "all women are bad drivers" or "all women are naturally good at child rearing," or "women aren't good at sports," or "all women are bad at math." These kinds of statements don't make sense when you're making them about millions of people... but people make them anyway. (Wow, some people suck!)

Benevolent sexism falls into a more gray area. Essentially, benevolent sexism is things that men do for women that they would not do for other men. So obviously this is a little bit of an ambiguous category. Because a lot of the things in this category are also things that are considered polite. A lot of men will open doors for women and not for men. Not all, but a lot. I don't mind when people open doors for me. Someone holding the door open for me is a lot more convenient and often faster than having to open it all the way myself. Ergo, when I notice there is someone behind me, I try to offer them the same curtesy that I hope will be offered to me, and I hold the door open so they can grab it before I let go. I do this for men and women. That's polite.

Benevolent sexism is often things that are done unconsciously for one gender but not another. Another example would be a man calling adult male colleagues "men," but referring to his adult female colleagues as "ladies" or "girls." I use "ladies" and "lady" sometimes interchangeably with "women" and "woman" but I think generally it's a kind of infantilizing and diminutive term. "Girls" is obviously infantilizing and diminutive. "Boys" doesn't have the same effect on adult men because it doesn't carry the same kind of stereotypes.

This past semester I took a class called Gender in America and in one class we talked about benevolent sexism. My professor asked the class about things we would for women but not men and men but not women. Some of the guys in my class said that they had offered to help women carry groceries but not men, or would open doors for women and not men, etc. The main reason why they said they wouldn't do these things for other men is because it would be "weird."

My professor offered an example that a male student had given in a previous semester. He said that there was one time that he was crossing the street with a female friend, and there was a huge puddle/pothole thing that they had to get around, and the friend crossed it before he did and reached back to grab his hand to help him over. He commented in the class that it seemed really strange that a woman would do that for him.

I probably wouldn't think to help a guy over a puddle (but would also think it were weird if a guy helped me... it's not 1880) but I think that example is an interesting one because it points to the way that we gender help. As in it's perfectly normal for a man to offer to help a woman carry something but some people might raise eyebrows if a woman offered a man for help in the same way.

NOT that I haven't totally taken advantage of benevolent sexism before. C'mon! I'm lazy. Last summer when I was working at a summer camp, my cabin had gone fun-yaking and at the end of cabin time we had to put the fun-yaks back in the kayak stand, which is sort of hard work and kind of a pain in the a-- if you have ever had to do this kind of thing you know what I mean. Anyway, the oldest boys' cabin (14-15 year olds) had been doing free swim and had come out just around the same time, so I, intrepid lazy person that I am, looked at the gaggle of pubescent boys and asked them, "Who is really strong?" (I'm not saying I'm not strong. I am quite strong. I just didn't want to do it.) So they all raised their hands enthusiastically and I directed them toward the fun-yaks. And what do you know? All the fun-yaks were put away in the span of about 10 seconds. My able-bodied 14-15 year old female campers were just as capable of putting the fun-yaks away, but the 14-15 year old male campers were just so much taller. Thanks, benevolent sexism!

I think what I'm trying to say is that benevolent sexism necessitates a sort of consciousness-raising. It's hard to recognize because it's part of a deeply embedded attitude we have about gender roles. I try to treat people equally as much as I can, but I know I don't all the time. I'm not some magical wizard of equality, and I do not expect everyone to be like that either. But I think the world would be a nicer place in general if we helped people based on their need for help and not their gender. Amiright?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feminist Rapper Friday: Las Hip Hoperas de Cuba: LAS KRUDAS


Para los lectores hispanohablantes... Las Krudas son artistas hip hoperas Cubanas que han empezado a usar este género expresar sus opiniones, frustraciones, y experiencias con el mundo.





FBG- Feminist But Gangsta


Kan noen oversette tekstene til denne sangen? Jeg er nysgjerrig! Er detfeminist? Er det halt?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Strong Hands and Shark Eyes


So College Humor usually produces stinkers, but I do enjoy their Always Open series, which is a convoluted advertisement for Dennys.

Kristen Bell has hilarious shark eyes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Marketing Fail

I spied these Oreo knock-offs in the grocery store the other day.

Creme-O's? Might as well have named these Ladygasm Cookies. I'm grossed out.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Switched at Birth Episode 6: The Persistence of Memory

The theme of this episode was character development for all! Just kidding, it was The Persistence of Memory, which is also the title. Character development also occurred.

Catherine continues her meddling in a seemingly harmless way for once, and gets Daphne into the advanced cooking class at Buckner since she's so good at it anyway. However, Daphne doesn't want an interpreter, or as she calls them, "a stalker." It turns out that taking a cooking class sans interpreter is a little harder than she thought. Reading lips doesn't help when timers go off behind your back and teachers don't face the front when they speak.

In earlier episodes, Daphne's days at a hearing school were alluded to, as were her terrible experiences there. Regina reminds her that she just has to work twice as hard, and duh, this seems unfair to Daphne. She may be cheerful and optimistic, but she is a teenager and a human, and we all want things to be easy and strife-free. I think the POV-y segments with Daphne and Daphne and Emmett are really interesting. The majority of the show features speaking and sound, but occasionally there are times when Daphne and Emmett are signing to each other that only feature ambient sound and I think those are really interesting. In this episode where Daphne is feeling frustrated at Buckner trying to keep up, and then trying to avoid feeling intimidated by the hearing kids (rich kids can SUCK!), there are a few shots without sound and I think it's really well-done. Daphne's frustration is so much clearer and, I bet, a good approximation for hearing-fans of how coexisting in hearing and deaf culture isn't simple.

Over at the country club, John chats with a member of the hospital board, who tells him a lawsuit isn't going to end well for him (John). John feels he's entitled to some $$ and refuses to back down. Then he wines to Catherine about it. I work 40 hours a week so I feel little sympathy for the millionaire characters sitting at a country club whining about settlements.

Meanwhile, Toby is asked to pony up the whopping $10,000 he owes his friend, Wilke. Wow, what!? What kind of friends bet that kind of money? How did they not know that would end badly? Anyway, to make it up, Toby offers to enter some underground employment for Wilke to make it up. I assumed it would be weed or Ritalin, but it was actually test stealing. Turns out at Buckner Academy lazy students will shell out $1,000 for a copy of a test. What?! How did I not get into that kind of business? Well, I have 2 more undergrad semesters... Just kidding, I'm going to get a job at school like a normal poor person.

Now that Ty is out to army, Bay has decided to fixate on a new man. Or old man. Or mystery man. I mean her dad. Regina won't tell her anything, but like the entitled millionaire teen she was nurtured to be, Bay cannot leave it alone. Daphne gave Bay a picture of Regina while she was pregnant, and when Bay runs into Emmett, he offers to help her figure out who her dad is through the picture of the car. Pidgin-ASL-English ensues, it's kind of adorable. Is that the scent of a budding romance flower between Emmett an Bay? Probably. I support this. Lord knows we need more love triangles on this show. Bay with Emmett in this episode is actually the first time she's been consistently nice. Is the girl growing as a person!???! I think she is.

Emmett remembers that Regina stored some boxes in his garage, so when Melody is out, he and Bay take a look see for some clues and actually come up with his name! It's kind of common, but a start!

After Daphne's initial disaster at cooking class, Catherine asks her if she would be interested in a cochlear implant. Since Daphne brings this up with Regina, Regina is PO'd that Catherine is sticking her entitled pilates butt in her business, so she confronts her. CIs are not a "treatment" because deafness is not a a sickness. There are risks, and they're not perfect. I've known kids with CIs and they are not an end-all "fix" for deafness. The girls I knew who had them had to take them out for swimming (this was at summer camp) and charge them at night. Regina challenges Catherine to stop expecting Daphne to accommodate her and start learning sign language. Seems fair. I usually watch on hulu and can copy down quotes, but I watched it live so ... I forget. Regina said something really good.

Daphne opens up to Bay about why her hearing school sucked and why she was having a hard time at Buckner. And how she and Emmett became friends! Bonding! Bay and Daphne have such a strange relationship... and it's usually tense, so this was a really nice conversation between them. And Bay is actually nice to her. She tells her that if she could survive that traumatic experience, she can handle Buckner. Daphne returns to class with her interpreter and talks to the teacher. She can do class, and when she needs help she'll ask, and the teacher shouldn't slow down because Daphne has no problem with the material. Then she slams the icky girls who talk behind her back. Yeah! Girl can stand up for herself these days.

And... Toby's foray into the criminal world might not have been so simple. Drat! Wilke (what a ridiculous name. However, I went to private school, so I believe it) says that trouble is a brewin'. But that's for next episode.

In the end, Catherine visits Regina in the guest house, and looking like she's a little constipated, apologizes and tells Regina she wants to learn ASL. In sign language. She and Regina hug. It takes a lot to learn another language for someone, but when that someone is your biological daughter, that's kind of extra motivation. Good for you, Catherine, finally.

John decides to back down on the lawsuit and take the settlement. However, the hospital suddenly pulls their offer. Do they have something against the Kennish's case?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Inclusivity

Blah blah, okay, so it's obvious that I'm loving Switched at Birth, several of my friends have pointed out that this is nerdy (but several other friends have also voiced their love), but one of my favorite things about the show is that is shows and does not tokenize deaf culture.

What I suspect is that this show is going to inspire a lot of people to try to learn ASL. Anticipating this, ABC Family has made some short videos called, "My Favorite Sign" with the cast members. From what I have read, the deaf and hearing impaired cast members are helping the hearing cast members learn sign language, and I love that!

I imagine that for a lot of people who are watching, this might be their first time being exposed to ASL. I've had various experiences with ASL (my sister had speech problems and went to a school for the deaf when she was really young, until she was like 7 most of her friends were hearing-impaired or deaf, I worked at a summer camp where nearly every summer there are hearing-impaired campers, and I took a semester of ASL when I was 17), but it's not a typical language offering at schools so I think it's great that it's getting exposure and hopefully the show will encourage more people to learn ASL! I've forgotten a lot of the signs I learned since I took a class ... emmm... 4 years ago (ew I'm old) because I've been focusing on Spanish but it is definitely something that I want to pursue in the future. Perhaps I'll crack open some of my books this summer.

So here are the videos, some are easier than others, but I think ASL is really cool and this is a fun intro!