storyrainthejournal: (Default)

Blade Runner 2049 has lots of great technology riffs and visuals of a beautifully (unnuanced) dystopian nearish noir future. I love that stuff—gadgets, technology, future landscapes, urbanscapes, interiors. I am a science fiction loving girl.

But the movie has zero other science fictional world building—that is, social world building that admits of any desires or worldviews of any individuals other than heterosexual, normative, white men. Even the replicant protagonist is a het, white, normative guy—who projects his perfect dream woman onto a sex worker to have sex with her. And, ooh, ahh, what a cool scene. /sarcasm. It made me sad, annoyed, and bored as shit, that scene. Because it’s just an externalized realization of the Same. Old. Story.

High heels, naked women objectified all over the place—where are the beautiful, objectified young men, large women, androgynous individuals? Where are the desires of literally everyone else? Where are the women and people of color who aren’t props and furnishing for the world of straight white men? Every single female character in this movie is a prop or foil for white straight males, either the protagonist, or Deckard, or the Jared Leto character. And do I even need to mention the few PoC minor characters? Yeesh.

If that’s how humanity develops, admitting nothing of the diversity of aims and needs, worldviews, strengths, and desires of anyone but the ones western culture has always served—to say nothing of the visions of all the very intelligent people working on green answers to the issues that become Blade Runner’s environmentally bereft future—humanity may as well be killed off right now. When science fiction does little beyond spinning the worst technologies forward while reifying the oldest, most retro, and tired of male, western, heterosexual angst, desires, and projections onto others—literally mapping them onto others in that one scene, and projecting them hugely into the landscape in others—science fiction is lazy and not doing what it needs to do.

You could say that all this objectification of women was in keeping with the noir aspect of Blade Runner, but I’d say there was cherry picking there, too. And I’d also say I want more, I want better. Given everything going on in our world right now, I think we need better from big budget Hollywood movies, which command so much attention and money. Maybe that’s hopeless, but I think we have to ask, and keep asking, for it.

At the very least, for Blade Runner 2049 to have been truly remarkable and worth doing, for my money anyway, the protagonist should have been a gay man, or a woman, or a PoC—or all of those.


storyrainthejournal: (catscream)
A few things:

Rich people, listen up, you'll be fine, you're covered. You have enough--and you know what? It's not trickling down. So stop trying to get more at the expense of the neediest. Unless creating misery is really your aim (eyes you all suspiciously).

Republicans, listen up, I'll wager Ann Romney has had at least a housekeeper, if not also a nanny or mother's helper, so, no, she's not working all that hard as a mom. Sorry, but the Romneys are rich, see above.

Also, Republicans, you guys are cracked. Head open, brains steaming, cracked. Unbelievable and out of your minds. Racist, women-hating, mean-spirited, and stupid cracked in the heads. Seriously. You should all have that checked. You've made this country about as déclassé as it can get.

storyrainthejournal: (bluebutterfly)
A short rant from a single person:

It gets tiring being alone. Almost every single one of my friends and acquaintances has a significant other. While I know there are challenges aplenty to keeping a relationship healthy and alive, being alone is challenging in ways about which it seems most people have no clue.

For instance:

If I don't have a job, there's no one to take up the slack. I can't quit, ever, unless I have another soul-sucking dayjob lined up to jump to if the one I'm at has become untenable (like, it keeps me from writing=untenable).

If I have a bad day, no one is going to make me laugh, commiserate with me, hold me, or otherwise offter support when I get home. The cats are lovely and all, but mostly they just want me to feed them.

No one ever makes me dinner and believe me, there are many days when that small help would make so much difference. 

If something breaks, it's all on me to fix it.

Our culture, and many of my attached friends, are often pretty damn insensitive about this state of being.

(Yes, we're feeling a little sorry for ourself. So sue me--people are allowed to complain about not having a job; I can complain about not having an S.O.)

Here endeth the rant.
storyrainthejournal: (yoruichi-light)
Or, Why those of you who didn't like it are wrong.

It's because of this: the female hero, one not sexualized at all for the male gaze, not conceived of or presented as a male wet dream--as compared to, say, the upcoming film Sucker Punch, in which the young women all look like male wet dreams (it's a young woman's inner fantasy world and that's how she chooses to look? yeah, right), or, basically, almost any other major Hollywood film that even comes close to presenting us with a female hero at all.

It's because the idea that to be interesting and worth our time, a young woman character must be cast in a sexually attractive context is a crock of hooey that nevertheless underpins virtually all representations of heroic female characters. And women are just as prey as men to this expectation, because, hey, we all imbibe at the same media fount growing up.

And I contend that one reason (aside from the heavy twee-ness--arguably entirely appropriate to the subject matter--and the lamentable dancing bit at the end) a fair number of critics (especially from within the SF/F genre) didn't really appreciate Alice in Wonderland, is that this Alice is not presented as at all sexually provacative. Her clothing is either ridiculous, too big, too small (but not in a provacative way) or, toward the end, sober and serious, the lounging togs of a young hero, not a sex kitten ingenue. And, then, of course, armor. (Which, frankly, was swoon-inducing for me, so perhaps I undermine my whole argument...)

But, the point is, your lack of interest in her as a main character, and your lack of love for the film--yes you--is a serious failing, is a mistake, is not good.

Not good at all.

Because? We need more alternatives to the kind of female hero we are most often and generally presented with, when we are presented with her at all.


Sep. 16th, 2010 04:06 pm
storyrainthejournal: (Default)

So, this has been going around--Justine Musk's post on Bad Girls--and it's a good post, with good things to say about creativity and writing.

But I am suspicious of the idea that being free creatively and in touch with one's wilder, more primal self must always mean one is also the bad girl--where bad girl almost always seems to mean sexy girl who is free with her body.

This is problematic, because I think this vision of the cool girl, the tough girl, the wild and free girl as the one who is also very 'in touch with her sexuality' is pretty much a male wet dream, most often reified by men, and deeply rooted in our cultural memes and media as a figure of male desire and admiration. The good girl/bad girl dichotomy is, in fact, deeply rooted in male ideals of, and ideas and stories about, women.

Those will never be good choices, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm sure she didn't mean it that way, but it still sticks in my craw.



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