Saturday, November 17, 2012

Defense of Feminist Frequency

When I made my “Criticism of Feminist Frequency”, I was careful to be very respectful. After all, Feminist Frequency inspired me to come on YouTube myself. My problem was never with Anita Sarkeesian herself, just some of the things she put out there through her channel, and I did praise her a few times. This, however, has escaped the notice of some users who read the title, deemed I was like-minded, and sent me their stuff utterly trashing Feminist Frequency and the woman behind it. Let me now make it abundantly clear that I support Feminist Frequency and think Anita Sarkeesian needs to make a million more videos to make up for the roar of anti-feminism that saturates the media. I’ll now address a few of the antis’ issues with Feminist Frequency, including: her unworn video game controller, her gathering funding through Kickstarter, the idea that the raging torrent of misogyny against her was deserved, and that she knowingly used it as a fundraising technique.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Disgusting Article on Christina Reber's Domestic Violence

(See also the video version: Part 1 and Part 2)

There was an article published in the American news site The Daily Caller, about a man who was the victim of domestic violence when his ex-girlfriend Christina Reber severely injured his testicular region. Despite the seriousness of the incident, the article, titled “Angry ex-girlfriend goes ballistic, rips off man’s scrotum” and written by female author Taylor Bigler, is disturbingly light in tone and attempts to use the incident as a point of humor. The following is my analysis of it from a feminist perspective, as was requested by a user.

The very first words are “Talk about a ball-buster” in a sentence that is its own paragraph as if this were the start of a description of something very silly. There is then a description of the attack with quotes from the victim and police report.  Bigler obviously found this very funny, because following this description is a sentence beginning with “As if this story isn’t already good enough”. You know, I fail to see anything good in a savage attack. What she then adds is that the hospital he was rushed to has “ball” in the title. The wrap-up then has the line “breaking his balls”, which is a repetition of the first joke, immediately preceding a note that the victim is afraid there may be permanent damage. Come to think of it, the title’s word “ballistic” is probably a “ball” pun as well.

This article is disgraceful. No one should be that disrespectful to a victim of assault, but it is especially bad that it is a person in a position of some authority to inform and to influence. Bigler should know better.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Trope: Folkloric Psychopathy

One of the things I find most annoying in popular storytelling is how people don’t seem to understand that psychopathy both exists and has a lot of scientific literature based around defining it. People often treat psychopaths like vampires or werewolves: some folklore figure that can be defined by the individual author. Vampires didn’t look handsome until Bela Lugosi, they didn’t die in the sun until Nosferatu, and it wasn’t the sun that killed them until the 1958 Hammer Dracula. Since then, vampire movies play around with the seductive figure and the aversion to sunlight, making them have everything from eyesight unsuited to bright light to diamond skin that sparkles. Writers have free reign with the vampire myth because there are no real vampires out in the world. For some reason, writers seem to think that psychopathy is also just a popular story that they can play around with, which can have some problematic consequences.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pet Peeve: Vanilla Anti-Feminists Refusing to Admit Ignorance

As a feminist, I oppose most pornography, as the mainstream items contain heavy patriarchal bias. Often when discussing this or even just alluding to it, some ignorant guy determined to show the feminist that men don’t hate women will shout that mainstream pornography isn’t patriarchal because some guys like femdom exists. As a masochist, I know a thing or two about BDSM. I can speak at length about how BDSM fits into mainstream culture and what I deem negative exports, but I can’t get far with these guys, because they don’t really know about BDSM themselves. All they know is that some guys like something called femdom, which looks kind of matriarchal to them, so therefore they don’t think patriarchy exists.

The really infuriating thing, though, is that they refuse to own up to their ignorance and ask questions. Instead, they just assume that the feminist is wrong and seize the chance to make fun of those loony feminists coming up with their own wacky ideology that includes terms like ‘topping from the bottom’, ‘edgeplay’, ‘vanilla’, ‘sissification’, and the acronym ‘BDSM’ itself. Just because they never heard of it, they think it doesn’t exist, and they think it’s perfectly reasonable to make this big show about how they’re talking to some unreasonable person who believes ‘topping from the bottom’ actually means something and how we’re talking about sadomasochism, not whatever the hell BDSM is. Oh how unfairly treated they are by the wacky feminist!

You know how to act when someone says something you don’t recognize? You say, “I’m sorry, but could you define that before you move on? Thank you.” As Will Wheaton would say, “Don’t be a dick.”

These people are breathtakingly stupid, and they are of low moral character for their insistence on causing pain to their opponent. FSM, this pisses me off!

Friday, October 5, 2012

My Version of an Environmentalist Story

I'm sick of these environmentalist films that promote saving the environment through irrational spirituality involving the worship of trees and demonization of science and capitalism. It's making environmentalists look like a bunch of nutjobs on the order of the right-wingers who say God would never let the Earth be hurt so we might as well dump our junk all over. So, here's my pitch for a progressive, relevant environmentalist film that doesn't demonize science or capitalism:

Setting: Twenty minutes into the future. Electronic readers are so commonplace that paper books are so obsolete that even grandparents hardly use them. Wood has been replaced as a building material with a modified form of Styrofoam that's as strong and doesn't rot, so it never needs to be replaced. The air can now be converted to oxygen using bioengineered plankton. As a result, trees are no longer profitable and are in danger. Unlike the shamefully misrepresentative  The Lorax, it's acknowledged that the forestry industry is responsible for most of the planting of trees because trees are seen as a valuable resource that shouldn't be squandered.

So, now that trees are unwanted in this universe, a big forest is going to be wiped out. It's not going to be replaced with things recognized to be symbols of the evil capitalism the filmmakers oppose like "parking lots and shiny shopping malls" as in the case of FernGully, but instead something acknowledged to beneficial like schools. An environmentalist group then has to convince people that the trees are worthwhile enough to keep around. Appeals are made to the history of aesthetics, pointing out how inspiring nature has been to the development of art throughout the years and how trees can bring joy to people, a joy that should be shared across generations. People still aren't convinced, and the day is saved when a scientist comes forward and talks about the kinds of advances that have been made through studying nature, and we don't want to get rid of something that could one day prove valuable. The end shows a compromise where kids are learning in the middle of the forest with the help of gadgets with brand names.

Why can't we do something real like that and not propaganda that makes us all look like cultists?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5 Levels of BDSM Fantasy

(See also the video version)

I wanted to share this scale I’ve been working on to best analyze BDSM-related fiction according to different levels of fantasy. I suspect I’ll have to make some changes as I continue to review BDSM fiction. For now, this is what I have:

  • Level 1 – Story is verisimilar and involves a character encountering BDSM that may or may not become involved with it. Examples: Bones, Weeds, Castle
  • Level 2 – Story is verisimilar and involves a character getting involved with BDSM and having unrealistic relations that fulfill the author’s fantasies while staying within the confines of reasonable behavior. Examples: Exit to Eden (arguably Level 3), Nana and Kaoru (mostly, partially Level 3), When They Cry
  • Level 3 – Story is verisimilar and involves a character getting involved with BDSM and having unrealistic relations that fulfill the author’s fantasies without staying within the confines of reasonable behavior. Examples: Fifty Shades of Grey, Secretary, Sundome, The Pet (sort of, as it's extremely anti-BDSM)
  • Level 4 – Story is fantastic and BDSM is not clearly defined, so submissive characters encounter controlling dominants in abusive scenarios, yet there is plenty of BDSM imagery (leather, collars, whips, etc.) to indicate to the consumer of such media that they are experiencing a BDSM fantasy. Examples: a lot of vampire stuff including True Blood, Goth
  • Level 5 – Story is fantastic and BDSM is not clearly defined, so submissive characters encounter controlling dominants in abusive scenarios without BDSM imagery or other indications that the author has an understanding of BDSM; unless presented simply as an over-the-top fantasy as with ecchi manga, this kind of story can be problematic and worthy of criticism. Examples: Twilight, Atlas Shrugged

I will often encounter feminist criticisms of BDSM fiction where my go-to response is “it’s just a fantasy”, but there is a problem in the different kinds of fantasy that make it hard to communicate effectively. Fifty Shades of Grey often falls under fire for having a creepy Dom by people who expect a Level 1 fantasy, but as a Level 3 fantasy, it’s more “just” a submissive fantasy than with the Level 5 Twilight, which may resonate with submissives but as Stephenie Meyer gives no indication of understanding BDSM and how it relates to her fantasy, it is more problematic that Bella just devotes her life to the creepy vampire Edward and that this is all cast as a beautiful romance. The similar vampire fantasy True Blood is different because it is Level 4, and the vampire bar Fangtasia is decked out like a BDSM tourist trap, making the "Sookie is mine" stuff readily come across as a BDSM fantasy and not just an abusive scenario that would deserve more criticism at the higher Levels 1 and 2. Arguably, the goal should be to have decent BDSM fiction mostly occupy Levels 1 and 2, but sex sells and sex motivates writers, so we will see a lot in the deeper levels of fantasy.

So, those are my thoughts on the BDSM Levels of Fantasy. If you have any suggestions to refine it, please share them.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Screed of Anti-Firefly Feminist Criticism

(See also the video version)

The second part of Natasha Simons’ article “Reconsidering the Feminism of Joss Whedon” focuses on Firefly, the space-western he developed along with Tim Minear, which depicts a civilization in the future based off of the American past but is supposed to be a whole new culture based around America and China conquering everyone before merging into a single entity.

She starts off by talking about the things she likes about the show with regard to Zoe, moving into what she doesn’t like about the character.

Which is why the episode “War Stories” is such a travesty. Placing Zoe firmly back in the category of “woman” rather than “warrior,”

What? She can’t be both?

“War Stories” forces Zoe to choose between her captain and her husband.

That’s an interesting way to summarize “War Stories”. While technically accurate, it misrepresents the episode because of what it chooses to focus on. It’s like that humorous list of misleading movie summaries that describes Back to the Future as “A bewildered teenage boy fends off his mother's disturbing and unnatural attraction to him.” Technically true, but it misses the ever-important context, like Mal and Wash being captured by a psychopath who forces Zoe to choose which of them to take back to the ship while he tortures the other.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lila Isn't Anti-Feminist (Dexter)

(See also the video version)

I cannot understand why so many feminists hate the character of Lila in Dexter season two, as she seems a fairly accurate depiction of a female psychopath on a show about a male psychopath who frequently interacts with other psychopaths as he puzzles at the world. I mean, I get that her actions in faking a rape as an attack and her general abusive demeanor play into anti-feminist stereotypes about how all women have a unique capacity for behaving in such a negative way when the mood strikes them, but the reason these stereotypes exist is because such behavior is frequently performed by female psychopaths. The writers clearly did their research into psychopathy, and Dexter paraphrases psychopathy-expert Dr. Robert Hare when he acknowledges Lila as a psychopath like him with the words “you know the words, but you can’t hear the music” as a metaphor for their limited understanding of empathetic feelings. As I praise the show when it accurately represents Dexter’s psychopathy and criticize it when it does not, I likewise praise the accurately psychopathic depiction of Lila. I don’t believe that the feminine psychopathic traits have a uniquely anti-feminist nature when applied to all characters in all situations, only that they frequently end up as anti-feminist when used in non-psychopathic characters. That is not the case of Lila.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Geek Girl Con 2012 Thoughts

So, I enjoyed the 2012 Geek Girl Con. It was a very nice, friendly environment. I didn’t have to worry about encountering sexism. I got a necklace pendent that says “this is what a feminist looks like”, which I felt comfortable wearing all day. The panels in some respects seemed too rudimentary, but I liked the discussion overall. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Screed of Anti-Buffy Feminist Criticism

(See also the video version)

Reconsidering the Feminism of Joss Whedon” by Natasha Simons is an article that harshly criticizes Joss Whedon’s shows Buffy, Firefly, and Dollhouse, asserting that they’re quite anti-feminist. While she does make a few good points, for the most part her article makes it clear that she doesn’t understand the shows at all, which actually does feminist criticism a disservice by connecting it with what amounts to angry slander. I’ll tackle this one point at a time, starting with the Buffy article.

First of all: the huge picture at the start. It shows a large male vampire (Luke) with his hand wrapped around Buffy’s throat, glaring down at her menacingly. Well… HE’S A VAMPIRE. SHE’S A SLAYER. Menacing is what he does, and by the end, she kills him. Yay, Buffy. Happily ever after. The whole point of vamps was to represent the problems that come up in high school and how they can be overcome, giving girls an adversity-defying role model. The idea of a vampire attacking the Slayer being representative of male dominance—even when taken out of context—is just ridiculous.

The famous exchange between Whedon and a reporter – Why do you write these strong female characters? Because you’re still asking me that question – is bandied around the internet on a frequent basis. (Although this exchange was of his own imagining.)

While someone somewhere (besides the author) may have mistaken that for a real exchange, for the most part, it’s always understood that Joss says it as part of a speech. It’s the fact that he made that speech that’s regarded as cool. If he actually used that line in an interview, it wouldn’t make any sense because it’s out of context. In the speech, he describes how he was asked that question a million times and really thought about his answers. He uses the structure of the exchange to deliver his various thoughts, but it’s not supposed to be a collection of quotes, just some insight into his psychology and writing as fit for a feminist audience. It all makes sense in context, and it isn’t some big reveal that this beloved Joss quote came from a speech he wrote.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Fireworks" - Buffy Fanfic Review

The next fanfic on my old favorites list is Buffy fanfic "Fireworks" by Angel Jade1, posted December 7th, 2002. Set in the hiatus between season five and six, Dawn tries to romance Spike by reminding him of Buffy. It doesn't go the way she plans at all.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Into the Fire" - Tortall Fanfic Review

Following the previously reviewed Tortall fanfic "Out of the Frying Pan..." is its sequel, "Into the Fire" by Zurizip, posted August 30th, 2002--September 12th, 2002, left uncompleted. Xlelon, our Mary Sue protagonist, prepares to be sent into Scanra as a diplomat while some unknown enemy attempts to dissuade her with various attacks. Like with "Star Trekkies", the fanfic deals with the subject of 9/11, when meeting the incident's first anniversary.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Out of the Frying Pan..." - Tortall Fanfic Review

Next fanfiction on my old favorites list is another Tortall fanfic, "Out of the Frying Pan..." by Zurizip, posted May 10th, 2002--August 24th, 2002. A cynical Mary Sue goes to Tortall in the aftermath of the Immortals War. Some chapters have no paragraph breaks.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Into the Wrong Hands" - Tortall Fanfic Review

Next in my old list of favorite fanfiction is Tortallan universe fanfic "Into the Wrong Hands" by Lady Knight of Kennan, posted January 2nd, 2002--July 29th, 2002, left uncompleted. A Mary Sue girl and her high school love interest from our universe are transported to the Tortallan universe and are promptly captured by Emperor Ozorne during Emperor Mage. "Wrong Hands" is like a textbook example of what not to do when writing fanfic. It's got bad characters, bad spelling, and some racist overtones.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Dragon Exists (Eureka)

In the Eureka episode "The Real Thing", genius scientist Holly can't fathom the apparent presence of a dragon, a fantasy creature, and this allows her to figure out she's in a Matrix-like computer simulation. Her reasoning process, however, is not very scientific at all because of the way she focuses on how dragons can't exist. In a certain way, a "dragon" certainly does. The generally unscientific science-fiction show here demonstrates the popular misconception that science is faith-based in its rejection of what is considered fantastic.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"And Then There Were Three" - Buffy Fanfic Review

Next in my old list of favorite fanfiction is Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic "And Then There Were Three" by Dead Poet, posted June 24th, 2002. It has a very simple plot: Spike and Dru sadistically torture and kill everyone.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Now What?!" - Predator Fanfic Review

Next on my old fanfic favorites list is Predator fanfic "Now What?!" by Weirdlet, posted May 16th, 2001--June 24th, 2002, left uncompleted. A group of Predators are abducted by Greys, and they befriend the Mary Sue in the adjacent cage. It's better than it sounds.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Star Trekkies I: Enterprise" - Star Trek Fanfic Review

Next on my list of old fanfic favorites is "Star Trekkies I: Enterprise" by Ael L. Bolt, posted October 10th, 2001--April 10th, 2002. At one point, I had a bit of a "girl crush" (strong platonic affection) on the author--then called Lugia42--and I was a member of her online Star Trek forum. "Star Trekkies" is a silly fanfic turning several of the forum members into Star Trek characters. It's a big Mary Sue story, but who cares? And, no, I'm not in the story. I was too shy to assert a desire to be in it, and as such... *shrugs*

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"The Squib and The Death Eaters" - Harry Potter Fanfic Review

Next in my old favorites list is Harry Potter fanfic "The Squib and The Death Eaters" by Ozma, posted February 11th--February 18th, 2002. A group of Death Eaters, including Snape as a spy for the Order of the Phoenix, victimize Filch during Harry's fifth year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Vitani's Dare" - Lion King Fanfic Review

Next fanfic from my old favorites list is Lion King fanfic "Vitani's Dare", by Agent Ninety-Nine, posted November 26th, 2001--February 15th, 2002. It takes place when Kiara, Kovu, and Vitani are just cubs, working on the premise that the cubs would escape their parents' watchful eyes to play together despite Zira training Kovu to take down Simba. One day, Vitani dares Kovu and Kiara to spend a night in the elephant graveyard.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Conversations of a Deranged Cassie and Scary Guy" - Review

Next fanfic in my old favorites list... isn't one. It's posted on, but it's not a fanfic. "Conversations of a Deranged Cassie and Scary Guy" by Ax is a collection of chat conversations in which an Animorphs fan (Ax) trolls a "scary guy" named Joey by pretending to be various Animorphs characters and talking about crazy things.

While it's funny in an America's Funniest Home Videos shadenfreud kind of way, I'm too empathetic to really appreciate it. I don't know Joey, so I don't know how scary he really is. Ax comes off as a total jackass. She repeatedly describes having fun scaring him, and her actions are undoubtedly harassment, even sexual harassment because she keeps calling him "hottie". Screw you, Ax. This one's off the favorites list.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Katanon" - Tortall Fanfic Review

The next fanfic in my old favorites list is "Katanon" by Ironi Numair, posted May 27th, 2001--January 29th, 2002 and left uncompleted. It's another one set in the Tortallan universe by Tamora Pierce, sometime after the Immortals quartet. It involves Daine and Numair's son Katanon trying to prove he's not a squib by going on an adventure. And there's a Stormwing, of course.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Untitled Princess Mononoke Fanfic Review

The next fanfic in my old favorites list is an untitled Princess Mononoke fanfic by Desaix, posted January 12th, 2001--October 12th, 2001. It continues the story from the end of the film, progressing San and Ashitaka's romance as they prepare for a journey. The fanfic was uncompleted and likely never will continue at this point.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"How to Fry an Egg on Your Enemy's Head" - Harry Potter Fanfic Review

"How to Fry an Egg on Your Enemy's Head" by The Marauders Minus Two, posted June 19th, 2001, is a short Harry Potter fanfic about the Marauders trying to fry an egg on Snape's head. It's as silly as it sounds. I remember that I used to crack up every time I read it, but my enjoyment was lessened this time with my full knowledge of Snape's backstory.

Friday, June 15, 2012

"Animorphs(/Tarzan Soundtrack)" - Fanfic (Sorta) Review

"Animorphs(/Tarzan) Soundtrack" by Augustine Quill, posted on May 8th, 2001, is an Animorphs... well, fanvid script collection. It's not really a fanfic, so much as a collection of lyrics from Disney's Tarzan's soundtrack with associated scenes from Animorphs, specifically The Hork-Bajir Chronicles and Visser. Because the TV show never covered the content discussed, it can only stay in script form, but it is essentially just a fanvid script collection and not a fanfic. As such, I don't really know how to review it except to say that it would make a couple of good fanvids.

The two fanvid scripts would work much better as songfics. That is, fanfiction stories based around lyrics to songs. Sometimes the original lyrics are posted, but not in the way these are, which are just based off of music videos to the point of being scripts.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Exegesis of a Stormwing" - Tortall Fanfic Review

Following reviews of three epically-long Pokemon fanfics is a review of a short story set in the Tortallan universe of books by Tamora Pierce, set sometime after the The Immortals quartet. "Exegesis of a Stormwing" by Harkly, posted on March 5th, 2001, is a short story consisting of dialog spoken by a Stormwing to a human boy, with the human's responses not shown. I used to be utterly obsessed with the Stormwings, being both scary villains and honorable allies when they need to be, and it's no surprise to see a fanfic like this one in my favorites list.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"One" - Pokemon Fanfic Review

Following the previously reviewed Pokemon fanfics "Everything Changes" and "Making My Way" is the sequel/spin-off "One", posted November 30th, 2000--February 14th, 2001 by Dragoness. It's significantly shorter than the previous fanfics, less than half as long. While "Making My Way" ends with Ash managing to avert a dark prophecy, "One" supposes he doesn't and explores the version in which Ash becomes a tyrannical warlord.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Making My Way" - Pokémon Fanfic Review

Well, the next fanfic in my old favorites list is the Pokémon fanfic "Making My Way" by Dragoness, sequel to the previously reviewed "Everything Changes", also by Dragoness, posted June 18th, 2000--February 13th, 2001. Despite having evolved into a Mew, Ash is still determined to become the very best Pokémon Master that no one ever was; however, the changes done to the universe in "Everything Changes" put Ash in the middle of a prophecy that could have disastrous consequences.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Trolley Dilemma Ethics Survey

For a while now, I've been curious about how people respond to the trolley dilemma and if this has to do with their political orientation. To help feed my curiosity, please take a moment to fill out this short survey. Thanks!

Manga Review - Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakkou

A slight shift in the usual material here to review some of the manga I've been reading. A nice little yuri manga with an unwieldy translated title is Heart-Pounding Excitement at Mononoke Girls' Academy (Tokimeki Mononoke Jogakkou), by Banana Nangoku. Yep, that's definitely a yuri title. The story is simple enough: a human girl slips into the youkai (fantasy creature) world and has to pretend to be a youkai schoolgirl, and there she falls for a nekomata (supernaturally powerful cat) girl.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gender Roles in the Hunger Games

One of the things I find of most note in the Hunger Games trilogy is how gender roles appear to have generally been flipped with regard to the characters Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick. It is not simply that the rules have been flipped, as characters such as Haymitch and Primrose are more traditional while still regarded as acceptable. The individual characters are strong enough that the gender role difference is acceptable. Additionally, the foreign country of Panem can be considered a place where things are done differently, and its citizens are not judged the same way as modern Americans.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Everything Changes" - Pokémon Fanfic Review

Continuing my series of fanfic reviews is Pokémon fanfic "Everything Changes", by Dragoness, posted February 5th, 2000--February 13th, 2001. The name comes from a Pokémon song released, and it's appropriate because, good golly, do things change! Ash is put into lots of exciting angst-inducing situations after Team Rocket abducts him and makes him work for them, leading to a spiritual evolution with a surprising manifestation. I totally remember this fic! I used to read it all the time, and it was fun to read it again, though I think it's only of an okay quality overall.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Feminist Analysis of Manos: The Hands of Fate

Regarded as one of the worst movies ever, of all time, Manos: The Hands of Fate can indeed be analyzed through a feminist lens. Even horrible movies have narrative structures in there somewhere under the crap, after all. It is actually more relevant to feminist analysis than Troll 2, as it involves victimization of women as part of the antagonist's malice. Manos uses the relatively feminist gender dynamics of the typical 1966 American family to contrast with the horrible treatment of women by a Mexican polygamous cult, but it in itself suffers from sexism apparent from a modern perspective.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Criticism of the Nostalgia Chick

When looking up FernGully clips last year, I ran across the Big-Lipped Alligator Moment meme and traced it back to a funny video produced by two internet reviewers, the Nostalgia Critic (played by Doug Walker) and the Nostalgia Chick (played by Lindsay Ellis). They were so entertaining that I bookmarked both of their pages, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Lindsay Ellis is a feminist who makes video reviews from a feminist viewpoint. My appreciation of the Nostalgia Chick has greatly diminished over time, however, largely stemming from the character's absurd qualities being difficult to distinguish from Lindsay Ellis' honest criticism, as well as her bad (i.e. anti-feminist) taste in humor.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Voice for Men: Still Transphobic and Anti-Feminine-Men

Over a year ago, I made a challenge to the men's rights movement to support feminine men instead of attacking them for being traitors to masculinity. Like most of my blog posts, I crossposted it to Fanpop, and MRA Paul Elam responded to it there, saying that his website A Voice for Men (rape apologist site; may trigger) has "5 regular writers, two of which are openly gay, and [they] run regular articles denouncing any efforts for masculinity to be defined by anyone other than the individual". I looked it over, found a whole lot of hate, but tried to scan for good parts.

I came back with a response saying "I found some things there I agreed with. There's some good stuff about needing to teach boys that it's okay to be emotional and some general stuff about the welfare of boys and men. What I don't like is the underlying philosophy about how everything bad for men is the product of evil feminists. There's good discussion of bad gender roles for men, but when 'a feminist did it' is at the heart, there's no way I can respect it." I went on to describe some ambiguous wording I found problematic as well as blatant transphobia such as the characterization of a trans woman as a traitorous man. That sat there without response until I made a vlog response to AoirthoirMasculinist's vlog response to my video counterpart of the initial challenge, in which I borrowed some of my words from my reply to Paul Elam and said that AVfM was hateful and contained more of the same disrespect of feminine men.

This time, I got a reply from an MRA associated with AVfM, called TheHappyMisogynist (not sure if it is Paul Elam or just a friend of his), who claimed that I was making shit up about AVfM to unfairly discredit it, saying "AVfM has always stood behind every man's choice of sexual identity, and personal interpretation of masculine, PERIOD". I sent him the link to the Fanpop thread, and I just got a response on the thread by Paul Elam, who says that my "interpretation of what [I am] reading on AVfM is really off target. So much so that one has to wonder if it is intentional" and "The MRM, as it is active on A Voice for Men, supports and embraces the autonomy and dignity of all men, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender and anything else outside these designations. [My] attempt to characterize it as otherwise is weak and unsupported."

So, I checked out the (disgustingly misogynistic, ageist, and ableist) site, and right in the mission and values list, there's use of the slur "mangina". This is used to degrade a man for respecting women by implying feminine characteristics through bonding male gender-identifier "man" with female sex organ "vagina". Something obvious to me is immediate hostility toward trans men because men with vaginas must be fundamentally bad if "mangina" functions as an insult. So, the claim that AVfM respects men with feminine characteristics as real men (and supports the dignity of trans men) goes out the window at once.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Anime Review: When They Cry

(Though I usually write spoilery articles, I've made effort to not spoil here given the interesting mystery)

When They Cry (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) is an awesome horror/mystery anime somewhere between The Wicker Man and Lost. When city-boy Keiichi moves to the rural Hinamizawa and becomes friends with a group of girls, he thinks he’s found paradise, until he learns that the town hides its darker face of creepy religious worship, a yakuza group, and a very relevant murder mystery. Similar to the Studio Ghibli anime music video On Your Mark, the show’s format involves the Buddhist-inspired concept of the universe restarting and everyone having another chance to get things done right, even if they don’t always remember anything from their previous lives. The show consists as a series of story arcs that act as these independent timelines involving the group of kids encountering dangerous situations that may be connected to an ancient curse. It seems like destiny that there will be murder, but there is always room to hope for a good outcome, while the viewer can meanwhile piece together clues about the general mystery.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Analysis of Boy Meets World, 1st Season

I decided to bring my analytical skills to one of my favorite shows of all time: Boy Meets World. It makes sense to do as Lewis Carroll wrote and start at the beginning, so I’ll look at the first season first. Hmmm.

Well, I don’t really like the first season that much. I mean, it’s fine, but it’s nothing special. They changed the show around so much in the second season that the first season feels like practically an entirely different show just with the same character names. It can be summed up as: Loud, obnoxious upper middle class boy Cory Matthews lives next door to his teacher Mr. Feeny, and though he wants life to stay the same, is forced to confront the prospect of growing up and liking girls.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

If I could talk to the Big Bang Theory characters...

...I'd say the following.

Leonard: Forget about Penny and find a nice girl who actually appreciates the same things you do.

Amy: Dump Sheldon. He doesn't care about you as more than a friend beyond some possessive inclinations. Assume an aromantic friendly relationship based on intellectual stimulation. And then ask her out.

Raj: Even if he wasn't straight, Howard's in a committed relationship with Bernadette, so stop making him feel uncomfortable with your obvious attraction to him.

Penny: You don't have to change your whole identity for a guy, but it wouldn't kill you to be a bit more respectful either.

Jeez, these people are dysfunctional!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 Kinky Kids' Stories

I’m a masochist, meaning I like pain and the idea of being dominated by a powerful entity. I say ‘entity’ because in the realm of fantasy, the dominant character can be a person or an animal or a robot or anything really. Despite perception of masochism as a conscious deviancy, I believe it’s more like a sexual orientation as I have been this way all my life. This means I was a masochist when I was a kid and as such tended to be drawn to certain stories that unintentionally exemplified kinks. So, here I’ve made a list of the top ten (most likely unintentionally) kinky stories of my childhood. If this isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to move on.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Pet - BDSM Film Review

A while ago while looking for a completely different movie, I came upon The Pet, a BDSM-related story. Being a masochist and fan of the BDSM genre in general, I watched it anyway. It’s pretty bad. Some movies are so bad they’re good… This isn’t one of them. It doesn’t seem to understand what it’s trying to be, and while I think it was trying to present an open-minded perspective of alternative relationships, it comes off decidedly negative in its portrayal of BDSM. The most overt way this is so is through the unfortunate conflation of consensual “slavery” role-play with real world human trafficking.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weird Search Terms

Thanks to Site Meter, I can tell when people visit Going Rampant and from where. If it was from a search engine, the search terms are usually recorded. Below is a list of some of the strangest things people have reached my blog searching for:

  • "sexy mechanics" - This is a problem of searches ignoring punctuation. "...Sexy? Mechanics..."
  • "feminist killing boys" - Sorry, no anti-feminist rants here.
  • "sex porno massacre brutaly" - I'm sure I used every one of those words on a page, just not together like that.
  • "fanfiction about dark and dominant jacob raping and forcing bella to be his sex slave" - Sorry, not my thing. Now, morally grey and dominant Claire raping and forcing Elle to be her sex slave...
  • "goa'uld porn" - Um, what the frak?
  • "how to kill a womanizing husband" - Yikes! 
  • "is halo a girl character in the game halo" - Halo is a pretty cool gal. ehs kills aleins and doesn't afraid of anything. Seriously, though, no, Halo is a ring-shaped weapon of mass destruction.
  • "obama is an active from the dollhouse" - Ha! Well, it would make sense. Bennett's good at programming leadership qualities.
  • "halo elite female porn" - Is it weird that I've actually seen some on the 'net?
  • "snakes slither into female womb and gives birth sex stories" - I... What?
  • "images of a female spartan from halo getting raped by an elite" - Um... Hell, no.
It's a sick 'net, people! It's a sick 'net!