Viewing posts tagged feminism

Embracing Intersubjectivity

Prologue

A young woman is featured at a freethought conference and speaks on communicating atheism through blogging, then later on sexism within the atheist community. She has her say, makes some points (namely, that just because other female skeptics don't recognize sexism within the skeptic community in their own lives and work, that said sexism might still exist), and afterwards basically goes on with her life. Later, she spends time at the bar in the hotel chatting and generally having a good time, and when at four in the morning she decides she needs some sleep, she finds herself alone in an elevator with a man who takes the opportunity to ask her to his hotel room for coffee.

(A word to the wise: an offer for coffee at four in the morning is rarely about a desire for caffeine.)

Later, the young woman records a vlog about her experiences at the conference, and as an aside relays this experience, ending with, "Guys, don't do that."

Hence Elevatorgate.

This is the story of how I became a feminist.

First, let's clear the air

"Feminist" is the kind of terms that comes loaded with huge amounts of baggage ...

Furiosa and Furiosa

Well, it's basically a two-hour chase sequence with a few pauses... but yes, it's amazingly well done.  Old hand George Miller takes advantage of all the modern techniques - hyper-fast editing, CGI, etc - but he uses these things for storytelling purposes, not to show us how fast he can edit or how good his CGI is.  He never sacrifices the clarity of the visual storytelling.  The production and costume design has a gnarly, knotty detail and complexity.  The brazenly ironic and stylised salvagepunk visual world of the movie makes it like an 80s auteur film made on a vast budget and with modern techniques.  The result is jaw-droppingly good.  It instantly makes just about every other blockbuster movie of recent years look quaint and windy.  Mad Max: Fury Road makes Avengers: Age of Ultron look like a Cameron Crowe movie in which the assembled twee, privileged assholes play with action figures and make "boom" noises.



I'm not going to go into much political detail.  I've junked most of what I've been trying to write about this movie, largely because of this article at Jacobin, which says everything I ...

3

"Not so much of that oatmeal, girl," says Meg to one of the kitchen drudges, "It's only pikemen we're feeding, not horses."

They're in Irongron's castle, somewhere in the century or so following the Norman Conquest.  Sarah is undercover, cooking Irongron's stew.

"Don't the guards on the gate get stew?" she asks, wanting to know in which pots to drop the Doctor's knock-out potion.

"What, meat for those common creatures? I should say not. They'll have oatmeal the same as the rest of us, and lusty enough they are on that. So you watch yourself if ever you take out that skillet."

So class is, perhaps, a more fundamental division than gender, but gender oppression brings its own particular problems.

"I'm not afraid of men. They don't own the world."

Well, they kind-of do... but Sarah isn't discussing actual property relations.  She's talking about the way the world should work, with no one group 'owning' it.

"Why should women always have to cook and carry for them?" she demands.

"What else should we do?" asks Meg.

"Stand up for ourselves. Tell the men you're tired ...

The Worm That Cloned

'Airlock' is quite a find, as it turns out.  There are some very interesting, unexpected things in it.  Not least, an honest-to-goodness flashback sequence (in dumbshow apart from a voiceover), filmed in first-person POV!  This is the sort of stylistic flourish that old-fashioned Who usually didn't bother with.  It ain't Kubrick, but it's unusually ambitious by the standards of the time.  Also, Stephanie Bidmead - a Shakespearean actress - plays Maaga in a far more physically expressive way than the audios might lead one to believe.  She delivers great swathes of her dialogue - which is ostensibly directed to her fellow Drahvins - direct to the audience, staring into the camera.  Nothing like that was seen (apart from Tom's occasional bouts) until Morgus... and even that was an accident.




Of course, charming and fascinating as it is, the story remains hopeless.  The Drahvins are a near-perfect illustration of mainstream 60s attitudes towards 'the woman question'.  Contemptuous, we-know-better-dear, patronising smugness at the sheer unworkable, extremist silliness of 'women's lib'.

The race of evil alien feminists are marked out from other baddies of the era by their towering stupidity and shambolic incompetence ...

Vixens and Saxons


Some disjointed thoughts about 'The Time Warrior'.  Is it sexist?  Is Linx really a girl?  And what is the correct Socialist attitude to Irongron?


1.  Men Are From Earth, Sontarans Are From... umm... Saturn?  No, couldn't be.  'Saturn' is an anagram of 'Rutans' for a start...

'The Time Warrior' is the chronicle of a failed romance.  Irongron and Linx.  The odd couple.

Made for each other.
The initial attraction. The slowly dawning mutual realisation that they have much in common. They take turns helping each other out. Terms of affection pass between them: Linx is Irongron's "brother" and will be his "general". Physical intimacy follows, as Linx allows Irongron to see his face then almost takes his arm as they leave to deal with the android knight. Irongron gives Linx a familiar nickname (albeit a rather unkind one).  Then ...

The Real McCoy and the Forgotten (Sacrificial) Lambs

I continue to round up my Timelash II stuff with these bits 'n' bobs about the McCoy years.  There will eventually be separate posts on some of the 'big hitters' left out below.


Paradise Towers

Very Whoish ideas. Lots of clever use of language, from the street names to the slang which incorporates degenerated formal rules, to the Caretaker lingo full of subsections and codes, etc. 

It suffers from 'Mysterious Planet' disease in that the production looks good but nothing looks right.

Mel's apparently monomaniacal fixation upon the swimming pool is decidedly odd.  But, if you approach this as children's television (which is clearly what it thinks it is) then you can enjoy it as a surprisingly sophisticated story about social entropy.

Brings to mind Le Corbusier and his notion of houses as "machines for living in"... which always had a tinge of the authoritarian about it, amidst all the utopianism of early 20th century modernism (which also always had a hidden inner core of mysticism beneath all the pseudo-rational stright lines, etc). The insistence upon a buried notion of virtue (you had to be a certain kind of healthy, high-minded, thin, modern-minded, puritanical ...

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