Tag Archives: feminism

REVIEW: CRAZY EX GIRLFRIEND

A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon a show on Netflix called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I decided to give it a go, and boy, I’m glad I did. Rachel bloom performs as Rebecca Bunch, a career orientated woman depressed and despairing at her empty life, when she stumbles upon her ex boyfriend, Josh Chan. On an impulse and obsessive decision, she decides to move to West Covina (which just so happens to be where Josh lives) in an attempt to regain some happiness in her life, and so, an ingenious show was born.

I didn’t realise upon watching that it was a musically inclined show, and the first song that appeared I was not prepare for and may put some viewers off but I promise, stick with the show and you will be rewarded. It is new, innovative and incredibly refreshing, but above all, realistic when dealing with events in life. It removes the romanticism that Hollywood often prescribes to everyday life, and instead takes dark matters and deep themes such as depression, mental health and sexuality, and presents them in a wonderfully light hearted and comedic style. Rebecca is all of us: slightly crazy, obsessive, kooky, weird and, in other words: not perfect. She is such an accurate representation of the modern woman that I couldn’t stop laughing and empathising with her. Rebecca’s character is one of the best female characters I’ve come across in the last year or so because not only is she empowering, but she’s also so relatable. You know those days where you look like shit, haven’t washed or put makeup on, just dashed out of the house to maybe stock up on tampons and chocolate? Or where you try and play things cool, when really you’ve been obsessing over it endlessly and you just brush it off when it’s brought up? Well, Rebecca Bunch, as the ‘everyday woman’, does these things too. She’s like an average role model, the one who celebrates her quirkiness and imperfections.

Some of my personal favourite songs (on YouTube if you fancy watching)
– The Sexy Getting Ready song (an accurate documentation of the process girls go through getting ready, and absolutely hilarious)
I’m the villain (A Disneyfied anti-hero narrative that’s incredibly catchy)
Sex with a stranger (for anyone who’s had terrible experiences on tinder)
I gave you a UTI ( A hilarious jaunty song which includes genius lyrics such as ‘My sweet love Injection caused a urinary tract infection’ and ‘If it hurts to take a leak
That’s just part of my technique’)
Greg’s Drinking Song (an old fashioned, Irish folkish song performed by Greg (the fantastic Santino Fontano) coming to terms with his alcoholism, yet in the most light-hearted way. Includes lyrics about him puking on his cat, having sex with a bush, and trying to fly for a plane). One of my personal favourites.

The best thing about the show is, in my opinion, it’s music. Ingenious lyrics, really- it’s incredibly clever  puns and play on words (Getting-Bi is a good example of a man discovering his sexuality, and just getting by with it, for example). And each song is different and unique- there’ll be rock styles, pop music, R & B songs, Country songs, good old power ballards, all of them). And the attention to detail in the show is magnificent, in Season 2 they compiled a song made up of different songs from season one- imagine! One big song made of different songs?! It’s awesome. The hilarity of the show is matched only by the skill of the vocals from every cast member- while Rebecca is indeed the protagonist, we are treated to individual songs from different characters with their own struggles and styles.

I could go on describing all the songs, but this post is becoming increasingly too long already, so just go and watch the show yourself. The characters are absolutely hilarious, including Greg, a sarcastic, alcoholic bartender with a pessimistic attitude, feeling trapped in his own life, his drinking and his poor taste in women, Valencia, a ‘Humble yoga instructor/ Kate Hudson / Princess / Bitch’, Heather, an intellectual goth-emo-scary chick who just so happens to be ‘Miss Douche’, and countless others.

The main content of the series is beautifully simple; Rebecca, on a pursuit of happiness, which we can see is an uphill struggle with lots of laughs on the way. Season two follows this idea, with Rebecca hanging onto the belief that if she ends up with Josh, she’ll finally be happy. (Spoiler for S2 in the next sentence)

The amazing finale shows a final epiphany for Rebecca as she is left at the altar, all her dreams crushed as she comes to the realisation happiness will not be found in Josh Chan, or the other men in her life that have left her (we see an amazing parallel of daddy issues shown between Rebecca and her new hot boss, Nathaniel)
By the grace of God, Season 3 has been confirmed and so I will eagerly await its release. The show delves into all kinds of issues: from having crushes on people, to making friends, meeting the parents, fucking everything up, being stuck in a love triangle, the hardships and weirdness of being a dad, the importance of female empowerment and feminism, homosexuality, racism- you name it, it’s got it. It’s and if nothing I’ve said has persuaded you to watch the show, check out some of the songs on Netflix or youtube at least, it’s worth listening to.

What’s the deal with Fifty Shades of Grey?

I vaguely remember the storm around E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey when it came out. I remember gathering around a copy with my friends, trying to find the rude sections, and giggling as we read it out. I remember seeing pictures of women brazenly reading it on trains for the world to see, and being fairly impressed at this unapologetic display of an erotic book on their way home from Charing Cross on a Tuesday night. I am in Great Britain, after all, and even though we are known for our prudishness, we are not one to ban stuff.
With the arrival of trailers of the second film, Fifty Shades Darker, I decided to get off my high horse, and watch it. Now, I know it was originally written as a fanfiction from Stephanie Meyers Twilight series, hence the reason why I avoided the film like the plague. Like many others, I assumed it was directed at middle aged suburban women, thrill-seeking and trembling in their cinema seats. But alas, I watched it. And like, what’s the deal with it?

The plot was very simple, very dull, and I kept waiting for something dramatic and exciting to happen. But no. It’s was just a series of meetings between Ana and Christian as they bonded (and later, bondaged… ignore that. I’ll work on the puns later). I did wonder how they were going to direct a film all about explicit sex (from what I gather, I haven’t actually read the book so lack the means to compare) but it was done very tastefully, and the sex scenes weren’t half bad.

Now, I don’t know if I’m being a feminazi here, or whether the film genuinely displayed an almost abusive relationship. Christian draws up a contract for Anastasia, in which she, as a submissive sexual partner, can’t drink alcohol, can only eating food from a specific list, and specifically says she must do anything sexual he asks for ‘without argument’, because nothing says sexy like the underlying threat of rape.

Now, if a guy tried to tell me I couldn’t drink, or I wasn’t allowed that second slice of pizza, he’d be out the door before you could say dildo.
Ana, like any self-respecting woman, doesn’t sign the contract, and eventually gets on with her life, until Christian, displaying EXTREMELY possessive, obsessive tendencies, hounds her via text, getting genuinely pissed off that she’s taking her time considering signing her soul and dignity away. Eventually, instead of giving her the breathing time that she needs, he decides to stalk her, enter her apartment without asking, and has sex with her. Talk about seduction. Already at this point warning bells are going off in my mind. lets face it, girls love a bad boy. Sometimes, it’s cute when he gets jealous. But this goes so far beyond that.
Christian goes so far beyond cute to stalker-psycho, more like Patrick Bateman than Patrick Swayze. He tears her away from her graduation with her father, tells her she cannot go to see her mother and then when she does, turns up and -oh you guessed it- drags her away from special time with her mother. The guy doesn’t have boundaries. He takes over her life completely, and its not sexy, its not cute, its borderline abusive.

But the real cruncher here, is that Christian, whilst displaying a psychotic sort of cold affection towards Ana, states there would be no romantic relationship, only a sexual one. Ana can not touch him, or sometimes look him in the eye. And whilst all the women watching this film look with goggle eyes at Jamie Dornan (Christian), they fail to acknowledge this insult. This guy is the epitome of what we now say ‘fuckboy’. He is not interested in dating her, being nice to her, getting to know her, only using her for his own pleasure. And women find this… sexy? If a boy texted one of my friends saying he wasn’t interested in her for her sunny personality, only her vagina, we’d both laugh and cast him off with all the other fuckboys. But I guess it’s different if it’s a sadistic famous millionaire (A GREAT message for young girls, by the way).

Christian gives Ana a new laptop, expensive books, and even a car (though it’s crucial to point out that without asking her, he got one of his henchmen to sell her old one. See why I have a problem with this?)So basically, it’s a sugar-daddy/ escort situation, but it’s okay because he’s hot.
The main redeeming factor is Anastasia finally leaves Christian, and it seems apparent that she is standing up for herself, not allowing him to hurt her, buy her or own her- a point that now seems redundant considering there’s a second film- but we’ll get to that later.

Now maybe I am reading to much into it. And whilst I don’t want to come off too feminist-lefty-liberal, I honestly do see some worrying displays of abuse in the film. I get the whole dominant-submissive sexual thing, but when it surpasses the bedroom, and takes over the couples life, surely that becomes a problem? If Christian wants to dominant Ana in the bedroom, and she consents, then its all fun and games. But it goes past this, to him controlling what she eats, what she drinks, her friends, when she sees her family, what car she drives, where she lives. So what do you guys think? Is it a disgusting portrayal of an abusive relationship, condoning dominance in young couples? (It’s key to remember this that some young audiences, will watch this and think this is how functional relationships work because majority of teenage audiences are young, dumb, and full of cum.)
Or is it a harmless film that plays around with sexual stereotypes? What do you guys think? Even if you haven’t watched it and have stuck this far, what reading do you get from it? I’d be fascinated to know what others think of this film, as it seems weird for me to bring it up to my friends after years of it being released (and I’m almost ashamed to admit watching it). Let me know what you guys think. Peace Out.

Who are you?

Many situations will arise in your life in which you have to shortly summarise who you are. An example is the introductory ‘name games’ at school or university where you sheepishly have to say your name, where you live and something about yourself. Recently, when I was faced with such an awkward and unpleasant task, I could find anything to say. It wasn’t, or course, that I had no personality or was the human equivalent of water, but that I cannot be summarised into a sentence. And neither can you. How can I possible say that I’m a writer, a feminist, a dreamer, a wisher, a lover and a fighter? How can I express the contrasting qualities of my being- I love being strong, and independent, yet I Sometimes like being shy and innocent. Sometimes I can dominate a room with talking and telling stories and captivating people, other times I like to sit and daydream, the conversations flowing past me unnoticed. I can’t express some of the deepest philosophical thoughts that I’ve had in my life or how my heart fluttered when I fell in love or how the events in my life have changed me. I know that no one will truly ever know me as well as I know myself. Sure, they may know you’re favourite colour, or what genre films you like, but you are the only person that will ever be a constant in your life. They weren’t there when you took your first steps, had your first kiss, when you embarrassed yourself and laughed and cried and went through life. It’s extremely important to remember that everyone is a human being with a life- a past and a future, and what you see is definitely not what you get. I often wonder what people think when they see me. Sometimes we use fashion and posters and tattoos to try and express who we really are, but it’s easy to ignore that and focus on yourself. I once got in an argument with a girl and was horrible upset, until my mother reminded me that she was too. She had emotions too- it wasn’t just about me and my feelings. It’s so important in this day and age to try and be selfless- because when good things happen to you, it can change your day. Other people deserve the same. Originating back to my point on ‘who are you’ I wonder if anyone else has a problem defining who they are in simple terms? How can a few words summarize your soul, your essence, your experiences? I have come to the conclusion that it is perfectly okay that people will not know every depth of my soul. I like to keep some remains of my soul private, and I can continually change, growing day by day until the best person I can possibly be. A year ago I didn’t identify as a feminist, something which now has influenced me greatly. A year ago I didn’t know how much I loved writing, now a great passion of mine. Every day, you begin to change and evolve, so you are never really one person, just an idea that changes and grows as you continue the journey of life.

 

Getting deep, I realise, but I hope you followed my train of thought. If you’ve read this, thank you very much and please comment below, I’d love to know what you think. Bye!

The Walking Dead- Sexist or Ignorant?

With my uni work piling up next to me, I bravely tackled through with a stack of pizzas and energy drinks as I started to binge watch ‘The Walking Dead’. I absolutely love it- zombies man, cool. I haven’t been particularly invested in many programmes since Sherlock and Lost and finally, I have found one I adore. Although, I have to mention, I do have some slight problems with it. May contain spoilers guys. So Rick is our protagonist- a honest do-gooder with a family protect automatically taking the leadership role from experience as a cop. He is our hero. Introduction Shane, who acts as a surrogate hero for Rick, he also has led a group to survival. Although best friends, the two have many issues, including the fact Shane is banging Rick’s wife, Lori.
Now, as events transpire and Lori passes away, Rick begins to go a bit off the rails. He starts becoming absent and distant and it’s clear he can’t lead anyone. Thus, as of course a democracy wouldn’t work here, a leader needs to step up (Don’t get me started on this idea). Glenn is considered, as suddenly he has grow a moustache and got a girlfriend! But deep down, he’s still the little technological kid that we know and love and for one reason or another, can’t lead. Hershel is an old man, with a missing leg and acts as a Dumbledore/Gandalf figure (old man offering wisdom to young protagonist). Shanes dead now, so he can’t be a leader and Daryl has gone off so he can’t. Even Carl, the little boy of about 9/10?? is considered, but obviously he’s a little too young and growing a bit brutal! I watched with anticipation with each episode, before realising, is not any of these episodes is a woman considered for a leadership role. The women have some interesting traits between them- Carols transformation and motherly comforting contrasted with Michonne’s steely, fierce nature. Maggie’s gone from farmer girl to strong independent woman in just a couple of episodes! Andrea, is by far my favourite in the show. Growing stronger after the death of her sister, she decided to start learning how to use a gun and is pretty fucking badass with it. However, after she started dating the governor who is revealed to be the bad guy, she seems more annoying as she doesn’t pick a side and is clearly being blindsided by her ‘love’. However, she would make a pretty good leader. She’s kind, she knows how to talk to people and calm them down, she’s organised and has good ideas, is savvy and clever and strong. Anyway, before I go off on one, I just want to address why these woman are never considered for the leadership role for the group. Sure, they are confident, strong women but not once does any suggest that Maggie or Andrea lead. Now, I’m not saying that the Walking Dead are completely sexist and I’ll never watch the show again. But, I do hope that they will introduce a few headstrong, courageous woman. Examples include Kahlan from Legend of the Seeker, Kate from Lost, pretty much any cast member of Orange is the new black, Morgana from Merlin, Cersei and Dany (Kahleesi) from Game of thrones. If you guys have ideas on why this is, or what you think, feel free to comment below.

Why I love Cersei

The most common reaction I get when I mention the fact that I love the character Cersei Lannister from popular novel and tv show ‘Game of thrones’ is probably shock and a little bit of confusion. I will try and to explain why I love such an unlikeable character. Ever since I was little, I loved shows such as Xena, Buffy, legend of the seeker and Merlin. My main reason for this is because of the strong female characters presented. And Cersei is no different. A little context if you don’t know about this character- Cersei is the eldest child of Tywin Lannister. Her mother died when she was 8 due to the birth of Tyrion, leading to a hatred of her younger brother. Her twin (and lover) is Jamie Lannister. As children they were extremely close and Cersei has strong beliefs that they belong together, something like two sides of the same coin.  Infatuated with Prince Rhaegar as a child, he refused her fathers offer for Cerseis hand, and she later married King Robert, becoming Queen (every girls little dream). However, on their wedding night, he called her Lyanna (a woman that he is in love with and still mourning for). Cersei bore three children to Jaime- Joffrey (the evil little shit that everyone hates) Myrcella and Tommen. She takes action into helping the King to his death, and then denounces Eddard Stark, leading to his death too. he is need Queen Regent and take charge of Joffreys small council. She uses her power wisely but can get blinded by emotion. For me, Cersei is a beacon of strength and courage. Sure, she’s an incestuous bitch that has caused a lot of trouble. But I think she’s got more balls than a lot of the male figures in the show and book. She’s wise, loves her children and does everything to protect her family and herself, even murder or crippling a ten year old child- though technically, she didn’t agree with as it was Jaime, which she ‘had a go’ at him for. But there are so many layers to her character. She’s a queen. She’s a mother. She’s desperately in love with someone who she can’t be with. She was trapped in a marriage with a man who was in love with a dead woman, to the point of saying her name while they slept together on her wedding night. Being brought up by Tywin Lannister must’ve been hard, but she gained a lot of cunning and wisdom. She uses her weakness and makes herself stronger, realising that strength and power is everything that she needs. She Demonstrates to Littlefinger that ‘Power is power’ unleashing the sassy ‘I-can-do-what-I-want’ attitude that everyone’s so fond of. ‘The more people you love, the weaker you are’ She tells Sansa stark to love fewer people, speaking from experience. She’s not a complete ice queen. We’ve seen her break down, cry and scream. And it’s this emotion which makes me love her so much. She’s not a complete coldblooded killer or twisted maniac. She accepts the fact she has a woman’s body and hates that it makes her weak. She despises the fact that she is not taken as seriously as her brothers, but she does have weapons (her tears and ‘what’s between her thighs’ as she claims) and she uses them successfully. I suppose the modern day equivalent of Cersei would be a strong business woman, completely career driven not afraid to take what she wants. Not to mention she loves wine as much as I do. And Lena Headey is pretty much a goddess. That’s pretty much it for my ramblings on fictional characters for today.   “When you play the Game of Throne, you win or you die. There is no middle ground”