Jun. 25th, 2010

svollga: (heel)
There's the thing: while I support the feminist agenda, I sometimes feel that some everyday things I do or don't do, I allow or don't allow to do for me, can't be quite correlated with it. Mostly the questions arise because of my own bigendered nature, and of genderqueer nature of my circle. A lot of genderqueer people in my circle, mostly female-bodied but leaning to male, try to affirm their maleness by conforming to male gender stereotypes. The stereotypes work like the code for gender: if you behave like a stereotypical man (generally an idealised chivalrious gentleman) than you are a man and are treated as such. If you behave as a woman (generally with a tint of an idealised lady or a vixen) than you are a woman and are treated as such. And if you claim you're a man but behave in any 'feminine' way - show your emotions, have tantrums, show weakness, ask for help - then you are lying. The situation is certainly influenced by the fact that we are all role-players to some extent, and it's easier for us to play the suitable role. (I went through several types of manly man roles and have even had relationships built on those roles.)
It's not as bad as it may seem. Generally, my circle is very comfortable to exist in because it accepts any personal quirks including specific gender variations. It's a safe space to be queer in, and a pretty much egalitarian, too, but it's tinted with the sort of medieval fantasy mentality when a woman is a lady to be cherished and honoured and marveled at, but being male or at least lean to maleness is somewhat better. Though being a woman gives you more leeway with behaviour and emotions. (Well, it's like in the 'real world', only better, actually. Easier and with less differencies and limits.)
It doesn't bother me much, but it does sometimes when I have a feeling that I'm not a feminist enough because I play this game, too. In my male phases, I think that I have to be a head of a household, to be reliable and calm and logical; in my female phases, I'm flirty and attract attention to my female beauty and have a leeway on irrationality and emotionality because I'm a woman. It feels natural, but at the same time, a bit suffocating. I don't know what I can do with it, and I'm not sure if I want to do anyhing, but I've been thinking about it lately, and decided to write it down.
svollga: (wish)
Criminal Minds was tv-show I've always recommended as very PC in quite, dignified and clever way. It had a regular cast of 4 men and 3 women, all the women had distinct and non-stereotypical personalities, were well-respected professionals and could be good role models and examples of How You Do Women on TV (hint: as human beings). In addition, it had a lot of women (as well as people of colour) in the episode cast, in very different roles, and all of them had their own agenda and were not just token girls or helpless victims. Among other procedural shows where good female characters are a rarity, this one was a gem. It went through 5 seasons without lowering their standarts in both plot quality and passing Bechdel test. It was a very successful show even though it had a lot of force-major problems in production.

Now, the CBS company suddenly decided to cut their female cast 'for financial reasons'. One of the characters, Jennifer Jareau, an essencial member of a team who is also a mom, will be cut entirely. There's a huge possibility that plot-wise, it will be played as 'she decided to devote more time to her family', and we will lose not only a strong female character, but a female character who can balance very difficult job and family/parenthood. The other character, Emily Prentiss, a field agent, will be 'scaled down'. The one character left, Penelope Garcia, is a brilliant, quirky and interesting character (and a lovely fat girl, too!), but she is largely in a periphery, working from the home base.

The entire cast have expressed their dismay over the sudden decision, which will surely affect the story lines and the show’s audience. There's a huge apheaval among the online fans of the show, including the online petition (also supported and promoted by the cast).

Personally, I'm very sad about this new development because it was really a rare show with a full-fleged female cast, and I was hoping that the girls will be getting even more screen time and personal plot archs. This cutdown was a very unpleasant surprise. :(


svollga: (Default)

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