On the (Rest of the) Net.

I’m at Paste Wrestling writing about the dearth of women’s wrestling merchandise on WWEShop.com, and the stuff that is there is exclusionary to children on the spectrum and women who’ve experienced sexual assault.

I wrote about the censorship of porn when many young people use it as sex education. [Archer]

My latest for SBS Life is about how women’s friendships can dwindle later in life and why that’s okay.

I wrote about why we need diverse podcasts for Feminartsy.

I contributed to Writers Bloc‘s list of feminist books for International Women’s Day and covered the All About Women festival for them.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rebecca Bunch is crazy. “So am I.” [Junkee]

Britney Spears deserves better than her Lifetime movie. [Buzzfeed]

“How Supergirl Became One of the Most LGBTQIA-Friendly Shows on TV.” [Elle]

The Good Fight needs Kalinda Sharma.” [The Ringer]

“No, I Don’t Want To Watch A Rape Survivor Reconcile With Her Rapist.” [Junkee]

Get Out the the horror movie of our time. [Buzzfeed]

And in it, “Allison Williams Knows How to Make ‘Good White People’ Scary”. [Vulture]

Rereading The Handmaid’s Tale in the Trump era. [The Cut]

How will women’s magazines cover Ivanka Trump? [Politico]

Kellyanne Conway is a Cool Girl. [WaPo]

What Donald Trump’s food says about him. [Eater]

How Big Little Lies challenges “Leaning In” and #WomenWhoWork. [Buzzfeed]

Daria Morgendorffer is the heroine we need now. [The Cut]

Intersectionality is not a brand, but it extends to brands. [Daily Life]

World Wrestling Entertainment asserted a year ago that it would start telling LGBTQIA stories. That still hasn’t happened. [Paste Wrestling]

ICYMI: I republished an old freelance article about how Gossip Girl and other flashy shows make me feel bad about myself.

And in case this wasn’t enough for you, there’s more feminist reads at the 105th Down Under Feminists Carnival. [Transcendancing]

Magazines: Elle—One of These Things is Not Like the Others…

elle-magazine-women-in-tv-mindy-kaling-zooey-deschanel-amy-poehler-allison-williams

As New Girl, The Mindy Project and Parks and Recreation return to air from their winter breaks and Girls premiers its third season in the U.S. on Sunday (fasttracked to Showcase on Monday night in Australia), ELLE celebrates their female stars by giving them each a cover of their TV issue.

New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel heads up the series of covers, followed by Parks and Rec‘s Amy Poehler, Allison Williams who plays Marnie on Girls, and Mindy Kaling for The Mindy Project. All the covers are stunning, but it’s hard not to be visually jarred by the final cover, that of Kaling’s. Whereas all the other women, whose body types tend to fit into the standard Hollywould mould, get the 3/4 length portrait shot that ELLE is known for, Kaling has a close-up beauty shot à la Adele for Vogue. And black and white to boot! Sure, the image in stunning and Kaling herself tweeted in defence of it, but held up against the other three traditional covers, there does seem to be something amiss. You’ll forgive us, ELLE, if we conclude it’s because of Kaling’s skin colour and body shape.

Image via Batch Please.

TV: Girls Just Want to Have Realistic Experiences.

 

The racial issues the interwebs has with Girls made me feeling trepidation about the show. I think the fact that I had such low expectations was a good thing, as I actually ended up loving it.

I’m yet to warm to Lena Dunham as a person, but I love her as her alter-ego, Hannah Horvath, who, in the series’ opening scene, is cut off by her parents who have been supporting her in the two years since she finished college. Her mother rightfully calls her a spoiled brat (Hannah responds with, “Whose fault is that?!”) expecting them to fund her New York lifestyle while she pursues her “art” in an unpaid internship. Initially, I wanted to throttle Hannah for being entitled and selfish (I despise people who leech of their parents), but I can also understand her disbelief that her pretty well-off parents won’t extend their good fortune to her.

I grew up in a low-income home so I didn’t always get everything I wanted or needed. At the time, and even sometimes now when my pensioned mum will shout my minimum wage sister a coffee but not me, I thought it was so unfair; why should I be punished for my parents’ poor life choices? But at the end of the day, it has made me fight for the things I want instead of having them handed to me, gives me empathy for other people doing it tough and reminds me how I don’t want my life to turn out.

I also really related to Hannah’s gorgeous roommate Marnie, played by Allison Williams, whose perfect boyfriend is just too… everything. She “accidentally” sleeps in Hannah’s room when he stays over to avoid him. She suggests a sexy roleplay where he’s the stranger to avoid having tender, loving sex with him. She laments that she feels like such a bitch because he’s so nice to her and it just infuriates her. I feel her pain: most of the guys I’ve dated in the past have either been too nice or too assholish. Where’s the happy medium?

But back to the race thing. There has been a lot of umming and ahhing about the fact that there are no characters of colour apart from the techie Asian and the homeless crazy black guy tropes. Even the background extras aren’t that diverse for a show set and filmed in New York. Dunham has copped some flack for this, as Girls is completely her brainchild. But doesn’t that mean that she’s just being true to her experience as a privileged white girl who probably didn’t come into contact with many non-white people during her college and post-college years, some are wondering. I think it’s unfortunate that her ignorance is the reason Girls is so whitewashed, but hopefully the criticisms she’s faced since the show’s release will see more people of colour integrated into it. Girls may not show people of different races, but they sure talk about it (Jessa says she’ll have many different babies to many different men of many different races, and Hannah is admonished for a distasteful joke on a job interview because issues of race and deviant sex don’t have a home in the workplace).

Speaking of sex, in the second episode Jessa  is faced with her abortion, which is handled in a very feministy way. Hannah insinuates that accompanying Jessa to her appointment isn’t a big deal, but her fuck buddy, Adam, says it’s a heavy situation. I am want to agree with Hannah, but she is eager to please and changes her opinion to more accurately reflect Adam’s.

Not to discount the opinion of those who think abortion is “one of the most traumatic experiences a woman can go through”, which Marnie does. Hannah is nothing but supportive throughout all of this, asking about the emotions Jessa must be feeling. Even little, innocent Shoshanna is surprisingly open-minded about the whole thing. While her insistence on Hannah and Jessa reading a self-help book on the perils of dating was annoying—the dialogue between Hannah and Jessa after the fact only added to the show’s pro-woman vibe—I’m actually really beginning to like Shoshanna.

While a lot of girls might not see themselves reflected on the television screen in terms of looks (although Dunham’s body diversity is refreshing), I think every girl will see a little bit of themselves and their friends reflected in Girls.

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Why We Need to Keep Talking About the White Girls on Girls.

Image via Badass Digest.