i’ve had a cold for the past four days, which laid me out a little bit. (i was self indulgent on the weekend, and let myself spend all day in leggings – not the same ones I was sleeping in, but close – and hang out in my room and binge watch netflix.)
so i’ve watched a lot of Supergirl. it seemed to be the feminist showboat of the CWDCU so i figured i’d take it for a spin. it’s got a number of interesting commitments to social commentary it has dedicated itself to. obviously, the character of cat grant is an easy choice for commentary. the writers have made excellent choices presenting her as demanding, difficult, calculating, and cold, while fostering a rich inner life and complex set of motivators and emotions below the surface. this allows them to have an ice queen with a real human heart. it gets to the crux of the feminist problem with representation in media: can you have a stone cold bitch character who is still fully human and sympathetic? as many have long suspected, the answer is: yes.
i still think that the show that provides the best explicit rather than narrative critiques of racism and sexism, in the CWDCU and possibly elsewhere is DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. If there is a dearth of complex characters, people are certainly taking steps to fill those representational gaps, but Legends is modeling active resistance to the powers of social violence and oppression. the character regularly interrupt and interject to point out the ways in which the forces of sexism and racism are consistently alive and well, and actively petition for their own rights.
they also do a fantastic job of explicitly calling out passive acceptance of sexist and racist and heterosexist attitudes, particularly from the straight, white, male characters. if my tv shows are going to teach me anything this year, i’m hoping that Legends will continue to remind me to say something, when i encounter sexist or racist behaviors, rather than rolling my eyes and letting them slide.
it’s been a tough couple of weeks; politics is a subiectum non gratus in my household. my father is actively distressed by discussions of the President-elect’s cabinet nominations. i cannot, strictly, disagree with his reactions, but i’m still in this semi-detached realm. some switch in my brain is flipped and i can look at the whole thing with dispassionate interest: how will things change with this or that nomination? what can we expect? what are the likely policy suggestions or outcomes of the contenders?
but i don’t read the new york times in the morning, i trawl for information from Foreign Policy and Stratfor Intelligence and got myself a discounted subscription to Foreign Affairs. beyond the clear international relations junkie status, the steady diet of high-level analysis allows me to feel a sense of mastery over these arenas. the false confidence of information is a heady drug. but more importantly, it comes with the bizarre assurance that, just maybe, you could do better. that always seems to be the last defense of the incompetent when in power, and i look forward to the day when i can argue policy positions in the political arena.
for the moment, i’ll continue to consume my own body weight in tea, irrigate my sinuses and work the sidelines of my responsibilities while i do my best to read every possible thing i come across. the future is grim, but it’s still there, for now.