Sunday, December 22, 2013

Truest statement of the week

How do you go from "Since I'm not your everything, how about I'll be nothing?" to having your husband, Jay Z, on your video from your new album saying "I am Ike Turner, Eat the cake Anna Mae" -- a line from a movie that clearly illustrates one of the most vicious wife beaters who almost killed another amazing icon, Tina Turner. It's like in one stroke she undermined Tina Turner's march toward victory and mocked it saying that kind of domestic violence is alright.

My God, it's as if she turned back the clock 50 years in one moment.

-- Frances Cudjoe Waters, "How Did Beyonce Go From Tina Turner to 'Anna Mae'" (Huffington Post).

Truest statement of the week II

There is not very much democracy left in America, a country which endlessly brags about how democratic it is. Every now and again we are pleasantly surprised when the people and their interests are served instead of the 1% and their factotums in government. Those moments are few and far between but when they take place it is always because an individual decides to take on the system directly. In 2013 Edward Snowden was the person who risked his freedom to tell every human being with access to modern communications that they were under United States government surveillance. 

-- Margaret Kimberly, "Edward Snowden: Person of the Year" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday and another edition.

We could have posted earlier if we'd worked all night.

We didn't.  We slept.

Around noon we started this edition.  It's 6:36 pm as we type this.

We would have been done sooner but it's just us this weekend -- Ava and C.I.

We're the ones in charge of the edition.  We're the ones who had to type everything.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And this edition's articles?  Here they are:

With us in charge of this edition and events last week, our goal was to make this the edition that focused on women. This is Frances Cudjoe Waters and this is her first truest.  

Margaret Kimberly's had truests before.  This is her first for 2013 however.  Betty, Ann, Kat, Ruth and Stan joined us in voting on both truests.
This is our big story.  Beyonce is a feminist, we were told.  No, she's not.  This became an issue last week with her new album which promotes violence against women in the track "Drunk In Love."  As we explain here, this false claim of feminism is based on a weak statement Beyonce made about feminism being grafted onto her strong defense of her right to show her tits and ass onstage.  The press created a 'quote' and ran with it.  It is not as it is printed in the actual magazine interview.  Will they do corrections?  We doubt it.  (A) We think they're dishonest liars.  (B) They're too vested in the lie at this point.  Joining us to work on this editorial were Dallas, Elaine, Rebecca, Betty, Ruth, Ann, Marcia and Stan.

The Iraq feature.  We had several ideas.  In the end, we decided covering press silences would allow us to include the largest number of  issues women in Iraq face so we decided we'd have two editorials.  Joining us in working on this editorial were Dallas, Mike, Elaine, Betty, Ruth, Ann, Isaiah and Trina.  Added 7:43 a.m., 12-23-2013: Readers Joan and Roberto both e-mailed to note we meant "Iraqi women" in the title and not "Iraq women."  We actually intended to write "Iraq and women."  But we goofed up and didn't catch our error.  Since Joan and Roberto did, we're going with their title of "Iraqi women."  Thank you both for catching that.  And the e-mail address, by the way, is 
As usual, we wrote the TV pieces ourselves.  In this one, we're taking on the lies -- non 'Beyonce is a feminist!' lies -- and the lousy year in TV that 2013 was for women.

If you head an organization to prevent violence against women, you don't go on NPR and praise an album that promotes violence against women.  Kim Gandy is the hypocrite of the year.  Cedric, Kat, Ruth and Ann joined us on this piece.
'You keep saying us is just you two but the credits above not Ty, Jess, Dona and Jim!'  They were with their families today.  So this edition is Ava and C.I., sorry.  But Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess worked on this piece with us last Sunday.  It wasn't finished but over two-thirds were done.  We finished it out today with help from Ruth.
Stan's "Wolverine" inspired this.  We were thinking of it Saturday when we first heard the news that all of Rogue's scenes were cut from the film.  Stan, Ann, Ruth, Dallas, Cedric and Marcia joined us to work on this piece.

When Jim asks for two TV articles from us, we groan and object.  Without Jim this weekend, we did two.  Why? We honestly thought we didn't have enough.  Our goal was twelve features minimum so no one said they were short changed.  Our Ms. magazine parody fell through.  After two attempts did not work out, we said, "That's it.  It goes the trash pile, we're not posting articles after midnight.  We're moving on to work on something else."  If we had realized that we would have 18 articles, we wouldn't have written this.
We're sure people will object to the title.  We're also of the opinion that middle classs feminism and upper class feminism need to take a long break.  Working class feminism seems a lot more focused and a lot less hung up these days.  And if you're hurting women, guess what, you're a stupid bitch.  We're just not in the mood to pretty it up for The Genteel.
Prachi made an error.  This is our women's edition.  She's a woman.  And this was actually written by Dona and us three weeks ago and got dumped on the trash pile.  Why?  It was ready to post.  It was even typed.  For some reason it didn't go up.  No one's sure why.  Since it was done and we could post it and since Prachi Gupta fits our women focus edition, we did.

Ann misread a comment.  We've all done that.  Jezebel's way of billing comments led her to think one person had posted something.  When Ann figured out that wasn't true, a planned piece that the three of us were going to do fell through.  So we did this quick short piece -- Ann and us.
Ruth, Trina, Wally joined us to author this piece.
A repost of Kat's amazing review.
A press release from Senator Patty Murray's office.

Great Britian's Socialist Worker remembers a female scientist.  
Mike typed this and he, Rebecca, Cedric, Kat, Betty, Ruth, Marcia, Stan, Ann, Isaiah and Wally wrote it.

That's what we've got to share this week.

Peace and happy holidays.  We'll see you next Sunday.

--  Ava and C.I.

Editorial: The 'pro-woman' propaganda dumped on the feminist movement

Beyonce Knowles shakes her ass.  She pushes her tiny breasts up high and pads them out.  She goes into the recording studio with men, she has men co-writing every one of her 'songs,' she has men producing her albums.

Somehow somewhere some way people got the idea she is a feminist.

And her album this month, on "Drunk In Love," portrays Ike Turner's beating and battering of Tina Turner -- his terrorism of her -- as sexy and about being in love.

And though many feminists have rightly said, "No, you can't promote violence against women and be a feminist," many others wanted to insist that it wasn't that bad and Beyonce's so wonderful and a feminist and . . .

How the hell did we get here?

I love my husband! Feminists are all lesbians, right? 

Jo Ellison is a reporter.  She didn't lie.  She wrote a feature for the May issue of British Vogue entitled "Mrs Carter Uncut."

A lot of people have noted this article.

On Saturday, we pulled the article and learned that none of them had actually read it.

Here's a passage where Beyonce's defending the outfits she wears:

But being BeyoncĂ© doesn't allow for contradiction. She's baffled by the criticism that her on-stage persona, a sexually voracious, semi-clothed glamazon, is in any way antithetical to her message of female empowerment. 
"That's exactly why I can [wear those outfits]!" she insists. "Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? I'm just a woman and I love being a woman. If you're attractive then you can't be sexy, and you can't be intelligent? Whatisall of that?"

Get it?

Beyonce's defense of her T&A outfits leads to this:

Is she a feminist? 

"I don't know. That word can be very extreme. But I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality, and that we have a ways to go and it's something that's pushed aside and something that we have been conditioned to accept. But I'm happily married. I love my husband."

"But I'm happily married. I love my husband."  Because, you know, them feminists all be lesbians.

That's what's she saying.

And if her response to the question of whether or not she was a feminist had been accurately reported by the rest of the press, Ms. magazine wouldn't have embarrassed themselves putting Beyonce on the cover.

The big liars.

Do you know her?

Elizabeth Plank's avatar image
Elizabeth Plank
Executive Social Editor at PolicyMic. Masters degree from the London School of Economics. Behavioural science consultant by training and feminist crusader by passion.

It's Elizabeth Plank, Kim Gandy's bottom bitch apparently.   Or maybe it's vice versa.

Plank, we never knew of until we had to research how a pro-violence against women performer suddenly became a feminist?

Plank's the liar who really distorted Beyonce.

Plank's pimped the lie like so many others.  Here's Plank betraying feminism in April 2013:

Hip hip hurray! Beyonce has finally come out of the proverbial feminist closet! During an interview with Vogue UK, she explained that although she wasn't a fan of labels, she definitely identified as a feminist:
"I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? I’m just a woman and I love being a woman."

That's not a quote, that's a construct.

"I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality" are remarks (not in full) when asked if she was a feminist.

"Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything?  I'm just a woman and I love being a woman" are remarks she made (see above) when asked about her barely-there-stage-and-video-wardrobe.

If you read the passages as they actually appeared in Vogue, no surprise, Beyonce's very comfortable talking about her own wardrobe, defending herself.  She can do that forever in a day.

She's far less talkative when the issue is feminism.

Beyonce's weak claim to be a feminist came as she was under fire for "Bow Down, Bitches" (we only learned of that song yesterday).

The track came out in March.

By April, she was a 'feminist.'

It's not journalism.

Elizabeth Plank spun it.

Her link?

Doesn't go to Vogue.

It goes to Huffington Post, a video with a man telling you what he says Beyonce told the British magazine.

Seriously, Plank?

You're an 'editor' and you can't even go to the source material?

So you're not just a liar, you're also stupid.

Again, here's Jo Ellison's UK Vogue article.  And, yeah, we can credit the woman who authored the report.

How very 'feminist' of Plank to have failed to credit the woman who wrote the report.

What was actually said

So the question Ellison posed to Beyonce was, "Is she a feminist?"

And Ellison reports Beyonce's full response.

I don't know. That word can be very extreme. But I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality, and that we have a ways to go and it's something that's pushed aside and something that we have been conditioned to accept. But I'm happily married. I love my husband.

"I don't know."  "That word can be very extreme."  Propagandist Plank cuts that off, like she cuts off the "But" at the start of the sentence she does quote.

"But I guess I am a modern-day feminist."

With that weak ass statement, in the midst of a homophobic stance, Beynce Knowles was wrongly portrayed as a feminist.

Faux Journalists Don't Do Fact Checks or Corrections

Having gotten the 'quote' wrong in April, Elizabeth Plank not only didn't correct her shoddy journalism, she kept repeating the lie.  This month, she wrote again about 'feminist' Beyonce and, again, used the 'quote' to establish Beyonce's feminist cred.

All she's established is that Elizabeth Plank ("Liz" when she's lying about Beyonce on MSNBC) is a lousy journalist incapable of fact checking, issuing a correction or telling the truth.

Beyonce offered a weak "But I guess I'm a modern-day feminist" but don't call me a lesiban! piece of b.s. that idiots like Elizabeth Plank, Ms. magazine, Janell Hobson, Kim Gandy and so many others pimped as a feminist statement.

Now if they hadn't falsely combined the weak-ass statement with Beyonce's defense of her right to show skin on stage, it wouldn't have worked.

And presumably that's why none of them have had the honesty to self-correct their lies.


You cannot endorse violence against women and be a feminist.  For those who are stupid enough to fall for Beyonce and Jay-Z's bulls**t that violence against women is sexy and about love, here's some reality from NOW.

Violence Against Women in the United States: Statistics
Despite the fact that advocacy groups like NOW have worked for two decades to halt the epidemic of gender-based violence and sexual assault, the numbers are still shocking. It is time to renew our national pledge, from the President and Congress on down to City Councils all across the nation to END violence against women and men, girls and boys. This effort must also be carried on in workplaces, schools, churches, locker rooms, the military, and in courtrooms, law enforcement, entertainment and the media. NOW pledges to continue our work to end this violence and we hope you will join us in our work.


In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.1 That's an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner.2

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Intimate Partner Violence or Battering)

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.3 According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year.4 Less than 20 percent of battered women sought medical treatment following an injury.5


According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That's more than 600 women every day.6 Other estimates, such as those generated by the FBI, are much lower because they rely on data from law enforcement agencies. A significant number of crimes are never even reported for reasons that include the victim's feeling that nothing can/will be done and the personal nature of the incident.7


Young women, low-income women and some minorities are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and rape. Women ages 20-24 are at greatest risk of nonfatal domestic violence8, and women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape.9 The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years, and that less than five percent of these rapes will be reported.10 Income is also a factor: the poorer the household, the higher the rate of domestic violence -- with women in the lowest income category experiencing more than six times the rate of nonfatal intimate partner violence as compared to women in the highest income category.11 When we consider race, we see that African-American women face higher rates of domestic violence than white women, and American-Indian women are victimized at a rate more than double that of women of other races.12


According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, "growing up in a violent home may be a terrifying and traumatic experience that can affect every aspect of a child's life, growth and development. . . . children who have been exposed to family violence suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as bed-wetting or nightmares, and were at greater risk than their peers of having allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and flu." In addition, women who experience physcial abuse as children are at a greater risk of victimization as adults, and men have a far greater (more than double) likelihood of perpetrating abuse. 13


The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the cost of domestic violence in 2003 was more than over $8.3 billion. This cost includes medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity. 14


In 1994, the National Organization for Women, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now called Legal Momentum), the Feminist Majority and other organizations finally secured passage of the Violence Against Women Act, which provided a record-breaking $1.6 billion to address issues of violence against women.15 However it took nearly an additional year to force the Newt Gingrich-led Congress to release the funding. An analysis estimated that in the first six years after VAWA was passed, nearly $14.8 billion was saved in net averted social costs.16 VAWA was reauthorized in 2005, with nearly $4 billion in funding over five years.17


According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, "domestic violence affecting LGBT individuals continues to be grossly underreported . . . there is a lack of awareness and denial about the existence of this type of violence and its impact, both by LGBT people and non-LGBT people alike."18

Myths regarding gender roles perpetuate the silence surrounding these abusive relationships; for example, the belief that there aren't abusive lesbian relationships because women don't abuse each other. Shelters are often unequipped to handle the needs of lesbians (as a women-only shelter isn't much defense against a female abuser), and transgendered individuals. Statistics regarding domestic violence against LGBT people are unavailable at the national level, but as regional studies demonstrate, domestic violence is as much as a problem within LGBT communities as it is among heterosexual ones.19

Editorial: Iraqi women

The Iraq War has not ended.  2013 already has the worst death toll of any of year of this decade.  In fact, you have to drop back to 2008 to find more deaths.

But what's troubling us is Sabrina Tavernise, Damien Cave, Ellen Knickmeyer, Tina Susman, Sahar Issa, Alissa J. Rubin, Anna Badkhen, Deborah Amos, Alexandra Zavis  . . .

You may know those bylines.

If so, you hopefully grasp that those women and Damien Cave, as well as a few other men and women, could write about Iraqi women.

It wasn't always that way.

At The New York Times, for example, John F. Burns and Dexter Filkins ignored women -- on the page.  Now outside of their writing, they were reportedly all over women -- passes and so much more.  But women really didn't exist in the reports they filed for The New York Times.

Over half of Iraq's population is female.  So it's really something to yet again be reading reports -- granted most are wire reports -- and wonder where are Iraq's women?

 A journalist was killed Sunday, December 15th.  Reporters Without Borders noted:

 Young woman TV presenter is Mosul's latest media victim

Reporters Without Borders is appalled by TV presenter Nawras al Nouaymi’s murder yesterday in Mosul, the capital of the northern province of Nineveh. Unidentified gunmen shot her near her home in the city’s eastern district of Al-Jazair.
Aged 19, she was a student at Mosul university’s media faculty and had worked as a presenter for satellite TV station Al-Mosuliya for the past five years.
“We are stunned by this latest murder and by the failure of the local and national authorities to respond to the deadly campaign against journalists in Iraq,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The continuing violence and the impunity enjoyed by those responsible constitute a major threat to freedom of information.
“We again urge the authorities to deploy all necessary resources for independent investigations which do not rule out the possibility of a link between these murders and the victims’ work as a journalists, and which result in the perpetrators and instigators being brought to justice.

“Although the security forces have been aware for weeks of the existence of a list of 44 journalists in Nineveh province who are targets for ‘physical liquidation,’ no measure has been taken to protect these journalists. We call on the local and national authorities to address this omission at once.”

A 19-year-old journalist is killed.  And AFP breezes past it but tries to create a mythical savior out of a (male) police officer who hugs a suicide bomber?

The insults to Iraqi women from the western press never end.

One particular beef of ours over the years?

When a family dies.

To get accurate reporting on that from a western outlet shouldn't require our getting on the phone complaining.

But before we started doing that the death of a couple and two children would be reported like this:

A sticky bombing today killed 1 former government official/soldier/police officer, his wife and his two children.

His two children?


Did he birth them from his own vagina?

It took non-stop complaining to editors to get that kind of reporting changed to: 1 whatever, his wife and their 2 children.

Something so basic took hours and hours of phone calls over months and months.

Or take the ongoing protests which passed the one-year mark on Friday.

If you're a western outlet and you aren't The Guardian newspaper, duck your head and hope no one notices.

Only that British paper could speak honestly about the protests and note that the outrage that got people into the streets was the torture and rape of girls and women in Iraqi prisons and detention centers.

In February, for example, Haifa Zangana (Guardian) wrote about the state of Iraqi women:

The plight of women detainees was the starting point for the mass protests that have spread through many Iraqi provinces since 25 December 2012. Their treatment by the security forces has been a bleeding wound – and one shrouded in secrecy, especially since 2003. Women have been routinely detained as hostages – a tactic to force their male loved ones to surrender to security forces, or confess to crimes ascribed to them. Banners and placards carried by hundreds of thousands of protesters portray images of women behind bars pleading for justice.[. . .]
No wonder, ten years after the invasion, the Iraqi authorities are accused by US-based Human Rights Watch of "violating with impunity the rights of Iraq's most vulnerable citizens, especially women and detainees". HRW's account is echoed by a report by the Iraqi parliament's own human rights and women, family and children's committees, which found that there are 1,030 women detainees suffering from widespread abuse, including threats of rape.

By contrast, Jane Arraf, a Nouri al-Maliki enabler posing as a journalist (she used to enable Saddam Hussein while posing as a journalist), didn't find the plight of Iraqi women and girls of any interest and when she finally got around to mentioning rape, it was to quote a man.

From the April 10th Iraq snapshot:

We spent several snapshots covering that Amenesty report [see this March 11th entry aptly titled "Iraqi women and girls (and the silence on this topic)" and snapshots for March 11th, March 12th, and March 13th].  I'm very familiar with it.  So I'm aware that when Jane Arraf chose to report on it, it was really strange that she focused on a male prisoner saying they threatened to rape his wife in front of him -- as opposed to a woman in the report who was threatened herself.  Apparently, to Arraf, women are property and the thought of a rape in front of their 'owner' (husband) is appalling but their being raped outside of their 'owner' isn't outrageous.  That would explain this miserable she filed that refused to note actual rape noted in the Amnesty report.   This is from the Amnesty International report entitled [PDF format warning] "Iraq: A Decade of Abuses."

More than three years before, members of the Human Rights Committee of parliament who visited the earlier women’s prison that was then located in al-Kadhemiya told reporters in May 2009 that two women inmates they had seen had testified that they were repeatedly raped in detention after their arrest and before they were transferred to the prison. 
Sabah Hassan Hussein, 41, a journalist, was reportedly arrested on 29 February 2012 when she went to the offices of the army’s Fifth Brigade in Baghdad’s Saydiya district to collect a car belonging to one of her relatives that the authorities had confiscated. She was detained and told that she was a suspect in a murder investigation. She was then transferred to the Directorate of Major Crimes (Mudiriyat al-Jara’im al-Kubra) in Tikrit, where she was held incommunicado, for about two months during which, she alleges, she was tortured. According to a member of her family interviewed by Amnesty International, she alleges that her interrogators burnt her with cigarettes, doused her with icy cold water and forced to undress in front of male police officers. The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) reported on 26 November that she had identified the police officers responsible for her alleged torture and that their names had been submitted to the Ministry of Interior. 
Sabah Hassan Hussein was returned to Baghdad from Tikrit in May 2012 and held at al- Sayid For detention centre she was acquitted by the Resafa Criminal Court at the first session of her trial on charges brought under the Anti-Terrorism Law on 23 January 2013. Another defendant charged with her, however, was convicted and sentenced to death. Despite her acquittal, Sabah Hassan Hussein remained in prison until 18 February 2013, when she was released and allowed to return to her family. She subsequently told Amnesty International that she filed a formal complaint with the authorities about her torture and other ill-treatment in detention. They were previously alerted to her torture allegations in November 2012; however, they are not known to have taken any steps to bring those responsible to justice.

That's just one story in the report.  Michele Lent Hirsch (Women's Media Center) noted of the report, "Female detainees are in a 'particularly vulnerable position,' Amnesty explains, given that any allegation they make of rape will be 'almost impossible to prove,' while interrogators can use threats of sexualized violence as a 'powerful inducement to force "confessions".'"  Again, Arraf ignored women.  

And then there's AFP which isn't interested in women at all and have made that very clear in the last two years.

Did you know that Iraq observes a prevention of violence against women week?

And that their week last two weeks actually?

Probably not.

And you're probably not aware that while the leaders in the KRG could and did attend functions and events for that effort to stop violence against women, that while KRG President Massoud Barazani and KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani issued remarks, the Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki never said one word.
(See the November 26th Iraq snapshot, the December 3rd one and the December 10th one.)

The White House is spending over a billion dollars each year in Iraq and the prime minister country won't even call out violence against women -- doesn't believe there is any such thing.

Amal Sakr (Al-Monitor) reported this month that the Iraqi government rejects women's shelters and:

"Living in a jungle ruled by men." This is how Dahaa al-Rawi, the chair of the Women's Committee in the local Baghdad government, described the status of women in Iraq. Women are marginalized and their abilities unrecognized — domestically, socially and politically. Women are subjected to violence of all forms and murder on an ongoing basis.

"We do not have any statistics about the status of women, or the daily violence that they are subjected to," Rawi said, adding, "In Baghdad's local government council, they view us as merely a secondary committee that does not play an important role."
Speaking to Al-Monitor, Rawi said that the same also applies to Iraq's state institutions and ministries concerned with statistics or women's issues. None of them have accurate data showing the extent of violence against women in Iraq.

But the western press ignores it.  Doesn't see it as an actual issue or as news.

Along with the British newspaper The Guardian, the only real exception is Germany's Niqash.  Suha Audeh's report this week is only this year's most recent report from Niqash on the status of women.

Iraq is said to be a land of widows but, reading the western coverage, you're left instead with the impression that not a single woman is in Iraq.

TV: Feminism is telling painful truths

It's hard to tell what's worse?  The attacks on women or the women who lie to pretend everything's going great?


We wondered that especially as we read over the nonsense of Melissa Hugel's "2013 Was a Huge Win For Women in Television" (PolicyMic).

2013 was good?

The same year not one of NBC's new fall shows starred a woman?

That year?

Hugel insists it was amazing because:

While the picture isn't exactly rosy for the female writers and directors (per usual), I couldn't help but notice the Best Actress in a Television Comedy nominees. In an industry where the roles of women are largely defined by the men around them, all of the nominees in this category are the headliners in their own show: Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie, Lena Dunham in Girls, Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep, and Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation. These women are all stars in  their own right — not supporting players

Uhm, that's not good news.

In fact, that's really bad news.

It goes to the lack of interest in women because not one of those women is on the list for the first time.

In a great year for women on TV, the categories would be noted for surprise upsets as new women emerged to shove predictable nominees off the lists.

Instead, it's the same old and same old.  And try to pretend that it's about comedy and that it's about lead actresses.

Edie Falco, for example, is a star of her show. It's a stupid dramedy.  And she's only nominated because of The Sopranos.  As Falco noted when she won the Emmy in this category years ago, "I'm not funny."  And she explained in statements later that she's performing drama.

She's correct.

Julia is a comedic actress. As is Zooey.  Both women are lead actresses in their TV shows.  The same cannot be said for the remaining two.

Lena Dunham is part of an ensemble and, worse, she's a non-actress.  Let's hope she saves the money from the show because her acting 'talent' is so small, there is no future for her in acting.

Also part of an ensemble is Amy Poehler.

And Parks and Recreation is back to first season tricks.  Meaning, this season is all about how Poehler's character is a freak.  She's nominated for the season where she's so inept that the town turns on her and votes to strip her from the city council.  And if you can pretend that's progress, you can also pretend that her character's not being upstaged by Ben, Tom and Ron.  In the season of heavy professional loss, Leslie's not even the main focus.

And let's also pretend that those city council scenes are 'funny' and 'modern' -- all those men and Leslie.  And, of course, the men get the jokes and Leslie rants like an idiot.

Was that too much truth for you?

In the DC area last week, we had a friend's daughter.  Her mom was going to pick her up -- the young girl was at a mall with friends and an adult -- but work prevented it.  We were near the mall and got a call asking if we could go there and pick her up?

Like good friends, we said yes.

But due to what happened, we had to wonder if we were good friends?

When we got there and picked the girl up, we'll call her Heather, from the adult, Heather asked if we could stop at a bookstore.  Sure, as long as we didn't take more than 30 minutes.  We get in, we go around and, in the last minutes, Heather wants to look at the clearance books (she's found nothing worth reading in the non-discounted books).

She sees three Mad magazine books and grabs the one in hard cover on superheroes.

"Maybe," she says excitedly, "it'll have Wonder Woman."

We exchange a look but stay silent.

She flips through a bit in excitement and then goes to the front of the book, to the table of contents.  No Wonder Woman.  No female superhero at all.

"Well I'm bummed out."

And good friends of her mother might have left it alone.

Or maybe good friends did what we did.

We told her the truth.

Mad's not going to print Wonder Woman.

They're not going to offer their parody of the TV show with Lynda Carter because their parody was sexist -- was sexist in the 70s when it ran and is only more so now.

But that's not the main reason.

The main reason they're not going to carry Wonder Woman in their collections of past parodies is because when they used sexism to mock the TV show, all hell broke loose.

Cute, little, funny Mad magazine got some of its harshest feedback as the parody of TV  Wonder Woman served to remind readers of an earlier parody of the comic book Wonder Woman.

See Mad did a parody decades ago of Wonder Woman.

In it, a villain traps Wonder Woman and removes all of her powers.  The villain?  It's really Steve Trevor and -- for fun, you understand -- he literally kicks the s**t out of her and makes clear he's wanted to forever.  She then becomes a battered wife.

It's bad enough that he's physically beaten her, stomping on her, in fact, jumping and down on her, but, despite that, she marries him.

As Heather said, "That's f**ked up."


"As feminists," a reader informed us in an e-mail, "you should be ashamed of yourselves.  You've always acted like you were better than Bones and now you've ignored the wedding episode October 21st and that was a feminist episode!"

We didn't ignore "The Woman in White," we just didn't comment on it.

See, like the reader, a Fox friend had pimped the episode (written by Karine Rosenthal).  We set aside our many problems with the show because a feminist statement, well that we'd have to write about.

We saw Ryan O'Neal walk Bones to Booth and we saw Bones yammer on about how she was not property and she wasn't being given away.  She looked like an idiot reciting the lines but we still might have noted it except they were pronounced "man and wife."

Not only was that not feminist, it wasn't in keeping with the little speech Bones had given.

It was faux feminism.

And it was completely undermined by the "man and wife."

That phrase was repeated on Revenge last week at Emily and Daniel's wedding.  Since that wedding is a fake one (Emily's plan was to stage her own death on her wedding night and frame Daniel's mother for murder) we didn't worry too much about the phrase.

But on Bones?

It's offensive.

And, for the record, we are better than Bones -- most people are.  In fact, the show's only saving grace at present is David Boreanaz's butt which has gotten much bigger in recent years and made his jiggling buns sexy.


We were also criticized by some readers for ignoring the 'response' videos by women to Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines."

What were they responding to?

So many seemed confused by the videos they made.

No one was more confused, and ignorant, than the men who made this Gavin Valentine parody.  If a woman says "no," that's rape.  They fail to grasp that.  Not only does the woman in the video not grasp it, her father is offended because Thicke impregnated her, not that he raped her.  Police show up to arrest Thicke for hashtag abuse not for rape.

We'll cover public affairs here but we'd really prefer to just focus on art.

Our biggest problem with feminist 'response' videos to "Blurred Lines" is they weren't artistic responses.

They were intellectual responses, sure.

But if your problem is that Thicke sexualizes women -- scantily clad women while he's fully clothed -- scantily clad women who have to bump and grind while he does nothing -- what's the feminist response?

We would assume it would be to do a mirror version.  There are women who get off on being sexualized.  There are men who get off on being sexualized.  But the people who really think Thicke is cool for that video?  They're not going to respond well to parallel response videos.  They might even, in their anger and repulsion, grasp how some women are offended by Thicke's video.

So the feminist response is not this crap by Platinmoon.

Pushing men off you and wrapping them in plastic?

Congrats, gals, you've given the critics what they wanted: You don't like sex.

That's what your video says.

You should have instead been Thicke-like and treated the pretty boys like sexy cup cakes.

That would have offended the Thicke crowd.

Instead, you tried to do a scholarly discourse of some form.  You intellectualized and you completely lost the points.

And Thicke's not pushing women around in his video. He's also not insulting the women verbally, telling them their breasts are too small or something similar.  So when you make the too-small-penis remark in the video you look really hostile.  So you look humorless and violent.

The feminist responses, with few exceptions (Kat noted one good response video), weren't response videos.

'I don't want to objectify men!'

Then why do you have them in underwear in your video?

Clearly, you do want to objectify men you just don't want to own your own desire and explore it.

As Heather might say, "That's f**ked up."

And so is the fact that Amy Poehler's nominated -- for the third time -- for playing the same role in the same way.  Not a thing's changed in her portrayal.  The character and Poehler's performance are both dead.  It reminds us of the Emmy nominations in the 80s and how Angela Lansbury kicked off her annual nominations in 1985 and would go to be nominated 12 times for Best Actress for the same role.

Lansbury is talented.

But Murder She Wrote?

That's a step above -- or maybe a step below -- a guest spot on The Love Boat.  There is nothing she did in any season of that paint-by-numbers scripted TV show that she hadn't already done in the first season.  She didn't deserve twelve nominations, she shouldn't have received them.

Amy Poehler's talented, no question.  But she's not doing anything on Parks and Recreation that we haven't seen her do in season one.  You can debate whether she's even created a character or if she's just reciting lines with good comedic timing?  Her character Leslie has no physical dimension.  Or are we not supposed to tell that truth either?

Martha Plimpton, by contrast, has continued to deepen her role on Raising Hope.  Greg Garcia's best TV show (one of TV's finest, in fact) was lucky to have Plimpton in season one.  She nows lucky to have them because Virginia Chance is not a static role.  The writing and Plimpton's performance this season allowed the actress to deepen her portrayal.

We agree with Martha politically. We disagree with Patricia Heaton politically.

But when is Heaton's work in The Middle going to get recognized?

We're not fans of the person but when we finally watched the show we had to praise her because she was doing amazing work and she continues to do amazing work in the role.

Are acting honors about acting or about who we think is 'cool'?

Lena Dunham can't act.

She's not Sada Thompson.  Hell, she's not even Lea Thompson.

She's on a 'buzz' show so she gets nominated (and won the Golden Globe last year).

But, apparently, don't tell those truths.

Not until her awful show is off the air and then we'll all forget it and her so truths won't matter.

But right now, let's all embrace Lena and treat her non-success as a 'victory' for women and for feminism.


Like Dyan Cannon's character in Such Good Friends, Lena suffers.

Dyan's husband won't pay the cab, for example, and her affairs go poorly.

It's a 'tragedy.'

Lena doesn't have a tenth of the acting skill Dyan does so all you're left with is 'drama' about four boring women with four boring lives.  Girls exists to make HBO's Sex In The City seem positively Chekovian by contrast.

If anything, Girls is the advertising for The Sterile Cukoo presented as plot.

The 1969 film was directed by Alan J. Pakula and starred Liza Minnelli as a college student who can't communicate with (or even tolerate) her peers, "weirdos."  And then she falls for Wendell Burton and thinks she has found a soul twin but he's just a tag along.  It's not a major look at alienation and the college campus scene in the film must be 1948 despite pretending to be then-modern day.  But there's enough going on to qualify as drama (and Minnelli is spellbinding in the lead role).

The film was a little too complex for the advertisers who felt the need to sell it with these lines, "I'm 19, I want to be loved.  Hurt me!"

That promo effort ignores all the complexities of the film and also sounds suspiciously like both the plot for an episode of Girls and dialogue within said episode.  It sounds a lot like a Girls episode.  It sounds specifically like the "One Man's Trash" episode of Girls.

This is the woman who, in 2012, said voting was like sex -- demonstrating that she understood neither.

And how is it a good year for TV when the Golden Globes again overlooks Mindy Kaling?

She created The Mindy Project, she stars in it, she frequently writes the scripts.

She's damn funny.

So where's her nomination?

And, FYI, Mindy's lowest rated episode still has over twice as many viewers as the highest rated episode ever of Lena Dunham's bad show.  In fact, when you're dropping down to .48 million viewers for an episode (season two's lowest rated episode), you're 'influence' as well as your 'popularity' are exposed as being as fraudulent as your alleged acting talent.

Do you tell those truths?

And if you do, do you so openly or, like Policy Mic's Melissa Hugel, do you bury them in your second to last paragraph?

More importantly, what's with the need each year for a great feminist savior?

See, every portrayal of a woman is not a feminist statement.

They are open to feminist interpretations.  We can claim the characters or reject them based on our interpretations of feminism.

But why do we keep celebrating feminism as rally-round-and-worship-that-gal?

Lena Dunham created a White world for her White show about White girls -- not women.

'Feminism' exists for that show solely as a marketing strategy.

Time and again, we are confusing women who achieve a level of success with feminists.

As a general rule, until the revolution is over, feminists will never be applauded by the mainstream media.

Feminism is a threat to the patriarchy.

You should be suspicious when a tool of corporations writes a drippy book like Lean In and is hailed as a feminist.

What did Sheryl Sandberg ever do?

Did you see her at a march for reproductive rights in the 70s, 80s, 90s or since?

Us neither.

Did you read her fiery column calling for the media to treat violence against women seriously?

Us neither.

She's a successful Jewish woman so women and Jewish people (male and female) might identify with her.

But she's never done anything for feminism and, even now, she's not doing anything for feminism.

She is, however,  happy to use it to market her book.

If Lena Dunham didn't have faux feminism to hide behind, people might be asking real questions.  Such as how did a no-talent, unattractive woman with a failed film-fest movie end up on HBO to begin with?  They might find out about family connections, for example, and traded favors.

They'd see her for what she really is: Corporate America's response to The Occupy Movement.

She's been given a position (which she did not earn) so she can pretend to be (and have the media present her as)  The Voice of Young America.  Said voice will insist that all these meaningless bulls**t moments she tries to turn into drama are 'reflective' of Young America.  And Corporate America will endorse her because a stupid Young America will always be preferred to an active Young America.

Where in any of this is a strain of feminism?

It's just not there.

As we move into the new year, as feminists we really need to stop looking for someone to save us.

It's the feminist movement.

It's not the girls fan club.

Meaning, we are our own leaders, we are participants in a movement.

An ongoing movement that has not ceased and will not cease until equality has been reached.

We can discuss and interpret, agree and disagree, over pop culture -- the 21st century fairytales that new generations of women and men will be raised on.

But we need to stop this rush to crown this woman or that woman as our great leader and our standard bearer.

If a real feminist emerges, great.  We'll applaud that.

Amy Poehler?

We'll applaud her line delivery -- even in the stale context that it is today.

But seriously, would a feminist in charge of a show allow another woman to be disrespected for six seasons?

That's what Amy's done.  Retta's played Donna since season one.  Even now she can't get her name included in the main credits.

What would Parks and Recreation's office scenes have been for six seasons without Donna?

Not as funny, that's for damn sure.

But the show's in season six and she can't even get a main credit? Retta's performed in 95 of the show's 99 episodes that have aired so far and she can't get a main credit?

We don't question  Julia Louis-Dreyfuss' personal feminism.  But, even while we allow that she's amazingly talented, we are bothered by her back sliding professionally.

On her previous show, Kari Lizer was the show runner.  The cast was a balanced cast in terms of gender. Women could also write for the show.  And did.

The New Adventures of Old Christine was easily the finest sitcom CBS has had in the last 20 years.  The Water Cooler Set ignored it.

They love Veep.

Is it just a coincidence that in two seasons not one episode has been written or co-written by a woman?

We love Julia.  But we'd be hard pressed to promote her as an artistic feminist since she could use her star role (and the power that comes with it) to demand that women be allowed to write episodes.

See, feminism isn't 'you-ism.'

It's not good enough for you to 'succeed'  while others' lives remain unchanged.

You need to be bringing others along with you.

Again, we love Julia -- as an actress and as a person.

And we know what we typed will hurt her.

But it's not 'youism.'

It's feminism.

It's a movement, not an individual.

And we need to stop looking at what one woman has done for herself and focusing more on what women are doing for women.

As Tina Turner has sung, "We don't need another hero."  We are the ones who can lead and we need to root for ourselves.  Media portrayals should be analyzed, discussed and debated but it's really time to stop insisting this woman or that woman is a feminist hero just because she was successful in her field.

Most of all, in 2013, we need to remember that feminism is about telling the painful truths and, until the revolution is won, there will always be plenty of painful truths to tell.

Hypocrite of 2013

Beyonce Knowles released her Beyonce album this month.

It contains "Drunk In Love."  On that track about love, passion and sex, Beyonce's husband or beard Jay-Z raps a pro-violence against women spiel which includes:

In '97 I bite, 
I'm Ike Turner, turn up 
Baby know I don't play, now eat the cake, 
Anna Mae 
Said, "Eat the 
cake, Anna Mae!"  

Beyonce is responsible for what goes on her album.  So she joins her husband in endorsing violence against women by including the rap.

"Anna Mae" is Tina Turner and "eat the cake" refers to the last time Ike Turner beat her.

They were headed to Dallas to do a concert and Anna Mae didn't want to eat the chocolate he kept trying to push off on her.

As she explained in I, Tina:

By the time we got to the Hilton, the left side of my face was swollen out past my ear and blood was everywhere -- running out of my mouth, splattered all over my suit.  Ike used his usual story; said we'd had an accident.  The people at the Hilton looked at me and I could tell they were wondering how I'd ever get onstage that night looking the way I did, all beat-up and battered, with my one eye swollen almost shut.

That's not about love, it's not about romance, and it's not about sex.

But Kim Gandy expressed her joy with the album on NPR last week.

Some know Gandy as the former NOW president and are embarrassed for that reason.

But Kim Gandy is now the president (and founder) of the  National Network To End Domestic Violence.

The president of the  National Network To End Domestic Violence went on NPR last week . . .

to praise an album . . .

that argues that violence against women is sexy and act of love.

Kim Gandy, check your blouse -- you've had a hypocrisy slip.

You go on NPR and endorse an album that promotes violence against women as sexy and an act of love -- that trivializes the abuse Tina Turner suffered --  while you're the president of the National Network To End Domestic Violence?

Kim Gandy, you are hypocrite of the year.

Film Classics of the 20th Century

So far in this series, we've looked at Christmas in Connecticut, Desk Set,  When Harry Met Sally . . .,  Who Done It?,  That Darn Cat!,  Cactus Flower,  Family Plot, House Sitter,  and Outrageous Fortune.   Film classics are the films that grab you, even on repeat viewings, especially on repeat viewings.

movie montage

1990's Edward Scissorhands stars Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in one of the bleakest, while still most moving, studies of humanity -- with or without a Christmas backdrop.

Directed by Tim Burton from a script by Caroline Thompson, Edward (Johnny Depp) is a creation of Vincent Price's -- a boy he is making from parts.  But Price's character dies before he can attach the human hands so Edward is left with what was supposed to be temporary scissor hands.

And he's left in the castle he was created in.

Until one day, Avon comes calling with busybody Peg (Dianne Weist delivering the same peformance she always gives).

Peg's so 'well meaning' that she takes him back to her pre-fab home and her pre-fab family where she makes painful looks she's apparently unaware others can see.

And forever she works to 'normalize' Edward, to conceal who he is and to force him into her limited view of what life can be.

While Peg, her husband (Alan Arkin), their son and the bulk of the neighbors go out of their way to pretend that Edward is 'normal' and 'accepted,' Peg's daughter Kim (Winona Ryder) has a more honest reaction.

The scream is genuine and much more truthful than Peg's attempt, upon first seeing Edwards, to back out of the castle insisting that she's come at bad time.

Kim continues to eye Edwards in a suspicious manner.

Her boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall) sees Edward as a joke.

And Edward is a joke -- if like Peg or Jim you judge him by your standards.

Jim wants to break into his own home.  Because he's spoiled and entitled.  He says he'll use the money for a van -- "our van," he insists to Kim -- but he's such a liar who knows what would have happened if the break in had been successful?

Things go wrong and Edwards is left behind as the police respond to the alarm.

This is where you start to see the facade crumble.

Edward has never been accepted.

People have pretended to accept him and congratulated themselves for their own 'tolerance.'

Now that chips away.

But as he loses the town, he gains Kim.

She tells him thank you for not ratting her or the others out when he was arrested and appeared before the court.  She apologizes for not telling him it was Jim's house.  He surprises her by revealing he knew who's house it was.

Kim:  Then why'd you do it?

Edward:  Because you asked me to.

Jim and Kim.  The perfect fake couple for a fake community.

Only Kim's changing and she's not pleased with Jim.

She's changing and she's seeing Edward as he is.

Edward's wonderful all on his own.

He doesn't need a make over -- not via Peg's expertise with Avon, not via a 'career,' not via explanations of how he's just like everyone else.

If, like an awakened Kim, you can accept Edward on his terms, you can see how wonderful he is.

And maybe if he'd been presented as he was, and not the spin Peg provided, he would have been accepted?

Maybe not.

But as the spin unravels, the 'sweet' community makes clear that they never really accepted him and were always watching and waiting to turn on him.

One neighbor asks Kim's little brother if they've caught Edward yet -- the police.  When the kid shrugs, the old man insists that when it happens, "let us all know like a good boy."

Play your role because if you cease to play your role, the facade of 'community' falls apart.

When Jim attacks Edward in front of the entire neighborhood, the 'good' people recoil in fretting (sad that Jim had to do what they all wanted to do) while only Kim is enraged that Edward's being attacked.

The community always defined him as the monster and the outsider and now they don't bother to conceal that or their opinion that he doesn't belong.

Edward will escape to the castle he was created in.  Even there, he will not find peace.

The same community that pretends to be outraged by laws being broken, is more than happy to show up like mad villagers.  They use the 'laws being broken' as their excuse to justify openly expressing their hatred for Edward but they don't respect the laws that require them to stay off his castle grounds.

And Jim is the product of this community.  The hot head, yes, but the embraced hot head.  The one encouraged to act, the one raised to act.  And his action is to attempt to kill Edward.  When Kim tries to save Edward and Jim attacks Kim, Edward doesn't bother to hold back anymore, he kills Jim.

Unlike her parents, Kim knows Edward can't be altered and shouldn't.  She knows the town is waiting to rip him apart and that, if there was a way to talk it all out, the hatred and fear would still be under the surface and waiting to rise the next time Edward made an innocent mistake.  He can't change and he's too real to live in a fake community.

So Kim lies to the people that Edward is dead and they return to their homes.

And she grows into an old woman without ever being able to see Edward again.

Winona Ryder opens the film in heavy make up as an old woman telling the story of Edward Scissorhands to her granddaughter. She's then absent from the screen for approximately 30 minutes until she shows up as teenage Kim.

Tim Burton cast types in supporting roles.  He went with actors in the roles of Edward and Kim.

They're fleshed out in the script, they're fleshed out in the performances.

Edward is the horror show monster and to ensure that the audience grasp the monster is man-made, created by the community he's taken into, a strong and talented actress was needed.  Winona Ryder has to be able to create Kim, to make her fully dimensional and to be her in every moment on film -- even when she's not the main focus of the camera.

The others can be -- and often are -- a little wooden, a little fake, a little TV-ish.

That's because the characters are fakes, faking their way at 'acceptance' and 'tolerance.'

Johnny Depp is amazing in the film and it made him a movie star.

But that wouldn't have happened with anyone but Winona in the role.

Drew Barrymore wanted the role.  She could have played the part from the moment Kim learns Edward knew they were breaking into Jim's house.  She could have played that and played it very well.  But, in 1989 when Edward Scissorhands was filmed, when she was 14-years-old, she didn't yet have the range to play the Kim prior to that moment, to be unlikable and mean.

If Kim's not disgusted by Edward in the first half, her realization, her awakening carries no weight in the second half.

It's no longer about anything but another sweet girl falling in love with a misunderstood boy.

Winona makes Kim's growth about the facade.  It's not just Edward she awakens to, she awakens to the entire town.  She realizes what Jim is and breaks it off, yes.  But she also, in the tree decorating scene, gets across with her eyes and her body tension that Kim realizes her mother doesn't have a clue and she needs to humor the woman.  Bells?  Yes, that's what's needed to make life perfect, more bells on the tree.

This realization has to take place -- and the audience has to see it -- for it to be believable that Peg's daughter would tell Edward to run.

Peg who thinks everything can be smoothed over, every reality ignored and suppressed?

Winona's Kim awakens to reality and knows that's a lie.

That awakening is required for Kim to tell Edward to run, for her to know that there is no way to calm the community or remove their lust for vengeance.

It's a brave and layered performance by Winona.

And she also achieves something onscreen that no other woman -- not once in the 13 years since the film came out -- ever has.

She has chemistry with Johnny Depp.

We like Johnny.

The New York Times is saying his career is over, that he's passe.  We don't think so.

But we do think he needs to be cast with Winona again.  And real soon.

Because a good looking man -- and Johnny's gorgeous -- can make a career out of freaks and oddballs . . . as long as the looks last.

Looks don't last forever.

And if he wants a career in his mid-50s and beyond, he's probably going to be expected to play husbands -- to believably play husbands.

And the only believable onscreen relationship he's ever had to date was with Winona Ryder.

Desperation is attempting to change or expand your screen persona after you're not wanted for roles.  Skill is expanding your persona while it's still in demand.

Movies: Are they all the Invisible Woman?

Over the last 13 years, Marvel and DC have been churning out movies like crazy.

Where are the women?

Where are the female superheroes?

We've had The Invisible Girl (Jessica Abla in The Fantastic Four films), Storm (Halle Berry) with Rogue (Anna Paquin), Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) and most of all Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) in the X-Men films.


That's it.

Now in the same 13 years, they've served up Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, the Green Lantern, the Green Hornet, Spider-Man, the Thing, the Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Thor and others.

But all we've seen of the female superheroes is Storm, Rogue and Jean three times, the Invisible Girl twice and Kitty Pride (played by Page and not in a cameo) once.

In all that time, there have been 4 Spider-Man films, 2 Super Man films, 3 Batman films, 2 Wolverine films, 3 Iron Man films, 2 Hulk films and 2 Thor films but there hasn't even been one Marvel or DC film set around a female superhero.

2006's X-Men: The Last Stand is finally getting a real follow up.

We don't count Junior X-Men Frolic (aka X-Men: First Class) as a follow up because it's a prequel and, honestly, you can't do the X-Men without Storm.

The poster above was for X-Men: The Last Stand.  Seven male superheroes are pictured, only three female ones.

The weekend has brought the news that, although Paquin filmed her scenes as Rogue, they're all being cut from the film.

That leaves Storm.  But oops . . .

Halle Berry already explained that her "surprise pregnancy" in real life meant her part was drastically cut: "I wasn't in it as much as I was meant to be."

The only returning female superhero now will be Kitty Pride.

Cutting out Rogue is going to create a backlash and it should.

It will be a backlash that effects all the superhero movies.

Ant-Man seemed so filled with possibilities.

Now it's just proof that they'll even churn out a film about a man who shrinks to the size of an ant before they'll make a film about a DC or Marvel female superhero.


Elektra, though well played by Jennifer Garner in the 2005 film, is not a superhero.  She's a paid assassin.  By the same token, the awful Black Widow is not a superhero.  She's trained to shoot guns and in martial arts.  Those aren't super powers and we won't pretend they are.

Wonder Woman will appear (finally) in film.  It's only taken, what, over 70 years?  She will be in a minor character supporting Superman and Batman in the Ben Affleck film pitting the two against each other.

We're aware Fan Bingbing will play Blink in the upcoming X-Men film. We're also aware that, in the shooting script, she's got very little to do.

Added 6:30 a.m., 12/23/2013.  What of Catwoman?  Catwoman is not a superhero.  She has super powers but her actions are not heroic.  However, as portrayed by Halle Berry in The Catwoman film, the character is simplistic and prone to puppy love -- maybe why the film failed? -- and, if you ignore the character's history and focus solely on that film, then you could argue she comes off as a superhero.  You could also argue the opposite based on her actions in the film which revolve around clearing her name, finding out how she got powers, etc.  In other words, she's not saving the world from Dr. Doom and her actions aren't motivated by stopping Joker from exploding a bomb.

Since we're talking about one of the biggest 'bombs' in a decade we should note many films did worse at the box office and that Halle's performance was not the problem.  Nor was Sharon Stone the problem as the villainess.  Hiding the fact that Stone was the bad guy was very TV-ish and wasted film time.  This wasn't a mystery, it was an action adventure.  The script is wretched and that's especially true in the third act.  Had Stone been established as the bad guy earlier in the film, had we seen her super powers used then, it would have made a better film.  Instead, with 28 pages to wind the whole film down, we're learning Stone has super strength and it's all over the top.

TV: Let's Keep It Real and Not Genteel: Class, moms and other things they don't talk about.

As we've spent the weekend on research, which included watching all the episodes of Girls so we could write about it, we're mainly stuck by what certain women in the media rush to embrace.

Girls can (and did) portray abortion as a casual decision a woman makes.

But damned if every White woman 30 or older in The Water Cooler Set doesn't praise that show as the height of feminism.

It's not feminist at all.

We question whether it's even pro-woman?

And then we thought about 2 Broke Girls.

Some don't care for it.

It's not their (gentle) cup of tea.

All those sex jokes!!!

They prefer their sex jokes cloaked in whimsy and delivered by upper-class 'ladies.'

And, at the end of the day, that's really what it's about, isn't it?

Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) work in a diner.  They sling hash.

It's just not classy enough for The Genteel Ladies of The Water Cooler Set.

And women talking about sex is way too much for The Limp Dicked Males of The Water Cooler Set.

So 2 Broke Girls delivers laughs and an audience and gets ignored.

The critical reaction to this show and these two actresses is little more than slut shaming.

You may have noticed The Genteel Ladies of The Water Cooler Set are already posting -- and have been for some time -- about how Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting The Golden Globes January 13th.  It's about 'sisterhood,' The Genteel will insist.

Alleged 'sisterhood' doesn't include noting that Dennings and Behrs are hosting The People's Choice Awards January 8th.

Alleged 'sisterhood' doesn't include advocating for the women (and Jennifer Coolidge) to be nominated for Emmys.

Oh, if only Caroline hadn't lost her fortune, she could be part of the Lena Dunham world and The Genteel Ladies could applaud her.

What's the funniest new show this season?

The Crazy Ones?

It's very good.

Sean Saves The World has also become very good.  We also like Super Fun Night.

In fact, let's show you what women are really up against.  From Wikipedia:

David Hinckley of The New York Daily News gave the show a 2 stars out of 5 and said that it was "not all that much fun".[23] Brian Lowry of Variety gave the show a negative review, calling Wilson's American accent "uncomfortable" and the material "slight".[24] Matt Webb Mitovich of TVLine lamented that the show had replaced Happy Endings, saying that even after watching Super Fun Night a second time to make sure he hadn't "missed" something, it still disappointed. A "live-action cartoon", he particularly disliked the lead characters.[25] Verne Gay of Newsday gave the show a B− and called Rebel Wilson the show's "glimmer of hope".[26] Robert Bianco of USA Today gave the show a 3 out of 4 stars.[27] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter gave the show a negative review.[28]

Well what do you know.

Six reviewers passed judgment on Rebel Wilson's show.

Six reviewers.

All men.

Now see, The Genteel Ladies lie (or "whore," let's keep it real and not genteel) that they like Lena Dunham and her show because it's not about body types and it's not this and it's not that.

Rebel Wilson is fat.

Did you gasp?

Are we not supposed to say that?

She's fat.

There's nothing criminal about that.

A large number of Americans are overweight (Rebel's Australian).

Rebel, at any weight, is prettier than Lena Dunham on Dunham's best day.

It's interesting that the same women salivating over Girls and insisting it's so great with different body types, ignore Super Fun Night which actually has diversity in body types.  There is fat, there is stocky, there is way too thin -- and that's just Kimmy and her two best friends.

Apparently, when The Genteel Ladies of The Water Cooler Set speak about diversity, they really just mean Lena Dunham has no tits.

Because for all their talk of 'body diversity,' they don't want to embrace the overweight.

It doesn't matter that Rebel Wilson's hilarious or that she's attractive.

What matters is she's fat.

So The Genteel Ladies see her as lower class.

And stay silent as the men set out to destroy Rebel and her show -- her very funny show.

The Genteel Ladies also stayed silent on the best new sitcom this fall.

CBS has it.

Mom stars Anna Faris as Christy.  She's also a waitress so The Genteel Ladies already lost interest.

Add in that Christy is a "Mom."

That's almost as bad as being fat in this patriarchy.

In fact, the ideal "mom" on TV was established years ago:  Dead or missing.

Hence not only My Two Dads, Blossom, Full House, I Married Dora, et al of the 80s but also The Courtship of Eddie's Father and many, many more.

Society values women for being sexy because that can lead to sex and sex can mean babies.

Society values women carrying babies.

It's just after the birth that the mommys lose their value.

Anna Faris' Christy is a recovering alcoholic and the mother of two children -- including a pregnant 16-year-old daughter.  Like Christy, her mother Bonnie is also a recovering alcoholic.  However, Allison Janney's Bonnie recently had a slip and is now living with Christy.  Along with those two strong leads, it's developing a fine recurring cast with standouts in Mimi Kennedy as Marjorie and Octavia Spencer as Regina.

It's been consistently funny and frequently surprising.

But the leads appear a little too gauche for The Water Cooler Set to buzz about.

Which reminds us of reality.

Today, Roseanne is repeatedly praised for her self-titled sitcom.

That's not how things were in real time.

In real time, John Goodman got an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in 1989.  Roseanne didn't.

In real time, Roseanne's weight was always a press issue.  Not so with Goodman.

Roseanne would finally get an Emmy nomination in 1992.  In 1993, she'd even win.

Now that Roseanne is no longer in production, it sure has a lot of admirers.  But in real time, while it was loved by the viewers, the critics didn't show it the same warm embrace.

And they also don't call for Roseanne to return to TV, you may notice.

NBC has the chance to reunite Roseanne and John Goodman in a sitcom and takes a pass and The Water Cooler Set doesn't bat an eye.

Roseanne's character was the triple offense to The Water Cooler Set:: Fat, poor and a mother.

Whatever you think of the 'buzz' shows The Water Cooler Set admires, try to grasp that women are either objects (Mad Men) or shiny and new (Girls).  You don't get women playing the leads in Breaking Bad or Mad Men.  You certainly don't get 57-year-old women starring in them.

Most of all, you don't get The Water Cooler Set complaining about that.

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