Editor’s Note: Our good friend, Moira Greyland, has penned another good one. She offered it to us to run, and we jumped at the chance.
The Left has some very strange ideas about how to do things. First, they prop up Biden, who has a tarnished reputation, dementia, ties to China, and no ability to physically handle the demands of the presidency.
It is obvious very few people voted for him by the response people have to him. His rallies were an embarrassment, and almost nobody watches him speak. His autocratic, sleazy VP is even worse than he is, given that she showed her corruption during her time working with the police.
And yet, because the Left stole votes for him, we are meant to decide he is great and just accept him.
Similarly, in Hollywood, woke projects abound. Batwoman exists to show us that putting a pretty, capable black actress in the leading role will make us interested in discovering that we are all racists, and that she is perpetually discriminated against. She is described as “wildly undisciplined” as well as being a karate expert, who grew up homeless and now lives in a van down by the river, like that SNL skit.
Furthermore, the notion of a “wildly undisciplined” martial arts expert is simply ridiculous. It would be like a clumsy Jedi master, who constantly dropped his lightsaber, whacking off random body parts as he did.
The writing makes the show absurd. It is not Javicia Leslie’s fault that the scripts are so bad. They are not meant to tell us stories, but to “educate” us.
Instead of writing a story about an INTERESTING black lesbian, they’ve written a story about a woman who is black, a victim, and a lesbian, and has no other characteristics whatsoever. The actress is stuck with a non-character to play, and her potential is wasted.
Similarly, in Star Trek Discovery, Sonequa Martin-Green, who was dynamite in The Walking Dead, is meant to play the part of a walking diversity lecture. If her character had been written to be an interesting human being, the show would have topped the charts. But since it is all about diversity, rather than all about PEOPLE, the show falls flat and has been propped up and propped up.
Sonequa Martin-Green’s character Michael Burnham is unfeminine, somewhat amoral, willing to commit murder when enraged, and her defining characteristic is being AMAAAAAZING. She can do amazing things just because, and is smarter than everyone. She also taught Spock to spock, because apparently his absolutely adequate father mysteriously didn’t teach him with every word and every breath, nor did Spock’s comprehensive education on Vulcan manage to do that. Nope, a few lectures from the amaaaazing Michael Burnham was all it took.
This kind of lazy, foolish writing is becoming a bad habit. Dr. Who, a show which had enjoyed popularity and legendary status for over fifty years, is floundering with the female Dr. Who. Once more, the stories are not about PEOPLE. They are environmental lectures, diversity lectures, and representation lectures, and Dr. Who’s only feminine characteristic is the ability to NAG.
Dr. Who #13, the woman, is sexually ambiguous, has a non-gendered costume which would be absurd on any human being, and she lacks both heroism and character. The show is more about her being female, while lacking any trace of femininity, and less about what she actually DOES.
Most recently, the graphic novels of The High Republic have had an embarrassing start. Despite money poured into their creation, for example strings being pulled to obtain a New York Times bestseller ranking for a book very few people have seen, let alone read, the books are failing. The characters are placeholders to drain the dirty sinkful of representation into.
The parts I have seen do not interest me, because the stories as well as the characters are a big nothing. No purpose, no need to accomplish a goal, no war, little to no conflict, and the primary characteristics of the female characters is to be amazing, and to admire one another. For what? Unclear. The male characters are either fat, or gay, and they are sidelined in favor of the much more important teenaged girls, amazing for some unclear reason.
The defining characteristic of a leading man or woman is heroism. They might look at Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars for a cartoon character that is both heroic and fallible, even vulnerable. Heroism means moral virtue, a purpose, and the willingness to sacrifice oneself in the service of something greater.
It has nothing to do with navel-gazing about how “strong in the force” some witless teenager allegedly is! What have they actually DONE?
Firing the writers would be a good start.
Why is the writing on these shows so bad? Could it be that with the focus on the “voices” of people in alternative communities that absolutely anything they come up with is allowed to stand exactly as is?
That in itself belies bigotry, because any “normal” writer would be subjected to many edits and challenges, so the story would be the best it could possibly be. Seeking out writers as checkboxes rather than writers offends the profession. There are plenty of excellent writers of every diverse brand who have become famous for their competence, not for their diversity!
One important issue is the set of assumptions that the writers are saddled with. To begin with, rather than writing stories about people acting like people, the characters are tasked with acting the way that the writers have decided they should, in order to influence our own reactions.
Let us draw a contrast with the “strong female characters” of the previous era. Janeway from Star Trek Voyager was strong, and female, but she remained female. She put on strength to make her crew feel confident in her leadership, but she retained her femininity and her desires for pairbonding and love, even though they could not really be realized in her situation.
One splendid example of this was when she fell in love with a alien who had been trying for some time to find contraband cargo on her ship. He pretended convincingly to defect from his regime, and found out the realities of life on her ship. But when he went back to his regime, hoping to use the information he had found, Janeway had outsmarted him, and he only managed to embarrass himself by claiming he had found contraband, where the containers contained only vegetables.
Yes, she fell in love. Yes, she let the man find out too much. But she also kept her wits about her and put the safety of her crew above her own heart, and it was delightful to see the dastardly alien beaten at his own game.
The assumptions behind Janeway were that although she was strong, she was human, that is, fallible, and still she was female.
In the case of so many other characters written today, the assumptions are that they are infallible, and their femininity is given up in favor of being more sexless.
Their “strength” is invariably physical, and thus unbelievable. Why would a woman who weighs 105 lbs be able to beat a pack of 200 lb stuntmen who could literally break her in half? Why not write these women a way to handle physical conflict which does not require a direct contest to strength?
Worse, their emotional strength is written as being invulnerable, tough, and rigid, lacking any trace of femininity. The only feeling regularly expressed is anger, expressed in an overt masculine style, rather than in a range of more feminine styles, such as snarky humor, cutting remarks, or sidelong putdowns.
No, once again, the women of today are written to eschew any sign of actual feminine characteristics. It is almost as though the real assumption is that being female is bad, and the only way to be an acceptable female is to be as male as humanly possibly, while remaining physically female.
Of course, for some writers today, even looking physically female is too much. Breasts must be reduced or eliminated, lest men actually be attracted to the women who have them. The “male gaze” is not only normal, but universal, and yet women are still supposed to not look like women, or react to men like a woman would, with attention, physical responses, and even, perhaps, interest.
No. Women in major TV and movies today are meant to be as mannish as possible, and that means they do not want relationships with men. Several major female stars, like Batwoman, are supposed to desire women only, and to have promiscuous, visible sexual encounters with them.
We are meant not only to accept that huge numbers of lesbians exist everywhere, as though there were more lesbians than straight women, but we are also meant to admire, and if possible, to emulate them. We are meant to accept that defeminized women are normal, and straight relationships are either abnormal or unhealthy, and that strong women, by and large, do not breed. Or marry. Or have relationships with men.
Worst of all, if we have relationships with men, they are either submissive men, like Book and Michael Burnham, who in reality are quite intolerable for strong women, or maniacs, like Kylo Ren and Rey, who kissed once before he died… because she killed him.
In my own background, as the daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley, a famous feminist lesbian author, I knew that she thought that the guy should not ever “get the girl” at the end of the story, and instead of having a pairbond, women were supposed to walk off into the sunset to go get self-actualized or some nonsense like that.
She brought me up to believe that my desire to marry and to have a family was awful, a failure, and in reality I should be a lesbian, placing my Great Purpose above all else.
I see this reflected in so many of the currently fashionable, failing TV shows and movies.
Women are not allowed to be women, and naturally, men are not allowed to be men. Any show of masculine strength and protectiveness has to be twisted into being a crime, and never interpreted or displayed properly.
Men themselves must be prepared to either be gay or to have no pairbond at all, and either to be a limp, sexless sidekick to a “strong woman” or a villain.
The question I am left with is “WHY?”
Where writers and showrunners natter on about representation and diversity, actual women, who make up most of the female half of the human race, find nobody to identify with. Sure, the character might be female, but they don’t act female. The character might be a lesbian, but how many lesbians are so masculinized that they are overtly promiscuous? The character might be black, but they are never allowed to be beautiful or feminine. How can a woman identify with someone who is nothing like who she is or what she wants to be?
For those of us who actually are strong women, even with a warlike background as I had (fencing champion, socialized to be masculine) there is one shining example of a woman we can really identify with: Cara Dune from The Mandalorian. She was strong, gorgeous, not overpowered, sensible, realistically able to grapple with actual men due to her training, and obviously loyal, kind, and yes, feminine under all that armor.
And what happened to her? She was sacked, despite being the most popular character on the show other than Baby Yoda. She was universally loved, by both women and men, and her firing resulted in countless people canceling Disney+, including me.
And still Batwoman is in her show, trying to “inspire” women to quit being women and to become bad imitations of the worst possible men.
Of course, there is a worse possibility. Queen Latifa, hilariously cast as “The Equalizer” is meant to inspire women of cough SIZE to believe they can go be action heroes just because.
And what happens when reality just refuses to cooperate?