Women in sci-fi shows/films

I recently read an article about how the television series Wynonna Earp is breaking down television barriers. The article can be found here. Now, I do agree with this and it is refreshing to see a show like this on television again. You see, this has already been done, 20 years ago. I am old enough to remember when Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired. Joss Whedon broke all the supposed rules when it came to horror television shows. He did it from the first scene of the first episode, where you think the ‘helpless’ teenage girl is going to be killed and it turns out she is a vampire and kills the boy she is with. The main character was a woman and a kick-arse woman, she didn’t need to have a man to come and rescue her. The person who always needed rescuing was her male friend. There was a lesbian couple who were not there for the male gaze, but were depicted as any other couple on television shows at that time. The show had it all. But it seems we have not progressed that far since then. The late 90’s saw an influx of strong women in horror/sci-fi television shows, there was Buffy, Xena the Warrior Princess and Charmed. But then it seemed to just dissipate. Women went back to being helpless and needing saving.

Recently there have been a few shows in this genre that are having strong, female leading characters. There is Cersei and Daenerys on Game of Thrones, Kara on Supergirl (and her sister Alex), Sara Lance on Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow, Liv on iZombie, Jessica Jones, Wynonna Earp and probably a few more that I can’t remember at the moment. These women are characters all on their own, without needing to have men to define them or to save them. They can look after themselves and are often the person saving others.

We need more of this and not just in television shows, we need it in Hollywood films. There are not enough strong women within the sci-fi genre. There are certainly more than there used to be, but still not enough. There was a lot of anticipation and hope for Wonder Woman, as it was the first female-led superhero film from the DC/Marvel cinematic universes of their combined 21 films released to date. I must admit I haven’t seen the film myself but I know it has had good reviews, which is encouraging as the last female-led superhero films I can remember (Elektra and Cat Woman) were awful. They are planning a sequel to Wonder Woman and there is a Captain Marvel film due to be released in 2019. So that would give us a grand total of 3 female-led superhero films, doesn’t sound that bad except when you compare it to the 20 male-led superhero films that have been released or are due to be released. I think that clearly shows how drastic the difference is. There are plenty of women superheroes who could have their own films, if they were given the chance.

We are in 2017 yet it seems we were better off in the 90’s. Yes, Wynonna Earp is a great show and does go against the normal social conventions, but it just highlights how we seem to have regressed instead of moving forward. Fingers crossed this show will get the recognition it deserves and prompt other production companies to start showing more shows that are female-led.

Advertisements

#MeToo

#MeToo

These five letters have been making a lot of impact the last few days. Lots of women have been sharing their stories about the sexual harassment they have experienced in their life. If I think about it I could also add my name to it as well. From the ‘harmless’ cat-calling to some random stranger grabbing my arse. I’ve had so many comments from strangers about the size of my breasts I’ve lost count. Being a lesbian I’ve been told countless times how I haven’t just met a ‘real man’ yet, whilst being leered at and sometimes cornered.

And I’ve just accepted it.

Why?

Because I was always told words can’t hurt you. To a certain extent I believe this. I think a lot of the time words can be brushed aside, we can’t take everything to heart, otherwise we would be always be offended and end up confining ourselves to our house so we can avoid it all. Unfortunately, the world is full of mean and somewhat pathetic people and we have to learn how to deal with it. The odd comment from strangers about my appearance, my social interests or my choice of clothes, doesn’t bother me that much any more. Doesn’t mean they are right, but we all like what we like and that’s just the way it is. Do they have to be an arse about it? Of course not, but a snide comment will not do me too much damage. I’ve adopted this thinking to the way I have been treated by some men in the past. I think it hasn’t affected me. But the truth is, it has. If I’m walking alone at night and see a man coming towards me, I mentally prepare myself. I make myself walk with a bit more confidence and conviction, to show that I am not intimidated by them. Now, I am not a man-hating lesbian, I actually get on better with men than I do with women, but there is a small minority of men, who think we are beneath them. That we are pieces of meat, just here for their entertainment and pleasure. That they can do anything they want to us and there will not be any consequences. These range from the leery vultures walking down the street or in the night club, to the high-powered businessmen. The leery one’s in a club or pub are easier to deal with. They don’t have any hold over you. You can tell them to fuck off and walk away from them. The strangers on the street are scary, especially if you are on your own and there is no-one else about. You don’t want to say anything to upset them, on the fear they might become aggressive or violent. I think most women have said the go-to line of ‘I’ve got a boyfriend’, hoping that the threat of another male might make them back off, because us telling them we’re not interested is not good enough for them. I don’t tell them I am gay, as I think they’d then see me as a challenge or someone who needs to be turned.

But I think the scariest men are the ones who have some kind of power over you. Whether it be your boss, supervisor, potential boss or someone who has power or status within your community. These men are predators. They manipulate you. They use their power against you. They usually have enablers, people who are aware of what they do and don’t do anything to stop it or play an active role of putting a woman into a horrible situation. They feel as though as they are untouchable. They make it seem as though you don’t have any other option, that you are not allowed to say no. If you say no, you will lose your job, you’ll never get a job in that particular field as they ‘know people’ or you will become a social pariah. And unfortunately, it appears that a few of them have been untouchable in the past, and there are probably many more who are still getting away with it. Well we need to show them they are not untouchable. They are accountable. They will be held accountable. They will face what they have done. They will face what they are. They will face the backlash and punishment. They will face the shame. They will own the shame. Because it is not ours to have. We should not be ashamed of what has happened to us. We did not do anything wrong. They have the problem. They are despicable, pathetic excuses for men, no, for human beings. We all need to tell our stories. We need to rise up and stand up for our rights. Our right to live without fear. Our right to not be violated. Our right to be treated with the respect we deserve. Our right to be women.

 

World Mental Health Day 2018

This was a status I put on my Facebook on Friday the 13th October:

World Mental Health Day was on Tuesday but I feel as though it should be something spoken about every day.

This is going to be a long post, so apologies, but I want to say it. Oh and yes this is a serious post for a change.

I have Borderline Personality Disorder, anxiety and depression. Some of you will know this already and some of you would have experienced the effects of it, on myself and on others. So firstly, I want to thank you for sticking by me and ‘putting’ up with me, especially people who have known me a long time and had the pleasure of going out drinking with me.

Secondly, for those who didn’t stick around, fuck you. There’s no other way to put it really. If we were friends, you clearly liked me, but gave up because I am ill. I know in the past I have been to much to handle, I have fucked with people’s emotions and said awful things in outbursts (usually when drunk) which I wish I could take back. But I can’t. The guilt sometimes consumes me. The pain in my head sometimes consumes me. Questioning every thought and emotion I have, fucking exhausts me. It is a struggle. Every fucking day. I live with it 24/7. And you couldn’t cope with it on the occasional day. Well, fuck you. That says more about you as a person and I wouldn’t want to associate with someone like that.

I just needed to get that out there, as I’m usually so nice and apologetic, so needed to say it before I backed out.

Borderline Personality Disorder is what it says on the tin, it is a personality disorder. There’s no cure. There’s no magic pill. It is a part of me, that I have to learn to live with. A part of me that I have to learn how to control and cope with. I have good days and some bad days. Okay, I can have some fantastic days and some god-awful shitty days, part of the disorder, I see and do things in extremes, no in between with me!

I guess what I wanted to really say, was that I am always ill. Whenever you see me, whatever day or time it is, my illness is always there, with every thought I have. It might be an invisible illness, but I live with it every day. And I can assure you I am not the only one. We walk amongst you. We work with you. We are related to you. Just remember that,

Oh and again, a big thank you to all of you, people I have known a few months to a few years, you make everything that bit easier and a bit brighter.

I don’t know why, but I thought I would receive some negative reactions to this post, whether it be by comments, private messages or people just deleting me. But it didn’t happen. People were very supportive and left some wonderful comments. It made me remember about this blog and how important it is to keep getting the message out there, that there is nothing shameful in having a mental illness.