You know you’re a Real Adult when you see a piece of furniture and want it more than anything.
The medieval French practice of affrèrement, which two men underwent to inherit equally, was one of the alternatives to “traditional” marriage common in human history. Some think it was probably used as an early legal agreement between queer male couples, although it was also used by all kinds of men.
Linda Holmes’ review of UnREAL, Lifetime’s new scripted series about the behind-the-scenes drama of a Bachelor-type reality show, makes me really, really want to watch it. Apparently, it’s largely about a young female producer trying to reconcile her ideals with what she’s actually doing, something the show’s co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro explored in her previous short film, Sequin Raze.
Sarah Kendzior discusses professional identities and resume manipulation that downplays and devalues “unworthy” labor like working at McDonald’s or retail work despite the realities of our economy. How messed up is it that a labor market thinks implying no experience at all is better than some experiences? Vomit.
Caitlyn Jenner makes her debut on Vanity Fair, which is a hell of a way to embrace yourself. Bienvenue, madame! Of course, there have been plenty of thoughtful and necessary responses, so let’s round ‘em up:
- Laverne Cox talks about the privilege she and Jenner share for having both media access and being able to adhere to, on some level, cisnormative beauty standards.
- Christina Kahrl at Grantland discusses how Jenner’s use as a talking point should never erase her as a person.
- Marcy Cook at the Mary Sue reflects on Jenner’s privilege and how the most prominent trans folk in media do not reflect the major trans experience in America.
- Katherine Cross at Feministing reflects on the stuttering nature of trans progress in America in the wake of Jenner’s cover.
Back up, Emma Stone plays a mixed race woman in Aloha on top of everything else it does to exoticify Hawaii? NOPE. ABSOLUTELY NOT. GET OUT. Crowe’s response? Her character is all about being frustrated that her physical exterior does not match her ethnicity, which is a great idea, but, you know, there are actual Hawaiian actresses who could probably fulfill those “requirements,” like Janel Parrish.
As a palette refresher to that nonsense, have William Finnegan’s long essay “Off Diamond Head,” where he recounts his childhood surfing in Hawaii.
This Vine is deeply important.
Sofia Coppola has left The Little Mermaid. Pity, as I would love to see what she would do with it. I really hope Universal goes for another female director for this project.
Writer David Mack (you may remember him from his writing a queer lady romance in the Star Trek novel Star Trek Vanguard: Harbringer) responds thoughtfully but with much deserved bite to Amanda S. Green’s Best Fan Writer nomination for the Hugos. Why? Well, her samples for the Voter Packet include an essay complaining about said queer lady romance for reasons that Mack carefully dissects as either wrong or antithetical to Star Trek. IDIC, y’all.
At the Dissolve, Genevieve Valentine talks about the feminine desert in film, especially Mad Max: Fury Road.
Hey, Kamala Khan will be making her first animated appearance in Avengers: Ultron Revolution! (That sounds like a dancing game. That I would buy.)
I find Entourage (which I have never watched and probably never will) fascinating and repulsive, so here are all the thinkpieces about the franchise that I gorged on this week:
- Eric Thurm ponders “The Bro Kings” at Slate.
- Alison Willmore reviews the film for BuzzFeed.
- Our Lady of Celebrity Gossip Anne Helen Petersen writes about the homosociality, privilege, and dated nature of the franchise.
- The Honest Trailer for the show made me gasp in laughter. (“The fact that he’s an agent is only the fifth worst thing about him.”)
- Richard Brody at The New Yorker looks at how the show objectifies women to the point of using them as signifiers instead of objects.
- Maggie Lange at GQ talks about the only episode of the show that veered from the male gaze.
I am so fascinated by how ephemeral technology is as we pretend that it’s not, so Kyle Orland’s article at Ars Technica about the difficulties of preserving gaming history is fascinating. There’s not only the problem of preserving cartridges, but the problems of auto-updates (which replace previous builds that could be historically significant) and gaming companies unwilling to let historians archive their material.
Tangled is becoming an animated series! And it’ll be adding a lady best friend for Rapunzel.
The Star Wars comics just added a great black female character to the canon. Her relationship to the main trio is, uh, one big spoiler, so click with your discretion.
The Rock has a crush on Hayley Atwell. GET IN LINE, MR. JOHNSON.
Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of Macbeth premiered at Cannes, and here’s the first trailer.
tumblr user linzeestyle talks about Joss Whedon’s erasure of Bucky and unconscious homophobia, especially in the wake of Brubaker making the character of an age with Steve instead of a kid. (Have we talked about Arnie Roth, Steve’s best childhood friend in the comics who was gay? Because the film version of Bucky borrows a lot from him.) She also has a longer post about sidekicks here that’s worth reading.
Miss Piggy has been awarded the Sackler Center First Award, presented by the Brooklyn Museum’s Center for Feminist Art. Miss Piggy: official feminist icon. Yes.
Nichelle Nichols has suffered a mild stroke. Spare a thought, loves.
I don’t particularly agree with everything in this post by the Spinster Aunt (she defines femininity as “the practice of obeisance to oppressive mores,” which does not sit well with my queer hard femme self), but this section about working with what you’ve got is important:
An adult spectator may not credit it, but, given the porn-dominated zeitgeist, competing for rhinestone crowns by transforming into idealized miniature sexbots is a perfectly valid and fulfilling pursuit that has, from the perspective of the kid, nothing to do with seduction or titillation, and everything to do with plain old human creative impulses. What does a 7-year-old know from titillation? If a spray-tanned tap-dancing kindergardener in a wiglet and off-the-shoulder cupcake dress evokes spasms of horror in the onlooker, it’s certainly not the kid’s fault; she’s merely coloring with the available crayons, and plainly having pretty high time doing it. It’s not the stage mother’s fault, either; she indulges the kid’s young dream with thousand-dollar gowns, rhinestone corsetry, professional coaches, and bionic dentures, not because she’s a psycho abuser, but because she just wants her kid to excel at something.
But won’t they be scarred for life? Undoubtedly, but not because of the tawdry nature of the Little Miss Perfect contest. Beauty pageants don’t fuck kids up. Growing up in a culture that despises them fucks them up, and no little girl is immune from that.
HBO’s tennis mockumentary Seven Days in Hell combines two things I love—non-comedians getting in on the joke (actual tennis players are “interviewed” here) and total madness (a shot towards the end finds Kit Harington’s character in a corner in a room, perfectly still).
Added: The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte (via Autostraddle), Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (via NPR), The End of Fashion by Terri Agins, The Fellowship by Philip and Carol Zaleski (via Tor.com)
Added: Black Angel (via the AV Club), Model Behavior (via BuzzFeed), Teen Beach Movie (via BuzzFeed), A Woman Under the Influence