Hello, everyone! A month ago I started watching a show on Hulu called Parenthood, a “dramedy” that follows the Braverman clan as they navigate the ups and downs of family life in suburban America. Parenthood is probably one of the smuggest television shows I’ve ever watched, where each of the parents is incredibly insufferable and the kids are nightmares, but I still find myself tuning in episode after episode, if only to hope that Max Braverman, the most poorly-written autistic kid to grace television, might get punched in the face. This post isn’t about my qualms with the show, however, it’s about Adam Braverman, one of the show’s main characters and the perfect example of the “over-protective man.”
The “over protective man,” or OPM as I will call him in the rest of the post, is pervasive in American pop-culture and in American life. He’s the dad who takes “hilarious” pictures with his daughter’s homecoming date warning him to keep his hands to himself, or makes his tween daughter wear a shirt emblazoned with a picture of himself to keep any potential suitors away. He’s Scarface‘s Tony Montana dragging his sister Gina out of a bathroom because she kissed a man he didn’t like. And he’s Parenthood’s Adam Braverman in his every interaction with his daughter Haddie, or pretty much any woman he deems himself worthy of controlling.
The OPM is common enough to warrant its own page on TV Tropes, but I’m going to limit this post to discussing the characters Tony Montana and Adam Braverman, mainly because I find it equally hilarious and distressing that the trope is so embedded in American culture that it pops up in the characters of an über-violent gangster and a mild-mannered white-collar dad. These two characters wouldn’t be able to have even a civil conversation over coffee, but they’re on the same page when it comes to controlling the women around them. The most disturbing aspect? Tony Montana was written in 1983 and Adam Braverman’s character started in 2010. If pop-culture’s portrayal of protective men has changed that little in the past 27 years, then equality between men and women has suffered an equal setback.
Hello, everyone! My first year of college is over. I’m so excited to be back in my house where no one can bother me. But enough about my antisocial tendencies. If you’ve been on Youtube lately, you might have noticed that Miley Cyrus’ newest song “Malibu” is among one of the most trending videos. The music video showcases an entirely “new” side to Miley, one that embraces the softness, delicate femininity, and pure wholesomeness that Cyrus, and all women, have been supposedly hiding beneath their overly-sexualized exteriors.
To get a taste of the average person’s opinion of the new Miley, just read the comments on her “Malibu” video or even on older videos like “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball,” which once incited a firestorm of media ire for being too provocative, too sexed-up, too unlike the Miley Cyrus the world had grown accustomed to through Hannah Montana. One commenter writes that “it looks like Miley has finally found herself” and another who says that she’s “the old Miley again.” Another common comment refers to an alleged personality switch between Miley and Katy Perry, whose new song “Bon Appetit” has gained notice for its controversial, overtly sexual video. These comments beg the question: since when has a pop star only been allowed one “acceptable” public image, and why, WHY does it have to be a pure one?
Hello, everyone! What a year for women in pop-culture, huh? We have a new, all-female Ghostbusters AND a movie starring Wonder Woman and Superman and Batman who the movie is actually about . It’s like women in pop-culture didn’t even exist until 2016. Boy, I’m shocked. I thought that I’d been watching movies and television with fantastic, classy actresses who gave the boys a run for their money. But I guess I’ve just been watching lame-asses who don’t understand female representation.
Hello, all! I didn’t think I’d ever have to start off a post with a heartfelt goodbye for Alan Rickman, but then again, I didn’t think that Alan Rickman had cancer. What the hell, cancer? First David Bowie, then Alan Rickman? That’s not fair. That’s not right. The worst thing about the death of an iconic actor is that their movies are forever changed. I know that whenever I see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a movie, I always feel a little prick of grief when I remember that he’ll never bring his talent to another project again. That’s how I’ll feel now every time I watch the Harry Potter movies or Sense and Sensibility. A flash of joy when Alan Rickman appears upon the screen, followed by that horrible, horrible remembrance that he now only exists as a character in a movie. In that sense, he’s become immortal.
Hello, all! This post brought to you by the SAT. The SAT, where math questions range from what is the sum of 2x + 6 to if Juan has two bags of rice with a ratio of 5:6 for price and 5:8 for weight, what is the ratio of price per ounce? Hint: it’s not racist if it’s a standardized test. I guess my mind didn’t explode after taking the test (for the second bleeping time) because I’m here writing to you right now, but the test did make me think about media. Bad media, in particularly, and what makes media so bad? It can be many different things (Adam Driver, for one), but today I’m going to focus on one problem in particular: stupid ass tropes.
Hello, all! This post brought to you by Japan, a country who refuses to accept Syrian refugees. Real classy, guys. You think just because Godzilla frequents your country that you can reject a bunch of refugees?
Today I want to talk about a practice that really irks me: the search for feminism in classic literature. Keep your hackles down, kids. I’m not saying anything against feminism in this post. But I don’t think that it “belongs” in the analysis of classic literature. Not because feminism isn’t a vital movement, and not because there aren’t dynamic female characters in many classic books, but because evaluating books on whether they contain “appropriate” feminism is narrow-minded. It teaches readers that a novel’s merit lies only in its depth of social equality, and that’s simply not true. Let me explain why I’m even bringing this topic up. It all starts with my AP Literature class. Continue reading Feminism in Classic Literature: You’re Doing It Wrong→