Profiles Theatre, rape culture, and abuse onstage and off

Content warning: Discussions of sexual harassment, abuse, rape, and violence against women.


survival

“survival,” keon loo.

It’s been quite a week to be female.

I thought I was going to come back to this blog to write something about how joyful I feel about Hillary Clinton becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, because I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about her, and about representation, and about strong women I have known. I can’t even pick an article to sum up what I’m feeling so I can cheat and not write a whole post — there are just too many interesting pieces being written and published right now.

At the same time as my Facebook feed has been flooded with a head-spinning combination of joy and outrage over Clinton’s nomination, it has also been chock full of commentary about the Stanford rapist. (Warning: link has an autoplay video of the survivor’s letter to Turner.) Again, there are so many blog posts and articles and videos being made about this case that I don’t even know where to start linking.

And, among these, my community — the theatre community — is abuzz with Aimee Levitt and Christopher Piatt’s in-depth investigation of abuse at Chicago’s Profiles Theatre: Continue reading

But where’s my Promethea movie?

Black Widow movie poster by Alice X Zhang

Not a real movie. (By Alice X. Zhang, http://www.alicexz.com.)

Making the rounds of social media lately is the Daily Dot’s article “Why we may never get a Black Widow movie.” Some highlights:

As Andrew Wheeler of Comics Alliance pointed out, Marvel Studios will soon have made 10 movies starring blond men named Chris before it has made a film with a woman or a person of color in the lead role.

The most obvious explanation for Marvel’s lack of a female-led superhero movie is, of course, sexism. The explanation for the lack of a Black Widow movie specifically is rather more complicated.

… Johansson reputedly signed a six-picture deal, but after Avengers: Age of Ultron and presumably Captain America 3, she only has one movie left. If Marvel wants a Black Widow franchise, then they’ll have to renegotiate and pay her more money. And because Marvel Studios is known for paying its actors as little as humanly possible (unless they’re Robert Downey Jr., who can demand the big bucks), they’d probably prefer to launch a female superhero movie starring someone much cheaper.

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Track a problem to its source: A #YesAllWomen Follow-up

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“Peace is a virtue. A state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence and justice. It is not simply the absence of war.” — Wonder Woman #199.

As of right now, well over a thousand people have read my #YesAllWomen post in the last forty-eight hours, and I’ve gotten more comments, tweets, and new connections than I have since the not a pretty girl series.

Sooooo I’m guessing I struck a chord.

The positive support I’ve received from friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers is overwhelming. Seriously, I’m overwhelmed, I have a headache right now. People from Crypticon have reached out to me to talk about how they can make the con experience better. Other people have gotten in touch just to talk more about horror. And a lot of women have spoken up to say “Yeah. Yeah, that.”

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#YesAllWomen: Creeps and Crypts and the War on Women

ETA 6/4: Hey, I’ve written a follow-up post!

ETA2 6/4: Since this post was published Crypticon has put together a Code of Conduct prominently displayed on their home page, which is awesome. Thank you again to everyone who reached out, took my concerns seriously, and took immediate action.


 

I went to Crypticon 2014 to be creeped out, not to be creeped on.

Ugh, I sort of hate starting this post off like that, because in many ways I really enjoyed my first time at Crypticon. Elisa and I went primarily to meet the Soska Sisters, the directors of American Mary, a horror movie I highly recommend for people interested in female-centric horror and with a strong stomach. (There’s a graphic sequence of rape and several of graphic gore, surgery, and torture. Fun!) I was hoping to meet Doug Jones too, but timing didn’t work out. But we got to meet the twins, with Elisa dressed as American Mary herself, and they were incredible:

Jen Soska hugging Elisa while Sylvia looks on in GLEE

Believe it or not, these adorable ladies create horrifying yet compelling blood-soaked movies!

Jen Soska, Elisa as Mary Mason, Sylvia Soska.

LOOK HOW FREAKING CUTE THEY ARE THOUGH.

They were sweet, kind, and generous with their time, not to mention eloquent in their panel. Meeting them was inspirational in the best way. Continue reading

Blog round-up: Friend Spotlight

A necklace for many many friends to share.

If you’re anything like me, you have a long list of blogs or sites you’re following so that you always have something to read on your phone on the bus. Many of my favorites are listed in my blogroll in the sidebar here, and I’ve made specific recs a few times. Here are a few more!

Magpie and Whale: For thoughts on journalism, Chicago, and truly quality linkspams, I always turn to my friend Esther.

I promised everyone I’d dance in the streets if Chicago made it to 50 whole degrees, and holy cats, on Monday we hit 56. So, off I went with my camera in just a sweatshirt and tennis shoes, although rain boots probably would have been a better plan, considering that all our snow and ice is now melting into gigantic pools of standing water, much of which is congregating on sidewalks and at street crossings.

Of course, it’s supposed to dump more snow on us again this week, which makes Chicago Magazine‘s musings about whether the City That Works is too cold to compete with the sunny South particularly apropos. But I assume you’re not here for me to endlessly talk about the weather. (In my hometown, you didn’t start conversations with remarks on the weather, you filled dead air with a comment on the height of the Hocking River.) I could ramble abouttreadmill desks or Amtrak’s actually sort of scummy terms and conditions for their writing residency, but let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

In the Lyme Light Blog-a-Thon: My old friend Kat is using March to run a blog-a-thon about her life with lyme. Her first post is very heavy stuff (with a trigger warning for discussion of suicide), discussing mortality and the realities of living with chronic illness; heavy and honest. She encourages questions and suggestions for essay topics, so if there’s something you’d like to know, by all means leave her a comment and engage with the topic!

See, after my health stopped me from updating http://www.lifewithlyme.net for several years, I’m able to write on it again. I’m revamping the layout and writing regularly, and a great deal. I’m also beyond broke and in debt, hence the blogathon helping from all angles! Here’s how it works, and the three ways you can help out:

Way #1: Comment Here with Questions About Lyme, Being Sick, Etc.
Whether you want to sponsor me out not, comment here with anything you want to know about Lyme, connections, the treatment for them, and how having them had affected my life. Every single one will be answered in an essay in its own post.; I really want to answer the questions you actually HAVE–and enough people have said things that I know they do have questions–so please, do ask,.

This Blog Is Better In Vinyl: Ernie, my fellow Alaskan-kid-who-did-magic-tricks-on-the-Tonight-Show, is currently blogging about teaching in Turkey with characteristic hilarity and depth.

It was so damn quiet. There were three (again, corgi) street dogs. They were slow. They wandered into puddles and got their paws muddy. “Maybe,” Jari said, “maybe there is a brood mother somewhere in these hills.”

“A corgi brood mother.”

“Yeah. Spawning corgis. Or there’s like a corgi dominant gene.”

“They are planning for world domination.”

“The children of the broodmother will consume the whole world.”

I’m doing my best to transcribe this sort of conversation you understand because I want to convey to you how mind-alteringly slow time passes in the village. We sat on rocks next to our packs in the village center, a confluence of three dirt roads, watching dogs walk back and forth and listening to three old men talk about something in another language. When the bus came by the first time, it was going the opposite way, and both of us wanted to get on just for something to do. It was quiet, though, and quiet was pretty nice. We waited for the bus to come back around.

Feeling Elephants: Jessica is not only one of the smartest people I know, but one of the most compassionate, well-informed, and busy people I know. She also tops my list of Friends Most Likely To Be President One Day. Actually, she may be the only person on my list of Friends Most Likely To Be President One Day. Dickinson-Goodman 2026!

Like any good social justice worker, I do my civil rights head count every time I walk into a room or presented with a list of names. (how many women, how many men; how many people of color, how many white people; how many young people, how many older; how many low-income people, how many middle-class, how many wealthy; rinse, repeat).

So when I got an RNC presidential straw poll in my email this morning–because I subscribe to campaign and major candidate emails from both parties–I did my count.

The result was embarrassing: 5 female candidates of 31 options. That’s 16%, a full 3 points lower than the also-mortifying 19% currently serving in Congress.

Vengeance, the Night, and Feeling Like A Fake Fan

The Origin Story

It’s possible you’ve noticed that I like Batman a lot.

(Also selfies.)

I blame this liking for Batman mostly on my college roommate, Lillian, who introduced me to characters like Harley Quinn and incepted me with the idea that Batman: The Animated Series is the perfect Batman. I also blame Christopher Nolan’s films, particularly The Dark Knight, which was the first time I’d consumed Batman media that got into my head and my heart. (I have fuzzy memories of seeing either Batman Forever orBatman & Robin in theaters with my cousin, but my uncertainty over whether it was Mr. Freeze or Two-Face ought to tell you how much impact that movie had on my psyche.)

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‘Authentic’ Shakespeare? Not Really.

‘Authentic’ Shakespeare? Not Really.

Samuel Barnett as Viola and Mark Rylance as Olivia in “Twelfth Night.”

This is so, SO interesting. Elizabeth Dalton writes in the Wall Street Journal about whether the current run of Twelfth Night on Broadway is really as “authentic” to Elizabethan staging practices as it could be:

These Shakespearean boy actors could indeed have appeared girlish. Although the age of puberty now seems to be heading rapidly downward towards kindergarten, in Renaissance Europe it was quite late. Even in mid-19th-century England the average age of menarche—first menstruation—was 17, so it must have been at least that late in Shakespeare’s day. The nutritional and other factors involved in the onset of puberty presumably applied equally to boys, who tend to mature later than girls. Thus the audience might well have believed Malvolio when he says of Viola disguised as Caesario: “Not yet old enough for a man . . . ; one would think his mother’s milk were scarce out of him.”

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