Monday, December 30, 2013

'Man of Steel': This is Not the Superman Movie You Were Looking For

So yeah, late to the... Well, if this movie got a party, it'd be a pretty unfun one.


... matey
So tonight, I'd like to rant  a little about Man of Steel. I'm not quite sure how to organize this, so we'll see how this goes.

Okay, so first some small nit-picks.

1) I knew there would be a bazillion explosions. And yeah. The fight scenes were long and predictable. I mean, literally, Kal lands in front of a gasoline truck at one point, and I groaned when I saw the shot even beginning because I knew what was going to happen. And yeah, of course, there's a slam, and BOOM! The thing blows up. There really did not need to be that much.

2) I liked Lois (because Amy Adams WUUUUT!), but I'll admit that I had kind of hoped we'd get beyond the gorram "he saved me so I luuuurve him" bullshit. Asking  too much, I guess. Sigh.

3) If it took Kal "all his life" to adapt to the atmosphere on Earth, why does it only take Zod a few minutes? I mean yeah, he  was genetically modified to be a warrior, but  still. I call BS. 

4) Why did it have to be Kevin Costner? Why?

5) I didn't need the twenty minutes on Krypton at the beginning, especially since that  projection thing of Jor-El shows up and fucking explains everything  again  later. Ohmygod, seriously, dudes, learn to edit your scripts down. We do not need  to see it happen  and then hear  it explained  again. I mean, fuck, you could have at least had  Kal's projection say, "Let me tell you what  happened," and show time pass by a change in how much light was left outside. 

6) Oh yeah, the projection thing? What the Hell was that? It was  a computer programmed...  with his  consciousness? I mean, it could answer questions and such, and somewhat  differently from the A.I.s we see as  Kryptonian tech. So like... why? And alsoalsoalso, we already  saw  Jor die  at the beginning, why make a BFD about the projection getting "killed" later? There's this huge dramatic "BWAAAAA!" (c'mon,  Hans- it's getting hard to defend you, bro) as if it's some big shocker and we're finding out Darth is Luke's father while seeing it in theaters for the first time in 1980. Sigh.

Okay, now the longer critique, and the main  course. 

So, those friggin' Kryptonians. What the frak? I had absolutely no concern for  the fact that their planet was blowing up- I know I was supposed to feel sad, but  I didn't. Why? Because they had totally done it to themselves. It's heavily hinted at in the beginning, and  then made pretty explicit later by Jor-El's projection... thing... during one of the huge-ass exposition scenes between him and Kal-El/Clark. They had the technology to save themselves, in abundance, and they did nothing. And they had become basically an almost entirely loveless society, stagnant and arrogant (the exceptions being, of course, Jor-El and Lara). So you know something? When the council of elders or  whatever sticks Zod in his chryo-banishment thing (which... really? The planet blows and suddenly they're freed?), I'm pissed... for him. Because he's absolutely, 100% right. 

So that speech Zod gives at the end, about how he was created to protect the Kryptonians, how any act of violence had been for their good (he says  "greater good," but what he really means is the greater good of the Kryptonians, after all). It makes perfect sense, and I found there was a rather epic sadness to the  character. I liked him far more than Kal/Clark. And even though I knew Kal would break his neck before seeing it, I was still quite saddened by it. Not because Superman had killed- I didn't care about that much from this particular story's standpoint (which will be  my next gripe). No, it made me sad because Zod basically had no control over himself, had been driven to madness by his, erm, programming, for lack of a better word. He was trying to protect his people, an instinct  that had been embedded into his gorram genetic makeup.  

And so here I go on my disability high-horse. Killing Zod is like killing someone that is mentally incapacitated. Faora, Zod's second, even says she and the other followers of Zod lack any form of morality, to which we can likely associate lack of empathy. So, they're sociopaths. They trully cannot comprehend why committing genocide to save their own skin even could be  problematic. If put on trial, they'd be declared criminally insane and put in a psychiatric prison, not executed.  

So this in itself, in the story within this movie, is problematic. Our hero is killing someone that, sure, may need, um, some pretty fancy holding facilities, but would still likely not be executed. (Sound a tad familiar? Like, c'mon, at ... all?) That's just... gross. And it sort of comes out of nowhere. 

I say "sort of" because while there are a lot of heroic poses and sexy pan shots of Clark/Kal (exhibit A), really most of the movie is just him angsting over "who he really is," so to speak. And I guess the answer to that is "super-human,"  so yeah, Superman. But.


He's not the Superman we all know. Not at all. He doesn't have the feel of  this guy

or this guy

or this guy

or any other vision of Superman I can possibly think of. (At least, not one actually living in the United States of America- this guy is from a different kind of canon.)

I felt like we were watching a 33-year-old man go through puberty. He was discovering himself, sure, but as a grown-ass-man, and it just made no sense and I couldn't feel attached to him at all.

I think part of the problem is Superman doesn't really have the "origin story" in the same way others do. Like, he starts out as the All-American-Boy in Metropolis,already knowing who he is. Sure, he has a background and backstory, but  there's never  a question over what he's supposed to do. He's supposed to fight  for "truth, justice, and the American way," you know? And sure, that may make  him kind  of  boring, but I've seen Superman be more interesting than Batman before, be shown capable of gritty emotion, actually be compelling

Although, to be fair, I'm not really sure I've seen Superman star in anything I didn't find him kind of boring in before, when he's not backed up by other members of the Justice League. And maybe that's the problem- for us to believe it's Superman, he can't really be compelling enough to be the star, or at least not have other people there. 

Full disclosure: I've never watched Smallville, so I could be missing something huge. 

So I thought Superman was boring  before, but this guy surprised me in being even boringer than I anticipated. Yes, I said "boringer." That's how boring I found Cavill to be.

And I think Goyer was trying to go for the gritty crap in making him kill Zod, but all it did was seem out-of-place and awkward, both in-story and with respect to my overall DC-knowledge-base. Even with Zod about to fry a family, it still didn't make a lot of sense. I actually found myself stifling a laugh as Kal starts yelling with the dead Zod in his arms, and I couldn't help myself but do this under my breath (my little sis laughed). 

And I went into it with a sincere heart yearning to enjoy  it, but I couldn't. Not really. It wasn't as bad as Daredevil, but it wasn't much  better than Green Lantern

I will say this: While yeah, the fight scenes  were overall too long, the one between Zod and Superman looked  just like a comic movie between two supers with powers like that should. The way the concrete was, indeed, crumbling under them, was  exactly  the  sort of thing I'd expect if, say, Green Lantern and Sinestro were fighting one another. Or what happens when members of the  Justice League go against their contra from the various rogues galleries. The fight in itself made sense- and, actually, I'll be honest, here. THAT fight was the only one I thought lasted long enough. Granted, there was still far too much broken  glass and fire for my taste. If they had taken it to a big field or something (which I would think any other Superman would have tried to do), it would have been perfect. Oh, yeah, and there would have been no family for Zod to use against Superman. 

Gah. So. Um. 6/10? 

So this  makes me even less hopeful about the upcoming  Bats-Supes pairing. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wonder Woman and 'Witchblade'- A Proposal As We... I... Wait

When I talk about my desire for a Wonder Woman comic movie, it's usually framed as a complaint that I don't think it's likely. Then, for some reason, one of two things happens. Either 1) someone involved will deny that there's sexism impeding a WW movie, or 2) it  turns into a "Marvel is better than DC" slug-fest where the other person acts like since Scarlett Johanssen is in the background of The Avengers (and apparently a side-character in The Winter Soldier, too), somehow Marvel movies are Comics' Gift to Women and People of Color, and I should be grateful- and satisfied- with Marvel's accomplishments. 

I call bullshit on both.

1) This one comes from ignorance- not necessarily willful, but ignorance nonetheless. And said ignorance can come from male privilege, or from sheer lack of understanding, or some combination thereof. Because, believe it or not, it's not just dudes saying sexism isn't involved to me- it's women. Women that don't realize the arguments they lay out- like, "How can you expect them to make a Wonder Woman movie when Catwoman and  Elektra were flops?"- actually have sexist origins in themselves. And there are dudes that also don't realize that sort of dribble is sexist in origin. Saying those two movies set the precedent that people won't see female-starring comic book movies completely disregards the fact that those movies tanked because they were bad movies. Bad movies that happened to star women. I couldn't finish Elektra and I regretted finishing Catwoman

Another big argument is that her backstory is too hoakey or convoluted or unrealistic. Even though, you know, this guy has two movies already:

Being the actual origin of Norse mythology? Totes doable. Being associated with Greek mythology? Not at all.


Or they'll bring up the Invisible Jet. And yet, uh, how many franchises have incorporated cloaked planes or ships? Again, we can gain look to Marvel:  X-2 and The Avengers both had stealth planes, but we've also seen that  shit in like millions of sci-fi properties that take place in space. Her Invisible Jet would not have to look like this: 

My point is stuff that has passed just fine  in other movies gets used as excuses for why a WW movie won't happen or would be "way too difficult" or whatever. And the basis for using those things comes from her being  a woman. I'm not sorry if you disagree, either- open your eyes a little and  think about it.  

2) As you could probably tell from my wording above, I do not believe that having women peppering the background in movies means equality. Women are not the active people in the Marvel movies, none of them. They do side-things, they help out, they complicate the plots of other people or have sub-plots at most, but who really pushes the main plots forward? Who really resolves them?

Thus, I find it exceptionally naive to assert that Marvel is "good" at portraying women. It's better than DC, sure, but good? I don't think so. That monstrosity of Elektra is, after all, a Marvel movie. And it's condescending that I often get treated as if I should be glad Marvel is around doing what it's doing, as if that should be  enough to satisfy me and I have no right to complain  or critique- I should be on my knees in gratitude, not biting the hand that feeds me. 

The X-Men movies do have a lot of women in them, but  none of them are the stars, are the major players in the plot- the original three were about Wolverine and First Class was about the relationship between Lensherr (Magneto) and Xavier. You can argue that Pheonix in X-3 drives the plot, but it falls apart when you consider that she was doing Magneto's bidding  and, oh yeah, SHE BEGS WOLVERINE TO KILL HER. She's a mystery for the other men to unravel, a tool for them to use, and a plot point to angst around. Anything she "does" is at the whim of or intended to emotionally affect a man in the movie. Yeah. And Rogue's subplots always involve her relationships to and with men. Her angst surfaces the most in X-3 when she thinks Bobby is cheating, and she seeks to cure her mutant gene so as to win him back. 

The Avengers has three women with more than two lines, Black Widow, Agent Hill, and Pepper Potts. All Pepper does is walk around in booty shorts, so um, yeah. And perhaps I'm misinterpreting, but Black Widow waving a scepter at an energy beam isn't really what we're supposed to care about at the end of The Avengers- we're supposed to focus on Iron Man. Black Widow is waiting for orders- orders from a man- and not acting on her own, there. No, it's Iron Man's tossing of the nuke into the portal that is seen as the heroic act, not her closing the portal. Then there's Agent Hill. Yeah, I like her a lot and agree she's pretty kickass, and I would have loved more scenes with her as the centerpiece, but she's still only a side-character. A prominent one, to be fair, but she takes orders from Nick Fury and is kept out-of-the-loop of a lot of his schemings, and after her opening action sequence is subsequently always to the side of Fury. 

I could go on, but the point is that while sure, there are more women in Marvel movies by the raw numbers, and yeah, they do a little more, the "better" in the "better than DC" is a VERY  relative  term, and, frankly, doesn't amount to much for me, because DC is so crappy at it that there's hardly much to be "better" than in the first place.  I don't think Marvel is  good at portraying women, because to me, being "good" at it means not having women whose characterization and stories revolve around or are entirely dependent on men. They're better in that there are more women, and they get to do some cool stuff, but until a woman is the center of her own story, I can't bring myself to say Marvel is "good" at women.

Now, recently, it has been announced that Gal Gadot will be playing Wonder Woman in the upcoming Superman-Batman flick, serving as a sequel to Man of Steel. I have pretty gorram mixed emotions about this, and it comes down to hope. Hope that Snyder doesn't screw it up, because as far as I can tell or suspect, this is going to be a litmus test. If the movie does poorly, they're going to say it was because of the character of Wonder Woman, and thus use that as fodder for not giving her her own movie(s). If the movie does well, they'll heavily scrutinize reviews and nitpick what is said about Wonder Woman, and I imagine any negative feedback will be blown way out of proportion and, again, used as fodder for preventing Wonder Woman movies from being made.

I like the little letter to Zach Snyder here, written by Glen Weldon, except for something she brings up that also gets talked about in the interview above her letter. What I'm talking about is this shallow argument about her, that Wonder Woman is difficult to portray also because she's a "contradiction" because she's a warrior for peace. I think in today's climate of sporadic conflict, revolution, and suppression of the people, Wonder Woman is exceptionally topical and not, in fact, out-of-place. I mean, my God, there are how many conflicts going on right now, as I write this? Just because there isn't an international war going on, doesn't mean there aren't people fighting and killing each other all around the gorram globe. And as for the dude being interviewed, I emphatically disagree with him when he says WB has been trying to make a Wonder Woman movie, too- I've seen too many articles about proposed script ideas or finished ones being rejected by WB executives. 

So I guess, my hope is that Wonder Woman will be done well in this movie, and it will, like the dude in the interview suggests, be the backdoor for her to have her own franchise. Because he's right- she's not a sidekick. She should be front-and-center. 

In the meantime, though, I have a proposal.

Witchblade, people. A quick elevator-pitch summary is that it's a series about the women that inherit a magic gauntlet with a sword embedded in it. This gauntlet can only attach to women, so by default, because of the mythos surrounding it, the main characters are women. As the Wiki article will tell you, there have been all sorts of reproductions and off-shoots of the original American comic series, including an anime and multiple mangas in Japan, as well as an American television series that was actually the continuation of a made-for-TV movie that received mixed reviews, but enough positive ones to get said series a green-light. 

I remember that show, and I remember liking it. It was dark and gritty, but it starred a tough cop that kicked lots of ass while still having, you know, a heart. And while yeah, it only lasted two seasons, it remains the highest-rated show to ever be cancelled to date- it was cancelled because the lead actress, Yancy Butler, had personal issues, including addiction, to deal with. I don't blame her for that, but it needs to be emphasized that the show was doing well and received praise from reviewers and viewers alike. 

I remember the show and I remember liking it.  I remember being impressed with the fact that it had a female lead that wasn't scantily clad all the time. I'll admit, I've never read the comics, which yeah, as far  as I can tell, feature a lot of this:

Typical metal bikini for a comic
But the show, it was all about this:

Full leather? That's NOT skin-tight? GASP!
Maybe a little skin, but still, a loose-fitting
T-shirt underneath that leather jacket
The show (and movie) was about the original wielder of the Witchblade, an NYPD cop named Sara. I think if a movie was made that followed the lead of the TV show, that focused on Sara finding the Witchblade and her beginning acceptance of her new power and responsibility, it could be the start of a pretty awesome, female-centered, comic-movie series. And Hell, they could even make up their own star, if they though Sara was played out or something- that's what the Japanese animes and mangas have done, after all.  Just keep the fact that a woman has to inherit the Witchblade as part of the plot, and you're fine. 

I'm tired of waiting for Wonder Woman. While I'd love to see her in her own movie, I'm too skeptical to think it'll happen any time soon, so why not write a good movie about a sword-wielding homicide detective that just so happens to have been born with a uterus? 

Put this thing on an awesome female actress, emphasize the ass-kicking in the trailers, and you'll get dudes in the seats. I have no doubts.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Personal Plug (for my favorite band)

Warning: This one gets pretty personal and whatnot. If you read my blog only for the social critiques, you can probably avoid this post. Except go to this link and donate. 

I've mentioned The Damnwells at least once before. I think if ever I could say I have a "favorite" band, it'd be these guys. Their sound  is a mesh of country and rock and pop and folk. The lyrics are usually pretty "high level" poetry with respect to the metaphors and phrasing, but the messages are sometimes pretty friggin' emo. I find a lot of them have sort of a naked honesty quality, and one less, um, whiney than stuff like this* or this**- they're more complex, I guess is the best way to put it. Also, while a lot  of their songs are rather sad or what-have-you, they can also have fun and be silly sometimes. And yet whether serious or not, every song I've heard by them (and I think I've probably heard everything they have out so far) is pretty, for lack of a better word.

I hate that. "Pretty." That word has so much baggage attached, but it's the best word I can think of to describe what I hear. Like if you turned the music into a physical thing, it'd be admired and maybe sparkle.


Anyhoo, yeah. Like I said in the post from my own blog I linked just now, I know I want this song to be playing when I have my first dance as a married woman (if and when that happens- hope it's the latter):

So to expand on that blurb a little, this, like a high concentration of the songs in their catalogue, is painfully earnest and vulnerable. And real. I felt long before I heard it that love isn't like Disney. It's sometimes really messed up and awful. And that at some points, it's a choice- but that's what makes it beautiful. "Give me Heaven with a bit of Hell." Choosing to hold on through those moments of Hell is what matters and makes the Heaven all the more Heavenly; being willing to take those bad moments in exchange for the good, that's love. I don't expect someone to like me all the time, and I don't expect or remotely want them to worship me or think I'm the best person ever or that I'm flawless. No, I want someone  that'll be honest with me, that will be willing to be cruel to be kind, so to speak. But that will still want me, love me, even when I'm at my nastiest, or when life is doing nothing but throw shit in our eyes.

"Tonight and Forever" follows my firmstanding belief that love is chock-full of oxymorons and paradoxes and dichotomies. That it's not always easy, and often involves risk. Pain shouldn't be the default, no, but one should also be ready for at least episodes of discomfort. 

There are a lot of other songs by them I relate to on more than just the "I've  sorta felt that way before" level. Alanis Morrissette is the only other act I can say that about, and I've blogged about two of her songs before. What I'm talking about is phrasing and themes I've felt and thought on my own, without the aid of the music to get me there.  I'll prolly blog more about her in the future, but this post is dedicated to The Damnwells, and I actually take their songs too personal to blog about them individually. So I'll spat a few of particularly poignant meanings here and that'll be the end of it.

This is another favorite of mine, "Sleepsinging." I feel like this every time after a dude tells me he'd rather be friends than be romantically involved with me (even if he's willing to fuck me) (yeah, I don't get it, either). There's always a part of me that hopes he realizes he made a mistake later, but at the same time, I realize I was an idiot for thinking I had a chance with him, even if he had given me every reason to believe he actually felt "that way" too; I blame myself, for the most part, each time, even if that's not really objectively fair, and the more-removed part of me knows I did nothing wrong and any "misinterpretation" had to do with them leading me on (even if without realizing it- I mean, saying, "I wish more women were like you," and expecting it to be platonic? Kissing me in front of people we both know, but expecting it to be a "friend" thing?). And even if it hurts, being rejected, I can't help it if I'm not good enough for them whilst being rejected, but that doesn't mean I'm going to change for them. Besides, I could probably never be what they want or need, anyway, because chances are they either don't actually know, or they have some disgustingly high standard, a standard they can't admit to themselves is prolly impossible to meet. 

Another that's really important to me is called "Ragged Reprise;" it hasn't been on any albums except the soundtrack to their autobiography DVD that you can't actually buy (I have a copy, thank goodness) (and I somehow have the soundtrack, I think maybe iTunes?). So the best I can do is tell you what it's called and hope you find it somehow, sorry- I'm not linking to pirate sites on my blog. But the main refrain is, "So come, wrap me in sheets/ And walk me down all your streets/ And lead me from the darkness beneath/ Burn the light over me/ Sing this ragged reprise." I guess it relates to how I feel about people. The singer makes  a lot  of mistakes and is kind of broken, and is kind of scared of himself; and he basically begs for someone to understand him and ends up being dissatisfied. Because people suck- they let you down, they don't actually help you when you need it. They make you cry, they reject you, they turn away when you need them. The laundry list of shit I've lived through makes it so hard to relate to people, and even when I try to lean on them, it ultimately fails because I'm so... My shit is at a level that's just so far from anybody else. I just want to be forgiven for it all (as if I'm culpable for it, which I know isn't true- it's the guilt from pain), but even if it happens, I'm not as "whole" as the next person. Any "reprise" I get would, indeed, be "ragged." 

I also like this one, which isn't as straight-forward as the title suggests. The lyrics hit at a lot of the complexities of American citizenship- militarism, capitalism, excess, sexism, the prison-industrial-complex, religiosity v. materialism, alcoholism, and hypersexuality, colonialism and globalism, racism, propaganda... And it sounds cool. I'm a sucker for  3/4 time and  any other compound time signature. You'd prolly think I'd hate the US, given how uber-anti-oppression I am, but I don't. I don't ascribe to blind patriotism, but I don't see myself moving anywhere, even if I had the money. Unless Benedict Cumberbatch decided to marry me; I'd move to England in a heartbeat for him. But anyway, 'Murica... not quite Fuck Yeah,  but more like, "America... Alright."

This one is kind of heavy on the nigh religious imagery. But I like the image of a woman opening her arms to the sky and the stars that this song puts in my head, and I can relate to the singer in feeling as if I have nothing left to give because I've been trying so bloody hard for so long. I'm getting exhausted with life- I'm not quite thirty, and I feel eighty. I don't know how much I'll have to offer if I ever meet someone willing. Sigh. But it's both metaphorical and literal- there's a dual theme of nothing to give in the emotional/energy sense, but also in the practical, monetary sense, through their music, and I can relate to that, too. I sometimes wonder how different I would be if I had been wealthier. Not even wealthy, just not so poor. Between being emotionally exhausted and practically penniless... What a catch I am, eh? 

I enjoy this one- it's fun, but still very poetic. And the former almost-classicist in me loves all of the references- "Let's sing Grecian lullabies/I'm Dionysus in disguise," etc. These guys may get kind of sad sometimes, but they know how to have fun. And that's important. Even when being very sexual, they're still poetic and write actual lyrics- as said above, it's still pretty

Lastly, a brand new song  by the lead singer and songwriter, Alex Dezen. This is very typical of his pre-band  recording  stuff. I have samples and acoustic versions of a lot  of their  stuff when it's just Alex coming up with the original idea. I sometimes prefer the  demo to the final studio version- there's an almost painful beauty in the simplicity of just Alex's sort of gritty voice alongside the guitar. I don't know if  "None of These Things" will make  it onto the new album  they're working on, but for now, I'll just say this is the prettiest new song to my ears in a long, long time***.

So, new album?

They used a crowdsourcing website for their most recent album, one specifically for musicians, and they  have another going for the one they're working on now. The site is called "Pledgemusic," and it works slightly different from Kickstarter in that you pick  specific perks, rather than getting all previous ones a your donation increases.

Here is a link to the new album's page. Look and pledge. 

When I pledged for the first one, I got a few hours' worth of extra music on top of the digital album. And a shirt, and a signed CD version of the album, too. I opted for the poster and the extra music part this time. I thought they were closer to the goal than this a few days ago, but I must have  been mistaken. I hope they make it. As of this moment, they're at 63%. 

*Yeah, this is the song with prolly THE MOST emo bit ever: "The truth is that you could slit my throat/ And with my one last gasping breath/ I'd apologize for bleeding on your shirt."

**And don't get me wrong, I liked emo when it was new in the late 90s and early 2000s, and, frankly, I still do. It, too, has that kind of naked honesty, but it's youthful in its simplicity, a simplicity the Damnwells's breed of emo overcomes. I mean, they never reference "making out."

***The song  linked there, another of Alex by  himself, is actually the prettiest song I've heard in a LONG time; note it's only like two months older than "None of These Things." The point, though, is Alex and The Damnwells release great music, reliably so, and it blows other stuff out of the water.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pedantic Sexism; Or, How I Got Into Urban Dictionary

Because of the frequency  with which I point out oppression, a lot of people would say I'm just "looking for a reason to be upset" a lot  of the time. Actually, I know I've been told so on more than one occasion- and I don't think coincidentally, at least one of those people unfriended me on FB because, gasp, I think feminism isn't about men! So here's another thing I saw that got me thinking. That would prolly make those people think I'm overthinking.

My favorite website, as stated before, is called; I've guested twice on the podcast and written one guest article so far. And while I've toned it down recently (realizing I was just acting like a fool and somewhat creepy/stalker-ee), I read everything they post. I wouldn't call myself a friend of any of the writers in the, like, "Come to my party," sense of the word (especially since they're all in different cities, snap!), no, but I put the site and its editors/regular contributors in the same kind of category I think a lot of people put  pop culture stuff they care about into regularly. I have a (probably, to them, creepy) emotional attachment to the site- it remains the place I feel safest about adding to a conversation online because there are still, even though it has been around for a few years, very few trolls.

A while back, they started getting some, though, and, unsurprisingly, they were all MRA-types getting pissed about gender politics and sexism against women. So the editors decided to scale back on identity politics for a while, and the trolls seemed to go away.

Then  they posted this harmless (and positively delightful), entirely not gender or identity politics piece about Lawful Good characters, using Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks as the exemplary figure. I loved it. And any content-related feedback in the comments suggests everybody else does.

Except look at those comments.

Some asshat started griping at the author about citing gifs and images, saying the author wasn't "giving credit where credit is due." Listing a few links in their comment and suggesting this author is in the slimy dredges of Intrahnet Societah because "even Tumblr bloggers are capable" of citing sources (the "capable" I found exceptionally insulting and deliberate- I could do an ableist sidenote, but yeah). Another person, Commenter (my new nickname for them), responded by pointing out that the "original sources" the Asshat posted can't be verified, to which Asshat responded with a link to a video about fair use (and of course being a condescending poo-head whilst doing so). Fortunately, the response from Commenter was well-thought and poignant, basically signaling the hypocrisy, and shut Asshat up.

So here's my thing.

Does this Asshat go around and nitpick at everybody on the Internet about "citations" of gifs and images? I highly doubt it.* Even if the article they commented on happened to be the first on OTI they said anything about/on with respect to copyright, they didn't say anything on any of the other articles on the site, nor did they make  any mention of all of the other articles on the site when criticizing  this particular  author- and nearly every. single. one. has "uncited" materials. So what makes this article stand out?

The author  is a woman. 

And in case you didn't look at the page, Asshat's username? It's actually "Someguy." Someguy

I'm giving this kind  of behavior the terminology of "pedantic sexism." Because the way I see this, it's an example of a dude coming into a conversation and mansplaining at a woman because she's "doing it wrong" somehow, and that the dude in question either would have phrased it differently (i.e. less arrogantly) or even wouldn't have said anything at all, were the person "in need of correction" a fellow member of the Penis Club. It's a dude nit-picking at a woman with a subtext that she's incorrect because of her ovaries. And with a sub-sub text that she would have  been given a pass if she hadn't been born with said ovaries in the first place. And what he's nit-picking? Doesn't even merit the nit-pick in the first place. And, although not every time, it usually involves flat-out ignoring the exact same thing being nit-picked when a dude does/did it, or ignoring even worse "errors" on the part of males.

And I'm insistent on the the "pedantic" part,  because yes, it's nit-picky. I'll be having an in-person conversation with a group, and a woman in the conversation may have one factual  error in her statement, while a man had three; another man will ignore the first man  and tell the woman to check her facts, and maybe she should just sit this one out because she's obviously confused. 

Or a hypothetical. 

It'd be like if you have two college kids in a chem class, a man and  a woman, fill in blank Periodic Tables, and the prof is a man; the woman gets the  number of protons in ONE box incorrect, while the male student, say, gets some letters wrong AND messes up some of the numbers; the prof ignores the man  and says to the woman, "Now,  you see this? This isn't correct, do you realize that? No, you didn't, otherwise you would have done it right. I know high school students that could do better, you know." And that would be  the end of the conversation.

Now, in this case, I'm sure this  Someguy character is, no doubt, generally an arrogant jerk. His reaction to SeminymousCoward, the person I called "Commenter," was exceptionally arrogant and condescending. But I think the whole "citation" bullshit was started  because of the genders of the author and this "Someguy" character.

And this just sends my Irk-O-Meter through the gorram roof. It's petty and pointless. It happens to me a lot, and  I see it  happen to other women all the time. And I don't think it's exactly the same as mansplaining, but rather a particular breed of mansplaining. Because it's over something petty or trivial, or at least petty or trivial in comparison to other things that could have been pointed out. And it should be in Urban Dictionary. But I looked, and it wasn't. So I submitted an entry. And wouldn't you know it, it was accepted!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Small victories deserve big excitement
And in case you don't feel like giving Urban Dictionary traffic (or if it's blocked on  your phone, like it is on mine for some reason), here's what I came up with:
When a man critiques/criticizes a small detail of something a woman has said or done and mansplains at her about it, either "correcting" her or shaming her for being "incorrect" somehow. Importantly, the gendered nature of the interaction indicates he would not have made any comment, or would have been less rude about it, if the woman were, in fact, a man. Bonus points if there are examples of other errors, or more egregious ones, by men in the same situation at that moment (i.e. comments on a discussion forum or a group of people talking).
Anne says, "I have only the best vegetables in my basket!" Tom says, "So do I! Look at these ripe tomatoes we both have!" Roger points at Anne and says, "Anne, don't you realize tomatoes are fruits? There are tomatoes in your basket, so you can't say you have only vegetables in your basket, now can you?" Anne says, "Wow, Roger, what a great example of pedantic sexism! I love how you go after me about tomatoes, when I wasn't even the person to mention them!"

Not that I really think my getting an Urban Dictionary entry approved will, like, end the phenomena. But I firmly believe that naming something doesn't give it power and that's the end; I believe that when it comes to societal practices and discourses of marginlaization, you have to have a name for something if you want it to change.

So, there you have it. I'm famous. Via a pseudonym.


*Also, if this dude cares so much about citations and source material, why didn't they also include in their comment proper citation information for the show Twin Peaks or any of the other shows/ movies/ etc. mentioned in the article? I think they picked gifs and pictures because that's easy and involves one Google search and copy-pasting a link, not Googling then searching a page  and deciding what and what not to include in a "proper" citation of a movie, etc.