Fighting Words

As militant activists bury their bitterness over Time magazine’s inclusion of the word ‘feminist’ on their List of Words to Ban, I am personally disappointed that Time’s suggestion wasn’t met with more praise. The ‘f word’ itself has been abused for decades but celebrities attaching it to a trend has put the original meaning six feet under. Determining you don’t need a boyfriend is not feminism (Taylor Swift). Feminism is not the false projection that you can be a singer, actress, dancer, model, designer, philanthropist, wife and mother while maintaining a perfect body (Beyonce). Concluding that women ‘make so much more sense to me than men’ is definitely not feminism (Stephanie Myer. Oh dear, Stephanie Myer!). Are we so sure we would miss a word that no one comprehends the meaning of?

Feminism is a sensible, clean concept. The dictionary dictates a feminist as “advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.” So, unless you’re a misogynist, you’re a feminist (this includes you too, gentlemen). However, ‘feminist’ is a word tied to misconception. Feminism in more radical forms has stitched together an image of us vs. them rather than equality. This is a fictitious image, but feminist history can seem a lot like bra burning, high heel throwing misandry. What was once a friendly word of fairness came to be the tag for an exclusive, angsty girls club.

The word ‘feminist’ is ready for a rebirth, but we cannot resurrect feminism until its weary past lies down. Using “feme” as the root of a word excludes an entire gender. Labeling oneself a feminist is an invitation for misunderstandings. Main stream media continues to pollute the air with inaccurate representations, thus furthering our confusion. Time magazine never suggested that women’s right was a silly idea, but they did boldly recognize that its key word has been worn-out.

Even if the “f word” were to die, this would not be the death of feminism. Instead, we would seek a new phrase that captures its initial intentions. A word prefixed in neither gender with the privilege to acknowledge inequalities of all sexualities, genders, ethnicities and races. Perhaps we should take Time’s advice and reinvent ourselves as….Equalists.


AMV Roundup! Spirited Away-Soulseek

Spirited Away was seriously such a nostalgic movie for me. I watched Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, definitely, but this was the one that I really gravitated towards. Maybe the sense of mystery and adventure mixed with that weird just really appealed to me, sort of how I love Neil Gaiman’s work for those same reasons. Regardless, this fast paced video really captures that sense of nostalgia. It encapsulates the story of Spirited Away in that way only AMVs can do. I have to say, I’m totally a sucker for nostalgic stuff too–I know everyone has different things that evoke that in them, and Spirited Away is the movie I most strongly connect with Studio Ghibli.

Still have to see the newer Ghibli movies!

AMV Roundup!

Running a little late today, but I’m still here with your AMV dosage! This one is a fantastic Princess Tutu AMV. While I haven’t seen a ton of the show–just a couple episodes really, that was enough to get a gist of it. It’s a shoujo anime that focuses on ballet, and gets rather dark, despite the overly girly-stylized animation. This video makes great usage of the ballet clips–since there’s already stuff timed up to music, it’s a shame to waste. It’s a gorgeous video, so pretty that I kinda want to go back and watch the series. I remember finding the first episode or so rather silly–I watched it in anime club back in college–but it looks like further in it has a different slant.

Or I could watch Black Swan over again, cos that movie was AWESOME.

Trailer Time: “Ex Machina”

I want to say first that this is NOT related to the Brian K. Vaughan comic book series of the same name.  Now since that is out of the way, this film is about a programmer who participates in an experiment with a new artificially intelligent robot created by the company he works for.  It also seems to interweave a love story between the “female” robot and male human.

While that last sentence may weird some people out a bit, it’s not an unheard of concept with films of the past including last year’s “Her” to 1975’s “The Stepford Wives” to even the 1927 film “Metropolis.”  The design for the robot Ava immediately makes me think of “I, Robot,” which isn’t bad but it’s not original.  This is the first film directed by Alex Garland, who is best known for writing screenplays for films like “28 Days Later,” “Sunshine,” and “Dredd.”  All of these films are quite smart which, along with the trailer, gives me high hopes for “Ex Machina.”  Is anyone excited for another robot film?  Do you think this looks good?  “Trailer Time” returns on Wednesday here on “Caffeine Crew!”


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