Saturday Morning #PopCulture Open Thread

(h/t Adam)

If you ever saw Gene Rodenberry speak, you probably heard him describe how the Paramount suits demanded, after watching the Star Trek pilot, that he drop either the female second-in-command or the alien science officer. “So I married the woman and kept Mr. Spock,” he would finish, gleefully, “… because in California, it was illegal to do it the other way around!”

Forty years later…

Also, the new Wonder Woman movie is already drawing raves, so one Texas-based movie chain had a brilliant marketing idea. As described by a (male!) critic at Film School Rejects:

A few days ago, the Alamo Drafthouse did what the Alamo Drafthouse does best: announce a special event themed to one of its upcoming releases. In celebration of Wonder Woman, the first female-driven superhero movie in the current wave of Marvel and DC productions, Alamo announced that they would be holding a special women-only screening on Tuesday, June 6 at their downtown location in Austin. If you identify as a woman, you could spend a night at Alamo’s very own Themyscira and enjoy the film with an all-female audience and staff.

Almost immediately, the company was inundated with both positive and negative responses. The Drafthouse’s initial Facebook post became ground zero for both the worst and best responses to the event; some fans celebrated the fact that Drafthouse was using Wonder Woman as an opportunity to celebrate intersectional feminism, while others decried the event as just another example of liberal snowflakes and their need for safe spaces…

On paper, it’s hard for anyone to defend why they’re upset with the two special screenings of Wonder Woman. There are an additional 31 screenings (three-one) of Wonder Woman in Austin that same Tuesday; that doesn’t even include non-Drafthouse locations, an extra level of math I have no interest in doing. Hell, there’s even one additional late screening of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz for those who really want to see the film in the heart of downtown Austin…

But I personally hope that those who click for the controversy will stay for the affirmation. For every person who has expressed outrage at the screenings, another has expressed excitement at the opportunity for a bunch of women to gather together and watch a kick-ass movie that celebrates women. I’ve seen people discussing sponsoring tickets for non-profit organizations focused on women and women’s health, making plans to drive down to Austin with a close sibling or parent, or simply cheering on those who will attend the screening even if it’s not targeted to them…

Alamo Drafthouse, of course, takes full advantage:

And, finally, happy news about a no-longer-nearly-as-popular “culture”:

What else is on the agenda as we start the holiday weekend?



To all the ladies who want to control when they have babies

In other healthcare news, President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty. The ACLU is not too concerned about it as it is mostly a photo-op but it is an indicator that the provision of no cost-sharing long acting reversible contraception as a key covered service in the ACA plans is at risk.

IUD’s are reliable. They are long run inexpensive as their break even point compared to hormonal oral contraception is between twenty and thirty months if we neglect unexpected pregnancy costs. If we include incremental unexpected pregnancy costs, their break even point is short.. They empower female autonomy in social, economic and sexual domains. They also prevent abortions.

IUDs currently are a no cost sharing service under the ACA by regulation. This regulation can be re-written through the normal rule making process. That process probably will not effect covered services for 2017 but it probably will have define what has to be covered at no cost sharing in 2018.

If you were thinking about getting an IUD, schedule the appointment.
If your current LARC needs to be replaced soon, schedule the appointment.
If you currently use barrier or oral hormonal methods and don’t want to get pregnant for several years, schedule an appointment.

Protect yourselves as well as you can.



Actions Have Consequences: Lysistrata Edition

I’ll just leave this here for your schadenfreude and viewing pleasure. Albo is quitting the Virginia House of Delegates.



A Day Without Women?

If I were a True Progressive(tm), I probably wouldn’t be writing this (although, in my defense, for me it’s the end of Tuesday rather than the beginning of Wednesday). Yes, I enjoy putting these posts together — since it’s unpaid labor, Cole could hardly fire me for noncompliance — but it does qualify as work, some days more than others.

Jia Tolentino, in the New Yorker, on “The Women’s Strike and the Messy Space of Change”:

T[oday] is the Women’s Strike, the fourth of ten actions that have been called for by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington. The strike was planned to coincide with International Women’s Day, and the march organizers, in tandem with a team organizing protests in forty countries around the world, have asked women to take whatever form of action their lives allow for. Take the day off from “paid and unpaid labor,” including housework and child care, if you can, or avoid shopping at corporate or male-owned businesses, or simply wear red in solidarity. There will be rallies in at least fifty cities around the United States.

Comparisons between the strike and the post-Inauguration march—now estimated to be the largest political demonstration in U.S. history—are inevitable, and likely to be unfavorable to the strikers. The decline in unionization has insured that most American workers are unfamiliar with striking and what it entails. And it is, of course, much harder to strike on a weekday than to protest on a Saturday. It is also more difficult to facilitate, measure, and publicize absence than it is to celebrate presence, the way one does at a march. When tens of thousands of immigrants went on strike on February 16th, they did attract some favorable public attention—as well as employer retribution—but a general strike the next day, and a tech-industry strike one week later, escaped public notice almost completely…

From the Washington Post, “The expensive problem with the ‘Day Without a Woman’”:

Rosie Molina, who works at a District restaurant for $7.50 an hour, woke early to march on the Mall in January. Then she rushed downtown for an afternoon shift. Molina was proud to have briefly joined the movement — her cause is immigrant rights — but she cannot afford to take part in Wednesday’s strike, which would cost her about $60. That’s two weeks of groceries.

“I’m a single mother,” Molina said. “I don’t have the luxury. The last time I took a day off, my paycheck was very low.”

Taria Vines, 44, who makes about $350 each week as a caterer in the Bronx, decided to take the day off to march Wednesday in the nation’s capital with some friends. Vines figures she’ll lose a chunk of pay — probably enough to cover her cellphone bill — but she still wanted to take a stand against sexual harassment and discrimination.

“It’s costing me money to do this,” she said, “but if I don’t fight for what’s right for me, who will?”…
Read more



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Carne Vale!

(courtesy Ozark Hillbilly)
.

Of course most of the Mardi Gras parties happened last weekend, or even earlier, but today it’s official. Even if you’re not a Lenten observer, why pass up a chance to eat pancakes?

But of course there’s always a political component… even leading aside the President-Asterisk’s speech tonight. Per the Washington Post:

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago — Every year, an onslaught of high-octane soca music is released ahead of Trinidad’s pre-Lent Carnival. The songs are new, but the themes are well-worn: Rum. Partying. And the allure of a woman’s gyrating body, preferably backed into a man’s grasp.

So it’s a little surprising that one of this year’s most popular Carnival tunes is a jaunty ballad performed by the 76-year-old music legend Calypso Rose and titled matter-of-factly “Leave Me Alone.” The song features a woman trying to party in the streets without interference from men, exhorting them to “leave me, let me free up.” And it’s being hailed as a feminist anthem.

“It’s like a rallying cry for women who just want to be able to have the option of enjoying their Carnival — Carnival being that space of freedom,” said Attillah Springer, 40, a Trinidadian writer and activist. “And then you have to deal with people who are trying to control how much freedom you feel.”…

The discussion about women’s roles in Carnival is part of a wider soul-searching about the state of the celebration and how it has changed from the traditions of decades ago, when Carnival costumes depicted figures from history or folklore and often encapsulated stinging political or social statements.

But Gabrielle Hosein, head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, said the current bikini-and-beads iteration of Carnival doesn’t necessarily exclude political or social activism.

“It’s the largest movement of women in Trinidad and Tobago seeking autonomy and self-determination around their sexuality and their bodies, in opposition to a particular kind of respectability politics . . . purely for the joy and pleasure they experience,” Hossein said. “One can see those goals as highly political in our world today.”.

Ayoung-Chee said she wants to help people see how the free-for-all Carnival vibes can align with the tradition of activism and rebellion.

“Coming out in the streets in the tens of thousands, owning your space, owning your freedom,” Ayoung-Chee said. “What is that besides activism?”



Chew on This Open Thread: April Ryan Is Not Trump’s African-American

Donald Trump tells us that he is the least racist person ever. I would say ‘Donald Trump believes he is the least racist person’, but I’m chary of putting ‘Trump’ and ‘belief’ in the same sentence.

April Ryan, incidentally, is not Donald Trump’s ‘girl’ either (in the Mad Men ‘my girl will set it up with your girl’ sense)…



Early Morning Cabin Fever Cranky Open Thread: Tell It!

Infinite thanks to commentor Rikyrah for highlighting Awesome Luvvie’s latest extremely righteous twitter rant. Excerpts:

(And yes, I was reminded that I’ve been meaning to order a copy of Ms. Ajayi’s book I’m Judging You… )