July

There are no post I like to write as much as the end-of-month summaries/favorites. Also fave thing to read. (Except for feminist rants, there’s nothing quite like feminist rants.) If it was up to me, it’d be mandatory. Especially the this is the culture I’ve consumed this month part.

This is what I’ve been up to in July.

Listened to

In This Moment! Especially loved this cover of In the Air Tonight, been listening to on repeat repeat repeat, even if the album Ritual as a whole is well worth a listen.

How is Being as an Ocean’s Black & Blue not on Spotify??

One of these days, I’ll learn to love more than their singles. I hope.

I have been listening to Korn a fair bit, but 2 minutes of Fieldy’s biography put a dampener on my obsession. Good news: no longer have any urge what so ever to see this band play. N E V E R going to happen.

Am, however, sulking about having no plans in place to see Architects + Amity Affliction in Hungary on 15 August. I need more Amity in my life.

This remix of Linkin Park’s One More Light:

Should have been the original.

And oh, fave track off of the new Lana del Rey release has got to be 13 Beaches.

Slightly disappointed I’m not really in the mood for Lana because I want to love this record. But I don’t.

Penntricket! You know the feminist pod in Swedish which it makes absolutely no sense what so ever to write about in English? That one. Best episode since the one about hating men; an episode entirely on menstruation! Just missing one thing that they never mentioned: menstruation is a kinda nifty indication of your health. Clue read my mind and did a post on it here. Penntricket talked about menstruation as a life force—Clue compares it to having a pulse, which is closer to the mark I feel. Your menstruation can tell you a lot about your general health, which isn’t mentioned nearly enough. No instead we focus on weight as a measure of health. SIGH.

Watched

Friends from College. Netflix thought I might like it. Netflix was WRONG. Don’t waste your time on it. Really. Don’t.

One More Time with Feeling. There’s a little extra thing on the DVD about boredom where Nick Cave slags off Metallica and assures us it’s OK to be bored. It’s funny.

To the Bone. It’s on Netflix, about a girl with anorexia. I quite liked it. Ending was a bit weird tho.

If I was going to recommend you one short little video to watch from this month, I’d say give this one a watch:

It’s just nice to have someone, anyone at all, say that it’s OK to not do things sometimes. That it doesn’t mean you’re missing out on life, it just means you have other interests and/or priorities.

Vegan things

I started following Peta on Twitter. That would be another reason why I’m a bad vegan; I have not been following Peta.

It’s an excellent reminder if you ever feel you’re starting to lose track of why you’re vegan to begin with. It’s also, frequently, incredibly hard to have them in your feed. They like to be graphic. Multiple posts showing the maltreatment if animals every. single. day.

I used say I’d probably not be vegan for the rest of my life when asked, because I’ve been around long enough to know I change my mind a lot. But if you’d ask me right now the answer is YES. VEGAN. ALWAYS.

Coconut oil. I just remembered just how brilliant coconut oil is. Favorite uses: pancakes + popcorn. Oh the pancakes and popcorn wasted using other fats…

K*ckl*ng. Astrid & Aporna! I hate it when food brands do some vegan products and not all, it’s nonsensical and annoying. Astrid & Aporna is not one of them, they do all vegan. I’m currently loving the fake meat which they excel at, and k*ckl*ng is brilliant for a spicy coconut milk type sauce. Texture is so, so nice.

technically, water is vegan. So let’s stick it in this category; I’ve been loving elder flower water an awful lot. Unfortunately not good for the environment, but hey ho

Changes

Finally found the Twitter setting where you can turn off retweets. Finally! Means I can follow certain people (a.k.a. bitter old men, who are my age, by w/e) who seem to have a need to retweet their entire feed. I appreciate that you’re enthusiastic and all, but, kinda want to be able to see my own feed too, you know?

Still looking for a way to get other people’s likes out of my feed. It’s nice to see it every one in a while, but all of them? All the time? Please no?

It’s not looking good though. (Dear Twitter, HOW IS THIS EVEN A DEFAULT SETTING???) Think I might have found a setting which hides my own likes though? Just because I figure if it annoys me, it might annoy others. I might be a person who clicks the like button too frequently on Twitter. Possibly.

Changed blog layout. As one should every now and again, if for no other reason then so that you don’t forget how to.

Layout of my phone. Because I had to reset it. Because it kept insisting I had no space despite deleting apps + transferring data to my SD card like a crazy person and. it. was not. helping. Also, this comes with the perk of being forced to update all passwords. Supposedly good for you.

Also to be noted: I think it’s Spotify that’s taking up all the space. It says it’s saving to my SD card. But I’ve no reason to believe it. I.e., next phone will not a Sony. It lies to me.

Tried the ACO CC cream. It’s been a while since I tried a new makeup product, which is why this gets a special mention. That and I was quite excited. Not only because it’s been a while, but because the CC cream says it’s a day cream, primer and foundation all rolled into one. Sounds great no!?

I tried it for 2 reasons:

  1. I was out of day cream and wanted to try something new because I can’t quite decide what my skin is like at the moment. This one isn’t for a specific skin type, so that appealed to me.
  2. My current combination of products does not fare well in the heat so I just wanted something else.

It doesn’t exactly do everything it promises. And as far as CC creams go, I’ve had better. But it does work well enough as a replacement for day cream + primer, which reduces my routine by one step so I guess it could be worse.

Monthly menstrual report

I feel like the most regular person ever!?!

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If this keeps up, I will have to learn how to use a menstrual cup. (Please no? I’m old, I can’t be learning new things.)

Next month

Definitely not seeing Korn. Nor Amity or Architects.

Am getting my apartment photographed. Selling prep. Still don’t want to think about moving. I also need to prepare a list of all updates I’ve done since moving in, for tax reasons. Such fun!

I’m also going to start working for a research center. Should appreciate and look forward to. But I don’t.

Keep hoping someone will get me out of it.

What the Health

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Watching What the Health through some strategically placed lupins.

Yes, it is vegan propaganda. I ♥ vegan propaganda.

If you have Netflix and haven’t watched it already, you really should get to it.

If you haven’t got Netflix…well then this is your excuse to get it. It’s what I did.

Having watched What the Health I feel two things:

On the one hand, I’m afraid of living. The meat industry scares the hell out of me.

On the other, since I don’t eat meat, I’m apparently never going to get sick and die. This lovely little docu tells me I can stop worrying about all diseases, because if you don’t eat meat there is no way for you to get sick. I’m also assuming I’ll never die?

You’d think if you have consumed the animal products in the past, you’re screwed, but apparently, once you get on the vegan diet you undo it all. (I want to believe, but it seems a bit too easy. For one.)

Favorite part, one doctor’s response to people who say that their body reacted badly to coming off the omnivore diet: There is no such thing as a dead, decaying flesh deficiency.

I thought that was kinda funny.

What I’ve been watching on Netflix

I go through periods where I subscribe to different (video) streaming services; I’m a notoriously disloyal customer. Currently, I’m on a Netflix subscription, because I ♥ Reign.

So far I’ve watched:

Reign. It did not disappoint. I feel that if you’re one of the (unfortunately quite few) people who’s fallen for this series you’re going to like this final season too. It has managed to retain its identity quite well, unlike say Vikings, which I just don’t get at all anymore. Not sure I like what they’ve done to Elizabeth though. They’ve made her into a petty woman; was that really necessary? Also not a fan of the fact that in order to be cast in this show you apparently cannot be a day older than 16 and have a malnourished physique. The character Catherine basically makes up for it tho, she’s mean and old and clearly feminist, challenges a fair number gender stereotypes. And did I mention she’s mean? I do so love the female villain.

How to Be Single. I’m confused as to what this movie is trying to say. But that could well be because it didn’t keep my attention particularly well.

New Girl. I mentioned binge watching here, even though I’m not exactly in love with it, it’s been good for background noise.

The Americans. I used to love this series so much. Right now. I need to remind myself to watch it, and 9 times out of 10 I’m just not in the mood.

Diana. The Naomi Watts rendition. I swear I did give it a chance but oh God. It was not good.

Santa Clarita Diet. I dunno. My interest was purely based on the fact that Drew is in it. Turns out that is not enough of a reason to actually like it. Even if I did finish watching all the episodes available. Mainly because I wanted to see where the hell they were going. Not convinced they know where they’re going.

The Matrix Trilogy. Well I tried. Because I recalled really liking it back in the day. Started watching the first movie. Yeah. That was a no go. Did not even get far at all.

Stepmom. You know the Susan Sarandon + Julia Roberts movie? Not as good as I remember it.

I’m giving up. I don’t know what else there is to watch. Nothing catches my interest.

So. I’m cancelling my subscription to switch back to the horrible HBO Nordic. Apparently that’s where you can watch The Handmaid’s Tale. Obvs a favorite book of mine (feminist and dystopia you say!?! Actually I think my mum pushed it on me aaages ago, her taste in books is flawless), and obvs v. v. interested for that very reason. But also. I keep hearing people who’ve watched it saying it’s true horror, which makes me even more interested. Need to binge it asap!

Let’s talk about New Girl and feminist analysis

I’m in a slump. General life slump; general lack of interest in doing anything. WAS TUN?

Well. You get your Netflix back and binge watch all the shows and while you wait it out.

I was on my couch mindlessly staring at episode 75847 of New Girl, and it suddenly dawned on me that this show, it’s kinda gender stereotypical. Kinda like a lot. Kind of feels like the driving force of the show is gender stereotypes and general gender prejudice. I would not hesitate to call New Girl anti-feminist. And I never noticed?

Or is there something I’m missing? Maybe I’m not reading it right?

Had to search for a proper feminist analysis of New Girl. Found a thesis on the subject aaand…well it was really very interesting so I didn’t get any further.

According to this thesis on New Girl vs. Girls, I am so wrong. Could not be more wrong. Let’s discuss!

This is the conclusion of the thesis: “Jess on New Girl represents a much more promising feminist icon than Hannah on Girls.”

Effectively making me doubly wrong, in a way. I am completely reading Girls as a feminist work. But admittedly, never did a study. It’s just a feeling.

The thesis explains “This is mainly because Jess is driven by self-love and self-confidence while Hannah is so defined by her self-hatred that she becomes difficult for viewers to relate.”

Wait what? Because all people in the world love themselves and are filled with confidence…? Because all characters and situations in New Girl are so realistic, i.e. relatable…?

Isn’t one of the main reasons for Girls’ success the fact that it is relatable? Yes, Hannah is an unpleasant sort of character, but that’s exactly it, it is the very thing that makes her relatable. Princess percentage = 0, making her relatable to I would say a fair number of people. In addition to which we need female characters that are allowed to exist with all of their flaws. The fact that female characters generally aren’t allowed to exist if they don’t meet the patriarchal definition of female makes any cultural expression that does allow it automatically feminist.

I can relate to Girls in general to a far greater extent than New Girl. In fact I can’t relate to New Girl at all. Are you telling me I’m completely abnormal? (I wouldn’t mind, but it seems unlikely. I’m not that special.)

In addition. I don’t think Hannah as a character was intended to be a feminist icon, as in all hail Hannah let’s all go out and copy her looks and behavior. I don’t even understand how you could possibly be reading it that way.

The author goes on at length about female comediennes. “Audiences do not respond well to female comics. They typically like comediennes who stick to prescribed gender norms and categories.” You mean like the character of Jess..? Which would explain your defense of this character…?

I have more questions.

This thesis is an analysis from a third-wave feminist perspective. To be honest. I don’t know what this would mean. Sounds very vague. Is there an official definition of the concept that can be used for analysis? I mean is it a theory? I’m only asking because this question remains unanswered in the thesis. The writer explains first-wave feminist, criticizes second-wave feminism, and then never explains third-wave. Not sure how you’re meant to follow the reasoning when a definition is missing. I mean, I don’t know how you interpret feminist, nor feminism. I think there might be some disagreement within the ism as to what it is, which kinda makes a definition necessary.

Whereas. Whereas this here, seems random and unnecessary:

Girls, on the other hand, was less commercially successful than New Girl, but more critically beloved. Despite its critical acclaim, Girls has received a lot of backlash from viewers and even actor James Franco, who call the show overrated, unfunny, and whiny.”

I see. So James Franco is an authority on the subject and his opinion matters to a point where it must be randomly included? Speaking of which, not sure whether or not it is a good thing that a thesis where feminism is used as theory completely lacks any reference what so ever to Simone de Beauvoir. But I guess, the James Franco reference makes up for it…?

In my world. If you’re a feminist, Simone is the icon, and you will want to randomly mention her, regardless of it being relevant. But maybe that’s just me…

This thesis, though, basically argues that Jess is a feminist icon (or role model which is apparently a synonym??) because she is asexual, childlike, open to talking about sex (while at the same time struggling with being able to use proper grown-up names for the reproductive organs), extremely feminine (expressed through clothing), not meeting the heterosexual standards (???), and, because she fills several typical female roles, because Jess, as a teacher, stops a bully in her school (apparently stopping bullies is a job for a man, not a teacher, thus breaking gender boundaries).

I don’t feel convinced.

To me this only reads as “OK, fine, you can be on the show and you can be funny, but you have to be pleasing to the eye and you need to fit into the feminine box”. If New Girl actually was challenging, in any type way, it would create as much division as Girls. James Franco would be whining about it.

The thesis seems to argue “oh but she’s feminine and empowered” and that is what’s challenging current world order.

I’m not quite following. That’s like this constant talk about strong women. As if there’s a contradiction there, as if strong women are a rarity. I don’t know where you come from, but where I’m from, it’s not and it’s not.

Then there’s the father argument. The thesis argues that Jess “embodies the characteristics of the father”. Because she provides advice and coaching for her friends and students (yes, that’s very father-specific), guides and protects the people and her life (again, so exclusive for the father), encourages friends to do more with their life (uh-huh, no mother ever did that, nope…).

Is this a joke?

I want to argue that the following supports the idea that it is in fact a joke: “Interestingly, he does not want to have sex with Jess alone, implying that Jess is not sexual enough to attract the landlord by herself. Once again, Jess is asexual. She needs something as extreme as another person to make her sexually appealing.” Oh. I did not know that was why people had threesomes. Because one of the persons is unattractive and a third person is needed to compensate. Had no idea.

Remember Lizzy Caplan played a lawyer on the show? I love Lizzy Caplan, because of her frequent micro fringe. It is my fringe ideal. Anyway. Her character’s called Julia; she’s slightly less feminine in her appearance and actions than Jess. “Julia seems to represent a stereotypical second-wave feminist. […] This suggests that to truly be empowered and happy, women need to be feminine. […] New Girl implies that all women need to be at least a little feminine.”

Said no feminist worthy of the name ever. OK, let me try and figure this out. I guess, (a) the second-wave feminist our enemy, and (b) the idea that women need to be feminine to be empowered and happy, is not problematic. This is feminism? Yes? I’ve literally no book on feminism that would agree, but sure, there are many types of feminism.

To be clear, I just want to add that I’m not saying that women shouldn’t want to be feminine, I’m also not saying that being or doing feminine (if you can do gender I’m sure you can do feminine too) has no value. It is far more valuable than we give it credit for. What I am saying that it is currently serving as a way to limit women, and it is a social construct, not innate. Saying that women need to be feminine is like saying we need patriarchy. Not only that we need patriarchy, but that we need patriarchy to define us. I resent that.

Here’s a radical idea: maybe it’s possible that people are different, and some people relate to Lena, and some to Zooey. But whether or not they’re relatable isn’t what makes a feminist icon/role model. It’s whether or not it challenges gender stereotypes. Something which this thesis has not convinced me New Girl does. You still need to be pretty and feminine to even be allowed on the show, neither of which is true in Girls. If we have to compare.

A more relevant comparison, which was briefly mentioned in the thesis was Roseanne, you know the 90s sitcom? In part because it is in fact a sitcom which would make for a fairer comparison, because they’re working with the same type of humor. It would also illustrate how we’ve regressed. Also I ♥ Roseanne.

But I guess Roseanne, the character, isn’t sufficiently relatable nor feminine, and thusly not a feminist icon by default. According to the logic of this thesis.

I’m starting to think I’m that evil second-wave feminist, a.k.a. the enemy of third-wave feminism (whatever that is). Yay finally proper villain status? Would also explain why my interpretation of New Girl is different. The world makes sense again?