Marvel's runaways · Recap · TV Shows

Feminism and secret societies in Marvel’s Runaways (Premiere Recap)

For the last few weeks, my parents have been telling me to watch the new “Marvel’s Runaways.”  I was originally hesitant because my dad has questionable taste in entertainment. When he’s not watching action movies (whose fight scenes make up roughly 3/4 of the plot) he’s binging on British crime dramas or, believe it or not, contentedly watching generic heterosexuals fall for each other in rom-coms.

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However, I’ve had 13 days off work for Christmas break and there’s only so many cooking shows that I can consume in a given day. (I’ve heard so many fancy terms lately that I’m pretty sure I’m a Master Chef now. That’s how it works right?) Anyway, I decided to take a risk and watch Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu.

Let me preface this recap by admitting that I absolutely love teen dramas. The angst of One Tree Hill essentially ran through my veins all throughout high school and the loveable stupidity of Pretty Little Liars carried me into adulthood!

In fact, the plot of Runaways is somewhat similar to the basic premise of Pretty Little Liars. A group of physically attractive friends, from various distinctive social circles, “break up” following the death of their friend, Amy. The characters in Runaways even fit similar Mean Girlesque tropes.

You have Chase Stein, “the jock” (just like Emily Fields), Karolina Dean, “a church girl” (dead ringer for Spencer Hastings), Nico Minoru, an introverted goth, (anyone recall Aria Montgomery’s pink hair?). Also in the main cast are Molly Hernandez, an adopted, all around positive character, Gert Yorkes “an insufferable social justice warrior” and Alex Wilder, the stereotypical nerd.


Now that we’ve made our introductions, let’s get to the recap! Continue reading “Feminism and secret societies in Marvel’s Runaways (Premiere Recap)”


False gender dichotomy in country music- “different for girls”

Grow a pair, you microaggresion, triggered little faggot.” “Too many p*ssies in the world.” “Everybody is so offended by fucking everyyyyythigggg. Like its (sic) a song don’t listen if you don’t like it omfg”

You may have already guessed by the petty insults and terrible grammar, but I made the mistake of reading the YouTube comments under Dierks Bentley’s arguably sexist hit song: “Different for Girls.” It is with great difficulty that I’m suppressing a Liz Lemon level eye roll at the amount of fans refusing to admit that Bentley’s track seems problematic. They don’t believe that claiming “it’s different for girls when their hearts get broke” is a reductive generalization of how women, in opposition to men, experience heartbreak. Some even argue that these harmful gender stereotypes are remedied simply by refusing to listen to the song. However, ignoring an issue this deeply rooted in society doesn’t make it go away.

Admittedly, Bentley intended “Different for Girls” to create “some dialogue about the different ways guys and girls deal with heartbreak” by depicting “both sides of the stereotype.” Unfortunately, without watching the music video, it is nearly impossible to tell that Bentley is criticizing how men “typically” react to breakups. In fact, his lyrics seem to reinforce toxic masculinity by insinuating that guys can easily tape their hearts back together “with a whiskey and a coke.”

Men are rarely afforded the luxury of expressing any emotion, other than anger, because they were conditioned to “be tough” from a young age. In our society, boys are usually considered to be innately stronger than girls and thus, as children, receive less “comfort, protection and affection.” It’s no wonder that these boys grow into men who can “fast forward through the pain” of heartache and “push it back when the tears come up.”

Anger, which is associated with power and status, is only deemed acceptable in men. If women indulge in this uniquely masculine feeling then they are considered to be erratic and emotional. They can’t “call just to cuss” or “find a wall [they] can punch” unlike their male counterparts. This is because men are “thought to have emotion” while “women are thought to be emotional” (Shields, 2002).

This emotion, according to Justin Mateen (creator of Tinder), makes it difficult for girls to have casual, meaningless sex because “women aren’t wired that way.” Despite evidence that suggests women may be “even less well-suited for monogamy than men” it is still widely believed that girls are unable to separate sex and emotion. Apparently drinking with friends and hooking up with strangers is a distinctly masculine activity. But if that’s the case, then who exactly are all of these heartsick guys taking home?

Unless, Dierks Bentley is claiming that all men engage in homosexual activity after a breakup, it’s safe to assume guys are going home with girls. These girls, who are also indulging in libations and enjoying the company of friends, then decide to go home with the random guys. Following that logic, girls are clearly also able to “take someone home and act like it’s nothing.”

Our society seems to have an obsession with ensuring that both women and men ascribe to gender appropriate thoughts, behaviors and actions. As Dr. Robert Minor describes in his book “Scared Straight: Why It’s So Hard to Accept Gay People And Why It’s So Hard to Be Human” we all live within “the ideas about reality our culture gives us…without much reflection about them.” Minor goes on to liken our experience to that of fish in water.

We have never known a world without water, or toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes, and many may never realize there is an alternative to “wetness.” We have gotten so used to men being “manly” and women being “fragile” that it’s uncomfortable to disturb this image. However, analyzing “Different for Girls” challenges our comfortable swimming patterns and begs the question, shouldn’t it actually be different for boys?



A history of same sex love: Greeks (1)

When I was 23-years-old I handed my mother a 13-page coming out letter. This letter read like a dissertation and I’m honestly shocked I didn’t include citations or a bibliography. It was structured linearly and I proceeded to argue my case for being a lesbian. I’m talking biblical references, well-developed ethical arguments (with counter-points and rebuttals), appeals to ethos, pathos and logos AND academic quotes. [Is it obvious I had just completed my first argument course?]

Needless to say, I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (diagnosed) and an insatiable desire to learn.

Prior to coming out, this led me on a quest to consume as much information about homosexuality as humanly possible. I would like to share this information in case another could benefit from my extensive research when coming out to his/her/ their family.

I found a historical understanding of homosexuality to be especially important when conversing with people who claim it is “unnatural” or the byproduct of a liberal agenda.

Here are some facts about homosexual activity (the Greeks did not have a word for homosexuality as we understand it today) in parts of ancient Greece.

  • Pederasty was an important part of Greek culture where an older man (erastes) would teach a younger, most likely teenaged, man (the eromenos) all about politics, war, sex and essentials to becoming an ideal citizen
  • Homosexual activity is extremely common among the Olympian male gods
    • In fact, all primary male gods on Olympus had homosexual relationships attributed to them with the exception of Ares (the god of war)
      • Zeus kidnapped the beautiful Ganymede to be his lover and cup-bearer on Mount Olympus, Poseidon took Pelops, the king of Pisa, as his lover, Apollo is linked to several men but most notably the Macedonian Prince Hyakinthos, who was killed after catching a discus and Apollo turned him into the hyacinth flower.
        • Hercules, Dionysus, Hermes and Pan also enjoyed the company of men
      • Poets constantly wrote about same-sex love, attraction and affection. These included
      • Greek political leaders had consequential instances of homoerotic passions
        • Athens: Solon, Peisistratus, Hippias, Hipparchus, Themistocles, Aristides, Critias, Demosthenes, and Aeschines
        • Sparta: Pausanias, Lysander, and Agesilaus
        • Samos: Polycrates
        • Syracuse: Hieron and Agathocles
        • Thebes: Epaminondas and Pelopidas
        • Macedon: Archelaus, Philip II, and Alexander
      • Socrates, Plato and Xenophon spoke or wrote about the power of love between men (albeit denying physical expression of this love)
      • Stoics, or people who ascribe to self-control as a means of overcoming emotions, such as Zeno, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus lauded boy love
      • Phidias’s love for Pantarces was memorialized in marble.
      • In Plato’s Symposium, the character Phaedrus praises the “male eros.”
        • “For I know not any greater blessing to a young man who is beginning life than a virtuous lover, or to a lover than a beloved youth. For the principle that ought to be the guide of men who would nobly live—that principle, I say, neither kindred, nor honor, nor wealth, nor any other motive is able to implant so well as love.”

Many biographers and historians believe that, in Greek culture, “not to have had a male lover seems to have bespoken a lack of character or a deficiency in sensibility”. However, as time progressed the “sin” of the ancient Greeks was widely condemned. In fact, homosexuality became “the sin not even to be mentioned among Christians.” If it had to be mentioned it was limited to legal treaties or discussions of moral theology.

Why was there such a distinct and sharp change? I don’t have an answer yet but we’re on a mission to keep learning and discovering.

Ps the majority of this information comes from this book. I highly recommend purchasing it.