Category Essay 22 articles to read

Nothing can Prepare You for the World

My mother is borderline. Just writing this sentence down makes me shake a little. I know it, I’ve talked to other people about it, but...what if she reads it? What if somehow she finds this anonymous piece and connects it? What kind of a horrible daughter am I for even putting this out into the ether? My mother is borderline, and I still never know what to do with it. How to navigate. It was something I didn’t even figure out or have the language to put to it until I turned 20. I suppose in writing this, my hope is that maybe just one person can find the language they need to begin healing. Or to feel some sort of validation.’s one of the most empirically confusing experiences. If anyone is reading this who’s borderline themselves, by the way, please don’t think of it as a condemnation. My mother is very unaware of her effect on others, and not particularly able to work on herself. Please understand I’m writing from a place of childhood scars, and perhaps in explaining them, it can provide us all with more tools at our disposal for creating positive relationships. I guess that’s another hope I have from this.

Homophobia Shouldn’t Be the Default

We have, as a nation, made great strides toward equality for the queer community, yet explicit and latent homophobia is still a problem in our society. That our media reflects…

The Suffering Empath Is My All Time Favorite Trope

Summer is a time for reflection. There aren’t a lot of shows on TV, so there’s more time for sitting back and analyzing the pieces of media I love. (What,…

This is Your Brain on Stories

The Ethics of Storytelling, Part 3 (Part 1, Part 2) If you know anything about me as a writer for The Fandomentals, you’ll know that ‘stories matter’ has become a…

A Few Good Character Moments Are Not Enough

Or, Why The 100 Has Failed To Regain My Benefit of the Doubt
I'll start by saying I'm a long time watcher of Supergirl, a show devoted to second chances and the benefit of the doubt. If the creative team behind a piece of media proves itself to be listening to fan and media criticism and changes for the better? I'm all for welcoming it with open arms. Bryke accomplished that with Legend of Korra, so I know it can be done. I'm open to shows proving themselves to be better with hard work, commitment to thorough and consistent characterization, meaningful themes, and conscious course correcting their previous mistakes. I see none of these on The 100, despite what more positive reviewers are currently saying. That might be because I criticized the show for more than just Lexa's death, though I did vociferously call them out for that, too. Several of my fellow writers over at the Fandomentalist did as well. Nevertheless, if you read my reviews from last season and my series of three retrospectives co-authored with my friend Elizabeth, you'll see that I had issues with far more than one character's death. In fact, it is the failure to address my other frustrations with last season that have prevented the show from earning back my neutrality.

Acknowledging Male Victimhood

“Content Warning for discussion of rape, sexual abuse, and sexual assault. Let me start this by saying that discussions about the depiction of rape are never easy, nor do I take…

Does the Friendzone Need To Die?

“Short of murdering a guy, friendzoning is The Worst Thing™ a woman can do to him. Or so certain stories and media would have us believe. A woman who is just…

Will The Real James Olsen Please Come Back

Or, Why The Guardian Leaves Me Cold. And Frustrated.

When the news first leaked that James Olsen would be taking up a superhero mantle, I was excited. There was so much narrative potential. Kara and James teaming up as a way to work through any lingering frustration over the breakup, or a renewed kindling of their relationship seemed likely trajectories. That and James getting a chance to be more than a sidekick while also keeping his day job at CatCo. He and Kara could talk about work-life balance; they would use their superhero identities to fight crime both the streets and in the media. Epic Team Up. A literal Super-Power(ed) Couple. I was so ready. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="186"] Pictured: me right now.[/caption] But what we got paled in comparison to my expectations. James hid his identity from the one person who might understand. He lies to her face and roped in one of her best friends to aid him. He is more concerned with his own ego than using his new job at CatCo for good. And somehow we're supposed to be cheering for him. At least I think we are. But why?

Why Do Stories Matter?

The Ethics of Storytelling Part 2 (see Part 1, here) “We’ve all heard it before, the cry of the anti-critic. It seems like whenever we voice critiques of media, someone…