This has been a particularly crummy week for great women. Obviously I’m annoyed as all get-out that ABC canceled Agent Carter (even as Captain America: Civil War nears $300 million in domestic gross alone). It is certainly worth considering the show’s flaws even aside from ratings — this Medium post articulates a lot of what it was up against from the inside, and why the second season stumbled where the first season seemed so promising. I don’t agree with all of it, but I can’t deny a lot of it.
That said, I’m convinced more than ever of the show’s importance, especially when CBS passed on a Sarah Shahi-led series for being “too female,” when Woody Allen still commands respect, when Donald Trump brushes off years of humiliating women, when we’ll never get to see Gina Torres as Macbeth, when Iron Man 3 originally had a female villain but got rewrites because it literally wouldn’t sell toys, when instead we get… the MacGyver reboot nobody ever asked for. Per Bustle‘s Sabienna Bowman:
If female leads and women-led shows with passionate fanbases are being disregarded by network TV, then the message begins to feel like women should take their “too female” tastes somewhere they might matter — or just not expect TV to represent them whatsoever.
Well. There’s a Change.org petition to bring Agent Carter to Netflix, where I think it would be a much better fit alongside Jessica Jones, now Marvel’s only female-helmed brand. The petition has more than 75,000 signatories from around the world. While we’re waiting for that to pan out…
- There have been a lot of dumb takes on Civil War, but not all hope is lost. NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour took on “Captain America, Aaron Burr and the Politics of Killing Your Friends” — thank you, Linda Holmes, for everything you are. Tor.com also looked at the emotional underpinnings of the story and how they refute the need for successively bigger world-ending threats. My favorite article on storytelling trends, proved right again!
- For more great women who are creators, Vice has a nice interview with cartoonist and illustrator Kate Beaton, who left “prestige” creative cities Brooklyn and Toronto for Nova Scotia, and with good reason.
- The Wall Street Journal looked into how good the jobs created by the economic recovery really are. Pair with Emilie Shumway’s essay on the psychological toll of job-hunting among young people who don’t yet have the experience to get hired… anywhere they used to, really. Not that it’s any better if you have the right experience anyway.
- At Lilith, Yaëlle Azagury’s must-read personal essay looks at growing up Moroccan Jewish and all the languages that entails. Pair with lexicographer Ben Zimmer’s take on Lin-Manuel Miranda, language and the immigrant experience in Hamilton.
- Finally, lost in the fallout over an editor potentially losing his job because of an identity from a former life, chef Eddie Huang wrote the excellent “On the Oppressive Whiteness of the Food World” first.
Ultimately, context aside, I think all these links come down to one sentiment, perfectly and profanely (as usually) expressed by Star Wars: Aftermath author Chuck Wendig: