October 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
When it comes to television, it’s a brave new world. All you have to do is grab the remote after Sunday football to realize that the ladies have arrived. Veteran shows like The Good Wife and newcomers like Madam Secretary and How to Get Away With Murder teach us that television doesn’t have to have a bro-dominated cast to draw in male and female viewers alike.
The days of neurotic female subordinates or flighty love interests might be waning, but has your boyfriend’s brain caught up to the 21st century? TV lady haters unfurl their banners proudly on the Internet, but most have to be smoked out of their misogynist cave dwellings. If you’re not sure whether your guy is a lady hater or a lady worshipper, here are 4 questions you can ask him.
How did you feel about Skyler White? Recently a friend taught me that this is the ultimate litmus test. Hate for this badass Breaking Bad lady was so vitriolic that Anna Gunn personally wrote a letter to the New York Times defending her character. The “I hate Skyler White” Facebook page has 30,000 likes, and her fanpage has about 300. Just to find this picture I had to wade through uncountable hate memes on Google image. If your boyfriend felt that Skyler White was wrong not to support her husband’s reign of terror, then you might want to take a closer look at this one.
What do you think about the women on Game of Thrones? If a prospective male can’t even tell you his favorite female on Game of Thrones, then you should probably be worried. Chances are you’ll get an answer like Arya Stark and Brienne of Tarth, but a true lover of women also knows that real strength comes in many forms, not just the kind that will stab you in the gut. If your guy says shit about Sansa Stark or other ladies on the show, then you might want to be careful. Why hate on a woman who’s just doing what she can do survive?
Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? Look, I am well aware that 20 million people watch this show. Big Bang Theory reruns are about as avoidable as Internet comments. But aren’t we past the days of shelving women in science geek or dumb, hot girl tropes? This show is an advertisement that men are the true nerds, and at best, a woman can serve as a love interest. So if you’re interested in being more in life than someone’s girlfriend, I suggest you ask this question to a potential guy.
Who’s your favorite female lead? If it takes your dude more than fifteen seconds to answer this question (because he can’t think of any, not because there are so many he can’t choose), then it’s worth a deeper conversation. It’s great for couples to have their own TV interests, but if your boyfriend won’t even consider watching a show with a female lead, then you need to know his thinking.
Talking about powerful women in television isn’t about picking a fight with a guy you’re dating. It’s about getting a peak into the brain and seeing how he might process and label his interactions with women in day-to-day life. A man who respects ladies, sees their weaknesses as only human, and understands their stories arc as larger than that of a wife or girlfriend, is likely to be the best kind of guy. So go find the remote, and see what he has to say.
September 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
Part of my mission here at Fangirl Therapy is to do my part erasing some of the stigma that has plagued the ladies of fandom for centuries. Okay decades. But it’s still a big fucking deal. We are not all fourteen year olds crying at a Bieber concert. We have jobs and healthy relationships and some of us even make our beds every day. You wouldn’t even be able to pick us out of a lineup on the days that all our Threadless t-shirts are in the dirty laundry.
The truth is, the time is ripe for fangirling. We are rising up out of the ashes and claiming that our imaginations make us hot commodities. We are on the rise and on the move. Like if you had a magic wand and personified a Kelly Clarkson song. Okay maybe too far.
So let’s bust some myths, shall we?
Myth #1: Fangirls are all teenagers. The first fangirl friend I ever met in real life was a wonderfully intelligent and successful woman in her 40s. Sure there are herds of thirteen year olds lurking about the web and whining about not having enough allowance money for concert tickets, but most of us are college age and beyond. Is it more socially acceptable for a teenager to cry about Sirius Black than your grandmother? Yes. But that doesn’t mean the middle-aged ladies of the world aren’t secretly pining over Claire Underwood’s wardrobe in their free time.
Myth#2: Fangirls are trying to escape their boring lives. False. My life is pretty damn exciting. The stories I could tell about my clients if confidentiality weren’t an issue would fill a thousand TV seasons. I have hobbies that don’t involve making gifs. Fangirls can have rich and adventurous lives just like other people. We just have six thousand imaginary friends along for the ride and don’t require Bejeweled to keep us occupied.
Myth #3: Fangirls aren’t capable of healthy relationships. Seriously? What is it about the Internet that makes people think all of our fangirl friends are serial killers or proselytizing lesbians preying on straight girls? All of a sudden we’re all Orange is the New Black characters. Are there fangirls who meet online and become involved romantically? Of course. This tends to happen sometimes when humans interact with other humans. I met my boyfriend through an online dating site. It’s a brave new world folks. Engaging in fandom and participating in healthy family, friend and romantic relationships aren’t mutually exclusive. Anything can become unhealthy if you focus on it too intensely, real world relationships and online relationships alike.
And finally, Myth #4. Fangirls spend all day on the Internet. Hmm. Fine, this is 100% true. I’m on the Internet right now, scrolling past cat gifs. Haters gonna hate. Fangirls have been known, from time to time, to hang up our clicky fingers and breathe some fresh air and go hiking and shit. How else do you think we come up with vacation headcanon for our OTP?