Category Archives: Film and TV

Aversion Therapy

aversion

I wrote this post once already, but the evil internet ate it up and it disappeared without a trace, so instead of the beautifully crafted original post, you’ll have to make do with what I can cobble back together from my memory.

A few weeks ago, my mother and brother came to visit us from that London, and on the Saturday they wanted to go to the cinema and the only thing that seemed remotely worth watching was Bridget Jones’ Baby, so we went to see that.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

Well this isn’t a review. In a nutshell, it’s a perfectly good and funny film (although I have to say it scandalised my mother! I forgot how rude and sweary Bridget Jones was!) But it is a stupidly inappropriate film for anybody who has recently had any kind of baby loss! I should have realised that, but I guess I felt ok – until the part in the film where Bridget goes for her (first) ultrasound scan, from which point, I was a complete wreck. I managed to contain my emotion outwardly until I got home and promptly locked myself in the bathroom and bawled my eyes out.

I told my little tale of woe to my Recurrent Miscarriage group, and lots of people said they wouldn’t even consider going to see it, one lady wanted to see but couldn’t face it and another watched it like I did and had a good cry afterwards, but she said she was glad she watched it anyway. I wish I hadn’t seen it.

On another note (but somehow related – I couldn’t tell you how my train of thought connected the two), I decided to take a proper break from facebook (it’s all baby photos and happy boasting announcements that make me want to vomit – maybe that’s the connection) and I noticed that an old friend, somebody I had known for years and with whom I had shared life’s traumas and troubles over and over – not just mine, but hers (she was evicted at the same time we were, she has a child with a chronic health condition that took ages to diagnose, as I do etc) had unfriended and blocked me, and not only on facebook but on Twitter as well (all my accounts!)

I was really ticked off because it seemed so petty. But apparently we had had what amounted to a fundamental disagreement.

I don’t actually remember exactly what she had posted but it was something along the lines that Trans people being allowed to choose the appropriate toilet for themselves was an outrage to public decency and a danger to all God-fearing girls.  As I recall, I tried to explain to her that being Trans was a little bit more complex than she probably realised. But she was so determined that she was right that she started making very unkind and wrongheaded personal judgments about one of my children (who happens to identify as Trans) and obviously that was not acceptable. I presume that she deleted me as soon as she realised I wasn’t prepared to let her do that.

Whatever.

Well. I’m prepared to say “good riddance” – that sort of ignorant attitude is not really what I want to surround myself (or my children) with.

But it hurts, to be judged, and to be summarily cut off in that way. And of course it worries me that these kind of attitudes are so prevalent, and I hope that my children can be safe and un-persecuted, whatever their personal choices that don’t hurt anybody else.

So just for the record I thought I would clarify some points about being Trans. I hope I’m not misrepresenting anybody, this is just my take on it all, as a parent.

  1. Being Trans – having gender dysphoria – is not a sin.
  2. Being Trans – identifying with a gender other than your birth gender – is not the same thing as being attracted to or having sexual relations with another person of the same birth gender. That can be the case, but it’s a separate issue. Still not a sin, even if you’re conservative enough to believe that all same-gender relations are inevitably sinful, with no exceptions.
  3. Being Trans does not automatically mean having a sex-change. (And frankly, having a sex-change is not necessarily a sin either!) ed.: I’m wondering what circumstances would make it a sin, actually?!
  4. Being Trans inevitably includes a range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, fear and confusion. Please don’t add to it. Just be kind! Always.
  5. Being Trans is often seen in teenagers associated with Asperger’s Syndrome (in my own child’s case, gender just does not quite ‘compute’, and the whole idea of any kind of sex is disgusting). Not a sin.
  6. Trans people are not known for violence. The argument that allowing M to F Trans people use female toilets would lead to more rape or attacks on female children would seem to be deeply flawed on so many levels, and wholly without basis. The kind of people who desire to make those sorts of attacks are going to do it anyway, regardless of the law.
  7. Gender identity and sexuality are actually a little bit complex. Not the simple black and white, fixed boxes you might assume. It’s not just a matter of physical gender – it’s genetics, it’s hormones, it’s mental, it’s culture. It’s complicated. Take a step back before you jump in and condemn.
  8. And finally, who the (((bleep))) are you to judge? Get that plank out of your eye, people!

That is all.

Advertisements

Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?

I do have some more serious posts that I’m working on (or rather, in fact which are just rumbling about my brain) but in the meantime, I found this fun quiz on one of my old blogs and thought I would share 🙂

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Jane Austen Character Quiz here!

I couldn’t resist this!

“You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. [Yes, that’s right! – ed.] You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

I was of course most pleased to discover myself to be Elizabeth Bennet. I loved and do still love the BBC mini-series, which is affectionately known in our house as ‘The Wedding Story” (and is one of the favourites that gets fished out whenever any of us girls are really poorly) and I loved Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth. She was so good, it’s a shame that she hasn’t been in much of note since.

But just to remind me not to idolise my heroes of the silver screen, I checked her out on Twitter and she’s exceedingly un-like her character in P&P. Foul-mouthed, but otherwise quite boring.

Film Review: The Machine

I spent half an hour this morning writing a post about this fascinating film, and the internet ate my post. Ugh. So anyway, you can find the basic plot on Wikipedia.

Here are my condensed thoughts. Warning! Spoilers!

Netflix has this as a ‘G’ it is NOT a G or PG, it has some really brutal, bloody scenes.

Now, I know I keep saying I’m not a feminist, but I saw this from a totally feminist perspective and that’s one of the things that made it so fascinating.

It seems to me that Machine and the Cyborgs could be seen to represent a ‘new world, and perhaps the female world whereas everyone else represents the ‘old world’ of patriarchy.

One of the scenes that I couldn’t understand to begin with is Suri killing a guard in a horrible scene where he is dowsed in petrol and set alight. But after re-watching a couple of times, I noticed that Suri overhears him say that she is planning a revolution.

Suri is one of the brain-damaged former soldiers with an implant but she seems to have freedom and autonomy as the assistant to Thomson, although it is a limited freedom.

The main male character is Vincent McCarthy, and it’s unclear until later on whether he is good or bad. He is clearly tolerating what he must know to be a brutal, criminal system, for the sake of his brain-damaged daughter.

The main female character Ava is murdered, as was McCarthy’s previous assistant, so you have two ‘girlfriend in the fridge’ incidents right there to begin with.

Then a cyborg robot is made using Ava’s computer ‘brain’, and Ava’s form, despite McCarthy promising Ava he wouldn’t use her face in that way.

The implant has the side-effect of taking away the power of speech but Machine and the Cyborgs share a secret, machine language so they can communicate -and plan the revolution -secretly.

Machine’s female form is shown off when she dances, but Thomson has her fighting for him, and twice calls her an “angel of death”.

Thomson forces Machine to kill by manipulating her emotions, and calls himself her ‘master’. It was also Thomson who had arranged Ava’s murder. He is clearly without empathy and seems to be the embodiment of patriarchy.

Machine passes the Turing test, proving herself to be ‘alive’, but Thomson insists that cyborg soldiers with consciousness is too dangerous and blackmails Vincent into doing surgery to remove Machine’s consciousness.

During the procedure, Machine promises she will be a “good girl”. She also promises McCarthy that she can be less intelligent, less human, she can be what they want her to be. She also says that she loves McCarthy, but he doesn’t hear her.

The only males who survive the revolution are the ‘good guys’, McCarthy, (and the male cyborgs). At some point, McCarthy has to pick sides. He makes his choice by pretending to have removed her consciousness.

When the machines overthrow the establishment, Thomson disables as many of the cyborgs implants to try to stop the revolution, but Suri locks him out. Thomson shoots Suri but she survives.

Later, Ava, although she doesn’t kill Thomson outright, makes him “dead inside, like you tried to make me dead inside.”

At the end of the film, Vincent is talking to his daughter, whose brain or life essence he has saved in digital form, but she doesn’t want him, she wants her ‘Mother’ (Machine).

The taking away of the power of speech, the Naming of Ava’s robot as Machine, using her face and body form against her will, the fact that only the men have surnames…everything in this film seems significant.

Anyway, hopefully somebody with more knowledge can take this further. I would really like to read a proper feminist analysis of this film.

I’d give it maybe 4 1/2 stars as I didn’t like the blood and brutality, but I thought it was a great film, with really interesting themes.