So has everybody finished binge-watching the second season of Netflix’s best original show yet? Good. This one got me thinking after a particularly amusing exchange between two of the show’s black sheep characters, the prison’s hapless male counselor, Healey, and formerly psychotic hillbilly inmate, Pennsatucky, in which the former was attempting to inform his fellow anti-lesbian crusader of the feminist world domination agenda as put forth in a some book he was reading. As we all know, anything pandering to our personal insecurities in written form is automatically true; especially if they charge us for it. Ironically, this led to Pennsatucky seeking out the lesbianest lesbian she could find, Big Boo, in order to volunteer for the anti-male crusade. Boo happily (and hilariously) obliged her, although she could barely do it with a straight face.
While the idea of a real live lesbian feminist agenda to create mass male extinction is comedic to say the least, the obvious insecurity that led the character of Healey -a man surrounded by and tasked with dealing with a gender he has no clue how to relate to- is all too real. I mean, sure the male gender has maintained a dominant stranglehold on pretty much everything on the planet, but when you get down to it, what are we really good for? Sperm donations and jar-opening? If we ever develop methods of asexual reproduction and a smoother lid, surely the fairer sex will rise up and wipe us out?
Okay, maybe not, but in terms of media representation, Orange is the New Black is helping to blaze an interesting trail in entertainment and doing it in style. We’re talking about a popular television show of high quality with an entertainment factor that’s off the charts and it barely features any male characters of worth. Ladies have sat through decades of damsels in distress, Bechdel test failures, and various other lackluster portrayals of their gender in favor of more screentime for their male counterparts. It’s almost shocking to see the trope reversed so completely and successfully. Continue Reading »