Watering the Roses in Times of Crisis

Art by Lee Anna Fitzgerald

Archiving Rose Water Magazine was a tough decision in 2017. One of the motivating reasons we decided to archive our content and break from publishing new things was because our mission got messy as our country turned into a parody of itself. In 2017, it felt like our choices were to be an anti-Tr*mp reporting machine or pump out feminist playlists, and neither felt like it did anything but send waves into an echo chamber. So, with 4 years of viral articles, power-fueled art, and quippy feminist thought: we shut down new submissions so we didn’t erase our impressive legacy.

There have been many reminders since 2017 that our words have carried real weight. Speaking for myself, I know my knowledge has been forever enriched by our diverse writers and artists. Our articles and creations are still being shared as people discovering feminism that they connect with for the first time.

But some things have changed.

Things have changed for us because some things have remained exactly the same. Rose Water Magazine has always been proud to hold an anti-racist, intersectional feminist stance. Though, without new work being published, it feels like we’re looking away from the growing white-nationalist sentiment that’s insidious in America’s systems.

We were privileged to be able to step away from the project when our voices were tired of being carried on their own.

While the idea of opening up submissions again had floated to the forefront of my mind several times, no calling seemed as pertinent as the effort to support the protests for racial justice happening in cities all over the US. I could share articles we’ve written from years ago that address racism and police brutality, but it feels like an empty gesture not to be active in anti-racism.

I’ve been reminded this Spring season that roses can be almost completely destroyed, but with a little watering and attention, they will bloom beautifully with resilience. Our magazine, once bursting with feminist content, has been silent for too long. It’s time to water the roses for seeds of change to grow.

We will not be complacent when faced white supremacy. We will not turn our eyes from blatant or micro aggression. By using the power of words and art, we aim to take on the energy to recognize and educate on the many -isms that continue to plague our world.

Our contributors believe in new waves of feminism, which includes discourse on racism, body autonomy, rape culture, fat politics, and inclusive trans positive and sex positive women’s empowerment. As introduced in the 4th wave, Rose Water Magazine understands that the internet and social media is a prime component in sharing discourse and inspiring change.

In June 2020, we are declaring a new commitment as we begin publishing again:

We will donate all proceeds to featured organizations and charities that uplift and support marginalized people. The goal is to make a donation every month to a different organization. You can nominate a charity or org by emailing their info to RoseWaterMag@gmail.com.

For the month of June, we will be donating all our proceeds from ad revenue and direct donations to Black Visions Collective. Black Visions Collective is a black, trans, and queer-led organization that is dedicated to creating long-term change, with a focus on black liberation and healing.

It’s necessary to amplify black, brown, indigenous, trans, and gay voices. It’s necessary to amplify the work of marginalized groups.

Rose Water Magazine is dedicated to sharing diverse art. We are committed to being intersectional. Our goal is to make lasting change and to create a directory of educational work that leaves an empowering impact on our path.

Join us by contributing written work and art. You can submit work by emailing RoseWaterMag@gmail.com

Support us and feminist causes by donating. All proceeds will be shared with featured feminist orgs and charities. You can donate via PayPal by clicking here.

The Last Taino Indian Has Not Yet Been Born

Photographer: Kiki Vassilakis
Photographer: Kiki Vassilakis

the other day a sister asked me
what does the diaspora feel like?
a question i’ve never thought of before
yet it invoked fleeting memories of
a home that was out of my reach
like the sand slipping through my fingers on the island of Borinken
i grasp at something that will never be mine

it’s a complicated blend of
lineage and forced genocide
of comfort and violation

it feels like love letters never sent
to a home that always offered dinner
but not belonging

just like the time my partner’s family
wrote me off as too angry
too rude
too expressive
because people like me should let the white folks discuss politics

it feels like never being black enough
or brown enough
or white enough
stuck between here and there
but never whole enough for both

it feels like the time you
forced yourself inside of me
because you thought you had a right
to re-colonize this body
it almost broke me

BUT ALMOST DOESN’T COUNT

resiliency runs in my blood
blood that my ancestors shed at the hands
of murderers and rapists
but i am the living testament
to surviving
to revolting
to existing when no one else wants you to

there’s a myth you probably learned as fact in grade school:
all of the Tainos were wiped out
conquered by columbus himself
an old civilization lost to disease and war

IT’S A FUCKING LIE

the diaspora continues with me

Stop Asking Me to Dry Your White Tears

It has been a rough two weeks. Like, hide-in-my-bed-and-never-leave two weeks. America has chosen a known white supremacist to be president. This cannot be real life. But it is. And we are all trying to deal with the trauma and pain that this election has created. I love that there have been multiple community gatherings to express the fear, anxiety and next steps that will need to be taken to ensure safety.

But I don’t like what those spaces have continued to support, which is inherently white supremacy. When white people enter spaces like this, they often take up way too much space to talk about how they are individually affected, ignoring the black and brown voices in the room. Then they end up crying and expect those same people to continue to hold emotional space for them.

During my weekly staff meeting at work, white people took up so much space to cry and talk about their feelings, completely ignoring the real and continuous trauma that black and brown people are experiencing. Through their intentions to be a ‘good white ally’, they effectively silenced the voices most affected (one of those voices being my own). It immediately turned into a space for white people to feel guilty, instead of holding safe space for our black and brown employees.

Let’s make something clear: black and brown people with multiple intersections of identities are the ones who will be the most affected. Not white people.

I need white people to stop crying and instead, hold space for us. I need white people to realize that they are not the only people in the room suffering and that many people are legitimately afraid for their lives and for their families. I really need white people to do better and stop re-traumatizing us by expecting the most affected to hold emotional space for those who caused us to arrive here in the first place. This is because of you and your ancestors – white people – and ya’ll need to get it together. If I am expected to represent the entire Latinx community, then I am going to do the same for white people: 53% of white women voted for Trump, and I am holding white people entirely accountable for this obvious fuck-up.

I do not have time to hear you cry about sad you are. I do not have the energy to console you after all your friends voted for Trump. I am still dealing with my own ancestral trauma, which started the day Columbus landed on the island of Borinken. We have been dealing with this shit for centuries, and now you, white people, are just waking up.

It’s about damn time.

So please, do me a favor: dry your white tears, get your white friends together, and support the black and brown people who have already been doing this work for years. We’ve been waiting for you to do your part. Ya’ll just need to take the first step.

Word Current: Genderqueer

 Genderqueer: Of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female.
The top definition of genderqueer on urbandictionary.com states, “Genderqueer is most commonly used to describe a person who feels that his/her gender identity does not fit into the socially constructed “norms” associated with his/her biological sex. Genderqueer is an identity that falls anywhere between man/boy/male and woman/girl/female on the spectrum of gender identities.” This definition from 2004 seems outdated, especially with the lack of gender neutral pronouns. It seems to go into much more detail about identities associated with and used interchangeably with genderqueer. More current definitions include, “While genderqueer could be an identity in itself, some common genders that fall under the genderqueer umbrella are: agender, bigender, genderfluid, androgyne, ambigender and neutrois.”

As a result of prolific feminist authors such as Judith Butler (well known for her gender commentary in “Gender Trouble” from 1990), ‘genderqueer ‘became a term used within the LGBTQ+ lexicon in the late 90’s. This came from frustration of the community at the general lack of non-binary terms relating to expression of gender and its fluidity. However, before this, it was sometimes used within the drag community as a means of taking back gender identity, rather than using labels given to them by others. Around this time, genderqueer had a slightly different definition – mainly someone who expressed their gender “queerly”, or anything other than typically feminine or masculine. The use of the suffix “queer” was pushed because it was initially used as a pejorative –  the community decided to own the label. 

In the late 90’s, there was a rise in criticism of genderqueer falling under the transgender umbrella. Transgender activist, Leslie Feinburg, fiercely campaigned to have everything other than cisgender beneath the transgender label. However, individuals who identified as genderqueer argued that whilst some genderqueer folks might fit into the trans label, there was a portion of the community who used genderqueer as a form of gender expression. This second group argued that due to the confusion between the terms, transgender and transsexual, they wanted a label that was completely separate from the transgender umbrella.

gender1Genderqueer became more frequent used when gender activist and founder of Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC), Riki Anne Wilchins, adopted the label for themselves and urged others to consider it too. It was also around this time that genderqueer folks quickly became absorbed into the last efforts of the Riot Grrrl movement, with newsletters circulating the community urging genderqueer people to network with each other. However, this movement seemed to exclusively focus on people who were assigned as female at birth and who tended to express masculine qualities, rather than genderqueer people from all over the spectrum.

Enter the 2000’s, where the number of people who identified as genderqueer was growing. Organizations and charities were also trying to raise awareness of the label, as well as the issues genderqueer people faced. In 2001, we saw the launch of The United Genders Of The Universe organization, whose aim was to be “the only all-ages genderqueer support group, open to everyone who views gender as having more than two options.” Around this time “The Gender Neutral Issue” was published by the McGill Tribune in 2003, which emphasized the ongoing case to have gender neutral bathrooms across the globe.

Nowadays, we have people who are much more public about identifying as genderqueer and other gender identities, such as Miley Cyrus and Ruby Rose, who stated, “I feel very gender fluid and feel more like I wake up everyday gender neutral”. Rose is known for their androgynous looks and challenging gender stereotypes by stepping outside the gender binary.

In recent years, genderqueer has become a much more openly used term within the LGBTQ+ community. There is now a symbol and a flag designed explicitly for the gender label. With the rise in awareness of gender identities outside the gender binary, we are slowly but surely starting to see genderqueer and similar labels being acknowledged in public. Alan Cumming, who frequently uses inclusive terms and pronouns even said at the Tony Awards, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and those of you who don’t identify as either.” Even though this inclusive wording is still less frequently used in society, it is slowly, but surely on the rise.

What I’ve Learned About Makeup (So Far)

Art by Nyanza D
Art by Nyanza D

My relationship with makeup has always been somewhat complicated. Growing up living with my father and two brothers, I never much thought about it outside of plays and dance recitals. Even when I would spend time with my mother and started to play with her makeup, I was always chastised for even touching it. In high school, I could never really afford it. But recently I’ve become obsessed with improving myself. I never really thought I had bad skin until I looked in the mirror one day and discovered that I had dark spots. I then went on a quest to wear more makeup to not only cover the dark circles and hyper pigmentation, but to look more put together in general. Here are some of things I’ve learned

  1. It’s time consuming: Initially I thought that I would be able to work my occasional novice 30 minute makeup down to a solid 10 minutes, but I haven’t quite figured out the technique. Even doing a simple concealer-powder-mascara routine seems to take me forever. I’ve often found myself being late or barely on time to class because I was trying to get my eyeliner just right. I didn’t realize how long it would take to have self-esteem (sorry, bad joke!)
  2. There is just not enough variety for women with darker skin: I’ve heard that it’s become much better, but the fact still remains that it’s impossible to find the right shade for darker skin, even if companies offer darker shades. If they do, it’s usually a choice between two colors and I’m usually neither of them. I’ve noticed that when makeup companies say dark what they usually mean is dark-white. And when they say mocha or chocolate, they usually mean light brown. Even when makeup companies do have darker shades, they are never the right undertone
  3. Comments from others can trip you up: It was strange to have people start to notice things about you. All of a sudden I was getting compliments on my skin, cheekbones, eyelashes, etc. Even what I thought were some of my best features felt inadequate without makeup. Whenever I decided to not wear makeup or I didn’t have time, I just felt bare.
  4. It doesn’t always equal confidence: When your makeup looks great, you feel great. When you’re not sure about your foundation shade or how much blush you put on, it can feel strange. Sometimes I’ve found myself just taking it off because I wasn’t sure how I looked.
  5. Makeup tutorials can be deceiving: While they can be great resources and interesting to watch, I’ve often found it hard to discover makeup tutorials that really apply to me and my lifestyle. Every other video contains highlighting, contouring, baking, bronzing, two different primers, and so on. While it’s fun to watch, this doesn’t always help me. I’m fine with my cheekbones and the shape of my nose and I don’t need or want to wear heavy coverage. These makeup tutorials aren’t very useful to me. Originally I thought I needed all the things described in these videos and then I realized that it’s just not realistic. The eye looks are fun though!
  6. Its fun: It’s fun to experiment and try out new projects and play with your look.

Ultimately what I learned is that while it can be frustrating and tricky, it is a fun and fascinating way to spend your time.

Speak Up?

social-media-connecting-the-world

There is no doubt that the internet and social media are powerful tools. It is also important to remember that the internet and social media (in particular) are relatively new. While some people are finding fame and fortune within the confines of blogs and videos, others are still struggling to figure out exactly how social media can be used effectively.  Now, more than ever it seems, people have become especially vocal about their beliefs, which is a good thing. Now more than ever before people can share information, provide insightful commentary, and bring light to many issues facing today’s people.  But what happens to those who don’t choose to share their opinions as much as others? Is the idea that we should all scream our opinions out into the void to raise awareness or should we start putting our money where our mouth is? It is important to both speak out against issues and act on those beliefs.

One of the most recent examples of this was the vocality of many people choosing to stand with Ke$ha over her dispute with Dr. Luke and Sony. Swift’s PR team announced she would be donating money to Ke$ha. Taylor, herself, mentioned nothing about the case. Demi Lovato took issue with this move and called Taylor Swift out for only donating money and not speaking out against Sony, Dr. Luke, or sexual assault.  

This is one of the few instances where you will see me agreeing (I don’t know if you can call it agreeing since Taylor never said anything about anything) with Ms. Swift. I think that we need to stop just talking (to a certain extent) and start acting.

This is not to say that vocal advocacy isn’t important or affective, quite the contrary. It’s incredibly important – I’m doing it right now. I just don’t believe everyone has to make a declarative statement on every issue. If someone doesn’t want to speak on something and decides instead, to donate, whether that be money or time, that should be enough.

Often, I feel like the internet is just another one of the many club meetings that I would attend in high school in order to plan various activities on campus. We would plan on accomplishing something, but somehow, would always end up arguing over how to accomplish our goals. One person would think this is the best way, another person would say something different. This would go on for what felt like hours. We would argue with each other about courses of action until eventually, we would all end up saying the same thing. And yet, the volume didn’t go down. People would yell out pointed statements at each other when everyone whole-heartedly agreed. Eventually we would run out of time, having neither planned nor accomplished any of our goals. At what point do we agree that not everyone has to go around in a circle using different words to say the same thing?

I don’t need Taylor Swift to say she stands with Ke$ha. I don’t need Beyonce to say #BlackLivesMatter. Their actions did that for them .

In no way am I trying to say everyone should leave their homes to spend hours helping the causes they believe in. I understand not everyone is able to and getting the word out for an issue is also a great thing to do. But, I am wondering why we attack those who don’t speak up, but just show their support through action. Both are needed to accomplish a goal. We say education is the best tool, but it is exactly that, a tool to make the change we need. We need both to accomplish our goals.

Crafty Bitches: Free Downloads!

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Happy April, Bitches! Here’s a fun, springtime sleepover themed wallpaper to decorate your desktop! This is also available as a cute laptop skin, tote bag, mug, and other items in our Society6 shop!

You can save this wallpaper in 3 different sizes below (click for full size!);

1024 x 768

crafty bitches 1024 x 768

1280 x 1024

crafty bitches 1280 x 1024

1920 x 1080

crafty bitches 1920 x 1080.jpg

U want it U got it

This is me. All of me. U want it? U got it.

Web

Kesha: A Bridge to Truth

*Trigger Warning: descriptions of sexual abuse

On Friday, February 19th, a New York judge denied pop singer Kesha’s injunction against former music producer Dr. Luke. Part of an ongoing legal battle since October 2014, Kesha is suing Lukasz Gottwald, known as “Dr. Luke,” for a decade of sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse, which allegedly began when she was just a teenager and left high school to begin a music career in Los Angeles.

The injunction would have made it possible for Kesha to continue recording with Sony, but not with Kemosabe Records (Dr. Luke’s label). Kesha’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, had originally asked for the injunction because her career had been hold for a while (since the lawsuit began) and, if she didn’t return to record soon, her career could be irreparably damaged. NY Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich denied the injunction, saying,“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry.” Because Dr. Luke had invested 60 million dollars in her career and had agreed to allow her to let her record without his involvement, the judge stated that this decimated her argument, adding, “My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing.”

Sony has refused to produce her music unless she agreed to work with Dr. Luke. Thanks to the judge’s decision, Kesha will be required to continue working with the music producer. However, Sony and Dr. Luke have argued that the agreement allows her to create more records without Dr. Luke’s input or presence in the studio, while maintaining her original contract. In their eyes, that should be good enough for her.

kesha

When Kesha first began her lawsuit, Dr. Luke responded with a counter lawsuit, saying that the singer was just trying to extort him in order to get out of her contract and defame him. Dr. Luke has worked with other big names in the past, including Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson. Kesha said that during their ten-year relationship, she allegedly suffered a number of incidents. In one occasion, he made her snort a substance before getting on a plane, where he then assaulted her while in the air. Another time, he drugged her with GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, known as a date rape drug) and she woke up hours later in his bed, naked with no memory of what had occurred.

Dr. Luke has denied all charges of sexual abuse and says that Kesha is suing because she is frustrated with her stalled career. “His attorneys have argued that Kesha’s claims came too late and are too vague, the harm is overstated and that she’s not likely to prevail on her discrimination, harassment and hate crime claims nor beat his ones for allegedly breaching a contract and committing defamation.”

In an Instagram post on February 18th, Kesha wrote, “I have nothing left to hide. I did this because the truth was eating away my soul and killing me from the inside. this is not just for me. this is for every woman, every human who has ever been abused. sexually. emotionally. mentally. I had to tell the truth. so the outcome will be what it will be. there’s nothing left I can do. it’s just so scary to have zero control in your fate. but this is my path this life for whatever reason.”

Kesha’s fans have been publicly behind her every step of the way. After the judge’s decisions, fans and fellow musicians, including Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, Lorde and Lady Gaga, posted messages of support using the hashtag “FreeKesha.” Even Taylor Swift is stepping up, by donating $250,000 to Kesha to help her with any of her financial needs.

Since the decision, Kesha made a public statement saying, “”All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared, or abused,” Kesha wrote. “This case has never been about a renegotiation of my record contract – it was never about getting a bigger, or a better deal. This is about being free from my abuser. I would be willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser.”

The fact that this story is only now just making major headlines is astonishing. Firstly, why, after almost a year and a half, are people only now starting to pay attention? Secondly, what kind of judge—yet alone human being—would decide that a working relationship in which the employer regularly abuses their employee must be maintained?

Taking away Lukasz Gottwald’s rights and allowing Kesha to break her contract with him would acknowledge that this was overlooked, damaging not only his reputation, but Sony’s as well. Sony doesn’t want to dirty its hands trying to save Kesha. It seems that Shirley Kornreich has decided that when a famous music producer invests in you, you’re supposed to be grateful. Sure, he may try to take advantage of you, but because he spent his time and money on you, continuing to work with him, rather than trying to pull away to salvage the rest of your career and peace of mind, is “the commercially sound thing to do.”

This isn’t an isolated incident. There are the many women who have come forward as victims of sexual assault by Bill Cosby, the numerous victims, including Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors), accusing music publicist, Heathcliff Berru of sexual harassment,  the story of R. Kelly preying on teenage girls that broke 17 years ago, not to mention Jackie Fox’s (of the Runaways) heartwrenching story involving her manager, Kim Fowley. The music industry is rampant with cases of men in power taking advantage of female musicians. Most recently, Michael Gira of the experimental rock band, Swans, was accused of sexual assault by singer-songwriter Larkin Grimm. Grimm described Gira as her “beloved, trusted mentor, really my guru.” Lady Gaga’s Oscar performance that spoke to her own experience of being raped, early on in her career, is the latest of these many stories. But it may not be the end, unfortunately.

Why are male producers and musicians given a pass when it comes to these situations? What this and other stories like this have in common is that they all involve a man in power. Is it the fame, reputation and prestige that they carry? The fact that because they’re producing quality work, they should be respected, no matter their actions? We can’t keep idolizing these perpetrators for the fame if they aren’t good people at heart. The Hollywood world has become a strange universe, where we analyze everything from what celebrities eat, to what they wear, how they do their hair or even how they’re “just like us!” Somewhere along the line, we forget that they are just people, just like us. Just because someone (especially a man) is creating brilliant work, doesn’t mean that they can treat people however they want. We need to make the personal political and vice versa. Kesha’s story matters. Larkin Grimm’s story matters. The stories of the women who are sexually assaulted every day matter. We need to stop saying, “Yeah, what he did was awful, but he’s such a good musician/producer/artist though…”

By allowing women in the spotlight to have their stories heard and considered part of a much bigger problematic trend, we open the gateway towards preventing future assaults. If a white musician like Kesha can have her experience as a victim of sexual abuse be negated, imagine how much harder it must be for women of color. As the journalist who broke the story of R. Kelly’s sexual assault stated, “The saddest fact I’ve learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody.” By allowing Kesha’s story to be heard and have her experiences be considered important, not just be a “part of the industry,” it gives other women hope. The fact that Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and many others are stepping forward to support Kesha is a step in the right direction. Let’s learn from this and try to be an ally for victims, let them tell their stories and allow them to be validated, not shut down.

Deadpool: Bros Can Be Superheroes Too

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Now that the holidays are over and we’ve already seen Star Wars at least once, if not twice, it’s time for the next big movie. For a lot of people, this will be the superhero story, Deadpool.  I recently saw a Deadpool trailer and was, to be honest, not surprised at all. The trailer was called, “Blatant Bachelor Baiting TV Spot (w/2% real roses).”

It opens with Deadpool lying on a couch, holding a rose. “Oh hello!” He says. “You’re probably thinking, ‘my boyfriend said this was a superhero movie’. Well, surprise, this is actually—lucky you—a love story.” Begin superhero reason for existing, bad-ass shots of Deadpool suiting up and making giant leaps onto bridges, etc etc.

I found this trailer offensive for obvious reasons. The idea that a woman could never be interested in a superhero movie, would only be going because her boyfriend dragged her and is only interested in romantic comedies is a worn out idea that likes to skip along hand in hand with the laughable idea that a woman could actually be interested in nerdy things, like comic books and video games.

I’ll admit that the humor throughout the rest of the trailer was amusing. Deadpool manages to fight villains, all while maintaining a note of sarcasm, littered with jokes. So, I thought, maybe it was just this one trailer. Maybe it’s not as bad as I think.

Another trailer opens with Deadpool riding in the back of a cab, when he pops his head forward to talk to the cab driver (stereotypically an actor playing a South Asian cab driver), saying, “Kind of lonesome back here.” He struggles to get up front, bringing some comedy in his clumsiness, when the camera angle points up at his face from his crotch.

Later, after Deadpool spears a guy with his swords, he explains how this is a different kind of superhero story. The camera then pans across his butt, while he voices over the shot, explaining, “To tell it right, we got to take you back right before I squeeze this ass into spandex.” Cue background storyline.

This movie is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, they turn the male gaze on its head by showing shots of Deadpool’s ass and crotch, which would be great, as it plays on the ridiculousness of the usual pans across women’s butts. But these shots are done so with this mentality of “Haha, look at Deadpool’s butt, but no homo, man!”

Secondly, his whole motivation for becoming a superhero, while at first for noble reasons, winds up being mainly about getting back his woman from his worst enemy. It gets worse. Later on, in another trailer, while in the midst of beating up several criminals, all while in a high-speed chase, he throws a cigarette lighter socket in a guy’s mouth and says, “I never say this, but don’t swallow.” Cue my eye roll.

Towards the end of the same trailer, as a vaguely butch woman approaches him, he says, “Yeah, you’re way too much dude for me. That’s why I brought him.” He then gestures to a giant silver muscular giant, named Colossus. After the woman throws Colossus almost half a football field, Deadpool quickly responds with humor, “I mean, that’s why I brought her,” gesturing to an equally butch looking girl.

“Go get her, tiger!” He calls out to her as she runs to take care of business. Not only does it poke fun at the idea that any woman the least bit butch is more man than an actual cis man, but he also nullifies her effort by talking down to her as if she’s inexperienced at fighting. After butch woman #2 beats butch woman #1 up, Deadpool, awestruck and a little terrified, quips, “Oh I so pity the dude who pressures her into prom sex.”  As if butch woman will (of course) respond to most situations with violence.

We’ve seen enough superhero movies like this, featuring a mostly white cast, with very few empowering female roles. The only possible hope against this is when Morena Baccarin, who plays his love interest, delivers her line, “I’ve played a lot of roles. Damsel in distress ain’t one of them.” Then she punches some guy in the face. I’m guessing this is the only scene in the movie like this. After doing a little research (since I admittedly don’t know much about Deadpool), I learned the movie has several female superheroes, none of whom seem to feature much in the trailers. I can only bet that in the movie the most they do is play a supporting role to Deadpool.

What is most troublesome about this movie is that it’s trying to be different, but is just playing the same game. Deadpool is the snarky anti-hero, all while saving the day. The trailers (and I’m sure the movie) turns the gaze onto a male body, but does so in a way that says, “Look how ridiculous this is, butt shots and all. It’s impossibly for a man to be sexy the same way a woman is.” At the end of another trailer, Deadpool shoots through three men’s heads all at once, pauses, snorts the smoke from his guns, sighs and says, “I’m touching myself tonight.” It feels like the equivalent of a college frat house, complete with a wealth of sexist jokes and the classic ‘suck it’ gesture of pointing to your crotch and thrusting your hips.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a breath of fresh air in the face of movies like this one. I’m sure there will be plenty of people getting excited to see Deadpool, but for the rest of us, we’re ready to move on past these overused jokes for something new.