#Problematic: Planned Parenthood Under Fire, Matt Damon Can’t Do Anything Right & Tina Fey Effs Up

Welcome back, guys. I hope your weekend was spent watching old episodes of Buffy and letting your cat watch you masturbate—which is my version of “Netflix and Chill.” Maybe you even caught Hillary Clinton being BA-AF on “Saturday Night Live,” in what was a sleek combination of smart comedy and absurdity reminiscent of when SNL was fun to watch. Maybe you watched “Fear The Walking Dead,” let the October chill in through the window and felt downright spooky. Regardless, It’s Monday now, so get your head back in the fucking game, and catch up on last week’s problems if you haven’t already.

1. Planned Parenthood Faces Defunding

Recently some male friends of mine were joking at a bar that it was the year for women, that I had the advantage over them, that feminism was prevailing and sexism was on the mend. With a tinge of dark comedy, but real conviction, they joked about being “veterans of women’s lib,” referring to their relationships with strong women who put them through the ringer, and their general non-douchiness in comparison to the less aware, everyday bro. I just kept ordering shots of tequila, while they all laughed, hoping that soon intoxication would take over my strong urge to scream. I tell you this as an example of just how serious the situation is for women today—even the men who claim to be feminists, and really care about women are gleefully unaware of the deep, knotted roots of the patriarchy. Listen boys, I’m sorry if your poor lil hearts get broken sometimes, your girlfriend was pissy with you or someone pinged your ego at work—but we’ve got people coming for our bodies and our money, so sit the fuck down. Sit the fuck down, and watch Elizabeth Warren on The State of the Union last night.

As Warren points out, again, in a conversation that has seemed endless in the past few weeks, the reality is that there is a war on women that has reached the government level. What used to be coyly hidden behind boardroom doors is now being fought over passionately in Congress. It is no longer shameful to be an egregious misogynist, and that should fucking terrify us. The hard truth is that the GOP is seeking to create a world where women have harsh, life-altering consequences for living their lives like a man, which is to say putting their careers first, and having sex freely—and that goal is hinging on their attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Without getting into the long argument against this asinine attempt at taking women down a peg, I implore you, if you have any feelings on the matter, to watch the congressional hearing from this past week. Listen carefully as Republican lawmakers grand stand and talk over Cecile Richards. They use their allotted time to speak gross untruths, and make a mockery of the American legislative system. They show graphs made by anti-choice groups, and lie, saying that they are made based on Planned Parenthood’s own fiscal reporting. They force Richards to both stand up for being a woman, and back down for being the very same. They ignore the facts coming out of her mouth. They prove that as a red-faced, American male, simply yelling, regardless of if you’re yelling anything accurate, will still get you somewhere.

If men could get pregnant, birth control would be in the water supply, and a free Chipotle burrito would come with every abortion. The fact that there is a large portion of Americans operating on the assumption that more progressive minded women take any sort of happiness in abortion is scary enough, and the repercussions of that assumption could have far greater consequences than whatever they think happens with fetal tissue.

As #Problematic as … slut-shaming:


2. Matt Damon Is Fine

We spoke here a couple of weeks ago on the new shade of Damon that’s been popping up. Obviously his insensitive remarks about diversity in Hollywood have been hard to swallow from a man whom the mere thought of conjures up images of sympathetic-eyed collegiate men in autumnal settings. He seems like a man who will never let you down by not owning dress socks. He seems like a man who cares far more about the dog being properly groomed than the current state of your pubic hair. So it is alarming when he is so suddenly, and so frequently flippant about rather important issues.

However, the reaction to Matt Damon in the past month serves as a bright red flag for the dangers of the ability of the internet to police the entertainment world, and the aggressive overreaching of journalism to critique absolutely everything, down to a press junket for a new blockbuster. It is excellent news that we are all becoming more attune to off-the-cuff bigotry and misogyny, and a bit more socially responsible in what we say—but at the same time, we’re completely stifling spontaneity and nuance in an arena in which it is already very withheld. We are asking for the behind the scenes Hollywood stories, insight into who our favorite stars are as people, and the coloring in of a creative processes which we so desperately crave and demand, to become nothing short of slap stick, “how many marshmallows can you fit in your mouth,” gargle.

Obviously there are two sides to the coin. When Damon was blissfully ignorant about oppressive casting standards, well that’s good fodder for an ongoing conversation. But when he tried to remark on anonymity being a useful tool as an actor, even though he unfortunately used sexuality as an example, I don’t think he was being the reckless homophobe that the reaction to his statements suggested. For all the “stars, they’re just like us!” tabloids of celebrities scrapping dog shit off their shoes or something, it doesn’t seem like we actually want them to have the power to be just like us and say candid, if not ill-informed, things sometimes.

As #Problematic as … the cultural conversation surrounding Chelsea Handler:


3. The Facebook Hoax Reveals All

According to everyone’s parents, Facebook is going to start shilling our personal shit out, unless you post a status about it. Jeez, I wish all legal contracts were like that. If I just typed “I hereby decline to buy my own pizza ever again,” it would henceforth be law, and I’d just flash the status at every pizza counter and to every delivery man, and we’d both shrug as I lurked away with my free five-topping stuffed crust. What’s truly hilarious is that with all of the +45s on Facebook exhibiting their extreme misunderstanding of and paranoia with social media/the internet—they kind of lost all of their +45 cred of being the demographic typically a little more wise on legal standards. I’m just happy I got to have the text conversation with my mom of, Me: “Hey, that Facebook thing is a hoax. You and your friends should stop posting those statuses.” Mom: “How do I delete a post?”

As #Problematic as … pizza envy (not a real thing, but like the Facebook hoax, I’m going to just make it up!):


4. Not Even Tina Fey Is Perfect

People took issue this week with the fact that Tina Fey cannot name twenty Latino actors. The whole thing arose when she was asked on an episode of “Billy On The Street!” to rattle off the aforementioned list, and failed miserably. She unfortunately mistook Lou Diamond Phillips for a Latino, and even more unfortunately referred to Gina Rodriguez as “the woman from ‘Jane The Virgin.’” Why Billy Eichner would ask her to do this for television is my biggest question, seeing as s a white, privileged actor asking another white, privileged actor to do said activity seems like an absurdist puppet show. The whole thing was confusing, as Fey’s brand of comedy tends to poke fun of stereotyping, and her not being able to name twenty Latino actors seems like a stereotype wrapped in a trap. Who knows, maybe Billy is secretly a social justice warrior. But that’s doubtful considering that “Difficult People” isn’t really a spring board for Latino careers. What’s really problematic is that they didn’t say, “Eh, that was weird and kind of boring. We should probably scrap the footage and go get drunk at Dallas BBQ instead.”

As #Problematic as … the fact people will still do anything for a dollar: