Sex Ed with It Follows

What would happen if you contracted a ghost through sexual intercourse and the only way to keep it from killing you was to give it to someone else? This is the premise of It Follows, a new horror film by David Robert Mitchell. The Whorer was lucky enough to catch a pre-release screening followed by a Q&A with an infectious disease epidemiologist and representatives from Nashville CARES and Planned Parenthood of Middle & East Tennessee.

Without wading too far into spoiler territory, we’ll infect you with some of the more interesting issues that surfaced in the Q&A. Hopefully this will add a few new perspectives to the film. Continue reading

Reel Cultures vs. Real Cultures: Continuing the Conversation on Underrepresentation in Film

While we’re celebrating Women in Horror Month, The Whorer would also like to address the subject of underrepresentation in the film industry more generally.

With the racial controversy around Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (you can find a tasting of it here and here) and February also being Black History Month, I want to highlight a book written by my favorite author, bell hooks, titled Reel to Real: Race Class and Sex at the Movies. One of the issues hooks explores is the social impact of white filmmakers creating content about black culture, discussing films like Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction as well as others like Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris is Burning. She also writes about black filmmakers like Spike Lee (who has also contributed to the Django conversation), Charles Burnett, and Julie Dash while looking forward to the future of black cinema. The book is a mix of essays and transcribed conversations. It’s not horror focused, but an important topic nonetheless. Continue reading

GMX Follow Up: Nerdy Sexists vs. Sexy Nerdists

For the most part, Fem and I’s experience at Geek Media Expo (GMX) was positive. We were impressed with the vibe of inclusiveness and did not witness any overt sexual harassment. Our attending GMX was in many ways an experiment. We were testing the waters, attempting to see for ourselves if the environment at pop culture and technology conventions was as hostile as it is sometimes portrayed. This problem got a lot of press recently when some trolls pinged the wrong woman at NY Comic Con, but this is an old issue. Mags the Axe, gaming podcaster extraordinaire, does an annual panel about sexual harrasment at cons. Not to mention the sad need for CREEPER penalty cards at DefCon , and public push back over emergence of “brogrammer” culture.

Though we had a relatively pleasant time, there was an explosion of sexist incidents within geek culture on or around Halloween weekend when we were pre- and post-gaming our episode about GMX. I wanted to give a quick run down and relate some of the incidents back to thoughts that came up during our GMX episode. Fem tweeted this story about an online BDSM community’s reactionary hostility to one member’s account of public harassment.  ‘Geek’ and ‘kink’ are kissing cousins. The same weekend at GMX there was a vampire themed fetish ball here in Nashville. We met the promoter at GMX. Linked in the above story, is SkepChick’s parallel experience within the (thoroughly geeky) skeptics community; i.e., dare say anything about male misbehavior and start receiving death threats. As we mentioned in our episode, also taking place in Nashville during GMX was the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Conference from which this tweet emerged: Continue reading

“You’re right, Mulder.” X-Files, Part 2

Back in May I posted some thoughts about Agents Scully and Mulder’s relationship throughout the first two seasons of X-Files and now I’m back to talk about it some more! And even though I’m well into season 6, I want to discuss some key things that happened in season 4.

1. Scully starts calling Mulder on his shit.

In the opening scene of episode 13, Scully does the unthinkable! While staring at Mulder’s name plate she inquires into why she doesn’t have a desk in their office. This is a question I’ve been asking ever since Scully refused to spy on Agent Mulder for the FBI, so it’s about damn time! Of course, in typical self-absorbed Mulder babble, Mulder responds, “I always assumed that was your area,” pointing to a corner. Scully replies, “Back there…” And smart-ass Mulder, a bit irritated and defensive, responds, “Okay, so we’ll have them send down another desk and there won’t be any room to move around here, but we can put them really close together. Face to face. Maybe we can play some Battleship.” Continue reading

X-Files Loves It Some Daddy Patriarchy

We have a nickname for Federal Agent Fox Mulder in our household and it’s Daddy Patriarchy! Although he has a “queer” perspective (an undying belief in and strong bias toward the paranormal) and is as critical (if not more) of the government as he is of the more “traditional” kinds of criminals in his cases, the dynamic with his partner, Agent Scully, often positions him as the authority.

Scully is the rational, objective part of the duo – examining evidence and exploring all possible scenarios. She basically follows Mulder around from case to case trying to put holes in his seemingly irrational theories. I don’t think I have to explain why this puppy dog act is offensive to women – especially to Scully who is every bit as qualified to do her job as Mulder. In the beginning of the series, he seems to entertain her company only because she has been assigned to work with him. Throughout the plot, their relationship does develop and he grows to genuinely care about her, however, I do not believe he comes to respect her as a professional. Even in an episode where Scully truly believes something paranormal is going on (episode 13, season 1), he writes her off and states that she may be too personally involved with the case and is thus, not looking at the evidence objectively. For one, Mulder’s entire career is fueled by his own subjective experience (check out episode 4, season 1 where we find out he believes his sister was abducted by aliens when they were children) and two, Scully is always respectful of his work as an FBI agent regardless of her own personal opinion. Continue reading