Monday, May 4, 2015

Pop feminism, weak and strong versions

We saw Ex Machina this weekend. An enjoyable but lightweight film, it offers a little food for thought about the coming singularity, as well as a not very subtle feminist allegory. The limitation of this brand of pop feminism is the commercial requirement that the strong and smart female character also has to be one hot babe. The bad boys do get their comeuppance, but it's kind of a mixed message.

A far superior manifestation of powerful women in popular culture was provided last night at the Sleater-Kinney show in San Francisco. Sure, those sci-fi and fantasy chicks look like they can kick some serious ass. But that's all show-biz sleight-of-hand. On the other hand, Janet Weiss's relentless assault on her drum kit is the real thing. Not to mention the general assault on your eardrums... still ringing this morning. Ecstatic, propulsive, angry noise. Good show.

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