The Pop Culture Lens Takes on Joss Whedon

On this eighteenth episode of The Pop Culture Lens, we present the recording of a second roundtable discussion from the 2015 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference. This roundtable discusses the topic of director and showrunner Joss Whedon — and how much of a controversial figure and person he is for so many people, including his fans. Now, to be fair, I would be one of … Continue reading The Pop Culture Lens Takes on Joss Whedon


Pop Culture Lens Podcast Episode 4: Bewitched (1964-1972)

Our fourth episode for the Pop Culture Lens podcast is up, in which we are joined by friend of the podcast Megan Stemm-Wade to discuss the importance of the American TV sitcom Bewitched (1964-1972). In this episode, we cover many aspects of how the series was referencing the beginnings of second wave feminism while also subtly subverting the still prevalent notions of femininity in American … Continue reading Pop Culture Lens Podcast Episode 4: Bewitched (1964-1972)

The Study of Gendered Media Engagings (Part 3): Why It Matters

This is the third part of my dissertation’s first chapter.  The first part was on defining gendered media engagings.  The second part was on defining gender. Why studying gendered media engagings matters Thanks to the work of scholars such as Dallas Smythe, we are aware of the central role of advertisement in most media industries (Smythe, 1995).  Television, radio, newspapers, internet, magazines, comic books, and even … Continue reading The Study of Gendered Media Engagings (Part 3): Why It Matters

Equestria Girls: Opening Soon!

J I was doing a search for a CBR article I am writing on the upcoming My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movie, Equestria Girls, when I found it will be showing here in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre for three special events.  So, fellow Chicago natives, who wants to join me and crowd out the kids in the theatre! More importantly, and kinda not to … Continue reading Equestria Girls: Opening Soon!

Representations of Women in Japanese and American Pop Culture

(From a 2004 paper on a cross-cultural examination of the superheroine)

            In their article on children and role models, Anderson and Cavallaro (2002) say that superheroes are “larger-than-life symbols of American values and ‘maleness’.” (p. 162).  From a socialization point of view, is there reason to be concerned about the ‘superhero’-centeredness of a segment of the American pop culture to which many children are exposed?   And if this is the case in America, where many believe women are on a more equal alignment with men, what is the situation in other societies, such as Japan, where inequality is perceived to be more common?  Both the United States and Japan have a segment of their pop culture devoted to fantastic stories about individuals with superhuman powers.  These stories tell of heroes with strengths that children may identify with in the hope becoming as successful as these characters (Anderson & Cavallaro, 2002).  It then becomes imperative to understand how these heroes are portrayed.  Are the women in media, which is directed towards tomorrow’s women, being portrayed as strong and independent rather than as victims and damsels-in-distress?

American Superheroines
Japanese Superheroines

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That Whole Abortion Thing? Just Kidding!

When Buffy Season 9 Issue 6 came out, I applauded it.  I even wrote a whole essay on why I think the story and Buffy’s decision worked.  I defended Buffy’s decision to get an abortion as it reflected the struggle modern women have to balance family and career, and I defended Whedon’s decision to have this decision become the centerpiece for an entire issue of this comic book series based on the need for having such serious portrayals of this topic in our popular and public discourse.

Then Issue 7 was released in March.  I did not read it until this past week, so I’m behind the game on this one.  Technically, I did not read it until after Issue 8 had been released.  So, yeah, definitely behind the game.

Because of how much I supported what happened in Issue 6, what happened in Issue 7, and was explained in Issue 8, came as quite a big shock.  We’re talking major twist, the kind that feels like someone just twisted a book in two.

So, Spoiler Alert.

Continue reading “That Whole Abortion Thing? Just Kidding!”

Buffy and Public Discourse on Women’s Health

After Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended it’s television run, Joss Whedon inked a deal with Dark Horse Comics to continue the storyline in comic form.  What started with “Season 8” in 2007 has since become “Season 9”.  The current season finds Buffy in a world without magic, balancing living as a young, working gal in San Francisco with being a slayer of the vampyres. This balancing act, … Continue reading Buffy and Public Discourse on Women’s Health