When Things Are Bad

I don't like disliking things. That should be obvious, but sometimes I feel like it needs to be said. There's this stereotype of the humorless feminist, who is desperately looking for things to hate. Who invents problems where there are none, and picks things apart when they could just sit back and enjoy them instead.

I wish that every review I wrote could just begin with the words "that was amazing," followed by gushing about the plot twists, about the three-dimensional female characters, about the nuanced way the show/book/movie/game dealt with difficult issues, whatever. I am a fangirl at heart, and I only ever write about things here that I really enjoy, or used to enjoy before the problematic elements got too much. When things seem to have gotten beyond redemption -- like Glee -- I stop writing about them.

I feel like I've been really negative about elements of all the shows I've reviewed over the past couple of weeks. But wanting to have a positive attitude about things doesn't make the problems disappear. And once you start noticing these things, like the sexist jokes in Doctor Who or the endless misogyny inserted into Game of Thrones, it's hard to stop. And they become more and more upsetting with each appearance, because each time they shatter your hopes that this time it'll be better, that the show you want to love isn't misogynistic after all. That it values female characters and female viewers, and previous problems were a fluke. A hiccup. A misunderstanding. Something that happened once, but that you can forget about, because it won't happen again.

Yet that hope doesn't work. The problems do appear, again and again. So I write about them instead.

But always with the hope that next week I'll be gushing again.