Tag Archives: Feminism

The darker Back to the Future

Nine times out of ten, “Back to the Future Day” is about the last occasion I would choose to comment on the eponymous film cycle. I’m as fond of them as the average person I guess—which is apparently quite fond—but the presence of identical fluff “news” stories essentially advertising a commercial property on site after site after site just makes me wince.

As Doctor Emmett Brown said, though, “well… what the hell.”

I have one or two thoughts, stirred up by the long approach to October 21, 2015, which might also be a little different from the standard fare even if they aren’t absolutely unique. First, I’ve been holding this in for several months now, and I’m just going to say it: the treatment of Jennifer in Back to the Future 2 is just creepy and wrong.

I’ll acknowledge here that I haven’t seen any of the movies for at least a decade. I own the second movie on DVD, but haven’t taken it out of the case yet. Partly because I don’t want to watch it by itself, and I haven’t found part one or three on sale yet. But partly, also, because… excuse me, adolescent girl, could you just look at this for a second, thank you, splendid you’re so much more agreeable as an unconscious object whom we can stash somewhere at our leisure rather than being asked all of those questions great scott it was like she was never going to stop…

Just a lot creepy, hm? Just to make absolutely sure I’m not falsely remembering the scene, someone please inform me if Dr. Brown does not flash a “sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator” in Jennifer’s face, explicitly because “she was asking too many questions,” after which he and Marty dump her body and forget about it while they proceed with their adventure unencumbered. Otherwise, though… I’m claiming this as just pretty much appalling.

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Ireland fine with gay marriage

I have had relatively little to say as America has, in 15 years, gone from “don’t ask don’t tell” to legal gay weddings in however many states it is at the moment. That’s hardly a credit to me; the best I can say for myself is that

  1. I’ve never had real opposition to marriage equality
  2. I recognized my lack of close investment in the issue, and generally stood aside trusting advocates to present their case best; and
  3. I have consistently voted for candidates either supportive or at least acquiescent, rather than those peddling repression and bigotry.

I am prompted to post now by the recent referendum in Ireland recognizing gay marriage (as marriage, i.e., not just civil partnerships). This is notable in itself, for a solidly Catholic country in which the church strongly opposed this result. In detail, it also underscores something that I recently concluded about why segregating marriage from same-sex relationships was probably not just wrongheaded but impossible, at least in any society where equality is taken seriously.

This took me way too long to realize, and it can hardly be regarded a great insight given the advantages of hindsight. Still, for what it’s worth…

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