Pop Culture Fix: My Friends, Lesbian Ruby Rose Is Your Lesbian Batwoman and Other Stories

Welcome to your weekly pop culture fix, featuring all the culture that is fit to pop.

+ After weeks of thirst and speculation, CW has announced that out genderfluid lesbian model/VJ Ruby Rose has snagged the role of Batwoman, a character described like so:

Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.

Batwoman, initially introduced in the early ’50s, was on hiatus from the DC comics universe until 2006, when she was reintroduced as a Jewish lesbian, but rarely actually seen until 2011. Rose will debut the role in the annual December Arrowverse crossover event, and will star in the Batwoman series currently in development from out producer/directors Greg Berlanti and Caroline Dries. Some news outlets have incorrectly labeled this event as The CW’s first lesbian superhero, which is not true, that honor belongs to Anissa Pierce / Thunder on Black Lightning! However, Batwoman is the first openly gay superhero to headline a TV series AND she’s being played by an openly gay actor. I think it’s pretty great, honestly, and I’m excited to see Ruby Rose play Batwoman.

But also, lol at everybody!

Ladies, gird your loins for Round Two of “I’m Gay For Ruby Rose: A Straight Woman’s Story”!

Also, here’s everything The Mary Sue learned about The CW’s Batwoman series and the Arrowverse at the TCA Summer Press Tour.

+ Variety‘s August issue is dedicated to “Transgender Hollywood,” and it’s pretty rad! The cover story is a really interesting roundtable with Trace Lysette, Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono, Jen Richards and Brian Michael. The article only includes clips entire roundtable is an hour-long video and it’s a very compelling watch. Alexandra Billings in particular is incredible.

This particular passage has garnered some buzz:

I’m so curious about this! Like if that’s the real reason… why didn’t he come up with a lie that would sound better than that? That is a terrible thing to say! But would also be a weird fact to get wrong! Jen Richards has tweeted that the only reason Pose actors weren’t present was because the panel took place in Los Angeles, not New York, and Ryan Murphy re-tweeted her tweet. Also, Pose‘s cast and creators have spoken extensively about trans-related issues in the press as recently as last week in The Hollywood Reporter. The Variety roundtable was moderated by Ramin Seetodeh (who you may recall from his 2010-2011 career claiming gay actors can’t play straight roles, which led to GLAAD and several prominent creatives and actors, including Ryan Murphy, calling on Newsweek to issue an apology, but they apparently sorted it out).

The Variety story also has a gallery of trans and non-binary actors to watch and an Open Letter to Hollywood from GLAAD, co-signed by a number of production companies including Berlanti Productions, SAG-AFTRA, Shondaland and Sony Pictures Classics.

+ In Broadway’s “Head Over Heels, The Go-Gos Music Is The Star:

…it was about an aristocratic girl in a small, mystical town in love with a boy who is beneath her social status. A servant, if you will. Said servant dresses as a girl to stay near his beloved. Mayhem ensues, lesbian love blooms, trans love is re-kindled, a marriage is put though a trial, and a lover is lost. Well, sort of.

+ The Miseducation of Cameron Post Is a Hopeful, Hilarious, Heartbreaking Lesbian Coming-of-Age Story: a wonderful review from a wonderful person.

+ Aisha Dee on Biracial Representation on Season 3 of The Bold Type

+ A Look at the Misandrist Villain In Comics

+ Orange Is The New Black Season 6 Has Strong U.S. Debut on Netflix, Nielsen Finds

+ Hayley Kiyoko May Break The VMAs — If You Vote in Time

+ An Ode to Florian, GLOW’s Lost Gay Icons

+ Trans Drama Girl Wowed Cannes, but Can It Impress American Audiences?

+ Everybody is coming back for American Horror Story: Apocalypse including Sarah Paulson!

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3203 articles for us.


  1. Super disappointed by the casting for Batwoman. I feel this could have been a really groundbreaking show and could have been something incredible. Unfortunately I feel as though Ruby Rose simply doesn’t have the acting talent to give the role justice. I also think there are better role models out there especially for younger audiences.

    • So because they cast Ruby Rose, it’s no longer a groundbreaking show? Wow.

      Also, so you happened to see all the auditions and you came to the conclusion that she wasn’t the best for the role from those that auditioned? You know better than the casting directors?

      Also, since when did casting become about role models? Lol.

      • I mean, the argument that an actor/actors can drag down really influential and groundbreaking material isn’t false. Like go see a regular high school production of The Color Purple and then watch literally a 20 second clip of Cynthia Erivo on Youtube.

        But also, casting directors aren’t like, beyond reproach. Like look at Scarjo’s most recent films to prove that. You remember the live-action Avatar the Last Airbender movie? Clusterfuck of casting decisions. OrOrOr when Zoe Saldana was cast as Nina Simone. Lordy. Lots of people are hired just because they’re popular and not completely terrible, certainly not because they’re the best and most talented. And like, we’ve seen her acting. It’s not great and sometimes its actively bad so for people who view Batwoman as really important to their lives/development/childhood/queer identity, I’m sure this sucks and it’s not ungrateful or mean spirited or shows how little we deserve to want more than scraps as a marginalized identity. Like hate campaigns are very rarely appropriate, but that doesn’t mean we have to be falling over ourselves to thank a bunch of powerful tv people for doing things they should’ve been doing in the first place, especially when they could do it better. We should be encouraging healthy, productive criticism and commentary, not silencing ourselves out of fear. But I do agree that we should also wait until it comes out to like, fully unleash our disdain for it because she may have worked on her acting since the last stuff she was in, especially since she’s headlining it.

    • Seconding all of this. It’s great that the CW wanted to cast a queer woman, but there are so many other queer women who are better actresses than her. Batwoman is a super complex and complicated character, and I’m sorry, but Ruby Rose was barely passable in OINTB when literally all her character needed to do was smirk and look seductive. I really just don’t think she has the range to do this important character justice.

      Not to mention, there is no way in HELL she’ll be able to pull off an American accent. It’s going to be terrible. And a Kate Kane who is not American (and therefore could not have been in, and then kicked out of, the American armed forces) makes literally zero sense. So either She has to do a terrible American accent, or they make this version of Batwoman Australian for some reason, and re-write the most important parts of her backstory. Not into either scenario.

      I just really want this Batwoman show to succeed, because obviously if it doesn’t everyone will say that a tv show fronted by a lesbian character can’t work. It may be a controversial statement, but I’d take a super talented straight actress (and a writers room that includes a few queer woman) over a queer actress who can’t play the range required of the character any day of the week and twice on sundays. A queer actress is a bonus, actual acting TALENT is a requirement.

      • She apparently does an American accent in “The Meg” so that might give an indication of how good she would be at pulling that off for Batwoman.

      • I agree. Watching her in Orange is the New Black with all those amazing actors was almost painful. Granted, her character was not well-taught out or layered but she didn’t bring anything to the table. Taylor Schilling was doing all the work in their scenes.

        It’s not about thinking she’s wrong for this role. She can not act.

      • While I haven’t been impressed with her dramatic acting, she did well with the action in John Wick 2, and that’s also an important part of the role.

        As for the accent, she did a passable American one for Pitch Perfect 3.

        And I don’t get why you say “a Kate Kane who is not American (and therefore could not have been in, and then kicked out of, the American armed forces)” when you can join the military as an immigrant. It get’s trickier because Jake is in the American military, and her mother was a Wayne, but they could potentially work it out.

        Have Jake be stationed at a base in Australia when Kate was young enough to pick up an accent, then she comes back to the US as a teenager

        • I’m going to wait until the show airs but the entire casting issue makes me fear they’re going to erase or undermine her Jewish identity.

          Anyway, this has inspired me to rewatch Black Lightning season one so, win.

  2. Damn it. I shouldn’t have used a monkey’s paw to wish for Batwoman to be played by a queer actor.

  3. Friendly reminder that Ruby Rose is also genderfluid and I’d really like that mentioned in the article. Representation matters!

  4. What a shame. I was highly disappointed seeing so many people from the queer community dragging down Ruby Rose. Even worse, fellow actors like Rhea Butcher and Brittany Nichols complaining about it too? I mean i get it from fans. But fellow actors? Seriously, it shows we don’t deserve nice things.

    For once, we got a lesbian to play a lesbian. The sole leading and headlining character. In a mainstream network. In a superhero show. We didn’t ask for them to give us Batwoman. They decided to do so on their own. They also decided to go out of their way as they would never normally do and hire a lesbian as the developer/showrunner. They then cast a lesbian in the lead role. And now many of us are saying we don’t want or it would be better if it was just a straight actress or someone unknown who is more talented.

    But by the time the show officially makes it to series, it’s the same people who will be claiming Batwoman to be ours and for the straights to step away and be expecting Ruby Rose to be loving to the community and fans after the shit we have all said about her.

    This shouldn’t be about whether you like the casting or not. This should be about the opportunity that we have to see a lesbian superhero single handedly toplining her own show on mainstream.

    All I know is that, they didn’t make a mistake with this casting. The same people who cast for all the Superhero shows did the same here. And they all cast perfectly. This will be no different. Let’s not be the ones creating problems for ourselves in our own community.

    • I’m on exactly the same page as you! I was SHOCKED to see Rhea and Brittany (both of whom I love and respect) talking about this as if it was a horrible thing. Like did I miss something? Did Ruby Rose harm the community in some heinous and intentional way? or are people just annoyed at how much straight women drool over her. i’m so confused!

      • Ikr? You’d think she has harmed the community with the way people are talking. They aren’t even proud of one our own. We should all be happy. She has been in 4 Blockbuster movies within the space of a year and a half. How many young lesbian actresses of today can attest to that? She is proof that we can still make it in the industry regardless of our sexuality.

        And instead they are trashing her so bad. It is so disgusting.

        As for Rhea and Brittany,it must be jealousy. None of them have acting careers as successful as Ruby Rose. They probably think they are better than her and will do a better job.

        • brittani wasn’t hating on the casting choice, she was just making a joke about how so many queer women had reacted to the casting choice, which i thought was funny! that’s why i included it.

          • @riese Well, then my error and mistake for not catching the jokes. I guess seeing everyone’s hate tweets all around and seeing Brittani and Rhea’s tweets right in the middle, my sarcasm skills weren’t on alert.
            Shame on me. Thank you for pointing it out.

      • I’m SHOCKED to see people here who don’t understand what a joke is. Rhea and Brittani were obviously joking.

        • I saw their tweets and took them as jokes, because they were. They are comedians. I do not see the “bullying” and smear campaign that is being alluded to here in some of these posts. Not from these two anyway. I have seen plenty of negativity from white male dudebros though. They are the ones who are coming after Ruby Rose directly on social media, not these queer women.

    • I feel bad for Ruby Rose. She was probably so elated to land this, see all of the news items about it, and read what people think. I imagine that even a thick skinned person would cry after reading all of those comments.

      • Right? I can’t imagine how elated she must have been only to see folks from her very own community push her away like this. It’s really sad.

    • Agreed! I realize it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, queer or not, but this is a BIG DEAL. You don’t have to like Ruby Rose to appreciate what they’re doing. It isn’t even out yet and we’re casting judgement? I thought we were better than that.

    • And as far as I can tell, it’s ONLY queer women who are upset about her casting? Like, Twitter/Tumblr have been super-critical, but the comments on general fansites are overwhelmingly positive. I don’t really have any intelligent insight here, it’s just something I’ve noticed.

      I’ll admit she doesn’t look at all how I imagine the character, so I was surprised by her casting, but I’m still excited for this. Gal Gadot got a lot of hate too from people who didn’t think she had the acting chops for Wonder Woman, and she killed it, of course, so fingers crossed for something similar here.

      • Yes. That’s the thing. Support has been positive. It’s only from queer women that she’s been getting backlash. Shame.
        All I know is that they’ll never miscast in this type of role. They wouldn’t give someone who isn’t what they imagined.

        We sit and complain that we never get LGBT+ actors playing major roles then try and boycott Ruby Rose getting Batwoman. Let’s just say we only support those catered to our specific interests and go lol.

        I mean people are wowed that they got someone of Ruby’s caliber. We are busy saying there are better lesbian actresses than her.

        She wasn’t what I imagined too. But i’m excited to see that they got her. Ruby Rose trended worldwide. Batwoman trended worldwide. It was because of her. She has already brought attention to what was otherwise going to have been an already dying superhero genre on CW.

        Shame on us.

        Love your Gal Gadot example. I remember that time too. Now everyone is says they can’t imagine any other actress playing the role.

        We are the ones who just like to make things difficult for ourselves.

    • Ruby Rose is not who I envisioned for the role so I felt a little disappointed when I first heard the news, but I’m going to give her chance and regardless of that, nothing validates the hate campaign that’s taking place.

      When I first heard about the insane reactions from queer women I assumed it was probably some anonymous BS, like twitter accounts with fake pictures, so perhaps men pretending to be us to stir sh*t. But then I saw YT queer reactors who I liked to listen to and who I thought were decent people, acting like complete deplorables, engaging in what’s basically bullying and harassment. I’ve never felt so disappointed by this community.

  5. With them casting Ruby Rose, it will be a race between Kate Kane and Alex Danvers to see who has the most alt-lifestyle haircut first.

    • Haha. So true. Alex will give Kate a run for her money. Chyler Leigh has not come to play gay for fun. Lol

      And to make it even more cool, both of them will be redheads.

  6. I WAS going to give the show a chance but then this happened yesterday. Yesterday was already a pretty bad day for news. This was essentially the shit cherry on top of the spoiled melting ice cream on moldy cake.

  7. Most of the criticism I have seen has to do with not hiring a lbtq Jewish woman for the role. I have to agree for the most part there. There are some nuanced differences between a Jewish playing Jewish role and a non-Jewish person playing that role. Jason Biggs(really not a fan of him) is a solid example of that as he’s played Jewish a few too many times(and that’s not including the American Pie series). As BettyOnIt said above they may undermine or erase her Jewish identity(which is happening more and more in recent times). Like Jenny can’t be one of the few Jewish queer characters played by a Jewish woman(wiki just says LGBTQ rights activist). I also never really thought about the quality of her acting until people said it was bad, or not suited for her, so I will hold judgment there. I also don’t get straight girls fascination with her either.

    • Thank you for giving a reason why some people are unhappy. I had assumed it was an objection because she is genderfluid and so not female enough. Other than that all I could think of is that she’s said/some harmful things that I wasn’t aware of.

    • In regards to your comment about ethnicity, in the North American Death Note film made for Netflix, a character that should have been Japanese was played by a black dude and the explanation given was that they did it because this version doesn’t take place in Japan and isn’t for a Japanese audience.

    • Carrie Brownstein has played queer women on Transparent, Carol and Portlandia, but don’t think any of them was explicitly Jewish.

      • I’m fairly sure her character on Transparent was Jewish as was the version of herself(Carrie friends of The Mayor) on Portlandia. I don’t remember much about her character Carol though.

    • I don’t know what words to use to coherently convey the wrong-footedness of…look I’m a gentile, you’re a gentile we have NO business trying to quantify Jewishness but it’s not some blood quantum equation or organised religion thing.
      It’s to the best of my non-jewish understanding an experience we can’t get because we haven’t been there. We don’t have same cultural heritage of trying to be exterminated, of repeated diaspora/exodus, struggle with identity and assimilation.

      Not the most apt comparison but; Would you like a straight man trying to tell you only strap-on sex counts, vibes, oral and manual don’t count as sex?
      Would you appreciate such an under-qualified person with more social capital/privilege than you pondering to you what really counts?

      Cause responding to Jewish people about their feelings on Jewish representation is kinda like that.

      • Lex, I admit it was “wrong-footed” response (English is not my first language so I hope I understand this phrase correctly), and that’s because I came here after reading a lot of hate, borderline bullying and harassment towards Ruby Rose on social media. I’ve seen a lot of that, and only ONCE I’ve noticed someone pointing out that she’s not Jewish.

        So when I saw someone here claim that “most of the criticism comes from not hiring Jewish woman for the role”, I saw it as an insincere attempt to justify the campaign of harassment towards Ruby Rose.

        So I was more harsh in my response than I would normally be (and unnecessarily technical about that DNA stuff), but I think questions I stated are still worth taking into consideration. If a character is mixed like Kate is, should she be played by mixed person, or is there only one side of her ethnicity that’s important?

    • How would she be quarter, when one of her parents probably IDs as Jewish(since that persons parents are both Jewish)? In Judaism, it’s matriarchically passed on, which based on the last name that probably is the case(Kane isn’t a last name I’ve seen among Jews before, but I could be wrong).

      • I checked, apparently Batwoman’s father is not Jewish, only her mother was. I stopped reading comics a while ago since they’re not very good anymore, so I wondered if it isn’t something they retconned in the new ones (since they made Kate’s father Batman’s cousin), but saw that even in her 2006 introduction it was mentioned (via Renne Montoya) that Hannukah was very important to Kate because of her mother, that her father wasn’t celebrating Hannukah.

        • It turns out that the source I based the comment above on didn’t mention that in later comic Jacob Kane (Kate’s father) talked about visiting Rabbi, which implies he is Jewish after all. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be retcon (2006 introduction is not in the same DC continuity) or if it was supposed to be this way from the beginning.

          After further digging I found out there’s even more reasons for confusion. Kate’s father is brother of Batman’s mom, so if he was Jewish by birth then his sister would be too, and therefore, so would Batman. The problem is, such significant fact was never mentioned in almost 80 years history of Batman despite the fact Batman’s parents are pretty well characterized, not even after making the Kane family a thing in Batman’s world.
          Another point – Kane is Celtic-Irish surname, and Kate’s father looks like Irish stereotype (redhead with green eyes – which Kate inherited from him).

          That’s why some people suggest he converted when he married Kate’s mom, but as far as I know there are simply no canon informations confirming or debunking anything.

    • So in terms of ethnicity, since Ashkenazi Jews as DNA studies showed are actually half-Jewish half-European

      You have no idea what you’re talking about, please take a seat.

      What the hell, is “Jew” a race?

      • Amelia TBH that’s some shit I’d expect to see on Stormfront.

        I think you have a lot of reading to do on the wonderfully complex world of Jewish identity. (Hint: 5,779 years later, we too are still debating the nuances.)

        I’ll assume good faith (though the rest of your comment doesn’t really make me think you’re in good faith), and try to compress 10,000 years or so in a few paragraphs:

        Judaism is a religion. Within that religion, there are tons of different practices. Think of Christianity: there are Catholics and Protestants, PLUS many others, PLUS tons of different kinds within each of those. It’s like that.

        Judaism is also a set of cultures associated with the religion and its different practices. Like: Yiddish culture has a lot of representation in this country. Think bagels, kvetching, standup comedy. This is but one of the many rich tapestries forming Judaism!

        There are also some relatively distinct ethnicities associated with groups of people who have historically practiced this religion/belong to those cultures.

        However! You can be descended from Jews (ethnically Jewish) and be some other religion entirely! You can be descended from no Jews and have chosen to become Jewish! You can culturally Jewish and totally non-religious! Etc. Basically, the religious, cultural, and ethnically components can be mixed and matched at will.

        Now, there are a few main cultural/religious/ethnic divisions, for reasons of diaspora history and geography. Ashkenazi Jews hail from Eastern Europe. Sephardi Jews’ families were expelled from Spain in the Inquisition and moved around the Mediterranean. Mizrahi Jews (like me) come from the Middle East—Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc. There are also lots more (Bukharan, Ethiopian, etc).

        So! To address your point specifically. To be pedantic, an Ashkenazi Jew could be lots of things. It could be someone who’s not European at all but practices Judaism in the Ashkenazi style (since it is the dominant flavor of Judaism in the US [though not everywhere, which is a mistake a lot of people make]). It could be someone with a certain ethnic background who isn’t religious at all. Etc.

        However! When people say “an Ashkenazi Jew”, they are most typically talking about someone descended from an Eastern European Jewish family who is themselves culturally and/or religiously Jewish.

        ***So here is the big point: that person would be both 100% European AND 100% Jewish.***

        Jew isn’t a race. It’s a set of religious practices, cultural practices, and ethnicities. You can’t be half European and half Jewish and DNA tests could never show such a thing. That just doesn’t make sense. Hope that helps.

        • You really don’t have to explain it to me. I checked that DNA stuff long time ago because I was curious why Ashkenazi Jews don’t look like Mizrahi or Sephardic Jews, why they don’t look Middle-Eastern, and got some not very scientific explanation from my friend that it’s because the cooler climate of Europe made the skin of her ancestors lighter. So I had a lot of laugh after that.

          I can’t say that I agree with your last paragraph. Of course it’s not a race, no one claimed so, but it’s an ethnic group. Judaism is a religion of one ethnic group. And you know that technically you can’t be follower of Judaism who’s not Jew (member of the ethnic group). Conversion is very hard, and from what I’ve heard many Orthodox Rabbis do not accept converts. But it has little to do with the actual topic of this conversation.

          I explained in the response to Lex above why I was perhaps unnecessarily harsh in my initial comment – I assumed that it was just an attempt to justify the campaign of harassment towards Ruby Rose.
          I agree it would be the best if someone who’s exactly like Kate Kane was cast, but I personally thought that the lesbian factor was the most important. Remember what Cara Develingne said that Weinstein told her, when he assumed she was gay? That she’ll be ended in Hollywood. And so there are almost no out lesbian actresses and it’s important to give them chance.

          But if we actually had an excess of out lesbian actresses to choose from, the next question is, should Batwoman be played by just any Jewish person, or by someone exactly like the character? So, someone whose father is not Jewish and whose mother is Ashkenazi? Should the actress be secular or religious? Kate herself rather isn’t strictly religious, but the customs are important to her because they make her feel close to her deceased mother. There are many more similar questions.

          And by the way, you compared my words to those of monsters on a neonazi site. You do that often? Respond to every perceived offence with accusations of antisemitism?

        • Perceived offense…? Are you for real? You’re being blatantly anti-Semitic. You’re ignoring corrections and doubling down on your bullshit. And, apparently, getting likes by equally prejudiced and misinformed people.

          You need to stop. Now. @Alarae

        • Joanna, ebook herself apparently recognized that acting like that, per her own words “playing the racism card”, is wrong. Throwing that word at people who simply irritated you in a discussion is really cheapening its impact.

          I don’t want to explain my thought process again, so speaking to people who just started reading right here, I ask you to read the rest of my comments on this thread to judge for yourself if my intentions were as horrible as Joanna tries to paint them.

        • I don’t give a fuck about your intentions. You’re out of line and persistent in trampling over another group despite multiple members of that group calling you out on it.

      • It’s an ethnicity group, just like Arabs, Persians etc. Even though all those groups are classified as Caucasian, it rather wouldn’t be OK to cast someone of, let’s say, Anglo-Saxon heritage as a Persian, don’t you think?

        • Oh Amelia. This is devolving here, but a few things:

          I can’t say that I agree with your last paragraph.

          Are you…correcting Jews on Jewish identity?

          If a character is mixed like Kate

          Like Al said above, Judaism is matriarchal. This means if the mother is Jewish, the child 100% fully Jewish under Jewish law.

          You do sometimes hear people describe themselves as half-Jewish, however that is people talking about the cultural or ethnic dimensions of Judaism. When it comes to the religious side, someone like Batwoman is just 100% Jewish.

          or is there only one side of her ethnicity that’s important

          It’s true that Batwoman is a mix of a few different kinds of white, but we’re not talking about an actress who’s the exact right mix of white, but someone who’s Jewish.

          Personally, I think it would be awesome if a POC Jew played Batwoman. See, this isn’t about ethnicity, or religion, but the unique mix of whatever the hell it is that makes someone Jewish, that I tried to define above .

          Judaism is a religion of one ethnic group.

          Incorrect! An Indian Jew and an Ethiopian Jew and a Persian Jew and a Ukrainian Jew—these are all very old traditional groups of Jews—are all Jewish but members of very different ethnic groups!

          And you know that technically you can’t be follower of Judaism who’s not Jew (member of the ethnic group).

          I did not know that! Because that’s…not true! Please read what I wrote above!

          Conversion is very hard

          It can be! But lots of people still do it. Orthodox and otherwise. Judaism thrives on conversion.

          Also, you’re forgetting intermarriage, which is HUGE among Jews. American Jews intermarry at something like 70%. This is the chief reason for our ethnic diversity. And because of matrilineal descent, these offspring are still 100% Jewish!

          You do that often? Respond to every perceived offence with accusations of antisemitism?

          You will note that I did not do this! But when you start accusing people of playing the racism card, it’s probably time to stop.

          Have a nice day!

        • As an Iranian, I would not be happy at all when they cast white people as Iranians. Also, Iranians are technically caucasian, because we do border the Caucasus Mountains and are in Asia as the name implies(well except for Georgia, which is Europe, but most of the mountains are in Asia).

        • Are you…correcting Jews on Jewish identity?

          Don’t know where did you get that identity part from, I was referring to this claim: “You can’t be half European and half Jewish and DNA tests could never show such a thing”. In the context of ethnicity it’s simply undefendable claim, as the research shows:




          Like Al said above, Judaism is matriarchal. This means if the mother is Jewish, the child 100% fully Jewish under Jewish law.

          Then what does it say about Ashkenazi Jewish people? From the article above: “At least 80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain, the researchers estimate”.

          You do sometimes hear people describe themselves as half-Jewish, however that is people talking about the cultural or ethnic dimensions of Judaism. When it comes to the religious side, someone like Batwoman is just 100% Jewish.

          Thank you for finally agreeing on something (though I suspect many orthodox Rabbis would disagree with you, about Batwoman).

          According to US standards, which are taken into consideration here since it’s US TV show with American characters, most Ashkenazi Jews are simply white. And Kate Kane is half Ashkenazim, with ultra pale white skin, red hair and green eyes.

          I checked wiki list of Jewish actors, there’s thousands of them. And rather unsurprisingly, as it seems all or almost all of them are Ashkenazi Jews. So it doesn’t seem there’s discrimination against Jewish people in film industry as long as they’re white – and the discrimination, limited ability to get a role is the reason why it’s so important to give roles of People of Color to POC actors.

          No one ever had a problem with someone of Irish ancestry playing German, Russian or Serbian, with white people playing white people of different ethnicities. So why exactly is this suddenly supposed to be different and some people are trying to create outrage about Ruby Rose?

          You will note that I did not do this! But when you start accusing people of playing the racism card, it’s probably time to stop.

          You said that my words are some sh*t you’d expect on neonazi website. It’s the first paragraph of your first long comment. Are you now going to insist it’s not the same as accusation of antisemitism?

        • Amelia, honey buns, your ignorance about Jewish identity is clear, and speaking over Jews trying to explain is a bad look.

          Sit down.

          Jewish identity is real and we would like to see a Jewish character’s Jewish identity represented. With or without your approval.

        • Amelia, honey buns, your ignorance about Jewish identity is clear, and speaking over Jews trying to explain is a bad look.

          Then good that my comment had nothing to do with Jewish identity, as I already pointed out in that comment, but about ethnicity, which was important in context of the actress being cast.

          Jewish identity is real and we would like to see a Jewish character’s Jewish identity represented. With or without your approval.

          By suggesting I ever denied that Jewish identity is real you’re lying. I guess you must resort to such manipulations because you have nothing else left. In my last comments I asked you to adress why you compared me to a neonazi in your first comment: “Amelia TBH that’s some shit I’d expect to see on Stormfront” (in case someone’s oblivious here, it’s neonazi forum).

          Apparently in response to my question why did you compare me to neonazi you had some temporary attack of amnesia because you forgot you did that, but still recognized how deplorable acting like that would be: “You will note that I did not do this! But when you start accusing people of playing the racism card, it’s probably time to stop”.

          And after further exposure of your words, this. Running to hide behind personal attacks. You don’t even have the moral courage to adress what you did.

          After reading my comments the next day I see now which parts were unintentionally insensitive, which is because I counter-reacted a little too much to all the hate that was thrown towards Ruby Rose playing this role, and because my English is average at best so I tend to present my thoughts in a not very nuanced way. But you know what? I’m definitely not going to apologize to someone who calls me a neonazi.

        • Guess what, Amelia? It’s NOT ABOUT YOU. And you don’t get to whine or cry or refuse to apologize. You’re in CLEAR violation of Autostraddle’s comment policy and you’ve been behaving HORRIBLY.

          And guess what else? I’m an Anglo-Saxon, Prussian, Norse Jew. You want to keep going on about DNA and race? Because yeah, that’s what Nazis and white supremacists do.

        • Joanna – you’re gaslightning. Calling me a neonazi was obviously “about me”. And since you’re trying so hard to manipulate my words to justify that disgusting accusation, I repost them here:

          And now, speaking of Batwoman, IIRC she’s half Jewish. Or more precisely, half Ashkenazi Jewish. So in terms of ethnicity, since Ashkenazi Jews as DNA studies showed are actually half-Jewish half-European, she would be quarter-Jewish. Would it be important to find an actress who reflects exactly such ethnicity mix? Experiences of mixed people are not the same as experiences of those whose both parents belong to the same racial/ethnic minority.
          Or is it more about religion? But if so, should the same standard be applied to every actor’s religion?

          I tried to start a discussion there if it’s really important to cast white people of certain ethnicities (that was the point of, I admit rather unnecessary as it’s easy to take out of context, stuff about those studies – as in US, Askhenazi Jewish people are definitely not regarded as POC even if some of their ancestors were) in the role of people from those ethnicities if the actors of said enthnicities don’t have any problem with finding a job.
          Which completely separates it from problems of for example trans representation, where trans people can only play trans characters.

          It was also said in context of the insane harassment Ruby Rose received for getting the role of Batwoman, and the point of her being not Jewish was used as main excuse. In case someone not heard the news, Ruby Rose left Twitter because of the bullying, so good job guys for harassing another woman out of social media.

          So please, show me where did I commit “CLEAR” violation of Autostraddle’s comment policy. I think calling other people neonazis would qualify as such though.

        • Amelia, bb, if being told you sound like a Nazi upsets you, there is a clear solution: do not say things Nazis say.

  8. I think my intense love for Batwoman is pretty obvious so when I say I’m very invested in this show you know where I’m coming from. Is Ruby Rose my choice for Kate Kane? No. There are several actresses I would have preferred over her. But at the same time I can see why she makes a lot of sense to the CW. She’s a big name. She is experienced at doing action scenes as John Wick 2 and XXX have shown. She’s openly lesbian. And of course, she’s freaking gorgeous. Being a great actor is not their biggest concern guys. Look at Stephen Amell. Even Caity Lotz was pretty bad when she was on Arrow. She grew into the role of Sara Lance and I think we’re all grateful she had that chance.

    My point being, I’m will to wait UNTIL I ACTUALLY SEE HER IN THE SHOW before I freak out and bombard the CW with hate. I’ve been waiting for yesterday for a loooooong time! That day Batwoman casting came out. I thought it would be an exciting happy day and instead Twitter and Tumblr were full of ugliness. People overreacting, being mean spirited and screaming abuse at Ruby herself and the show runner, a lesbian woman working in Hollywood which is a really tough place to be. Pretty depressing.

    • I totally agree — I think their main concerns were getting a p big name, someone who can do action, and someone who is cw-hot, and they did a good job! I think the Caity Lotz comparison is a great one. I haven’t seen Ruby Rose in a meaty enough role to really have an opinion on her acting (did not think she was amazing in OITNB, but that was a nothing role), but I do imagine she’ll get a chance to grow into it over the course of the show.

      Also, let’s be honest, I was going to watch the Batwoman show no matter what. It would be cool if the casting choice were someone I already really loved, but I feel about the same about this as I would about an unknown actress. Like, “oh I hope they’re good!”

    • Thank You! When Gal Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman my response was god help us that is a big mistake. I was wrong. Caity Lotz in Arrow is a far cry from the Caity Lotz in LOT. Give this poor woman a shot before throwing her over the edge. Greg Berlanti has done a great job in casting the right people. I have faith in the CW so I withhold judgement until we at least see her playing the role on screen.

    • I’m not equipped to speak to the queer/Jewish representation issues. Just the acting.

      But…didn’t people think that Kristen Stewart wasn’t that good, once upon a time?

      Then she got a couple of characters better than Bella to work with and upped her game

  9. Oh boy. I was not prepared for just how much I wasn’t a fan of this casting choice. I should preface this by saying I am a HUGE Batwoman fan and The CW has let me down many times in the past. I’ve read a majority of her two series save for a few by a certain writer as well as seen her first animated appearance in Batman: Bad Blood. I’m very protective of the character and Ruby Rose just doesn’t fit the image of who Kate Kane is IMO. And I worry that they might erase her Jewish heritage if this ever gets to series. Her casting does make sense just in terms of star-power and CW’s usual casting practices so I’m not surprised she was their first choice. Even though she is nowhere near my personal first choice I’m still going to watch the show and hope it is a success because I know that if it isn’t we are likely to not see another live action version of this character for a very long time.

    I think any criticism of Ruby Rose in this role is perfectly valid, especially if you’ve been a Batwoman fan for a while. I don’t get why she is getting outright hate though. Then again the only bloodthursty hatred I’ve personally seen has been from the usual Anti-diversity white males who complain about any casting that isn’t white and male. I’ve seen them froth at the mouth all over social media since the initial announcement that Batwoman was even coming to the CW, calling it “SJW LGBT pandering”. These are the same guys who are making 20 minute long YT rants about ow two girls kissing in The Last Of Us 2 is ruining video games forever.

  10. I’m the camp that finds the Ruby Rose casting disappointing. Apart from that fact that, from what I’ve seen (OitNB, Resident Evil, Pitch Perfect), she’s an extremely mediocre actor at best, I bummed out that they went with a white woman. Yes, I know Batwoman is white in the comics, but the casting call was open ethnicity and this could have been the Arrowverse’s first live-action POC-led show. It’s a serious missed opportunity, and not even one that can be justified, I think, with the tired excuse of hiring “the best actor regardless of race,” given her poor track record so far. I don’t seek to take anything away from folks who are just happy to see a queer woman cast to play a queer woman, but I also think there’s plenty of room to keep calling for more and better.

    Anyway, “misandrist villain” sounds like an oxymoron.

    • I mean, Black Lightning is in the Arrowverse, even if they haven’t really connected it to the other shows yet…

      Know as far as “best actor for the job” goes, I think this is debatable. Ruby Rose has serious action-chops, the physique of Kate Kane and is an out lesbian, not to mention she is a known commodity. While I am also sceptical about her acting capabilites, but she hasn’t had roles where she got to do a lot of acting yet, so I will wait and see.

      • Nah, Black Lightning is explicitly not a part of the Arrowverse. That might change in the future, but for now it’s it’s own thing. And Ruby Rose’s physique… did she buff up or something? Last I saw of her, she was extremely thin, which is in pretty sharp contrast to Kate Kane’s ex-military muscles, but I’ll admit I don’t keep tabs on Rose or her career.

  11. FYI, Head Over Heels is actually pretty problematic. A big part of the plot and many of the jokes are transphobic, ex: assuming all men have penises and all women have vaginas. For a show that prides itself on LGBTQ inclusion (it features Peppermint, one of Broadway’s first out trans women to create a role in a musical), it totally misses the ball. According to a trans friend with whom I’ve spoken about the show, the show has so much promise for trans people to be seen, but it fails and actually offends.

  12. As a Jewish nonbinary bisexual, I’m happy they casted a lesbian to play Kate. However, I’m disappointed that they didn’t cast a Jewish lesbian actress to play the Jewish lesbian character. Kate is very important to me. Her Jewishness is as important as her sexual identity. I’m afraid the Jewish part will be lost or the lesbian part will be used for the straight male gaze. But we’ll see.

    • Yeah there is not a lot (any?) Jewish lesbian representation and it would have been badass to have that on screen. Jewish AND lesbian, these are both so important.

  13. Ayayay. I’m not going to put this in anyone else’s comment because I’m not starting tiffs with anybody and aside from not really needing to explain myself, I didn’t want to write an essay but there are people here who seem to forget two very important things: it is not possible to be liked by everyone and everyone has an opinion which you won’t necessarily agree with. Just because you disagree with it doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong, it’s just different.

    I am not one of those people who watches a show or a movie just because there’s (supposedly) a homosexual relationship. I am also not one of those people who puts someone on a pedestal, applauds them, sings them praises and fawns all over them just because they are a part of the community. People’s character is what I give importance to because that is what defines a person at their core. I support the people and things I like, and as it turns out, I do not like Ruby Rose. I don’t owe her or anyone else anything.

    I disagree with people attacking anyone over this and don’t condone such behavior since displeasure can be expressed diplomatically, but, I have disliked this woman since before most people knew she existed because she has never seemed genuine. From crap that she has said throughout the years, I have felt that she is whatever is convenient for her to be at that particular moment in time.

    She said she’s genderfluid at the time when “transtrending” was created because it was the time people thought it was cool to be trans. When I saw her video, I felt as though she made a parody mocking dysphoria. She said she prayed that she wouldn’t develop breasts to then say years later that she’s glad she didn’t have gender reassignment surgery because she’s proud of being a woman and wants to have kids. So which is it?

    Because I find her so distasteful, I really don’t much care if her acting has gotten better or for anything that she does. If you’re gonna watch, have at it. If you’re not gonna watch, then now you can do something actually productive. It’s your choice; no one else can live your life for you. Decide for yourself how you’re gonna live it. Complaining and giving people a hard time over reactions solves nothing.

    • “She said she prayed that she wouldn’t develop breasts to then say years later that she’s glad she didn’t have gender reassignment surgery because she’s proud of being a woman and wants to have kids. So which is it?”

      I know personally, I’ve felt very different about both my body and my gender (and their relationship) at different times in my life. I’d be super hesitant to say that another person’s experience of gender isn’t genuine because it has changed over time.

      • The speed at which she has changed her mind is ridiculously fast though and again, she said she was part of the transgender spectrum when it was “cool” which is my problem. Here’s her career thus far so you can see why I feel as I do towards her and her lack of being genuine:

        she was bisexual in 2008 http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/mtv-star-ruby-talks-about-her-bisexuality/news-story/59bb7e0cb49213a90cb78b38f5425849?sv=b413e92c112e68dcab2184f92d031742

        but then a month later https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/mtv-vj-ruby-rose-i-came-out-at-12-let-me-get-on-with-work/story-e6fredq3-1111115911432?sv=55313516c1ec26ab7509de3586b2c30b

        then gender fluid in 2014 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/25/ruby-rose-video-break-free-gender

        and finally last year https://people.com/bodies/ruby-rose-glad-didnt-get-gender-reassignment-surgery/

        That’s a lot of flip flopping.

        I was not going to talk about this but my irritation with her from her video is because I was diagnosed with dysphoria (when it was still called gender identity disorder!!) and that video does not represent the pain, difficulty and feeling disassociated with parts of your anatomy that seem foreign. I decided after twenty two years to not do HRT because aside from feeling I am both and neither, I’m tired of injections (diabetes since before my age had two digits), I don’t want to stink (more than I do because diabetes means I produce more oil and sweat so the search for deodorant that works took a long time) and find body hair repulsive (which I get a lot of anyway because insulin). If I were to do HRT, I would sprout hair like a Chia pet until I turn into Chewbacca but go bald because of male pattern baldness on both sides of my family. I like having long hair and being able to have stuff in my piercings.

        Also, though not a fan of certain parts of my body, I am a fan of what women do with them during Sexy Times. I eventually realized I can ignore those parts most of the time and a lot of my discomfort is more from the way certain groups of people look for and at them and question my thinking capacity and abilities to do anything not considered feminine on account of having a vagina. Though I have no plans on changing my lot, I can never imagine myself pregnant. I don’t want anything phallic all up in my junk and can’t understand why anyone would. I accept there are people into that sort of thing, but I can’t understand it and don’t want it for myself.

        These things I noticed were noticed probably three years ago and as previously mentioned, at that point, I had lived with it for twenty two years. Most of us who struggle with whatever plagues us find something close to peace after at least a decade, if ever. It’s not a change that happens at a moment’s notice. It would have probably been better if she had said that she doesn’t want to be as people think she should and was going to do whatever the hell she wanted aesthetically. It’s as if she felt she needed to give a reason for cutting her hair and wearing clothes made for people with more testosterone in mind so she jumped on a bandwagon until the general public stopped talking about it.

        I know coming to terms with who you are takes a long time and sometimes you don’t know there’s a word for it (my Yahoo searches in trying to find out if there were other people with homosexual inclinations were complete sentences because I thought I was the only one since this was 1999) but I strongly feel she is not very honest. It feels like when Ricky Martin came out upon figuring his career wouldn’t end because of it.

      • Same, I pulled a Roberta(lucky I never hurt myself honestly) and now I’m very IDAF only getting dysphoria in them paddied cup bras and girlie blouses.

      • It appears my response to this might never be posted (probably too many urls) so I’ll condense what I said because it was way too long anyway:

        I know it takes time to come to terms with your identity and sometimes you don’t know there’s a word for it but in her case, she’s flip flopped between identities since 2008 which I find quite dishonest. Realizing things about yourself doesn’t happen at the drop of a hat and based on her video and things she said in subsequent interviews, she appears to think of it more as an aesthetic rather than an identity.

        Upon looking for evidence of the flip flop to avoid accusations of me talking out of my ass, she was still talking about being genderfluid mere months before saying she’s happy to not have had reassignment surgery, is a woman and wants kids. I am unaware of anybody who has changed their mind about this sort of thing after such a brief amount of time. I lived with dysphoria for twenty two years and after very thorough research about what testosterone would likely do to me and realizing what exactly it is that really makes me uncomfortable, and that truthfully, I feel like I’m both and neither, I decided to forgo HRT and pertinent surgeries.

        • I’m genderfluid. My identity can change on a daily or hourly basis and doesn’t have to conform to your standards or anyone else’s. Feelings about your body, particularly reproductive elements, are personal and you don’t get to criticize someone for wanting to be able to get someone pregnant or become pregnant themselves. If anything, you’re the one being transphobic.

  14. I’m not thrilled at this casting based on my idea of Kate Kane, or the character she is in the comics, but I’m willing to give the production and Ruby Rose a chance. She hasn’t blown me away with her acting, but maybe her genuine excitement, etc. will allow her to really connect with the character and transcend previous roles.

    I’m also excited to see a masculine of center woman on TV. Playing a lesbian superhero. Who’s headlining her own show (potentially). This could be fun.

    Also, she has a very polished public persona, so I feel like she’ll be able to handle the intense scrutiny a fandom like this might produce than some neophyte might.

    But the description above has led me to letting go of any preconceptions of the character. It sounds like she won’t be a victim of DADT. Perhaps that makes her not contemporary enough for the CW, so they did away with that. She’s a “well-trained street fighter” now. Losing that part of her identity, I would not be at all surprised (with the casting also lending credence to this theory) if Kate also ended up not being Jewish in the CW show.

    So who is she? I have no idea. I guess she’s a blank slate being rebooted. It makes me sad because the current Kate Kane is so rich and layered and intersectional and amazing. Now I guess she’ll be just another vigilante. Perhaps all Bat Pain for no particular reason except a weird series of events like Arrow or dead parents like Batman.

    I think I’ll probably still like it, but I’ll mourn what could (arguably should) have been. And that has nothing in particular to do with Ruby Rose who I’m kind of neutral on (until some straight woman goes all gaga and I have to bite my tongue leave)

    Prepare yourselves now, folks!

  15. Excluding those times when the backlash was because of crimes or unacceptable behaviour of the actor, I can’t think of a single time there has been a huge backlash to a casting choice and the casting hasn’t turned out to be perfect.

    No, wait. Michael Gambon as Dumbledore.

    • (Also excluding those who have ignored the requirements of the role in terms of diverse hiring, which is highly relevant to this discussion so I don’t know how I forgot it. But I don’t think there’s an issue there regarding the hiring of Ruby Rose – I don’t think there were enough good actors meeting the details of the role to complain with their choice).

  16. Jebus, Batwoman, the biggest most important lesbian superhero, will be played by a wooden post…

  17. I think everyone has a right to criticize her acting abilities as long as we don’t attack her personally.

    I actually like Ruby Rose. Yes, she doesn’t fit the image of Batwoman in my head but like I said before it’s not about that, it’s about she can’t act. I saw her in minor roles and she was terrible, now I can’t expect her to shine as a lead. Actors usually prove themselves through minor roles, not the other way around. I know she will slay the action scenes but what about everything else?

    And please do not compare her to Gal Gadot

    • when people cricizing Gal Gadot no one was talking about her acting skills, everyone was worried about she’s not white enough, not pretty/sexy enough (crazy people), but mostly not white enough.

  18. Thanks for the weekly roundup. The misandrist villains article was really disappointing to me and kind of missed the mark. I thought the look at “male hating feminist” without really diving into sexuality made the argument fall flat.

  19. I’m really not a fan of Brittani’s tweet, or other comments to the same effect. No one’s complaining for the sake of complaining. The two issues I’ve seen people have with Rose’s casting are that she can’t act and– more importantly– that it erases Kate Kane’s Jewishness. Sure, I guess it’s great that they didn’t cast a straight woman, but I’m tired of seeing Jewish characters played by gentiles. They did the same thing with Kitty Pryde, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, twice with Magneto… the list goes on. We’re not just nitpicking.

    • You really don’t understand how anti-Semitic you are… or you’re a world class white nationalist troll.

    • @alarae Can there be modding here? Amelia seems to get really upset by Jews talking about Jewish representation, using neo-Nazi racialized terms and pseudo-science, and calling us the real racists when we try to stop her. (See upthread under Al’s comment as well.)

      • @alarae – are comments like that allowed on this site? Nowhere did I use “neo-Nazi racialized terms and pseudo-science”, nor did I call ebook and Joanna “the real racists” – I only called them out on comparing me to neo-nazi (ebook’s first comment which she apparently tries real hard to gaslight about), and you can check it out for yourself in comments above.

  20. Jews have played non-Jewish heroes and vice versa. It WOULD be nice if once, things could align and we could have real representation.

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