Pop Culture Fix: Wonder Woman Will Save Us From Patriarchal Action Movies and Other Riveting Stories

Welcome to your weekly Pop Culture fix, in which I successfully prepare microwave popcorn and then consume it on the couch while telling you about relevant Pop Culture stories.

+  Wonder Woman comes out this week and already has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has pissed off a lot of men. Success! Heather’s gonna check it out and review it for you this weekend. Here’s some background reading:

+ The trailer for Stitchers Season Three has a lesbian kiss in it! Camille apparently said once that she was bisexual but nothing has been done or said about it since, but that’s gonna change, it seems.

+ Will Game Of Thrones get its first lesbian power couple?!! And if so will somebody make a YouTube compilation of the storyline so I can watch it without having to watch the rest of this very bloody television program?

Jill Soloway: “I’m obsessed with a movement for women, people of color, queer people, and an intersectional power movement. I think about revolution all the time. How do I square that with my TV and filmmaking ambitions?”

+ The cast of Orange is the New Black would like to thank all its true fans who did not illegally download the show and instead are waiting for the premiere. IN SONG!

+ ‘BPM,’ Winner of Cannes’ Grand Prize, Is a Breathtaking Look at the Fight Against AIDS

+ TV Diversity won’t improve for the 2017 pilot season. GREAT!

+ WGN is moving in a new direction away from original programming, and ‘Underground’ will be an especially unfortunate casualty of that move. It’s getting the axe after two seasons, and Jasika Nicole has only been on it for one season so far!

+ If you’ve ever wondered which lesbian kisses a man who makes lists for The Richest will never forget, this is your lucky day: 15 Lesbian Kisses From Hollywood We’ll Never Forget. It will not surprise you that a lot of the kisses on this list involved straight women.

+ Bec Sandridge Is The Queer Aussie Singer You Need To Know

+ Will Sense8 Return For Season 3? It’s an outrageously expensive show to produce so I would not be surprised if the answer is no

+ The team of Issa Rae’s incredible HBO show “Insecure” has “four gay and lesbian writers” in it, reveals showrunner Prentice Penny in an interview with Business Insider.

That Gay Episode: ‘Roseanne’ Launches A Low-Key Gay Revolution

+ Chavela Vargas, the Queer Matriarch Latin Music Deserves

‘Will & Grace’ is returning to NBC, but LGBTQ TV has moved on

+ In an interview with The Guardian, Syd the Kid says that a lot of the backlash to her music and public statements from the gay community really bummed her out.

+ Melissa Etheridge says that Anybody Who Smokes Cannabis Is Using it Medicinally’

When Is Anime Queerbaiting? 

Love Songs About Girls To Make Your Queer Heart Soar (if you liked this you’ll probably also love 28 Gay Girl Covers Of Straight Songs Because Everything’s Better When It’s Queered)

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is More Than Fiction—It’s a Dark Reminder of Slavery

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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 3228 articles for us.


  1. Firstly Chris pine is captain kirk in the star trek movies and he’s starring in Ava du varney’s wrinkle in time.
    Secondly please let us have more sense8 it’s so good
    Thirdly Harley quinn is gonna turn up in Gotham which is super exciting

  2. Sense8 is worth every dime IMO, it’s so pretty. I really really want another season.

  3. Can’t wait for Wonder Woman! When I was a child I would climb the monkey bars and sit up there piloting my invisible plane during recess.
    I organized a meet up with my lesbian friends. We’re going to all-you-can-eat pizza and then to see Wonder Woman’s first showing.
    I’m excited

  4. Sigh…

    “In hindsight, Syd wonders whether she, the crew’s only female, was their “get out of jail” card when accusations of homophobia were raised. When she left, she says, “Tyler [the Creator, Odd Future’s frontman] got mad at me at first. It was like: ‘Dang, why do you guys need me that bad?’ Then it made me think that maybe it’s so they could say certain things. And use me as an excuse.””

  5. Speaking of Jill Soloway, I saw an article last night that she came out as non-binary and prefers they pronouns. I saw Jill last year at the US trans beauty pageant in LA and they said that their mother and I think also her Moppa are non-binary. Which sounds to me that her family could just be one big non-binary/queer family, or she’s just be calling everyone non-binary. I’m hoping it’s a whole big non-binary family. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/05/transparent-creator-jill-soloway-comes-trans-non-binary/

    • Can I ask a question about non-binary labeling?

      Is the use of they pronouns due to a very literal definition of non-binary or is it more of a result of the fact that we don’t have a commonly used/recognized term that would go with it?

      I think most people hear they and think of multiple people not one person who’s gender identity doesn’t fit in the male/female binary.

      • I think that depends. Some like it/prefer, or use it as it easier to use(me for example) than other non-binary pronouns, like xe/ze. Then there are others who don’t even want they or really any pronouns use.

      • For some it’s possibly both (ha both), but for most part it’s the limits of the English language bit when it comes to gender neutral pronouns.

        I personally dislike ‘they’ and most pronouns I’ve ever encountered.
        But I’m an oddball outlier in most things.

      • They/them is acceptable English and personally, I like using it myself when I’m identifying as non-binary. To me it’s not an issue of lacking anything. It makes me happy.

      • “I think most people hear they and think of multiple people not one person who’s gender identity doesn’t fit in the male/female binary.”

        Language is a living thing, and this is in the process of changing – a major newspaper (I think it was the LA Times?) just updated their style guide to reflect the singular they, and the more we educate people, the more their perceptions will change!

        • the Associated Press also updated the AP Stylebook to say that the singular “they” is usable in print. And the New Yorker’s Comma Queen made a video that singular “they” is best for people who use it because grammar is about clarity and calling someone by a pronoun they don’t use/a gender they aren’t causes confusion in the reader, so it’s actually grammatically fine.

        • the Associated Press also updated the AP Stylebook to say that the singular “they” is usable in print! :)

      • Thanks to everyone who replied. One of my favorite things about this site is how much I learn. I hope my question didn’t come off as rude, I just thought I wouldn’t find a better place to ask. I knew I would get an actual answer as opposed to troll answers.

  6. As if I wasn’t queer enough, I just listened to the Mary Lamber cover of “Jessie’s Girl” and…there’s my shower cry material for the day.

  7. My favorite cishet white guy on the planet (one of my best friends) said ever since Mad Max, his measure of if a film or series is going to be good is the outrage of misogynist, fedora wearing, dudebros. By this standard, he’s convinced Wonder Woman will be amazing.

  8. The Game Of Thrones lesbian power couple so far is 20 seconds of Deanerys Targaryen being hit on by Yara Greyjoy, and she seemed to be intreaged. Both these ladies are and have been fighting for their Homeland and for the right to rule. That is the whole story about them so far.
    If anything happens this season I’ll let you know and maybe make that YouTube comp for you. :)

  9. Since we’re talking ab microwave popcorn I have a mind blowingly easy microwave popcorn tip that will change a few lives maybe. If you put a handful (1/4c? cover the bottom of your bag) of popcorn kernels (you can buy in bulk for so cheap) in a brown paper bag and then tape it closed so that no steam gets out (i use regular old scotch tape) and put it in the microwave on a normal temp for ab 3 mins (maybe longer? I use the “whenever it doesn’t make any more popping noises” method) it will all pop in the bag PERFECTLY, without any oil or tasty but ultimately mysterious gunk on it and for like $0.05 cents a bag! It is so good! Add stuff after and shake!! The end.

  10. She was a fitness teacher in the military where service is mandatory for most people(few exceptions). As far as I can tell she didn’t actively join, or want to be there which is why she was a fitness instructor.

    It’s not like here where joining is optional(unless draft occurs), where some beloved celebs went and fought in Korea and Vietnam.

      • Yeah. Anti-Semitic article. It doesn’t have a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Do you?

        • And let me expand… I hate the IDF, but I also don’t uniquely criticize it when the U.S. military has committed genocide, relocated Americans to internment camps, and used nuclear weapons on civilians.

          I think “Support our troops” under that flag is problematic at best. Is the same critique being applied across the board? Are all Jews being held accountable for the Israeli government and the IDF? Are all Israelis (not all are Jews)? Are all Palestinians being held accountable for the crimes of their government or organizations within Palestine?

          I support both states and I condemn crimes on both sides… and I think there’s more than enough reason to be MORE critical of Israel at this point and there has been for years. But I need something more than generic support… especially when the U.S. military has still murdered hundreds of thousands this century in “collateral damage” and no one complains about actors doing a USO tour.

    • Critiquing Israel and the Israeli genocide of Palestinians is not anti-semitic. I am critiquing a political ideology.

      • Like queer girl said. You’re being anti-Semitic, not critiquing the Israeli government. Do you damn everyone in the U.S. armed forces?

        Are you challenging the right of Israel to exist? Because it sure sounds like it. You can oppose actions of the Israeli government and religious extremists in Israel AND support both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. Both states have a right to exist.

        • Joanna, take a seat. Your position of privilege in this conversation is blaring and for you to act as thought genuine, real critique is anti semitic is honestly outrageous. Yes, I DO care about the atrocities that the US has committed– I assure you any serious critic of an oppressive regime like Israel is JUST as critical, if not MORE so, of the US’s cruel imperialist practices. But let’s not forget that Israel wouldn’t exist without being obscenely funded by the US for military and weapons. I critique Israel because I HATE the senseless murdering of Palestinian people–including their women, at the hands of Israel. Zionism is a WHITE SUPREMACIST IDEOLOGY. So for you to espouse “anti Semitism” is really fucking rich.

        • Really? You need to seriously fuck off. I am not a Zionist. I am not a white supremacist. I am not an Israeli. Jews are a TARGET of white supremacy in the United States and are not considered white by white nationalists. Your “assumptions” are fucking toxic.

          This is why I don’t think either you or the OP want to have a legitimate discussion.

        • Joanna, I just want to support you with more than a thumbs up here. Georgia’s comment is completely out of line in any sensible, reasonable conversation, and the fact that Autostraddle had decided not to intervene here is inexcusable.

    • I think that we can critique Israel’s occupation of Palestine without being anti-Semitic.

      • I would agree, but I would also say that you can support your country without being racist. Certainly not everyone who serves in the United States military supports EVERYTHING done by their Government.

    • I don’t know enough about Gal Gadot’s past to know if she’s a “violent Zionist” or a white supremacist or not (do you?), but being antiZionist does not automatically make you antisemitic. I assure you my stance on Israeli politics does not undermine my love for my Jewish friends, who btw are also vehemently critical of Natenyahu’s regime, nor does it reduce me into a fanatical Hamas-supporting ideologue.

      Calling someone anti-Semitic is a very serious accusation steeped in the memories of one of the most devastating and destructive times of modern human history; to throw it around without engaging in real conversation is dangerous and divisive.

      • Right. Gal Gadot is just an actress who happens to be Israeli. She’s being called a “violent Zionist” just because she’s Israeli. That’s a dog whistle.

        And “I love my Jewish friends” isn’t really gonna cut it here.

        And telling me I’m mean and bad because I’m calling out anti-Semitism isn’t either.

        Perhaps we disagree on what anti-Zionism means. It doesn’t mean anti-Netanyahu. It means anti-the state of Israel existing under any condition and that’s quite a different thing. Please see my longer explanation above.

        • A) Anti-Zionism is ****~*~*literally denying the right of Israeli Jews to exist*~*~****

          B) Saying “you can’t talk about this movie because it has an Israeli Jew in it” is literally denying the right of Israeli Jews to exist in public.

          I think you need to think about how to make your views consistent.

      • To be more succinct: Israeli Jews have the right to exist in public life and to suggest otherwise is indeed anti-Semitic.

        No matter how many Jewish friends you have.

        • Also to be succinct: Nobody is denying that Israeli Jews have the right to exist, any more or less so than their (displaced) Palestinian neighbors. And thus the predicament unfolds.

          Hate crimes against any human is unacceptable, and I would never support an ideology that assumes otherwise.

          I’m appreciative of the opportunity to hear your point of view, which no doubt is valid and informed by a rich and horrific family history of devastation and survival, but I stand by my conviction that this issue goes beyond the dichotomy of the “pro-Israel/anti-Antisemitism” narrative and expressing so does not make someone a bigot.

        • 0
          A) Anti-Zionism is ****~*~*literally denying the right of Israeli Jews to exist*~*~****

          B) Saying “you can’t talk about this movie because it has an Israeli Jew in it” is literally denying the right of Israeli Jews to exist in public.

          I think you need to think about how to make your views consistent.

          (Repost because I replied to the wrong comment above, sorry)

        • ALSO let’s not forget social justice rule #1: you *can’t tell members of an oppressed group what is and isn’t offensive, what is and isn’t oppression*. Which is EXACTLY what you’re doing here.

  11. I’m so steamed here but Joanna and Queer Girl have said a lot of what I want to say, so I will add only this: “Zionism is a WHITE SUPREMACIST IDEOLOGY” is exceedingly false in a number of ways.

    A) White Jews are not, you know, white people, in the land of white supremacists. Jews are their hated enemy, with a long history of oppression.

    B) This definitely ignores the complex reality of who Jews are. Half of Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern extraction and they’re there because they were expelled from their home countries in the 50’s-70’s. My own family was kicked out of its comfortable home in Egypt when Nasser expelled all the Jews. They were happy there was an Israel they could go to as refugees, because no one else was stepping up. I wouldn’t exactly call that a white supremacist plot.

    C) If there were no Israel and Jews around the world were at the complete mercy of hostile governments, there’d be a lot more dead Jews and we’d be a seriously suffering people and you’d probably feel sorry for us and advocate on our behalf.
    What, you only like us when we’re dead?
    We’re good enough to show in trauma porn when you share pictures of concentration camps to warn about what Donald Trump might do, but not good enough to actually care about here, now, living with the results of that trauma and the reality of present-day anti-Semites like you?

    Go fuck yourselves.

  12. How can we (the world at large, not just AS members) engage in a productive conversation on this topic when every critique of Israel is met by an accusation of being a bigoted Antisemite, and support for Israel is likened to white supremacy? Call me crazy, but I highly doubt any AS members identify with either of these labels.

    That being said, I am forever baffled by the insistence to automatically equate anti-Zionism with Antisemitism, which I have only encountered in the US. How is Niamh displaying antisemitic behavior right now? I’ve never encountered this reflex response of jumping from any critique of Isreali occupation, the IDF, or Netanyahu’s policies straight to antisemitism with any of my Jewish friends (who actively condemn all three) but it seems to be the prevalent trend in the USA.

    I too am the granddaughter of a genocide survivor, which to me feels like all the more reason to stand up against shitty regimes who contribute to the oppression of people of any level, be it Israel or the the USA.

    • Hi V., thanks for adding a thoughtful voice to this dialogue and I’ll try my best to explain where I’m coming from.

      A) So first of all, criticism of Israel isn’t inherently anti-Semitic, though it can certainly be done in an anti-Semitic way. Obvious ways like saying it’s a Jewish plot to take over the world, and less obvious ways like focusing on Israel to the exclusion of every other bad thing. Yes, Israel is doing some bad things and should be criticized, for sure! But if you’re not also caring about, say, the awful treatment of Palestinians in Jordan or Lebanon, or you don’t care quite as much about, say, Russian oppression of minorities, or hell, even the US, and you just talk about Israel again and again and again, it feels pretty targeted.

      It’s the world’s only Jewish state, and it’s not the worst state out there by far, but it’s by far the most criticized. After a while that feels personal and targeted.

      B) However your question was why do we “automatically equate anti-Zionism with Antisemitism”? I know Zionism is a dirty word these days so let’s clear up the definition. It really just means you believe that Israel is a country that should continue to exist. To say it shouldn’t means that you’re saying it shouldn’t have the right to self-determination. That’s a pretty basic thing for a country, even one whose policies you don’t agree with. There are lots of countries that exist, and only one is subject to a deligitimization campaign.

      And because there’s only one Jewish state, that feels personal. Saying that Israel shouldn’t have the right to self-determination is in some sense saying *Jews* shouldn’t have the right to self-determination. The term “the wandering Jew” comes because historically Jews didn’t, and they just went from place to place completely at the mercy of the local lords. This lack of safety has had catastrophic consequences throughout history: the killings during the Crusades, the pogroms, the expulsions from the Arab world, and of course the Holocaust, to name just a few.

      The presence of Israel, no matter how precarious, is a guarantee against that. Even just recently, Israeli commandos smuggled the last Jews out of Yemen, who were being shot by their neighbors if they even went outside. No one else would have done that.

      Some people say we’re past those times, but we’re not. That’s what they said in 1930’s Germany too. Even here in the US, the largest number of religiously-motivated hate crimes are against Jews. Yes, even more than against Muslims. Yes, even right after September 11. And now there are white supremacists chanting anti-Jewish slogans in broad daylight in major US cities. And of course there are large parts of the world where an openly Jewish person can’t even set foot.

      So saying you don’t want there to be an Israel means you think Jews should go back to that insecurity and genocide, and, well, that’s anti-Semitic.

      Does this make some sense to you?

    • Another thing I’d like to add: sometimes people have this cartoon view of Israel as a country of white Europeans, lately arrived, come to crush everyone around them.

      In fact, half of Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern origin, mostly from the catasptrophic expulsions of Jews from the Middle East in the 50’s-70’s. This was all overshadowed by the Holocaust, because the systematic killing of 12 million people is more shocking than “only” being forced out of your country, but it was also terrible. They’d been there for millennia and were part of the cultural fabric.

      And Jews were in what would become Israel all along too. My great-grandmother was from an old Jaffa family.

      And almost every Jew who moved to the new state of Israel was fleeing anti-Jewish violence (and still are, like French and Yemeni Jews), not coming to crush people.

      Tl;dr: Jews and Judaism are not a new thing in that area, and most Israelis aren’t white, or European, or carpetbaggers.

  13. Not sure where to say this, but the originals has finally gone there with Keelin and Freya and they had the cutest kiss last episode- vampire diaries has not been good with queer rep in the past, but I’m feeling hopeful for the originals :)

    • hi K and @ebook as of present, there is only one moderator for the whole site! me! which means it’s not super easy for me to see every comment and take care of it immediately. If there’s a comment you believe needs to be moderated, you should tag me @alarae and also don’t engage any further with the commenter. That’s the quickest way to get the comment deleted, otherwise, there’s a thread of things I need to search through and may end up needing to moderate perfectly useful comments for the sake of getting rid of one bad egg.

      Thanks! ?

  14. I know folks are asking for mods to delete these comments, but I actually found them interesting and useful. These are both arguments I’ve heard before (“anti-racism requires anti-Zionism”, *versus* “anti-Zionism is inherently anti-Semitic”), but the back-and-forth here is instructive. No worries if mods feel the need to delete, just my $0.02 that I appreciate this thread.

    • I know, but being able to see it as instructive back and forth, and not the most dreadfully personal existential threat, is definitely a position of privilege.

      I’m glad you found it instructive but I’d rather be able to scroll through a discussion of Wonder Woman without having to dodge the mind-bombs in the comments.

      • “definitely a position of privilege.”- I’m sure the entire nation of Palestine would agree.

      • Okay, has seriously no one ever heard about the 3Ds of Antisemitism? If you’re demonizing, delegitimizing, or applying double standards to Jews and to Israel, you’re not having a conversation people will learn from, you’re just parroting more anti-Semitic crap under the guise of wanting to “discuss politics.” Its gross and should be deleted, not thought of as a learning exercise or some other crap.

      • Fair. And it’s been deleted. This is not snark, if you happen to come back to this thread, what position of privilege are you calling me out on? Not clear. (Again, real question! Not snark.)

Comments are closed.