For those of you unaware of what’s going on with DC Comics, please visit the most excellent: Has DC Comics Done Something Stupid Today website. There are the links to information on the Eisner award winning creative team behind Batwoman for the past two years WALKING OFF the project, and links to information on the horribly offensive Harley Quinn contest going on right now.
This blog is not about DC Comics. It is a reaction to the SAME bullshit argument I hear, almost always from men, that if I have a problem with a company’s practices, the answer is to simply not buy their product and tell them why.
Telling people not to buy DC Comics as a way to change things at DC Comics is short sighted and dismissive. Not buying those comics means readers have to, not only give up on beloved characters, but pull their support of talented and dedicated writers, artists, and others.
The problem is with the LEADERSHIP. Why would we take an action that would punish the people responsible for creating the entertainment we love?
Not only that, when we get upset by institutional racism and/or sexism and your knee jerk reaction is to tell us to stop buying their products, you are immediately taking the responsibility for those actions and placing it on us.
It is a handy way for people to disregard our complaints by treating us as though our dedication to our beliefs is not equal to our outrage. AKA; stop making such a fuss if you’re still going to buy their stuff. AKA; if you really cared about sexism you wouldn’t support these companies at all.
I like reading comics. I love Gail Simone’s work. I love Greg Rucka’s work. I’m not going to stop supporting THEM because the DC leadership refuses to acknowledge the terrible decision-making that continually alienates a large portion of their client-base.
I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t know HOW we can make a change, there. It is an institutional issue that goes way beyond DC Comics.
Purchasing power is not power. It doesn’t make any difference to refuse to buy products that are created and distributed by companies whose beliefs we disagree with. It just doesn’t work.
I don’t know, yet, what will work. But I’m willing to try and figure it out.
Read more about DC’s PR goofs at The Outhouse.
Job interviews are tough for anyone. Usually you’re going to said interview because you either A) want the job or B) NEED the job. There is definitely cause for nerves in both cases. If you’re socially anxious, you may also have nerves from A) driving to a strange place, B) meeting strange people, C) conversing with strange people. I’m nauseated just thinking about it.
A lot of my advice for this situation has already been covered in previous blogs. The main purpose of this post, is to put those relevant bits in one place.
First off, get familiar with the location. Drive up, scope out the parking. If you can, recreate the potential circumstances of the interview. Ie, leave your home at the same time you would to get to the meeting. This way you can see exactly how long it takes. (Then add 30 minutes on top, just in case).
The less you have to worry about the day of, the easier things will be for you. Is there good parking? If not, where is the best place to park? What is the layout?
Answering these kinds of questions will help you look and feel less unsure when you arrive. Also, it cuts WAY down on the things you have to worry about. Being as sure as you can of how to get there, where to park, and what time to leave so you get there early will really help soothe your nerves the day of. Also, getting there early ensures you have time for last minute teeth/hair checks.
Next, clothing. Pick out what you’re going to wear ahead of time and make sure it is clean and ironed. Err on the side of OVER dressed. Nice pants, not jeans. Nice shirt. NO WRINKLES. Jacket. If you choose to wear a dress, make sure it’s more business-like than casual or dressy. Also, err on the side of demure.
LINT BRUSH. Just put it in your glove compartment. Right now. I’ll wait. You’ll be nervous the day of and you won’t remember. Don’t have one? Put it on your grocery list. Right now. I’ll wait. Then take it right out of the grocery bag and into your glove box. Somehow between my house and wherever I’m going I succeed in getting wrinkled and covered in schmutz.
Prior to your interview, research the company you are applying to. Even if you’re applying at the Gap, or McDonald’s, know who you are applying to and what they are looking for. What does the company do? Check their website. How do they present themselves? Are they sleek and corporate? Down home and personable? What seems to be important to them. Shareholders? Customers? All this information can help you sell yourself to your interviewer.
YOU ARE WHAT THEY WANT. Know this.
Also know that they have no way of knowing that you are what they want. By researching the company you will arm yourself with information that show them that you are what they want.
On the way to the meeting, take lots and lots of deep breaths. Listen to a song that either relaxes you or pumps you up. Sit in the car and visualize success. Again, take deep breaths.
When you are ready to walk in pay attention to your posture. Try not to fidget. Give the impression of confidence. Even if on the inside you want to run and hide, on the outside walk into that room as if you own it and it will show. Shoulders back, eyes forward, slight smile on your face.
Be cognizant of what’s happening with your face. You want to look professional and serious, but you don’t want to look like a miserable person. A trick I like to do is imagine my facial muscles are tied to strings and I give them a teensy tug upwards. Practice it in the mirror. Stare in the mirror with your face at rest. Then tug all those strings just a tiny bit and see how much more open and bright your face looks. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference.
If you need a moment to calm yourself before entering, do so. I usually do that in the bathroom while I’m fussing with my hair.
When your interviewer arrives, shake their hand. Handshakes are very important. Firm, not tight. Eye contact (remember, you can cheat with the forehead), a SMILE, and a polite platitude. “It’s so nice to finally meet you.” Or something similar.
During the interview, make sure you are actively listening. Active listening is harder than you think. It’s so easy to get caught up in the inner monologue. I know you are anxious to prove yourself, but the worst thing you can do is get caught up in whatever impressive thing you are going to say next and miss what the person just asked you.
Pretend those inner voices are that annoying commercial you hate (Old Navy, how I hate you). Tune it out, and focus on the words being spoken to you. Tune them in. It takes thought and concentration to listen to others when you feel anxious and uncomfortable. Focus on it like you’re Clark Kent trying to figure out how his laser eyes work.
If you’re armed with research on the company and your own knowledge, then all you have to do is actively listen and be fully present for the conversation. Being impressive is a natural by-product
Thanks for reading, and good luck!
I posted the trailer for N00b Chronicles yesterday and have been both excited and incredibly nervous about it.
So, I finally got the courage up to display that for all to see. Because it’s not fair that A) Women who want to game get bullied out of it and B) That women who game but aren’t that good at it are ridiculed even harder.
I will never be able go on XBox Live and school some bully pre-teens. I’m just not very good. For a long time I was ashamed to even PLAY XBox, because I knew I wasn’t very good.
Somehow I felt like I wouldn’t be allowed to be mediocre. And I knew I would never be GOOD, so I stuck with Super Nintendo and Game Boy.
But then I won an XBox in a contest and suddenly I had a chance to game all alone by myself with no one judging me. And I had good friends who were just excited that I wanted to play and helped me learn the ropes.
And I have fun.
But I’m braced for impact. I’m braced for women to criticize me for being a “stereotypical girly gamer”. I’m braced for men to claim I’m pandering to the gaming community. Hell, I’m braced for women to claim I’m pandering.
I’m making N00b Chronicles because I shouldn’t have to be braced for impact. People have been making Let’s Play videos for years. Because it’s FUN to make Let’s Play videos. It’s fun to WATCH Let’s Play videos.
Ladies, it’s ok to be a mediocre gamer. IT’S STILL FUN. Ladies, it’s ok to be super excited that your Halo character’s armor can be pink (mine is aqua). Ladies, it’s ok to want to try out video games and to giggle and shriek and be silly and suck at it. Because it’s GAMES. GAMES ARE FUN.
I just felt anxious sitting here waiting for the inevitable fallout. So I decided to release an official statement.
I am a girl. I wear makeup and curl my hair. I love playing video games.
Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a mediocre gamer girl. We exist, and that’s OK!
Every time I pass a store with toys, or I’m in a store with a toy department, I have to browse. You never know what cool action figures or LEGOs will be available. That’s where I got my awesome Iron Man headphones, and they sound quality is AMAZING.
Today, while in the toy department, I spied this:
What you can’t see are all the fun cowboy hats and guns that are behind me in the same “Boys Role Play” area.
I got mad. Really mad.
So I did this:
I replaced the “Barbie” sign with the “Boys Role Play” sign.
NOT SORRY AT ALL.
Rarely in the middle of a cinematic experience do I feel the need to whip out my notebook in the dark theatre and start scrawling notes. I did that last night.
NOT because the film was bad. But because it was very good. SO good, that the problems I had with it were that much more upsetting and disappointing. Nothing kills me more than lost potential. (Goddammit, Prometheus)
Problem 1: Where My Ladies At?
First and foremost, this film not only fails the Bechdel test, it is a prime example of why the Bechdel test exists in the first place.
If the comic books did not dictate that a particular character exist and, in fact, have a vagina…that character did not have a vagina.
Lara, Martha, Lois, and Bad Kryptonian Lady were the main females. I was not disappointed with their portrayal. Not at all. Well cast, written just fine for their purpose.
My PROBLEM, however, is with all the women that were NOT present. There were so many peripheral characters that could have EASILY been played by women. The scientist, the General, the air force pilot, the other reporter at the newspaper…I could go on. In spite of the fact that women exist in real life as scientists, generals, pilots, and reporters, every single one of these roles were played by men.
But, you say, there was that girl at the Planet! And there were some female soldiers!
The girl at the Planet was an intern, and she not only barely spoke, but when she did it was mostly to fall apart at crunch time and beg the men to save her in spite of the fact that their lives were in danger. Way to not only NOT be brave, but endanger the lives of others by being a weepy, whiny waste of space.
The two female soldiers that were even a little memorable were A) tiny in stature for some reason and B) eye rollingly annoying. One of them had to ask what terraforming was and looked like she was about 17 years old. The other was a Captain, but her only line was to mention how hot Superman is.
I am SO GODDAMN TIRED of this SAME GODDAMN ARGUMENT.
Women exist in positions of power IN REAL LIFE.
Women exhibit heroism every day IN REAL LIFE. It’s time we start seeing that portrayed in pop culture in something other than cable networks and what Joss Whedon has written. NOW.
Problem 2: Stop it with the Jesus symbolism. Heroic deeds and self sacrifice happen every day. Ask anyone who knows a member of the armed forces, or anyone who knows a cop or fireman. Taking a super hero film (I’m looking RIGHT AT YOU Spiderman and Matrix: Revolutions) and randomly throwing in a SUPER OBVIOUS crucifixion pose is just annoying. Stop it. It’s unnecessary.
Problem 3: In a post-9/11 society, you should never portray a catastrophic loss of life without showing the consequences. Too many people all over the world are intimately aware of the grief and trauma involved with major disasters. Terrorism, tsunamis, tornadoes, wildfires…we have all seen more wanton destruction than our brains can properly process. Please do not subject us to entire cities being reduced to ash while ignoring the fact that mothers, fathers, spouses, brothers, and sisters are inside those buildings that you are destroying.
It’s only a movie?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t watch a skyscraper fall to the ground without my heart stopping for just a moment. Without feeling that ghost of grief like a phantom limb. Without being haunted by it hours after.
If you must do it, make sure it MATTERS. Make sure it has a true MEANING.
Don’t ever do it because you just want to one up the last guy.
Man of Steel is an unfortunate reminder that we have a very, very long way to go before Hollywood stops being a vapid and shallow boys’ club that treats their audience like a collective group of seventh graders.
It’s time we demanded better. Loudly.