"The 100" Has a White Feminism Problem

“From the ashes, we will rise” is the tagline of the new and current season of CW’s The 100. It’s catchy, pithy, and fits in well with the show’s whole radiation nuisance that’s always hovering in the background of every season. But while radiation is certainly an upcoming threat, another issue has begun to rear its ugly head in the show: white feminism.

But first, what is white feminism? Traditionally, it’s feminism that focuses on the oppression that white women face and puts their struggles first, while failing to address or otherwise recognize other injustices faced by women of color, members of the LGBTQ community, disabled women, and so on. It’s Tilda Swinton’s emails to Margaret Cho where she essentially asked for a personal lesson plan in whitewashing and race in Hollywood from a woman of color. It’s Scarlett Johansson shrugging off the whitewashing in Ghost in the Shell by reminding us all how important it is to have a franchise with a female protagonist, even if that protagonist was meant to be Japanese. It’s the continual ignorance of white women to the intersectional nature of feminism and the failure to recognize that not all forms of feminism are equally beneficial to all women.

5 Things to Watch on Netflix Instead of IRON FIST

It would be almost silly at this point to regurgitate everything that’s been said about Netflix and Marvel’s Iron Fist series. From the painful Orientalism and white savior narrative to the apparent lack of basic knowledge of storytelling, it sounds, as my roommate succinctly put it, like a “parfait of garbage.”

But it would also be silly to deny that there’s a genuine interest and audience for martial arts in our media nowadays. If you’re one of the many people who’d rather not waste their time with Discount Walgreens Brand Timberlake™ pretending to be a master martial artist, here are, in no particular order, five movies and shows on Netflix with a) martial arts, and b) actual Asian people. Enjoy.

A New Kind of Spider: On Cindy Moon & Asian-American Visibility

When I was a kid, I really wanted to be Spider-Man. I hadn’t read the comics yet, but the Sam Raimi movies inspired me to want to swing around New York on webs while wearing a red-and-blue Spandex suit, because how else would a spider-person dress themselves to fight crime?

I definitely wasn’t unique in this regard – practically every kid I knew was obsessed with the web-slinger after the first movie came out in 2002 – but there was just one little detail about me that not every other kid had to deal with: I’m a girl.

Still, I persisted. I dressed up as Spider-Man for two Halloweens in a row; I cut holes in the sides of the face mask so the arms of my glasses could still hook around my ears. It didn’t matter to me that Spider-Man wasn’t a girl, and I was too young to really dig deep into the question of “Well, why can’t he be?”

REVIEW: "All The Birds in the Sky" by Charlie Jane Anders

I forget where I first heard about Charlie Jane Anders’ All The Birds in the Sky, but I do know that when I heard the premise, I couldn’t get my hands on a copy fast enough. I’m a sucker for “best friends in childhood-turned-rivals in adult life” narratives – which is a pretty specific taste, I know, but Birds seemed to fit into it nice and cozy, so I was jazzed.

Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead meet in middle school, where they bond over the fact that they’re both social outcasts in their own way: Patricia is a witch and Laurence is a science geek/genius, making them both the perfect targets for bullies. At home, where both their parents have a tendency to punish them for things out of their control, it’s not much better. They forge the kind of awkward-but-close friendship that can only be forged in the crucible that is middle school until events spiral out of their control and they’re forced to part ways.

The Comics And The Times, They Are A-Changin’

I don’t like change. As of writing this article, it’s the first day of the release of iOS 10, and I spent the better part of the afternoon IMing my coworkers and asking them if it was really worth it, because I don’t like change and this was too much to handle. Eventually I caved, downloaded it, and… I’m still getting used to it. Hitting the home button twice to open the phone instead of swiping? Those opaque notifications? There’ll be an adjustment period, for sure.

I don’t think anybody likes change, really – and that goes especially for geek/pop culture fans. If I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve said to a friend “The first season of XYZ show was the best” because the first season had been ‘simpler,’ I could pay for a better PR agent for Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson.

BELLAMY BLAKE IS NOT WHITE: 'The 100', Whitewashing, and Being Mixed Race

In traditional fashion, I always feel the need to defend my taste in TV shows whenever I tell somebody “Yeah, I really like The 100. It’s a CW show.”

CW shows get a bad rap – sometimes deservedly so – but generally speaking I’ve enjoyed The 100 for its originality, its willingness to treat its audience like adults and not condescend to them, and of course I can’t speak more highly of its diverse cast.

Anyone who thinks this show is “playing it safe” clearly hasn’t taken a closer look at characters like Clarke Griffin (the female lead and canonically bisexual) and Bellamy Blake (the male lead of mixed race background). Also, how cool is it that all the leaders of the different nations in the show are women? ‘Bout damn time.

But it’s Bellamy Blake (played by Bob Morley) who I’d like to talk about here, because fans and the internet at large need to take note of something pretty important:

Bellamy Blake isn’t white.

"My Name Is Bucky": Bucky Barnes's Internal Civil War

Holy shit, Bucky Barnes.

There’s gonna be spoilers ahead for Captain America: Civil War, because, I mean, duh.

Anyway, like I was saying: holy shit, Bucky Barnes.

Here at Girls in Capes, May is the Internal Conflict issue. At first glance, reviewing Civil War during this issue feels like a no-brainer: Steve Rogers and Tony Stark are on opposite sides of a serious issue, and the Avengers get more or less divided down the middle when they’re forced to choose a side. It’s internal conflict dialed up to 11. The whole movie thrives on it.

But guys, Bucky Barnes.

Our Favorite Things: SAM WILSON, the Real MVP of the MCU

He’s gone by a lot of names lately: Sam Wilson. The Falcon. In the comics, Captain America. Also, Gabby’s Future Best Friend. All right, that last one is made up, but my point still stands: Sam Wilson is the real MVP, and I’m consistently surprised by how underappreciated he is as a character.

I admittedly don’t know much about Sam in the comics — the most I’ve seen him in action is Captain America vol. 5 and the current run where he is Captain America. But in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he quickly became one of my personal favorite characters. His cameo inAnt-Man was one of my favorite parts of the movie, and I have high hopes for him in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.

Long story short: we’re lucky to live in a time where Sam Wilson exists.

REVIEW: "Uprooted" by Naomi Novik

This isn’t Naomi Novik’s first walk around the fantasy block. She’s best known for her series Temeraire, a fantasy/alternate history saga that spans eight novels, the first installation of which was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2007. Uprooted is her first standalone novel, a fact that my series-tired self was glad to learn.

Uprooted is, ultimately, a fairytale that’s been upended on its head, and as such there are a lot of familiar elements that leap out at you immediately. There’s the peasant girl, the scary magician that lives in a secluded tower, the dark and sinister forest that may or may not contain evil beings, the handsome prince… it’s a familiar setup. But that’s the point, because Novik is here to pull the rug out from under you and reintroduce these characters as more than the fairytale clichés we’ve become familiar with.