"here for the ladies"

Kayla Kumari | 22 | writer

You know that female character you hate? There's a 98.4% chance I love her. You can find my writing at The AV Club, Medium, and on napkins in random bars throughout Los Angeles. I self-identify as the Taylor Swift of standup comedy.

Because of respectability politics, audiences will often hold characters of color—and black women in particular—to different standards. Rutina Wesley’s Tara on True Blood was hated fiercely by fans for her flaws despite not being any worse than any of the other characters on the show (in fact, Tara, for me, was one of the only heroic characters that show had). Kat Graham’s Bonnie Bennett has similarly been scrutinized for “bad choices” by fans of The Vampire Diaries. Meanwhile, Elena Gilbert gets to pretty much do whatever she wants without losing her hero status.

When critics talk of the great “antiheroes” of TV drama right now, they mention the Walts, the Dons, and the Rusts. But what about Olivia Pope? White men on television, of course, get to be morally questionable, and people will love it. Black women on television are expected to be role models, to “represent” the race in a positive light. Black women on television are allowed to be heroes, but not in a way that threatens whiteness. They are allowed to be strong, but not overpowering; smart, but not arrogant. They’re expected to be independent but also team players.

AV Club calling out society’s inherent racism and misogyny in it’s review of How To Get Away With Murder  (via capleesi

cooooooool I wrote these words

Julianna Margulies talking about Gloria Steinem on The Good Wife - requested by hathaross

"I love playing someone who has so much integrity, who has so much joy and so much life—even though her life is now in prison. She’s locked up, but she’s able to build up joy anyway."

- samira wiley for brooklyn magazine


Santana Lopez: Kim K Hollywood edition


Drake’s probably still in that chair



maybe I’ll start using tumblr again idk!!!! life is cyclical, right?!

Outlander: “Castle Leoch”

Even while surrounded by unmistakable threat, Claire avoids becoming the obliging waif the inhabitants of Leoch expect her to be. She springs into action, knowing that the only way to get back to her time is to get used to this one. If this were Westeros, we might say she knows how to play the game. But even as she dons the apparel and adopts the colloquialisms, she remains the same cheeky woman we met in 1945. “For a woman, you ask too many questions,” spits Dougal’s crony. “So I’ve been told,” she retorts, suggesting challenging gender roles has kind of been her thing well before the time jump. The fact that we’re taking this journey through the perspective of a woman makes things infinitely more interesting, especially because Claire so closely resembles the archetypal reluctant male hero we’re used to seeing in the fantasy genre. Outlander seems determined to flip that script.

Requiring students to learn about race is crucial… necessary even. But I also think it’s necessary that we tell students very directly that their coursework alone won’t earn them any social justice gold stars. We need to be more explicit when establishing safe spaces in classrooms where race is being discussed: ”safe spaces” should not mean spaces where students can say racist things and be absolved of blame. They should be safe spaces for marginalized voices. White guilt, white tears, and white saviorism have no place in these classrooms. We need to teach students not to just understand what the master’s tools and the master’s house are, but what they mean.

Most of all, we need to recognize the limitations of academics. We need to teach students to listen, to be vulnerable and admit fault. Academics can fuel action. I consider all of my friends to be fiercely intelligent. They’re thoughtful and well-educated, and profess to be progressive. But some of them are also the kind of people who remain silent over Israel’s attacks on Gaza, worried that speaking out could hurt their job prospects. Because American individualism seems to be one lesson universities struggle to unteach.

A degree can’t be used as proof that you “understand my struggle.” A degree can’t be used as a shield against criticism. Most of all, a degree can’t be used as a weapon to invalidate my lived experiences. How can a piece of paper on a wall weigh more than the burden I carry just for existing as a woman of color? Your degree counts for something, but it’s not enough.

"I Have a Cultural Studies Degree" is the new "I Have Black Friends" by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya (via queer-filam-artivism)

HEY THAT’S ME!!! I said that!! <333