5 Daughter Movies #DirectedByWomen

I started doing this categorized List of 5 movies thing where I showcase movies that were directed by women and that I have actually seen. It all started during the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party in September 2015, and it was pretty fun, so I've continued doing it from time to time.

It's a bit off-topic from my normal fare, ya know, being that it's not specifically about lady-gasms or anything like that, but I think it fits the blog because
1. this blog is also about indie movie-making, and
2. this blog is partially about getting the female perspective of sexuality into our media. So, to me, supporting female voices in our media  means we're creating more room for female voices to speak on all types of things, which sometimes will be sex, orgasms, and sexuality.

You can find all my 5-movie lists HERE.

The movies in this list all center around being a daughter in some way. I mean all ladies are daughters to someone, but it's an important element in these movies. You might relate. Probably not...because these are mostly not about anything you ever have or even ever could experience, but you know, maybe.

Please do get a snack and a drink, and choose one of these lovely movies directed by women.

1 The Edge of Seventeen - This was directed by Kelly Fremon Craig. I actually saw this accidentally. I was meaning to see Twentieth Century Women, but thought it was called The Edge of Seventeen for some reason, and I didn't realize I'd gone to a different movie until about 20 minutes in when I just couldn't pretend anymore that it would suddenly turn toward the plot or characters I was expecting. It was a good movie though, so I'm not complaining - a solid coming of age (which of course involved but was certainly not limited to the main character's relationship with her mother).

2 Lady Bird - This was directed by Greta Gerwig. I saw this at the theater on my first trip to Des Moines - staking it out for the potential move. They have a great little arts theater here, and honestly that helped me feel a lot better about moving here. It is a really excellent movie in the coming of age drama. It's clearly all about the mother daughter relationship, and do I love that the mother is Jackie from Roseanne. Yes I do.

3 The Dressmaker - This was directed by Jocelyn Moorehouse. I caught this on Netflix. I was interested in seeing this in the theaters, but it didn't happen. I was quite pleasantly surprised by this. It's a good one, and it starts with a daughter coming home to her mother. Check this one out.

4 Oh Lucy - This was directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi. I saw this at that same Des Moines art theater. I will say the trailer is not a great way to actually get a feel of what this movie is, but I liked it a lot anyway. It's got some superb shit in it. I recommend. And - it involves following a daughter to the US from Japan.

5 Wonder Woman - This was directed by Patty Jenkins. You know about this one. IEveryone does...and frankly the person Wonder Woman is a daughter of makes a pretty big difference in this movie. I'm gonna be honest and say something I suspect will be pretty unpopular. I didn't like it all that much. I mean it was fine, and as super hero movies go, it was a good one, but to me, that's not saying much. Super hero movies are really just pure fluffy, cotton candy, predictably boring trash with lame over-done fight scenes. I mean that's my opinion, but I won't shame you if that's the kind of trash you like. I like my own types of trash movies, but super hero movies are not one of them. Anyway. I'm not gonna recommend this one, but you probably love it already and don't need my recommendation anyway.


Better Sex Scene Ideas

This is just a quick post with a short list of things I would love to see in a movie...things about lady-gasms and clits...things that are realistic.

Are we not, my friends, sick of seeing movies/tv with a lady-dude couple busting through the front door after a date, kissing, desperately grabbing each other until she's pressed up against a wall or picked up and thrown on a bed, her skirt pulled up...and then he intercourses on her with his dick in her vag-hole, moving it in and out and in and out and in and out for a few moments until they both vocally show us they've clearly orgasmed?

I mean, I get it. It looks hot, but it's bull-motha-fuckin-shit. Never in all of scientific literature has there been a physically documented orgasm caused by stimulation inside the vagina. That's true. People will act and even say it's not true, but that's just because we have a fucked up, twisted, shit-for-lady-gasm culture that refuses to acknowledge intercourse isn't how females orgasm any more than anal intercourse is how males orgasm. Find me a piece of scientific literature with physical verification for vaginally stimulated orgasms, and I'll be happy to reverse course. Seriously, find one. Also, even if you don't believe me, you can surely agree that orgasming from intercourse is not common among women. In pretty much every survey ever taken, the majority of women* say they cannot orgasm from intercourse alone. So, even if you can't get fully on board, I hope you can at least see there's something strange in the fact that so much of our media depicts women orgasming from in-out boning even though that is a relatively rare occurrence at best. Why you gotta play us ladies like that, society in general?

Clit stimulation is how women orgasm just like penis stimulation is how men orgasm.  It's not a hard concept. It's just that no one wants to believe it, and our culture doesn't reflect that truth. That's why we are always seeing women getting rammed into ecstatic orgasm in our TV and movies...and porn...and romance novels...all that shit. It's a big gross cycle where we want to believe women can get banged to orgasm (because it's easy and convenient to just come during whatever makes a male come, right?) and all those characters in our media can come easily from a good bone, so it just reinforces that intercourse is how we should orgasm...and that maybe we can???....maybe we are???...maybe if we can't we're broken????

Anyway, if we are ever going to break this cycle of thinking women should be coming in a way that is very not conducive to female orgasm, we need to start depicting it more realistically. Here's a few ideas to help our media makers get on the right track.

  • For god's sake, just show a reach-around. I've seen it multiple times in depictions of male-on-male sex. They get it. They know the penis needs love for orgasm to happen. Show all the banging against a wall you want, but just let us see that arm lengthening out to her pelvis. It's a small thing. It can be done.
  • If you wanna get real wild and freak out ALL the squares, just let a lady rub her own junk. She can do her own reach around. In fact give her a vibrator...but don't make the dude be all weird about as if the vibrator is taking his place or something (I'm talking to you creators of Love the TV show).
  • You know what, get really wild and show us a threesome with one dude fucking the lady and the other eating her out with his mouth right on her clit (and daaaaaangerously close to another dude's dick). A lady could come like that, I tell ya.
  • Or, let's keep it a bit more wholesome, and lighten up on all the dirty fornication altogether. Let's see a pair of teen lovers doing what red-blooded American teen lovers should be doing - mutually masturbating their own clit and/or penis to orgasm. It's pregnancy free and disease free, and downright tasteful compared to a threesome.
  • Here's another idea. No biggie. How about we put Taye Diggs in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise, D'Angelo in the How Does It Feel video,  Channing Tatum's body dancing to Pony, and peak Zac Efron in a big naked, writhing, hard pile of man, next to a watching lady, getting fanned by hot yet unknown male models and being fed Ben and Jerry's Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz ice cream while she leisurely masturbates. That could be a scene. I'm not saying I could be that actress, but I could be that actress. 

Enjoy D'Angelo.

*The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Study of Evolution by Elisabeth Lloyd is an impeccably researched book that begins with compiling loads of surveys about women's ability to orgasm through intercourse. It's the best overall resource I could suggest on the topic.


Sex And The City S1 E3-7: A Retro SSL Review

My new little segment is back for a another round (Here's the others). It's a modified, lazy version of an SSL Review. It's just me transcribing my notes, page by page, on all of the Sex and the City episodes. I watched them all - not necessarily in order - during 2007 and 2008, and I took notes on the depiction/discussion of female orgasm and female masturbation. It was my early attempt at this type of lady-gasm review stuff. Anyway, I never actually created reviews from these notes, but since they exist, I'd like to get them out there on the interwebs before they get burned in a house fire or something...thus this series.

Ramona and my SATC Notes

Anyway, the fun of this will be that I will transcribe these as word for word as I can while still trying to make it be a sensible read. I'll post a pick of the notes for your reference. I'll do one or more episodes at a time - from the beginning of the notebook to the end. I may add notes for clarification or add my SSL-Review-style comments.

Hopefully the notes I took privately 10 years ago won't make me look like a dumb asshole. I will add them in the TV SSL Review Master List  (of course you are also welcome to check out the Movie SSL Review Master List as well). Here we go.

Sex and the City Season 1 Episodes 3 - 7

Season 1 Ep 3

Season 1 Ep 4 
-Sam talking about all the positions - she got fucked in - they were obviously totally orgasmic for her.
-Sam tells Charlotte back door with the right guy and right lubricant is wonderful
-Carrie gets off top of him and says it was great then V.O. says "then when I thought it couldn't get any better, he spooned me." {in the margin next to this I wrote: intercourse was good but cuddling is better}

Season 1 Ep 5
- Woman tells Carrie her man has tiny penis but knows just how to use it
-Sam says: money is power, sex is power - just an exchange of power
- Miranda says, 'don't listen to the dime store Camille Paglia'
-sex for money - Carrie said would bring down her morals

Season 1 Ep 6

Season 1 Ep 7
-Charlotte doesn't like to give head
-oral sex  - Miranda said oral sex is god's gift to women - but then Sam said cock-sucking is power --- so confused 2 types of oral sex
-Then Miranda and Sam both said they only give oral sex to get it.

My Thoughts
I must have been tired or bored when I was watching these because they are even less clear about what was happening in the episodes than normal. Also, though, there wasn't really anything in these episodes that I consider SSL Reviewable these days. There was technically no discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. It's more just female sexuality related comments that are not eligible for review that I wrote down.

At the time I was taking notes for these, though, I was still writing the movie and I wasn't quite as focused in my point of view as I am now. Plus, I was just writing down things that were kinda interesting to me - like Miranda calling Samantha a dime store Camille Paglia. I kinda liked that because I had recently learned about and read some Camille Paglia and her sort of patriarchy infused brand of feminism.

I thought it a good burn by Miranda. I thought, and still do, that the archetype that the Samantha character inhabits of an uber sexual woman, but specifically ubersexual in the way that is incredibly pleasing and deeply in line with male orgasm, desire, and fantasy is, well, not that progressive, and also straight up fraudulent in its depiction of what actually is physically orgasmic to women. I mean, how many times in this show does Samantha get her brains fucked out (i.e. getting her vaginal canal stimulated by a ramming penis) and orgasms without ever even having anything close to stimulation on her clitoral glans area? A lot -that's how many, and it's BS. That's simply not a sensible or realistic way to depict women coming.

Even though it is depicted like that all the time, it's still BS, and Samantha is, as Miranda insinuated, a sort of hallow, patriarchy infused, brand of sexual feminism. Her character is aligned less to actual reality of the female body/sexuality/orgasm, and more to pretending that sexiness and the acts of exuberantly engaging in penis-focused sex cause orgasm in females. This archetype that Samantha inhabits is no a progressive, sexually liberated woman. That idea of her is largely false, and the uber sexual Samantha archetype, that talks above about how great and presumably orgasmic all the different intercourse positions she's done are, is just a trick that we ladies are always falling for.

I do, however, like Miranda talking about how lovely oral sex is. I mean, that's a mouth on the clit, and that actually could be(and often is, amiright?) orgasmic for a women, and I'll also give Samantha some props for enjoying it enough to admit she only gives in order to get that sweet, sweet, oral. Samantha get's it right sometimes.



Superstar - The SSL Review

Okay - I'm just going to admit that my posting-every-3-to-4-days schedule that I had kept the last couple years is not something I'm gonna keep up with at the moment. I'll get back there, but I'm just going to be completely honest and say I'm going for a once a week situation for a while until things with my move and new job and all the stuff that goes with that get more settled.

So that's that. Now, I'm here to write a post, and that post is an SSL Review of none other than Superstar starring Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher. I was staying at my sister's house last night while we were on a quick visit back to Indy. After much too long of searching through streaming media services (because that shit always takes way too goddamn long), we settled on watching this classic, and I might even say actually quite funny, 90's SNL flick. My teen niblings (this is a real word for nieces and nephews - look it up)  hadn't seen it before or hadn't even ever seen Mary Katherine Gallagher smell the sweat under her own armpits. They liked it too.

Seriously, I remember thinking this movie was pretty hilarious back in the day, and although it had largely horrible reviews, I say fuck those reviews - I was pleasantly surprised at how dumb and funny I still found it. It's a solid watch, and -bonus- there was one tiny little line in it that made it SSL Reviewable, so all the better for me.

An SSL Review, for those that need a little refresher is a review specifically of any discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I critique the realism of the depiction/discussion and also write about what the depiction/discussion says about our cultural understanding of female sexuality and orgasm as well as what the depiction/discussion adds to our cultural knowledge on those subjects. I try my best to just stick specifically to those SSL Reviewable moments and often don't talk much about the quality of the rest of the movie...unless I want to talk about it. See all the other movie SSL Reviews HERE and the TV SSL Reviews HERE.

The line was small, but I thought a telling one and worth a review. Enjoy.

Buttons, Holes, and Poles: the line in question
It's not easy to explain exactly what was going on in the plot, but here's a quick summary to get you into the feel of the movie. The Catholic high school that Mary Katherine Gallagher attends is hosting a "Let's Fight Venereal Disease Talent Contest" sponsored by a Catholic magazine, and the top prize is a chance to be an extra in a Hollywood movie with positive moral values. Mary Katherine Gallagher wants to be a SUPERSTAR, so she enters the contest and hilarity ensues.

That's the background that you actually don't really need. So anyway, at one point the Priest/principal of the school says to a student in relation to the venereal disease theme of the talent contest:

"Girls have a button, boys have a pole, and wicked touching takes its toll."

Here's the deal. Pole does not rhyme with button. It rhymes with hole. The writers could have used hole to equate with boys' poles, but they didn't. They, quite correctly, used button. Button insinuates clit and hole, well, insinuates vaginal opening.

Let me be clear. Penises are the male pleasure organ in the same way the clitoral glans (the lady-button) is the female pleasure organ. Lady-holes are not the female pleasure organ.

The father was wise and correct in his comparison even though it is way more common, I believe, to hear people equating the penis in boys to the vagina (as in the hole) in females. That's a bullshit comparison because the vagina, contrary to popular belief, is not a thing like the penis that can be stimulated into orgasm. You might think it would be because we so often see women depicted as orgasming from penises ramming into their vaginal holes, but that's just some myth. In fact in all of scientific literature, stimulating the vaginal canal has never been physically shown to cause orgasm in a woman. It just hasn't.

But stimulating the button or the pole sure the fuck has - numerous times.

So, my point here is that I feel like there was a conscious decision by someone in the writer room to say button instead of hole as a way to sort of give props to the button, and I think that's important because the button does not get near enough props. It's sadly and stupidly always being seen as second pleasure fiddle to the hole even though it is so clearly not just the first fiddle but really the only fiddle game in town (if we're talking about orgasms). I know that's a lot of metaphor, but I think you get my drift.

THE BUTTON, NOT THE HOLE, IS EQUIVALENT TO THE POLE, and the more we hear that out loud, the more likely it will sink into our cultural brain that lady-gasms come from clit stimulation and not poundings.

Satan Ain't No Chump
I have an honorary SSL Reviewable scene too. One of the weirdo gals in Mary Katherine Gallagher's class likes to act like she is kind of possessed by Satan, himself. She brings Satan up a lot, but she's cool though. Anyway, at the end of the movie we see random couples getting together and kissing in that end of the movie sort of way. When it cuts to her, though, she starts pushing her dude's head down out of frame like she's telling him to eat her out.
I just like it because I like anything that insinuates women like to do sex stuff other than getting banged...but especially getting eaten out - because a tongue on one's clit is, well, it's a lovely thing and we should be reminding everyone of that more.

The Vulva Rating
So, I might be wrong that the choice of button instead of hole was a conscious love-the-clit choice, but even if it wasn't, it still said button and not hole. That in and of itself is a little victory for the lady-gasm given that the clitoral glans - the literal thing that causes female orgasm - is so often ignored in our sexual discussions yet the hole where penises go in, babies come out, and orgasms don't seem to be stimulated from - is constantly being brought up.

Obviously, I also LOVE seeing a girl depicted as desiring oral sex given that clit licking is a viable way to actually orgasm.

These were small choices. They weren't over-the-top orgasm equality progressive, but they were small wins towards orgasm equality.

I give Superstar a 4 out of 5 vulva rating.