Onscreen, Women Are Giving Patriarchy the Pink Slip
By Candice Frederick
When the #MeToo movement catapulted into the mainstream more than a year ago, survivors around the globe felt more emboldened than ever before to break their silence about sexual abuse at the hands of men. Their stories not only censured the much-deserving perpetrators, but led to a reckoning about gender inequality and misogyny that continues to galvanize society.
So much so that we have embraced a new phase of the movement that is redirecting the focus to the women – like Mira Sorvino, Gabrielle Union and Padma Lakshmi – who have stepped out of the shadows of problematic men and reclaimed control of their narratives in fascinating new ways. And now, film and TV have begun to reflect that same shift toward radical female entitlement.
Take “House of Cards.” You may recall that the Netflix series’ sixth and final season, now streaming, was at first thrown into turmoil after its male lead, Kevin Spacey, was accused of making an unwanted sexual advance in 1986 toward actor Anthony Rapp, who was only 14 at the time. As a result, Spacey was fired from the show and his character, the ruthless President Frank Underwood, was killed off. These events took place after Season 5, when Underwood had resigned to take a more behind-the-scenes role.
His wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), cunning and manipulative in her own right yet long suffering under her husband’s oppressive ego, found herself in position to seize the presidency. Even though Claire’s master plan had always been to become president, the fact that she continues on this path in Season 6 – without a man trying to pull the strings – is considered an intolerable act of defiance to Frank’s staff, which remains in place even though Claire is in charge. And like life imitating art, “House of Cards” fans and critics alike voiced concerns about how the show would go on without Spacey – and whether it should. The series’ bold final season has obliterated all those doubts.
Because Claire’s ascension followed Frank’s death, her opponents determine that it is ungrounded, forcing her to work twice as hard just to be taken seriously as a potential threat.
How women’s competence has been categorically underestimated and undermined by toxic men, including their own spouses, is also a major impetus for the action in “Widows.” The Steve McQueen-directed crime drama follows three women – Veronica, Linda and Alice – whose lives are upended after their husbands die robbing the nefarious Manning brothers . The Mannings want their money back and, armed with the knowledge that these widows had nothing to do with their husbands’ blood business, come barreling into their lives, confident that they can threaten them into accommodating their demands.
2018-12-16 聯合報．D4．紐約時報賞析 莊蕙嘉
女性長久以來被描述成「男性凝視」的受害者(victim of the ‘male gaze’)：男人觀看的行為就是在行使權力，女人則是被凝視遭控制的對象，亦稱「父權凝視」(patriarchal gaze)。
如今時代不同了。女性展開反擊，令patriarchy（父權）退散；至少在銀（螢）幕上是如此。Pink slip（解雇通知）的動詞形式是pink-slip：The new director started by immediately pink-slipping a number of key players.
作者介紹新片「寡婦」時指出3位遇人不淑的女主角碰上「渣男」（toxic men）。被牛津字典選為年度代表字（Word of the Year ）的toxic意為「有毒的」，今年被廣泛應用在政壇、職場、校園、人際關係上面。Toxic masculinity的危害更在#Me Too運動的風起雲湧下無所遁形。
Looking Back on 100 Years of New York City Drinking Culture, From Gritty to Elegant
By Dan Saltzstein
The history of drinking in America goes straight through the heart of New York. As with so many aspects of the city, that history has run from gritty to stylish and back again.
For generations, taverns and saloons were largely places for men to gather, drink, gamble and chew tobacco. Those places could be discerning, as with Fraunces Tavern, a still-existent bar patronized in the 18th century by the likes of George Washington and his soldiers, or more suited to the average Joe, like McSorley’s Old Ale House, which opened in the mid-19th century and, until 1970, admitted only men.
By the time McSorley’s had opened, many American bartenders had made a of inventing what we now think of as craft cocktails. The atmosphere at these locales was often hostile and crude.
Prohibition changed all that. The idea of bars as hospitable, welcoming spaces gained traction when liquor sales became illegal.
With the advent of speak-easies, owners and bartenders suddenly had a new clientele: women. The social appeal of speak-easies pulled them into new and vibrant communal spaces. Alongside the new customers came bar stools, live jazz and a new breed of cocktails.
Despite the end of Prohibition in 1933, these changes to New York’s drinking culture endured, opening up the cocktail scene to a broader audience.
By the 1960s and into the ‘80s and ‘90s, bar culture in New York had become as varied and textured as the city itself. Cocktail bars got yet another revival at the Rainbow Room, where Dale DeGroff took over the drinks program. In the Village, the Stonewall Inn and others became centers for gay culture, while uptown venues like the Shark Bar attracted a mostly African-American clientele.
Today, despite an unfortunate turnover rate, modern New York cocktail bars are doing their best to foster a sense of community and hospitality.
It’s this spirit that an editorial writer for The Brooklyn Eagle captured in an 1885 column (quoted by David Wondrich in his book “Imbibe”). “The modern American,” the paper observed, “looks for civility and he declines to go where rowdy instincts are rampant.”
But American bars are not by definition civil. Luckily, it’s as easy to find your watering hole fit today as it was a century ago.
2018-12-16 聯合報．D4．紐約時報賞析 陳韋廷