Creature Features in Review: Gremlins 2 (1990)

Machine Mean

Related imageThis essay contains spoilers for, and assumes prior knowledge of, Gremlins and Gremlins 2. If you don’t want to be spoiled, go watch the films first. So, I’ve written about Gremlins < > elsewhere. It’s one of the most popular things I’ve ever written online, at least in terms of number of views, which is both gratifying and mystifying. And I feel like I should start by stating the obvious – it doesn’t need a sequel. There’s nothing significant left hanging in terms of plot or character resolution that needed another movie to explore. The movie is, in Aristotelian terms, a complete action. The most you can say in defense of any proposed sequel is that the first movie leaves the door open, what with Gizmo still being alive at the end, but that’s a long way from having a sequel be either needed or, necessarily, desirable. 

And sequels…

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Mansplaining and the Power of Naming

The Bias

Every few weeks, a man jumps into my mentions to ask me why “mansplaining” is a word. These conversations tend to follow a familiar pattern: multiple women respond with their own experiences of being ‘splained at, and how the word is useful to describe a particular pattern of sexist behavior. The man (sometimes several men) argues that we should just call it ‘condescension’ because (you guessed it) “not all men.” Then they’ll insist that the term “mansplaining” is a gendered slur.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that as soon as a marginalized group develops words to describe their oppression, their oppressors will label those words ‘slurs.’

We’ve seen this with a lot of terms, from claims that ‘cis’ and ‘whiteness’ are slurs to the shift in meaning by which “bullying” is now used to describe any activist labor that makes privileged people even the slightest bit uncomfortable.

This is one of the…

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