GLOW (Part 1 of 3)

****Warning Discloser: Spoilers and sexual assault references***

The Cast of GLOW

I love “Glow”! Not just because it’s a nod to the times, but because of the cast and it’s great storytelling. Set in the mid 80s, Ruth Wilder, played by Allison Brie, is an up and coming actress trying her hardest to score her first big gig. Well…one thing led to another and she became a female wrestler.

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Ruth

 

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Zoya the Destroya

Believe it or not wrestling was a big deal back then. Even though  wrestling was fake, they drew big crowds on and off the small screen. Heck, GLOW is based off the actual GLOW TV Show which aired those days. And even when I watched the show  (you can  watch the documentary off the show on Netflix, it’s great), these women were amazing and crazy! There was NOTHING like that those days where women wrestled. So the show was very groundbreaking.

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Source: Inverse

If you grew up in the 80s or watched 80s films, women weren’t given a lot of roles as they are now. They didn’t have a lot lead roles, they seemed to play only as secretaries or mothers, they needed to be “pretty” and of course…they needed to have a man and be a damsel in distress. Women weren’t given a lot of personality…but GLOW gave the women to be more on television. They could engage in wresting for crying out loud! Yeah, some of those of course led to major injury, but these women were no longer restricted by gender norms.

Being that we’re now in the ME TOO era, this film really served as a reminder of what women went through to become famous. Unfortunately, it wasn’t due just hard work alone, but due to sleezy men who wanted to take advantage of women who wanted be actors.

If you look at the picture above, you can tell that Ruth was a rather dreamy and naive actress.  For starters, she wasn’t from California (I believe she’s originally from the mid west) and two, she has just such a big passion for acting. So big in fact, the director of GLOW (and soon to be love interest), Sam Sylvia, played by Marc Maron, didn’t take her seriously at first when he was putting together the cast. But thank goodness, to her passion, Sam kept her and she did very well portraying her Russian alter-ego, Zoya the Destroya.

The show, especially her character was so well liked by Tom Grant (Paul Fitzgerald), the President of K-DTV of North Hollywood, that he asked Glen Klitnick (Andrew Friedman), he could invite her to his pad. Unknowingly to Ruth, she was nothing more as some sort of “gift” to Tom Grant, once Glen left the room.

Even though Tom asked Ruth how to wrestle, it was really just an excuse to fondle her breast for example. Looking at her face, she was extremely uncomfortable, while looking at his face he was enjoying himself. Just seeing how he grabbing her and trying to put his face between her breast. Reminded me of what happened with me.

Although I told him I just wanted to make out, he thought it okay to pull down my shirt and fondle my breasts while at. I had never really known what making out at the time, only that I thought it should involved was kissing. But I didn’t even know I could decide what constituted as making out and assumed everyone knew it involved kissing.

I felt for Ruth when she escaped Glen’s house and how humiliated and confused she must have felt. Like a “why me”??? or a “I should have known better”? Unfortunately, the following day she kind of regretted running away, when it was found that  “Glow” was scheduled to be air 2 AM in the morning.

Damn…

While some how Ruth’s character annoyed me, because she was naive, but I guess she annoyed me because she reminded me of myself. I felt like Ruth, I put myself in that situation and I get upset everyday, that why did I not see that coming. Sometimes I forget the world does not have the same heart I do and will try to hide its true face. However neither me and Ruth didn’t deserve to be treated the way we did. But as you can imagine for Ruth, her dreams were reliant on someone who had the power to embolden her career, but instead it was to embolden their own ego. Then because Tom Grant didn’t get what he wanted, he punished her, which  in turn punished her fellow actresses. So not ONLY does Ruth have to deal with assault, but have to take the blame for the cancellation of her show.

Unfortunately this is what happens to assault victims…their assaulter with use some sort of means of abuse . There are many forms of abuse…according to the “Physical Violence Sexual” wheel by The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

 

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I feel that Tom Grant in the episode, used economic abuse, his male privilege, and emotional abuse to take control and get back at Ruth. This may be a fictional show, but the abuse that women underwent especially during those times in Hollywood IS real.

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m On My Treatment Again!

Haha! This is exactly what I’m going through with right after getting my meds again on the weekend! Yeaaaaa! I FINALLY with my psychiatrist last week, and created a new treatment plan where for the next two weeks I’ll start on lower dosages of my medications and then after that continue going on my original dosage again. Thought it would be a good way to ease my way BACK into it. I mean…I’ve been off my meds for a month and a half and THAT already had impact on me. Now I kinda feel like my me and my body are trying to get reacquainted with the meds as kinda indicated with Sam and Dean above😅

Children’s Domestic Abuse Wheel

One of the forgotten people in Domestic Violence is the children. Why? I have no idea… Believe me, since I was a child I’ve always wanted an answer…. What annoyed me growing up personally was when people would convince my mom to stay with my father, because it would be a shame if me and my siblings grew up fatherless. The ironic thing  about that was, was while he was in our lives he never really took on the roll of a father.

See the term “mother” or “father” are just names of roles, but really what makes, for instance, a “father”, is a man who decides he is going to be one.  Why do you think  terms like “father figure” or “mother figure” exist? Because you don’t have to be a blood relative or even be the parent yourself to become a “father” or “mother.” Unfortunately, the people who were indirectly shaming my mother by making us go back to abusive roots just to have a “father” have no IDEA what it was like to undergo abuse by a partner or witness the beating of your mother.

The real shame of the people who said my siblings deserved a “father” was the fact they completely ignored the apparent fear and confusion behind my mom’s face and behind my mom’s words. And because my mom valued those people, she valued their words and stayed. The real shame of those people was that they put “family first”, before (especially) before the physical and mental well-being of my siblings and I.

Children are the REAL losers of domestic violence. So young with their life way ahead of them, they counter situations and emotions that is beyond their own reckoning. So when I hear people talk about how victims of domestic violence should stay with their apparently abusive partner, because the child needs a “father”, I can’t help but to shake my head. How the hell do people like that think they can “understand” and oversimplify such dire situations??? I mean hell, I’m an adult who grew up in such situation and I’m still having a hard time understanding it.

I found this chart, “The Children’s Domestic Abuse Wheel”, to remind people how domestic violence and other forms of abuse affects children in many ways:

  • Isolation
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Physical & Mental Effects
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Using Children
  • Threats,
  • Sexual Stereotyping
  • Intimidation

The reason why I suffer from mental health issues is BECAUSE of living through such a dysfunctional environment. I suffer bad heartburn, because of all of the stress absorbed into my stomach. I don’t wish this upon any child, not even my own. That’s why I don’t have a family of my own yet. I don’t need to see my life repeated like that again.  It’s like the old saying goes, “Think of the Children”. At the end of the day, they have the most to lose.

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The Call for Equality in Pop Culture

Why is this topic important to me? Well ’cause I grew up watching comic book heroes on tv  and doing so helped me escape the hardships in my household. I may have mentioned in the previous post, “Superheros and Mental Health” I grew up in a domestic abusive household and I often felt powerless and powerless. But seeing hero and heroines overcome their own battles (including within) gave me the courage to overcome my troubles. So, I wasn’t interested in becoming the princess who waited for the prince to arrive, but rather the woman who had the power to change course of her life…and still get a man. But you know what??? There wasn’t even lot of heroines and worse there wasn’t even a lot of Black heroines or even other heroines of color. The biggest one I knew was…Storm.

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This is the “Storm” I knew back in the 90s when X-Men was on “Fox Kids” Her style was as fierce as she was and she was STILL classy. I liked that about her.

Hero without Her: Where My Superheroines At?

This was the 90’s where pretty much the gender norms were still alive and kicking, which meant only white,young boys and of course, the stereotypical nerdy man living in their mother’s basement, could only read comic books and show interest in action figures. I didn’t fit ANY of those categories growing up, so you can imagine how hard that could have been for a young Black girl who came from a dysfunctional  household.

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Fast forward to the future…holy crap the superhero movies now days…whoo! Frozen what???? Elsa who??? I think these movies would have heavily gained my interest as a young girl…especially seeing all these incredible heroines… I would have wanted every action figure and dolls from those films. Even if they didn’t possess super powers or they weren’t the main leads, they were incredible, intelligent women I would have admired…haha! Like I’m not already…but it would have been overwhelming for me as a child.

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Wasp was AMAZING in this movie!

I mean not too long ago, “Black Panther” the film adaptation of one Marvel’s superheroes, Black Panther, made $1.344 BILLION dollars! I mean…this one of the few films that had so much hype but actually delivered, but I gotta say when you have movie veterans like Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker and up and coming actors like Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyongo and then you have Danai Gurira too??? I knew it was going to be a great film. It was also a good way to show Hollywood, that yes…if you make a great film and cast it with all Black actors you can still make the big bucks. Thankfully “Black Panther” was an already well known character in the Marvel Universe.

I knew my inner five year old was squealing for joy when I first watched this movie. There were people who looked like me, wearing and styling the hair as I would my own and the women who did such an incredible job with the action scenes… Black actors who first once depicted as thugs, whores, drug dealers or maids or servants were now superheroes—at least to mainstream America, ESPECIALLY Hollywood. The funny thing was even though Erik Killmonger, who looked more like a thug than anyone in the film, had such a rich and complex character, that even you would feel for him. Nobody even called him a thug. I think he’s one of the villains you could relate with or sympathize for even if you weren’t Black. Yeah there has always been a Black villain, but none that been have more portrayed well as in this film by Michael B. Jordan. Black folks seemed to be always been portrayed as villains, because well… of the color our skin (especially if you’re dark skinned). So for the first time, I  enjoyed watching a Black villain without feeling portrayed incorrectly as a person of color.

But lately, there’s been just this nastiness towards such talented group of women in such reknown and popular tv shows

Colorism, Ageism, Sexism, Racism: What’s With All The “-Isms” Toward Actors?

When I see young actresses, especially actresses of color bullied, it pisses me off. To think that a certain group of people think it’s okay to say deplorable sh*tty comments. Anyways, actresses like Kelly Marie Tran, Millie Bobby Brown, and Anna Diop are just to a few names to mention who have faced harassment online, but regardless, they are fighting to good fight to end online bullying:

Kelly Marie Tran

Being that her character, Rose Tico, the first Asian-American woman in the Star Wars franchise (and apparently in the Star Wars Universe) has faced a lot of harassment from the darkside of the Star Wars Fandom and shut down her Instagram. However this past August, she resurfaced and gave such a powerful narrative about growing up as a Vietnamese Women in a world that tells her that she isn’t good enough and learning to find the importance of loving herself in the New York Times article, “Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment.” Here’s an excerpt:

I had been brainwashed into believing that my existence was limited to the boundaries of another person’s approval. I had been tricked into thinking that my body was not my own, that I was beautiful only if someone else believed it, regardless of my own opinion. I had been told and retold this by everyone: by the media, by Hollywood, by companies that profited from my insecurities, manipulating me so that I would buy their clothes, their makeup, their shoes, in order to fill a void that was perpetuated by them in the first place.

We’ve all felt this way at one point of the other. And I’m glad she’s not letting haters drag her back.

Millie Bobby Brown

How the hell do people bully a 14 year old??? Like for real? Only miserable sorry excuse of a human being…that’s who.

See, Miss. Brown is a supporter the LGBTQ community, but to make her look homophobic (and apparently to hate on her success on a great character ) and even sometimes racist, they made the hashtag, #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown (Gutierrez, 2018). One user was part of that nonsense said the hashtag was meant to be “satirical”, but how the f*** is making racial and homophobic comments “satirical”???  Especially towards a young woman???It’s so sad to see the amount of “excuses” on the rise these days.

The crazy thing is this…”Strange Things” is about outcasts…nerds…who come together and with the bond of their strong friendship, save their little town of Hawkins, Indiana (perhaps the world too) mired by conspiracy by the U.S. Government. Yet…we have some asshats don’t seem to reflect what “Stranger Things” is about.

Miss. Brown wasn’t able to make it to the MTV Movie & TV Awards in August this year, because of a knee injury, but she did make an appearance via video and made an acceptance speech. Here is an except (Carras, 2018):

“Since I know there are many young people watching this — and even for the adults, too — they could probably use the reminder that I was taught: if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say it,” Brown said in the video. “There should be no space in this world for bullying, and I’m not going to tolerate it, and neither should any of you.”

Only 14 and she’s already so well-spoken for.

The only things I have say about Miss. Brown are these:

  1. She can be dressed a bit mature for her age. While I don’t agree a woman (even an up in coming one) shouldn’t always be judged by what they wear, I feel like in a sense, her clothes is wearing her and she has to primped up to match up to it. Look…young girls at their age (I work with kids and when I work with them, memories come back) are already going through enough growing pains, let them gradually grow into the woman they are meant to be. They have the rest of their lives to be a woman.
  2. She kind of reminds me a young Natalie Portman. Like…she could be like a kid cousin or maybe a 2nd or 3rd cousin of hers. I know. I’m weird.

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But when I have my own teenager one day, they are NOT getting a smart phone or social media. If they do have social media, I HAVE to follow them. There’s too much crap for young people to handle. I know this being an adult myself…the amount of information on the internet is overwhelming… so what about for a young child/adolescent these days?

Anna Diop

She is cast for a DC series on the newest streaming service, DC Universe, “Titans” She has been facing backlash for basically being “the wrong type” of Black. But Starfire (even I didn’t know it) was originally (especially in her physique) Black (Johnson, 2018)! What?! I’ve been lied to this whole time???

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Source: DC Comics

Well the thing was she was always “designed” as white woman, (even though she was orange) because apparently Black women can’t be attractive.

Not that don’t mind Halle Berry, because I have MUCH love for her, but the reason why she is perhaps always cast (as if she is the only Black actress in Hollywood), is because her skin color is ambiguous. “Ambiguous” as in Black actresses like Halle Berry, who won’t make racist audiences, especially racist nerds (which almost sounds like an oxymoron) lose their freakin’ mind by seeing dark women on the silver screen. I’m calling it how I see it, because unless you grown up as a young Black girl or you are just a human being who is disappointed by the lack of diversity in the world of pop culture, it is infuriating. It really is. Hollywood has been too caught up in trying to make other audiences feel comfortable, while excluding other audience members especially women, people of color, disabilities, and LGBTQIA community. I mean…hello??? Does Hollywood really think the world is THAT small? Although the characters and sometimes the situations are fictional, does that mean there cannot be a fictional representation of other human beings too?

The ONLY thing I don’t like about Anna Diop’s Starfire is what looked like a “crimped” hairstyle. I mean really??? I know some Black women can rock orange hair, but  geez…the hairstylist just a horrible job. Even it’s a wig or a weave…no. That’s, that’s just wrong. Is the hairstylist Black?

The Inclusiveness of Pop Culture: It’s There

What I have loved about pop culture it has provided a gateway to meet with other nerds (especially like nerds like myself who are introverted)….This is immensely awesome especially when attending comic book conventions. It’s a great way for me–speaking for myself at least–to get out of my anxiety and is one of the few times I’m willing to tolerate large crowds (unfortunately I can’t say the same for b.o. around there). And like I’ve mentioned before, pop culture is one of the ways that help me better voice my experiences living with mental illness and life after sexual assault. On topics like these, sometimes, there is no easy way to talk about them and the shows and movies I watch, helps me to better voice it.

Conclusion

The good thing as a nation—ESPECIALLY these days—is how people are standing up towards deep seated issues like injustice, sexism, and racism. Having such discussions will hopefully encourage Hollywood (and hopefully other industries will follow suit) to put more people of color in great roles, not just ones of the “best friend” or the “nerd” or the “token friend.” You name it,  I’ve seen it. Heck, you’ve seen it. Nowdays I’m seeing young people of color, especially young Black girls showcase their favorite superheroes on their backpacks or sweatshirts. I can’t help but to smile when I see that, because while we have come a long way to seeing representation on the big and small screen, we still have ways to go.

I’d like to close this post with another except from Ms. Tran’s article:

I want to live in a world where children of color don’t spend their entire adolescence wishing to be white. I want to live in a world where women are not subjected to scrutiny for their appearance, or their actions, or their general existence. I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings.

References

Carras, C. (2018) Millie Bobby Brown Takes on Bullies at MTV Awards Twitter Exit. Retrieved from: https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/millie-bobby-brown-acceptance-speech-bullying-mtv-awards-twitter-exit-1202850220/

Gutierrez, L. (2018). After Homephobic bullying, “Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown Quits Twitter. Retrieved from: https://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/article213175069.html

Johnson, J (2018). Racist Comic Fans Titan Star Off Instagram For Not Being The Right Type of Black. Retrieved From: https://www.theroot.com/racist-comic-fans-run-titans-star-off-instagram-for-not-1827809010/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Tran, K. (2018). Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/movies/kelly-marie-tran.html

Readings

Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment

Millie Bobby Brown Takes on Bullies at MTV Awards After Twitter Exit

Racist Comic Fans Run Titans Star Off Instagram for Not Being the Right Kind of Black

Sorry Racist Nerds, But Starfire Is a Black Woman

Posts on My Take of Pop Culture:

Superheroes and Pop Culture

The Fandom Menace: The Dark Side of the Star Wars Fanbase

How To Make A Mental Health Provider Chart

Every time I meet a new mental health provider, I have to sign a butt load of documents. One of documents in particular, “asks” me who were my former mental health providers. Well, fortunately…I still had my former providers names and contact information in my cell phone.

I made a “mental health provider” chart not too long ago, but I may have lost it in a former computer I use to have (so make sure you either print out a document or send it in an email or google account or something like that). Why? Just so you can have on file in case you get a new health care provider.

It’s simple really and depending on how many and how long you have been seeing a mental health provider. So what should it include?

  • Name of Provider
  • Provider Type (e.g. Psychiatrist, Therapist, Social Worker)
  • Address/Name of Clinic
  • Phone Number
  • First Visit (if you can remember)
  • Last Visit (if you can remember)
  • Diagnosis

You make this as an actual list or as chart as I did below:

Mental Health Provider Worksheet Example

You can make a chart like yes on either Google or Microsoft Docs, but I think its easier to make it to do it in on Microsoft or Google Excel.

I think it’s important to have written information on our health. You never when it will come in handy.

The Different Types of Mental Health Providers

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Source:  Access to Therapy

Until my mental health diagnosis many, many moons ago, I thought the only types of mental health professionals that could help with with mental health are counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. And don’t get me started on the last two. I thought they were one and the same profession. I mean…they are almost spelled the same. Almost.

I was scavenging the internet for the infograph below, because I’m hoping it will help you decide which is the best mental health professional to start with. Speaking for myself, when I  first started my mental health recovery… it was overwhelming! During that time, I didn’t even know if it was best to start with a doctor… or if I should just go see a counselor…. or do I just see a psychologist? All I wanted was someone who could just tell me what I had so I could treat it and I could go on with my life. Fortunately since my diagnosis  four years ago, I’ve been fortunate to have been given great mental health professionals  both inside and outside of school.

So without further ado, continue reading into the infograph below. I hope it will help you have further insight on the professional that will help you on your mental health recovery journey.

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I almost forgot! Once you know or if you’re still deciding who your mental health provider talk to your health insurance (including if you have medical or medicaid) for more information.

It Was The Day(s) Without Medication

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It’s been a good month since my last medications were finished and it took until now to feel the results. Since my arrival to Nor Cal, I’ve been trying to familiarize the area I live in so I can know where to get my medication. Though however because I have Medi-Cal I don’t have as much choices, but to attend a county Mental Health Agency. The process is taking longer than I thought. When I was at school, at least my psychology gave it to me right away. But then again this is a national/state agency using national/state health insurance so of course it will take a little awhile while still assessing my mental health. I hope

The early symptoms I felt was irritability and right now it’s become lack of concentration, increased ruminating thoughts and lack of sleep. I mean…I went to bed early last night…okay, midnight, but it’s still early for me, but I couldn’t sleep once I was awake. And now…I’m just very tired. Ugh! It’s hard to believe I lived this way without medication. But at least I know I can be strong (because I lived without it) until I get medication.