What's more powerful than saying "no"?

Welcome back to yet another Friday of Kill Marry Fuck with Kylie—a recap of weekly news in feminism, politics and pop culture in the form of a friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) game of KMF. 

To those eagle-eyed subscribers who noticed there wasn’t a newsletter last week—all two of you!—I apologize! The last two weeks have been quite busy, between starting in a new role as a culture writer at Salon, and eventually winning back my Twitter account by convincing the platform I’m not, in fact, a serial killer—all of this has seriously disrupted my nap schedule, but things are good, and I’m hanging in there. I hope you all are too!

Between the NBA Playoffs and the return of California temperatures so hot you could fry an egg on pavement, it’s finally starting to feel like summer again. And there’s nothing more summer-y than a good game of KMF!

🗡 KILL: Exploitative athletic institutions and grind culture

Naomi Osaka was right to ditch the French Open after officials so grossly proved how little her mental health and safety mean to them—100%. And to be clear, her decision wasn’t just an important statement for mental health; it also held up a middle finger to the toxicity of grind culture, which has taught people to be willing to give up everything and anything for their jobs. Because at the end of the day, tennis is her job, and prestige and a job aren’t worth your wellness and sanity. There is so much power in refusal, in saying no to a vulturous work culture that wants to use you until there’s nothing left. Osaka’s decision is inseparable from the greater struggle for labor justice and fairer labor conditions—for her, for all athletes, and for all workers.

I wrote a bit about this in Salon this past week:

The same holiday weekend Osaka announced her withdrawal, several Black NBA players were physically attacked by disgruntled fans. In the case of Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving, the young white man who threw a water bottle at Irving on Sunday night was arrested and charged with assault by the Boston Police Department. In Philadelphia, where Washington Wizards player Russell Westbrook and his team faced the Seventy-Sixers, another fan threw popcorn at Westbrook, days after another fan spit on Atlanta Hawks player Trae Young. There's also a long history of NBA players being subjected to racist verbal assaults from fans. 

This mistreatment of basketball players by fans may seem separate from the French Open rules that pushed Osaka out of the tournament, but it's not. Rather, it's an extension of the same, dehumanizing sports culture that often treats disproportionately Black athletes as objects of entertainment that owe media and racist fans unlimited access to their performances. …

All too often, conversations about labor exploitation in sports are shut down when it's pointed out how much high-profile professional athletes are paid. But this ignores how much predominantly white-led institutions make from mostly Black athletes' labor, not to mention the fact that young, college athletes aren't even paid, all while the NCAA is a billion-dollar enterprise. And it ignores another truth: Labor exploitation isn't just about pay — it's about the conditions to which athletes are subjected that harm their mental and physical health, that dehumanize and even endanger them. By withdrawing from the tournament, Osaka didn't just prioritize her mental health. She refused to be used, and stood up for all athletes in the process. 

Honorable mentions: This week, I’d also like to kill…

  • Um, how about shitty, counterproductive nonconsensual porn laws? In April, a California judge threw out former Congresswoman Katie Hill’s lawsuit against the media outlets that nonconsensually published private, nude photos of Hill. This week, the same judge is ordering Hill pay more than $200,000 in legal fees to the outlet, setting a dangerous precedent that it’s OK to grossly violate someone’s consent—and make them pay for it—if they’re in any way famous, and it’s therefore a matter of “public interest.” I wrote a lot on this, and the prevalence of “revenge porn,” and why calling it “revenge porn” itself is kind of shitty, but right now, all I have to say is fuck that.

💍 MARRY: Lady GaGa refusing to name her rapist

If you haven’t yet heard of the new Apple TV+ show from Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry (or whatever you call him now), The Me You Can’t See, that’s fine—just make sure you watch the first episode, which features Lady GaGa speaking at length on how being raped at 19 continues to affect her mental health to this day. It’s not an easy interview to watch, but it’s certainly an important one that reminds us the violence and impacts of a sexual assault extend long beyond the act itself is over, and what happens next, as well as processing all of that, looks different for each survivor.

For some people, including the many celebrities who named Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men as their abusers, that was what they needed. For GaGa, and the majority of survivors who never come forward but are just as brave as those who do, not naming her abuser is what she needed.

GaGa’s firm refusal to name her rapist and keep other details to herself is a crucial reminder of the importance of boundary-setting, and respecting boundaries, in an increasingly nosy society. Heck, I am a very nosy person, and I would frankly love to—as the kids say—”cancel” whoever harmed GaGa. But that is not what she wants, and we’ve got to respect that. We’ve got to respect all survivors!

And, not to self-plug again, but I wrote about this, too, in Salon:

In the era of #MeToo, the spectacle of watching celebrity survivors rise up, speak their truth, name their abuser, and at times, win some sort of accountability, has been thrilling, inspiring, empowering. But just as these famous women and survivors have the right to name and bring their abusers to justice, and share as much or as little detail as they'd like, Gaga has the right not to do so. After all, the #MeToo movement isn't about creating spectacle for onlookers — it's about naming the prevalence of sexual violence and abuse of power as the crisis it is, and empowering and supporting survivors on their path to healing, whatever that may look like for them.

As a survivor, Lady Gaga is powerful, like all survivors who come forward, or choose not to. And while naming, publicly facing and taking down your abuser is certainly powerful, it isn't what makes a survivor powerful. What makes a survivor powerful is doing what they need to do for themselves, whatever that may be, and which is frankly no one's business but their own — no matter how famous they are.

Honorable mentions: This week, I’d also like to marry…

  • This brilliant speech by a high school valedictorian at her graduation ceremony in Texas, on just how repulsive the state’s recently signed six-week abortion ban is. Paxton Smith reportedly went off-script from her pre-approved speech, dropping brilliant pearls of truth that included:

    • "I have dreams, hopes and ambitions.Every girl here does. We have spent our whole lives working towards our futures, and without our consent or input, our control over our futures has been stripped away from us. I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail me, that if I'm raped, then my hopes and efforts and dreams for myself will no longer be relevant. I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is, how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you."

    • Not to sound like I’m 50 years old, but young people seriously fill me with hope! <3

🍆 FUCK: Bucks vs. Nets and the perfect opportunity for revenge

I am a bit of a James Harden fan—you caught me!

This weekend, James and Co. will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in what promises to be a pretty exciting matchup since the Bucks are the only team not just in the East but the entire league with a chance of beating the Brooklyn super team. But it’s also an exciting matchup because it presents the perfect opportunity for James to avenge himself from possibly the most embarrassing moment in NBA history that was inflicted on him by the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2019:

Honorable mentions: This week, I’d also like to f*ck…

Let's not pretend an abortion ban and execution are inconsistent

It's not hypocrisy—state violence is state violence.

Welcome back to yet another Friday of Kill Marry Fuck with Kylie—a recap of weekly news in feminism, politics and pop culture in the form of a friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) game of KMF. Follow along on Twitter!

So I turned twenty-thr*e on Saturday and don’t really have strong feelings about it! Obviously, birthdays are all downhill after you turn 10 (middle school is a bust, high school is just four years of sexual harassment and being forced to do math, and beyond that you’re just being terrorized by capitalism), at least until you turn 69, which seems cool. I literally have nothing against young adults who celebrate their birthdays, I just can’t relate to being that happy!

But anyway, observing yet another birthday and comparing it to previous years, I’m just tremendously grateful for the opportunities I’ve had between then and now, the friendships new and old, and just the very hard-won comfort I feel with myself and with my life today.

Now, on an unrelated note, let’s talk about abortion bans, state violence, and more on why Texas anti-abortion politicians are the worst!

🗡 KILL: Abortion bans, always

Just days after the Supreme Court announced it would hear a case on a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, and could potentially decimate legal abortion access in the US, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott unsurprisingly signed into law a so-called “heartbeat” bill, which would actually ban nearly all abortions before most people can even have them. So, in other words, a total abortion ban. As I wrote a few weeks ago, this law is especially bizarre because of the authority it gives any US citizen in or out of Texas to sue someone for having an abortion.

Between bracing myself for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health and the inevitable legal challenge this Texas law will bring, there is something I want to emphasize. Yes, the same day Texas signed its abortion ban into law, the state also executed a Black man named Quintin Jones. But this isn’t “pro-life hypocrisy”—something pro-lifers don’t actually really care about being accused of, because most of them are well-aware their entire thing is a grift. It’s not hypocrisy, because state violence is state violence is state violence. Forcing someone to be pregnant and give birth against their will, and denying them essential reproductive care and increasing their vulnerability to pregnancy and birth-related complications and even death—like state-sanctioned murder, all of this is violent, all of this is dehumanizing, and all of this is racist as fuck, too!

Anyway, I apologize in advance for the self-plug, but this week I was able to write about the exhausting cycle of selective media and public attention on abortion, exclusively when high-profile Supreme Court cases or particularly ghastly abortion bans like this emerge. As I write in the piece, if the everyday barriers, restrictions, and stigma that have long pushed abortion care out of reach drew sustained media coverage and public attention, we wouldn’t have to weather these draining cycles of intermittent attention being paid to a year-round issue. And those of us who are most impacted by abortion policy wouldn’t have to take on the mental labor of sifting through massive misinformation and panic—all while trying to survive this political war on our autonomy!

This is all to say, yes, pay attention to big, abortion-related news like this—and also pay attention to that new bill in your state legislature that would require a 72-hour waiting period for someone seeking an abortion, or a mandatory counseling and ultrasound bill, or a parental consent requirement for a minor seeking an abortion. Abortion bans and major Supreme Court cases that could decimate access to abortion don’t just happen overnight. In the last decade alone, states have enacted more than a third of all roughly 1,300 restrictions and bans on abortion. Currently, 90 percent of U.S. counties lack an abortion provider, requiring extensive travel and other associated costs and logistical nightmares to get the procedure.

So, pay attention, vote for pro-abortion state and local representatives, and find and support your local abortion funds.

Honorable mentions: This week, I’d also like to kill…

  • I regret to inform you all that Kendall Jenner, of Pepsi can fame, is at it again! Ever since Jenner announced her tequila brand, which launched in California this week, I found myself cringing at the tone-deafness and cultural appropriation—and that was before I saw the commercial, which dropped this week. However bad you might imagine it to be, it is still somehow worse!

💍 MARRY: The playoffs are back, ladies!

Most of the time, whenever I can relate to straight men in any way, a thousand sirens start to go off in my head. But my genuine enjoyment of the NBA and especially the post-season is the one exception!

The playoffs start this weekend, and after years of bracing myself for my beloved James Harden’s humiliation and defeat each post-season, this year, now that he’s joined the ranks of a notorious Super Team, I’m actually feeling pretty good about things!

Just like my mother and her lifelong obsession with Tim Duncan, James has long stood in as my imaginary husband, though being his wife hasn’t always been easy. For years, he’s been scorned and mocked to no end for being a “ballhog,” or a free throw-guzzling hack, or for fluctuations in his weight, or not “defending” well enough, or for offering too much patronage to local young women, but mostly, for being one of the best offensive players in the history of the league, without a championship ring to show for it. And while his performance this season on the Nets, leading the league in assists and scoring significantly less to make plays for his teammates, can put to rest at least some of the jokes, only a ring can truly silence the haters.

(My Instagram, circa 2019)

So, on the one hand, I’m very excited to see James Harden play at the peak of his career with teammates who are finally worthy of his greatness and handsomeness, and hopefully shut down one of the most common anti-James talking points. But I’m also nervous since NBA Super Teams have a long history of choking or at least not winning their first playoffs together, which could open the door for even more anti-James slander.

I’m also disappointed my second favorite player and back-up imaginary husband, Jaylen Brown, won’t be appearing in the playoffs, on account of a recent arm (?) injury. A gentleman and a scholar, as the captain of his high school’s chess team, Jaylen will be sorely missed as his Celtics take on James and the Brooklyn Nets this Saturday, but at least without him playing, I won’t have to feel torn! And I’m also perfectly confident in his very bright future in the NBA, or perhaps as the next president of the United States—as I was explaining to a friend, he can really do anything:

So, I’m excited! And Jaylen, if you are reading this and looking for someone to watch the playoffs with, my DMs are open…

🍆 FUCK: Wishing Devin Booker the best of luck against the Lakers <3

I really only have two interests outside of feminist politics—one is the NBA, and the other is NBA players’ tweets from before they got big. Exhibit A, Phoenix Suns superstar and current Mr. Kendall Jenner, Devin Booker, and his enthusiastic enjoyment of the all-American diner Applebee’s, among other eateries, documented in a series of tweets between 2011 and 2015.

Now, none of these gems beat 9x-All-Star Kevin Durant’s tweet volunteering to drink Scarlet Johansson’s bathwater once upon a time, nor, of course, his notorious 2017 gaffe defending himself against a scornful local from his main account instead of his burner. But they’re pleasant and nostalgic and non-problematic, which is all you can really ask for.

Booker and the 2nd seed Suns will face off against the 7th seed Lakers this Sunday, and as tumultuous as the Lakers’ season has been, plagued with injuries among superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James, if I were a betting man I would probably go with the Lakers. In either case, I think I know where to find Devin Booker after the game.

'Cruel Summer' and why content for teenage girls is actually cool

Let teenage girls enjoy stuff!

Welcome back to yet another Friday of Kill Marry Fuck with Kylie—a recap of weekly news in feminism, politics and pop culture in the form of a friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) game of KMF.

Question: What lifts you up when you’re having a Bad Time? I started out this past week mildly sick and very stressed, and indulged in watching all five episodes of the new Freeform drama Cruel Summer that have aired so far (more on that soon), and I was comforted because at least I’ve never had to endure being kidnapped and trapped in a basement.

It’s really bizarre and I do sometimes psycho-analyze myself about this, but true crime and mystery-thrillers centered around some kind of trauma have often been a source of comfort for me through the years, and usually help me put my problems in perspective—all while I recognize there’s an inherent sort of misogyny to media capitalizing on societal fascination with violence against women. Just thought I’d share!

Anyway, back to k*lling, marrying, and f*cking!

🗡 K*LL: Both-side-isms on Israel and Palestine

OK, but this headline from The Onion 👌🏼

I understand that the violence the Israeli army is carrying out against Palestinian civilians may seem “complicated” because of years of problematic media coverage and political discourse, but it actually is very simple. For years, the Israeli government has violently forced Palestinians from their homes, taken their land, and assaulted, imprisoned and killed Palestinian families, children and civilians. Israel, which has received billions of dollars in US foreign aid, also very notably has an army and Palestine does not, despite dangerous and inaccurate both-side-isms that equalize the violence committed by the Israeli army with Palestinian civilians protesting and trying to survive. I can’t believe I have to say this, but those are very different things!

I’m just so tired of violence only being discussed in the context of oppressed people using violence to resist or defend themselves from their oppressors, and never in the context of oppressors using violence to oppress. Yet, when media and politicians talk about what’s happening in Palestine as a “conflict” or as violence from “both sides,” what’s erased is the fundamentally unequal power dynamics, the fact that violence used to oppress and violence used to survive are not and will never be the same thing.

I do think it’s important and exciting that after years of Palestinian liberation being treated as a sort of “third rail” issue in progressive politics and advocacy, many people around the world are learning, standing with Palestine, and taking to the streets to protest and speak out against Israel’s oppressive government. Because it’s not a third-rail issue, and all state oppression and militarism around the world are interconnected and inseparable—it’s time for American progressives and leftists to act like it.

💍 MARRY: ‘Cruel Summer’ and teenage mystery dramas

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love teenage mystery dramas, and this week, I finally dug into Freeform’s Cruel Summer. So far, it is a ride. Quick and dirty summary, courtesy of Vulture:

The show follows two high-school girls from the tight-knit Texas town of Skylin, Jeanette Turner and Kate Wallis, over three summers in the mid-1990s. In the summer of 1993, Jeanette is a nerd and Kate is a cool girl who eventually gets kidnapped and held for months in the new assistant principal’s basement; in ’94, Jeanette has become the cool girl, getting in with Kate’s friends and boyfriend, until Kate is found and says Jeanette saw her in the basement months before her release; by ’95, Kate is unpacking her trauma and putting her life back together while Jeanette has been ostracized and is preparing for an eventual trial — which, we eventually learn, is a defamation lawsuit against Kate.

Each episode centers around the same day over three different years, which sounds confusing, but actually makes for fascinating, edge-of-your seat storytelling. The show also works largely because of convincing acting from its leads, who seamlessly show how much their characters have changed over relatively short bursts of time, because that’s what trauma does, baybee!

I think we’re supposed to laugh off teen dramas, like all things made for teenage girls, as dumb or trashy or low-brow, but frankly, I disagree! I think in many cases, teen dramas specifically reveal a lot about how society perceives and treats teenage girls—who are arguably some of the most disrespected and maligned members of society—and teen dramas are often rife with plenty of rich commentary on gender and youth.

Specific to Cruel Summer, I very much appreciate that it’s a she-said-she-said since the classic he-said-she-said is played out and more of that would just be #traumatic at this point. The show, which so far has focused on who is lying about whether Jeanette saw Kate being held captive in the assistant principal’s basement and didn’t tell anyone or try to help her, instead exclusively explores the credibility of teenage girls in a society that routinely writes them off as hysterical, slutty, vapid, dishonest, and all that. And Cruel Summer is made extra interesting by how both of its main POVs are those of sympathetic yet unreliable narrators, giving it a delightful hint of Gone Girl’s ominous, twisted energy.

I also enjoy Cruel Summer because of the delightful lack of child-victim-blaming, and how it explores the different toxic ways parents and adults harm and endanger children, and especially girls. Ten years after Pretty Little Liars notoriously and grossly romanticized female minors’ relationships with adult men, it’s refreshing to see Cruel Summer unequivocally call the assistant principal’s “seduction” of the underage Kate grooming, and the total lack of romanticization of their predatory relationship. That is, again, what I mean about how teen dramas reflect where we’re at as a society, in that, today, most decent people easily recognize teenage girls’ “relationships” with older men are predatory, not sexy and romantic.

All of this is to say, stuff that’s made for teenage girls is often thought-provoking, smart, interesting, and fun! Teenage girls are also great, and society needs to stop shitting on them and the stuff they like!

🍆 FUCK: Thank you for your service, Henry Golding

*ahem*

No context necessary, since Andrew Yang has, indeed, repeatedly demonstrated twat-like behavior, and Golding’s tweet would have been a justified response to pretty much all of Yang’s tweets. In this specific case, Golding is responding to an idiotic, pro-Israel tweet from the NYC mayoral candidate of (fake) UBI-fame. (I say fake, because $2,000/year isn’t a UBI, dude.)

Also not to be rude or anything, but I’ve generally found many of the most visible Asian celebrities to be highly disappointing, politically, often treating anti-Asian racism as somehow separable from greater currents of white supremacy, imperialism and state violence, and laughably treating #representAsian as the antidote to all of this. (Spoiler alert: It’s fucking not.) So, it was exciting to see Golding call out Yang’s pro-apartheid tweet for what it was! More of this, please!

A comprehensive list of the most marriageable sitcom characters

And a new, big, bad abortion ban in Texas

Welcome back to yet another Friday of Kill Marry Fuck with Kylie—a recap of weekly news in feminism, politics and pop culture in the form of a friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) game of KMF.

This week, I found myself thinking “what a week!” by Tuesday at around 2 pm, and now we’ve miraculously made it to Friday, so let’s dig in!

🗡 KILL: The new abortion ban in Texas, obviously

Since the anti-abortion movement thrives off of misinformation, I want to preface this by making it clear that abortion is still legal and available in Texas, and abortion funds like the Texas Equal Access Fund, the Lilith Fund, and others are still helping people get the care they need!

That said, this week, the Texas state legislature, a group of some of the worst people probably ever, passed SB 8, a bill that would not only ban abortion care, but take it a step further and allow anyone—including people not even living in Texas—to file a lawsuit against an abortion provider or literally anyone who “aids or abets” someone seeking an abortion. This could include abortion funds, or friends, siblings, partners, an aunt or uncle, the person who drives you to the abortion clinic—really anyone. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, AKA the human embodiment of Shrek’s Lord Farquaad except somehow worse, has already pledged to sign the bill.

I sometimes get a bit frustrated when some abortion laws but not others are called “extreme,” when frankly any piece of legislation that would force someone to be pregnant against their will for even one more hour than they want to be is fucking extreme, in my humble opinion. But, to be clear, this bill is like, extreme extreme, and since anti-abortion state legislatures have been copying Texas for years for inspiration on sneaky approaches to decimating abortion access, we could see more and more bills like this in the future. While abortion bans like this are often challenged and overturned in court for being nakedly unconstitutional, what’s scary about this bill is the power it accords deranged private citizens to take it upon themselves to enforce the ban.

What often boggles my mind is how anti-abortion politicians and anti-abortion activists in general are some of the dumbest people you will ever meet (and also the worst dressed, but that’s a topic for another day)—yet when it comes to whipping up bills to punish, threaten and dehumanize pregnant people, they just keep getting more and more creative. And the gift of creativity is very dangerous in the hands of evil politicians who don’t see pregnant people as human beings, especially in Texas, a state with some of the most restrictions on abortion and not-so-coincidentally some of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation, and the world.

Slightly unrelated to Texas’ SB 8, but on the topic of anti-abortion politicians getting craftier each legislative session, I do wonder if they’ll ever catch on to the fact that incessantly waving pictures of what looks like the mangled remains of Lord of the Rings’ Smeagol (or Gollum? whatever) doesn’t actually do much for their cause.

Like, did seeing the above picture make you more inclined to take up arms for the “pro-life” cause? No? Exactly.

Honorable mention: This week, I’d also like to kill…

  • Caitlyn Jenner’s gubernatorial campaign in California! Between her suggesting the real problem with California’s housing crisis is that rich people like her have to look at unhoused people, and that trans girls and women should be segregated from sports (while participating in golf tournaments herself), she’s pretty much the worst, and that’s all I have and all I want to say on the matter!

💍 MARRY: Sitcom rewatches! 

This category was, as usual, difficult for me to decipher. There’s a lot I’m very much grateful for in my life right now, but not a whole lot in the news cycle, so, not to go full Wanda Maximoff, but this week, I choose escapist sitcom re-watching!

Maybe it’s the fact we’re in sweet, lazy, familiarity-loving Taurus season, but I’ve always delighted in a good sitcom rewatch. For the past couple weeks my comfort show of choice has been Modern Family, a sprawling, 11-season saga that I periodically tuned into throughout high school. My favorite thing about rewatching sitcoms and just peacefully marinating in their sweet, blissful, weirdness is honestly the nostalgia, the remembering who and where you were when you first consumed the show. Take New Girl for example, sans the whole Winston-being-a-cop debacle—every time I rewatch it, I’m transported back to the first time I watched it in summer 2016, the summer I graduated high school and also the summer I had nothing to do but watch TV after being grounded for being caught drinking! Fun times!

Anyway, as for which characters I would marry in each of my favorite sitcoms…

  • The Office: David Wallace. He seemed like a normal guy and a good dad, and honestly there aren’t really any other decent options from this series. Definitely not Jim, but as the most annoying people you’ll ever meet say on Twitter, some of you aren’t ready to have that conversation!

  • Parks and Rec: Ben Wyatt, duh. Maybe Jerry (?) Gergich. Just definitely not Tom, Chris, or Andy, whom I have some controversial opinions you can feel free to DM me to discuss.

  • New Girl: I think it says a lot about my ~growth~ that in 2016 I had a crush on Schmidt (I know, yuck, I was a fetus, please don’t judge too hard!), and now, today, as an Adult Lady, I finally get the appeal of Nick Miller. He is a fucking mess who hates himself, and also a sweet, weird, anti-capitalist king. Like, I get it now… I don’t care to explain, but I get it now…

  • Schitt’s Creek: I know I should say Ted or Patrick or something like that, but honestly probably the really hot one with the beard who lived in a shed. I think he was named Mutt or something?

  • How I Met Your Mother: I hate to talk about this show, because, yikes… but I mean, definitely not Barney, who was pretty rapey, even for the “time” he was in, as if that’s ever been an excuse. And definitely not Ted, who gives off piping hot, fedora-wearing, incel energy. And honestly, not a fan of Marshall, who was pretty slut-shame-y throughout. Probably the Mother herself, for me. I have no idea what she was doing with Ted. She was literally figuring out solutions to world hunger and poverty, while Ted was sitting doing nothing at the same bar for like, a decade. Anyway.

  • Modern Family: I want to say Mitchell, because of how stable and together he seems to be, but honestly his neurotic and judgmental tendencies would probably tire me out eventually. I also want to say Phil, but I think I would need a more responsible, mature partner to keep me and my online shopping addiction in check, or we would just share a farm of alpacas together for no real reason.

  • Veep: Literally not a single character with even one (1) single redeeming quality on here, except maybe Selina’s daughter. So, no one.

  • Brooklyn 99: I’m reluctant to include this show, on account of, they are all literally cops. But in an alternative universe where they’re paramedics or fire rescue people, or something useful like that, probably Jake Peralta, he was occasionally charming, except for the whole being-a-cop thing and all.

  • Sex and the City: Is this a sitcom??? It was definitely as pointless as one. Anyway, probably the bald man Charlotte ends up with, maybe Steve (at least before the movie when he cheats on Miranda), or Aidan—speaking of which, did any of you eventually figure out what he saw in Carrie? I never did!

🍆 FUCK: Ben Affleck maybe? I don’t know

Either way, someone please get me a Raya membership!

Another reminder celebrities are awful at talking about revolutionary politics!

Did Simu Liu consider saying nothing at all instead?

Welcome back to yet another Friday of Kill Marry Fuck with Kylie—a recap of weekly news in feminism, politics and pop culture in the form of a friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) game of KMF.

I was a bit more unplugged than usual this week, which was pleasant and much needed, but fret not—I did indeed see the news about Matt Gaetz’s wingman confessing to their sexual misconduct with a minor, and we already knew that and everything, but still, yuck!

Other than that, for lack of better words, it’s just been kind of a weird time. The news cycle has just been spinning in a thousand different directions and on any given day it’s stressful and impossible to guess where it will land! Throughout March and April, we cycled between almost daily racist police killings and far-too-frequent mass shootings; then there’s the duality of optimism and relief with the efficiency of vaccine distribution in the US, all while COVID worsens in poorer countries that are virtually blocked from vaccine access on account of Bill Gates and the US government.

So, here I am, processing these many conflicting developments as one does—with a little game of KMF!

🗡 KILL: Respectability politics

Like, why would he…

OK, first let me back up. Last Friday was the finale of Marvel’s Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which is probably my favorite Marvel project even though the finale felt rushed and inconclusive. Anywho, the entire series centers around Avengers Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes’ quest to rein in the militant revolutionary group, the Flag Smashers, who are really making some very reasonable demands that global governments maybe not treat refugees like cattle, and not hoard basic resources while said refugees struggle to survive. Reasonable, right? Too bad Marvel did what it oft does, which is make people with reasonable demands seem as unreasonable and villainous as possible! RIP Killmonger </3

The show also delves into Sam’s identity as a Black man, and the horrifying and traumatic racism that went into the making of the American Super Soldier program that created the late Captain America, Steve Rogers. This deep-seated racism is an inseparable part of the legacy of Captain America’s iconic shield, which we watch Sam process and come to terms with throughout the series.

So, this is why I’m quite convinced anyone with 3+ brain cells who watched the show would take away something quite different from Simu Liu’s above, referenced tweet. Like, not when Sam literally tells the government to stop calling people “terrorists” and “thugs,” and instead do the work to understand why they’re angry and do something about it rather than write them off as “extremists,” which is exactly what Simu does in his tweet.

All Simu, who will notably be playing Marvel’s first Asian-American superhero in the upcoming film Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, seems to have taken away from a show about the trauma inflicted by white supremacy and racist human experimentation is… *checks notes* that we should all peacefully “agree to disagree” with people who want to put refugees in death camps?? I don’t even know how to respond to that, except… no??

On a serious note, it’s deeply frustrating to me that so many people willfully refuse to understand the fundamental difference between wielding state power to oppress and deny basic resources, and oppressed people trying to reclaim power and expressing rage for fucking survival. If your response to rage, resistance and rebellion from people who are trying to survive government oppression and genocidal behaviors is tone policing, that’s not the measured, enlightened, “good guy” response you think it is—it’s just being an ignorant dickhead!

Anyway, I am still most definitely going to watch Shang Chi, and this is just my personal issue with many of the most visible and prominent Asian celebrities, but I am just, like… begging Asian celebrities who worship at the altar of “representAsian” and respectability politics to read one (1) single book on imperialism or global capitalism, and try to grasp that the solution to systemic state oppression isn’t to link arms with oppressors, and sing kumbayah around a campfire while capitalist governments  murder and starve people of color and the global South. And even if they aren’t going to do the work to learn, they could at least not be condescending toward those who don’t want to just agree to disagree with governments trying to kill poor people!

Honorable mentions: This week, I’d also like to kill…

  • Wow, women workers lost $800 billion in income during the pandemic—🆒! That doesn’t make me h*micidal at all! Interestingly enough, that’s around the same amount that American billionaires gained during the pandemic, which I’m sure is just a cute little co-winkee-dink. :)

  • Another week, another state governor ruling that pregnant people are subhuman. On Wednesday, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, who is fittingly 5’7, signed a so-called “fetal heartbeat” abortion ban into law. Let’s just be clear, here, that this amounts to a total abortion ban, and is inappropriately named since, per The Cut:

    • “though pulsing cells can be detected in embryos as early as six weeks, this rhythm — detected by a doctor, via ultrasound — cannot be called a “heartbeat,” because embryos don’t have hearts.”

💍 MARRY: Child care!

It’s hard to be that optimistic about too many things these days but $1.8 trillion for paid family leave, child care programs, universal pre-K and free community college is definitely something to be excited about.

President Biden proposed a plan to fund these programs as part of his American Families Plan on Wednesday, and while I’m still waiting for him to cancel student loan debt and introduce a presidential budget without the Hyde Amendment banning coverage of abortion care, I’m definitely glad to see this!

As for anyone who’s enough of an ingrown toenail to suggest that this plan is too expensive, may I remind you that the US military budget alone stands at $1.9 trillion? Genuine question but who are we even supposedly “defending” ourselves from at this point? Like, who is killing more Americans than racist police officers or a privatized health care system that profits off of denying poor people life-saving health care?

🍆 FUCK: It’s swimwear season!

And I am begging Naomi Osaka to please take my money!

A post shared by @naomiosaka

Loading more posts…