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Orange Is The New Black

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Big Boo Is The Butch Lea DeLaria Has Been Waiting To Play Her Whole Life. Orange Is the New Black's Latina characters are women we hardly ever see on television. Five years ago, Junot Diaz, the Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was speaking to students at Bergen Community College in New Jersey.

Orange Is the New Black's Latina characters are women we hardly ever see on television

He was telling them about what it was like for him to watch TV growing up, when there were no people that looked like him on television. "You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There's this idea that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror," he said. "It's that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. American television hasn't changed that much since Diaz gave that speech in 2009. "People get to see that we're not just one type. " One of the rare slivers of a reflection that non-white people and more specifically, non-white women, have is Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, whose second season is just out.

Orange is the New Black: Feminism without the F Word. Orange is the New Black’s female cast (image from Orange is the New Black Facebook page) As I prepare to teach a Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Popular Culture class this coming spring, I have been looking for an example of a television show or film that can start out the term, offering a strong jumping off point for our feminist analyses of pop culture.

Orange is the New Black: Feminism without the F Word

And I am thrilled to have found it in Netflix’s newest original series, Orange is the New Black. [Spoilers ahead, so only make the jump if you have seen the show; if you haven't yet seen it, stop reading and go watch it] Taylor Schilling (OITNB’s Piper) and Piper Kerman (image from Smart ladies love to ask, why aren’t there more Jenji Kohans? Not, like, literally.

Smart ladies love to ask, why aren’t there more Jenji Kohans?

I don’t think there should be multiple Jenjis roaming the earth like Sarah/Beth/Cosima. I do wonder why there aren’t more daring, feminist female TV writer/producers that are interested in diversity and telling womens’ stories [I do know why--the patriarchy, duh--but last year was the year that politicians wanted agency over our vaginas so I figured there would be more pop culture responses to this by now]. Like many others, I have spent a few days marathoning and obsessing about Orange is the New Black, the new Netflix comedic drama from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. Along with Shonda Rhimes and a few others (I will not mention anything having to do with Bunheads, for it will make me cry), Kohan is in a a very small, elite female group of show creators whose names carry the cache of say, Graham Yost or Mike Schur.

This is great for TV and for women and I hope Kohan inspires a rash of intelligent female-centered shows. Orange Is The New Black : essai d’une critique sur la 1ère saison. Si vous êtes fan de séries télévisées, vous n’avez pas pu passer à côté de la sortie de celle-là.

Orange Is The New Black : essai d’une critique sur la 1ère saison

Orange Is The New Black (littéralement, Orange est le nouveau Noir) est l’une des séries en vogue, sujet presque raconté par toutes les bouches. Je ne vais donc pas vous dire qu’il s’agit de l’histoire de Piper, femme typique WASP, qui se retrouve en prison pour avoir trempé par complicité dans le commerce de drogues dans sa jeunesse, entichée d’une dealeuse lesbienne. Je ne vous dirais pas non plus qu’elle y rencontre des co-détenues "hautes en couleur" qui lui feront changer de perspective. Bref, Orange Is The New Black (ou OITNB pour les intimes) semblait bien intéressant sur le papier, mais j’avais des réticences à regarder. Pourquoi? Piper en tant que personnage principal “In a lot of ways Piper was my Trojan Horse. Maintien de stéréotypes racistes et examen des privilèges On peut noter malheureusement la présence de nombreux stéréotypes racistes (qu’on nuancera par la suite).

Mais non. The Feminist Griote » Orange is NOT the New Black. Full disclosure: At the time I wrote this post I was only 7 episodes in.

The Feminist Griote » Orange is NOT the New Black

After weeks of seeing the hashtag #OITNB invade my #BlackTwitter feed and after some of the cast members were featured on the Melissa Harris-Perry show , I had to succumb to the adult peer pressure and watch the show. The show “Orange is the New Black” is loosely based on a memoir about Piper Kerman, who is the inspiration behind the character Piper Chapman. Both the fictionalized and real life Piper are white-middle-class ivy league women whose boredom with their posh cushy life led them into a life of crime. Piper Kerman post-graduation from Smith College smuggled drug money, but was was never caught.