Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: The Divine Feminine

Women often get screwed when it comes to being a Christ figure. Sure, if I was watching a movie about the actual historical person of Christ I would be a bit confused if Jesus was cast as a woman, but a Christ figure is just that, a figure. I don’t think anyone but perhaps crazed religious extremists would protest Aslan being a lioness instead of a lion, but alas, Christ was a man so I don’t blame anyone for constantly casting Christ figures as male. There is no harm in that and completely understandable. It does, however, leave another divine role open to women, one that doesn’t have a gender.

It’s been said that portrayals of God are often a white male. While this may be true in religious iconography, I don’t know if it’s fair to say the same about pop culture. In recent years, God has on occasion been black and even a woman once or twice; so pop culture has been branching out. Before that, while God was occasionally a white male, for the most part God was a disembodied voice or hand (think Monty Python or The Ten Commandments). Many times, God wouldn’t appear at all but would be an unseen, unknowable force, seemingly moving the events of the story (think Good Omens).

Women have been portrayed as God a few times, but for the most part we get what I call “a taste of the divine.” Women get an opportunity to touch or commune with the divine, but they don’t stay that way and often return to their normal human states after.

Rose Tyler of Dr. Who goes through one such touch with the divine in the season finale of Dr. Who in 2005 when she absorbs the heart of the Tardis.

To give you a bit of background I have only just finished watching the episodes of Dr. Who with the 9th Doctor. So if there is later information that I do not mention it’s because I’m not aware of it.

Anyway, Rose absorbs the heart of the Tardis and promptly becomes a conduit for God. Rose looks into the time vortex, which the Doctor explains that no one is supposed to see. He further tells her that if she doesn’t stop she’ll burn. This is very reflected of instances in the Old Testament where someone encounters God and is changed by or even dies by it. In this way, the Tardis appears much like the Arc of the Covenant, which the ancient Jews believed was the seat of the God. God is physically present in the Arc and anyone who looks upon or touches it that is not supposed to dies. The Doctor warns Rose that she is not meant to see the time vortex and is worried that Rose will burn up, but Rose manages to hold on long enough to destroy false gods (the Dalek emperor) and resurrect the dead.

Rose Tyler: I want you safe, my Doctor. Protected from the false God.

Emperor Dalek: You cannot hurt me. I am immortal.

Rose Tyler: You are tiny. I can see the whole of time and space, every single atom of your existence, and I divide them. Everything must come to dust. All things, everything dies.

This quote 1) shows Rose’s ability to see all things the way many imagine God. She sees the big picture. 2) Rose destroys a false God, which is a theme often depicted in the Bible. In the final line, Rose actually discusses the creation of all things reflecting Genesis 3:19. “…for you are dust and to dust you will return.”

Finally, Rose restores life to those who have died and, despite the Doctor’s begging, seems unwilling to let the power go. Though it doesn’t seem to be because she is power hungry, but rather she doesn’t want to let go of this connection. Many Catholic and Orthodox saints who have claimed to experience the power of God describe it as touching ecstasy. Rose seems only able to let go after the Doctor describes his own experience feeling what Rose does. (And for those of you wondering, yes, the Doctor is something of a God figure too. I’ll get to him later.)

In the end, Rose let’s go of the power and remembers nothing, again implying that the power and awe of this divinity is too great for human Rose to comprehend. Well, not without dying anyway.

Buffy is another character that touches the divine and is even something of a Christ figure. Yes, Buffy dies to save the whole world and then rises from the dead, but I hope that last week’s talk on Christ figures has made you realize there is more to Christ figures then simple resurrection. After all, Spike died and rose again, but we’d hardly call him a Christ figure. Let’s call Buffy a pseudo-Christ figure, though Buffy does have her own touches with the divine. In the finale of season four, Buffy faces off against the Frankenstein-like monster Adam. Adam may be my absolute least favorite Buffy villain, but how Buffy defeats him is probably the coolest. Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles realize that the only way to stop him is to use a Sumerian enjoining spell to combine their power.

It’s worth mentioning here that Buffy, unlike most other fantasy/horror shows, draws on the Judeo-Christian tradition notably less. But let’s break this little spell down. It’s Sumerian, one of the first and greatest human civilizations. One could argue humanity started there—creation started there. Who creates? That’s right, God. Buffy does combine with Willow, Xander, and Giles, and Joss Whedon has even mentioned that this was to show the power and closeness of their relationship. One tradition in ancient Jewish and Christian culture was that God’s body was comprised of all people. In this way, God was all races, all genders. In other words, God was everything and humans were all just a tiny piece of God. Buffy and her Scooby Gang enjoining, in their combined strength, could be viewed as a larger piece of God.

In fact, the same things happen to Buffy as they did Rose. Buffy glows, especially her eyes, she turns death to life by turning Adam’s bullets into doves (Holy Spirit symbolism… maybe?), and seems to see the same bigger picture that Rose did.

Adam: How can you…?

UberBuffy: You can never hope to grasp the source of our power. But yours is right here.

She then proceeds to destroy the false god Adam, who was going to destroy humans by creating a new race of composite monsters, by removing his power source.

So these are some women who have communed with God and been a part of God, but hey, sometimes those women don’t need to commune with God, because they are God.

In the movie The Fifth Element, Leeloo is created by the Mondoshawns, a race of aliens, to defeat evil when combined with four elemental stones, thus obviously, making Leeloo the fifth one. Leeloo is created perfect and often called the Supreme Being. As a feminist, I always got a kick out of this movie, because of the constant assertion from people that don’t know Leeloo assuming the Supreme Being was a man. There is definitely a very obvious commentary here about female empowerment and God as feminine by the creators.

From a theological perspective, however, as much as I love this movie it can be damn well confusing. The religion in this movie is all over the place. Leeloo is created by these other aliens, yet she is the Supreme Being. Are those aliens gods? To create a Supreme Being you would assume they’d have to be. Or are they creating a body for God to inhabit in the same way that the Virgin Mary said yes and allowed God to be born through her. Furthermore, the idea that Leeloo could not defeat evil (evil here being this giant intelligent dark planet which only has the intent to destroy) without the stones (the four elements) limits her Godlike powers. If she is the Supreme Being couldn’t she just defeat the evil anyway? She doesn’t seem that powerful either. She has one fight scene in the whole movie, is later saved by Bruce Willis’s character, and then after realizing he loves her, saves the world, because love is worth protecting even if humanity tends to screw up. She defeats evil with the light of creation, but seems to have little to no control over it and it takes everything out of her.

The priest who is with Leeloo seems like he is part of another sect of Christianity. He makes the sign of the cross and still refers to a God or Lord throughout the movie, but calls Leeloo the Supreme Being and guides her through our world. Leeloo never has a big picture moment. In fact, she seems to know nothing about the world and spends a large chunking of the movie going through human history on the computer.

At this point, I have to conclude, that despite Leeloo and others constant assertions that Leeloo is the Supreme Being, she’s not, not really. I’m guessing more a super-powered human used, once again, as a conduit for the divine with the help of the stones. She may be perfect, but really she’s a perfect vessel, not God. This does not make me think this movie is any less awesome or any less a feminist narrative. It has its problems, but doesn’t everything. Leeloo may not be God, but she is still worth watching.

There is one female character that I know with absolute certainty is God.

God in Dogma is a woman. That’s just fact. It’s clear this God can take other vessels, but God’s actual gender in this movie is spelled out as being female. While that’s not theologically accurate because God has no gender and every gender at the same time, it is a refreshing change of pace. This God is completely and utterly powerful, awe-inspiring, but yet funny and relatable. She has a sense of humor about Her creations and Her plans, while still being powerful enough to see the bigger and to have greater plans in the first place.

It endlessly annoys me that a movie most Christian groups heavily criticized actually has an awesome portrayal of the feminine God and asks good theological questions. Dogma was a great movie about God and faith. You should keep an open mind and watch it.

I suppose now you all want me to talk about the male portrayals of God. Well, I need a break from God right now. What? Talking about God is hard. God is unknowable, after all. So what can we talk about next week if not God? It has to be something big, something that connects all people no matter what religion or philosophy. Hmm… oh, I know! The one thing all people fear to some extent.

Next time on Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: O Death!

Tune in next week and—die! Uh… I mean get some religion…

Death, he is really very scary. I’m serious!

Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon)

Those of us here at LGG&F worked tirelessly to compile and vote on the top 10 canon and top 10 fanon pairings in Geekdom. You have no idea how hard it was to come to a consensus on what was actually canon or not!

THE CANON LIST:

1. Princess Leia/Han Solo

“I happen to like nice men.” – Leia

“I’m a nice man.” – Han Solo

“No, you’re not.” – Leia

The space pirate and the princess, Han helps Luke rescue Leia from the clutches of the evil empire and the rest, as they say, is history. If you like couples that start off hating each other, then this is the couple for you! Han and Leia participate in many a witty jab at the others expense. Meanwhile, the sexual tension between the two is so thick even Chewbacca notices it. Sure, there was a brief and confusing time when it seemed that maybe Luke and Leia where going to get together—*shudders*—but real Star Wars fans and a blood test quickly cleared that up. Thanks, George Lucas, for giving us this great couple!

2. Doctor/Rose

“How long are you going to stay with me” – The Doctor

“Forever.” – Rose

Okay, so Doctor/Rose. The Doctor is a traveler through time and space and the last of his species. Rose is a young shopgirl from London whom he meets and with whom he travels for two seasons (all of the Ninth Doctor and the first season of Ten). They have adventures and fight everything from ghosts to Satan. The Doctor helps Rose realize her value outside of being a shopgirl while they learn new things. Rose helps the Doctor move past his depression in being the last Time Lord alive after the Time War. They are separated into parallel universes while saving the Earth, but later reunited. The Doctor at one point is separated into a Time Lord and human self, and the human self chooses to return to the parallel universe with Rose because he can commit to her in a way the Time Lord Doctor cannot.

The Doctor and Rose share this intense love of discovering new things even when they’re potentially dangerous. They sort of have an unspoken understanding that they love each other (it’s not verbalized until pretty much the last time you see Rose). Their relationship involves a lot of hugs and lust and shared amused looks/eyesex, etc, etc.

3. Willow/Tara

“I am, you know.” – Tara

“What?” – Willow

“Yours.” – Tara

Both witches Willow and Tara meet at college in a Wicca group where they discover they are the only two real witches. After several altercations with monsters, Willow and Tara begin to grow closer, leading Willow to question her previously assumed heterosexuality. Eventually, Willow follows her heart to Tara, and since then the two have been one of TV’s best same sex couples.

4. Xavin/Karolina Dean

“This is my beloved’s home, and now it is mine. I will die for it. Will you?” – Xavin

Karolina Dean is an alien that absorbs solar energy into her body and can shoot it back out at you just as fast. She is an openly lesbian character in the Marvel team known as the Runaways. Xavin is a shape-shifting gender-fluid skrull prince/princess who is engaged to Karolina. Their relationship starts off rocky. First, with the two teenagers coming to terms with their marriage, and then with Karolina struggling over the fact that Xavin is not always a woman who she is attracted two. Despite this adversity and the constant bad guys trying to kill them, the two manage to find an enduring love for the ages.

5. Usagi/Mamoru:

“Mamoru, please say it once more.” – Usagi

“Again? But I’ve said it fifty times!” – Mamoru

“Please? One more time?” – Usagi

“Okay, for the last time. Marry me, Usagi.” – Mamoru

Whether we’re talking about Serenity/Endymion, Sailor Moon/Tuxedo Mask, or even Serena/Darien, these two lives are always linked. In the manga, anime, musicals, and live-action series, their relationship varies in its depiction but their devotion to each other can’t be denied. I’d like to talk primarily about their relationship in the live-action series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, because this incarnation of the story has the most unique depiction of their relationship.

Unlike in the anime, the two develop feelings for each other as Usagi and Mamoru first, rather than realizing they were lovers in the past and beginning a relationship from there. The affection they have for each other is so strong that Usagi’s crush on Tuxedo Mask is actually eclipsed by her feelings for Mamoru after a lot of distress on her part as she sorts out her feelings. When the pair learn of their past in this series, unlike every other incarnation, it nearly destroys their relationship, rather than solidifying it. They learn that their affair was essentially the downfall of both their kingdoms in their past lives and at first try to stay away from each other to avoid repeating the tragedy. They realize, of course, that they can’t simply stop wanting each other and decide that they will not be ruled by their past, that they choose to love one another now, in the present, despite the probability that they are doomed to bring about ruin by doing so. It is this choice that I think strengthens the Usagi/Mamoru relationship as opposed to the “Miracle Romance” of the other incarnations of the story. This is not to say that I don’t think their relationship in the manga/anime/musicals is any less true or beautiful, just that the implications of fate working against them, as opposed to, in their favor makes their choice to be together that much more impressive in PGSM.

6. Westley/Buttercup

“As you wish.” – Wesley

One of the greatest love stories you will ever read anywhere and also one of the funniest. Westley starts out as a poor farm boy working for Buttercup. She mistreats him horribly, but soon she falls just as madly in love with him as he is with her. When Buttercup thinks Westley is killed, she abandons hope and nearly marries an evil prince, but Westley soon returns, because, well, “death cannot stop true love; it can only delay it for a while.” Buttercup and Westley also share one of the greatest kisses in all of history. If you don’t like these two, then you might just have no heart.

7. Jane Eyre/Edward Rochester

“I know no weariness of my Edward’s society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do of the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character—perfect concord is the result.” – Jane Eyre

Jane and Edward are not the typical lovers. They are twenty years different in age; she is poor, obscure, and little, while he is rich, well known, not handsome (though does posses a fine pair of dark eyes), and while athletic in build, is not particularly tall. They are not beautiful in body, but they are in mind. Jane is plain, but she has a sprightly and empathetic disposition, coupled with a strong sense of justice and a surprisingly quick temper. Rochester is dark and brooding—*swoon*—with a sarcastic sense of humor, but he is passionate, especially when it comes to Jane (Bow chicka bow wow). Their love is not instant; it grows through the time they spend together and the trials they are put through. Though they have societal differences, it is their spirits, their mutual affection, and compatibility that make them such an amusing, beautiful, and ultimately romantic couple.

8. Apollo/Midnighter

“God, I just love you to bits sometime.” – Midnighter

What to say about Apollo and Midnighter? They where originally introduce in Stormwatch, which was in a universe outside of the normal DC universe. It has often been pointed out that these two characters are simply the gay version of Batman and Superman, and while they do share many similarities. They are also extremely badass superheroes willing to kill for those they love. The two are subtle about their relationship in the beginning, but soon share their relationship with their teammates. They eventually get married and adopt a little girl. Word to the wise though, super villains, if you mess with this family you may end up without a head… or worse.

9. Arwen/Aragorn

“I choose a mortal life.” – Arwen

“You cannot give this to me.” – Aragorn

“It is mine to give to whom I will. Like my heart.” – Arwen

A timeless love that crossed cultural divides and racism. Arwen gives up her immortality to live a short life as a mortal with Aragorn, despite her father’s disapproval and the concerns of her people. There is actually not much said about Aragorn and Arwen in the actual series, though there is plenty in the book’s massive appendix, as well as in the movies. Arwen’s and Aragorn’s love is pure and sweet, the kind of a noble knight for his faithful lady. It’s a classic that we love.

10. Joker/Harley

“Aw, c’mon, Puddin’. Don’tcha wanna rev up your Harley? VROOOM VROOM!” – Harley Quinn

What’s a romance list without a little mad love? A bad one, that’s what! Harley and the Joker don’t have a stable relationship, not by any means, but if you ask fans about comic book romances, they will more likely than not mention Harley and her Puddin’. Let’s be serious: their love is deranged, sick, twisted, and maybe a little bit sweet. The Joker himself worries that he might care too much about Harley in some comics. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bring about a change in Joker; it just makes him want to kill poor Harley! Well, Harley can change him right… no, probably not.

THE FANON LIST:

Kida/Anri/Mikado

Kida, Anri, and Mikado all are high school students that secretly run different gangs in the city. Yep, anime… go figure? Despite running rival gangs, the three maintain a friendship and eventually work together. Their love is epic and there is just too much of it for one person. So maybe Kida had some other girlfriend—screw her! She wasn’t nearly as cool as Anri and Mikado! Congrats to our list’s only OT3.

Dean/Castiel

Move over, Wincest fans! Profound bond coming through! Only two pairings were almost unanimously voted for on this list, and Dean and Castiel were one of them. An angel and his hunter, the eye sex alone may be enough to point out how totally in love they are. Castiel fell from heaven and died for Dean twice. Castiel is the first person Dean has ever trusted that wasn’t family (Bobby doesn’t count; he was basically their dad). Dean, however… insists that he’s straight… yep. But the fans know Dean is lying. And to prove it, the fans dominate every online couples contest. Castiel and Dean won best couple in a poll done by Spoiler TV, and are now going head to head with Faberry and Klaine (both from Glee). Castiel and Dean, their love is heavenly!

Snape/Lily

Another paring almost unanimously voted for by our writers. Snape always loved Lily. Always. Fans of the Harry Potter series adore Snape so much that his happiness wins out over the birth of Harry Potter. A slew of fanfics were written describing the beautiful love between Lily and Snape. After all, JKR admits that James was Lily’s second choice… because you know, Snape called her a mudblood, but if he hadn’t done that she totally would have married him, because she loved him way more than James. Snape and Lily, in the minds of fans, they will always be together.

Batman/Superman

They’re best friends, best buds, best pals! They are as close as two men can be… Let’s be honest, Batman and Superman are a little into each other. There is a reason Apollo and Midnighter were created, and that reason is that fans saw the sexual tension in droves. The relationship between Batman and Superman rivals that of even the most avid Batman/Robin fans. Their love is chaotic and often filled with problems, mostly because of Batman’s abandonment issues, but despite all this fans are convinced it’s Batman and Superman forever.

Sam/Frodo

There are several Tolkien scholars that would smack me over the head right now if they new this couple made the list. Sam and Frodo are war buddies… brothers… okay, fine, lovers trying desperately to save Middle Earth despite only having each other, and I guess Gollum, to rely on. So this may be one of the most contested pairing on this list. Some people love them; some people hate them. But hey, if they found some happiness with each other during these troubling times, who are we to judge?

Kirk/Spock

A fandom that boldly went where no fandom had gone before! Kirk and Spock hold the honor and distinction of being the original slash pairing. You don’t want to mess with Kirk/Spock shippers. Like all things that involve Star Trek, Kirk and Spock are a pairing ardently defended and upheld by the fans. And who could blame them? Both characters are bachelors for life and seem to only care about each other and a ship. Okay, that may be an over simplification, but you see my point. When Spock is going through the Vulcan mating cycle of Pon Farr, it takes rolling around in the dirt with Kirk to help him find release. Ladies and gentleman, the original slash pairing!

Jason/Kimberly

They’re the ship you shipped before you knew what shipping was. Well, maybe that’s only true for me, but whatever. Throughout the first three seasons of Power Rangers (IIRC—Jason left sometime in the third season, but I may be mistaken) and especially in the episodes prior to Tommy’s arrival, there were strong hints that Jason Scott and Kimberly Hart were romantically interested in each other, or at the very least shared a closer bond with each other than they did with the other Rangers. From the beginning of the show, when the group was in danger these two always seemed to seek each other out in the chaos, for protection, for assurance that the other was safe, for shared strength. Whatever the reason, they almost invariably grabbed or at least looked to each other in moments of peril. Classroom scenes and schemes which involved splitting up often shows Kimberly and Jason together, and even when Tommy and Kimberly were dating, for the time Jason remained on the show there was still a closeness he and Kimberly shared. Jason/Kimberly shippers got the biggest gift of all in the form of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie which, as far as I’m concerned, made the couple canon.

France/England

The characters in Hetalia are anthropomorphized countries, so France/England is based partially on the diplomatic history between France and England, like they reimagine a proposed treaty between the countries as a marriage proposal, etc. England is portrayed as a stuffy, superstitious, sort of uncool guy, whereas France is a flamboyant, womanizing/… manizing, wine- and food-loving layabout who solves his problems with love.

Light/L

Ah, what can be said about L and Light? Their relationship certainly isn’t healthy. Much like Harley and Joker, there is a lot of abuse and manipulation happening here. Unlike our two favorite clowns, however, there is a mutual respect and understanding. There is also the kink factor. L handcuffs himself to Light in order to ensure he is definitely not Kira. Boy, did that spawn some porny fanfiction. And show of hands who thought they were going to make out in the rain in that last episode? Yes, I said last episode! Are there episodes after L? No, there are not, but there is always fanfiction.

Harry/Draco

Harry stalked Draco all through book six of the Harry Potter series then saved him from fiery death in book seven. Draco loves to pester Harry all the time, but we know he really just wants Harry’s attention. This couple is probably one of the most intense love/hate relationships on this list, but as every fanfic everywhere has said, there is a fine line between love and hate. Harry and Draco prove that more than anyone. So what if both Draco and Harry got married and had kids with weird names? That’s actually an alternate universe, thank you very much. We all know that Harry married Draco after the events of Deathly Hallows, that’s just fact.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Things we are thankful for here at Lady Geek Girl and Friends:

-       The Thanksgiving Day Buffy episode. Watching it should be a tradition for any nerd family and remember, “to commemorate a past event you kill and eat an animal. It’s ritual sacrifice. With pie.”

-       Fanfiction. Wish your favorite character was gay, that men could get pregnant, that Harry Potter would go to Gotham City, or that cancer could be cured by running up a flight of stairs? Well then, you better damn well be thankful for fanfiction.

-       Milk. It makes cookies enjoyable.

-       The Wonder Woman Comic. Just about the only female character to walk away from the DC Comics reboot unscathed.

-       The Walking Dead. One of the only zombie stories that features characters that act like real people.

-       Joss Whedon. Marvel couldn’t have found a better man to direct.

-       Once Upon a Time. The best new TV show on basic cable.

-       Dr. Who. Who yesterday celebrated his 48th anniversary.

-       For William Shatner. Just because.

-       For Lisa and Meg. The only two recurring female characters to survive Supernatural.

-       For Minecraft. Making it possible to waste our lives more than ever, but have one hell of time while doing it.

-       For Ancient Aliens. They were totally at the first Thanksgiving you guys.

-       For South Park. For the joke above.

-       For all politicians against Protect-IP/SOPA.

-       For the original Transformers cartoon. For being a sanctuary from Michael Bay. 

-       For Avatar. It may just be Pocahontas in space, but it’s not a franchise, reboot, or a remake, and for that we are grateful.

-       For A Very GaGa Thanksgiving, which premieres tomorrow at 9:30 pm on ABC.

-       For the writers here at Lady Geek Girl and Friends. Thank you for providing us with awesome articles to read.

-       For our few viewers, subscribers, and followers. It’s people like you that make us want to keep writing.

via itsjustsomerandomguy