“The Jane Test,” Hanya Yanagihara, Black Panthers, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading

By
Share:

Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today, we’ve got the inside scoop from one of the extras of Kanye’s Yeezy Season 3 fiasco, something called “The Jane Test” that weeds out misogynistic scripts, an interview between authors Hanya Yanagihara and Garth Greenwell, and the story of two imprisoned Black Panthers.

First up, over at Wired they’ve got “The Jane Test,” a set of criteria named after Natalie Portman’s Thor character, Jane, that will hopefully help screenwriters realize that their works are misogynistic and contain underdeveloped characters. The goal is, of course, to produce more fully-formed female characters.

People often point to sexism in movies for what happens onscreen, but really, it’s in play before our heroine has a chance to say a line. It happens when she’s cast. It happens when she’s costumed. It happens when she gets her paycheck. But before all of that even has a chance to go down, it happens in the script—the very first keystroke that could make her a well-rounded individual, or a reductive pile of cliché. Far too often, she’s the latter.

FSG’s Work In Progress blog has paired the authors of two of this era’s Great Gay Novels: Garth Greenwell and Hanya Yanagihara. They’re clearly friends, familiar with one another, and it’s nice to see such talent interact.

Greenwell:

I’m in recovery. I’m a recovering poet. But before that, my first introduction to the arts was opera. Singing. So poetry was second. This book begins and ends with Bulgaria, where I went in 2009, and something about being in Bulgaria made me suddenly hear language, sentences, that I somehow knew weren’t broken into lines. I just started writing in a notebook, and in some ways it was much less anxious than writing poetry because I didn’t know anything about writing fiction.

Jezebel has a writeup from one of the models chosen to be an extra at yesterday’s Yeezy Season 3 presentation at Madison Square Garden. It’s an interesting insight into the tediousness of the fashion industry. There’s a problematic line equating the models’ experience to sufferers in concentration camps, but given the aesthetic of the clothes, it’s not entirely unwarranted.

They had a bunch of interns or whomever was producing the show at each section or station, and they would send one model, like, “You go to the leotard area.” A person there would put on looks for you, you try them on, and if they didn’t like it, they’d give you something else to try on. Each person got one outfit. There weren’t any outfit changes. I think a misconception was that the clothes the extras were wearing were from the Yeezy collection. All the shoes were Adidas, but the clothes were thrift store finds that I think they dyed to be the same color scheme. When I first got to the warehouse, I was like, how in the world did he produce all of these pieces. Then I realized they weren’t his label. The models that were wearing his designs were all on the platform, but they were also mixed in with some of the extras.

Lastly, there’s a fantastic long-read from BuzzFeed that tells the story of Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, Black Panther leaders who have been in prison for 45 years.

In the late 1960s, thousands of young black people joined the Black Panther Party and devoted their lives to the revolutionary struggle. By 1970, polls suggested that almost two-thirds of the black communities in major cities approved of them. The movement, with its dramatic revolutionary rhetoric, endorsement of armed self-defense, and open defiance of white authority, was a marked contrast from much of the reformist anti-segregation activism of the civil rights era. It instilled a sense of racial pride and self-esteem in young black Americans across the country.