So this came up awhile ago and it's worth repeating again.
The Hunger Games franchise has a new record on its hands from 2013. The newest film in the franchise, Catching Fire, is not only the highest domestic grossing film of 2013 by surpassing Ironman 3, it's also the highest grossing film with a female lead which hasn't happened since 1973's The Exorcist. Showing once again that female leads can have audience drawing power and break the box office. This is the first film with a clear female protagonist, which excludes films like Titanic from the debate, to have done this in 40 years! It reflects a tide turning in how Hollywood looks at franchise films. As it shows outright that a female-led film of high quality can indeed maintain it's own franchise, and even be a heavy-weight box office contender. Such record breaking acts like this could start to pave the way for more. If Hunger Games can do it, just imagine what Marvel or DC may be able to do with cohesive well handled scripts for solo female properties. Could a solo film Black Widow or X-23 be far behind? We already are potentially getting a slow build up for a solo Wonder Woman feature later on down the line from Warner Brothers.
In other news, it's starting to become quite annoying about how the gossip rags treat forms of abuse other than physical, along with the fandoms that eat it up confused that it's love thanks to film franchises like Twilight and the soon to be 50 Shades of Gray. For example, recently a rumor was spread about Selena Gomez camping with Bieber in Chris Brown's RV. Of course Ms. Gomez's people denied this as they should, but I'm rather surprised it wasn't more verbose and direct in it's disregard of said event ever occurring. They stated: "This did not happen. There is absolutely not one ounce of truth to anything in this."
Let's look at this for a second. Chris Brown who has anger issues he's trying to resolve now finally after court enforced therapy. The man who had abused Rihanna, a woman Ms. Gomez looks up to as a musical influence, let Bieber use his RV to go camping. The fact that fans ate this up thinking that a woman of Ms. Gomez's caliber who has spent an entire year trying to uplift women and show that it's both men and women's choices that matter. Spent an entire year to show how she's grown and become her own woman who wants to inspire others into being the best they can be. A woman who has adamantly spoken against bullies and spoken up to stop fans from doing harmful things to themselves in her name. That no one should take advantage of such occurrences of inebriation on anyone. (And on said note, this also means don't take advantage of anyone while inebriated as even if someone may be touchy feely while intoxicated, that doesn't give anyone the right to take advantage. Do you really want the only reason someone did anything with you being because they were drunk or drugged into complacency? You do know what that's called right?) That even she could be the one that ends up sleeping on someone's couch after a night of enjoying the company of friends and deserves that respect to be left alone, has been linked to a camping trip using an abuser's RV. An abuser who struck a woman she considers one of her influences. Am I the only one that sees the gaping flaw in logic here? It's outright disgusting that anyone could ever believe it was true.
Thankfully of course her people denied it as they should if it's false, but it's a sad state of affairs when people are so caught up in trying to force a toxic match that they look past details that you would think show how absurd it is. Of course this also isn't counting other acts that can be considered forms of abuse via the instigating of fans to do dirty work based on lyrical content of an album that can be considered itself one long form of emotional and verbal abuse towards her and her friends or other acts and attempts to harm her reputation and hide his own drug abuse and immaturity. Acts of using her as a prop and object without any regard to her feelings, safety, or reputation. The public is letting it happen, and she has yet to speak on these matters directly. I hope she does soon, as she has built herself up to be an inspiration to help uplift women, and it's sickening to see how others would try to tear that down by lies, half-truths, and twisting of facts or pushing her towards a known drug addict with a history of unsafe behaviors and attitudes when she's trying to grow and become the woman she wants to be that can help others stand on their own feet and show the spotlight can be handled responsibly. (When I mentioned hindrances before, this is what I was referring to. How her name is dragged through the mud for no reason than to try and hold her down when she's done absolutely nothing wrong. Even going so far as to smile and try to laugh it off when she should start becoming vocal on it as no one deserves to go through or be used like this. Though it also might make a role like X-23 become cathartic for her as a means to vent through a film piece. This could make that film role even more satisfying for her and make her performance even more hypnotic.)
It seems the world takes steps forwards, but also takes giant leaps backwards. Women are dominating the music charts, and now the box office, yet people are still stuck in mentalities without being able to quantify or recognize various forms of abuse perpetuated. The world has long strides yet to go in equality, recognition of bullies, abuse, and the overall treatment of their fellow humans. (I didn't feel like listing all the incidents across the board this time from all outlets because I really don't want to depress even myself. 2014 has begun, can we start trying to make things better already by using our heads and thinking before speaking and acting first? Seriously, it's time to start teaching people what responsibility means and not excusing it. Excusing it only makes it worse and them thinking that degradation and abuse is okay.)
In other rather awesome news, the Juicy J Twerking scholarship has come to a close. The winner? A college student by the name of Zaire Holmes with a video that didn't even have twerking in it! Congrats to her and her pursuit of becoming a doctor! It's nice to see good surprises like these still happening. Last year when the contest started, it had received a large amount of flack for endorsing questionable behavior of selling sex & objectifying women. It spurred at least two entries of no twerking that instead talked about betterment for themselves and others. It's nice to see that one of those won and also is an interesting commentary on perceptions of the world.