In a weird fit of Nostalgia For Things I Barely Remember Existing (I get these sometimes), I went back and watched JEM on Netflix. I didn’t get very far because I am a Grown-Ass Lady with Things To Do, like losing at computer chess or fretting about wedding plans.
But in re-watching the pilot, I realized two things:
1) Jem is an elitist shrew — when the Misfits are introduced, before they even say anything to her, she looks at their clothes and shrieks “Get that trash out of my father’s office!” Bitch, you don’t know what these girls are about! Way to support other women in an incredibly competitive and often misogynistic business just because you don’t like the way they dress.
2) The Misfits rule and their music should be on every Smart Girl’s playlist. Take “Winning is Everything” from the pilot episode: A sample of the lyrics:
“I’m aimin’ for success/Gonna do what it takes/If someone gets hurt/Well, them’s the breaks/if you wanna reach the top/don’t let anybody stop you.”
Those are AWESOME, kick-ass, girl-power lyrics. In my own experience as a writer, there were people who made huge efforts to try and stop me: a professor who said I’d never be a writer, a mentor who sabotaged my thesis in grad school and countless fellow writers who were “hurt” and stopped being my friend because I worked my ass off and saw rewards from that. Bitches (male and female) will always try to bring you down, but the Misfits were having NONE of that. They were going to win, so get out of their way or be crushed underneath the tires of their sweeeeet bikes.
Meanwhile, Jem — who, by the way, is only a musician because of a computer her extremely rich father programmed — sings shit like this:
“Wow take a look around/at the sight and sound/did we take you by surprise/bet you can’t believe your eyes.”
Totes deep. She’s basically the Rebecca Black of the cartoon 80s.
Jerrica wants to win the contest just as badly as The Misfits do. There’s NO SHAME in wanting to be the best you can be, but because Jerrica is blonde and rich and pretty and “nice,” she gets to be the hero of the story. Punk girls with crazy clothes and dreams of success in their chosen field, they’re the enemy? I call elitist, mean-girl bullshit.
Don’t be afraid to get on your guitarcycle and RIDE, girls. Always be respectful and cool to ALL people (even Jerrica) but don’t ever feel like you have to be sweet and nice and let someone else have their way with your dream. If you wanna reach the top, don’t let ANYBODY stop you.
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