In a true display of intellectual prowess, Charlotte Ailey has repeatedly proven her ability to do a subversive reading of any problematic media she likes.
“I mean, I just like what I like,” says Charlotte. “But I guess I’m naturally drawn to more mainstream or seemingly normative texts that happen to contain a lot of subversive potential.”
In recent memory, Charlotte has wowed with her disruptive interpretations of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Princess Bride, and the first two Twilight books, all of which happen to be cultural items she loved in her adolescence and still problematically enjoys.
“At first glance, How to Lose a Guy might appear incredibly sexist and hegemonic,” explains Charlotte. “But make no mistake; it isn’t critically reviled because it’s sexist, it’s critically reviled because it’s for women, and it’s sexist because most things made by men for women are, but that’s where the detached viewing practices come in.”
“Let me back up,” Charlotte adds. “All rom-coms should be understood as exploitation cinema…”
Yes! We’re not printing the rest of what she said because she really went on with it for a while, but we’re impressed!
Some people, however, are less convinced by Charlotte’s radical explications.
“I can’t even watch The Bachelor with Charlotte anymore,” says close friend Naima Lewis. “She’ll just start going off about the line between exploitation and appropriation of exploitative structures to achieve financial liberation, which I think means The Bachelor isn’t sexist because the women end up with a bunch of Instagram followers for their boutique protein powder brands of whatever.”
“It’s exhausting,” Naima adds. “Just say you like The Bachelor. That take wasn’t even good. Maybe she has a better one now.”
Charlotte reports she doesn’t, but there’s “more to it than Naima said”.
“If I ever happen to just like some problematic media, I’ll be the first to say so,” Charlotte claims. “But that hasn’t happened yet, and I find it very unlikely.”
Way to go, Char! Let us know if you find a way to justify 90 Day Fiancé, because we’re hooked!