“Three noes, one for each of us: my rapist, the Institution, and me.”–Melissa Ferrone and Kelly Sundberg
“I know it may seem silly to talk about television and movies when hate is on the rise and the very soul of our country is at stake, but this is the exact time that artists must speak up.”–Jessica Mason
Finally! A menstruation coloring book.
I was interviewed as a Boy Meets World superfan in a January 2013 issue of the Canadian magazine Macleans. For the last three years this has been my fun fact whenever I have to introduce myself at a company icebreaker. Apparently there is no bigger fan of Boy Meets World on the Internet.
Boy Meets World, in case you were not a TV-binging latchkey kid in the 1990s, is a sitcom about a boy named Cory who is supposed to be fairly average in every way: average student, average nuclear family with 2.5 kids (literally, he has a brother all the time and a sister only some of the time, due to standard 90s sitcom continuity problems). Notable characters in Cory’s life include Mr. Feeny, the impossibly wise history teacher, who is also his next-door neighbor; best friend Shawn, who is from the Wrong Side of the Tracks and has Tremendously Important Father Issues; and Cory’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Topanga, who started out as a comical weirdo but morphed into a standard Pretty Girl Love Interest, for which I hated her.
It’s not a particularly notable show. Starlee Kine described its comforting blandness on the This American Life episode “Reruns”: “It didn’t even matter that I didn’t watch it as a little kid. I can imagine little kids being in really comfortable, carpeted family rooms and laying with their elbows propped up and watching Boy Meets World and feeling really safe. Because it’s like the safest thing in the world.”
Boy Meets World season one cast. Cory kneels in front, wearing primary colors red and blue to denote him as the hero, and holds the hand of his sometimes-nonexistent little sister, Morgan. Cool big brother Eric leans in from the left, while parents Amy and Alan hug and judge behind. Blazer-wearing history teacher/crotchety neighbor/stalker Mr. Feeny frowns imperiously, while Rebel Friend Shawn smirks and wears a tie-dye T-shirt with sharks on it like a boss. Not pictured: the love of Cory’s life, Topanga. She wasn’t that important in season one.
It used to be a kind of utopia. A weekly meeting of all my favorite Blackgirls, indulging and over-indulging on wine and takeout, listening to records, talking about life and love, and hollering at the TV as Kerry Washington stunted in a flawless white coat and stomped delicately on the heads of every white man in the White House.
Of course, she didn’t look like us, with her airbrushed skin and bone-straight perm. Of course, she was in love with one white man, or two, depending on the season. Of course she wasn’t an artist, or an activist, or a progressive. But she was a Black woman on prime time television, she was sexy as hell, and she was smarter than you. We were so damn hungry we forgave her. We forgave the overdone love scenes and the corny banter. We forgave the patriotism, the predictability, the strange treatment of Black men. We are so damn hungry. Continue reading