Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 30

SPECIAL : BEYOND PATRIARCHY Lisa Simpson: The Tikkun Interview - A Feminist Fan Fiction Fantasy MARTHA SONNENBERG, MD How the Interview Came About: A S AN UNAPOLOGETIC FAN OF The Simpsons since its beginning, I have always been especially drawn to Lisa Simpson, the fam- ily’s perennially eight year old daughter, a student of life, a feminist, environmentalist, social activist, and soulful jazz saxophonist. And with Tikkun magazine’s exploration of how a society might look beyond patriarchy, I had been thinking about Lisa Simpson—I was curious about her perspective on the relation- ship of patriarchal culture and humor, about her perception of her character, and how she might view The Simpsons’ relationship with its audience. The Simpsons began as cartoon characters drawn by Matt Groening. Those characters were then animated and, after a short stint on The Tracy Ullman Show, eventually became the TV series, now in its 29th year, one of the lon- gest running shows in TV history. The Simp- sons has provided its audiences, both in the United States and internationally, a unique view of contemporary society, challenging its 30 W W W .T I K K U N . O R G Image Courtesy of Heretic Wear T Shirts audience to perceive reality from a satiric per- spective, and, in turn, being itself challenged by the changing nature of the reality it satirizes. So when I ran into Lisa Simpson at the March 24, 2018 “March for Our Lives” youth-led demonstration against gun violence in Wash- ington, D.C., I felt compelled to speak with her, although still somewhat intimidated by her iconic status despite her small size. Standing about two feet tall, both she and her brother Bart were overshadowed by the larger marchers around them, but they nevertheless made their presence known with their big handmade sign that read, “We are the future. Please listen!” Emboldened by the spirit of the march, I gen- tly made my way through the marchers, and through my intimidation. I bent down to get Lisa’s attention, and apologizing for disturbing WINTER 2019