My general attitude when reading things on Tumblr is this:
That’s really all I can do on Tumblr, which doesn’t invite a whole lot of immediate discussion. If you want fast discussions, Twitter is good for that, but discussions on Tumblr take a while and sometimes you may never know how the discussion went unless it shows back up on your dashboard.
If you can find these discussions, please visit the original websites (which sometimes include tags) and make haste to go read them because sometimes these little talks can get lost and you’ll never be able to find them again.
File this under things people need to know. Don’t just accept this person’s word for it, though. Do the research. My job is researching things, so I have and can vouch for the truth of it, but you should still look these names and themes up for yourself. Google is your friend!
at the women’s studies conference I went to last semester, someone did a presentation about how the myth of the black “welfare queen” was created and it’s so crazy to think that Reagan managed to make the American public believe that all black women were simply lazy and took advantage of the system when in reality, Reagan’s whole tirade against these supposed elaborate schemes of black women were based off of one Linda Taylor who assumed over thirty aliases and amassed a large amount of riches through a number of different ways (theft, forgery, insurance fraud, child abdication). It’s so easy to sway this country to believe racist allegations such as these because they don’t even care to find evidence to support such claims, they honestly just want an excuse to paint the black community as lazy criminals
The book I’m reading, The Battle for Justice in Palestine by Ali Abunimah, talks ab Nixon and Reagan specifically using coded language to create the illusion of “race neutral” politics that were truly created to harm Black people such as Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” where Nixon told an advisor, “you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the Blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this without appearing to” and Reagan’s “war on drugs” when Reagan launched a propaganda effort to associate drugs and crime with people of color, creating the stereotypes of “crack whores” “crack babies” and young Black men as “predators” that we still see today
What’s even weirder is that Linda Taylor was such a consummate con artist that she lied about her race and people believed her. She was born to white parents (and might have had some Indigenous American ancestors), but told people she was Black, Asian, Hispanic, & Jewish as it served her needs. The myth of the Black Welfare Queen is based on a long term con run by a white woman.
Sometimes some deeply philosophical discussions occur, like people vs utilitarianism, and how some of that philosophy ties into different forms of bigotry:
the idea of people having to be ‘useful’ is just so gross, like people do not exist to be used
having to produce something and have a use is a capitalist ideal and not an intrinsic part of humanity
just by being alive you are human and you are worth something and you can never be useless
this applies to animals as well
“Having to like DO THINGS is SO OPPRESSIVE. No one had to like DO THINGS before evil capitalism. In ancient times food, water, and shelter just existed and everything was taken care of for me”
Guess what happened to people who didn’t do things before capitalism? They died. Cause if you weren’t hunting, gathering, or useful in some aspect of nature. You were killed, died or starvation, dehydration, or exposure.
Being useful is literally part of our biology. Fucking moron. You pull some idea out of your ass because you literally don’t want to get off your ass.
I’m not saying nobody should ever do things ever, I’m saying people don;t have to produce to an arbitrary standard in order to prove their right to live
And if you really think disabled people deserve to die if we can’t ‘contribute’ or be useful in a way you approve of then congrats youre a fucking monster
actually there’s significant evidence in terms of Neolithic burials that disabled people who would not have been able to hunt for themselves (the archaeological evidence mostly shows mobility disabilities because it’s visible in the bone record) were well fed and cared for by their communities
so the “people like you would have been left to die” argument isn’t just cruel and violently ableist, it’s extremely historically inaccurate and based off of projecting modern prejudice on prehistoric cultures
sources because I’m on my laptop now!
note: in the neolithic era, a person in their 40s or 50s would be considered elderly
i read somewhere that you can measure the worth of a society by how it treats it’s helpless, elderly and sick and i think that’s totally on to something. this also ties in with the whole “survival of the fittest” garbage that people (mostly violent machismo men) spew without knowing what it actually means.
the inherent idea of productivity = worth IS a product of a culture based off of industrialization and capitalism, anyone who says otherwise is blinded by bias and needs to read some anthropology.
Animals do this, too. There’s a ten year old orca named Tumbo with severe scoliosis. He’s slower than the rest of his pod, but his mother and brother stay with him and help him hunt. He’s a transient, too, which means he travels great distances daily with his pod, and hunts dangerous prey like seals and sharks. Yet despite his disability, his pod takes care of him, and his pod thrives, even with the care they show him.
As someone said above me, a society can be judged by how it treats the sick, elderly and disabled. If animals can show such compassion, what’s a human’s excuse for lacking the same compassion for a fellow human being?
I’m always fascinated by the fact that people can suspend their disbelief long enough to accept/enjoy the fantastic, exaggerated, or straight up ridiculous aspects of fiction. But as soon as someone brings up the idea of making people of color (or any marginalized group) the center of those types of stories, we suddenly have to abide by realism.
Here’s the problem. Let’s say that in the 70’s and 80’s white guys made up 90% of awesome lead characters in movies. The number may be higher than that but let’s use it as an example.
Now cut to today when Hollywood is rebooting everything beloved. If we don’t “change movie dynamics,” the reboots will also be 90% white men, leaving women and POC out of the picture AGAIN.
The “movie dynamic” that is so beloved is exclusion. It’s male supremacy. It’s white supremacy. It’s the belief that a white guy’s story is universal, while everyone else’s is niche. It is changing, it will change, and it should change. It was unjust in the first place.
Important point guys are missing: if there had been fair representation all along and there were a ton of great franchises led by women when we were all growing up, maybe nobody would need or want to gender-flip franchises, although that would still be fine.
But there wasn’t. So to say, “don’t change things,” means “keep it white and male, I was the center of the universe and I don’t like having to share.”
Also, FYI those were the polite sexist responses.
So not only do we have to put up with the woobification of obvious villains in fanfiction, we also have to contend with the villainization of PoC, like Nick Fury, who was just doing his job.
Sometimes I just get so mad because Phil Coulson respects Nick Fury almost as much as the fandom disrespects Nick Fury. All your faves respect Nick Fury more than fandom does. Steve Rogers respected Nick enough to lie to his superiors and find out what Nick was trusting him with. Natasha Romanoff and Maria Hill were openly hurt when they thought he was dead. Clint trusted Nick enough to tell him about his family, trusted him to find a place for them, keep it off the map and off the books and Nick did that. Hell, Tony even came down out of a doughnut because Nick Fury told him too. The Avengers exist because of Nick Fury. The Avengers have repeatedly fought for and beside Nick Fury. Instead of recognize the complex character that he is, fandom has made the decision to erase, ignore and villainize him, but given that it’s a stupid ass decision, I have elected to ignore it.
Why Japanese people shouldn’t be asked their opinions on American whitewashing:
I was watching this video today which was Japanese people reacting to some video called “Weeaboo Cringe Compilation,” and when they started asking Japanese people how they felt about the people in those videos, it was a bunch of positivity and “as long as they’re happy” bullshit. Then I just logged on to fb (which idk why I don’t just delete it at this point) and there’s a video where I guess the producer of the Ghost in the Shell commented on Scar-Jo’s casting, and he’s pretty much like “this is a great way for the story to be told across cultures” bullshit.
And I don’t want to speak over Asian Americans, but that shit pisses me off so fucking much! Stop asking Japanese people how they feel about westerners/Americans wearing Kimonos, wearing yellowface, being cast in live adaptions of their stories, being problematic weeaboo trash, etc! They don’t live in America. They don’t live here. There’s a reason why John Cho and Ming-Na Wen spoke up like “this is bullshit” but a Japanese producer doesn’t care. BECAUSE THIS SHIT LITERALLY DOES NOT AFFECT THEM. At least not negatively. In a best case scenario, the movie is a hit, and Ghost in the Shell gets more readers and people buying the dvds and movies and etc and giving that company more money. Japanese actors can easily get jobs in Japan (as long as they’re good). In America? Asian actors get so few roles that they make up like less than 1% of the roles available (that’s an old statistic, and idk if that’s changed in recent years, so tell me if that’s gone up), and if they do get roles, it’s crappy background characters that are racist stereotypes and caricatures of their cultures. Japanese people don’t have a voice here because it doesn’t affect them. AT MOST, it affects them with western tourists traveling to Japan acting like idiots, but 1) Japan would love the money that would make them and 2) the average Japanese person STILL doesn’t have to deal with an asshole like that. So they don’t get to speak on things and be looked at as the “voice of reason” like we don’t know why Asian Americans are mad/annoyed at the whitewashing!
Japan and the US’s racial makeup is like completely different. So what constitutes as problematic or whatever in one isn’t major in the other and vice versa. A country where any live adaption they did of an anime would easily provide the correct representation can’t speak over a nation where whitewashing of roles about non-white countries and cultures is rampant. And it irritates me because of course the Japanese are going to love someone like Scar-Jo playing a Japanese woman. She’s the epitome of white beauty that gets fed to us to worship. Like, you can’t ask a Japanese person how they feel about this shit without talking about years of white imperialism, the US relationship with Japan (especially after WWII), the image of ideal beauty world-wide being a white woman that looks exactly like Scar-Jo, the status that comes with that level of “beauty” etc. There are too many layers as to why a Japanese person who’s lived his entire life in Japan and will never be in America to live and become a citizen might love the casting while actual Asian Americans who live here won’t. It’s so basic and lazy and fucked up and disrespectful to Asian Americans to even try it. And I’m sick of people doing that shit.
And there are some deeply important discussions about why Finn is Force Sensitive, along with some very compelling arguments, which I’m inclined to agree with. I’ve watched the movie about three times now, and the argument for this is legit, along with reasons for fandoms unwillingness to accept that he might be:
Why is that person so obsessed with disproving FS!Finn, Rey had not awaken at that point of the film. It doesn’t take a master degree. In fact Snoke obviously didnlt know about Rey UNTIL Kylo told him about her much later in the film. Hell, I don’t think even Kylo knew about Rey’s ability until the interrogation scene since he didn’t comment on it when he was mocking her about Han Solo and her friends (it also explains why Kylo seemed so personally angry at Finn in their fight).
cont. Kylo was obviously as interested in Finn as he was in Rey. That only makes sense if they are both force sensitive and a possible threat. And not just because Finn was some random stormtrooper. Considering stormtroopers get sent into recondition Finn’s doubts wouldn’t have caused that big of red flag alone. There has to be something else about him.
*Oh that ones easy. It starts with r and ends with ism.
When you consider the fact that Finn was envisioned and written as a white man (see all the concept art, in every piece Finn is drawn as a white guy), then all the clues and queues surrounding him isn’t even remotely subtle. And Rey (envision as a white woman) gets the more obvious clues because Abrams, Kasdan & Kennedy et al. knows that people will focus on the (white) man over the (white) woman.
The issue arose when John got cast as Finn and Abrams didn’t do rewrites to account for race. Because if people will focus on the white male over the white female, then they will focus on literallyanyone else (even the blurred out two bit white villain with no skills and less personality in the background) over a Black male lead.
But Abrams subscribe to the colorblind theory so I doubt he would ever even consider this an issue.
Back to your points.
Heck, even when Kylo does tell Snoke about Rey he sort of doubts it and doesn’t seem to have sensed her himself, despite the fact that she used the Force not that long before. (Exact words: “If what you say about the girl is true, bring her to me.”)
And Kylo does initially seem very dismissive of Rey. (Just a scavenger.) Right up until she laser targets his creepy obsession with Vader.
Yeah, since reconditioning is a thing and Phasma seems very much to be on top of things there, Finn’s doubts alone would not have cause Kylo Ren’s obsessive and unusual attention to FN-2187.
And it is very unusual. I’m working on an analysis of the scene between Hux and Kylo Ren on the bridge, during Finn’s and Poe’s escape and it highlights not only the interest Kylo has in Finn, but also how very extraordinary that interest is.
But more on that when I get the whole thing typed out.
I look forward to it. Finn and Kylo’s parallels are not dwell into enough in fandom. But I’m not surprised when even so called progressive part of fandom still loves to praise TFA for not having a male lead, when Finn is exactly that.
Yeah. I’ve seen the old concept art where Finn was still drawn as a white man (he was also older if I remember?). I gave no doubt we wouldn’t be having this discussion if he’d been cast as white or white passing. In fact I imagine we wouldn’t be getting more metas about his trading and how he’s Anakin/Obi Wan/etc. reincarnation/secret son/etc.
Snoke didn’t seem interested in Rey at all. He didn’t even mention her when he ordered Hux bring Kylo over. So yeah, makes no sense he made a big deal about the Awakening having happened knowing it was Rey, and then just dismiss Rey when she was captured. It’s just obvious the conversation was not about her. Rey’s awakening with the Force was a wild card that not even Snoke was able to foresee.
You just gave me a brilliant idea for a gif set. Reverse parallels or whatever we should call them between Finn and Kylo (e.g. Finn telling Rey he made the choice never to kill for the First Order and Kylo saying to Snoke that he won’t fail him.)
And yes. Like the only reason why the Finn Skywalker theorist group is as small as it is, is 110% down to Finn being Black. Yes Rey has a very good case, but so does Finn. And every time it’s brought up we get the inevitable “it’s just aesthetics/coincidence/whatever” arguments.
Heck even on that “Awakening” post I’ve had more than one moron argue that what was sensed was Finn’s moral/emotional awakening and not just the one you saw (now I just block them because they’re beyond rational arguments). Butwhy would Snoke sense, much less care about a random Stormtrooper’s ethical scruples?
As for Kylo not telling Snoke who it is? 1) He lost Finn (and we see him have a magnificent tantrum when he learns that Finn escaped Jakku) and 2) Kylo more than once shows that he has his own agenda and is by no means Snoke’s perfectly obedient servant.
You know I hadn’t even thought of that last bit, how disinterested Snoke is in Rey. But yeah, he is.
You all bring up some awesome points that I hadn’t thought of before!
What is so unnerving to me about this fandom is the overwhelming need some people feel to “prove” that Finn isn’t force sensitive and the mental gymnastics they go through to deny blatant evidence. I know I keep coming back to this, but the Hosnian system sequence where the script and movie show Finn hearing “sounds from the sky” with his back turned and those sounds being what makes him turn and see what’s happening. Not only are people dismissing it by making up things that didn’t happen (e.g. he’s hearing everyone around him screaming…when…literally no one was screaming you can easily watch it and see that lol), but like, I’ve literally seen people say, “yeah, that would be definitive proof he’s force sensitive, so it’s gotta be an editing error because he’s obviously not force sensitive.” What the actual fuck?
And here again with Kylo “feeling something” and that making him turn and look at Finn for a long moment…like the movie is called The Force Awakens and is all about how we need a host of new Jedi to rise but no no no Kylo couldn’t be feeling the force awakening in Finn and then tell Snoke as much later nah just gotta be emotions ya know?
That folks were willing to speculate that Finn was Luke’s son when all they had to go on were drawings of a white guy, but then Finn gets on screen with his glorious dark skin and suddenly it’s nope he can’t even be force sensitive just comedic relief, makes it so obvious that this is a manifestation of antiblack racism.
Folks will entertain the notion that Jar Jar Binks is a Sith Lord but provide receipt after receipt on Finn’s obvious force sensitivity and suddenly it’s OMG NO WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT THAT’S RIDICULOUS. Mmm hmm, yeah, okay, I see you.
*Because some people find it impossible to go beyond the narratives they have been given, over some seventy plus years of Hollywood history, about PoC. They’ve been told for decades that PoC ain’t nothing but “the help” They don’t know how to think of PoC as just regular people, rather than “people who must be useful to whiteness”.
*To elaborate on my contribution to this post: and tie all these posts together. Trust me! There is a theme here and that is “utilitarianism”. The usefulness of other human beings to the narrative. Fandom is nothing more than an extension of ideas given (to them) by Hollywood. Fanfiction, for example, is nothing more than fantasies being written about fantasies, and as a result, all that most Fandom can do, is reiterate the specific dynamics they’ve been taught by Hollywood films, for the past seventy plus years.
The only narratives (and justifications) Hollywood has given the public for having any marginalized person in a movie, is if that person is useful to the white lead characters. This goes for everyone who is not white, straight, cis, and male. For decades most white women could only be in movies unless they served the purposes of the male protagonist. We even have special words for it: Women in Refrigerators, The Sexy Floor Lamp, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Their purpose in a movie is not to affect the plot, but to affect the men, who affect the plot.
The same is true for people with disabilities, most often used as “inspiration porn”, to make the protagonist of the story, or sometimes even the audience, feel good about themselves. Almost the only time you see people with disabilities get cast at all, is in horror movies, as the monsters, or to inspire the main characters and audience to live better lives.
The same is true for LGBTQ people, which is how we got the term, “the Gay Best Friend”. Usually, they only exist in the plot to give support, and sympathy to the straight characters, or prop up their love lives somehow. In thrillers and horror movies, they exist to be killed, so as to alert the protagonist that the villains are getting close, or to indicate to the protagonist that they are in a Horror movie.
And PoC, serve all these purposes, The Black Best Friend, The Caddie, The Maid, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, The Black Guy Dies First. The only narrative that most white people have seen PoC perform for the past seventy years is that of being useful to the main characters, who are white. Yes, there are movies that exist outside that dynamic but most white people don’t, or won’t go see those films.
It’s the reason why fandom can’t see PoC in fantasy narratives that include fantasitical creatures like elves and orcs, and why Finn, from Star Wars can never be seen as anything other than Rey’s friend, rather than a possible love interest. Its the reason people speculate that Michonne should die at Negan’s hands next season, to illustrate Rick’s whitemanpain. It’s the reason white Fandom doesn’t know what to do with T’Challa, other than make him Bucky’s Sugar Daddy, and the Dore Milaje who challenged their white fave, Black Widow, gets vilified for being a big ol’ meaniepants, when she was merely doing her job of protecting her possible future husband. And its the reason why Nick Fury gets vilified, and Tony Stark gets woobified in fanfiction, for committing much the same types of behavior.
The only narratives most white people have to work from are marginalized people as servants and slaves, counselors, helpers, and mentors to the white protagonist. And when not cast in helping roles, then they are infantilized, or erased from their own narratives, so that the White Saviors can look good taking care of whatever problems they can’t solve for themselves.
Hollywood has insisted on reproducing these dynamics in film after film after film, since its inception. We should not be at all surprised at all the racism and bigotry we have seen in the Fandom. Is it any wonder that there is a dearth of imagination, and a complete inability to see marginalized people outside of the boxes in which Hollywood has kept us. They are merely reproducing the only kind of stories they’ve been given. The fault isn’t entirely on the fandom. A large part of the fault lies with Hollywood.
This also ties into my earlier posts about how insidious racism and bigotry are. You have to remain vigilant and constantly examine what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, if you don’t want to end up simply reproducing the racist, ableist, homophobic, and sexist narratives we’ve all been ingesting since we were children. Its even worse when you reproduce the mainstream narratives, while believing that you’re being progressive.