Tumblr Discussions # 192

 

*Nick Spencer is the current writer for the Captain America series, which I have not read. Earlier this year, he got into some fandom trouble for revealing Captain America to secretly be a Nazi. Then he put his foot in it again with Sam Wilson. Now I am a huge Sam Wilson fan, although I have not read the Sam Wilson version of Captain America. Apparently, he wrote a scene where a Black man apologizes to a White man for being socially active. And Spencer keeps up this trend of being an old White guy yelling at clouds, by mocking and deriding Social justice activists by  creating nasty caricatures of them:

thefingerfuckingfemalefury:

steviemcfly:

aka14kgold:

wetwareproblem:

lierdumoa:

hellotailor:

‘Captain America’ comic under fire for mocking social justice activism

Captain America writer Nick Spencer is no stranger to controversy, making headlines last year with the infamous “Steve Rogers is secretly a Nazi” plot twist. Now, he’s facing backlash for a satirical depiction of social justice activists.

During a standoff between the Falcon and a racist pundit, the comic introduces a stereotypical parody of young activists: a Z-list supervillain team of college students demanding a “safe space” on campus.

image

Spencer described the team as a lighthearted satire, but if so, that satire isn’t very effective. In a rather preachy tone, the comic presents a judgmental divide between two versions of anti-racist activism: wholesome heroes like Sam Wilson, and laughable weirdos who use words like “patriarchy” and try to blow people up.

It echoes the common misconception that social justice terminology belongs to a realm of Tumblr teens who get “outraged” as a kind of hobby, while reasonable adults provide practical solutions in the real world.

[READ MORE]

When a white guy, draws a black man apologizing to white man for possibly ever using the language of activism. That’s racist masturbation. pic.twitter.com/OTHHVWyrWw

Good article.

TL&DR: Comic artist draws comic equating criticism with terrorism. When met with further criticism, complains that “kids these days are so sensitive.”

Rule one of satire: Punch up.

Rule two: HOLY FUCKING SHIT do not write a PoC apologizing to a white dude for daring to have maybe possibly been an activist. Like. Holy FUCK.

(Rule three: don’t make a character created by a Jew a Nazi)

Seriously, this dude needs to be boycotted or something.

Dude needs to be fired. Out of a cannon. Into the sun.

It’s a pathetic example of some clueless imbecile playing “Respectability Politics” and trying to claim that there’s a “Wrong” way to be progressive or liberal

Or that there’s any such thing as going “too far” when it comes to opposing bigotry and fascism or that we should all just “Play Nice” and “Don’t fight hate with hate” and other such spineless garbage that pathetic cowardly moderates love to spout as they shout their cowardice and weakness to the world

This is the equivalent of Seth McFarlane or South Parks garbage excuse for “Comedy” that celebrates the status quo and acts like progressives and people who want positive social change are either laughable and stupid or else dangerous freaks who are “Just as bad” as actual fascists and bigots through some bizzaro troll logic that only some pathetic old white straight man could apply to a situation

And here we see Nick Spencer combine the worst of both approaches and give us THIS garbage that portrays activists and people who care about human rigths and social justice and oppose bigotry and fascism as being both ridiculous and to be mocked and also as dangerous weirdoes who toss grenades at superheroes

This is GARBAGE

It’s the right wing gutter trash that do shit like this. It’s right wing pieces of shit who commit hate crimes, bomb planned parenthood clinics and carry out atrocities like the shooting at the Pulse nightclub last year…but in the upside down world of Nick Spencer, spineless moderate douchebag, anyone who passionately and vocally opposes the bigotry and fascism of scumbags like that are apparently “Just as bad” and deserve to be mocked

And of course he uses a black character as a mouth piece for his anti-SJW bullshit to try and make it seem less blatantly like a boring old white straight man whining about “Kids today” and how awful it is that we don’t want to play nice with bigots

Playing nice gets you JACK SHIT, Spencer

The civil rights movement, stonewall, women getting the vote…none of these things happened because of us playing nice with the bigots and the fascists of this world.

Spencers writing is pathetic, unfunny and clearly an example of someone playing “Respectability politics” bullshit…you just know he’s the kind of pitiful twat who tries to win arguements with tired “Martin Luther King wouldn’t approve of this you guys” arguements whenever it comes to how to respond to social injustices

And holy shit having Sam Wilson apologise to some old white man if he ever sounded passionate and angry about civil rights (Because lol CARING about things is stupid right) is quite possibly the most disgusting and insulting cherry to put atop this shit sundae

Source: hellotailor
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*One of the more popular critiques of people who argue for representation, is the idea that they should make their own, which ignores that we do in fact make our own, but when the means of distribution is controlled by Straight White men, its extremely difficult to do this. From Bigskydreaming again, this is  a gorgeous essay on how difficult it is to make your own representation, hampered as he is  by the gatekeepers of various  popular media.
bigskydreaming

This shit makes me so mad, not just as a bisexual man, but as a bisexual creator.

Because it wasn’t even a week ago that I talked about a fantasy pilot I’m shopping around town about supernatural teens where the main character was a gay teen boy.

And I got a very well intentioned message about it and how I was likely going to have to make the lead straight if I ever wanted it to have a chance to get picked up by a major network like the CW. And they follow me and know I’m referencing them lol and please know I’m not trying to call you out or anything, because their message was never the problem.

The problem was they’re not wrong. Like, I’m well aware of how this town works, and the limitations it puts on creative content including marginalized characters, let alone REVOLVING around such characters. I’m well aware of how every creative industry is about that, and how audiences and readers are about that.

Even in industries that are supposedly actively seeking out diverse works by marginalized creators, there are still limitations, still quotas. Yeah, the YA publishing industry wants books about teens of color and various sexual orientations, but not TOO many. Trust me, I know. For every book that gets accepted for having a gay lead character, there’s another book that gets rejected because that publishing imprint already has a ‘big’ book coming out with a gay lead character and there’s such a thing as too many of those as far as publishing is concerned. And so every time I see a book getting published by a major imprint about gay characters that isn’t written by a gay author? It fucking hurts, because I know damn well just HOW MANY talented gay writers there are out there desperate to get their stories boosted to wider audiences, marketed by a major publisher….they just got there too late, their spot had already been given away.

I’ve shopped scripts in Hollywood. I’ve had pitch meetings, I’ve sat with people who have the power to buy my scripts and boost them to the next level. And you wanna know what note I get over and over? Too many LGBT+ characters. There’s just too many in my stuff.

There’s something so deeply fucked up and insidious about industries and atmospheres that don’t even bat an eye or show the slightest bit of awareness while telling marginalized creators to limit how much of themselves they pour into their work.

These people, to my face, have made it perfectly clear – they WANT my stories, they WANT my imagination, they WANT my writing….they just don’t want it to look or sound too much like ME, the person behind the story, the person who dreamed it up…..because apparently that just makes it too damn hard to market it to anyone who isn’t just like me.

Since I was a kid, I’ve heard it over and over – you want better representation, make it yourself. And its like yo, fuckwads, we’re fucking TRYING over here. But even when we do, you keep putting limits on it, or telling us you only had the budget to give one or two stories about marginalized characters a chance and oh wait, you already spent that money on straight white men telling these stories for us.

Except those stories? Not written by us? That’s how you end up with the homophobic version of MISERY, with tons of visibility and all the things actual LGBT+ creators would kill to have for their stories about LGBT+ characters….and its not just that the story exists. Its not just the knowledge that something that fucking eroticizes homophobic torture porn has thousands of fans. It’s the awareness that the visibility of THAT piece of work actually detracts from the visibility of actual LGBT+ creators’ work, because hate to say it, but marginalized works ARE still very much a zero sum game.

And to be perfectly clear, its not that you have to be of a specific identity to write a realistic representation of that identity. No, that’s an excuse that people who don’t want to put in the work to do just that love to fall back on, but like. Research. Educate yourself. Put in the time. Put in the effort. You can absolutely represent anyone realistically.

The problem with marginalized works being created primarily by people of non-marginalized identities isn’t in their ABILITY to represent non straight white male identities realistically. The problem is with PRIORITIES.

Because guess what? I’m greedy. I don’t just want to see more bisexual characters on TV. I don’t just want to see a realistic depiction of someone like me, if that means they’re just as likely to get hurt or abused or killed off like the straight characters there just so happen to be twenty replacements for, already to go, just waiting in the wings.

If that was all that mattered, like, I’d sink my money into making a Where’s Waldo book with a gay or bi character on every page and just print those up and hand them out on street corners.

But realistic representation is great and all, but its still not the only thing. There’s nothing realistic about decades and decades of stories where it just so happens that coincidentally, the straight white male character always gets what he wants out of the story even as the black character dies first, the gay character sleeps around but never finds true love, and the disabled character is inspirational, but not much else.

No, representation isn’t just about being able to point at the screen and go, there I am, that’s me, he’s just like me. It’s about getting to see characters like you get everything the other characters get.

It’s about seeing the gay and bi characters get to be the heroes, to save the universe. To be put in life-threatening situations and ESCAPE in spite of the odds, to live to fight another day. To have love triangles and options instead of being paired up with the only other gay character onscreen by default. THAT is what true representation is. Anything less than what straight white audiences take for granted is still just half-assing it.

And as for marginalized works still being a zero sum game, well, you can tell me they’re not, that there’s plenty of room for everyone. The internet is a big place. Yup, yup. It is. Its so big, in fact, that shockingly enough, things like funding and budgets and marketing departments and publisher backing and corporate sponsorship and name recognition all make a difference between you producing content that people can find and enjoy and boost and you just shouting into the void.

Don’t tell me that marginalized works aren’t a zero sum game when I have literally sat in meetings with people who are perfectly conciliatory when explaining that sorry, this is just the way the world/industry/game works.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. This is just me ranting, this isn’t me saying anything that any and all marginalized creators don’t already know for themselves and its certainly not going to do anything to change the minds or priorities of the people who have the most power to do something about this in the shortest span of time.

I know this is essentially me shouting sour grapes into the void. And yeah, I’m perfectly aware that the grapes here are very sour, that I am absolutely 100% bitter about seeing works with shit or even actively harmful marginalized representation get prioritized over the works of actual marginalized creators when it comes to resources, visibility, acclaim.

But just cuz I’m bitter while I’m saying it, doesn’t make what I’m saying untrue.

 

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*There is a huge argument on Twitter involving those who revere Kylo Ren from the Star Wars movies and people calling them out on this. It also involves shipping, and the idea that Kylo Ren fans engage in racism against Finn, to prop up their White male villain:

fandomshatepeopleofcolor

Re: the woobification of Kylo Ren

(Sorry if this submitted twice. For some reason it showed up on my own blog and I was confused.)

I think a huge problem is the lack of diversity in the casting of characters I call “the delicious villain.” When I was little, I used to watch soap operas with my mom, and there were always those “bad boy” characters who were absolutely the villains of the shows, but who were also absolutely known for their sex appeal.

We see these characters in mainstream cinema in the likes of Loki, the Joker, Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera, Jack Ripner (Red Eye), Spike (Buffy), etc. Is there some internalized misogyny at play that attracts us to these characters? Probably. But we have to acknowledge the popularity of these characters nevertheless, and we can’t ignore the fact the that they are all white.

We have to question why POC aren’t cast as “the delicious villain.”

We have to question whether we would woobify Kylo Ren if he were played by a POC.

Characters like Kylo Ren can actually be fascinating because they are villains that are written with a touch of humanity (Kylo Ren still feels a pull to the light) unlike the Darth Vader-type villains who are there simply to evoke fear. There is no reason not to cast POC in these roles except for the inherent racism that blinds white audiences to the humanity of anyone who isn’t white.

Submitted by a-world-without-shrimp

And I feel this is in line with this essay:

The Glorification of White Crime

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I’m posting this for the excellent clapback against critics of what used to be called “Political Correctness”, but now, in an effort to try insulting Black people in  a different way, is now called “Identity Politics”.

thisiseverydayracism:

The other day on Twitter, a man posted a picture of my coloring book he’d given his daughter for Christmas. He was excited to give her a coloring book full of badass intersectional feminists. He wanted to thank me for creating it.

“I don’t know,” chimed in a random stranger (because Twitter), “Sounds like identity politics to me.”

Hell yeah it does.

“Identity Politics” is now thrown about as an insult at many progressive activists. Critics say that Identity Politics make everything about gender, everything about sexuality, and everything about race. And to this I say: yes, yes, and hell yes.

Call it what you want. I don’t care. Complain that we’re making shit about race — you know what? We are. Complain that we’re keeping the left from focusing only on class — yup, and proudly so. Complain all you want because I am not and will never be ashamed of focusing on the politics of identity. I will not feel a moment’s guilt for slowing this whole train down to make sure that everyone can get on and we’re on the right track. I will proudly own up to making shit hard for you.

Thank god for Identity Politics.

You know why? Because you know what we had before Identity Politics? I’ll tell you.

We had White Dudes.

We had white dudes as the pinnacles of power. We had white dudes on all our TV screens, we had white dudes reporting all our news, we had white dudes writing all our books. Sometimes they were accompanied by attractive white ladies (as all the white dudes were straight). But mostly, we had white dudes.

And if you were not a white dude? You didn’t exist. Laws were not written for you, infrastructure was not built for you, history was not written about you. You did not exist in film, television, or novels. You were not a part of the American dream.

And do you know what has been changing all of that? Do you know what has been saving this country from the monotony and tyranny of white, cis, heterosexual dudes? Identity Politics.

Identity Politics are everything that its critics fear. Identity Politics are decentralizing whiteness, straightness, cis-ness, and maleness. Identity Politics brought you equal marriage, the voting rights act, and abortion access. Identity Politics has got people believing that black is beautiful, that disability is nothing to be ashamed of, that fat people deserve respect, that a woman can say no. Identity politics are forcing the world to consider what it has spent hundreds of years ignoring — everyone else.

Without Identity Politics, we wouldn’t all get along better, we’d just cease to exist. And know, that is primarily what those who decry Identity Politics want. They want the world of the past, where we existed in the shadows, where they never had to consider race or gender, because everything was only about their race and gender. They want a world where nobody raised a hand and said “what about me,” because the only people allowed in the room were those whose needs had already been meet. They want the simplicity and power that comes with being the default.

So yes, Identity Politics are the threat to both the right and the left that its enemies are making it out to be. Because our system is still mostly white dudes, on both sides of the aisle. Their fear isn’t wrong; Identity Politics do threaten their way of life and their idea of progress and unity. Identity Politics will tear down everything they have built because everything they have built is oppressive and exclusionary and wrong.

We are not going back to a time where we were overlooked, dismissed, invalidated, and discounted. We are not going back to not existing. Our Identity Politics are here to stay.

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And some Introvert stuff:

If you’re an introvert, follow @introvertunites.

 

Just some of my various readings around the Internet last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Tumblr Discussions # 192

  1. “One of the more popular critiques of people who argue for representation, is the idea that they should make their own, which ignores that we do in fact make our own, but when the means of distribution is controlled by Straight White men, its extremely difficult to do this. ”

    Loved this. Very interesting. It shows how “do it yourself” is another way of saying “pull yourself by your bootstraps” and we know it’s really an insult that means, I don’t care about your views and I’m going to PRETEND you have access to the same opportunities I have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always hated that phrase. I always heard, “I’m not even going on to pretend to care about your issues.”

      But I loved that little essay because it perfectly outlines the problem of what I like to call “gatekeeping”. Movie studios, and publishing houses are owned by rich white men and you still have to go to them to beg them for a seat at the table. Marginalized people are at a distinct disadvantage in that instance.

      Liked by 1 person

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