This Gave Me Life

This is Superwom. she has a whole series of these very funny and informative videos. So please check them out and subscribe to her channel.

I stumbled across this video on the Freethoughtblog/Pharyngula website, which is another safe space to check out. I wouldn’t send you someplace that’s unsafe. These sites are rigorously monitored for trolls and encourage intelligent, philosophical discussions, which can sometimes get pretty deep. The viewpoints of PoC are welcome there.

Another safe space for PoC to leave comments is:

http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com

One word of warning is that the posts catalog some some of the worst excesses of the “manosphere”, and the most obnoxious forms of misogyny, rape culture, racism, homophobia, and  transphobia. These things are posted so they can be mocked by Futrelle, and the commenters. If you’re not in the mood to wade through some of the truly noxious s**t he has found online, then be cautioned. Even I occasionally have to just scroll past some of the Tweets published there.

Oddly enough, another safe space for commenting is:

http://www.rawstory.com

The journalism there can occasionally be click-baity, but it sometimes feels good to express your outrage in the comments. Trolls are vigorously slapped down there, so you can speak your piece, without worrying that some obnoxious p.o.s. is gonna call you nasty names.

And for some deeply funny and intelligent commentary on social issues of importance to Black Americans, check out : VSB. Very Smart Brothers (There’s also a smart sistah in there, too.)

And when all else fails and you can’t take anymore, then one final thing to help you get through this year:

GET OFF THE INTERNET AND PLEASE SELF CARE, LOVIES! Something that is more important than ever right now.

Westworld Analysis: Dolores and Maeve

Westworld is a feminist narrative hiding in plain sight. The Westworld’s logo/sculpture, based on Da Vinci’s Vitruvian/Ideal Man drawing, is actually the body of a woman, and the primary protagonists/antagonists are women,  Dolores, who has had everyone’s attention for five episodes, and Maeve who’s awakening has hidden just below everyone’s radar. Dolores’ path to enlightenment is flashier and more upfront, but I believe it’s Maeve who will spark the true robot rebellion. It’s not an accident that these two women, one Black, one White, were chosen to be the pov of the robot rebellion of Westworld, where its primary setting is a time period in which women  were limited to only two roles, the Whore, or the Virgin.

The Madonna-Whore complex has been baked into Western society since Judeo-Christianity rose to prominence. Named by Sigmund Freud, the complex stuffs women into two mutually exclusive boxes: women men respect and women men want to sleep with. Madonnas are virgins and mothers, kind and submissive. Whores are sexually promiscuous, raunchy and aggressive. The idea infiltrates pop culture in so many ways, from the Final Girls in horror films and Disney Princesses to Betty and Veronica and Taylor Swift music videos. Madonnas are to be lifted up and venerated; whores are to be lusted after and discarded. But Westworld has other ideas. Subversive ideas.

Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/harpy/despite-the-orgies-westworld-has-shockingly-feminist-pthemes#xqEmWuZjfIVwCYQ8.99

Image result for westworld dolores

Earlier this year, I reblogged an article about the show Daredevil, and its ignorant reliance on the Virgin/Whore Dichotomy, within its narrative. Marvel got it wrong because they  obviously did not think it through, and merely presented the stereotypes without any comment on their greater impact to the story. (Marvel isn’t very good at deep thinking in general, and what progressive feminist considerations we’ve gotten are largely because of the actors and directors. It’s certainly not from any of the writers, who seem to emphasize style over substance.)

Westworld gets it right, and the argument can be made that this is the point.  It’s no accident that Dolores is a White, blonde, virginal, damsel in distress, who is meant to be loved and rescued by the hero, Teddy, and that Maeve is a Black woman, treated as disposable, and a saloon whore, who Teddy only flirts with. He makes no promises to save Maeve, or take her away from all this. He is programmed to only have eyes for Dolores. In fact, nothing about these women’s storylines is an accident, and some amount  of actual thought was put into their characters, and plot arcs. I know these are not accidents, not just because of the plotline, but because of the things the characters say, and this is something that will have greater impact on the plot than most viewers think.

Image result for westworld dolores

Before the show aired, there were criticisms aimed at the writers for its depiction of  violence towards women, and the fear that, as in GoT, it is gratuitous. If you’ve been watching, Dolores is regularly threatened and assaulted, not just by the Guests, but the other Hosts as well. Why? So that Teddy can be her hero. The writers of Westworld directly addressed these concerns, saying that the violence wasn’t just for titillation, and the violence we see aimed at Dolores, in particular, serves a plot purpose. We can see that happening, as Dolores has begun to evolve beyond her programming, and in the last episode she said she was no longer going to be a damsel. In other words, her recollection of the violence done against her, has aided in her awakening to consciousness, and the decision to choose her own fate. She is tired of her pain being used to further other people’s stories rather than her own.

Dolores cannot rely on Teddy to save her, as he is a false hero. He is a trap meant to keep her in her loop. In his first encounter with the MIB, he is gunned down, and the MIB goes on to violate her. She cannot depend on Teddy to save her, or take her away from her pain. No matter how much he cherishes her, he cannot free her, echoing the real world equivalent of White women’s journey to liberation.  She abandons Teddy and his false promises, to be with William, and from there, she  begins to come into her power. But only her power, and not her freedom, as it is Bernard who sets her on the path to freedom, by introducing her to the concept of the  maze.

Image result for westworld maeve

For Maeve, the saloon whore, who keeps getting shot in various massacres, the awakening of her consciousness comes in time with her acknowledgment of her disposability. Earlier in the season we hear technicians speculating that if she doesn’t procure more customers she will be decommissioned, which is the writer’s  indirect criticism of the usefulness of the Black body to Whiteness. If it can’t be used, then it must be destroyed. She is saved from this fate  by another marginalized woman, Elsie, a gay woman, who recodes Maeve to be a better whore. Later, just as she is about to be gunned down again with Hector, she proclaims that her death doesn’t matter, but rather than being a rebuke of the statement  Black Lives Matter, as some people have chosen to see it, I see it as a statement of her freedom. If her death doesn’t matter, she is free to do as she pleases, with no fear that death will be the end for her. She is acknowledging that she is eternal, and declaring herself a Queen that can move anywhere on the chessboard, because she cannot die.

Like any slave that realizes they are a slave, Maeve’s  awakening is birthed in blood, nightmares, and trauma, echoing that of real world slave women.   It  is Maeve who witnesses the bodies of her Host brothers amd sisters, stacked like cordwood, being hosed down,  in a place she cannot name, and  it is through witnessing their disposableness that she comes to knowledge of her own. Unlike Dolores, Maeve must find her own path to consciousness and her own allies.

It is telling that the people who aid Maeve are in better positions to  facilitate her liberation than the ones that Dolores has found, and that they are all marginalized people, like her. Elsie is a lesbian, Hector is  Mexican, a Host and a slave like her, who aids her by giving her information on the Native American religion that sparked Maeve’s first questions,  and  Felix is Asian. (Asian men have historically been emasculated and dehumanized by White male patriarchy). So, is the message here that marginalized people can only be liberated by helping each other, or is this a real world comment on how African Americans were aided in their liberation by disenfranchised others? It is interesting that the one person who actively works against Maeve’s, and Felix’s, plans is Sylvester, a White man. I don’t know what to make of the fact that Dolores is aided in her awakening by a Black man, Bernard, who people are theorizing may actually be one of the  Hosts.

http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1277:aawomen01a&catid=72&Itemid=215

Parts of the Virgin/ Whore narrative arose out of slavery and gave birth to the White Madonna, and the Black Jezebel stereotypes.  White female purity was used as an excuse to torture, and kill Black men, and rape black women (although White women who fell through the cracks, and were the unclaimed property of another White man, were also fair game). Since the given understanding was that a whore couldn’t be raped, black women were declared un-rape-able. Like Maeve, their sexuality, and offspring , were treated as consumable commodities.

Echoing the narrative of actual slave women, Maeve has memories of a lost child, that was never actually (i.e. legally) hers. During the  examination, where it’s decided she will be decommissioned, the technicians “up” her aggression levels, making her more “sassy”, which is the writer’s indirect criticism of the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman. It is Elsie who recognizes what the technicians have done and fixes their botched (and indirectly racist) coding.

Ironically, or maybe not so much, Maeve’s name means enchanting or alluring.

Image result for jezebel myth

Its telling that it is a Black woman who says the things she says, just that it is a White woman who declares herself no longer to be the impetus of another man’s storyline. The series creator, Lisa Joy, has some knowledge of intersectional feminism, as these are the very restrictions that Black and White women fight against in the real world. For White women it is being considered helpless, and for Black women, it’s being considered worthless, and  each stereotype is used as an excuse for silencing and violence, against the other, by men.(White women’s fear of being compared and treated like WoC, keeps them from aligning with WoC, on issues pertinent to them both.)  But this particular dichotomy was most directly captured in the Dylan Roof shootings that occurred last year in Charleston, when the protection of White female purity was used as an excuse to enact violence against black female bodies. (The protection of White feminine virtue has always been used as an excuse for Black male disposability, most notably in the case of Emmett Till.)

https://newrepublic.com/article/122110/i-dont-want-be-excuse-racist-violence-charleston

Image result for madonna whore
It is not an  accident that the Virgin/Whore dichotomy between Maeve and Dolores is being set within the allegorical slave narrative of Westworld, as we see Dolores being carefully shepherded by Bernard and William towards her freedom, (on a literal railroad, no less), while Maeve has had to find her own path. But this close attention to her is  the reason why Dolores is unable to move as freely as she wants, while Maeve’s liberation has largely gone completely unnoticed, just as in the real world, where women at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder were able to freely move about in ways that more heavily scrutinized (wealthier) White women could not. Nevertheless, poor women’s ability to move about more freely ( travel, hold down jobs, speak their minds, as long as it was in service to others) was also harnessed to facilitate the imprisonment of White women to the rigid gender roles of marriage and childbirth. (This utilization of poor Black women’s fewer, or different, social constraints, is what gave birth to the Mammy/Sapphire Stereotype.)

I have been at some pains to find articles on this subject online and the only one I could find that came close to approaching this subject, written by a White woman, focuses almost exclusively on Dolores, ignoring Maeve’s part in the greater story. I think after this week’s episode, titled  The Adversary, there will a greater focus on the part Maeve has to play in the story of Westworld’s robot rebellion, and no, it’s also not an accident that the first skirmish in the rebellion would be led by a black woman, who has no fear of death.

*This is one of my most ambitious metas, for any show I’ve reviewed this year, so let me know what you think!

Fandom Misogyny and Racism 

Okay, this is going to be a long discussion about the intersection of misogyny and race in fandom, followed by other people’s rants about White fandom “acting a fool”. I stumbled across a Tumblr blog where the focus was entirely on misogyny in fandom. There wasn’t a lot of interesectionality in it, although it touched on the topic of racism from time to time. Most of the focus on these topics has been about its manifestation in  fanfiction. I’m not really heavily involved in that part of fandom, but I pay attention and have noticed  it everywhere else, in meta analysis, critiques of movies that haven’t been released, Twitter, in my various news-feeds, and on other websites.

What is happening in fandom is happening throughout all types of fandom, (even in books). The more PoC make a name for ourselves in media where we had been systematically denied, the louder and more strident becomes the backslash, from White people who feel we’re encroaching on something that’s theirs, making too many demands, forcing diversity, or critiquing how they perform fandom.

Calling out racism seems to galvanize those individuals who ,while reluctant to move or complain about anything else in the world, will respond to protect their bottom line. That bottom line seems to be feeling good about themselves as people, while trying to justify their complete inactivity on these issues. We’re not talking about the hardcore bigots. (Those people can’t hear anything through the swarm of wasps that live in their heads.) We’re talking about your average, everyday fan, the kind who thinks they’re liberal, progressive, good-hearted people who think they bear no one any malice because they haven’t burned any crosses on anyone’s lawn. These are the kind of people who are perfectly willing to sit and watch injustice and unfairness being done to others, and do and say nothing.  I call such people ” The Peanut Gallery”. The only time they will speak up,when they feel a  need to justify their inactivity, because feeling good about themselves  is their primary goal, not speaking out against unfairness.

There is a certain type of person who, once they find a comfortable spot on the road of life, will simply sit there and do absolutely nothing. They don’t speak out, they don’t help the ones who trip and fall in front of them, they won’t move from their comfortable spot because “they got theirs”. That’s the closest metaphor I have to the racist pushback I’ve been seeing in fandom.  There are White women who  are complicit in upholding the status quo for a variety of reasons. Most of them view themselves as not participating in racist behavior because they have been victims of sexism. They fight to hold on to their sense of being feminsit and progressive, often throwing PoC, the differently abled, ,and transgender men and women under the bus to do so. They claim to support women, but not all women get their support, especially if she interferes with whatever they want for  their favorite White characters.

It’s not just angry White men, whining about women, or racebending, in movies. There’s a significant contingent of white women engaging in racism and misogyny, mostly through their analysis and fictioning of shows and movies, and through  their erasure of certain characters. In its most toxic form its “misogynoir”, the vilification of black women, which is unique and different from the treatment of men of color, and white women in the narrative. Its rare but not unheard of for White women to engage in racist Twitter  and Tumblr rants, and harassment as well, when they feel their sense of ” being good people” has been attacked.

Many of these women consider themselves to be progressive and liberal. In all senses they consider themselves to be good people, and craft elaborately baroque reasons for why certain WoC within the narrative are villains, or should be disregarded. (This is often  but not necessarily related to “shipping”.) In the words of finnorgana and artepen, these people are anything but progressive. They want to be seen as progressive, hence the elaborate, occasionally completely non-sensical reasons they create, for their dislike of certain characters. What it actually  is, is  these characters challenge their notions of the roles  PoC, roles that have been informed by decades of Hollywood racism. Rather than confront this thinking head on, because to do so might admit they have racist ideas, they have to justify their dislike for a black hero, or black love interest and will go so far as to make up, out of whole cloth, moments in movies which never occurred, or concoct wild interpretations of the canon narrative.

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*The Get Down, Black Panther, and Luke Cage

The Get Down is a show on Netflix, chronicling the lifestyles of some young  and pretty twenty something black people in seventies NY, around the popularity of disco, and the start of rap music. It has some beautiful gender representation and even a little gay/queer representation, as well. But since it’s a mostly black cast, that doesn’t prominently feature a white narrative,(Luke Cage), it is being ignored by the same people, who claim to care so much about representation of women and gays. They can make the argument that white women’s representation is good for ALL women, but can’t seem to make that same leap when it comes to Black women. The message one derives from that is WoC can’t represent ALL women. The same people telling black gay people to wait their turn when the representation is white,(Agent Carter) seem uninterested  in representation when it’s PoC.

In other words, these “good, progressive” people, who are deeply concerned with representation as long as all the characters are white, aren’t watching The Get Down, because it’s too Black. Rather than face that racist idea, they craft elaborate reasons for why it’s a bad show, while uplifting Stranger Things, which is something more familiar, with its 80s/Goonies pathos, and an all white cast. (There’s no female or queer representation  in Stranger Things.)

 
finnnorgana artepen

artepen:

what really kills me about the whole situation regarding the get down is that it’s the same annoying ass fake concerned white people who’s favorite pastime is harassing black and non black people of color to settle for fucking scraps on these terrible all white or predominantly white tv shows because it’ll either be better for white women or white queer representation, that are running up in my inbox telling me they’re not wasting their time on a show that’s a flop or they’re just flat-out ignoring it, like they didn’t read every black and nonblack person the same tired ass essay about waiting our turn because soon enough something for us is going to come and everyone will be happy and martin luther king jr’s dream about us all having sleepovers together is gonna come true!!!!! like it’s the same crusty ass white people who acted like they gave half a shit about diversity and actual positive representation that are completely ignoring the get down for the dumbest reasons, like the people who feel triggered by certain aspects of this show have an actual reason to not want to watch, like nobody’s gonna force you to watch a show that legitimately makes you uncomfortable but the people who just don’t fucking care??? the ones that are probably the same losers who tried to push black people into watching shit shows like agent carter or the 100 where we’d have to see ourselves being disrespected and ormurdered and violated on screen, y’all are trash

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Here, mouseavenger lays out the various forms that misogyny takes within the MCU fandoms. There are more examples than these, and it pairs with “misogynoir” in interesting ways. Since very few Black women have had any prominent roles in the MCU, it’s not entirely clear if that has had an effect on misogynoir. This is  just a description  of how White women are being treated by fandom , which is awful without adding any elements of race.
preach on it
mouseavenger

The Marvel fandom hates women.

  • They want a Black Widow movie..but will put down other women for the sake of keeping Nat high.
  • They want to Agent Carter renewed…but erase her from Steve’s life as if she never existed to him
  • They don’t want Bruce paired with Natasha…but also forget Betty Ross literally exists and nobody seems to even care for her because she would be “irrelevant”.
  • They want Daisy Johnson and Jessica Jones to live happy…but ship them with Grant Ward and Kilgrave
  • They want Steve and Bucky to be the first canonically gay MCU ship…but trash the hell out of Sharon Carter because she…”gets in the way of their white male gay ship.” (but they won’t hate Natatsha no?)
  • They want Marvel women to be more appreciated and loved, but will tear down others in the process and diminish them to nothing.

This fandom is so FULL of hypocrisy it’s embarrassing, we are NOT progressive, we do NOTpractice what we preach to others, we are full of misogynistic trash.

We don’t really care for Marvel women, it’s all just a joke to make us look better.

Maybe we don’t deserve a Black Widow movie or a Captain Marvel movie or Jessica Jones or Agent Carter- because all I see is endless mistreatment of women in the universe.

EDIT : I’ve had few replies saying that this is generalizing the entire fandom, I am well aware that this should not be a reflection of everybody, but as of late it HAS become more apparent, the fandom has become SO divisive since AOU, characters that shouldn’t be trashed are, ship wars are getting out of fucking control, and this fandom is about ready to finally crash and burn. And shit needs to be called out because now it is just NOT okay. I’m also aware that part of this is on Marvel for not treating the female characters with proper respect, I will not deny that- but this post is calling out the FANS who are further contributing to this problem.

There’s a difference between having legitimate criticisms over a character and just trashing a character because she’s just a bitch and needs to die for no good reason. We should not pretend women like Pepper Potts, and Peggy Carter don’t exists (there have been fics that have been said to erase these women from characters lives, something that is also not okay). How are we supporting women by shipping them with men who abuse them and rape them?

Those who are doing know who they are, and they should just stop because they’re not needed.

*The above, when coupled with race,  recreates the same situations in other fandoms, only with nasty racial overtones, the purpose of which is to  erase PoC from the narrative, restore the equilibrium of White fans who are more comfortable centering White people in the story, and lowkey express racial antagonism towards characters of color. Fans erasing the existence of canon love interests, who happen to be PoC, (Michonne, Iris West) in other shows and movies, so they can be shipped with other White characters. We even get an instance of a White woman being shipped with a character who emotionally raped her within the narrative, just so they can avoid shipping her with her Black co-star. (Rey and Finn in Star Wars)

Teen Wolf

Let’s use Teen Wolf is an example of all the worst kinds of racial behavior from the fans, and even the showrunners. Scott McCall , the teen wolf in question, is played by the actor Tyler Posey, who is Latino. He is unquestionably the star of the show. If you Google Teen Wolf’s cast, however, the first image shown is that of his White co-star, Stiles played by Dylan O’Brien, who is  not the star. So Scott’s  White sidekick is privileged over the MoC, who is the star of the show, and who the show is actually about.

Whitewashing: Over the five years of the show, it has been slowly whitewashed. What started as a diverse cast  has slowly been replaced by more and more White actors in its lineup.

Erasure of gay characters: There was a canon gay character (Danny) in the first three years of the show, which the fans ignored. The same fans crying about not having gay relationships in shows, refused to ship him with any of the other characters on the show, even though he had a canon relationship with another character on the show,Ethan. Danny, played by Keahu Kahuanui, is a MoC.

Erasure of women: The two characters most likely to be shipped together would be Scott and Stiles (Sciles), who are best friends on the show, and who have been shown being loving and supportive of each other, but the paring that receives the most fanfiction is Stiles and Derek (Sterek), with fans refusing to ship Stiles with a Latino actor, in favor of shipping him with a character who actively hates him, and whom Stiles canonically fears. Fans erase the existence of Stiles’ canon love interest, Malia, and Derek’s canon love interest, a Black woman named Braeden.

There is a canon gay character in the narrative right now, Mason Hewitt. But he’s a Black man, who will be ignored by the same fans agitating about how there’s no gay representation in media.

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Vilifying PoC: These fans also craft elaborate reasons for why Black co-stars are worthless or evil, (Braeden, Finn, Sam Wilson, Nick Fury, Michonne)  and hence not good enough for their White faves. They will erase and ignore canon narrative to get these wild interpretations, or just make them up, as if the rest of us don’t have eyeballs, and can’t see that they are lying. And contrary to popular opinion, the main culprits of these types of erasure and vilification are White and female.

Here’s a  good summation of this from theprettyfeminist:

reblogged

phoenix-ace asked:

Hey the majority of people hating Iris were always white women, even before the show aired. I agree with your post and it’s very well written but I wanted to send this correction because white fandom pretty much blamed their b.s. on phantom white guys so that white women didn’t have to own up.

theprettyfeminist answered:

TOTALLY. It’s so weird being on Tumblr and hearing white women constantly talking about feminism and protecting female characters, but the minute that woman is black or non-white, the feminist solidarity completely breaks down. And yes, I’ve definitely noticed white fansgirls blaming most of the fandom racism on white men. White men are definitely a huge problem and they never skip an opportunity to hate on a black woman, but they aren’t the only ones. White women have been the main culprits when it comes to the hate that black female characters get. Especially considering most of the hate is generated from shipping wars. Straight white men usually don’t care about the shipper nonsense. It’s usually white women.

Many of them can’t identify with a woman of color, so their ability to self-insert themselves into the narrative is taken away. But you know what? Women of color have been rooting for and identifying with white female characters for decades. We’ve always defended them and showered them with affection. From Buffy to Xena to Katniss to Hermione Granger. We’re always supportive. But the minute black women finally start getting some decent representation, white women magically come up with an excuse to dislike them. And don’t even get me started on the white girls who argue “I’m not racist because I like this other black character.” Usually that “other black character” is a side character who fits into a comfortable stereotype that validates the viewer’s preexisting world view. Characters like Iris West, Lacey Porter and Tulip O’Hare challenge their world view. These girls are not stereotypes. They’re not side characters. They’re not sexless automatons. They’re fully realized women who have relationships, goals and flaws. And more importantly, the hot male lead views them as viable romantic partners.

A lot of white women can’t handle that.

*And then there’s the response to the response. Fans of color calling out people for being racist and sexist, towards their favorite characters, get called toxic by people who are unused to having their motives questioned. As more PoC enter fandom (and even form our own fandoms based around characters of color) we  are encountering racism that had remained unchecked.

Many of us can already see this happening in the Luke Cage and Black Panther fandoms, with White fans trying to re-write potential narratives to center themselves, their interests, and their White faves. They want to take these stories and make them comfortable for their sensibilities, rather than try to identify with the characters as they are. They are so used to PoC not being the center of their own narratives, that they do what Hollywood has always classically done, which is marginalize PoC in their own stories.

Black fans keep having to explain that it is Luke Cage’s story and Jessica Jones doesn’t need to be in this one. She has her own show. It is Black Panther’s story and none of their White faves have any place in it. It is not necessary for Black Widow, Bucky Barnes, or Steve Rogers to be in Black Panther’s movie. If Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America (outside of Civil War) are allowed to have their own stories told about them, without the aid of other members of the MCU, then Luke and T’Challa should be granted the same privilege.

reverseracismtheprettyfeminist

theprettyfeminist:

There’s a particularly disturbing narrative that has been rearing its ugly head in Tumblr fandom discourse over the past year or so. Whenever a fandom that largely consists of people of color who are passionate about defending their favorite character from racism, white fans go out of their way to paint that fandom as “toxic” or “unfriendly.” A few examples:

  • The Westallen fandom – has been defending Iris West and Candice Patton for the past 3 years from racist and sexist attacks from angry white fanboys who are angry that a black actress is portraying the iconic comic book character, and from entitled white fangirls who are secretly offended by the idea that the good-looking white male hero would consider a black woman the love of his life. Candice Patton has been called the n-word, has been accused of sleeping with the producers to get the role of Iris West, has had her face photoshopped onto pornographic images, accused of bullying her co-starts, called an affirmative action hire,  has had her skin whitewashed in multiple photos to make her look white and completely sidelined and ignored by a large portion of the fandom, despite being the female lead. But whenever Westallen fans try to call people out on their racist behavior, they’re labelled bullies and are seen as “toxic.”
  • The Bamon fandom – has spent years defending Bonnie Bennett from racist attacks from Delena shippers who saw Bonnie as a threat to their ship from episode one. Again, whenever Bamon shippers try to address the racism that their favorite character has received, Delena fans call them angry and argue that their ship is invalid because the only people who ship it are angry black women – an argument that has been used against the Westallen fandom as well.
  • The Richonne fandom – constantly defending Michonne from racist white men who see Michonne as unattractive and white faux feminists who argue that Michonne is a “strong black woman” who should remain single. But again, whenever Richonne shippers try to fight back against these racist arguments, people label them as angry and rude.

This is literally a classic case of “being labelled a racist is worse than actual racism.” These people are more enraged by the concerns of fans of color than the actual racist treatment they’ve received. It’s like watching a Fox News anchor try to argue that Black Lives Matter is just as bad as the KKK. Because to them, any time a person of color speaks out against racism, it’s seen as hate speech. It’s sad to see this kind of argument pop up on Tumblr. Especially when the people here love to pride themselves on being progressive.

I wrote this after seeing a post about how “toxic” a particular fandom of color was, but all the examples they used were of fans tweeting the actors about their concerns about how people of color were being treated on the show. But in the eyes of the OP, those tweets were somehow on the same level as being called the n-word and having a black actor’s face photoshopped in the middle of a lynching.

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Then there’s the sloppy thinking and pseudo-intellectualism of people trying to justify all of the above:

stitchmediamix stitchomancy

stitchomancy:

It makes me seethe how fandom likes to wrap their dislike and distrust of people of color up in pseudo-intellectual dribble that’s supposed to read like a cohesive and academic film analysis.

Hello!

Your use of coded academic language to basically state that you don’t trust men of color near your precious white superhero booties is played out and we can see you for what you are. If you can apply reason and logic to things like “parent assassination would keep superhero from joining the group that killed them” but not “black man would not join neo-nazi hate group because of his race but also the fact that the character isn’t like that”, there’s something wrong with you.

Full stop.

Just like there’s something wrong with everyone that attacks the actions and motivations of men of color in the MCU (because so far, there aren’t any WOC as far as I can tell in the MCU Proper) when they wouldn’t (and don’t) dare to do the same with the white heroes, villains, and sidecharacters in the series.

There’s something wrong with people who write fics, headcanons, and meta revolving around how shitty Rhodey is to Tony. How shitty a friend he is. How abusive he is. How he is less important to the narrative that Tony’s got than Bruce Banner of all the freaking people.

There’s something wrong with how there are only mere handfuls of fic that cast MCU Nick Fury as someone that isn’t a manipulative, scary, stereotype of a villain.

And there’s definitely something wrong with people trying to pretend that they are ~serious critics~ as they try to theorize that Sam Wilson could be a secret Hydra agent based on the fact that the directors/writers of Cap 2 didn’t want to have this movie feel like a multi-series comic crossover by not having Tony appear to snark where no Stark-snark was needed.

Go read a book damnit.

Maybe an actual comic book about these said MOC in comics or a book about race in film not written by a white person because this whole thing about “coded/hidden racist language presented as unbiased headcanon/exploration esp when slash ships are involved” is bullshit and people will come for you to make sure you know how wrong you are.

*And finally, on fans who are against Social Justice:

*Here’s Chescaleigh weighing on the topic of anti- SJWs, when asked, by a white fan, that such people should be shown a certain level of empathy, and that both sides need to calm down and listen to each other. The kind of people Chescaleigh is talking about, are not the kind of people who can ever be reached by showing compassion, or  dispassionately explaining things to them, nor are they the kind of people I’m trying to reach. Anti-SJWs are people who make no secret of the fact that they are against “Social Justice”, and seem quite loud and proud of it.

The people who can be reached are the ones who are  asking questions because they’re at least capable of hearing an answer. Anti-SJWs can’t hear anything outside of the angry buzzing in their heads. They don’t want answers. The want to make assertions. Basically the kind of fans who are sending vicious emails (to Zendaya), splicing black celebrities  into pornographic images (Candice Patton/Leslie Jones) and then sending it to them, making rape threats, and angry videos about Anita Sarkeesian, are not the kind of people I’m talking to. 

For the record, I don’t actually consider such people to be fans. A fan is someone who loves something and wants to share that love with other people. They want to increase the fandom for the things they love. I know such people like certain books, movies and television shows, but when they do things  like harass the stars of the show, and other fans , I have no idea how to classify such people, except to say they’re not fans.

Her response is:

Source:

Tumblr Discussions

One of these days I’m going to come up with a title for these particular types of posts. ‘Til then, I’ll just stick with having the word Tumblr somewhere in the title, I guess.

Well, anyway these are reproductions of some of the discussions about fandom and race, or race and Hollywood, I just want to signal boost. I give the authors full credit, and advocate for everyone to please subscribe to Tumblr, if you can, or just visit the blogs in the links.

 

*First, the good news!

9 Black Women Who are Directing Upcoming Feature Films
“Being that 1.3% of feature film directors are women of color (Directors Guild of America, Diversity Report), some powerful black woman are rising above the statistics. From feature films on racial inequality to relationships to women’s issues, these nine directors are shaking up the theaters in 2016 and 2017. Here are the incredible women and the movies they are directing.”

1. Ava DuVernay – The 13th (2016) and A Wrinkle in Time (2017)

2. Amma Asante – A United Kingdom (2016) and Where Hands Touch

3. Julie Dash – Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl (2016)

4. Frances-Anne Solomon – Hero (2017)

5. Dee Rees – Mudbound

6. Stella Meghie – Jean of the Joneses (2016) and Everything, Everything

7. Dawn Porter – Trapped (2016)

8. Rita Coburn Whack – Maya Angelou and Still I Rise (2016)

9. Nnegest Likké – Ben & Ara (2016) and Everything but a Man (2016)

Add Gabourey Sidibe to this list! She’s directing a short film called Four Women!!!!!

Source:
wilsontoyourhouse
andythanfiction

drpepper23fan:

 Sam Wilson is no one’s fucking third wheel.

Let’s review Sam and Steve a little:

There is a reason that Sam and Steve are dressed alike in every fucking scene. They’re partners. There is no sidekick here. They are on equal footing and every decision that has to be made, is made together, as teammates, as partners.

I think it’s important that Sam was the first to disagree with signing the Accords and not Steve. Sam made his point known first. He didn’t wait to see how Steve would respond to it, because it didn’t matter. Sam felt how he felt, independent of Steve and whatever Steve’s feelings may have been.

Sam’s not afraid to call Steve out on his shit. This is also comic canon. Sam makes his opinion known and Steve shows nothing but respect for Sam and his opinions.

Everyone wonders why no one but Sam was at Peggy’s funeral to support Steve. Did anyone consider that the reason Sam is the only one there for him, is because Sam is the only one he wants to be there for him? Did you consider that Sam is the only one he’s willing to be vulnerable in front of?  Did you consider that Sam is the only one he wants by his side? Did you consider that Sam is the only one he actually wants to receive comfort from?

He didn’t even know Natasha was there and his first thought upon seeing her was that she was there simply to talk him into signing the Accords.

Steve tried his best to save Bucky from any and everybody. He and Sam with the help of Sharon, find Bucky together. Sam on the roof as lookout while Steve goes inside. When Black Panther first attacked Bucky, the first thing Steve did, before he did anything else, was call out for Sam. That in itself is very telling.

Bucky attacked Sam and Steve in turn attacked Bucky. They could have played this out a million different ways, but they didn’t. Bucky also fought with Tony, Natasha, Sharon, and T’challa. Yet it was Bucky attacking Sam, and Steve in turn attacking Bucky that they chose to highlight.

Once they, you know Sam and Steve, standing side by side, the way they were for this whole damn movie, have Bucky’s arm in the vice and Steve’s all emotional and happy that Bucky knows who he is, it only takes one look and a few strong words from Sam to snap Steve back into action. “People are dead, Bucky. I need you to do better than I don’t know.”

People wondering why Bucky’s in the back side instead of Sam. There’s a reason Sam and Steve are side by side in the car (besides that fact that side by side is how they’ve been throughout this whole fucking movie,) with Bucky the odd man out in the back, but you know, draw from that scene what you will.

The way Steve keep looking over at Sam throughout the airport scene, you know where they once against stood side by side. I mean, he wasn’t looking back at Bucky, who was once again off to the side. Seriously every scene that had all three of them in it, was Sam and Steve side by side in front of Bucky. They were a united front. Sam and Steve that is. How the fuck do you get Sam as the third wheel side kick out of that?

Airport scene. Steve left because Sam told him to. End of discussion on that.

The last scene before the two end credits is Sam and Steve smiling at each other. Like who the fuck is this third wheel side kick you speak of?

I’m not saying there wasn’t a sidekick. I’m just telling you that it sure as fuck wasn’t Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, aka not your fucking third wheel no matter how much you may want him to be.

Steve said the name ‘Sam’ more times than any other word throughout this whole fucking movie. Just saying.

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*This is an excellent summation of the above defense. Sam is constantly being cast as someone whose only worth is that he is of use to the White characters. This is a common trope in fandom because its such a common trope for television and movies.

*I was going to do a post on how all PoC are only ever presented, in most forms of media, as being useful to their White stars. I’m not surprised to see common media tropes about PoC being reproduced in fandom. Its what happens when people don’t bother to examine the media they consume. You can believe yourself to be as Progressive as you want, but if you don’t remain constantly vigilant against racist messages, those messages will infest any art you produce.

*Being Progressive is not a final resting place. Its not a place you get to, then stop moving. It takes constant work. Like germs, these tropes are insidious and sometimes you don’t  know you’re in possession of them until you run into them, or someone else points them out.

Is fandom racist? Of course it is. Every other form of media they’ve been exposed to carries problematic messages, or the simple erasure of PoC. The foundations of their fandom are racist, so that is what they are going to produce when it comes to their own art. 

wilsontoyourhouse
diversehighfantasy

shady-saint asked:

The thing is all the antiblack racism in fandom, isn’t new in its use of racism. They cycle though the same racism stereotypes and fit the ones on that they think fit the best. But a lot of this boils down to black people not being seen as people and or individuals separate of nonblacks people. We exist on a spectrum from the saintlike nonthreatening blacks people who exist to take care of nonblacks usually to the detriment of their own wellbeing(Sam)(T’Challa),

stitchmediamix answered:

and erased from the narrative or vilified depending on how best to be pushed aside(Rhodey)(Nick). But with both we still exist in connection to nonblack people either as their asexual mammy, Mandingo, therapist, or the angry negro, the shady black pesron, and the savage. They can’t fathom we exist as actual people that’s why even before the Black Panther movie comes out their trying to make it about Bucky.

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Fandom is so stressful because this always happens whenever there are Black characters in a piece of media. Fandom either figures out a way to use them to shore up their ships or they find out a way to make them a bad guy (that the ship has to band together to take down or something).

(Normally, I’d say something about how it’s all about white dude slash ships, but I just read a Darcy/Steve story where Nick Fury was positioned as a minor bad guy interrupting their happy rom-com of a life for asking Steve to be a little less conspicuous and to let them know that they’re not safe running around New York like they’re on an episode of Friends.)

And Black fans of stuff know this isn’t new.

Our friends know this isn’t new.

Nonblack POC who are fans of characters of color (like Elementary’s Joan) who’ve seen the fandom spin machine at play get it.

The only people who don’t get that rewriting Black characters as villains, nannies, wingmen, and jealous exes so that they can prop up a  non-canon ship between two white characters is a bad and constant thing are the people who don’t want to get it.

I mean… considering how you can google this shit? And how there are blogs dedicated to talking about racism in fandom spaces? There’s a point where “I didn’t know” becomes “i didn’t want to know”. Because you can literally track the cycles and the racism and the hate for Black characters in their tags and in fandom meta posts.

It’s not that hard.

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wilsontoyourhouse
sunwukxng

marissarei:

I know we joke about it but it is really hard to not be hyper-critical of the media you consume as a person who has been made aware of the ways that stereotypes contribute to your oppression. It’s hard to turn it off an simply enjoy something. As a black person, the hyper-visibility of our death and pain and struggle makes it damn near impossible sometimes. And so to have people who will *never* understand that, people who in their various ways benefit from anti-blackness, say that black fans are overreacting when they critique your favorite cartoon or movie or comic is incredibly callous and dismissive.

I’m just sayin.

@

wilsontoyourhouse

sunwukxng

nerdgasrnz:

it’s so fucking IRRITATING to see these ignorant, holier-than-thou nonblack ppl being all like “there goes tumblr at it again” in my fucking face when I have to deal with another fucked up mishandling of a narrative that’s based around discrimination, castes, slavery, racism or whatever

I am trying my damn best to move past hyper-criticizing media, I really am. i’m trying to be happy and escape from the real life news about another black person being gunned down excessively, by a nonblack person who’s probably gonna get off scot free because that’s what the previous 10 news articles said happened before

I’m trying to keep from media that consistently fucks up writing about racial discrimination/castes in fiction or whatever and mistreating characters that are clearly based on my skin color and my history, but what do we fucking get?

The same garbage. Over. And over. And OVER again. In different sources. In ALL mainstream media. That all say the same thing. That black people are caricatures, are dangerous, are stupid, are aggressive, are hypersexualized, or whatever other one-note stereotypes that nonblack writers make out of us. And we’ve been seen that way in America since the very beginning.

America’s history is solely profiting off of Black (and other non-White) people and their heritage and history and stories, all while making us feel worthless and despicable even though we’re the reason they’re so fortunate.

It’s 20-fucking-16 and I’m tired of seeing myself dead on the news, only to turn the channel and see that I’ve been maimed and murdered in fiction for no discernible reason, portrayed as a dangerous brute that “had it coming”

Writing black or black-coded characters in such a way that they HAVE to threaten the protagonists and force the protagonist into “self defense” (Sound Familiar???) or whatever, when there are other avenues.

There’s nothing wrong with complicated, morally gray, unsavory, black coded characters- but you need to have ENOUGH complex, multifaceted black/black-coded characters to do that with and have a BALANCE. As heroes, anti-heroes, villains, and anti-villains.

“Tumblr’s at it again, they’re never pleased”
No, your tasteless, tone-deaf, shitty creators who you hold dear- who I THOUGHT I held dear, are at it again.

Tell them to quit fucking up stories that are CLEARLY based on our suffering, and we’ll stop complaining about it.

Source: nerdgasrnz anti blackness
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*On some level I knew this. I do not read gay romance novels because I got really tired of most of the tropes listed in this post.
 http://brandonrambles.tumblr.com/post/146534279006/gay-romance-novels-are-not-queer-romance-novels
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* I’ve never seen Medievalpoc get mad or snarky, but people must be seriously working their last damn nerve  to get this particular response. And I don’t blame them for being upset. It gets really tiring trying to explain to the same deeply ignorant people, every day, that Black people existed before 1964.
medievalpoc

And seriously, when are people going to realize that when I post resources that happen BEFORE A THING OR TIME IN QUESTION, I’m showing you that people of color were ALREADY THERE? They didn’t just magically spring into being in time for a battle or to have their portrait painted, that we can assume they were born out of a human and spent some time growing up and existing before anyone wrote about them or created an image or other record of them?

Like this is what happens from teaching and learning history in “periods” or “events” that get presented and analyzed in some sort of vacuum. As if once a new “era” starts, someone slams their hand down on the “Racial Reset Button” that makes everyone magically white again?

Look, no one can force you to fact check what I post here, click the links I have provided, or read what I post at all. But can we at least PRESUME basic knowledge of temporal existence? Am I asking too much?

 

Tumblr Discussions (2)

So this happened earlier this week. Daisy Ridley (such a sweet soul) was driven off Instagram by harassment, after she expressed an opinion about guns. ( This is slightly different from what happened to Leslie Jones, who was specifically targeted by racists.) But online misogynists seemed to have taken heart from driving several women away from the Internet and so are on some kind of roll here. Its just gotten to the point where expressing opinions,  in a public space,while looking like a woman, brings out the bullies, I guess.

At some point this shit is going to backfire. We already have celebrities now who absolutely refuse to get involved in any form of social media outside of TV. What if more of them decide to withdraw? What if more of them decide its just not worth it to interact with fandom, since there’s a certain contingent, across all of fandom, male and female, that just insists on showing their asses?

Not only that, but John Boyega was harassed by fans of Daisy to get her to return to Instagram, after he said he fully supported her decision to withdraw. John has received his share of harassment for being a Black man,with the gall, to star in a movie, so he is well aware of how bad it can get. I find it infuriating that these same individuals bothering him about supporting Daisy, have never spoken out about any of the harassment John received.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2016/08/04/i-want-to-turn-this-world-upside-down/

http://thenerdybird.com/daisy-ridley-harassed-off-instagram-political-opinion/@
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Just when I think dudebros can’t possibly get any worse, then they advocate for shit like this. Its not enough to harass women online, I guess. They think its okay to take this shit out into the real world and try it. The problem with trolling women in the real world, is  there are actual fucking consequences, and it has real world names, like menacing, stalking, and sexual harassment. See, whats going to happen is that they are going to harass the wrong  woman and get maced or sued. That should put an end to this kind of  wtf*ery.

I also wanted to point out, as regards men hating women, and  I’m not sure where I heard, or read this, but its been noted that women turn their negative emotions on themselves. When men experience negative emotions, they’re encouraged to turn them on everyone else.

chescaleigh christel-thoughts

seapeny:

transcynical:

pomeranianprivilege:

shamelesslyunladylike:

whiskey-and-c41:

raindropmermaid:

princess-ugly-zombie:

raindropmermaid:

i just discovered the term ‘black knighting’ courtesy of reddit and i want to vomit 🙂

i can never believe how much men hate women. it just keeps getting worse and worse

I’ve never heard of that. Is it new? And what is it? I have a bad suspicion… 😦

no idea how new it is, as i typically avoid reddit like the plague (but i discovered this term through the link to the gendercritical subreddit)

“A Black Knight is someone who pisses women off for entertainment.“ as opposed to a White Knight aka someone that stands up for women in order to try and get sex :/

here are some excerpts, courtesy of theredpill

on the subject of a woman walking away from you at night: “I’m just a man who decided to run an errand at night. Next time this happens jog after her. There is no law against jogging. Chase her for a while and then stop. Enjoy the fear you created. Woof woof you stupid cunt.”

on the subject of what they called “biological warfare”: “How do you exploit these two weaknesses? Start baking for the office. See how much butter and sugar you can make the little piggies eat. With sustained effort everyone will be up ten pounds in three to six months.”

“Fructose has various nasty biological effects when consumed in excess.
Main ones we are interested in are raised blood trigs, adiposity and increased appetite (outside of normal insulin fuckery, but related).“

“Try replacing the fructose with a sugar alcohol like sorbitol. For a portion of the population, it causes “gastric distress” – diarrhea and gas, mostly.”

another story that im gonna paraphrase: guy didnt like his female boss, she was stressed over a project, someone “accidentally” sent flowers to the wrong desk- to HER boss- with a note saying “the interview went great and we look forward to working with you next month!” to make it look like she was secretly searching for another job. she got fired within the week.

using the womans bathroom at starbucks, which one man described as “empowering in a red pill way” because of course most women are going to look confused if not upset… clearly beyond the red piller to imagine reasons a man might enter a womans restroom besides to go to the bathroom

some things fairly innocuous like leaving empty condom wrappers in womens restrooms and stuff…. to intentionally trying to intimidate women, getting a woman fired, etc. men harassing women in various ways, “for teh lulz” i guess.

We could never hate men as much as they hate us.

Andrea Dworkin recommended for the women of the 21st century to harden our hearts and learn to kill. Perhaps she was right.

women who hate men want to distance ourselves from men, have our own communities, when women hate men, we want to get away from men. When men hate women they do the exact opposite, they invade our spaces, harass us, intimidate us, stalk us, are violent against us. It doesn’t matter how much women hate men, we don’t hate men the way they hate us.

^^^ the last comment is so important

That last comment really hit the nail on the head, I was just trying to articulate that exact thought earlier today.

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Here’s a list of things to not do when writing about Black people. Just following most of these rules should help to avoid falling into the crosshairs of irate Black readers. 

mcufandomhatespeopleofcolor writingwithcolor

How to write fic for Black characters: a guide for non-Black fans

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I dont watch this show, and have no intentions to, but I dont think this is a distinction that this show shoud want, or strive for:

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Otoh, there’s some good news! I’m here for shirtless Tatum in water, even though he cain’t act a lick.

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There are lots of moments in the Star Trek  Beyond that had me near tears. I don’t remember ever having seen escape pods on any bridge, of any starship. It s a delicious piece of world building, how this (Kelvin) version of Starfleet learned a harsh lesson from George Kirk’s death. 

plain-flavoured-english lierdumoa

rabidchild67:

thepathlesstrekked:

xenadd:

I went to see Star Trek Beyond again the other day and I noticed something that I hadn’t before: the escape pods on the bridge of the Enterprise were specifically called Kelvin pods. At every other point, crew referred to escape pods until the bridge crew specifically began to evacuate. We saw the pods after ejection: escape pods were larger, presumably could fit multiple crew members (going by previous Trek history, really, and the size and number that we glimpsed), and had to be got to. The Kelvin pods were streamlined, single person carriers and built straight into the walls of the bridge. Accessible from any point in that space, effectively.

‘Kelvin pods’ or their equivalent haven’t been seen before in Star Trek (as far as I know) and definitely have never been referred to before in the Kelvin timeline. The USS Kelvin bridge crew had to leave the bridge to evacuate, and George Kirk had no point of escape after he set the ship on its fatal collision post. Given the name of these pods, it’s safe to say that these were installed after that incident to ensure that no Starfleet officer would ever have to go down with his ship in that way. Had there been pods in the bridge, George Kirk would have been likely to survive.

And I think that this is a thought that occurred to Kirk as he stood there, watching his ship be ripped apart too long after the last of his crew (darling Checkov) had abandoned ship. As he lingered and made that decision to go. To live. To save his crew like his father would.

I noticed this when I saw it and remembered thinking what a beautiful little piece of world building it was.

It’s a very casual kind of way to remind the audience, not only the reaching effect of the Kelvin incident in-world, but also how hard it is for Jim Kirk to escape the circumstances of his birth.

There he is, able to get his crew to safety and follow them off the ship because of something that was created to prevent what his father had to do. In a way it’s George Kirk getting Jim off a crashing ship all over again.

It’s details like this that show why Simon and Doug need to write the next one if you ask me.

Source: xenadd star trek beyond yes yes yes yes that’s what i loved about the writingactions are not incidental there are consequences to everything star trek beyond spoilers

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Just signal boosting  an excerpt from another of those real time discussions between Tumbler-ites, where the second person is arguing intersectionality in feminism, and the first just isn’t getting it. This occurs in the middle of a discussion about Uhura being Spock’s love interest. The stereotypes, and tropes, for White women in movies, is not the same for WoC, and when discussing feminist issues in media, people need to keep that in mind.

.millenniumvulcan.

:cloudynavigator:

“This is not about race”

When discussing characters of colour, it is literally always about race. You absolutely can’t divorce a character’s race from their portrayal or your interpretation of them. There are whole blog posts and whole blogs dedicated to discussions of race in media and fandom and how race shapes or impacts on both media portrayals of characters and the fandom’s response to them. Uhura isn’t just a character or a female character, she is a BLACK female character and because of that any discussion of her portrayal in media or fandom is inherently racialised.

“This is about the fact that heterosexual relationships are constantly being forced […]  I’m actually just really tired of the white males always getting into relationships with women in movies. It’s boring” – 

And this is exactly why race always matters in these fandom discussions. Simply put, the media conventions and stereotypes for characters of colour are different to those for white characters. “Man/woman” relationships aren’t everywhere in the media to the point of being forced and boring – WHITE man/woman relationships are. Interracial relationships of any sexual or gender makeup are still very rare and always get a huge amount of backlash from audiences (Barry Allen/Iris West in The Flash, Finn/Rey in Star Wars, etc. – Sleepy Hollow even decided to kill off its (black) female lead rather than depict her in a relationship with the white leading man). This is what I meant when I said that white LGBT people aren’t the only minority group that exist or deserve representation.

“But I’ve never felt that it was NECESSARY. It was never canon, either. In TOS Uhura was happy on her own for the most part, which I really appreciated.”

No, it wasn’t canon, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that it shouldn’t be (bearing in mind that “but it didn’t happen in TOS!” is the same argument people are using against gay Sulu). However, Nichelle Nichols did feel that if Uhura had romantic potential with any (male) character in TOS, it was Spock, and for all we know that relationship may have become canon if circumstances had allowed for it. This is also another example of why you can’t separate race from the equation because again, Uhura never having a canon romance in TOS wasn’t some kind of statement of feminist empowerment – being single and happy to be forever alone is actually a negative stereotype for black women (consider the “Strong Black Woman Who Don’t Need No Man” trope) and Uhura’s lack of a love interest was also largely because it was the 60s and you simply couldn’t show black women being sexual beings and being loved on TV at the time, especially not with white men. (In fact, a lot of people seem to interpret Nichelle Nichols’ quote as meaning that Roddenberry wanted to make Spock/Uhura canon in TOS but the network wouldn’t allow it, which I…don’t really think is what her quote was necessarily saying, but I can definitely see it happening because the 60s were that racist). And like…positive representation for marginalised groups is important. Even if you don’t like the pairing you can’t diminish the significance of a major genre franchise featuring a black woman as the romantic lead or dismiss it as “hetero nonsense”, since relationships involving POC in the media simply aren’t given the same privileges as white man/white woman couples.

OP needs to take several seats and read up on intersectionality while they’re at it.

Source: pavelthenavigator

Race and Media on Tumblr VI

This is turning into a regular feature on this blog. Its not that I’m not interested in the topic but there are some really deep, and intelligent discussions and critiques about how the media portrays racial matters on Tumbr, the kind of conversations I don’t see happening anywhere else, and which I don’t feel I’m eloquent enough to express.

*Say what you want about Tumblr users, their intersectional, media critiquing skills are on point.Starting with this scene from Star Wars :TFA. I love the character Finn and  would be overjoyed to find that the rest of the films play out this narrative that just about every single one of us missed in this movie, as I’ve heard this mentioned no where else in its reviews.

The narrative arc The Force Awakens create between Finn and Kylo Ren is an interesting one. Visually it begins in the very first scene they appear on screen together at the assault of Tuanul village after the execution of the villagers that FN-2187 refused to participate in. When Kylo Ren is returning to his shuttle, he stops and stares at Finn for, at the time, no discernible reason.

In doing this the movie draws a visual line between the two men, connecting them in the audience’s mind and in-universe. One is dressed in black, the other in white, both are helmeted and faceless, but already we have witnessed the distinction between them and the movie spends the rest of its time emphasizing it: Kylo Ren will murder on a whim, while FN-2187 refuses to kill unarmed civilians.

After this “meeting” Kylo Ren maintains a distinct interest in FN-2187. So much that he not only knows that it was the same trooper which aided Poe in escaping, but that when he learns that Finn has got away with BB-8 he throws one of his two destructive rampages.

The other he has when Rey escapes captivity.

After this their stories part for a time, but only to be rejoined on Starkiller Base after Kylo Ren murders Han Solo.

After Chewie shoots Kylo, blows up the oscillator and everyone including Finn and Rey starts shooting, we see Kylo Ren kneeling on the bridge looking up. .

The camera cuts to an angle behind Kylo Ren’s head so we now also have Finn and Rey in the shot, both standing on a balcony in the background

Another cut, closing up on our two leads. This shows them both standing, looking down on Kylo Ren. Both look shocked and Finn is stepping forward on the balcony, towards the audience and more importantly, towards Kylo.

Once again the movie cuts and again it zooms in so that now Finn is in focus. His face merges from the shock and fear he has so far displayed, into grief, anger and determination. And throughout the shot he steps further and further forward while the camera zooms in on him, visually emphasizing him stepping into the conflict with Kylo Ren.

Rey is barely in the frame here and by the end of the shot she’s entirely gone, leaving her literally out of the picture.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. Kylo’s face merges from surprise into unmitigated fury and hatred at the sight of FN-2187, the Stormtrooper who defected, who is everything he is not.

The whole sequence mirrors their first encounter with the two men staring at each other, though they’re now unmasked and we can see the mutual enmity clear on their faces. Finn is no longer running away, he’s stepping forward and the camera zooms in on Kylo’s face drawing him into conflict with Finn as well.

The movie sets up this conflict not just for the coming battle in the forest, but also for the next two Episodes as the battle between the two men is a draw. Finn is defeated by Kylo, but the Dark Sider does not obtain the lightsaber and is in turn defeated by Rey. Neither of them emerges a victor and the narrative conflict between them remains unresolved.

So whatever Episode VIII and IX brings, it is clear that Finn and Kylo will cross paths again and Kylo had better beware. To borrow John’s words: “Finn ain’t playing no more”, that much is clear from the scene in the oscillator.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. 

This part is so important and yet flew over like 90% of the fandom’s heads in favor of focusing on Rey (gee I wonder why).

The shift in Finn’s expression from shocked grief to quiet rage reminds me of Luke’s reaction to seeing his aunt and uncle’s burnt corpses in ANH. Obviously Rey and Kylo will be squaring off again in VIII but TFA also made it clear that there’s some serious bad blood between Finn and Kylo that’s entirely separate from wanting to protect or recruit Rey. Which is why I roll my eyes when I see people claim that Finn is going to be shunted off to a B-plot opposite Hux (a character he never interacted with in TFA) and Phasma (who he literally threw in the trash).

Also, it’s worth noting that for the first time, Rey has to take Finn by the arm and pull him away.

Kylo was stumbling up towards them and I’m not convinced that Finn wouldn’t have tried to take him down right then and there.

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*Okay, this is a very long one and its a  firm,  well backed up, critique of popular television media. I’m not saying you can’t like these shows, and some of these I feel are a bit of a reach. Some of these shows I’ve either actively disliked, or stopped watching,  but that there is almost nothing a person can watch on TV, no matter how hard the creators might be trying, that isn’t problematic in some way.
 I see this as an argument for greater representation behind the camera. We keep expecting middle-class, cis-het, able-bodied, white men to get intersectionality correct, when its simply not possible. I’m a black, cis-het, disabled woman, who is socially aware, and even I missed half the things cited in this essay. So I certainly don’t expect men who experience no vectors of  marginalization to be able to get these things right and if we had more representation behind the scenes, we wouldn’t have to  beg the people in the industry for more representation, or for them to try to get us.

every time i make or reblog a post about a show’s racism, a lot of people reblog it with comments along the tines of “oh, i didn’t notice” or “damn, i didn’t know, i love this show”.

i’m talking abut shows that

  • are overwhelmingly white (orphan black, person of interest, in the flesh, agent carter, shameless, jessica jones),
  • kill off brown characters at alarming rates (daredevil, the 100, breaking bad, arrow, teen wolf),
  • rely heavily on stereotypes (about all the shows i just mentioned; sense8, glee),
  • sideline, erase and under-write their characters of color (again, all the shows mentioned above),
  • have a few men of color but not women of color (most of the above mentioned; broad city, supergirl, izombie)

and another long list of obvious, glaring forms of racism. things that you cannot miss when you see the show. things that you have to be trying to ignore, because otherwise, there shouldn’t be a way to not see them.

and yet bloggers who regularly talk about media’s misogyny, queerphobia and ableism; claim that they have never before noticed any kind of racism in shows they’ve been watching and blogging about for ages. of course, most of the time, if i go check their blog i’ll find out that they are white, that is a given.

i don’t know what to think about these people. does their capacity for critical analysis suddenly vanish when faced with the absence or mistreatment of characters of color? are they willfully obtuse, do they truly not care, or does unexamined whiteness really cause that level of ignorance?

Yet in arrow you have diggle aka spartan since episode 1 not to mention that Sara and ras daughter were in love.
Jessica jones is in love with Luke cage, a major black super hero since the 70s.
Carter took place in a time when people of color were highly segregated so yeah not likely to see people of color.

I can’t believe that, in the year of our lord 2k16, I have to explain to your bitch racist racist that a black sidekick does not make a racist production any less racist, but… here we are, and you better learn everything in this reply before I track down your location and beat your ass with a history book.

Let’s go from the bottom up: “there were no black people in the fifties, Agent Carter is not racist!”

AGENT CARTER IS RACIST

White people in fandom have been trying to excuse AC’s racism with “but!!! racial segregation!!!” since day one, and yet, it’s still a fake as fuck argument. /Here/, the wonderful @kissingcullens took down this myth with some examples:

First of all, this is a fictional show set in a Fantasy Alternate Universe in which there are super-soldiers, spies, and magical energy cubes left on earth by alien vikings, so….
But even if that weren’t the case…. Are we all forgetting just basic American History 101?

125,000 African Americans served overseas in World War II, including the famous Tuskegee Airmen and the 761st Tank Battalion.
African American Women served in the second World War as nurses, WACs, WAVES, and WAACs, both at home and overseas.

Heard of Jazz?  Harlem?  The Cotton Club?
Lena Horne?
Cabin in the Sky??
Louis Armstrong!  Cab Calloway!  Eartha Kitt!
James Baldwin!  Ethel Waters!

Joe Louis (World Heavyweight Champion 1937-1949)
Hattie MacDaniel
(1940 Winner of the Academy Award)
Jackie Robinson
(a veteran of WWII btw, though he never went overseas) was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947-
How about Samuel J Battle, New York City’s first African-American police sergeant (1926), lieutenant (1935), and the first African-American parole commissioner (1941)
Madame CJ Walker
is known as America’s first self-made female Millionaire, based on her successful line of hair products for Black women.
This woman’s parents were slaves and she ended her life a MILLIONAIRE with a thriving business.

Or you can look at /this/ post, where people shared soldiers, pilots, spies and politicans of color under the tag “Diversify Agent Carter”. The OP has pictures, but…

The “Women Guerrillas” corps trains in Manila, Philippines in 1941. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/7zia1Rr2vW

My grandfather was an Air Force instructor to Tuskeegee Airmen before & during WWII. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/3QoURyx2pf

#DiversifyAgentCarter MT @womenshistory: Maggie Gee, 1 of only 2 Chinese-Am women to serve in the WASP during WWII. pic.twitter.com/1kMwd0SQKG

1928 pilot license photo of Ms. Pancho Barnes, who broke Amelia Earhart’s air speed record. http://t.co/ov1rzvi9b3 pic.twitter.com/WYUewz0fuo

1940s superspy Senorita Rio, the first Latina lead character in US comics. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/xsQQX5lb1G

#DiversifyAgentCarter because Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was the first Asian Am woman to get a pilots license in 1932! pic.twitter.com/PnMRJCwe3I

My Arab great-grandma, a detective & civil defense director in 1950s NYC. These women existed. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/YGVcadaadT

#DiversifyAgentCarter because of this book on my Amazon wish list about the history of gay men and women during WWII. http://t.co/UFD1DIdvsd

Historical accuracy is still a fucking fallacy if you quote segregation, because… let’s read what @karnythia explained /here/:

The first Black FBI special agent was James Wormley Jones who was appointed in 1919. Basic American history, federal jobs were integrated (not that they were ever really completely segregated) by Roosevelt with Executive Order  8802 in June 1941. In fact after WWII Truman continued to support desegregation of the armed forces and all other agencies, going so far in 1948 to appoint the first Black Federal judge among other high ranking positions, and issuing Executive Order 9981 which stated that  “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in  the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.“ By the end of the Korean War almost every unit in the military was integrated.

That’s before we get into how Jim Crow actually worked. Black & white people didn’t necessarily socialize in all places (though that list was mostly schools and church), but they worked in the same places, went to the same movie theaters, white people frequented clubs in Black neighborhoods like Harlem, Black people worked and performed in clubs with white audiences etc. Black and white people ate in the same restaurants, just at two different counters or sides of the same building. Their communities were side by side, they used the same transit systems, the idea was separate but equal even if the execution missed the mark. So the MCU was integrated as a reflection of the reality of the 1940′s. Some hotels didn’t allow Black people, but many did, especially at the lower end of the economic scale like the boarding house where Peggy lives. There’s literally no canonical or historical reason to erase the diversity of New YorK City in Agent Carter.

Damn, even fucking /Playboy/ addressed AC’s racism:

The overwhelming whiteness of Agent Carter is constructed. It is artificial. It is not normal or realistic. It did not happen in a magical creative vacuum any more than deliberately cultivating more diversity would.

First of all, if you think that New York of 1946 was as white as it looks in Agent Carter, then you are just super, super wrong. I’m not sure how else to go into that one, because it’s just a straight-up question of factual accuracy. Even in the 1940s, even under a lot of de facto segregation (which it’s worth noting largely persists 70-plus years later), New York was an incredibly racially diverse city, far more so than the version we’ve seen on Agent Carter. Hell, I live in the whitest major city in the America — Portland, OR — and it’s not as white as the New York of Agent Carter.

Nor were the intelligence and military communities. In 1941, an executive order had desegregated the defense industry, and in 1946, when Agent Carter takes place, A. Philip Randolph and the March on Washington Movement was campaigning vocally for the desegregation of the armed forces, which would occur by executive order in 1948.

The FBI had hired its first black agent — James Wormley Jones — in 1919; others followed. Understand that you are looking at the tip of the iceberg here: click over to #DiversifyAgentCarter for an ongoing lesson on the history you did not learn in schools for much the same reason that you don’t see it reflected on TV. Google the names Pancho Barnes, Maggie Gee, Katherine Sui Fun Cheung.

Certainly, Jones, and Barnes and Gee were minorities in their fields, exceptions in a system aggressively biased against them: but then, so is Peggy Carter. That’s the whole point.Agent Carter is a show about an exceptional individual fighting a system in which she is a second-class citizen, a system that fails to recognize her value or support her work. It tells that story exquisitely well, and it is already telling it along multiple vectors: in the case of season one, gender and disability. There is no reason that race should not be part of that narrative — and plenty of reasons that it not only should but must.

Not to mention that /616 canon Peggy Carter/ marries Gabe Jones, a dark skinned black man who was part of the Howling Commandos, and yet they haven’t een mentioned him in the show so far and his leading love interest has been a white man for two seasons.

Not that Agent Carter mentioned Jim Morita either, despite the fact that he’s also one of the most iconic Howling Commandos and he’s already appeared in the MCU.

As far as characters of color that appeared in the comics as people from Peggy Carter’s generation, we also could have (as mentioned by@fandomshatepeopleofcolor, /here/):

  • Jimmy Woo, former FBI agent who was one of the earliest members of SHIELD, heir to the shady ATLAS foundation, and hyper-competent agent. If he’s on the show they could do really smart commentary on US-China relations during the Cold Wwar, like they kinda did in the comics.
  • Nia Marie Jones, a CIA agent in the comics who met White Nick Fury while on a mission. They had a kid together, Marcus Johnson (aka Nick Fury Jr, the 616 counterpart to the MCU’s Fury).
  • Isaiah Bradley. After the success of the Super Soldier program, American/German eugenicists tried to replicate it using African-American test subjects as guinea pigs, with only a few survivors, one of them being Isaiah.

Now that we got your stupid-ass argument out of the way, let me remind you that, not only is Agent Carter whitewashed as fuck, but they also treated its few characters of color like shit:

  • Season 1:
    • A black man in the first episode who is 1) a misogynistic and 2) a villain, and is murdered by a white man in that same episode.
    • An Asian man (SHIELD Agent, IIRC) who also died in episode 1.
    • A Black police officer who also died (rather violently, I recall) in EP1.
    • A black man (with no lines) who showed up for a few seconds in EP1.
    • A bunch of black musicians at the villain’s party.
    • There was an Asian lady who appeared on-screen for three seconds just to say that she slept with Tony Stark.
    • An, I think another nameless Asian SHIELD Agent who Peggy beat up a couple times in S1. I don’t remember him having lines.
  • Season 2:
    • Jason Wilkes, the scientist and love interest from S2, who is there to receive racist comments from Everyone But Peggy. He spends most of his arc being invisible and/or untouchable, makes a deal with the villains (and betrays Peggy), is experiemented on against by a bunch of white people and almost dies about five times in the season.
    • The black extras in the Black Club™ where Wilkes took Peggy???

@ubeempress’ “Agent Carter and The Lack Of Diversity” (1, 2) bring up most of the same points I brought up before, but they are also a good read on why you are an ignorant, racist fuck.


So, we can move on to AKA Jessica Jones now, right? This is gonna be another long, fun read on why, exactly, you are an ignorant and racist idiot, so I hope you are paying attention.

JESSICA JONES IS RACIST

The good news is that I myself have already made posts about why JJ is racist, so we can start there. From /here/ and /here/:

  • out of 7 recurrent characters (jessica, patricia, malcolm, jeri, kilgrave, luke, simpson) you got 5 white, 2 black (men).
  • minor but mildly developed characters add a bunch of white faces (hope, pam, robyn and ruben, wendy, patricia’s mom, kilgrave’s parents) and only 3 non-white characters (reva and clements, both dead; and claire, who was only there for one episode).
  • the support group has one black woman and one black man, i think (not counting malcolm)? out of about six characters we see there regularly? still bad numbers.
  • jessica’s has one case with two characters of color who don’t end up dead (antoine and serena, both black); and another with two white characters who don’t end up dead (attempted murder lady and the not-actually-cheating husband), so at least that’s even.
  • there is a latinx gang (puerto rican, i think), a couple black and latinx bodyguards/cops. at least the asian-fusion restaurant is owned by actual east-asian people?
  • some asian/black/latinx extras in almost every crowd scene. there are no all-white crowds, which is an improvement from agent carter at least.
  • the only asian man with more than five seconds of screentime spends all of his ten minutes of fame brainwashed and ends up dead.

so, to sum it up, out of 18 recurrent/more-or-less-developed characters (names, stories, affect the plot somehow, appear in at least two episodes) we have:

  • two women of color. a dead black woman (only shows up in flashbacks) and a latina (who only shows up in the last ten minutes of the 12th ep and during the 13th)
  • three men of color, all black. two are major characters (the leading romantic interest and the hero’s sidekick). the third one is a secondary character and dies a violent dead.
  • no prominent asian characters. in new york city. only latinxs besides claire are gang members. no black women who get to be alive and exist as more than plot devices.

so, 5/18 of the main cast (or 27%) are poc and Hell’s Kitchen is only 48% non-latinx white. atleast half of those 18 characters should be poc and/or latinxs.

And, since you brought up the fact that Sara and Nyssa are wlw in a post about racism (???), we can talk about why Jessica Jones was also a lesbophobic mess, as discussed by @autisticlynch and @becketted /here/:

It was blatant hatred. Not only did they make it a love triangle and managed to demonize all three women involved, that final scene was just violent for me to watch. No representation is better than bad representation and if you’ll only have lesbians in your show to have them torture and kill each other in a graphic, awfully long gorey scene then I’d advise you to keep your disgusting hands away from wlw characters forever. The thing is, the femslash shippers jumped on the Jess/Trish baiting so I guess they focused on that ? But yikes, we’re talking of a fandom that takes pride on the anti-rape message of the show while still somehow, shipping Jess and Luke so they’re not above looking the other way when their shitty show fucks up again, I’m afraid.

It’s particularly awful because this was the first time we saw a same-gender couple in a Marvel show (Joey Gutierrez came before, and as much as I love seeing lgbtqa+ Latino representation he doesn’t have an onscreen relationship like the women in Jessica Jonesdid) and it has to be such a negative thing. It reminded me how that Mandarin short made Justin Hammer into a “only gay in jail” joke, it was in the same hatred vibe. You decide to have a Marvel character in a relationship with another men but it’s a villain and it’s a fucking punchline? Ugly.

There’s also the fact that they invented that “Jessica kills Reva” storyline only to… what? Ruin the perfect, loving friends-to-lovers relationship Luke and Jess have in 616, brutalize a black woman on-screen and add some shitty white angst? As pointed by @trans-janet-jackson /here/:

This whole thing with Reva Connors DID NOT happen in Alias, one of Luke Cage’s EARLY villains was responsible. Why was there a need to make her a part of Jessica’s story? Like this adaptation wasn’t bad enough with you taking the extra step of making Kilgrave rape Jessica when that didn’t happen in the comics (And was a very important point in that story) you had to throw some extra misogynoir in there too.

I’m gonna get on how Jessica killing Reva and lying to Luke about it makes her relationship with him a manipulative, abusive, toxic mess that is completely weighed by anti-blackness and is particularly disgusting in a show that is supposed to be about survivors working through their trauma after being abused, but, first, let’s talk about the show’s general racism. Another great post by @autisticlynch, /here/:

Not only did they kill Clemmons in a very graphic way, they also made Malcolm an addict because of course they did. But not even that gross, racist storyline was his. Kilgrave made him so, to get at Jessica and she, in turn, used him. She put him in danger, she mocked his sufferings and made his addiction about herself. Frankly, it was. We were never shown him actually fighting, resisting to it. He was an addict and then, he was fine. Eventually, he became the support system of Ruben’s sister, another white girl willing to step on him if needs be. From beginning to end, Malcolm was a pawn and a liability, his efforts to insert himself on the narrative dismissed with a patronizing pat on the back.

Luke Cage got off worse. This show was supposed to lead the way to his own show, premiering in  2016. Luke Cage, that historical hero, impervious to bullets, whose story matters so much as of now. We were introduced with is character through Jessica’s binoculars, as she stalked him.

He is shown having sex with a black woman. Said black woman, it turned out, was cheating on her husband with him, allowing us to understand a bit more about Luke as he declines her advances. A straight-up guy, he “doesn’t do drama”. Never once is that woman shamed for her choices, however. She’s confident and upfront and challenges Jessica, calling her out on her obsession with Luke. Nevertheless, she is soon forgotten, set aside to let Jessica and Luke’s story begin. She was the only black woman with a speaking role in the whole series and her potential was already conveniently abandoned before the end of the pilot.

From that moment onward, Luke is surrounded by white people. His colleague is a white guy and all his scenes are with Jessica. He has no world, no friends, no relations. He is utterly othered, rarely if ever sharing the camera with another POC and linked solely to Jessica.

Their relationship is physical, leading to many sexual scenes between the two. The spectator watches as a blooming fondness is born, a trust shared. Luke helps Jessica in many ways, his moral support giving her a drive and a new-found confidence in her abilities. That, in itself, is already symptomatic of a lack of balance in their interactions. Never once is Jessica here for him, to propel his story. So far, there is none to tell. He has no ties but her.

The truth comes out, eventually. Jessica killed his wife, a black woman once again set aside by the narrative to propel their romance. She killed her and never told him, even though she knew who he was. She tricked him, abused of his trust and only came clean because she had to. Luke doesn’t shy from stating how violated he feels, how betrayed. He is completely disgusted with the very though of having slept with his wife’s murderer, showing to the spectator how wrong Jessica’s actions were. Jessica raped him and there is nothing more painful to watch than his face as he realises what she’s done. Mike Colter plays it with such intensity and raw pain, it’s unbearable.

His plight doesn’t end here, however. Kilgrave finds him and learns about is relationship with Jessica. Because they could, the writers didn’t refrain from showing the former bewildered with the very idea of their  interracial entanglement, referring to it as a “pity shag”. He proceeds to take control of Luke, unbeknownst to the spectator. Throughout a whole episode, Luke is literally forced by the narrative to forgive Jessica, to stay near her and to offer his moral support, once more. He has no choice, no say in this. Yet, we are never showed that. His turmoil remains silent, the focus staying on Jessica and her relief at being once again the receptacle of Luke’s affection. His story and feelings are of little consequence. He is pushed back in the arms of his aggressor, by Kilgrave but also by the narrative. That state of helplessness, which is so often described as traumatizing and painful, holds only emotional weight when Jessica learns that him forgiving her wasn’t real. The consequences on his mental well-being aren’t worth dwelling into because, as per usual, only Jessica and their ship matter.

Knocked unconscious for the entirety of the finale (!!!!), Luke is powerless as Jessica holds him, kisses him and professes her love. Once again, he is but a silent witness, a barely consenting participant in that poor excuse for romance.

A short aside to talk about Detective Clemmons, from /this/ review:

Detective Oscar Clemmons is exactly the same character as Daredevil’s Ben Urich. He’s an older authority figure, who may be one of the only safe bets in his place of work. He’s sought out by one of our heroes to expose the main villain. He’s reluctant to help, but eventually joins their side. And he ends up dead.

It is frustrating to not only see this trope again, but to see it, beat for beat, in both Netflix/Marvel shows. It’s so obvious, it almost felt like it could be a double-bluff. But no. Clemmons dies in what would be a tragic fashion, if we weren’t so disgusted it was happening again.

Plus, Clemmons and Urich were both older black characters. You have to stop killing black characters for shock value. It’s just gross.

Digging deeper on Jessica and Kilgrave’s abuse of Luke and Malcolm, we’ve got /this/ post by @allerasphinx and @candyumbrella:

Jessica had the chance to come clean. “Kilgrave made me kill your wife” should’ve been one of the things she told him, and she chose not to until circumstances forced her to tell him.

It’s really frustrating because Luke’s meant to fall in love with Jessica. If the writers weren’t going to explore the issue in depth, they should have taken a different route with their relationship. At the very least, they could have made it so they didn’t sleep together. Like, looking back on it, I think it’s so disrespectful.

Men in general have to conform to hypermasculine stereotypes and there’s more pressure if you’re black, especially if you look like Luke. Black men are hypermasculinized and dehumanized. Luke is a tall, muscular, dark-skinned black man who is literally bulletproof. He’s essentially how white people see black men; they look at what’s on the surface and then fill in the blanks with stereotypes.

When Luke finds out about Jessica deceiving him:

He asks her if Kilgrave forced her to deceive him and sleep with him and makes her admit that no, she did it of her own volition
Tells her that her actions have explicitly harmed his recovery from his trauma over his wife’s death (”You made me think… I could get past it.”)
Emphasizes the extent of his disgust and horror at the physical and emotional violation (”You let me be inside you. You touched me with the same hands that killed my wife, while you knew.”)
Makes Jessica admit that she only confessed because Luke was closing in on the truth anyway (”If I never found out about Charles, would you have ever told me the truth?”)
Expresses his anger and condemnation of Jessica by telling her, “I was wrong… you are a piece of shit.”

Malcolm is an even more extreme case–I’ve seen almost no recognition of the disgustingly appropriative and parasitic nature of his relationship with Jessica, as embodied in the scene where Jessica tells Malcolm to stop being “this self-pitying piece of shit that [Kilgrave] turned you into, and save ME for once.” She makes Malcolm’s suffering about herself–”If you give up, I lose. Do you get that? He did this to you to get at ME. To isolate ME. To make ME feel like an infection,” blah blah blah. Like STFU, Jessica, it’s not fucking about you!

And to most people, Malcolm’s life is about Jessica by default because he’s black and she’s white (and with Jessica/Malcolm in particular, TBQH I think many parts of fandom take a fetishizing pleasure in the parasitic nature of the relationship–I can feel people enjoying that unbalanced power dynamic, and they can do it guilt-free because in the current fandom climate it’s easier to escape or derail criticism by wallowing in this kind of relationship through a white woman rather than a white man.)

For one last nail on the coffin, Kilgrave and Simmons aren’t just abusive, misogynistic douchebags, they are also racists! From /this/ excellent post by@mytwistedexperience:

Racism isn’t only when a white person says n*****,  say things like “i hate you because you’re black” or put on a white robe and burn crosses on a black person’s front lawn.

Why is Killgrave racist? Because one, this motherfucker, a white male went into an Asian restaurant, then proceeded to order Italian food and forced the Asian staff  to prepare it for him with ingredients they had to go out of their way to get. And he didn’t pay for his goddamn meal. The entire thing reaked of white entitlement.That was gross. That was disrespectful.

Two, He is racist because of the way he treated Malcolm. He plucked this happy young man filled with hope for the future and dreams. He then force fed him drugs, made him an addict, then forced him to become his spy. Killgrave didn’t care that this was a black man who usually faces harsher consequences rather than empathy for being a drug addict. He used Malcolm like a slave to spy on one of his rape victims. I can’t even imagine the sort of things Malcolm had to endure to do what Killgrave ordered him to do. He has probably put his life in danger getting it done. His health definitely took a downward spiral judging by how worse he continuously looked.

And then Jessica being racist herself decided to use racism as a weapon with Malcolm as a pawn without any regard for how badly it could have turned out for him at that hospital depending on the kind of people who were around. That was her lowest moment as a character for me. It was wholly unnecessary and actually insulting that they reduced a potentially self reflective moment of how “everyone is a little racist” everyone being the white people who are main characters to “lets use Malcolm as distraction by employing a racist stereotype. She could have literally gotten those drugs without using Malcolm like a disposable tool.

But this is not about Jessica and the writing of the show but you get the point about Malcolm suffering racism at the hands of two white characters. One a villain, and the other one a hero.

What other racist things does Killgrave do? The way he uses and discarded Reva Connors was disgusting. But she’s barely a character considering she essentially is a plot device.

Sticking to how he treated main characters of colour, lets talk about his reactions to Luke Cage. I’m not at the end of the series yet so this is based on their first interaction only. When Luke told him he and Jessica were lovers, his assumption was that it had to be a pity shag. Because goodness knows, the white woman he obsesses over couldn’t possible have real feelings for this black man. It couldn’t be mutual attraction because Luke Cage is somehow beneath her that sleeping with him can only be out of pity even though Luke Cage is a very attractive man. And then he makes him blow himself up simply to hurt Jessica. Luke Cage is an afterthought to him. A tool because he is jealous.

As for Simpson, this one makes my skin crawl in a different way than Killgrave because Simpson is supposed to be a good guy and a “decent human being” according to Trish. It most certainly turned my stomach even more because he is playing a cop.

Lets see, the way he reacts to the black men(who are the only POC he does share scenes with) he interacts with the first time he meets them is consistently very violent.

When he met Malcolm for the first time, he threatens him, slams him up against the wall and was so violent and harsh that i really thought he was going to kill him. And he really had no reason to have behaved that way. Malcolm was not a threat to him or Jessica. The dude was a small man, who was literally high and very weak judging by his physical condition but Will Simpson treated him like he was a mass murdering, gun wielding, 7fth tall, 400 pounds criminal.

When the one bodyguard of Killgrave they captured happened to be black, Simpson literally seemed like he was doing everything he could not to kill this guy who was innocent and simply doing his goddamn job like anybody else. He was very threatening, harsh and antagonistic towards the man who was helpless to defend himself. He didn’t seem to care that the man was innocent and knew nothing beyond doing his job. He was blaming the man for things that were not his fault. If Jessica hadn’t been there to tell him to leave the man alone, Simpson would have violently killed him.   There was no reason to display so much rage towards an innocent man who was just doing his job. He should have been very empathetic towards the man because they were both used by the same monster.

Then of course, he finally shared a scene with Detective Clemons. And just like the last two, he was instantly very violent. It wasn’t until he recognized him from his wonderful reputation did he tone down his rage. But of course, in the end, he decided to murder him after using him for information, then set his corpse on fire, just like what the KKK used to do to the black people they murdered. Hell, they still do it to the black people they murder. He might as well have lynched him because that was what that scene invoked. Clemons was treated as a disposable object by Simpson. His murder was truly disgusting.
And of course, Simpson has no remorse for his crimes. And he has the nerves to blame it on the drugs he was taking when he was already a violent and racist Nazi looking shithead well before he took those meds.

And why does his behaviors towards these black men stand out? Because he never reacts that extreme to the other white characters he interacts with. He acts like a white person who sees all black people as criminals, thugs, deserving of instant execution. It made me very uncomfortable watching and it almost made me hate Trish because she was banging this racist asshole, spouting nonsense about how he’s a decent human being, making excuses for him, giving him several undeserving chances to redeem himself, had shown himself to be violent, controlling and an awful human being. There is having a big heart and just being stupid. If she ever takes him back after he locked her up, attacked her and Jessica and murdered Clemons, then i’ll be done with her and the series in general.

The worst part about his character to be honest is how he blames his violent tendencies on the pills. For someone who says he’s sorry for his actions caused by the pills he took, he doesn’t act like it. Even if i bought into the bullshit that the pills make him violent, the fact that he knows that the pills does that to him, yet he keeps taking them anyways shows he has no regard for the people he hurts and the fact that he murdered a person. Basically, he doesn’t care that he is violent. If he did, he would have immediately stopped taking them, removed himself from the situation then turned himself in for Clemons murder. Since he is supposed to be a decent human being and all that.

So, Jessica Jones is covered. It’s racist. You are, again, wrong. Let’s move on.


Now, on to Arrow! How about we start by debunking this “hey, the black driver is great representation” with /this/ amazing article by @blacknerdproblems? Because, yeah, we love Dig, but…

ARROW IS RACIST

Diggle began as a promising character of color in the series, asserting himself as someone uninterested in “being anyone’s sidekick.” A 40-something year old ex-Special Forces with hero-diesel build? And he says he’s no one’s sidekick? Arrow had me going on that one. They had me going, that is, until it took under half a season for him to become just that. Not even a particularly useful one either – whenever Ollie excludes him on missions he sits back at headquarters and dreams of being appreciated. “Maybe I’ll get a code name soon,” he thinks to himself, looking up at the salmon ladder. “Or a mask. A mask would do.” It’s embarrassing. On the list of respectable sidekicks, John Diggle’s name falls somewhere under Kimmy Gibbler, Memphis Bleek, and Tails.

He’s strictly there for diversity purposes at this point – they couldn’t get rid of him so they turned him into Cole from Martin, where every time he talks about his job for a mission everyone yells “you ain’t got no job!” His presence onscreen solely to say things like “You’re not seeing straight on this one, Ollie” every 18 minutes. The frustrating part is his character had such promise at the start of the show, although let’s be clear – he was never written as Ollie’s equal even in season 1, and the way he was the punch line of Ollie’s daily shenanigans sneaking away in season 1 while Diggle facepalms and says “aw, shucks” was borderline offensive. Heaven forbid we break with the norm and have an interesting black character that helps Ollie out as an equal. He was always the goofy and hapless counterpart opposite Ollie’s hero-ness, but essential enough to each mission to keep us believing in his utility on the team.

I’m also gonna quote from /this/ post, which addresses two of your arguments. Arrow is racist and lesbophobic, all at once! Joy!

Sara (the oh, so progressive wlw!)

  • “dies” in the very beginning of the series as nothing more than a plot device to show the kind of guy Oliver is and the relationship he has with Laurel. That’s it. Early Sara was a plot device.
  • Sara later returns as the Canary, a bisexual woman who has clearly been through trauma and is struggling with that. She is then used as a tool for rival romances and we only get hints of friendships with other female characters. She is either loved or hated among fans due to her relationship with Oliver and/or Nyssa.
  • She is later killed and literally fridged. This was excused by “creating tension” and “plot reasons.” The only reason she is still alive is because of fan outcry. They buried their gays. And then brought her back when they realized that it might hurt ratings.
  • Note: killed by a male character to get to another male character. Or something like that. Did we ever figure out Malcolm’s motivations? Oh wait, why is that bastard still alive while all of these ladies got fridged?
  • Is turned into the White Canary, who was originally an Asian woman in the comics. This was very much a point of conflict for many fans because while many were celebrating the return of a canon bisexual character, it was done in a way that was terribly racist and whitewashed the original White Canary.

Nyssa (the other brownie point!)

  • Potentially falls under the “preying lesbian who corrupts another female” trope.
  • Is an Asian woman who is continually forced to obey the men in her life, even though it’s clear that she’s stronger than all of them.
  • Literally forced into a marriage with a man she doesn’t love and is given a corrective rape plotline.
  • Her forced marriage/rape is only ever joked about with the writers and a majority of fans don’t seem to care that she was literally threatened with corrective rape.

Shado

  • Another Asian (Chinese) woman who often seems to fall into the obedient and mysterious Asian girl trope.
  • Killed in a ridiculous Sophie’s Choice type of trial that is more about dick measuring between two male characters.
  • Only given screen time to build up the male character’s story and then pain.
  • Killed by a male character to torment another male character.

McKenna

  • written off the show when her purpose as Oliver’s love interest was served.
  • Shot because again, her purpose as Oliver’s love interest was over.

Tatsu

  • Mysterious and cold Asian woman trope.
  • Literally her entire purpose was to help Oliver.
  • Dealt with the death of her son and was forced to kill her husband.
  • She’s not allowed to deal with this because she has to help Oliver.

Since I’m too lazy to dedicate too much emotional or intellectual energy to a shitshow like Arrow –which I happily dropped two seasons ago– I’m gonna make a quick break-down of the rest of its problems (well, the ones I remember):

They white-washed Ra’s Al Ghul, a character of Chinese and Arab roots.

They white-washed the White Canary, a Chinese character.

They white-washed Sin, another Asian character.

They cast Connor Hawke, Oliver Queen’s Afro-Asian son, with a non-Asian black actor, and made him Dig’s son.

They white-washed Vandal Savage, a brown-skinned character of Middle Eastern origins.

They white-washed Brick, a black-coded character.

They cast a light-skinned, young, thin actress to play Amanda “The Wall” Waller, a dark-skinned, fat 50 y/o woman… and then killed her off.

But yeah, Arrow is so progressive! Sure, Dig’s existence excuses all of its racism! Go fuck yourself.


Anyways, dear @havan69, though I seriously doubt you actually bothered reading any of that, because I can feel in my soul that you are an ignorant fuckwad and probably plan to remain the same, I still hope this was enlightening to someone.

TL;DR: all of your faves are racist as fuck, go fuck yourself.

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*More crap comes out about the behind the scenes shenanigans at Sleepy Hollow, and people’s reactions:
tvline.com
Fox Boss on Nicole Beharie’s Sleepy Hollow Departure: ‘It Was a Decision That Needed to Be Made’
By Michael Ausiello

Of course it’s all about Mison. Always has been. I hope this show burns in hell.

Fox’s top entertainment executive is suggesting that the network was left with little choice but to part ways with Sleepy Hollow star Nicole Beharie, whose character, Abbie, was killed off in the show’s Season 3 finale.

“There were a variety of factors that led to the end of the season,” CEO Dana Walden told reporters during a Monday-morning conference call to tout Fox’s fall schedule. “It was not a decision that we wanted to make initially. We ended up being put in a situation where that was a decision that needed to be made.”

Regarding the controversial decision to move on with a fourth season sans Beharie, Walden said, “What we know is that Tom Mison is a big star. And the Ichabod Crane character has been so central to the series and the storytelling and he feels like an original, big Fox character.

“We don’t feel like it has to be the end of the life of the show,” she added. “And while there was backlash [to the Season 4 renewal], there was also a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from fans about the show coming back and about Tom having the ability to be the center of the series and discovering new dynamics and new relationships. It’s a very original premise and we felt like it had greater life in it and that there was no reason to end it.”

Walden also denied that Season 4 would serve as the show’s swan song. “We’re not announcing that it’s the final season,” she maintained. “We’re not sure if it’s the final season.”

It’s so funny because I had been saying for the longest time that SH was racist af and didn’t like being a “black show” or a “POC show” but so many people augured that it was everything else, that FOX didn’t know how to deal with a fandom, that Fox doesn’t know how to deal with sci-fi/ fantasy shows, but here they are in so many words coming out and saying it. Crane should be the focus because he’s white. They’ve always wanted a white audience for SH. It’s OK for a show like Empire to have a mostly black audience, but not Sleepy Hollow, oh no that’s a white people show.

And they shall have what they want. I really do hope they finally get what they’ve done; they’re trying desperately to have the creators (especially Orci) revive it. He’s asking fans for feedback, and up to now, I’ve said what the issues are I have with the show, but no more… even thought I WON’T watch with Nicole. I’m not helping them to resurrect this when they’ve not EARNED it.

Tom Mison is a big star since the fuck when?! I am British and I have never even heard of the guy before Shitty Hollow. He is not original he is every other white British know it all motherfucker, he is Sherlock Holmes, he is doctor who, he is that show Forever. He is my high school maths teacher that I am sure lived in the school. Nothing original about this sack of crap.

I knew who Nicole Beharie was since American Violet, before joining the show she was hot off the movie Shame that had wild critical acclaim she is the big star not him.

What enthusiasm what type of fantasy world are they living in, is this real fucking life? I swear they will hurt themselves to stick to the status quo but that shot won’t work how many fucking retcons can one show go through? Everyone who was a part of team witness was in relation to Abbie like I said before Ichabod has made 0 friends on his own.

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Tumblr Talks About Media

 Shonda Rhimes new Shakespearean drama, Still Star Crossed, which I’m totally here for, and the deeply (and I mean deeply) ignorant backlash against this, as if black people hadn’t been invented until 1964.

ABC Orders Shondaland’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Sequel, “Still Star-Crossed”

ABC’s “Still Star-Crossed” stars Wade Briggs as Benvolio, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline & Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus

Written by Heather Mitchell, and based on the book by Melinda Taub, the “Romeo & Juliet” sequel is titled “Still Star-Crossed” and is set in 16th century Verona, picking up where Shakespeare’s original work ended. It chronicles the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.

Teaser Trailer:

https://youtu.be/TVwa9wQq40Q

 

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Oh quit bullshitting like this isn’t about your racism. Anthony Hopkins did Titus Andronicus as a half-dream half art piece with Saturnius and Bassanius using podiums and 1950′s style microphones to argue which one of them should be king. Kenneth Branagh did Hamlet in the Victorian Era. David Tennant did Hamlet in a fucking t-shirt. “Sons of Anarchy” was based on the story of Hamlet and it was about a motorcycle club running guns to the IRA. Don’t give me any shit about fucking ‘historical accuracy’ you fucking ponce, it’s SHAKESPEARE- it’s literally been done by a dog dressed in little hats and jackets (Wishbone, I never forgot you) and Wednesday and Pugsley Adams. If you have a problem with this you are not only a racist asshat, but you are so damn ignorant of Shakespeare I don’t even fucking know why you bothered to have an opinion except to let people KNOW you are a racist asshat.

And I mean, all good Shakespeare companies blind cast. Shakespeare companies pretty much invented that. An African-American actor was playing King Lear in the 1820s in London, yet  people still get bent out of shape over actors of color in Shakespeare in the 2010s. It’s a long tradition, unlike the movie and TV tradition of casting people of color mostly in small roles and only “when there’s a reason for it.”

 *These are the type of criticisms PoC get from people who know no form of history, or have ever read Shakespeare, but have the nerve to go online and make arguments like the ones above.
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*And finally, this happened. I have since heard that the lead female character from Castle was ousted from the show because Nathan Fillion hated the actress. Interesting behind the scenes rumors.

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Black Widow thoughts:

Tumblr Talk II

… the study of the European Middle Ages has denied blacks the right to a shared medieval past that would, in turn, authorize them to share the present that emerges from it. In other words, denying blacks medieval coevalness allows Euro-centric cultures to relegate modern blacks to a strictly modern status in which their history appears to be without the authorizing length and depth available to whites. The denial of medieval coevalness encourages students to ask, ‘Where were the black people in the Middle Ages?’ in a tone that suggests they are not entirely certain whether black people existed at all.
Cord J. Whitaker, “Race-ing the dragon: the Middle Ages, race and trippin’ into the future”
(via medievalpoc)
General Curses for the Everyday Assholes Around You

– May all the chocolate chips in your cookies turn out to be raisins

– May your headphone cord catch on every door handle

– May your phone always die when you need it most

– May you always miss a belt loop

– May every great fitting pair of pants you have stretch out disroportionately throughout the day and no longer fit

– May you always feel your phone vibrating when it’s not

–  May every sock you wear be rotated just enough to be uncomfortable

– May all your social notifications be game invites

– May you ALWAYS step in a wet spot after putting on fresh, clean socks

– May your tea be too hot when you receive/make it and then ice cold when you go back to it

– May you always pick the slowest line up

– May your shoelaces be JUST long enough not to tie without stepping on them al day

– May you stub your toe on every doorframe you go through

– May you get papercuts on every book you open

– May you step on a leggo while trying to find your way in the dark

– May your tea and coffee always be bitter

– May a bird poop on that pretty car that you feel needs to block the crosswalk/my path.

– May your keys never be where you left them.

– May you always gain back those last 5 pounds (plus one).

– May your wifi connection be one bar or less for no reason.

– May the pockets you carry your change in all suddenly develop quarter-sized holes. (but may that change always make it’s way to someone who needs it).

Oooh… these are all good…. 😉

Set a time limit on them and you’re good to go!

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marvel in color; (x)

Doona Bae as The Wasp

BD Wong as Doctor Strange

Osric Chau as Iron Fist

↳ Michelle Rodriguez as Maria Hill 

↳ Alina Serban as Scarlet Witch

↳ Dichen Lachman as The Ancient One

ok i don’t usually reply to things and i don’t really have the time right now but

firstly this is a fancast. secondly, the idea of marvel casting non-white actors for traditionally white parts is neither a disservice to the characters or necessarily pandering, while their casting of white actors as either non-white or ethnically ambiguous characters, such as the Ancient One, the Wasp, and Scarlet Witch, most definitely is racist. in the Ultimates verse, the Wasp is written as biracial, with an Asian mother, and considering that Janet Van Dyne has been axed off unnecessarily in the mcu anyway, there’s no reason why she couldn’t be played or have been played by an Asian actress. Regarding both the Iron Fist and Doctor Strange, there has been a great deal of conversation about their casting by people better informed by me, but the fact that remains that their origins rely heavily on orientalist stereotypes that could have been remedied by the casting of asian actors in these roles.

the issue isn’t just that marvel should be casting minorities in roles WRITTEN FOR MINORITIES, but that they seem to be deliberately choosing to tell white stories over those about people of colour.

also seriously, they cast benedict cumberbatch because they wanted him in the mcu, not because they thought he’d be the right person for the part.

… content always reflects the politics of the creator. the fact that we have two Avengers films where the Avengers team is 100% white up till the last fifteen seconds of Age of Ultron is a political statement. the idea that the mcu makes films about characters who are “”popular”” is incorrect because before the movies were announced, no mainstream audience had heard of iron man, ant man, or doctor strange. while it is commendable that marvel/disney has launched a franchise from marvel’s less popular characters, the reason they haven’t made a black panther or captain marvel film, in addition to postponing them further in order to release antman 2 and spiderman is because their political agenda dictates that they care more about their white male characters than those played by women or people of colour. in addition, the reason samuel l jackson was cast as nick fury is because nick fury was redesigned as his likeness without slj’s permission, and his agent threatened to sue. the fact that you’re justifying a billion dollar company having not made a film starring a minority as not wanting to “”pander”” to minorities is a gross mindset, but honestly it doesn’t even matter because marvel clearly doesn’t care about making minorities happy in the first place.

 

Why is it that casting an overwhelmingly boring white cast is “Well, they’re just trying to make money.” or “They’re finding the right person.” or “That’s how it is in the comics.” But casting ANY actors of color is seen as “pandering” or “making something a political issue”? Please explain to me what about wanting to see Asian actors (or any other POC) portray characters that are based in Asian mythos and culture is political? Like, white people, why do y’all say that shit? Why can’t you just say “I’m racist and there at no niggers or spics or chinks or rag heads allowed in my all white safe spaces?” @diversehighfantasy@nerdsagainstfandomracism @jawnbaeyega

 

OK. I’m still hung up on the first response talking about this and that character is “American” when they clearly mean white.

Maria Hill is racially ambiguous but that also means American is just as valid as Asian/Asian-American/etc.

Why the hell is American being used this way in 2016? And it’s even more infuriating because plenty of American characters – like quintessentially American characters – are played by people of other nationalities (British, Australian, Irish, etc), but they’re usually white. I’ve literally never seen anyone like “uh you can’t fancast that British actor because the character is American in canon.”

i.e. Don’t pretend this is about nationality when it’s about race, especially when the nationality in question includes every damn race.

Anyway. Yeah. The MCU is indefensible in its representation of Asians and its East Asian whitewashing. The MCU is pretty indefensibly racist in general, though I keep waiting for them to make me change my mind.

It’s funny that people even try to invoke the comics in defense of the MCU’s obsession with whiteness when Marvel comics are light years ahead of the MCU. Like, why is the MCU even considering Carol Danvers when we have Kamala Khan? Why is Peter Parker the MCU’s Spider-Man when Miles Morales is joining the Avengers in the new Marvel Universe? At least the comics are trying.

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I am done choosing between my womanhood and my blackness.

Stop giving me fictional white female characters and telling me “these are the fictional women to admire, the ones that break the mold, the feminist icons, the representation you’ve been longing for.”

Stop asking me to squint to see myself represented on screen. Stop telling me to “wait my turn”, to support shows with white female leads as though this was a rare occurrence, as though there haven’t been thousands of them through the years. As though white women haven’t been held as the pinnacle of progress and feminism on TV since Lucille Ball.

Stop telling me that a white woman playing a spy, is innovative and feminist when you’ve had Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels, Scarecrow & Mrs. King and Alias before Agent Carter.

Stop telling me that seeing Jessica Jones, a white female character with PTSD, on screen is a long time coming, a revolutionary feminist act, when Joss Carter, Abbie Mills, Olivia Pope, Sasha Williams and Michonne aren’t afforded the same treatment regarding theirs from writers, media and fandom alike.

Stop telling me that “romance is not part of the show” when said show is built on the loss of the White Male Lead’s love interest. Stop labeling black female characters as one half of a “brotp”, as the supportive friend, a mammy that does everything but wipe the white man’s ass or tuck him into bed, only to prop up the Random White Woman In The Background as the obvious choice for a new, better suited love interest.

Stop giving me Trojan Horses, those black female characters I’ve longed for, the ones I finally can see myself in, the ones that you’re praised for creating and writing, the ones you make money off of only to kill them later, once they’ve served their purpose.

We are not your first step towards success, we aren’t a tool to be used to avoid criticism, or appease higher ups afraid of losing money because of the lack of diversity and representation in their shows.

We are not either women or black, we are both and we deserve to be spies, the fated love interest, the damsel in distress, the selfish one, the vulnerable one, the pinnacle of feminism and progress, the one who’s turn has come, the one who was a long time coming.

Stop giving me a drop of water and calling it the sea.

The exploitation of African-Americans through the use of media is obvious from the films above.

1. Little Rascals (1920’s) – The coon character is one of the most insulting of all anti-black characters. The name itself is an abbreviation of raccoon and  dehumanizing. As with Sambo, the coon was portrayed as a lazy, easily frightened, chronically idle, inarticulate, buffoon.

2. King Kong (1930’s) – The brute character portrays black men as innately savage, animalistic, destructive, and criminal – deserving punishment, maybe death. This brute is a fiend, a sociopath, an anti-social menace. Black brutes are depicted as hideous, terrifying predators who target helpless victims, especially white women.  It’s been suggested that King Kong was a veiled allegory of the life of boxer Jack Johnson, who married two white women during his lifetime and was even arrested for taking one across state lines.

3. Shaft (1970’s) – Blaxploitation films are mainly set in poor neighborhoods. Ethnic stereotypes against white characters, such as “crackers” and “honky”, and other derogatory names are common plot and or character elements.

4. Lethal Weapon (1980’s) – African American males are typically cast in specific roles in American film. The usual suspects include the black sidekick of a white protagonist, the token black person, the comedic relief, the athlete, the ladies’ man, and most damaging, the violent black man.

5. Menace to Society (1990’s) – In the 1990s the typical cinema and television, the brute was nameless — sometimes faceless; he sprang from a hiding place, he robbed, raped, and murdered. He represented the cold brutality of urban life. Often he was a gangbanger.

6. Norbit (2000’s) – This was the mammy caricature, and, like all caricatures, it contained a little truth surrounded by a larger lie. The caricature portrayed an obese, coarse, maternal figure. She had great love for her white “family,” but often treated her own family with disdain.

Be careful while watching television (tell-our-vision) because it is a Lethal Weapon that can turn Little Rascals into a Menace to society!!!!

  1. anonymous asked:

    those who defend the mcu problematic shit saying “is a DIFFERENT version, not the comics!!!!!1!!” yeah dude, but why it must be a version were mostly characters are white, cis males??

    mcufandomhatespeopleofcolor answered:

    Just in case people don’t believe you about it being a version that’s predominantly white cis men here’s a handy visual guide to the white parade up to 2013

    So you gotta think in the films the only supporting PoC in the films you can add to this are 2 supporting characters Sam Wilson and Helen Cho. (Before anyone asks none of the PoC actors in Guardians of the Galaxy count as representation because they had on body paint/CGI and were presented as aliens).  Meanwhile you can add literally a twice as many white men and women here’s an incomplete list:

    • Sharon Carter,
    • Wanda Maximoff (whitewashed)
    • Pietro Maximoff (whitewashed)
    • Peter Quill

    And that’s literally only the good guys.  At this rate white people in the MCU films are being added at twice the rate as PoC.  Plus Ant-Man is coming out and that looks extremely white too with only white leads and no significant PoC roles at all.

    This isn’t counting the fact that although AOS is diverse its only the PoC and queer white women who keep getting killed off.  Or the fact that Agent Carter is completely white and that all the main cast on Daredevil is white.  And of the PoC on Daredevil they’ve already killed off Ben and Claire is rumored to come back but she only had five appearances.

    And if anyone cares at all the US isn’t as white as these films, its only 62% white, with white men only comprlsing like 31% of the population so the super whiteness super maleness of the MCU is really freaking obvious.

    TL;DR The MCU is a much whiter much more male centered world than the comics or the current US demographics.

     

     

    anonymous asked:

    After recent events and stuff fandom has been talking and debating about I’m wondering if anyone has ever made a list of PoC who gets killed in TV? Particularly one for this year.

    queerhawkeye answered:

    That would be a way longer list than [the 152 dead lesbians], and growing at a much faster rate, God.

    A quick google search didn’t show any specific list, though it did remind me that there is a much older and much more widespread counterpart for the Bury Your Gays trope: the Black Dude Dies First trope. The article has a handy list of some of the characters that fit the trope, and, though the list in movies is longer, there is a good handful of examples in live action TV.

    • The black and latinx characters killed off in five seasons of Breaking Bad alone are probably close to a hundred. (See: [All deaths in BrBa] and [BrBa’s race problem])
    • Literally every production about a white guy who knows martial arts kills off nameless Asian characters like they get paid by the corpse. (Daredevil, [maybe]?)
    • The whole “post-apocalyptic dystopia” genre is based off on one white dude inexplicably staying alive while all the brown people around him keep dying. ([TWD] and [FTWD]!)

    This discussion happens with… like… every show. [The 100]. [Supernatural]. [Agents of SHIELD]. [LOST]. I could probably just keep googling “[name of show] + racism” and get a more and more lists of characters of color killed to move the plot forward, for shock value, to cause a white character’s guilt, because [a racist writer didn’t get along with the actor], etc.

    The disproportionate amount of violence inflicted on characters of color on TV, I think, shouldn’t need to be proved with lists or stats –not that there aren’t lists, stats or even [academic writings] on the subject. There are characters of color in almost all shows, and they are getting killed off almost every episode in literally any show with an average level of violence. Cop shows, action shows, supernatural shows, horror shows, sci-fi shows, they all show brown dead bodies weekly.

    I don’t doubt that there are, somewhere, stats on how these numbers aren’t getting better with time, lists and percentages and essays on how all our favorite “””diverse””” shows use characters of color as canon fodder. Maybe seeing the numbers all laid out would do something against the normalization of brown deaths in TV.

    But making a list of, say, all the dead characters of color in television in the first three months of 2016 would… probably be a considerable feat, but doable. Making a database and building proper stats, like @autostraddle’s [Ultimate Stats of WLW in TV], of all the dead characters of color in the history of Anglo-speaking Western television would require an incredible amount of work, people and time. Not that it’s impossible, but the numbers are fucking abysmal.

 

This is what its like on Tumblr!

Tessa Thompson

Good news! We’ve just gotten confirmation that Tessa Thompson, (from Creed, Selma, And Dear White People), will be Thor’s new love interest in the next sequel. She will play a superhero of some kind. Her character isn’t named yet, so we don’t know who she’ll be. Jane Foster (who is the new Thor in the comic books) played by Natalie Portman in the movies, has left the franchise. Jaime Alexander is still present, and you’d think they’d pair Thor with Lady Sif (who I really like, btw) but the MCU has  decided to put their first black woman superhero in the Thor franchise. She will also cameo in some other superhero movies, I guess, in the same manner that Black Widow keeps showing  up in everything. Hopefully they’ll do right by this character.

Up to this point, I’ve been pretty indifferent to the Thor movies. They’re not awful, just not especially interesting to me. I did watch both of them, but can barely remember the plot of the first film, beyond Chris Hemsowrth’s abs. I think I fell asleep during the second movie when it came on TV. (I ignored it at the theater.) If this is “for reals” , though, then I am right there, opening day, to support the Hell out of this movie. It’s about time that comic book movies got their ass in gear and put some WoC up in these beechez! Seriously!

‘Creed’ Actress Tessa Thompson Joins ‘Thor’ Sequel

 

Of course there is the inevitable backlash everytime anyone who isn’t white, is not seen picking cotton in a movie, and some people had to set some fans straight about some shit on Tumblr (Tumblr always has the best fights. Even better than Twitter!)

(In particular, scroll down to abbiyholllowdays last comment, which is an analogy anyone can understand.)

How this discussion relates to Agent Carter’s fandom is directly related to how this story is understood. If you are the only person at the table receiving  food (albeit very tiny portions of food), but you look up and tell everyone else at the table to just wait for theirs , and that they’ll get theirs when you’re done with yours, this is the same thing that the Agent Carter fandom was engaging in.

Another layer to that story, is if the waiter brings someone else’s order and decides, for whatever reason, that they’re going to give it to you, instead of the person who ordered it, and you eat it anyway, knowing that you didn’t order it. This is a whitewashing equivalent. When people say ScarJo accepting  such a role, is as complicit in whitewashing as the people who chose her, this is the analogy for that.

 

An Open Letter:

I had a discussion about this at work with a friend of mine, explaining to her that tropes and stereotypes for black and white women, are often the complete opposite of each other. One of the ways patriarchy demeans all women is by associating their worth with how much men love them, and since white women are more often shown as highly desirable, that means they have great worth, although that is not the message that white women receive. The message white women receive is that they are helpless without a man, which sets the foundation for a wealth of  stereotypes.

For black women, this is the exact opposite. We are automatically undesirable, and hence, not worth anything.  Not worth saving, cherishing, or searching for in a crisis. We’re shown as these super-strong, black women, who don’t need no man,  but that is not the message we receive from that sort of self reliance. The message we get from that stereotype is that we are unlovable. Hollywood (run by old white men) can’t conceive of the idea that any man would find us beautiful or want to save  us. For such minds, it is simply unbelievable that we could be loved or cherished by anyone. In the game of  Fuck, Marry, or Kill, guess who WoC always get to be.

This is why women like Michonne, Abbie Mills, and Broomhilda, (from Django Unchained) are groundbreaking for black women. They are shown as  loved and lovable. Someone that a man believes is worth saving, and risks danger to go back for. (This is something white women get all the time and they seem to be getting quite tired of this trope, often wishing that they could be shown saving themselves.)

So when white women  get cast as love interests in a movie or show,  they don’t want to see that tired trope. Where we run into a problem, is when  white women want to apply what they want to what WoC want, as if we all have the exact same concerns in the media. White women often don’t take into account, or seem to understand, that what is an offensive trope for them, (because of how patriarchy creates these competing stereotypes to accomplish the same goals), is something that is desirable for WoC.

 

 

 

Anyway, I’m happy to see Tessa get this role. I am there to support her and hope non-black women are there for it, too (because intersectionality is a win  for everybody.)

As for this whole discussion, this is me:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Virgin/Whore of Color (Part II)

For those of you who liked the first article, you may be interested in reading the follow-up on Daredevil and its problematic depiction of Women in the MCU (when any women in the MCU are depicted at all.) I think perhaps the only show that escapes this dynamic is Jessica Jones but only because WoC, are entirely erased from that particular narrative.

And that’s without getting  into the movies, with their lone woman narrative, that results in Black Widow having to be all things to all women. Seriously, I love Black Widow, but she needs some friends or something.

Most of these are related to WoC depictions in media:

Race and Romance in Daredevil Season Two

http://www.alternet.org/truth-behind-strong-black-woman-stereotype

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/09/AR2005060901729.html

Click to access EJ899418.pdf

 

And in my ongoing series of posts featuring issues of interest on Tumblr, here are some posts discussing media representation of sex workers:

 

 

 

blackfemalescientist:

lierdumoa:

Can we talk about how the Deadpool movie, which the media has largely referred to (in so many words) as a fuckboy’s wetdream, not only gives a female sex worker an empathetic role, but treats her and her work more respectfully than about 99% of so called feminist media?

.

At no point does the movie imply that Vanessa is tainted because she is a sex worker. At no point does the movie imply that Vanessa is unworthy of love because she is a sex worker.

At no point is Vanessa portrayed as “broken.”

At no point does the movie imply that being a sex worker makes Vanessa a bad girlfriend. At no point does Deadpool ask or expect Vanessa to sacrifice her job for their relationship.

At no point is Vanessa slut-shamed for her job, by either protagonists or villains.

Think about that.

Denigrating sex workers is so taboo within the Deadpool movieverse that even the villains won’t do it.

We know that Vanessa experienced sexual abuse, and that it’s shaped the person she’s become and influenced the choices she’s made. The movie clearly acknowledges that sexual abuse is real, and that it is damaging, and that people who experience sexual abuse struggle to lead “normal” lives and get “normal” jobs.

But the movie never hands sexual abusers the mic.

There is no sexual abuse porn in this movie. There are no voyeuristic rape flashbacks. There are no misogynist monologues. The audience learns about Vanessa’s abusive past from Vanessa, on Vanessa’s terms, through Vanessa’s own words.

This seems like the bare minimum of dignity any female character should be granted, yet so much media fails to meet this extremely low bar.

The movie makes it very clear that Vanessa has a life outside of sex work. She does not live on a stripper pole. Sex work is something Vanessa does. Sex work is not who Vanessa is. She has an apartment. She wears pajamas. What other fictional universe can say the same? I can think of one tv show, but that’s about it, and that show’s viewership is nothing compared to Deadpool’s.

Now on the one hand, I’m not necessarily happy that Vanessa’s character arc revolves almost entirely around her romantic relationship with the lead male protagonist. But on the other hand, I find it very refreshing to see a sex worker in the media whose character arc does not revolve entirely around the fact that she is a sex worker. Hate to say it, but for sex workers in the media, being relegated to the role of love interest is actually a step up.

Most feminist media would rather pretend sex workers don’t exist than write storylines of any kind for them.

I also thought it was nice that she was a sex worker and a damsel in distress. Like, you don’t often see people going out of the way to save sex workers. If they are shown in danger (rather than as dead bodies for the main character to analyze) then no one is looking for them. Its only when the villain threatens the non sex worker that the main characters mobilize to stop whatever villain is threatening. Its nice and sadly refreshing for the rescue to center on someone who hasn’t “earned” it with her “purity”.

(via christel-thoughts)

 

More Scarlett Johansson stuff:

iterativeimprovement:

triplehamburgerjack:

lovemyths:

arkynn:

“nothing against scarlett”

why not? she the one who went out for the audition and is okay with actively participating in whitewashing. its not like she cant get work lol. why we gotta act like actors have no control over their contribution to racism??

I never understand why people say things like that. Like “no offense to *insert famous actor*”. The actor who accept the role that whitewashes is just as responsible as those who casted them. All of the blame cannot just be placed on the casting director because the actor actively accepted that role. They could’ve said no but the money that they will make is much more important than combatting racism. ScarJo could’ve said no to the role. This could be said for all the other actors who have accepted roles that have whitewashed. ScarJo isn’t scrambling for roles, she definitely isn’t have a hard time getting casted.

AND SHE NOT BROKE

I want to see an actor of Asian descent in that role as much as the next guy, but something tells me we wouldn’t be having this Outrage Of The Day conversation if Johannsen didn’t take that role. Because let’s be real, if she didn’t take the role, there’s a good chance the film wouldn’t have been greenlit at all, and we wouldn’t have anything to be mad about.

Or rather, we we wouldn’t have this particular thing to be mad about. There’s always something to get worked up over.

There’s an excellent chance the movie would have happened without Scarlet Johansson. It’s been kicking around for awhile & Rinko Kikiuchi certainly proved her chops in Pacific Rim & Kumiko. If anything the casting of ScarJo is going to ensure this movie flops. See Last Airbender, Gods Of Egypt & Exodus for recent examples of what whitewashing does for these properties.

 

And, while we’re at it, let’s bust Disney’s ass for their shit:

raptorific:

Seriously, it surprises me that people still don’t get that “whitewashing” doesn’t just mean “taking a character of color and turning them white,” but also applies to “focusing disproportionately on the stories of white people,” “glossing over or altering parts of a story to make it more palatable or make white people look better,” and “treating ‘white’ as the default race”

The fact that Disney churns out film after film after film after film about white people with a maximum of one film per ethnicity that showcases a group other than white people is whitewashing.

The fact that the story of “Pocahontas” (not her real name) has been substantially altered so that some of the white people in that story don’t look like such villains, with John Smith younger and Pocahontas significantly older, as well as recounting a popular myth of her saving John Smith from near-execution (a story John Smith made up to make himself look brave, the real Pocahontas told him to stop telling and hated him for using her to make himself look good, and he started to spread like wildfire after she died because she could no longer object) is whitewashing.

The fact that the characters on “How I Met Your Mother” are all white, and they supposedly live in New York City, but apparently associate exclusively with other white people (with the exception of Wayne Brady, who occasionally visits from out of town, and a recurring taxi driver) is whitewashing.

The fact that the Doctor has now been a white man a full twelve times in a row is whitewashing even though the character’s always been white, because the idea that there’s a character whose entire appearance can change in a matter of seconds, yet ends up white twelve times in a row by pure random chance, implies that white is a neutral default and other races are a deviation from that norm.

The fact that people get really angry at the suggestion that characters like Newt Scamander or Hermione Granger could beblack because the books never explicitly say “they are black” is whitewashing.

Because that’s the thing. People often assume that when someone’s race isn’t explicitly specified, they’re white. Peopleinsist that Katniss Everdeen must be white because it is possible for them to rationalize that idea in their head. People think of white as “raceless” and every other color or ethnicity as “raced,” and that’s what we call “eurocentrism.“

And that’s the thing about whitewashing. It’s this idea that a “person” is white, and a “person of color” is black or asian or arab or latin@ or whatever they might be.

It’s why people call John Stewart the “Black Green Lantern” but just call Hal Jordan the “Green Lantern.” It’s why Miles Morales is called “Black Spider-man” but Peter Parker is just “Spider-man.” If you want to throw gender into the mix, it’s why Jennifer Walters is the “She-Hulk” but Bruce Banner isn’t the “He-Hulk.”

People think “character” is white and “character + black” is black. There is no default race. Community did a whole episode about how a truly raceless character would look something like this monstrosity:

But there’s the tricky part: Once you stop thinking of white characters as “character” and start thinking of them as “character + white,” it becomes really overwhelming how many characters are white.

I mean, I know there’s a kerfuffle over Disney Princesses right now, so let’s look at the list of official Disney Princesses, shall we? That is, let’s look at the list and include everyone’s race, not just the princesses of color:

  • Snow White + White
  • Cinderella + White
  • Aurora + White
  • Ariel + White
  • Belle + White
  • Jasmine + Arab
  • Pocahontas + Native American
  • Mulan + Asian
  • Tiana + Black
  • Rapunzel + White
  • Merida + White
    Soon to be added:
  • Anna + White
  • Elsa + White

4 of those 13 women are women of color. All four of those women of color are different races than one another. At the moment, the number of white princesses is seven, but it’s about to go up to nine. All nine of those princesses are the same race as one another, despite a few of them being different nationalities, although most of them hail from Western Europe.

And a lot of people are saying “but they’re just accurately portraying the parts of the world those stories are set in!” First of all, the presence of a person of color has never been implausible in any part of the world, in any period of human history. Hell, a bunch of these movies were set after Shakespeare had born, lived, and died, but he still managed to write a play set centuries earlier featuring a black male lead in Italy.

Second, and most importantly, it’s not like they are being assigned a setting at random and have to accommodate it in their character designs. The people at Disney choose to set film after film after film in France and Germany and Denmark.

It’s not that those areas produce more or better fairy tales and folk tales than any of the other continents, it’s that the stories that come from those areas are the ones Disney considers universal.

In the eyes of Disney, there’s a Princess for Black little girls to look up to, a Princess for Native little girls to look up to, a Princess for Arab little girls to look up to, a Princess for Asian little girls to look up to, and nine princesses for all little girls to look up to. It’s no coincidence that in almost all promotional art featuring the “Princess Lineup,” Jasmine, Tiana, Mulan, and Pocahontas are all standing in the back, usually obscured by other whitePrincesses’ dresses, while the blonde lady brigade stands in the front.

And that is whitewashing.

(via christel-thoughts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women in Gaming

Every now and then I like to go Tumblr and see what everyone’s discussing for the week. This week it’s Feminism and Women in gaming, like this post I’m signal boosting here:

And related to the one above:

 

And and this fine upstanding citizen here:

 

Disclaimer: I didn’t write these posts. The names of the authors are prominently displayed at the top. If you’d like to read more of their posts, please visit them on Tumblr and give them your clicks. Or subscribe to Karynthia@tumblr. She reblogs some of the best.

 

Just one little problem sometimes:

 

I think you’ve all read my little rants about inclusivity of Women of Color in genre films. I’m a believer in intersectional feminism. It’s too bad that too many white women, in too many fandoms, only seem to be out for what they can get out of genre media, and don’t support the efforts of Women of Color to be included in these stories.

Nevertheless, they want WoC to support them in being represented, while telling us to wait our turn, as long as they get their representation first. It’s something that seriously pisses me off, to be told I have to support what they want, yet none of them make any effort at all to support (or speak up about) what WoC might want, which is not to be erased from these genres. When we do speak up for ourselves, (as they’re certainly not going to do it), we’re told to be quiet, and quit spoiling things for women by complaining.

For example, the new Wonder Woman movie I have no intention of watching if it lacks inclusion of WoC.

This is an example of the ongoing discussions people  are having on tumblr about this issue:

 

Mad Max & Miller’s Many Mothers

Roger Ebert liked to create descriptive phrases for specific cliches that happened in movies. Mostly  applied to SF  and Horror movies, there was one phrase he called “The Refrigerator Moment”,  in reference to thoughts that only occur to you at 3 o’clock in the morning, when you’re standing in front of the refrigerator.

My mind doesn’t seem to work quite that fast. These thoughts only occur to me many months (sometimes years) after having watched a movie 137 times. I’m doing pretty good to have gotten to my Fridge moment with Mad Max: Fury Road, after only a few months and about 10 re-watches. (Also, I’m almost never standing in front of my refrigerator at 3AM.) Some of these thoughts occurred to me over several days and nights and they’re  all mushed with memories of other Mad Max movies, which I haven’t seen in a while.

This is pretty much how my mind both amuses, and exhausts itself, on  a sleepless night.

We were first introduced to Max Rockatansky in the 1979 Mad Max movie, in which his wife gets fridged, and which no one remembers, (or if they do, they pretend not to), because we get re-introduced to him  at the beginning of Fury Road. We pretty much have to guess it’s him. He’s the first human being we see, and he’s running from some crazy people, which is what Max does in all his movies, so he fits the description.

image

The beginning of the movie is confusing because Max stops, seemingly in the middle of his chase sequence, to have a smoke and eat a lizard, while his pursuers pause  just long enough for him to complete these important activities. I still don’t understand if the “War Boys” were just minutes, hours, or days away from him, but  the editing makes it look like they were  just a few seconds away. And if they were right behind him, why did Max break for a snack?

The War Boys take him back to the Citadel of Immortan Joe. Joe looks like he’s been through some shit and is old enough to have lived through the collapse of the old world, which makes me wonder, what kind of nobody he was  before he became a dictator. In the  words of Auntie Entity from Thunderdome, “One minute cock of the walk. The next a feather duster.” His body is covered with what looks like leprosy, cancer or Hell, for all I know, radiation burns. I wonder about the things he’s seen, where he’s been, and what made him the way he is.

My head canon would love to believe Joe is the grownup Feral Kid  from The Road Warrior, but if that were the case that would make Max an immortal being, of some kind, destined to wander the Australian wastelands for eternity.

image
No, seriously! What are these guys eating?

In the middle of the night, my mind wonders what life is like for Joe and the Warboys (which is a great fucking name for a rock band). We do get glimpses of hydroponics gardens and stuff, but what kind of greenery is Joe growing, and who grows it? Who are the farmers in this world? Do the Warboys exist on just milk and collard greens? Incidentally we see one of the Warboys, Rictor, drinking a large bottle of breast milk in a room full of chubby women, who are  being milked like cows. Who feeds them and what do they eat? They’re  the fattest people in this environment, which isn’t saying too much, because the Warboys themselves still manage to look muscular and  healthy, despite their various blood diseases and lymphomas.There’s even little baby Warboys, and I wonder who their mothers are, and where they came from? I know they’ve got plenty of milk though, so there’s that.

And then there’s Furiosa. There’s so much about this world that’s worth pondering and she is right smack in the middle of that ponder. We get only the barest nod to a backstory for any of the characters in the movie but we don’t care. The movie is so engaging in its present that we don’t really need to know its before. I love  Furiosa. A lot of people do. She says she was taken as a child and I wonder how old she was. Did she grow up with the Warboys? How much ass did she have to kick to become an Imperator because that would have been no mean feat? How did she lose her arm? Or was she born that way? (My headcanon wants to say she did it to herself to keep from becoming one of Joe’s prize Breeders.)

image
Is Furiosa a corrupt Maiden figure?

Much has been said of the toxic masculinity of Immortan Joe and how he sees people as things and objects that exist to serve him, so I wont discuss that, but I will mention that Miller’s Mad Max movies have always addressed such topics, and the fallout for  characters who practice that philosophy.

My favorite characters are The Vuvulini. How cool is it to have these senior women kicking ass and not caring one bit about names, at the end of the world? But this movie is crowded with women to admire. The Brides  are interesting people,too. They’re smart, brave, and amazingly, not objectified. Although they are treated like objects by most of the men in the film, at no point do I end up having to ogle White Woman’s Ass, for which I’m very grateful. (White Woman’s Ass is something male Hollywood directors are deeply fascinated with, which is why it finds its way into narratives that don’t have anything to do with it, like Buddy Cop movies, and ads for Cheetos.)

I created a backstory in my head for The Brides too. Where did they come up with the philosophy that people are not things? How do they know to ask the question of who broke the world? One can assume that they got the idea from the history books they consumed, that their world wasn’t always the way it was. When we see Immortan run in to their living chambers/vault, we can see a wall of books. The Brides had a library. Joe is probably one of the few people in this environment that can read, but I don’t think he taught them.

I wonder if Miss Giddy, the old lady who tries to shoot Joe,  taught them, because I’m pretty sure Joe wouldn’t give a shit. I can imagine Miss Giddy trying to keep these young women (possibly little girls) occupied, on some long, hot, listless afternoon. I do not doubt that they got their beliefs from those books, and since Joe doesn’t care what they think, or that they can think at all, these thoughts would’ve been allowed to metastasize without him noticing.

And I wonder about Miss Giddy, too. How long has she been there? Did she watch these girls grow up? Did she despair of saving them from the fate of being used by Joe the way she had been? Did she introduce them to the philosophies of  freedom? Is she one of Joe’s former wives, now grown old and useless to him, after bearing him so many disabled sons? Is she Rictor’s mother, maybe?

Oh, and for the MRAs who got so mad about the femisinsm in this movie, I got news for you. This isn’t the first time feminsim has reared its head in one of these films. Except for the first movie, where Max’s wife and child get fridged to serve Max’s character arc, there have always been elements of feminism in his films. This is not a new thing.

image

Remember the “Warrior Woman” from The Road Warrior, played by Virginia Hey? She’s the  model who  later went on to play Zhaan in Farscape. She totally kicks ass in this movie, at one point even bringing Max to heel. She’not the only woman in the movie either. There’s “The Crone”, an older woman who is something of a pacifist, who thinks she can talk her way out of the situation. She’s an impotent Crone. She speaks with power and authority, but no one listens to her.  And there’s The Maiden, who falls in love with the Gyrocoptor Man. In Thunderdome, we see that the Gyrocopter Man (if this is the same fellow), who steals Max’s stuff at the top of the film, now has a little boy with him. So, maybe we know how The Maiden’s  future played out.

These characters are very rough parallels to the Triple Goddess Myth, from Pagan lore. The Maiden represents the promise of new beginnings, youth and excitement. In The Road Warrior, she  is  offered several new beginnings. She can start a new life with the Gyrocoptor Man, or follow her people to a new place, where they can live in peace, free from Raiders trying to take their oil. The Mother represents ripeness, stability and in the context of The Road Warrior, power. The Warrior Woman is the fulfillment of The Maiden’s promise, she is the protector, who has become a twisted version of The Mother, as she is a bringer of death. She fights and kills men, and dies like one. The Crone represents, wisdom, and compassion, which is what she actually practices in the movie, but her words, though they sound wise, are poison. Following her advice will only get everyone killed.

Just like the world of Mad Max, which has become polluted and barren, so the myths of that world are now twisted and corrupt, too. This is not a healthy world, and no one is who they should be, or could have been.

Just so you know this is not a fluke, and  Miller must have done some reading on the issue, he did it again in the third Max movie, Beyond the Thunderdome. There’s Savannah, who  represents aspects of both the Maiden, and Warrior Mother. She has no children of her own, but she is the leader of her small tribe, who are all still children. She wants to start a new beginning somewhere safe for her tribe. This is  something she accomplishes by the end of the film, at which time we see she has become older, wiser, and a mother, herself.

There’s an actual Mother in the film. Yes, she’s a little girl, and she should represent The Maiden, but she lives in a twisted world, where order has been entirely up-heaved. She’s one of the more prominent members of Savannah’s tribe, as she is the only pregnant female we see. It is possible this is the first pregnancy in the tribe, as all the other girls are too young, and these children haven’t been in their place of residence, called Crack in the Earth,  for very long.

image

Then there’s Aunty Entity, played by Tina Turner, who was in her forties when she made this film, so hardly a Crone, but she is the oldest female in the movie. She’s a rough parallel to Immortan Joe, but unlike him, she survives the end of the movie.  She’s smart as fuck, so there’s wisdom, but she’s also underhanded and manipulative. She uses people and treats them like things too, but after she loses everything, there’s at least a promise of redemption, as she realizes her loss was due to her own machinations and hubris.  The Crone is supposed to be wise, compassionate, and protective, but again, the rules of this world are out of order and people are not who they’re supposed to be, something Aunty alludes to when she talks about the old world in which she was a nobody, and when the world ended, she found herself in a position of power. She doesn’t display any compassion for her enemies until the end of the movie,when she allows enough mercy to let  Max live, heading off to her own new beginning.

And then we have Fury Road, which is so full of feminist messages and imagery, that you can make several books out of just the online discourse. There’s Furiosa, a feminist icon, representing The Maiden, a new beginning for The Brides, in the Green Place. Like Savannah, she’s too old to be  The Maiden and she’s damaged, but her actions fit the role she has adopted.  No, she’s not young and fresh but this is a twisted world, remember? The rules have been overturned and people aren’t who, or even where, they should be. You have The Brides, they are The (reluctant and  literal),  Mothers. They are too young and should be Maidens. And then you have the   “Many Mothers”, (The Vuvulini), who actually turn out to be the Crones. They have wisdom but no mercy, like Aunty Entity, they are corrupt. They literally carry the seeds of a new beginning, but they also carry death, as they are deadly, ruthless warriors and  nothing like the gentle, wise women from mythology.

image
The Valkyrie (in the middle) seems to be everyone’s favorite Mother.

The point, though,  is that George Miller, whether he knows it or not, is no stranger to feminist thinking, and has managed to sneak quite a bit of that, and some Pagan icons, into some of his Mad Max movies.

As for Max being a standby in his own movie, well he may not have been much of a standbyer, but he was always a pawn. He was used as a dupe in the second film, and Aunty used him  as her patsy in the third. In each film Max just sort of wanders, or gets shanghaied, into someone else’s drama, and has to try to escape it alive. Fury Road is no different. He had a bit more agency in the first movie, but I don’t think anybody watched that one.

Ironically, though I asked myself plenty of questions about every other character in the movie, including Nux, I never asked any questions about Max, who is as much a cypher as everyone else. He’s usually referred to as the Man with No Name, and for the first thirty minutes, he doesn’t get one. I don’t think any of the characters in the second or third movies knew his name either. I guess Miller decided to throw us a bone and mention his name in this one, because the movie going public has gotten a little slower on the uptake since the release of the first film, I guess.

I still prefer my name and backstory though, and Miller can use it in his next film, (probably released sometime in 2032):

“Max the Immortal Bystander, Who just wanders off at the end of the film, Presumably to interrupt someone else’s drama, In the wastelands.”

 

Gang of Roses

Although this movie was released sometime in 2003, I’d never heard of it. I was recently watching it on cable and thought I’d give a shoutout to the only Black female Western in existence, to my knowledge. (It does have a sequel, btw)  A Jean-Claude La Marre film, starring Stacy Dash, Monica Calhoun, Bobby Brown, Macy Gray, LisaRaye, Loius Mandylor, and Marie Matiko, it’s about an all-girl posse, seeking revenge for the murder of the leader’s (LisaRaye) sister by an all-male posse led by Bobby Brown.

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Kind of like a cross between Set It Off and Mario Van Peebles’ Posse, the focus here is entirely on the women, their adventures and interrelationships. Just like Posse, the cast is almost entirely African American.  I’m not normally into heist films and this is only partially that, but I do like a good Western. This is not a Blockbuster film, it’s not even a great film. I give the film about 3 stars, or rather 3 bullets. The acting could be much, much better, but it’s interesting for what it is.

I know there were plenty of Black people running about in the West, after the Civil War but this is the one of the few Westerns that acknowledges this. Yes, there were whole towns of Black folks, cowboys, sex workers, gamblers and what have you in the Old West but no one knows these stories. I rather enjoy the idea of Black gunslingers and wish more movies like this were made and received the kind of backing and acclaim of any one of Kevin Costner’s movies.

The movie is full of the usual Western cliches. (The shootout, the saloon, some whores.) There’s a lot of horseback riding, naturally. What makes this all so interesting to watch, is the novelty of seeing a Black woman in white leather, winning a card game and a shootout in the local saloon. Black women in Westerns don’t get to have shoot outs or ride horses or look cool as fuck in white leather.

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(Thank you LisaRaye, for that image.) Black women mostly get to be prostitutes or cooks and this was a refreshing change from that, even though the movie itself is merely mediocre. See, we like to have adventures, too and it was nice to see a movie where the Black people have their own wants, desires and agendas that didn’t revolve around White folks needs, wants or agendas. The women in this movie aren’t there to make anyone else happy but themselves and that’s a refreshing change from the usual Black woman as sidekick in most genre films. (The first Aliens vs Predator movie, starring Sanaa Lathan and Demon Knight starring Jada Pinkett, stand  out for this reason, too. )

The end of the movie is a little like the end of Wyatt Earp, which I enjoyed a lot. There’s a lot of shooting in the streets and yelling for people to come out, to be shot. Bobby Brown is his usual awful self. Great Chuck!  That man can’t act a lick and mostly looks rather sloppy in lots of brown fringe. Ms. Matiko, in black leather and a bustier, looks much better and stands out for her ability to twirl her six-guns and she’s awesome.

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This movie is great for spectacle and I approached it the way I approach most fantasy films. It’s like watching Django Unchained or Steampunk or Tolkien. You know this couldn’t happen in real life (several men, both White and Black, get shot and no one raises an eyebrow at that, or the thought of an all female gang in the first place.)

Also if you’ve seen the end of Django Unchained, with the dancing horse, there’s a scene, just before the end credits, that I believe Tarantino stole, sorry… borrowed from this movie.

The music is also not too bad either. It mostly uses all modern songs by Popular artists. There’s no twanging guitars or country-soul hybrids, though. It’s straight R&B-Soul. So,  if you like  mid-tempo music with a New Jack beat the soundtrack is worth listening to.

Its not a great movie but it was a diverting 90 minutes. If you like to watch beautiful Black women shooting and riding (and I would love to know the behind-the-scenes stories on this movie) you could do worse than this and it’s still a lot better than Bad Girls,  a movie that just put me right to sleep.

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