The Strong Black Woman

At The Take, they’re examining the movie trope of the Strong Black woman. This stereotype is a conflation of The Mammy and Sapphire stereotypes, always angry, telling it’s like it is, emasculating, and strong beyond reason, in her ability to overcome suffering. The Strong Black Woman is a stereotype created by black women as a way to counteract the nastier stereotypes, but it has backfired, because it is often the only recognized narrative of us.

What the stereotype ignores is that our ability to be strong is often based on our ability to endure suffering, whereas for white women, it’s often an ability to act like white men do in movies, kicking ass, shooting guns, and not needing a man. Often, when Black women protest this stereotype, it’s because so much of it consists of not needing a man, which is often used as an excuse to not write romances for Black women. The SBW isn’t a bad thing, but when it’s the only image that’s presented onscreen, it becomes an issue.

One of the side effects of this superwoman stereotype is that so many people have bought into it, that it affects our lived experiences, and our vulnerabilities are ignored. Suicide rates among black woman are never discussed, we receive less medical care because it is actually assumed that we don’t feel pain, our strength is often exploited as a benefit to others, our mental health, and inner emotional life is never explored.

This is slowly starting to change, with more nuanced portrayals, especially in TV. We’re finally getting the message out to all women, that it’s okay to be vulnerable, to be soft, to cry, how hard it is to live up to this impossible stereotype, and that taking care of our emotional health isn’t a selfish act.

This is why diversity in storytelling is so important, because with more Black female representation, the lone black woman, who don’t need no man, doesn’t have to stand in for all Black women, in the way that Scarlett Johansson had to be a stand-in for every white woman, in the MCU.

Accents in Movies: Depicting Class

In the 1991 Jonathan Demme film, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter, in one of the film’s most cringeworthy scenes,  properly deduces that Clarice Starling is “poor white trash”. Working from his own collection of  stereotypes, the observation of her good bag, cheap shoes, and Appalachian mountains accent, he correctly guesses that she’s not more than one generation out of the coal mines. Clarice’s accent, as much as her womanhood, marks her as “other”.

Everything about her, from the opening running scene, in which she is ogled by a pair of classmates, to the elevator scene where the height differential between herself and her classmates makes her stand out, to the soft Southern accent, with which she replies to her supervisor, it is shown that Clarice does not belong there. Although later, Clarice uses her accent to gain the trust and compliance of a roomful of rural professionals, who are suspicious of her presence, as a woman in an all male environment, and as a member of the Federal government. She uses her accent to show that she is actually one of them, from the culture in which the idea of the Wise (or Conjure) Woman is important, and respected.

When you watch that scene again, take note of the strength of the accent, and her use of words. She says to the men, “We’ll take care of her. Just go on now. We’ll take care of her.” And they unquestioningly obey her request, much as they would, if their mothers, or grandmothers had said it. She has successfully conveyed to the men, that she is one of them, a member of their social class, who knows how these things are done.

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Clarice is a pretender to social class, which is a nice parallel to the film’s antagonist, Jame Gumb, who pretends at being a transgender woman. The only person who is not fooled by Clarice’s  pretense at urban sophistication, is  Lecter, who has a distinct, upper class, European accent, reminiscent of the Lithuanian nobility, from which he came. To  less discerning characters, like Chilton, or the room full of cops that she orders around, Clarice can pass as a member of the middle class. The moment she speaks, people assume she isn’t, but to someone like Lecter, her lack of breeding is clearly evident. Both her, and Gumb’s, (his is Southern Californian), accents mark them as outside the mainstream. Except for the three primary characters, Lecter, Gumb, and Starling, all of the other characters in the film, including Clarice’s Black roommate, played by Kasi Lemmons, all have the  Standard American accent.

The American Standard is the king of American accents, it is the default, so common it goes unnoticed, and the most well favored. It’s also called the Central Midwestern accent, used in places like Northeastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan to the far north, Iowa, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and is the accent most often heard from news anchors, public announcers, and even AI programs like Siri, and Alexa. There are other accents in those regions, that coexist along side it, but the American Standard is the one which is preferred.

 

https://www.stagemilk.com/american-accent-guide/

It is also somewhat of a constructed concept. What I mean by that is that nobody grew up in Standard America. The sound we’re talking about is what is called a prestige dialect. Most countries (and most languages) have a prestige dialect which is exactly what it sounds like: the speech sounds most commonly identified with status within a given society. Linguistically it’s not simply status but also clarity, intelligence, socioeconomic influence and general power. 

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Unlike Clarice, I have this privilege. I call this Accent Privilege, in the sense that my regular speaking voice doesn’t have an accent that is noticeably different from that of the mainstream, Midwestern accent. This happened by sheer luck. I just happened to be born into one of the regions where this is the most prevalent accent. People often judge others on how they speak, and if you have no noticeable accent,  that judgment is favorable most of the time. My accent marks me to others as being intelligent, educated, and/or middle class. My words are treated with either trust or suspicion, based on who I’m talking to. White people consider me “safe”, and are reassured by my ability to be clear and articulate, but I was often asked by my Black classmates, why I spoke like a white person, as the Midwestern accent is heavily associated with Whiteness. I did not grow up as a member of the middle class. Like Clarice Starling, I’m pretending to a social class I was not born into, but which people assumed I did, and my accent helped to sell it, because, like her, I’m barely one generation away from the cotton fields.

But I do also engage in what is known as “Code Switching”, where people from other cultures, or just different regions of the country, speak differently, in different spaces, often “switching” back and forth, between their normal speaking voice, and American Standard.  Why? Because many people are often uncomfortable with, and disrespectful, and suspicious of other languages, and vernacular English, like AAVE (African American Vernacular English). When I’m in my home, I speak the way my family speaks, and since the majority of them are from rural Mississippi, we speak AAVE, but I don’t speak at work that way. For one thing, my job involves answering phones, and a certain mode of professional speaking is required for that type of job. It would be considered “unprofessional”, and in the minds of some people, low class, for me to answer the business phone, as if I were at home. I don’t talk to my supervisors, the way I talk to my mother, for example, (and neither do most people, regardless of whether or not they have accents.

Now, when I’m talking about accents, for the purposes of this post, I mean the entirety of a person’s manner of speaking, including word usage, because only certain types of accents are associated with the use of certain types of words, for example, the use of the word, “y’all”.

 The mainstream Midwestern accent is the default accent used in almost all of American television, and movies. Having a Midwestern accent means a person gets treated as trustworthy, their words are given more weight,  given the benefit of the doubt,  assumed to be educated,  to have a good job,  and to be non-violent. In America, sounding like an American, means having  “no accent”, but that wasn’t always the case.

In the early part of the 20th century, the Mid-Atlantic accent was what was used, until it fell out of favor, in the fifties, for a more “natural” sounding speech pattern.

 

Of course this is an accent, too, in the same way that “White” is a race, but this “lack” of accent (just like whiteness) is so ubiquitous, that most people don’t  notice it.

The way someone pronounces their words, is used in movies and shows, not just to reinforce stereotypes, but as a  form of shorthand, to show a person’s character, and social class. Filmmakers use accents to show audiences that a character is good,  evil,  smart, gullible, suspicious, or trustworthy.  Turn on any American TV show, watch any movie, and chances are, those with Midwestern accents will be the majority of the characters, and probably  will be  the protagonists, heroes, or in positions of authority. They will also almost always be White.

You will not find  a lot of characters in mainstream media with deep Southern accents, Western twangs,  Texas Drawls, Valley Girl speech, Arabic, Southeast Indian, or Caribbean  accents, unless they are also shown as poor, incompetent, corrupt, or played for comic relief. In other words, characters never just have accents. There is always a reason for the accent, and some  point about that person is being made.

For example, the accent, in mainstream media, is used to indicate if someone is considered an American citizen. For the past twenty plus years, the Simpsons,  has had the running gag of an immigrant named Apu, a stereotypical character from India, who has  a strong accent,  is the father of a small multitude of babies, and runs a convenience store. This character is meant to be funny because of how he speaks, not necessarily because of anything he does, as his very existence in Springfield, (the setting of The Simpsons), is meant to be comedic. His accent also paints him as a perpetual foreigner. Asian Americans are especially susceptible to this stereotype, as no matter how many generations they’ve lived in America, they are often still assumed to be from somewhere else. And if they have an accent then doubly so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_foreigner

The perpetual foreigner stereotype is a racialized form of nativist xenophobia in which naturalized and even native-born citizens (including families which have lived in the country for generations) are perceived as foreign because they belong to minority groups.

I spoke, in an earlier post, about the use of accents in the movies of the Coen Brothers, where everyone’s speech patterns and accents are used as indicators of people’s socio-economic status, the status they aspire to be, or simply framed as comedic.  In The Ladykillers, Tom Hanks broad Southern  accent is associated with television conmen, corrupt religious authority, and the Antebellum era of Georgia.  His accent gives the audience ideas about the  type of man he is. The audience doesn’t know he is a grifter and conman by his deeds. We know this by the long association, that has been made in mainstream media, between his accent, and untrustworthiness. All we  need is to hear is his caricature of a Southern accent, to understand that he is unreliable, and also that  the movie is meant to be a comedy.

 

In Raising Arizona, Hi, a criminal recidivist,  his two  best  friends, both prison escapees, and a murderous biker, all talk in what I call “downspeak”, where they talk as if they were  college educated, but with the Southern twang that is meant to indicate their social class, and criminal status. This is what I meant by the association of word use and accent. The humor comes from the incongruity of Hi, and his companions, using words not normally associated with their accents. Not only that, but Hi’s word use can also be seen as aspirational. He talks the way he wishes to be seen by others, which is smart, educated, middle-class, and therefore a reliable narrator, but we  laugh at the way Hi speaks, because his accent marks him as a member of the trailer park class, no matter what words he uses.

Accents are especially interesting  when it comes to Black characters. Blackness, throughout most of film history, has been  almost always associated with buffoonery, poverty, criminality, and a lack of education.  So  it is interesting that even though the largest population of Black people in the US, live in the South, Black people in Popular media, rarely have Southern, Californian, or even Texan accents, and those times when they have  a Southern accent, it represents childlike helplessness, that they have wisdom above their station, or in the case of Black women, that they are deeply religious.

In the 1986 movie, Crossroads, starring Ralph Macchio, and Joe Seneca, we can contrast Willie Brown’s poor, Mississippi Delta accent, with Eugene Martone’s middle-class, New York accent, something which Willie never lets Eugene forget throughout the film. They’re both musicians who specialize in playing the guitar, but one of them was born into poverty and plays the Blues, a style of music that is dismissed as “primitive” by Eugene’s music teachers, and the other was born in one of world’s most cosmopolitan cities, and plays Western European Classical music, which is sneered at by Willie, as not being “real music, that comes from the heart”. In this movie, it is Eugene who is out of place, as his accent is commented on by the other characters in the film, and marks him as being from a different socio-economic class.

The Northern Blaccent, where a person speaks AAVE, but speaks it with a Midwestern accent, is often representative of  the “thug”, or gang banger stereotype, and appears to be a universal Black accent,  not closely associated  with any particular region of the US, which means that no matter where the movie or show is set, the accents of Black characters in Popular media, tend to remain consistently Midwestern. Once again, this is not a hard and fast rule, as exceptions can be found, but it is a pattern, and the idea that Blackness alone, is so associated with criminality, violence, and unreliability, to such a degree, that none of those qualities need be further indicated by a strong accent, is disturbing.

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When a Black character speaks SAE (Standard American English) onscreen, without an accent, then it connotes all the same qualities that it does in the real world, respectability, and safety. A decade after the demise of the Mid-Atlantic accent, used by White actors, Black characters were still using it. The use of AAVE in movies and shows, did not reach full use by Black characters until the mid seventies, after which it became associated with Black youth culture, and the Blacksploitation movies of that era. The use of AAVE, in mainstream media, came about as a result of the resurgence in Black Pride, when young Black people dismissed respectability politics, in favor of more natural manners of speaking.

Actors like Sidney Poitier, and other actors during, and after, the Civil rights Era, had a distinct, clipped, educated,  Mid-Atlantic accent, which was meant to show that he was a fine, upstanding Black man, to be respected. The purpose of this manner of speaking was meant to counteract the “Coon” manner of speaking that had been heard in most mainstream films, featuring Black characters. His tone, and speech, are meant to convey authority. This was a man who could be liked and trusted, and  this was illustrated in the 1967 movie, In the Heat of the Night, in which a Black Philadelphia cop, Virgil Tibbs, is sent to a small town in Mississippi,  and works with the town sheriff to solve a murder.

Poitier’s voice is deep, firm, and commanding, because sometimes, the tone and timbre of a person’s voice are important, as well. In this scene, notice the difference in his voice, compared to that of the white sheriff, whose voice is of a higher register, and a more casual tone. The Sheriff’s accent is a soft Southern drawl, his tone holds just a touch of ambiguity, because while he is assured of his own authority, he is uncertain of Tibbs, but like the plot of every cop film of the 80s,  the two men begin  to respect each other, as they are forced to work together.

 

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In Hollywood films, the accent that receives the most negative depictions, outside of the Northern Blaccent, is the  Southern Twang. White people with Southern twangs from places  like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and the Appalachians, are often depicted in films as toothless, criminal, incestuous,  “rednecks”, “trailer trash”, and “hillbillies”. They are often shown as uneducated, overly religious, violent, poor, and gullible members of the lower classes, (they often populate Horror movies set in rural America, like The Texas Chainsaw massacre, and Deliverance, which is something I’ll be speaking about in a later post.) We are meant to laugh at them, disdain them, be afraid of them, or disgusted by them. The audience is almost never meant to think of such individuals as their equals. Contrast this attitude with that of earlier in the twentieth century, before television, when such people were often held up as admirable examples of Americans, who were the “salt of the Earth”. They weren’t respected, but at least were not blatantly denigrated in most media depictions of them. They were shown as ignorant, but level headed, uneducated, but sensible. Over time, with the advent of television, which was aimed at a middle class audience, the depiction of white poverty became almost entirely negative.

Also on The Simpsons, there is another recurring character named Cletus, The Slack Jawed Yokel, and his theme song and  vignettes are every stereotype of rural poverty, which pretty much sums up how this character is meant to be seen, but because this is a white character, no one thinks of it as being especially mean-spirited, despite the fact that the people writing the show, don’t share the socio-economic background of the character. We are meant to laugh at him, and his antics, not sympathize with him. (TBH, many of The Simpson’s recurring characters are  collections of various tropes.)

We can more clearly see this stereotyping at work, in the 1993 movie, Kalifornia, between  two couples who share almost nothing in common, beyond having white skin. The don’t share income levels, background, or education. Early and his girlfriend, Adele, both speak with a Twang which, outside of their dress and demeanor, indicates their low social and economic status, compared to Brian and Carrie, who speak with the “accentless” accents of the Midwest. Brian and Carrie are both urbane, educated, middle class, and look down on, and mock Adele and Early as “poor white trash”. When the two couples meet,  Carrie expresses reservations about Early and Adele, and finds them funny. Throughout the movie, she regularly expresses disgust, and embarrassment, for the couple’s mannerisms, speech, and lack of boundaries.

Early is a murderer, with a long criminal background, and  on parole, while he and Adele inhabit a trailer, they cannot afford. Adele, while sweet, and good-natured, is also  dimwitted,  gullible, and easily manipulated by Early, who is physically abusive towards her. Adele is  more open with her sexuality. She isn’t slut-shamed in the film, but her manner and dress is distinctly different from the cool, modestly dressed, and sexually aloof Carrie, who Early covets as being beyond his ability to acquire. Carrie’s hair, makeup, and clothing, all indicate that she is a member of the middle class, while Adele’s childlike hairstyles, and lack of makeup, indicate her lack of sophistication. This is actually pretty typical of Hollywood versions of White people with strong Southern accents, but there are at least two exceptions to this, as well.

 

The Texas Drawl, for example, which is commonly given to hyper-masculine, and  heroic White men, like John Wayne, and the Southern Belle, a white woman of at least middle class status, who is  depicted as either  a simpering, or  fiery, damsel in distress, like Scarlett O’Hara.

In genre movies that take place in Fantasy and Science Fiction settings, the Midwestern accent is still dominant, even if there is no reason why a story set in Medieval England, or Outer Space is filled with Midwestern American speaking people, outside of being the actors hired for those roles. Most of the lead characters in Game of Thrones have either staunch Midwestern, or upper class British accents, when there is no reason for such a class station to be alluded to at all, in such a setting. If the characters in a world based on Medieval European history, can have modern British and Midwestern accents, and not be argued as historically inaccurate, than why not any of the many twangs, drawls, Indigenous, Asian, or even Eastern European accents? Why are posh British accents always used to denote the upper classes and nobility even in fantasy settings?

In the Lord of the Rings movie franchise, Viggo Mortensen is a multilingual actor, of Danish heritage, who speaks with a pronounced American accent in the movie. Of all the accents he could have chosen to use, why use that one? The Hobbits all use a variety of English, and Midwestern accents, that are meant to sound casual, but are still “low class” English, or Midwestern standard (and sometimes both in the same character). Although the movies are shot in New Zealand, none of the primary actors have Kiwi accents, which for the Hobbits would be just as valid as the English and Midwestern accents they’re using.

All of the members of the nobility, for example, including the fantasy creatures, regardless of the region of Middle-Earth, or the culture they’re from, like the elves, and dwarves, have English accents. Now I do understand that many of these accents are the natural voices of the actors hired for the roles, but what is never taken into account by audiences is that, that too, is a choice the creators made. The creators of the movies took the time to have the actors speak invented languages, and they could have easily taken the time to make up accents, but chose not to, which probably means, just like the audience, they didn’t hear it either. They could have taken the time to use different accents, for different cultures, or regions of Middle Earth, but didn’t.

Contrast that decision with the accents used in the movie Black Panther. Yes, the accents are all over the place, but according to some of the countries referenced by dress and custom in the movie, the actors accents are not the real accents of any particular region, or tribe, and as a result, many Africans found the accents funny. The Wakandans do speak something like the real language called Xhosa. The bottom line is someone thought about how the characters should sound, and made a deliberate choice that all the members of the fictional nation of Wakanda, would have a certain accent, while it seems no particular thought was given to the accents of the characters from Lord of the Rings. The actors just all used their natural voices there.

When The TV series The Witcher was announced, there was a great deal of argument about adding people of color to the cast, saying that they didn’t belong in a story based in  Polish folklore, because that would not be “Historically Accurate”. This is an argument I’m getting especially tired of hearing,for stories set in Fantasy settings, that involve elves, dragons, and magic, especially since none of those same  people complained about any of the characters lack of Medieval Polish accents, or the lack of any of the languages of Poland. It’s not accurate for any of the characters to have either American or British accents, but no one complained about them. No one complained, because they are not meant to notice that the  “accentless” accent, of Midwestern America, is actually a very specific, and just as contrived,  accent, aimed at a specific audience the films.

Would we take any of these films as seriously as we do, if all the characters spoke like Cletus, from The Simpsons?

In Star Wars, most of the characters (even robots) have either British or Midwestern accents, as well, and there is no particular reason why no one has a Blaccent, or speaks like they’re from Georgia, Pakistan, or Indonesia, although in Science Fiction, this is changing, as in some of the films, most notably in Rogue One, the actors of color all kept their original accents, from places like Mexico (Diego Luna), and China (Donnie Yen).  At least part of the reason we don’t often hear other types of accents in genre films is those types of actors are rarely chosen for those roles,  the disrespect and mockery of accents outside of the Midwestern standard, and  the fact that British accents are the only accents that generally don’t receive mockery in American culture, (although men with such accents are sometimes coded as villainous gays.)

Asian accents on television and in movies are often subject to ridicule and satire. Starting with Mr. Yunioshi, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to Long Duk Dong, in Sixteen Candles, Hollywood has a long, and sordid, history of mocking Asian accents, often using White actors. Asian characters may be stereotyped as  smart, or  “model minorities” in comparison to Black characters, but they are still shown as being less American, through depictions of broken English, ignorance of American culture, and mock languages, like the sing-song noises directed at Asian Americans, even if they were born in America.

Any non-American accents will receive mockery though, no matter what the the race or culture. I’ve caught myself mocking the Australian accent of Steve Irwin, Michael Caine’s Cockney accent, or laughing at fake Irish and Scottish accents. All accents that are considered by mainstream media to be comedic, or just of the “lower classes”.

All this means is that all accents are unworthy, and that the only one that should be respected (or just never noticed at all) is the accentless accent of the Midwest. And let’s be absolutely honest, not even all Midwestern accents are considered equal. The Northern Midwest has its own distinct sound, and is often used in movies as a form of comedy relief.

Here, Amy Walker talks about some of the more common American regional accents.

 

Essentially, the Midwestern accent  is as  ubiquitous, and invisible as whiteness. It is an accent without an accent, it is everywhere, and because its so pervasive, no one can hear it.

Hi Everyone!

I am currently, like a lot of people, in a lockdown city, here in the US, due to the C- 19 pandemic, and I’m not working. Unfortunately, now is also the wrong fucking time to have either the flu, or allergies, both of which are currently kicking my ass, but I am otherwise okay. I live in a predominantly Black neighborhood and although we rarely panic about anything, yes, people are buying lots of toilet paper.

My Mom and I went shopping this weekend, and while there was a very mild air of excitement, kinda like what’s felt before a National holiday, most people were quite calm, and polite. I saw only one woman wearing a face mask, and one guy with rubber gloves. The handful of white People I saw had amassed lots of toilet paper, while the Black customers seemed like they were just buying food for their unexpectedly early, out of school children. Schools will be closed here to the end of the school year, but the kids are still going to be fed, because otherwise the school lunches, that were bought in advance would go to waste, so that’s good. Voting has been postponed til Summer, movie theaters are closed, and I have no idea when I’ll be back to work, although thankfully, I’m one of those people with fully paid leave.

I’m thinking of donating to people without paid leave, so if anyone knows any organizations that will do that, then please hit me up on Tumblr with the details.

I have no intention of talking about the pandemic on this blog, mostly because reliable information can be found everywhere else, and I really don’t have strong feelings about what’s happening. It is what it is, I’m gonna roll with whatever happens, and my white noise about it isn’t going to be helpful. I’m going to continue to post what’s in my queue, talk about movies and shows, and try to be entertaining, with an occasional deep thought.

Weekend Link Roundup

Here’s some interesting reading from around the web, for the weekend. Some of the articles are older, but no less relevant:

 

Asian Erasure

*From Firefly and Star Wars, and from Bladerunner to The Matrix. What do these movies have in common? They’re all about the future, and they all have a certain Asian aesthetic. Unfortunately they also have no Asians in them. Hollywood loves seeing an Asian future, as long as there are no actual Asian people in that future. The Chinese population is some 1.3 billion people.  People classifying themselves as White make up only 11% of the world’s population and are set to be even less than that in the future as their population continues to decline, yet, there’s no evidence of that in any of the most popular movies about the future.

https://boingboing.net/2017/10/11/cyberpunks-asian-representat.html

https://moviepilot.com/p/what-is-cyberpunks-obsession-asian-imagery/4379249

https://www.avclub.com/read-this-why-does-cyberpunk-keep-making-asian-cities-1819366143

http://www.slashfilm.com/blade-runner-2049-asian-culture/

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mb7yqx/cyberpunk-cities-fetishize-asian-culture-but-have-no-asians-blade-runner

 

Hollywood’s “Little” Problem

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https://www.thedailybeast.com/hollywoods-other-open-secret-besides-harvey-weinstein-preying-on-young-boys?via=newsletter&source=Entertainment

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/corey-feldman-elijah-wood-hollywood-897403

https://www.thedailybeast.com/elijah-wood-calls-out-hollywoods-pedophile-problem

 

Toxic Masculinity in Pop Culture

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http://www.vulture.com/2017/04/nice-guys-in-movies-arent-nice-anymore.html

https://www.themarysue.com/toxic-masculinity-in-jessica-jones-kilgrave-as-a-nice-guy-and-will-simpson-as-misogynistic-hero/

https://www.themarysue.com/wolverine-toxic-masculinity/

https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/how-fargo-captures-sad-realities-toxic-masculinity

http://www.ebony.com/news-views/toxic-masculinity#axzz4w4vfOIGI

https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/this-isnt-toxic-masculinity-its-sociopathic-baby-men.html

 

Neo Yokio Review

 

  1. Lord help the poor souls for whom Neo Yokio is their first introduction to anime — and let that same Lord (whatever benevolent nerd deity presides over these sorts of things) bless the brave souls who watched this inane attempt at entertainment knowing that so much greater anime exists in the world.

    Neo Yokio, a Netflix original series created by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and starring the vocal talents of Jaden Smith, Jude Law, Susan Sarandon, Jason Schwartzman, and Steve Buscemi, among many others, takes place in a futuristic New York City that’s underwater south of 14th Street. In this version of New York, which is randomly and inexplicably peppered with elements of Japanese culture, one’s social standing — showcased on the all-knowing “Bachelor Board” in Times Square — is of the utmost importance, and those with old money look down upon the “magistocrats,” demon-slaying members of the elite who have worked their way up, through exorcisms and social engagements, into the class of nouveau riche (aka “Neo Riche” ::queue eyeroll::).

    Our hero (a term I’ll use with the same degree of irony that Neo Yokio overuses to no end) is Kaz Kaan, a young magistocrat who spends his time exorcising some demons but even more time complaining about his social status, shopping, and bemoaning his relationship status to his friends and mecha British butler, Charles. And what’s the plot, you may ask — a fitting question, but one for which Neo Yokio has no answer. The show literally follows Kaz as he mopes around, goes on errands, and tries to figure out how to become the most eligible bachelor in Neo Yokio. If there’s a reason why we should care about Kaz’s problems, it’s unclear. After all, with its fixation on brand names, fashion, and the superficial minutiae of Kaz’s upper-class life, Neo Yokio presents itself solely as a satire of classism and commercialism in our culture, right? Maybe.

    That’s just the problem — it’s unclear. For all its posturing about class, Neo Yokio never actually commits itself to saying anything about it. We see the characters bask in their privilege and throw around their money carelessly but the only instance of real contrast is when we see how Kaz treats Charles and the few characters he briefly encounters in the service industry (including the sales clerk at Bergdorf’s, whom he only refers to as “sales clerk”) with utter disregard. The characters — and the show in general — exist in a kind of vacuum, making it impossible to determine whether the show is taking itself seriously or not at all — and if it’s satirizing a group of people or an idea, who or what exactly that is. None of the characters are written with any depth and none of them reveal the show’s true aim. Sure, fashion blogger Helena St. Tessero awakens to the superficiality of Neo Yokio and initially seems like she’ll be the lens through which we may see the satirized world (think the smart, incisive gaze of Daria, who reveals the stupidity of those around her), but she too is exaggerated to the point of no return (read: is turned into a terrorist-recluse), leaving us with equally fatuous celebrations and dismissals of this upper-class life.

     

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Writing With Color

 

*Here’s some basic writing advice, for writing just about any marginalized group, (and eve nsome very common, not so marginalized groups) so you don’t come off looking like a racist twat! Now this is not to say you can do none of these things. Some of them can be done without offense, if you have a damn good reason for doing it. Some of the others…not so much.

 

Common Micro-aggressions: African Americans and/or
Black People

Anonymous said: What are some common micro-aggressions that a black american will regularly have to deal with?

Behold this masterpost of common micro-aggressions towards African Americans and/or people in the African Diaspora, several of which may be applicable to other PoC. Micro-aggressions can be perpetuated by White people as well as fellow Black people and People of Color.

This is just to give a thorough understanding of some of the things a Black person (often in America) deals with. Don’t run forward and jam-pack your Black character with every one of these experiences, though I can say I’ve personally experienced every one of these or know someone who has.

General Micro-aggressions

  • People excusing blackface.
  • Having our grammar and annunciation corrected.
  • “I don’t see you as a Black person/ I don’t see colour.”
  • Calling Black people ghetto, thugs, rachet, sassy, urban…
  • People debating why they should be allowed to say the n-word.
  • Then saying the n-word anyway.
  • Whispering, spitting, or stumbling over the word “Black” as if it’s a curse.
  • Refusing to pronounce your name right, or just calling you by a different name that’s easier.
  • Alternatively, “jokingly” calling you a “ghetto” name.
  • Constantly mixing up unrelated and not even resembling Black people, because you know.. ‘Black people all look the same’.
  • Dismissing our experiences as “just overreacting,” defending the wronging party, or using our plight to talk about one’s own experience (e.g. “well as a gay man i’ve got it rough…”).
  • Telling racist jokes and calling you sensitive when you don’t find it funny.
  • “______  is the new civil rights movement!” Black folks are still fighting for their rights so…

Media

  • Fox news (xD)
  • Caricatured depictions of Black people on TV.
  • Casting calls for Black people only tailored for “race roles.”
  • Media treating white criminals and killers better than Black victims (see these headlines).

Stereotypes

  • Assuming you only listen to rap/hip-hop/r&b.
  • Assuming you love chicken, Kool-aid, and/or smoke weed.
  • Assuming you’re good at sports.
  • Assuming there’s no father in the picture in Black families.
  • Assuming all Black people (see: young girls) have children.
  • Calling Black people who don’t conform to one’s image of Blackness, “less black,” acting white or “oreo.”

AAVE

  • Non-Black People mimicking/imitating AAVE.
  • People falling into AAVE when talking to Black People.
  • “Why don’t Black people speak real English instead of ‘ebonics’?”

Insults/doubting intelligence:

  • You’re so articulate!”
  • You take advanced classes?!”
  • “How did she get into that [prestigious school and/or program]?”
  • “They only got x because they’re Black/Affirmative action.”
  • Assuming a Black person (usually male) attends college because of a sports scholarship.
  • Counselors discouraging Black students to take prestigious coursework, assuming it’s too difficult for them.

 Respectability politics:

  • “You’re a credit to your race.”
  • “I’m glad you’re not like those other Black people. You’re not ghetto or listen to that rap stuff..”
  • Tone policing: dismissing someone’s reaction/argument/etc. because they are too “emotional.” Thinking that we need to be calm in order to be taken seriously.
  • Pitting African immigrants against African Americans, especially those coming to America for education, aka “Good Blacks.”

Beauty Standards and Dating

Fetishization/Othering

  • People asking you what you are or where you’re really from.
  • Referring to Black people or our features as “exotic.”
  • Referring to Black people’s skin as chocolate or other foods.

Black Women/Misogynoir

  • Saying Black women are ”strong, independent and don’t need no man.“
  • Calling Black women ”sassy“ or angry if she shows passion/emotion.
  • Referring to white and non-black women as “girls” and “women” while calling Black women “Females.”
  • [White] males who apply courtesy to white women (holding doors, giving up seat) but don’t apply the same to Black women.
  • Referring to Black women on government assistance as “welfare queens” (While ignoring that white people get more government assistance than Black people in the USA).
  • “Black women All woman are beautiful.” (StopThatPlease.)

Hair.

  • People touching/petting your hair without consent.
  • “So is that your real hair? Are those extensions?”
  • Calling natural black hair unprofessional.
  • White people appropriating Black hair styles (dreads, twists, etc) and being praised as edgy, while it’s “ghetto, unprofessional, and unclean” on our own heads.

Poverty Assumptions:

  • “Do you live in the ghetto?”
  • “Can you afford that?”
  • “Here are the value prices of this product…”

Racial Profiling + Criminalization:

  • Crossing the street to avoid passing Black men/people.
  • Following in stores, assuming Black people are stealing.
  • Moving aside when we pass, clutching purse, locking doors.
  • Asking Black people for I.D. when paying with card (while white people are not asked).
  • Being pulled over + arrested at astonishingly higher rates than white people.

For a fuller understanding of micro aggressions and the effects it has on individuals overtime, please see this: “These incidents may appear small…”

~Mods: Colette and Alice

Image result for stereotypes

Stereotyping Tropes List (TVTropes)

A masterpost of the Stereotyping Tropes from TVtropes.org. This list is identical to the one linked above, save the addition of Indigenous peoples, which was added. Check for the titles with links, as it leads to more pages of tropes. 
For an assortment of other related tropes, some not mentioned here, see “Race Tropes” as well as “Prejudice Tropes.” Advice on handling characters that lean towards harmful portrayals can be found in the tropes & stereotypes tags at writingwithcolor.


General

Africans

African Americans/Black

Americans

Arabs

Asians

Australians

Brits

Canadians

Chinese

Dutch

Eastern Europeans

Europeans

French

Germans

Indians

Indigenous

Irish

Israel

Italians

Japanese

Jewish

Latin Americans

Nordic Countries

Russians

Scots

Spaniards

 

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Related image

*Okay, I had to put this up. This is, hands down, the funniest story I read on the internet all week, and this is next to The 15 Blackest Things About The New Black Panther Trailer , that I posted earlier.

Now while you’re reading this, continue to picture giant koi bloop blooping in a pond. They have no idea they’re the partial cause of all the chaos. They just wanna get fed.

I’m like,”Guys, ain’t nobody thinkin’ about y’all right now!”

The Great Flamingo Uprising

(Edited after additional information was obtained from zookeeping cousin)

I told this story to a few guildies a while back and decided to archive it in a longer format; so here is the story of The Great Flamingo Uprising of 2010 as told to me by my favorite cousin who was a keeper at the time.

In addition to the aviary/jungle exhibit, our zoo has several species of birds that pretty much have the run of the place.  They started with a small flock of flamingos and some free-range peacocks that I’m almost certain came from my old piano teacher’s farm.  She preferred them to chickens.  At some point in time they also acquired a pair of white swans (“hellbirds”) and some ornamental asian duckies to decorate the pond next to the picnic area.  Pigeons, crows, assorted ducks and a large number of opportunistic Canada geese moved in on their own.

Now; the ponds that dot the zoo property (I don’t remember how many there are but the one by the picnic area is the only one with swans) were also full of ginormous koi fish, some of whom by now are at least three feet long.  Sensing an opportunity to cash in on the koi, the zoo put up little vending machines all over the place that dispense handfuls of food pellets.  I swear to god the fish can hear the crank turning, and will show up at the nearest railing, blooping expectantly at whoever happens to be standing there and doing their best to appear starving and desperate.

Like this.^  And they weren’t the only ones who learned to associate the sound with the imminent arrival of food.  The Canada geese knew a good deal when they saw one, and had long since ceased to migrate anyway.  They formed roving gangs of thug-geese and staked out their turf around the vending machines, ready to mug anyone with pocket change.  Picture yourself as a small child squaring off with a bird as big as you are fully prepared to strip search you while standing on your feet and yelling “HWAAAAAKK!!” in your face.  It’s deeply traumatizing to you and incredibly hilarious to your parents.

Anyway.

The flamingos had their spot near the zoo entrance and never seemed to mind the presence of the other birds, as they kept themselves to themselves and didn’t really like the taste of fish pellets.  The problem lay in that their shrimp pond was close to a vending machine.  Ordinarily that wouldn’t have been an issue at all, but eventually the goose population grew large enough that one of the gangs decided to annex it.  Being territorial little shits, they would harass the poor flamingos any time they strayed within ten feet of it.  The flamingos tolerated this for years until one day they snapped collectively.  Here’s a summary of the incident in chronological order.

1.) It was a hot day, so everyone in question both human and avian, were cranky by the time the zoo even opened.
2.) A few flamingos (let’s call them The Jets) strayed into the radius of the vending machine and were immediately confronted by the indignant hissing geese (The Sharks)
3.) Possibly due to heat and the simple fact that the geese had been giant douchebags for far too long, the flamingos decided fuck it, this time they were going to FIGHT BACK DAMMIT, and swarmed the geese en masse.
4.) Chaos ensued.  The geese were outnumbered 4 to 1 but had the advantage of being able to scream for back-up.
5.) Hearing the shrieking Canada geese and the bellowing of the enraged flamingos, the peacocks came to the conclusion that the apocalypse had come upon them and began to gather in the surrounding trees in droves and wail in despair.  Or cheer them on, whichever.
6.) NOISE
7.) Apparently one of the siege tactics employed by geese is to shit explosively all over everything.
8.) The geese, having secured reinforcements from all over the zoo, went berserk and proceeded to attack EVERYBODY who had come to watch be they human or otherwise.
9.) The flamingos were chasing/being chased by the geese through the crowd accompanied by cheers/wails from the peacocks in the box seats.
10.) Complete pandemonium when the zoo tram became stalled by the flamingo pond due to battling birds.  The Jets, sensing these were somehow reinforcements on the side of the Sharks, charged the tram.  Adults were doing the duck and cover.  Small children were screaming, adding to the noise.  People were slipping on goose shit and hitting the ground in the fetal position, only to be stampeded by the rampaging flamingos.
11.) The koi continued to bloop hopefully for food.
12.) Two of the geese were cornered by a rival gang of their own and were chased into the swan pond.  Cue slow-motion.
13.) The swans detected an enemy presence in their territory and by god, SOMEBODY was going to PAY.
14.) The staff were having no luck in breaking up the fight and on the verge of giving up and just building another zoo elsewhere when the hellbirds stormed the battlefield, trumpeting battle-cries, to dispense feathered justice.  The staff promptly dropped their brooms and fled.
15.) Birds scattered in all directions.  Up, down, sideways.  Some people not present in the park circle swear a couple of geese flat out teleported into the petting zoo. A few ducks vanished in the chaos, presumably eaten by the swans.
16.) Two of the zookeepers barricaded themselves in the snack bar and refused to come out.
17.) The uprising was squashed in less than two minutes.  Number of casualties was unknown, feathers were flying everywhere and there was enough goose shit to build another bird.  One staff member had been knocked to the ground and was left with a melon sized bruise courtesy of one of the hellbirds.  Several children were traumatized, probably for life.  The zoo eventually removed the vending machine by the flamingos.

The geese went back to being giant douchebags. Because geese*.

Addendum:  Somehow, my aunt D got hold of this story and posted a link along with the comment: “This sounds exactly like our zoo!”
Zookeeping cousin replied: “This was exactly our zoo.”

*I’m really not kidding.  This is a photo, taken at our zoo, of a gorilla being chased by one of the thug geese.

 

*Yeah, the hellbirds came in and broke that whole shit up in two minutes!

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*I’m in agreement with this, really. It would make for some very intersting names:

I think we should make Puritan naming customs cool again, but like, updated to reflect Millenial values. So we can have names like Resistance Jones, Self-Care Williams, and I-Am-Not-Throwing-Away-My-Shot Anderson.

  • I-Will-Face-God-and-Walk-Backwards-Into-Hell Watson
  • Hydrate Mather
  • Healthcare-Is-A-Right-Not-A-Privilege Bradford
  • Body Positivity Watts
  • WTF-the-Fuck Preston
  • Cinnamon Roll Milton
  • Y’all-Need-Jesus Henderson
  • Snape-Was-Not-a-Hero Whitaker
  • Battery Life Wiggins
  • Reblog-If-You-Agree Bolton
  • @Horse_ebooks Humphrey
  • Renewable Moore
  • I-Came-Out-to-Have-a-Good-Time-and-I’m-Honestly-Feeling-So-Attacked-Right-Now Rutherford
  • Representation Hopkins
  • Organic Hurst
  • Money Cat Wallington
  • Fuck-It Wentworth
  • Impeachment Shepard
  • Don’t-Forget-To-Like-And-Subscribe Simpson
  • Consent Pimple
  • I-Bless-the-Rains-Down-in-Africa Woodford
  • Green Hoyle
  • Social Anxiety Travers
  • Kinkshame-Not Bailey

 

Tomorrow: A rare weekend posting. I finished the first part of my Bladerunner review.

More Tumblr Talks

*This post is going to be long and pretty heavy. Its  about Fandom Racism reproducing  media tropes. The reason why you’ve been hearing so much lately about racism in fandom is because marginalized “others” have become much more vocal about how they wish to be depicted, not just onscreen, but within the fandoms, as well. And what they have been saying is Fandom needs to start  examining why/how…

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More Tumblr Talks

*This post is going to be long and pretty heavy. Its  about Fandom Racism reproducing  media tropes. The reason why you’ve been hearing so much lately about racism in fandom is because marginalized “others” have become much more vocal about how they wish to be depicted, not just onscreen, but within the fandoms, as well. And what they have been saying is Fandom needs to start  examining why/how it responds to the media it consumes. 
Fandom seems to be undergoing  growing pains as people begin to realize that geekfandom isn’t as welcoming, nor as progressive,  as everyone has been claiming. As I said, in a previous post, this is not an indictment of all fandom. The bigotries on display are simply reiterations of the wider culture, and fandom does not exist in a vacuum.
For example:
jawnbaeyegaqueerhawkeye

letthetruthlaugh:

I wanted my first-year film students to understand what happens to a story when actual human beings inhabit your characters, and the way they can inspire storytelling. And I wanted to teach them how to look at headshots and what you might be able to tell from a headshot. So for the past few years I’ve done a small experiment with them.

Some troubling shit always occurs.It works like this: I bring in my giant file of head shots, which include actors of all races, sizes, shapes, ages, and experience levels. Each student picks a head shot from the stack and gets a few minutes to sit with the person’s face and then make up a little story about them.

Namely, for white men, they have no trouble coming up with an entire history, job, role, genre, time, place, and costume. They will often identify him without prompting as “the main character.” The only exception? “He would play the gay guy.” For white women, they mostly do not come up with a job (even though it was specifically asked for), and they will identify her by her relationships. “She would play the mom/wife/love interest/best friend.” I’ve heard “She would play the slut” or “She would play the hot girl.” A lot more than once.

For nonwhite men, it can be equally depressing. “He’s in a buddy cop movie, but he’s not the main guy, he’s the partner.” “He’d play a terrorist.” “He’d play a drug dealer.” “A thug.” “A hustler.” “Homeless guy.” One Asian actor was promoted to “villain.”

For nonwhite women (grab onto something sturdy, like a big glass of strong liquor), sometimes they are “lucky” enough to be classified as the girlfriend/love interest/mom, but I have also heard things like “Well, she’d be in a romantic comedy, but as the friend, you know?” “Maid.” “Prostitute.” “Drug addict.”

I should point out that the responses are similar whether the group is all or mostly-white or extremely racially mixed, and all the groups I’ve tried this with have been about equally balanced between men and women, though individual responses vary. Women do a little better with women, and people of color do a little better with people of color, but female students sometimes forget to come up with a job for female actors and black male students sometimes tell the class that their black male actor wouldn’t be the main guy.

Once the students have made their pitches, we interrogate their opinions. “You seem really sure that he’s not the main character – why? What made you automatically say that?” “You said she was a mom. Was she born a mom, or did she maybe do something else with her life before her magic womb opened up and gave her an identity? Who is she as a person?” In the case of the “thug“, it turns out that the student was just reading off his film resume. This brilliant African American actor who regularly brings houses down doing Shakespeare on the stage and more than once made me weep at the beauty and subtlety of his performances, had a list of film credits that just said “Thug #4.” “Gang member.” “Muscle.” Because that’s the film work he can get. Because it puts food on his table.

So, the first time I did this exercise, I didn’t know that it would turn into a lesson on racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism. I thought it was just about casting. But now I know that casting is never just about casting, and this day is a real teachable opportunity. Because if we do this right, we get to the really awkward silence, where the (now mortified) students try to sink into their chairs. Because, hey, most of them are proud Obama voters! They have been raised by feminist moms! They don’t want to be or see themselves as being racist or sexist. But their own racism and sexism is running amok in the room, and it’s awkward.

Source: letthetruthlaughthis is iti’ve seen and reblogged this beforebut this is truly ity’all don’t even know how racist sexist etc you are but will INSIST that you aren’tstop thataccept that you are and work to learn to be betteryou are not specialyou’re just as indoctrinated as the rest of us and pretending  you’re not is a big part of the problemracismmedia sexismmedia racismsave
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*About how WoC are often treated in media:

Anonymous asked:

i was telling my sister to watch preacher and I explained it as “It kinda gives me early supernatural vibes except they acknowledge black people exist and the black woman doesn’t die at the end of the episode.” thats pretty mucha ll it took to get her to watch it

yeah that’s pretty much why I got into it

a supernatural show where the black woman doesn’t die???? and isn’t treated like shit??? LET’S FUCKIN’ GO. plus the southern church aesthetics are alright, makes me feel nostalgic.

dom loves her anons they’re so nice

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 *How PoC in interracial relationships are required to do all the emotional labor for that relationship.

Speaking of which:

little-house-of-kurian:

little-house-of-kurian:

 Something I can’t help but hate is this idea that in an interracial relationship between a White person and a PoC:

  • the PoC is always heavy on being the caretaker.
  • The PoC is always shouldering and sloughing through someone else’s hurts and baggage not because they want/need to in the context of the relationship, but because of White person bringing their own racial and personal baggage that they never would’ve unpacked otherwise if it wasn’t for them dating a PoC.
  • The fact that it’s mostly the PoC that’s doing most of this unpacking, while White person is mostly oblivious.
  • The former is almost always written as White person being naive, innocent, or spun off as enlightened, but stops right before White person begins to consider the implications of the environment around them and how that could contribute to their partner’s problem.
  • The fact that the PoC gets harsher scrutiny and loads less support in dealing in whichever/whatever multiple traumas they may have.
  • The PoC may or may not talk about these traumas, but if they do, they ultimately get glossed over and undermined.
  • It’s the fact that dating a PoC is seen as “progressive points” (ugh)
  • The fact that “progressive points” (ugh) are a pass to say slightly microagressive slick shit.
  • It’s not even all that big. Sometimes it can be a comment about how huge their genitals are. Sometimes it’s comments on how their Brown/Black skin is somehow “dark”, “scary”, “mysterious”, or “bad-boy material”.
  • Sometimes it’s the fact that even though Brown and Black skin rarely gets compared to Zircon, Diaspore, Amber, the smoky wood finish of a loved pine chair, the smell of the sweet, soft, pure victory that is Coca Butter, or Shea, we constantly get words like cinnamon or chocolate.(Ironically enough, we never get Adobo, Goya, rich Palm Oil or Maggie cubes.) Spice is nice and it’s our fucking game, but we can go farther!
  • Sometimes it the fact that the PoC may not get much elaborated on them (maybe one or two features) but the fact that White person can be endlessly praised, even worshiped/glorified endlessly for having conventionally attractive features.
  • Sometimes it’s everything.
  •  Sometimes it’s nothing. And-and-&-&-
  • Sometimes it is what it motherfucking is.

But sometimes, when it comes to writing, life, and the world around us, I wish we could give PoC more room. More room to be cuddled. More room to be delicate. More room to be docile, and loving, and even care taking, but on even footing and less fetishistic and uneven ground.

I want to see PoC fervently in love with each other. I want them to revere each other, choose each other, fall in love and then choose to stay together with each other. I want them to be active agents and participants in their love; I don’t want them to accept passivity because it’s superimposed on them. I don’t want them to accept hypersexuality because it’s superimposed on them. I don’t want them to accept being a fuck for “progressive points” because it’s superimposed on them. Their wants and needs and should come as easily and wanting to consideration; especially when it comes to matters outside of sex. Sex doesn’t even have to be in the picture at all!

When I wrote this post, I was talking in a context of LGBTQ couples. That applied throughout this entire post. It all started because I was thinking about porn, and fandom, and life, and how it all got mixed up in my head and how all of this vomited out. But I have exhausted my words. All I can say is that I want everything, everything this world can give to us, that it SHOULD return to us after roots were deliberately yanked from this ground and scattered all over in the name of a love that places us as secondary. Exceptional. An openly taboo measure for ‘progress’. I want nothing but everything. I want everything for us.

I want everything for us and more.

Cc: @russianspacegeckosexparty and @fandomshatepeopleofcolor I wrote this quite a while ago, but now that I know I’m not alone, it resonate better, tbh.

Source: little-house-of-kurian

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*As I’ve said, racism is insidious , and if you do not examine the media you consume, or your motives and responses to it, then all you will do is end up reproducing the same stereotypes for WoC, and other marginalized people, in the media you end up creating.

The following  conversation is a perfect example of how  people who believe themselves to be the most progressive, are the ones who let down their guard, and don’t examine their media enough, thereby allowing things they don’t intend, to creep into their work. I don’t believe this writer meant, or intended,  to do harm, but intention is not magic. Such tropes and stereotypes will occur even when the person is not actually trying to be racist. This is an indication of the insidiousness of white supremacy, not the evil of the writer:

Winter Soldier in Wakanda

abbiehollowdays:

eshusplayground:

sourcedumal:

audio-sexual:

shuttersmiley:

tierry-leoine:

shuttersmiley:

tierry-leoine:

milkdromeduh:

eazzy–pink:

shuttersmiley:

tierry-leoine:

I need a fic where the Dora Milaje adopt Bucky.

Imagine him being safe for the first time. He cannot really hurt them, he is SAFE with them. And they can help him heal, protest him as they know how and he would give them his respect, his help and his experience.

The Dora Milaje would never let anyone take him, would not let anyone take one of their own and he would be one of their own. They would spar and teach him the language and get him an arm with a vibranium alloy and armatur with vibranium mesh.

He would be theirs to protect, because their king asked them to, but also because Bucky would deserze to have someone in his corner, because this would be the right thing to do.

@

What do they get out of this or is this just gonna be Black people taking care of some white person for no reason?

This person is literally taking the Dora Milaje and turning them into an entire Mammy squad for Bucky Barnes. Bucky is not one of their own and he never will be. Their own are the 11 Wakandans that were blown up because of Wanda Maximoff’s incompetence. Their own was the beloved king they lost to the Avengers’ negligence to account for civilians while they go about literally destroying entire cities. Their own is T’Challa, who violently lost his father and, despite that, brought Bucky into Wakanda because he refused to allow his vengeance to consume him.

Bucky is not their own and he never will be. You can miss the Dora Milaje with this Mammy glorification.

I cannot fucking believe…

You know what? LMFAOOO

I CANNOT BELIEVEEEEE

@

Yes, i understand the difference between doing the right thing and going out of Your way to provide emotional support, that is a very valid point of course. And my wording might have been a little unfortunate.

Still, is that not what the grief council ours are doing? I can see the Dora Milaje being horrified at what happened. Also willing to help. That is the proper human instinct, be the person black or white.

Why are we talking about servitude however? The first post was never meant to sound like they would be his servants. More like his teachers. Is that not what you would do, if you had a stranger come into your country completely clueless? Teach him some language, help him out? Become their friend? A little bit of topic: if I offended anyone, it was clearly not my intention. For that please accept my apologies. The idea for the fic was half-baked and possibly inconsiderate, however it was never meant to offend. The makes of the film make Wakanda a place, where Bucky found refuge. I merely wanted to see a version of a follow up on that idea.

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But you still haven’t answered any of the questions presented to you. What you described is a mammy trope. Black women being reduced to caretakers of non black people. Also, you imply that nothing would take Bucky from them (lmao), but he will never be their priority over actual Wakandans. If his presence ever puts one of their own in danger, his ass is out. No questions asked. No hesitation. He is not one of them. But you have not once made any effort to show Bucky being their friend or him helping them with anything. You literally only talked about what they could do for him as if their worth was entirely dependent on their usefulness to a white man. Do you not understand how fucked up that is? At all?

@

I understand perfectly what you are trying to say, yes. I understand how you see this post. As I have previously written, it was never supposed to seem like I was endorsing any kind of servitude or neo-colonial attitudes. Because I don’t. Apparently I just don’t think things through sometimes and write before I think.

I find the idea of them being Bucky’s mommies insulting to both Dora Milaje and Bucky. They would definitely not coddle him or mammy him as some of you put it. That I definitely do not see.

However I do not think they would give him up. Of course politics would demand they hand him over, but I rather think, that they
It king’s word, who promised to keep him safe matters.

I could of course talk about what he could do for them, but should he be brought back up, the relationship would be mostly one sided for a while, because that is what happens with a person recovering. They need help and people helping out rarely get much in return.

I could write about what he has to offer to them back, but they don’t really need anything he could offer. Except maybe train with them. But the Dora Milaje are already one of the most formidable forces in the Marvel universe, so I doubt he could offer them much in this area. Similar with the ideas, that he could own them a favour, be willing to help defend the country. Wakandans do not need him for that.

@

You have yet to tell why they would be so protective of him. What is so special about this random white boy that his life should be placed over Wakandans. He is not one of them. And you say it’s insulting to make them into his mammies, but that’s literally what you’re doing. Whether you did so intentionally or not is immaterial. You admitted that he has nothing to bring to this relationship and that it would be entirely one sided in his favor, but then insist that they would be totally equal. Why does always happen when it comes to Black women dealing with whites?

I legitimately hope that Bucky Barnes remains on ice for the entirely of the Black Panther movie because otherwise we’re going to see so much more of this awful meta reducing Black people to 2D cutouts meant to cater to white characters. The movie ain’t even out yet and I’m sick of reading about how good the Black characters would be at providing for someone’s white fave. It’s sickening.

The Dora Miljae would sooner kick Bucky into a predator infested lake than arrange their lives around him.

Stop trying to write narratives centering white men being catered to and coddled by black women!

Bucky is a slab of ice. Dassit.

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Dear white fandom:

Wakanda is not a daycare for troubled white men.

*Black people do not exist to take care of white people.

Your penance is watching all 4 parts of the new Roots back to back.

Trying to think of a situation where a black or brown skinned character could kill anyone from a western or European nation LET ALONE a king or president and fandom would headcanon or write them as a precious cinnamon roll who the secret service should coddle befriend and protect.

Hell… We can barely even get that for black and brown people who are kind, respectful, loving and canonically romantically linked to a white character.

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*Its interesting to me that Orci needs to have this explained to him. This is an example of the general cluelessness of white owned media. If he missed this trope, then, as a straight, white, middle-class, cis-gender man, he has probably missed all of them, having had no incentive to learn any of them, and  this is one of the more well known Black stereotypes.

This is another reason why representation behind the scenes is important, too. Had there been a PoC behind the scenes at Sleepy Hollow, the showrunners could have been warned about what they were about to do. (Although, I still feel like that wouldn’t have stopped them from doing it, though.)

If the fans themselves have to be vigilant in guarding against offensive stereotypes, then this is even more true of those who create the content in the first place. How can they guard against stereotypes that they are wholly ignorant of? It certainly explains the decision making process behind Sleepy Hollow. How can you be a writer and not know some of these tropes?

sleepywitness:

fangirl-utopia:

I usually just ignore their ridiculousness, but I couldn’t let this pass. This kind of ignorance in Hollywood is exactly why the Magic Negro Trope keeps being trotted out again and again. This type of thinking explains exactly why S2 happened and why Abbie sacrificed herself over and over again until it eventually killed her.

They don’t realize that this is just as trite and predictable as “black guy dies first” in horror movies. Instead they classify this as dramatic. The two tropes have the same  motivation–let the black guy die first, let the black woman sacrifice herself because nobody cares and the white audience will continue watching without major discomfort. I think the green light for SH Season 4 confirms that..

Source: fangirl-utopia
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*And just to let you know, I have been paying attention, I have noticed the gradual whitewashing of Teen Wolf, or just never developing any of its characters of color, like Boyd:
Boyd has no family, no story, no background, no home, and when he even makes his brief cameos in the show, he’s usually somebody’s backup or lackey. He has no human complexity, and his one moment of individuality comes when he says he wants to be like Scott (i.e. the lead character on Teen Wolf). Which is then promptly ignored and never covered again. Erica gets a storyline. Isaac gets a storyline. Matt the photographer gets a storyline. So where’s Boyd’s?
The showrunners answer to this argument seems to be: “Hey I’m just a boring, self centered white person with a very limited view of life and the world so what do you want from me?(Read here)
 http://www.indiewire.com/2012/08/so-how-come-the-black-guy-on-teen-wolf-doesnt-have-a-life-143471/
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*See, post above for: This is not an excuse to not write non-white characters.
wilsontoyourhousemisstakenbk

‘just write the fic anyway’

skywalkerapologist:

luminousfinn:

therearenobadships:

here’s the tl;dr on my post about white fandom choosing white cis m/m fanworks to write over poc m/m fanworks:

this post is americentric and for fellow whitey mcwhite fans.

potential consequences for writing something kinky and fucked up for white m/m ship:

–none
–someone might say your kinks are gross
–nobody noticing you wrote anything at all in the sea of fandom

consequences for writing something kinky and fucked up for poc m/m ship:

–someone calling your kinks racist
–getting called a racist
–your fic getting plastered on tumblr for being racist
–getting dogpiled for being racist
–getting chased out of fandom for being racist

‘but the person is totally racist!’ how do you know that from reading their fic? maybe they’re just a shitty writer

‘but there were racist stereotypes in the fic!’ are you totally sure you’re not just reading too much into it?

‘i’m totally sure’ call them out privately

‘but–’ PRIVATELY

‘b–’ PRIVATELY!!!

‘but what if they’re a meanie head when i call them out privately?’ i dunno man, figure it out

the end

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Once again we see a white fan being more worried about being called out for racism and white fandom’s delicate sensibilities, than with actually being racist. No wonder fandom is still so horrible on this matter.

But to tackle your points

–someone calling your kinks racist 

Newsflash, some kinks are racist when applied to a character of color because they play directly into a racist stereotype. (E.g. hypersexualised Latinx person, Black man witha  big dick.)

Stop treating these stereotypes as some sort of esoteric knowlegde that is impossible to obtain. Google exists and have for over a decade, use it! You’d be surprised what how many problems a quick search and 30 minutes of reading could fix, but white fandom refuse to do even this little.

–getting called a racist

Newflash, if you write something racist people are going to call you racist because you arebeing racist. Whether you want to A) stop being racist and fix it, or B) if you choose to perpetuate your racism is entirely up to you.

–your fic getting plastered on tumblr for being racist

If you go with option B) or write something that is so horribly racist that even 5 seconds Googling shit would have prevented you doing it, yeah this can happen. Otherwise it’s unlikely.

–getting dogpiled for being racist

If you go with option B) then this will happen, but only if you go with option B). Apologizing and fixing what you did will prevent this from occurring, it’s really that easy fellow white people.

–getting chased out of fandom for being racist

See above.

‘but the person is totally racist!’ how do you know that from reading their fic? maybe they’re just a shitty writer

A racist trope does not stop being a racist trope just because you’re a good or bad writer. Inserting whiteness where it shouldn’t occur (e.g. Wakanda) doesn’t stop being racist just because you’re a good a bad writer. Level of writing ability has literally nothing to do with it.

‘but there were racist stereotypes in the fic!’ are you totally sure you’re not just reading too much into it?

No. Just no. You’re reading too much into it is the go to argument by bigots to get away with their shit, be it racism, misogyny, homophobia or whatever. Chances are the answer is a loud resounding, NO!.

‘i’m totally sure’ call them out privately

AO3 does not allow for PMs and on tumblr, if you put racist shit in the character or ship tags I will point it out. I won’t scream at you, or mock you, or anything, but I will tell you. If you then choose to double down on you racism or start whitesplaining, that’s entirely up to you.

‘but–’ PRIVATELY

No!

‘b–’ PRIVATELY!!!

I. Said. No! They decide to be racist in public, so they get told in public.

You keep treating being called out for racist behavior as being worse somehow than actually being racist. The feelings and sensibilities of white fans should not be more or better protected than that those of fans of color, yet that is what you demand here. That we protect the tender sensibilities of white fans over the real hamr and pain their racism causes to fans of color.

‘but what if they’re a meanie head when i call them out privately?’ i dunno man, figure it out

You mean what to do if they insist on keeping on being racist despite being called out? I would say I would drag their ass over hot coal, but chances are that my followers – many of whom are fans of color – would have got to them before I did.

White fandom’s feelings are not sacrosanct. Being called out for racist behavior or for using racist tropes is not worse than actually being racist or using those tropes.

Learning to treat characters of color with respect and as fully human and not play into racist stereotypes is not that hard, stop using it as some lame ass excuse for your own racism.

Will you f*ck up? Yes. The key is not to double down on your racism or start whitesplaining. Apologize and fix it. That’s all. And ffs learn to you Google people.

This post by a white woman who writes a lot of kinky Stormpilot fic (gasp!) is always relevant when this particular load of BS pops up.

I am cautious at times, but I’m never afraid. I’m not so selfish that I’m worried about how me hurting someone might lead to negative results for myself. I just don’t want to hurt other people. This preemptive fear business that sets you up as the victim if you potentially hurt other people before you’ve even hurt them is the rotten core at each argument like this I see.

… If someone decides not to write FinnPoe because you don’t like that people get offended by a, b, or c that’s entirely on them. There have been over 2,000 FinnPoe fics, and the vast vast majority of them haven’t been called out or criticized in any way. Calm down. There are no crowd of pitchfork wielding sjws storming the castle doors and attacking everyone.

fandom racism
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Racism in the fandom of videogames, although this  shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
stitchmediamixmilkdromeduh

Racists in DA Fandom (Dragon Age)

giwatafiya:

zora-zen:

cassandrashipsit:

zora-zen:

So, I’ve noticed that there’s two types of toxic fans.

Type A is the blatant racist. They’re the ones that tell People of Color to shut up. They’re the ones writing blatant and harmful tropes. They’re the ones who cry bullying and send anon hate. They can usually be spotted by their blog headers, “Anti-SJW,” or “Free Speech Advocate” or reblogs of “don’t like don’t read” posts. They’re easy to block because they fly their hate flags.

Type B is a bit different. The False Ally. Type B is someone like Renmiri who reblogs a ton of social justice stuff, and then turns around and supports racist creators, citing “free speech” or “it’s just fiction” or “art.” They’re the type that I really hate. Because when you glance over someone’s blog, you think “sure, seems alright, lots of feminist and social justice stuff here!” and then the come out with some flaccid excuse to defend some racist creator, just when you’re really hoping for some reinforcement. You want your fellow white people to stand next to the creators of color and say they will not stand for this behavior, but they don’t.

And little by little, people like Renmiri chip away at the trust that POC have in their white friends. Little by little they dig, until black women feel alone, like their works are going to be plagiarized, like their bodies don’t matter, like their experiences don’t matter.

Until nothing is left but loneliness and anxiety.

I’m not great with words, but I won’t stand by and watch my black friends get torn down again and again.

And to those who fall into the type B category:

IS THIS YOUR LEGACY? IS THIS THE KIND OF FAN SPACE YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF? IS THIS WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD?

There’s a third type. A type even more painful and insidious than the first:

Type C – The Friend

You’re friends with a white fan (or if you’re black, any non-black fan) and you’re firmly convinced they Get It, that they’re on your side, that they truly understand what you’re dealing with and sympathize.

And then little things start to pop up. Like why are they liking/reblogging posts of known racists, especially someone who has been EXTREMELY hateful toward you? Why don’t they ever comment on your content anymore? Would it kill them to step in and say “oh hey this isn’t cool” on occasion? If you confront them on it, suddenly you realize that they were never your friend at all, not really.

And low and behold apparently you’ve been too loud, too negative, or they prefer the white racist to you. They unfollow you because “all the drama you post, I don’t want it ruining the game or the fandom for me!” As if YOU were the one to produce racist (or homophobic or transphobic) content, instead of the ones railing against it.

They’ll quietly cheer when someone tries to “take you down a peg” because you had the gall to point out their racist behavior. When you ask them why, what happened, the answers will be luke warm and uncomfortable, leaving you at sea as to how to respond.

I’ve unfollowed and blocked more of a few of the Type C category, or had them do the same to me. People I thought I was actually friends with, people I emailed, and skyped with and interacted with outside the confines of mobile.

I have white friends in the fandom still, but you can believe, in the back of my head? I’m just waiting for them to drop me like a hot rock the day I say something too controversial, or take a stab at their white fave. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a white FAN, I once called a white actor ugly and had someone flounce on me.

I keep telling myself not to get invested in friendships On Here, but I can’t. I love connecting with people, I love the feeling of comradery and kinship. I just stopped making the mistake of believing it’s anything but temporary.

Eventually that knife in the back is coming, but at least now I’m prepared for it.

And honestly all of you white folks out there who decry these people who are so blatant? The ones who read Zora’s post and noded along? Trust me, you’re friends with the quiet ones already. And maybe when you find out who they are, that’s when you’ll join the ranks. How long before your white faves become more important than your black ones?

Just something to consider.

Type C will crawl under your skin and gaslight the fuck out of you.

For example: I was once bullied off a website based on my gender. All my male buddies? The ones who I stayed up late talking to? The ones who I exchanged Christmas cards with?

They didn’t do a fucking thing to stop the bullying. They told me to ignore it. That the bullies were just assholes. I got harassed out of a paying job because when it came right down to it, I stood alone.

“How long before your white faves become more important than your black ones?”

Keep asking yourself that question.

I will never let anyone feel alone the way I did.

(As a side note, I named Remiri because of her support of the bi Dorian and Sera mods, the straight ones too, and when she called people who talked about Alistair’s whitewashing “idiots.” She has not, to my knowledge, participated in today’s fuckery. I’m simply using her as an example, because she was one of the first people in the DA fandom that I followed, and the first person that I blocked.)

@theprettynerdie it got better.

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