As white people, we are used to representations of ourselves crowding the covers of magazines, crowning the posters of newly released films. The good guys are white, we have learned, after eons of our faces being plastered under cowboy hats and in impeccable Bond suits. White men are Superman, we have learned. White men are Ethan Hunt and Neo and white men are hobbits. Bad men, we have learned, are black. They’re gang bangers and thugs and talk loud and sometimes deliver funny lines where we laugh at their Otherness. Black men aren’t heroes, we learn. Our imagination and subconscious are so saturated with white supremacist notions of goodness, beauty, and heroism, that when confronted head-on with an image of a black man who is brilliant and kind and normal and who saves the day, we transform into robotic versions of ourselves: Does… not… compute. Hero… must be… white. It’s this line of thinking that turned Disney’s Princess Tiana into an animal for 95 percent of the movie. The collective white imagination had difficulty imagining a black girl as a princess… and so she became a frog.
White men are funny. Please know I love them. White men (and women) have slept in my bed and they’re lovely. But what amazes me is how much of our population does not see that most mainstream American media thoroughly explores the white male psyche: Indiana Jones, Little Miss Sunshine, Austin Powers, Sideways, Indecent Proposal, 500 Days of Summer, Harry Potter, Birth of a Nation…
I love all those movies. I don’t feel oppressed by them as much as I find more of the same type of movies uninteresting. It always cracks me up when this is brought up in dialogue, and you hear the war cry of “reverse racism!” I think it freaks some people out when they realize white men are no longer the center of the universe, and that many other varied, full, vibrant ways-of-being/living/thinking/loving exist outside of the narrow slice represented in mainstream movies. It’s also a bummer, though, because it perpetuates the zero-sum idea that voicing one experience automatically negates others. Just because there are resources (film festivals, grants, etc.) focused on developing cinematic voices outside of the straight-white-male paradigm, doesn’t mean there should be less of the straight-white man (which has been so generously covered in mainstream movies), just more that are not the straight-white man. Ideally, all voices can co-exist in mainstream media.
The corollary is since there is such a rich cinematic straight-white-man tradition, much of the thinking out there about how films should be constructed, is from that perspective. So if you are trying to find and develop your own voice, remember that the box you may be trying to think outside of is an entrenched, dusty, cement box that has existed for way too long. Find creative colleagues who are able to think outside of that box as well and can play with your ideas.
Ultimately, we live in a society that devalues the feminine experience. Not females necessarily, but feminine qualities that exist in men as well. Feminine qualities are often seen as “weak,” “irrelevant,” “complicated,” “nagging.” We also live in a society that does not acknowledge all the many colorful voices out there. It is sad that some folks still think empowerment of non-white people equals reverse racism. Or, they think Slumdog Millionaire was “enough, right?”
So my advice for women starting out on this journey is: Value Yourself. Know you have a right to a seat at the table just like everyone else. Seek out a community that nurtures your unique voice. It feels so good when fellow human beings understand and seek to empower your vision, rather than try to change and conform your art to their paradigm so they feel less uncomfortable.
where’s the support group meeting for those who have been personally victimized by that commander rogers uniform on chris evans
wow there’s at least 600+ other people out there who need this group
marvel, i’m counting on you to arrange this meeting for us all, because this is entirely your fault. you should’ve known not to put THAT on him. you should’ve anticipated the dire consequences that action would have.
so the other day, a poc friend of mine was looking through my sketchbook, and out of no where, they called me racist. I was really confused and kind of upset that i'd managed to offend them and i asked them what was the matter, and they said that i didnt have any drawings of poc people in my sketchbook, and that makes me racist. are they right?
(haha oh dear lord in heaven above when did i somehow become THE de facto authority on racism and race relations???)
i wouldn’t say you’re being consciously racist. it sounds like you’ve just been subconsciously indoctrinated with one kind of image (white, i assume from your ask) of what people look like from seeing one type of person all over the media, and likely all around you and in your life and family, like a kind of internalized thing (if you’re POC, which, judging by language used, i don’t think so).
maybe try and evaluate what might have led you to exclusively draw white people, and go from there.
but, as always, your mileage may vary. i’m by no means the textbook authority on racism and what affects one POC or another (i only know about my life, my races, my ethnicities, my cultures, my experiences and the experiences of my family and peoples, but even then, i can’t, don’t, and won’t speak for all of them) and if their feelings are justified/justifiable (which, i’d say so, yeah, because when you already barely see yourself, it’s easy to go on the offense about something like that, and also, feelings are… feelings and subjective and ultimately unique to the individual).
i’m that motherf——- who will pretty much always drop whatever i’m doing to talk representation in media (especially comics, especially superhero comics), and media/culture/entertainment & comic industry issues, in general. i’m that motherf——- who semi-regularly makes long soapbox-y discussion board statuses on gosh darned facebook dot com about The Issues. i’m that motherf——- who sends impromptu dissertations on The Issues, culture, creative responsibility, pop sociology, and the like via text message to my poor friends. i’m that motherf——-.
waitwaitwait last mic drop for the night because i just checked the #matt tag
this sam claflin fellow is cute enough, if a little generic (sorry that’s such a mean thing to say lmao but there’s no nicer way to put it!! i originally wrote “garden variety” and thought “basic” so in case you were wondering yeah i’m an asshole sorry) but i just don’t see “matt” in him.
i mean, i initially said the same thing (before i saw his teen wolf stuff) about gideon, so that fancast choice could grow on me, but ehhhhhhh. i’ll need more convincing.
on a more serious note, and this is similar in nature to a post i made recently on my facebook so i’ll keep it quick, but it’s nice to see that catching fire and frozen are doing so well and opening up this larger, necessary dialogue on women and representation in genre films and blockbusters, but it’d be even nicer to have people who looked more like me, especially in the case of the former (is katniss really supposed to look like jennifer lawrence?), represented in these sorts of films, too.
i’m tired of feeling fragmented and excluded and i’m tired of being expected to be as enthusiastic as some others about these films, because “oh look a movie with female leads is doing well!!! you HAVE to love it!!!!!! why aren’t you seeing these????”. like, okay, great, that’s important and good and vital, but that isn’t where it all ends. call me unrealistic, demanding, a bitch, whatever, but i don’t think it’s too much to ask for to want more movies with female lead-of-colors, and more super-successful genre movies with more diverse leads in general, too. and just because these movies feature (white) female leads does not mean they are without trouble. it’s okay to be enthusiastic and supportive and even fanatical of these movies, but please don’t let that cloud your objectivity.
our struggles are not the exact same, and neither are our victories.
ts "socies watches teen wolf" because i'm living life & snarking it up
ok but this scene is some true life stuff. ONE desk in the whole classroom, right in front of your ex. now that’s what i call accurate teen angst.
but how the teacher gonna have everyone’s PERSONAL cells on the first day of class??? *old man voice* never in all of my years has that been the case. like, some syllabi will ask for that, but who the hell turn in a syllabus on THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS i mean come on son
and lil english teacher darach girl… that’s accurate. i’m pretty sure i’ve had teachers who were some sort of hellspawn demon. so, overall, 2/3 for ~accuracy~