Do you see anything wrong with this picture?
You know what kind of story I want to see?
I want to see stories about a woman of color enacting theatrical, operatic vengeance on anybody who fucks with her or stands in her way. I want a woman of color with such a lust for power that she makes Frank Underwood look like a slacker. I want a women of color who’s such a slippery, duplicitous, self-serving, magnificent bitch that David Xanatos would be impressed.
And I want the narrative to not punish her for it. That’s right. I want her to get away with doing horrible shit in the name of vengeance, ambition, or some other shit we act like we disapprove of but actually enjoy. I want her life to not be some Aesop about how good always wins or some other trite bullshit we know to be a flat-out fucking lie.
I am so tired of women of color, especially Black women, having to be and noble and selfless. I am so done with stories where women of color are not allowed to have grand flaws and epic passions.
If the Bride from Kill Bill can slice and dice her way through Tokyo to get back at five people who did her wrong and still have people root for her and call her an awesome character (without any of the justifications or qualifications that one would have to do with, say, Regina Mills or Marie Laveau), I want women of color to be able to do the exact same type of shit without the story or the audience constantly reminding us of how badwrongevilhorrible she is.
We throw the term “goddess” around so much when it comes to women of color. So let’s give them the same freedom as true goddesses. Let’s allow them to be everything they can be: kind and cruel, beautiful and horrible, wonderful and terrible.
Blond-haired, blue-eyed white woman who is stronger, smarter, faster than everybody else? Check.
Nameless, disposable Asians? Check.
Now watch all the white feminists drool over themselves about how she’s a Strong Female Character (TM) and not some white supremacist fantasy.
Or alternately called Dear Lord If You Bring That Excuse Out One More Time, I Will Smack You With This Mauling Grizzly Bear, I Swear To God.
In this video, I look at some of the common excuses I’ve come across from White Fandom to try and cover their own racism.
For further clarification, here is the post about Heroine’s Quest at The Mary Sue.
Now, these were just the excuses I came across the most in my experience, so if you like, please share with me the racist excuses you’ve come across as to why black people, or any other person of colour couldn’t be in a movie, comic book, or video game.
One of the most frustrating things about being a person of color critically engaging with film and television is being constantly force fed whiteness as the standard for all humanity.
Aside from the fact that these movies and shows tend to have weak characterization, flimsy motives, shoddy worldbuilding, and cliche plots, there’s the fact that they force me to spend my precious time and brain cells on characters who have zilch going on to make them the least bit compelling and essentially sit there and be white while the story happens around them.
I won’t even bother with examples because this shit is so ubiquitous that I’d have a hard time keeping track. But even good movies and good TV shows are not immune. Even in the best of the best out there, you can probably find that one character that just takes up space and does nothing for the story other than exist, who is important not because of anything they bring to the story, but because you have to keep being told over and over again that they’re important.
In stories like this, you can get the distinct impression that the only reason why anyone should care about these characters at all is because they’re white and they exist. If the people making this shit are going to put so little effort into giving me characters who do more than exist and be white on screen, the least they can do is not insult actors and acting by forcing live human beings to play the equivalent of a jar of mayonnaise. Just cut out the middle man and put a jar of mayonnaise where the actor would normally be. They could save themselves money and the actors some time.
And you know what? This bullshit is really fucking noticeable when the character is a white woman. Because, apparently, “girl” or “woman” or “wife” or “mother” is all the characterization she needs. So it does this weird sort of white supremacist yet patriarchal thing where a woman is only a person insofar as she’s important to a man, but at the same time, her status as prize makes her inherently more valuable to a narrative than any women of color, especially Black women, in the same story.
Consider Katrina Crane in Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. Look, I fucking love Sleepy Hollow! But if Katia Winter went to another show, and Fox replaced her with a jar of mayonnaise, I’d be hard-pressed to notice. What the hell does she do other than be Ichabod’s motivation, say all kinds of cryptic shit, and fail at being a witch? She only exists to be something that Ichabod strives for. Yet at the same time, when it comes to people arguing against the romantic potential between Ichabod and Abbie, or Abbie Mills being the character people most identify with, Katrina’s name consistently gets invoked.
Give me a motherfucking break.
Don’t show me a jar of mayonnaise and tell me it’s a character. Don’t show me a jar of mayonnaise with a girl’s name and tell me that’s feminist, let alone womanist.
And last but not least: STOP LEAVING ALL THESE FUCKING JARS OF MAYONNAISE ALL OVER THE GODDAMN PLACE!
Hello everyone and welcome to Brain Food, At The Movies, wherein I review Vin Diesel’s latest masterpiece, RIDDICK.
Personally, I would have labelled it RIDDICK: ALPHA MALE McSTABBY ALOTS!
Got 20 minutes? Watch this shit now!
Did you watch it? Good.
How much you wanna guarantee that your average Hollywood movie would not have ended like that?
Hello everyone and welcome to yet another installment of Brain Food At The Movies, wherein I gush and talk about Del Toro’s latest movie, a gigantic love letter and homage to everything I loved as a child, Pacific Rim!
I also discuss how white feminists have been coming out to dismiss, critique, and put down the character of Mako Mori, and how it comes off as nothing more than the problem of Mako Mori NOT being white.
Fucking hell, WHY do they need some woman of colour to step on to make themselves feel better?
Redface not cool, Kemo-sabe.
If you thought that the lack of complex, three-dimensional women as protagonists in American film and television was an accident, you’re wrong.
As a matter of fact, one industry pro once said that,”The audience doesn’t want to listen to a bunch of women talking about whatever it is women talk about.”
“Whatever it is women talk about”? You mean stuff like:
- The average velocity of an unladen swallow
It’s almost like women are people with our own thoughts, feelings, interests, and passions.
Hard to believe, I know.