Good bye, OUAT…

In this video, I explain just why I’m not watching this show anymore… trust me, you won’t either after watching this.

At least I’ll always have the first season.

For those of you who are curious, the Walter White Sliding Scale of Villainy was created by a good friend of mine, and you can read her post about it here.

Read it, it’s good education.

It matters that the Evil Queen is Latina.

The Evil Queen is Latina, and it matters.

Regina is, in the words of Archie Hopper, “a very complicated woman.” This is someone who loves her Daddy dearly but kills him to cast the Dark Curse. This is a woman who loathes Snow White with the fire of a thousand suns yet loves her son (*cough* and Emma *cough*) so much and so deeply that it’s at times physically painful. And let’s not get started on that shit with Cora.

So much about Regina’s story is so familiar because many of us have been there.

  1. We’ve been abused by those who claim they love us.
  2. We’ve been exploited by those more powerful than us.
  3. We’ve lashed out in fear and anger.
  4. We’ve held on too tightly to those we love and wound up losing them.
  5. We’ve clung to the past because that’s all we had.
  6. We’ve been desperate for a way to end our pain.
  7. We’ve done things we regret.
  8. We wish to love and be loved yet don’t always know how to do so.

These are universal human experiences. All too often, the face of a “universal human experience” defaults to a white face. Yet, this time around, the person embodying these universal human experiences is a woman of color, a Latina.

Whether you approve or disapprove of what she does is not the point. What matters most is: can you identify with this person? Can you relate to what she’s gone through? Does her humanity touch yours?

Do you not see how fucking important that is?

See, it’s easy to admire a woman of color who always has her shit together, who makes the right decision, who is an inexhaustible font of strength, courage, patience, wisdom, and kindness. People eat that shit up. What people have a harder time with are women of color who are merely human, who are not paragons of virtue, whose lives are a mess, and whose choices are not so easy to say, “Right on, sister!” to.

Women of color are rarely allowed to be deep, complex, or multifaceted. Our virtues and vices, rather than reflecting our humanity, serve as evidence in favor of or against it. As Viola Davis said to Tavis Smiley,

“[T]here aren’t enough multifaceted roles for women who look like me. And when I say multifaceted roles, I mean roles where I open up the script, and the character goes on a journey. Right, see, a balance, where I’m not just always dignified, I know everything, I see everything, I’m just this straight-backed Black woman/friend/all-knowing-seeing/whatever. I’m talking about a human being, multifaceted human being who actually lives, breathes, all of that, OK? [...] I’m saying that as an artist you’ve gotta see the mess. That’s what we do. What we do as artists is we get a human being, and it’s like putting together a puzzle. And this puzzle, it’s gotta be a mixture, a multifaceted mixture of human emotions, and not all of it is gonna be pretty. We’re not gonna win, we’re not gonna be heroes, y’know, OK?”

That’s why it fucking matters.

The Evil Queen, Snow White, and Mammy

It’s still February, so y’all ain’t off the hook with this Black shit just yet.

Just kidding. This is Ars Marginal. Every month is Black History Month here. Or, to be more accurate, Everybody But Straight White Men’s History Month.

Anyway, this is something of a follow-up post to this one I made a while back about the Strong Black Woman stereotype and my identifying with the Head Bad-Ass Mother Fucking Bitch In Charge (HBAMFBIC) Regina Mills (aka the Evil Queen) from ABC’s Once Upon A Time.

I read this Tumblr post (and you should too) when a line caught me by surprise and hit me right in the Blackness.

That is not a stepmother. That is a house slave.

When you look at Regina’s situation, that’s exactly what the fuck she is.

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Sinking Ships – The Ginnifer Torpedo

Hello everyone, and welcome to a special episode in which I discuss actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s homophobic comments about the fan ship, SwanQueen, which si the pairing of Regina Mills and Emma Swan.

And here it is again on blip.tv.

Enjoy!

Look at more of Linnpuzzle’s artwork here.

Look at more of hamstr’s artwork here.

Link: Once Upon a Time and Family-Friendly Relationships

I feel a little odd posting this here because I haven’t even seen enough of Once Upon a Time to follow all the excellent meta that’s been posted here already; I’ve only seen a handful of episodes.  But I thought it was worth sharing:

“They’re Not Going to Kiss. It’s a Family Show.” (link to my blog)

But seriously, we live in a world in which we can have a show that vomits romance and True Love and Kissing Solves Everything Even Dark Magic(tm) all over the screen and when I say I want a certain romance to happen on that show, when I say, “Man I want those two characters to kiss already!”, the response can be . . . “Nope, sorry, it’s a family show“????

The rant is more about society than it is about the show itself: the way OUAT has set itself up with the “family show” label, and the double-standard that means they can show gobs and gobs of opposite-sex kissing but the chance of a same-sex relationship is slim to none.

Which, what?  Why does a show have to be “edgy” for even a sweet, non-explicit same-sex romance to be likely?  Why can’t we apply the same standard to same-sex kisses that we do to opposite-sex ones?  Why, when I watch a show overflowing with couples, is the one romantic pairing I like dead before it started, just because it happens to be two women?  What the fuck is that?

I don’t mind that OUAT wants to give itself a “family” label.  But I feel infuriated that “family” somehow means, “keep the queer out COOTIES!!”  It’s homophobic and shitty and really just stupid.

(Note: I’m not privy to OUAT’s marketing strategies, so maybe I’m totally off base and idiotically assuming and they don’t consider same-sex couples to be taboo at all.  Maybe they’ve been building up the couple I like from the beginning.  It’s possible.  I will gladly, GLADLY proclaim I am wrong on this one if that happens.)

Identifying with Regina and a reflection on the Strong Black Woman (TM)

Reposed from Tumblr.

If you haven’t already, you should read Melissa V. Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. It goes into more depth with a lot of the things I’m going to raise here. If you’re curious about how certain ideas about Black women have an effect on our individual and collective well-being, you should check it out.

Now, let’s get started.

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Critical thoughts on “Once Upon A Time” and fandom

Over on Tumblr, I’ve been carving out a niche in the Once Upon A Time fandom for a place where we can critically analyze the show and the fandom, with a special emphasis on the messages it sends and what people take from it.

For the most part, I kept a lot of that stuff over there because my Tumblr is the place where I can really relax and let my freak flag fly. That said, I do want to start bringing some of my OUAT stuff over here because it’s relevant to Ars Marginal.

Keep coming back and bring some friends because it’s going to get pretty interesting now.

Nobody deserves abuse, not even Evil Queens

This post comes with a spoiler alert for next week’s episode and trigger warning for frank talk about domestic violence and intimate partner abuse.

You listen here, ABC’s Once Upon A Time.

Let me make one thing absolutely fucking clear.

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