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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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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What If Regina/The Evil Queen from “Once Upon A Time” Isn’t White?

As my internet husband Neo Prodigy will tell you, it’s been firmly established that I really do have A Thing for brilliant, powerful, assertive women, especially the ones with a dark beauty that you never find in the wholesome Goldilocks/Girl Next Door type.

Having said all that, one of the TV shows on my Must Watch list is ABC’s Once Upon A Time. And by Once Upon A Time, I mean Regina Mills/Evil Queen. I am so smitten with this beautiful, brilliant, powerful, damaged woman it’s almost sickening. You know how Gomez is when it comes to Morticia? I so fucking get that now (and envy the fact that their relationship is healthier than the vast majority of heterosexual romances).

Aside from the fact that Regina is the sun around which my viewing this show revolves, the chemistry between her and Emma Swan is so deliciously subtexty in its queerness that the show’s alternative title should be Henry’s Two Mommies.  Granted, if this show was produced by HBO, they’d be fucking by now, I’m willing to give ABC the benefit of the doubt. And when that fails, there’s always fandom and AU fic.

Now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk a bit about race and Regina/Evil Queen.

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