Hello everyone and welcome to another video on white privilege and fandom that I all hope you enjoy. This is only a little bit of what happens in fandom but it’s indicative of what happens on an almost daily occasion, especially when it comes to characters who are from a marginal class, such as being a POC, LGBTQ, disabled, or intersect across them all.
For additional reading, here is the link to the wonderful takedown of Michelle Coltee by Melissa Harris Perry that I mention near the beginning of the video:
6 thoughts on “Solidarity Is For White Fangirls. Only.”
Could you provide a written transcript of your video please, for those who have sensory/hearing issues?
Oh, but of course! In fact, I can e-mail you my script for this. There might be a few minor changes between it and the video, but 90 percent of it is still spot on.
I’d apologize about the dissertation I wrote here if it wasn’t what I was really thinking…. I need to remember that this is why I have my own blogs….
I’m fat, working class/poor, and Black. I am not the hugest fan of Michelle Obama’s “safe politics” (since you mentioned her), which have helped increase the tides of healthism, thin privilege, and other coercive weight loss tactics and bigoted body policing in this country and against children, too. I don’t care if she’s Black. She’s a part of the “be thin or die trying” campaign and its not about health. I resent that very strongly and am disappointed in her choice of agendas. Anyway.
Its great how you built up your more than substantial evidence then used that word that white fandoms hate–racist. Perfect. Because that’s exactly what it is.
You mention good examples like Sleepy Hollow, Star Trek, American Horror Story, and Doctor Who. I’ve been briefed on the current arc of American Horror Story by someone who watches it (and I’m so sick of people expecting Black women to “be the better man” and accepting like our actions, passions, or even hate come from the same place and are the same as the white oppression that caused them). I’ve seen Doctor Who and watched plenty of Star Trek, including the new movies. At best, I think Spock and Uhura’s relationship is interesting. Martha Jones’ time and relationship with the Tenth Doctor was just as deplorable as you described it, with her constantly having to prove she’s capable and intelligent against racist whites while the Doctor exposes her to them and blatantly ignores her feelings for him.
The way you describe the relationship between the main characters of Sleepy Hollow sounds really nice. But I’m very suspicious of the sudden number of popular white/Black couples on mainstream television (as with a Black couple or non-white/Black couple in the same scenarios would get less or little support if they appear on television at all). A white member is always necessary to get any kind of attention at all, like back when more than two Black people couldn’t gather without a white person present. I view it as more colorblind racist and white propaganda, using white/non-white interracial couples as the foothold. But I also ask myself, when setting that belief/suspicion aside, why not? Why not these couples? Because either way as long as a Black woman is the hero/main character and is involved in any positive, meaningful, and 3-dimensional way, white fandoms will show their racist asses, particularly if they would rather see a white woman in that role. it shows just how little room they have in their hearts, everyday life, and imaginations for people who are not white. White privilege depends on dehumanizing and othering that which is not white.
I don’t have any friends who read pop television and media at this level so I don’t watch TV almost at all because I don’t have anybody with any sense to talk to about it. I don’t think I’d waste my time even if I did. I have learned to be very mistrustful, observant, and critical of a media where most characters of Color are not even written by People of Color, and if they are what is the agenda of the writer/producers based on the portrayal of the character and their interactions with those around them.
Well, the good thing that I heard about Sleepy Hollow is that most of the writers there are people of colour and sisters, which is why the relationship between Jenny and Abbie gets a healthy dose of screentime, and it’s done so very well. I’ve read some excellent observations about Abbie’s role in the series and her relationships with everyone else, and I think it’s good that we also get to see more of Orlando Jones’ character and how this all affects his life, such as his relationship with his wife and his daughter. He’s not just there to be the disapproving police Captain.
None of this is to brush aside your concern, and I’ve read many a post by my online friends talking about why they watch what they watch and what they don’t watch, and your concerns, criticisms, and mistrust is very well founded. Heck, there is a lot at play here that intersect with one another such as class, body politics, racism, sexism, and it all happens at the same time. There’s no schedule for it, no set time for when fat shaming comes in at 9 AM, then it’s racism at 10 AM, followed by a quick luncheon with the patriarchy. It all intersects and it’s a huge mess to unravel, and I know I can’t unravel it all. Hell, when I make these videos, I do my best to be mindful of myself when discussing it all because I know that I have blind spots despite my best efforts.
You mentioned your dissatisfaction with Michelle Obama and I know that in my mentioning the examples I do of Rinko Kikuchi, Freema Agyeman, Zoe Soldana, and Nicole Beharie, that they have thin privilege over Gabourey Sidibie. She’s the only plus-sized black woman on TV I can think of whereas everyone else is conventionally thin.
Heck, the new Bridge Bunny (which is a Robotech reference) in Star Trek Into Darkness, Aisha Hinds, is a beautiful curvy black woman who, to the best of my knowledge, is not referred to once by name on screen.
Again, it’s a huge untangled mess where one has to look at it carefully from both sides and be critical of it all.
And thank you for watching the video. I’m just trying to do what I can here, and frankly, I’m tired of the white fangirls coming down so hard on the women of colour on the big and small screen.
The weird thing about this, though, is that while they erase, downplay, or outright hate women of color characters, they also expect women of color to identify with and root for white women characters.
It says a lot that more white fangirls identify with, say, Delphine LaLaurie than they do with Queenie. Like, f’real? They identify with a person who owned people and tortured, mutilated, and killed them for shits and giggles? But the person who is trying to figure herself out and where she belongs is like some alien or something?
While I’ll continue to watch Sleepy Hollow because all of the god things it has got going for it it’s on thin ice with me. They went for the magic Indian super quick (um…what the fuck is that Plains war bonnet doing in an Iroquois sweat lodge? Oh I get all First Nations are the same!) and handle it with less than required cultural sensitivity. For me it’s not even just the white fan bases anymore…it’s pretty much all of them. Just leave First Nations alone if you aren’t going to put in the effort to A)understand we still exist, and just like everyone else, our cultures have moved on and we aren’t magic noble savages and B)Pan-Nativism is not a thing. War bonnets, totem poles and sweat lodges are all different things from different people. It’s not like I mix up German war medals, French art-history, and English parliament-temples.
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