I’m gonna go way more in-depth with this later, but just some words I wanted to get off my chest.
I never could understand this feeling by many in print media, film, and other entertainment mediums why it was always felt that a product was no good without a white, male (most often straight) hero type character to be somewhere in the franchise. Whether being the main focus or being the one who helps out the woman/person of colour/lgbtq person. And with women and lgbtq, the white male hero was there to dispense advice because hey, he’s white and male and only white males know what’s good for people (unless they happen to be gay, but sometimes that includes even if they are gay).
Those types of stories are dangerous. Because they can foster an identity in different genders and races that this is the truth.
Racism and sexism is prevalent in our society; we are not yet in a post racial society, we are not yet in a society of equality. There are still things that foster this air of inequality, such as the entertainment medium. Our social media today allows us to report on the latest book or the newest movie at break neck speed. It can also display our bigotry at such incredible speeds as well. One such thing is the response to a character in the Hunger Games being black, and most of the tweets said there’d be more sympathy if the character was white. Now that was around the movie. As I myself have read, the description of Rue (the character in question), pretty much solidified that she was black (or, darker skinned). The tweeting of the lack of sympathy showed the absolute apathy and bigotry toward African Americans (or African Canadians).
We need people of colour, women of colour, women, LGBTQ authors and we need characters of the same design. Because once those authors and those characters become more prevalent in our entertainment media, then we’ll be taking a step forward. There has to be more Gail Simone’s and Dwayne McDuffie’s of the world to help bring about new and interesting ideas. With this new world of social media, marketing should be a lot easier. We should be able to inundate different sites with information about new, positive story ideas.
Instead, we’re merely being given the same, tired old stories as though the well has dried up. When a new idea does come along, it’s the most damaging and racist thing ever seen. Two examples of this are 50 Shades of Grey and the Save The Pearls series. One series paints an entire culture in such a bad, stereotypical way, while the other attempts to use reverse racism, siting that white people will be the oppressed and down trodden of the future. Amazingly, the latter won’t happen because we humans have the tendency to evolve with climate changes. As I’ve read, the plot of the book is that due to environmental damage due to over mining, over drilling and pollution, whites can’t survive as well in the new world thanks to huge holes in the ozone layer. Or something to that affect. But seriously, the book without reading it is really racist as it tries to make whites look like an oppressed minority. Which is pure fantasy.
However, enough of that.
People of colour, women of colour, women and lgbtq creators have a lot of really good ideas. We should look closely at those ideas and take them into account, instead of just brushing them aside or complaining that “the quota was already filled” (which is another statement of bullshit). Maybe if we took a look at more of their ideas, we’d have a whole lot more original entertainment to keep us going, instead of rebooting or re-imagining the same crap, over and over again.
Okay so I realized something earlier today.
What some, maybe even most, equal rights people want isn’t equality. (Note: This isn’t talking about everyone. I never said all. I know for a fact there are people out there who this doesn’t apply to.)
What some/most want is revenge.
If you really wanted equality you wouldn’t be saying racism can’t happen to white people.
They are a race, shouldn’t they have the same coverage according to true equality?
Are the not entitled to the same racial based college grants, history months, clubs, and other things?
They are according to the true idea of equality.
But some/many will say this isn’t true. That for what they’ve done they don’t ‘deserve’ any of this.
Guess what people, that’s the same concept as wanting revenge on white people.
You know, this line of thought has been around since emancipation, when white folks were convinced that former slaves wanted revenge against them.
Former slaves were much more interested in getting on with their lives, no matter how white folks insisted on wallowing in terror, but this idea persists.
I’m astounded at how many white supremacists there are out there. I thought they were all reasoned out of existence because Martin Luther King and Bill Cosby were nice.
Personally? I wouldn’t blame any person of color for wanting revenge. Whiteness has fucked everyone over since forever, and when someone actually stands up and says ‘stop treating me like shit’ fools like you, simplybadass, start spewing garbage like this.
You’re an ignorant asshole.
I’d have to agree. If they want revenge then I wouldn’t stand in their way. Wanting equal rights shouldn’t be something debated. It’s called a right. Right to clothing. Right to food. Right to shelter. Right to proper medical treatment. Right to protection. Right to marry. These aren’t things that should be dolled out to those who happen to think like the status quo (ie; white male heterosexual). simplybadass, you need to remove the word “bad” from your username and that will explain exactly what you are.
I recently saw the movie, based on the book by Suzanne Collins. Hunger Games, as a movie, is visually pretty good and does capture the main premise of the book quite well. Granted, just as with any book to movie, there are some things that just don’t translate well from the written word into visual settings. Still, read the book first, then watch the movie. One will not detract from the other, and try to withhold the urge to scream at the screen “BUT THAT WASN’T IN THE BOOK”. It is a method of self muzzling that I learned for myself many years ago.
Hunger Games is essentially a dystopian future where children are thrust into an arena to survive and fight to the death. All of this broadcast on television for the viewing pleasure of the mass audience. If that were suggested in today’s world, the person who suggested it would be carted off to the funny farm. Though, the idea in Hunger Games isn’t too far off what we see now.
We do live in an MTV world, where reality television has taken hold quite fast. Survivor, Britain/America/Canada’s Got Talent (and most likely other countries as well), American/Canadian Idol, Fear Factor, and many others that have become a mainstay of television. Especially in the western world. And most of our television viewing is pretty white washed.
So, you may inquire how did I go from Hunger Games and it’s MTV style gladiator arena pitting children against children to any issue like race? If I have to fully explain, then some have been living under a rock. Even I consider myself a hermit and I get out enough to realize what’s going on in the world. But, seeing how this is an editorial, and before I fully dive into this subject there needs to be some clarification. Some context, as one might say.
Hunger Games has many unique and varied characters. Collins goes so far as to give detailed descriptions of the tributes that will take part in the games. Including a young girl named Rue. Rue, in the book, is described as such, which is found on Page 45 of the Scholastic Edition of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games (first printing Scholastic, copyright 2009 Scholastic Press, 2008 hardcover Scholastic Press), or my way of saying LOOK IT UP!:
And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that, she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor.
Dark Brown Skin. DARK BROWN SKIN! How much clearer does that need to be? You might ask, why is that description needed about this one character. Because Rue happens to be the target and subject of some of the most overt, stupid racism I’ve ever seen. The Twitterverse is abuzz with how they were sad Rue died UNTIL THEY FOUND OUT SHE WAS BLACK! HOW MORE FUCKING RACIST IS THAT? It’s also not just a small incident retweeted by one or two people. It’s so bad that there’s now a tumblr that displays these messages of ignorance.
This is not any different than what fans of Avatar The Last Airbender went through (no, not Avatar, Title That James Cameron Stole For Land of the Blue People). The creators of the show had done a great deal of research into cultural backgrounds from China, Tibet, India, Viet Nam and the Northern Inuit. When you watch the animated series, you get the proper feeling that these people are all from a different culture and you’re following them through their world.
Then came the movie.
Try to imagine that said in an ominous voice with something akin to a funeral dirge or the Imperial Death March.
There was so much white washing of the main cast, with the exception of the villains. Is this what movie goers want? Everything to be white? Is that why it took so long to get Red Tails off the ground? Because it was a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen? The only black squadron of fighter pilots to fly during the Second World War? How is that not an interesting movie?
And now we’ve got Hunger Games which includes this sudden apathy toward a character who dies because she happens to be black. She’s 12! And forced to fight in a televised event! For her life! KILL OR BE KILLED! DID I MENTION SHE’S FUCKING 12? Skin colour should be the absolute last thing a person thinks about. This is a young girl, the youngest of all the tributes from a poor district in the book. Forced to fight or die, all for the thrill of the upper class entertainment.
I’m not saying we should all become colour blind. But we had damn well better become more aware of issues regarding race that surround us everyday. When we (and I use the Royal We for me and all other white people, I don’t care if you have black/gay/lesbian/east indian/native american/mexican friends/relatives) make flippant, off handed comments about “oh, I was sad about Rue’s death until I saw she was black”, we need to check our privilege. We need to understand that what we are typing/saying is incredibly racist, and we’re setting the bar back to the early 1900s (or in some cases even earlier). How can we on one hand say that we’ve come so far since the civil rights movement of the 60s, and then spout garbage like that? It only proves we haven’t come very far at all.
Hunger Games can teach us a lot. But in a lot of cases, it’s what it can teach us about ourselves that matters most.
At least, that’s what I’ve heard and haven’t had much time to look into it. I guess it was Billy Crystal. Maybe?
My only question, if this actually did happen, who thought this would be a good idea?
This is traditional native clothing:
Eastern Shoshone (Wyoming), Girl’s Dress, beads/leather, c. 1900.
Or even this:
Wanna know why that second one still doesn’t count?
Because ladies and gents that is Iron Eyes Cody. He was a famous actor who did western movies. He was an Italian that liked to play Native American, not just in his movies, but in real life.
This is what we dance in:
This is the proper way to wear a warbonnet:
This is Phil Fontaine. He is the former National Chief. He can wear a war bonnet.
Improper way to wear a war bonnet:
These are “Indian” Blankets:
These are not:
This is what native art looks like:
This belongs under #indian hat:
This does not:
This is native jewellery:
My friend’s bead work.
This is not:
As promised, I have written a little something about awesome women you will encounter in Skyrim. I haven’t progressed far beyond the end of the main quest, so this is by no means a complete roundup of noteworthy female characters. Summaries of the first three women will include medium spoilers. Summary of the last woman will contain two big spoilers, and there is a bolded warning included right before you get to it in case you want to skip it. Images in this post all have descriptions in their alt tags. If you reblog this post and feel compelled to elaborate on the descriptions, please place them inside the alt tags. Now, on with the post!
Something about Skyrim that excited a lot of Elder Scrolls fans is the ability to alter a character’s weight, and that NPCs come in all shapes and sizes. I’ll admit the latter worried me, as I was pretty certain there would be problematic portrayals of fat NPCs.
Meet Gerdur. By Hollywood standards, she’s a “fat chick”. If she was a character in an American film, she’d only appear for about five minutes for the sole purpose of being the butt of a joke. And if she appeared longer than that, she’d be stuffing her face with fried chicken and cupcakes the entire time. And if she wasn’t stuffing her face, she’d be on a diet. And if she failed to reach her target weight by the end of the story, she’d be forever alone.
Spoiler Alert: don’t read more if you are trying to avoid any and all Skyrim spoilers.
I may have to look at picking up this game.