Because media does not exist in a vacuum

Let teenagers explore and make mistakes and take up for their responsibilities.

If you’re old enough to be online, unsupervised, then I, or other adults online, are not responsible for your experience online, and what media you happen to consume. 

I’m done with this, “But they’re a minor, you need to protect them and set a good example,” like who the Hell are you to tell me and others what to do and how to act online? For “minors,”? No, if you’re 13-16, 17, 18– you’re either an adolescent teenager or merging on young adulthood.
You aren’t a minor anymore, you’re a teenager, you’re a young adult, so start acting like one.

Fiction is a place of safe escapism– nobody can get harmed, nobody real can be harmed. 
I don’t care for this “but fiction doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” yeah? Well then provide me evidence that fiction affects reality in the way you believe it does–
I want cold hard facts, studies, reliable evidence. If you can’t give me that, then you lose, just like all those radical zealots and soccer mom’s lost the fight of banning rock music and video games because they believed they made people violent or satanists. 

Fiction has always been a safe escapism, and the fact you are advocating for the belief that fiction affects reality in such a way that certain genres of fiction and media should be censored or banned, well, that’s dangerous thinking, very dangerous thinking.

Allow teenagers to use fiction as a way to help them understand their sexuality more
– you have no right to tell people how they may enjoy a piece of fiction, especially if it’s due to their sexuality/gender. Like, come on, aren’t you assholes suppose to be progressive and tolerate or something? Then why the fuck have you suddenly become so hostile and intolerant to those you deem lower than you (because come on, you believe you’re somehow superior in morals, and because of your sexuality) to the point you start wanting to control what people watch and read– like, that way of thinking and perceiving the world is dangerous.
Teenagers are already confused as is it, with puberty and all– dictating to them what they’re allowed to read and watch in fiction– whether it regards them as a way to help explore their sexuality and even creativity –will only make things worse, will make them more ashamed, more aggressive, more troubled

I don’t care how much it makes you uncomfortable, or disturbed, or even upset– that’s your personal reaction, feelings, and opinions. You can’t push them on others, that’s wrong, it just is.
People have the right to their individual feelings and beliefs, and that’s that. I also don’t care how much you twist very serious terms to fit your agenda– you’re wrong, and you know it, but you don’t care as long as you cause mass hysteria and feel like you’ve done something almost heroic– but you’re wrong, you’re a tyrant, and you’re toxic movement is what is actually doing harm.

magicinabardsong  asked:

I don't understand why Lucas Miller is so terrible. Is it ever mentioned in the podcast how he got the hugbears in the first place? Is it for sure canonical that Lucas is white? Isn't it possible for the character to redeem himself, especially since the crystal kingdom arc? I'm genuinely curious why we should apply United States historical context to a fantasy story.

This is pretty ignorant but I’ll go easy on you. 

In the podcast he mentions that the Bugbears used to be “less civilized” and that he brainwashed them using microchips that destroyed their free will. Also enslaving the souls of Noelle and supposedly dozens of other robots. 

It’s non canonical that Lucas is white, but because media does not exist in a vacuum, making him brown or black in the comics or in fanart is outrageously inappropriate and fucked up on the grounds that these 3 southern white men and their groupies think it’s their place to decide its Finally okay to show a black man as a slave owner. 

It’s not possible for Lucas to redeem himself. It never will be. Things like owning slaves, rape, genocide. All of these in real life should never, ever be forgiven, so why would they in a fictional world??? 

Moreover Lucas’ redemption on this point relies less on the McElroy’s opinion or the opinion of their characters, and now lends itself more to the opinion of TAZ fans of color. And the majority consensus from us, is that Lucas Miller is 100% unredeemable. 

You see, the effects of slavery hurt all people of color permanently. That’s exceptionally more people that white Americans. You can’t actually involve plotlines that involve slavery at all without impacting those people even further in some way. 

The way slavery is represented in fiction reflects and causes real world ideals. Just look at “Confederate”.

anonymous asked:

Real people can queerbait. If someone famous clearly hints more than once that they may not be straight knowing for sure they are that is queerbaiting. Celebrities are brands too. People using all Harry's support towards the community is obviously inaccurate and no one should listen to larries ever but if someone queer feels like certain things Harry has said about himself feel like queerbaiting then that's how they feel like and they're not so wrong that people should invalidate their feelings.

Just as a starter, I don’t think that larries are uniquely (or even predominantly) the ones at issue in how people address Harry’s sexuality, it’s a pretty fandom-wide issue. But beyond that, feeling disappointed that Harry (or any other celebrity) is not openly LGBT because you felt like he indicated he was and it would mean a lot to you if he came out, and blaming Harry/accusing him of queerbaiting for it, are two completely different things. People will react how they react to what Harry does and says. But it does not make Harry blameworthy and it is not queer baiting. 

I think many people are putting hugely unfair pressure on Harry. Sexuality is really complicated for a lot of people. Putting a label onto how you identify and saying that label and formally “coming out” and all of that is really hard for most LGBT people. To take myself for an example, like the fact that I am ~not straight literally never occurred to me until I was 18 and in college. Like I can look back and identify signs now, but truly, the realization hit me like a bus in a (no kidding) intro Women’s and Gender Studies class, when I realized I had a crush on this cute sophomore. I’ve since then had approximately 9,456 mini-crises. I’m on the board of my school’s LGBT organization, have four (five if you count the Lisa Frank rainbow unicorn) LGBT-related stickers on my laptop, and regularly wear pride shirts. But if you ask me how I self-identify, I will drop a smoke ball and run away, because it’s hard and it makes me nervous and I dunno, I just don’t want to! Like my parents probably have suspicions, but I’m not “out” to them. There’s no reason, like they’d support me and all that, I just… haven’t done it. The thought of any formal sit down or whatever just…. stresses me out? Like I said, I dunno! I’ll make some jokes and have ~indicators of my sexuality all around, but I’m not really “out.” And who knows, maybe I’ll end up with a guy and will have never really “came out” and people won’t really know how I identify. But does that mean I was baiting anyone? No. It means things are complicated. 

And one of my best friends definitely identifies as straight. But she’s on the board of the LGBT organization too, and worked at Lambda Legal, and has pride stickers too. Lots of people probably think she identifies as LGBT too. But she doesn’t. She’s just an ally who actually shows up and does stuff for the community. She doesn’t constantly declare her sexuality, because that’d be weird! I’m skeptical of allies who need to constantly reaffirm their straightness. Someone thinking you LGBT is not a bad thing. Reaffirming straightness while claiming to support the LGBT community isn’t really helping, it’s continuing to perpetuate that it’s bad to not be straight. So is she queer baiting anyone? No.

Think about how messy all my feeling are, which just exist in a small vacuum of my life, and then put it onto the stage of literally millions. Harry has 20 million followers on his social media account! People track everything his says and does. If I find the idea of addressing my sexuality stressful and complicated, imagine what it might be like for him. So if he does identify as LGBT (and loving women doesn’t make him not LBGT! there are more identities than just gay or straight!), and he feels comfortable making jokes and waving pride flags, because it’s reaffirming to him and also reaffirming to LGBT fans, then great! It means a lot to me and I’m glad he’s comfortable doing it. If he’s not comfortable saying “I’m not straight,” for any reason, I respect that! And I get that like holy crap, I can’t imagine the stress he’d feel.

And if he identifies as 100% straight, then he’s actually done what I want allies to do. He’s reaffirmed the validity of LGBT people and supported causes and been there during the bad times and the good times, and made tons of fans feel more welcome, loved, and safe. And he did it without making it about him, without making it “I’M NOT GAY BUT.” He did it just to do it.

One more final note, before I wrap up this essay: I also think the idea that it is bad that Harry could be choosing not to come out for career purposes is really, really harmful. It may be that Harry/his team/those close to him came to the decision that at this point in his career, explicitly coming out wouldn’t be wise. There is still so much homophobia out there. I could blame him 0% if he made that decision and it was largely a strategic one. It doesn’t undue the constant support he’s shown in ways that are still explicit, but don’t involve “coming out.” And people make the decision to not be out at work all the time. It’s shitty and I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is. LGBT people have to make active choices about whether or not to be “out” all the time. The world’s more welcoming than it used to be for LGBT people, but it’s still… not all that welcoming. There is ample evidence for that. I would never expect Harry to come out just to make me happy, if he didn’t feel it was the right decision for him at this point. Everyone can have their own feelings and that is allowed, but you can’t project your feelings onto a real human making decisions in a landscape of potentially complicated feelings and difficult situations and get angry when they’re not following what you want them to do. Life is tough, and I really do think Harry is doing his best to be here for the LGBT community, whether he is explicitly part of it or an ally. 

In light of the news that Keith is canonically 18 and people who ship him with sh*ro are loosing their tits over it, I want to share something.

This is very uncomfortable for me to share, but I think it is necessary.

I recently turned 18, I’ve been in the fandom and convention scene since I was 12. Much of my formative years we’re around teenagers and adults much older than me.

However I never looked as young as I was, when I was 13 I could pass for 16. When I was 14 I was badgered with requests to be in bondagestuck because I looked 18 and I was very flexible. I would lie about my age because I felt if they knew how young I was I would lose their respect.

I had oral sex with a girl when I was 13, she was 18. I thought it was ok, because people saw me as a mature person. I was seen as ‘ready’ for that kind of relationship.

I made cosplays that were way too provocative because I saw that it got me more attention. My first kiss was with someone in their early 20s when I was 13, for a homestuck photo shoot.

My first girlfriend was 17 turning 18 when I was 13. I met her at a homestuck meetup. I had no idea how to be in a relationship, or how to help her with her mental illnesses.

The she*th age difference is 7 years, mine was only 4. But the difference in maturity between us was insurmountable.

I am, in the opinion of my friends and coworkers, a well socialized person. Likely due to the fact that my parents were also involved in conventions and the like.

Keith is not a well socialized person, we see this in the show. He’s hot headed and Ill tempered. Especially in the beginning he is shown to be rather immature. He is nowhere /near/ the emotional maturity of shiro, a 25 year old man working as a teacher and a lead researcher on the Kerberos mission.

I’m Keith’s age, I would absolutely not date someone 7 years older than me. They would be in grad school or beyond, I’m a sophomore undergraduate.

It’s an unhealthy power Imbalance, Shiro is a responsible adult. Keith is an under socialized unstable teenager.

I’m not saying that age differences are the end all be all, when you’re older they matter less.

I’m a gay man, I’ve been hit on by men /much/ older than me. They see me as someone young, someone they can manipulate. It is endemic in the mlm community irl.

If you care about actual mlm, or the characters you claim are your ‘babies’ you should educate yourself on the pedestry young mlm are exposed to.

Mlm don’t exist for your to ship and objectify, and while fiction does not /cause/ the problems of reality. It certainly shapes the way young men see our own relationships. I felt ok doing the things I did at 13 because the homestuck fandom around me /told/ me it was, that I was mature and developed and attractive to adults. That has drastically changed how I’m able to interact with others in any sort of romantic fashion. Even at 18 now I’m unable to hold a healthy relationship with people in my age group, much less people 7 years older than me.

Media does not exist in a vacuum, it is usually the only place young mlm can see themselves as it can be dangerous to put yourself to an irl community. Think about what you’re endorsing.

anonymous asked:

It's not like he's a real person, so why does it matter who he's shipped with?

okay, lemme try to explain this as well as I can.

yes, alec is not a real person. but what happens to him does matter and reflects on real life! both in the books, the tv series, and in how fans treat him.

the crux of it is that when someone talks or writes about alec, he represents what that person thinks about people like alec. those thoughts are often subconscious, so even someone who thinks they are not homophobic can be homophobic. the society we live in is built on power structures, in such a way that certain kind of people become dominant over another group, and they have power to oppress this marginalized group.

for example, at a macro (big) level homophobia means straight people have the right to deny same-gender attracted people jobs, marriage, health care, housing, and other necessary and important things. it means straight people have legal and political power over non-straight people as a whole, and that’s what makes homophobia oppression, and why things like “heterophobia” and “reverse oppression” are not possible.

now, to upkeep a system that exploits and oppresses us, you need to make a majority of the people to think we deserve to be oppressed. this is why there is hate speech against us, and it appears in many forms. outright “the gays are a sin” is only one form, and the form that is usually focused on by legal and political organs because framing homophobia as only this extreme kind of hate helps hide the more invisible forms of homophobia, eg microaggression.

this is where we get to representation. one form of making people believe we deserve to be hurt is by representing us negatively in media. you’ve probably heard the recent discussion on the “bury your gays” trope, in which sga people are killed off for no good reason. this is why saying media is not “real” is completely wrong. since we are kids, we are fed a certain kind of image about sga people.

first, we are excluded from children’s media as protagonists, so kids rarely see us. thus we are not associated with disney movies, fairy tales, or other things like that. though there are many cartoon villains who are queer coded to feed us certain kind of negative images; eg the “sissy villain” trope. jafar and scar, anyone? 

next, when these kids grow up to be teenagers, they’ll start seeing media where we appear sometimes, but are only given certain kinds of stories: brokeback mountain is a fantastic example of this. you can be non-straight on screen, but in exchange, you have to either not actually be lgbt, or you end up unhappy or dead. here is a handy-dandy list of many different lgbt tropes in media. 

add that to how you’re fed the same anti-lgbt sentiments in school, possibly at home, in church, on the news, etc. even if you don’t want it to, this will reflect in your actions towards non-straight characters and people. all straight people are homophobic, that’s just the truth. you’ve been brought up that way, and the only thing you can do is try to realize that and start deconstructing your homophobic views and ideas, which is a never-ending process. whether you accept this and do something about it, or choose to ignore it for an easier life, makes a difference.

now, we get to alec!

so, these straight people read the mortal instruments series. they read how alec struggles with his sexuality a lot, and talks about the homophobia he faces, from his parents and the shadowhunter society in general (“It’s not like it’s one big bad thing. It’s a lot of little invisible things. […] It’s not like a stab wound you can protect me from. It’s a million little paper cuts every day”). they read how he slowly accepts himself as a gay man, stops feeling ashamed of his relationship with magnus, and becomes happy.

for sga fans, this is extremely important. we relate to alec and his story, and when he gets a happy ending we feel like maybe, just maybe, we can get a happy ending too. that’s what stories are for! so we can relate to them and gain joy from them. mod a and I just had a tearful conversation yesterday about malec, where we talked about how a big part of why we’re so excited is because we can hardly believe it’s real! we’ll be getting a same-gender couple on screen, and it won’t be just queer-baiting. we know they’ll have a happy ending, so we can root for them without having to fear it will all be taken from us.

but the straight people who have read the books and watched the series, this all means nothing to them. it doesn’t matter how many times they tell us they respect alec’s sexuality when the fact that alec’s (= our) feelings, suffering, and experiences mean nothing to them. they mean so little to them that alec and his story is not enough for them. they have to rip it apart, rip alec apart, so he will be of some use to them. they can’t relate to a gay character, so he has to cease being gay for them to enjoy him.

it’s like a slap to the face. straight people dominate almost all stories, the main couple of tmi is a straight couple. the series has many prominent straight couples who get much attention and development (sizzy, maia and jordan, clary and simon, maia and simon, jocelyn and luke). but that’s not enough for them. straight people think they’re entitled to everything, so they think they have to have the right to ship alec with girls.

this is due to homophobia and straight privilege. it just does not occur to these people that alec is not for them, and doesn’t have to be. and we can see this. it’s a sign of it, and tells that they are homophobic in general. this is proved when they start fighting us on this, will not listen to us, do not want to listen to us. it’s proved when they send us ask messages, calling us bullies and “bitches” for daring to call out homophobia. and these all all forms of homophobic microaggression.

to us, the capability to ship alec with girls is a sign of deeper homophobic attitudes. it means you are homophobic in general, and that will affect non-straight people you interact with. this is why “it’s not real” is a bad excuse. fandom is media and media does not exist in a vacuum. how you act online reflects how you act in real life. when you don’t care about alec’s suffering, you do not care about our suffering.

and that i how fandom microaggression affects “real life” homophobia. you can’t have people calling us sinful without people also thinking it’s okay to ignore the history of our erasure+misrepresentation in media and ship alec with girls because a same-gender attracted person is just not relatable for them. this is as well as I can explain it, without turning this into an essay. please read this carefully, think on it, digest it.

This fictional story is harmful because media doesn’t exist in a vaccum uwu!

Yes, fiction does in fact exist in a vacuum, it’s called imagination. 

The fact that some people legitimately think that the average human isn’t capable of differentiating between fiction and reality is very concerning.

I just wrote and didn’t post about five angry rants because I couldn’t say it right.

Media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. People who write stories about lesbians ending up with men don’t give a shit about lesbians and they don’t give a shit about bi women either. In fact, they are using bi women as human shields against our anger and hurt at this trope.

You know what I think is great bi representation? Media that doesn’t represent bisexuality as some horrifying rhetorical middle ground that forces compatibility.

You know what I think is great lesbian representation? Media that respects our orientations and does not press on them to make us into a mockery or a “forbidden fruit”.

No matter what your orientation is, creating media where a proclaimed lesbian falls in love with a man is disrespectful to both lesbians and bi women. Bi women understanding their orientation do not do it so they can be someone’s fantasy. And lesbians are never attracted to men.

If you think this tripe is okay, sexy, progressive, or “underdone”, congrats, you’re a lesbophobe. And your identity doesn’t protect you.

There’s already been a lot of interesting meta written about the May-Ward fight scene, excessive violence, and the problematic nature of that scene considering that Ward is a victim of a lifetime of abuse, but one thing notably missing from a lot of those discussions is the fact that in this episode Melinda May had just handled the Berserker Staff again. And I want us to think about why that is the case.

Does it matter that Ward is a victim of abuse subject to further violence and likely torture? Absolutely. And I wish with all my heart that the show had handled that with the care it was due. But it also matters that people were willing to dismiss Ward’s actions while he was suffering from the effects of the Berserker Staff in the Well, or at least sympathize with him, while May is afforded none of the same when she has picked up the entirety of the Staff twice to save members of her team. 

Ward is the one character we have seen substantial flashbacks for, and I want us to think about that, that the show has deemed his flashback scenes while on the Staff integral at the expense of other story lines. Because we are never told exactly what May’s trauma is, exactly what it is that she sees everyday beyond a vague idea of Bahrain, her emotions are belittled and dismissed in discussion as “a woman scorned,” not the emotions of someone who just relived the worst moments of her life to protect her team from supersoldiers. And that can not be separated out from the fact that the producers of this show deemed Ward's narrative and story of abuse more worthy of telling than other characters’ stories. Those stories may be just as traumatic, they may be not as traumatic - but we do not know, because those stories weren’t prioritized at this point in time. I want us to think - whose story has been deemed worth telling?

When talk about “excessive violence” in this episode I also want us to think about violence inflicted on the “villains of the week,” the vast majority of whom are POC, as well as on Skye and May, and why we don’t see the same kind of sympathy for them, because the show has not deemed their stories and their past traumas and the consequences of that worth telling. I want us to think about Mike Peterson, who was shot down mid-monologue and had his agency taken away, and Chan Ho Yin, who May injected with a serum that literally made him blow up, and Akela Amador, an amazingly competent SHIELD agent turned against her will, and why we so rarely talk about “excessive violence” conducted against them. 

I want us to think about how May’s Bahrain and Skye dealing with the aftermath of her shooting are stories that have been sidelined in favor of this one, and I want us to remember that writers and producers choose to sideline stories - and that it is the PoC ones that have been sidelined both in show and in fandom is significant. I want us to think about that. 

I love reading well-written and constructive meta that makes me think and I know that there’s going to be a ton of meta that does so over the next few months. I want us to remember that media does not exist in a vacuum and can not be separated from real-life dynamics of race and gender, and I want us to be careful not to dismiss Skye’s past or May’s trauma when we talk about Ward’s. But mostly I want us to think about which stories have been deemed more worthy of telling, and whose experiences or what experiences get erased when we discuss those stories, because those are active choices someone out there has made. We may not get to make those choices, but we do get to choose how we react to them.

The thing is, just because the LGBT characters on Orphan Black are more than their sexualities doesn’t mean the show exists in a vacuum separate from the rest of mass media that DOES generally treat its LGBT characters like garbage. THAT is why I’m upset. They are not so special that THEIR version of the “bury your gays” trope should get by without criticism.

anonymous asked:

Of course they didn't make it clear in the first issue, they weren't going to spoil it. You clearly don't know how cliffhangers are meant to work.

Oh man, oh man.

Anon, I woke up this morning, saw this ask, and was filled with glee. Absolute glee. Because never have I been more qualified to take someone to church. 

So background. Hello Anon. My name is Iz and I’m an English major with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in alternative media (aka film, comics and graphics). And I am more than qualified to tell you how you have missed the point in a manner so epic, I’m honestly impressed.

Okay, so to your original claim, that this is a cliffhanger and revealing it the first issue would ruin the point: that’s correct. If we we’re told in advance that Cap was being controlled, it would indeed ruin the cliffhanger. That isn’t to say we wouldn’t have a cliffhanger at all (there would still be the cliffhanger on how we would fix Cap, or exactly how Skull did it) but the original over the top shock value cliffhanger would be gone. 

However, when it comes to media, we shouldn’t look at a cliffhanger and ask only if it’s a successful cliffhanger by the definition. Because media does not exist in a vacuum, we also must ask if this is an effective cliffhanger with outside factors of society and history.

The cliffhanger discussed is an effective cliffhanger on its own, if we throw it into the vacuum of space. It does its job. It grabs attention. But once we hold it up to history, and society? It falls rather flat. 

1. Given the media of comics often going for shock value that will go viral, this cliffhanger was meant not to attract the attention of readers and carry them to the next issue, but to foster outrage headlines and attention as a marketing ploy. It’s purpose is multilayered with a marketing view, and while on its own, this isn’t so bad we must also consider-

2. The writing disregards an understanding in the recent history of antisemitism in Marvel comics (X) and on it’s own without knowing that it would be a fakeout, it strikes as a troubling trend. And while you might say people should know it was a fakeout-

3. The marketing choice as mentioned in point one which is meant to make headlines, often attracts the attention of non-comic book readers who don’t understand the constant shifting of comics canon. To them, this story appeared as the new status quo, and because it was all over the news, kids who normally wouldn’t have read the comics saw it and we’re upset. And while you might claim that they should have known better anyway and done some research-

4. Even with the research, the story comes off as tone deaf to recent criticisms of Marvel writing, which involves racism, antisemitism, and storylines that often hurt POC just for shock value. Plus with the rise of Donald Trump in mainstream American culture-

5. The cliffhanger echoes a situation a lot of POC are terribly used to, where someone they thought was a friend turns out to be against them all along. While Spencer likely did not know this, to not do his research is a failing and also echoes my last point-

6. This is just shitty writing. The “good guy was evil all along and the opposite as we thought” is a stupid plot twist, especially in comics where we know this will all be reconed in a hot minute. Anyone who read this issue and had a history in comics knew this was going to be a fakeout, which makes this whole “dramatic twist” meaningless. The writers insisting that it was “for reals” didn’t impact us, only the general public who then thought a man they looked up to was a racist this entire time echoing recent points. And because outrage goes faster than corrections, many will likely still think so, esp kids. 

7. This storyline in general looks to be bad writing, because while looking at the nature of hate groups is interesting with the rise of Trump, the original shock value and outrage will overshadow any point Spencer is trying to make. To state Steve was brainwashed at the beginning and make the cliffhanger reside on how we were going to get him back wouldn’t have detracted from the main story’s point on how hate groups feed on the poor working class. But with this all over and done with, that story is less likely to be noticed over the loud screaming.

So yes anon, I know how a cliffhanger works. I’ve seen great ones (Ms. Marvel’s mom revealing she knows about her superheroing, Donnie’s attack in TMNT) But a cliffhanger has to do more than just provide suspense. It has to provide suspense while keeping in mind outside factors, and society. Just like any other writing. So, to conclude-

Take your “fake geek girl” rant and shove it up your own ass. 

In defense of Selfie

I’ve seen some pretty harsh criticism of Selfie, both in reviews and directed at me after I mentioned how much I enjoyed it. Some of it’s valid. But some of it is really reactionary and ignored the way the show is written and the context in which the material is presented. So I felt the need to point of some flaws in some arguments.

First of all, it has to be said… every show is going to have problematic elements. This is pretty much just unavoidable. Media does not exist in a vacuum. It both reflects society and influences it. And since society itself is problematic, pretty much all media is going to be problematic. So there’s nothing wrong with liking something that has problematic aspects. There is something wrong with trying to excuse those problematic things and justify them. 

And there are problematic things about the Selfie pilot. Though, there is a chance that some of them might be fixed as the series moves on. Pilots are generally the most shallow and surface episodes of their series because they’re establishing a large amount of backstory, environments, and characters in a relatively short span of time. This is especially true of a half hour comedies. In regards to Selfie, this is hopefully the case of its rather stereotypical portrayal of Eliza’s hipster neighbor and her friends. Their portrayal in the episode was incredibly shallow and even mocking. But considering the fact that we’ve seen that these were the only people there for Eliza when she needed help, I think that bodes well for the actually development of at least the “main” one as the series goes on.

However, there were some lines that either bordered on or were outright slut-shaming, and I really hope that not something that continues.

There was also the joke about Henry’s boss kissing him on the lips because he read an article that Asian men were comfortable with that. I’m not sure how problematic this was because, honestly, I’m really not sure what they were trying to do with the moment. Was it supposed to be some kind of “no homo” thing? Was it meant to be some kind of race joke? I read something where someone said that they thought perhaps it was trying to highlight how people accept stereotypes about certain ethnicities and minorities and then lump all people into that one group s they can justify their weird behavior. I really have no idea. The moment was just really weird and I don’t know how to read it.

But I really want to address some things that I’ve seen people ranting about that, if actually viewed within the context of the show, aren’t the problems they think they are.

Obviously, a lot of people have a problem with the perceived attack on the social media generation. Eliza is portrayed as living her life on the internet, but forming no real connections with the people she’s friended, Some people are up in arms because they, personally, have formed great relationships, real connections online, and don’t like having those connections treated like they don’t matter.

So, for what feels like the millionth time in the past few weeks, I have to point out that you’re experience is not everyone’s experience. Your experience is not the only valid one. While there are tons of people who have formed true friendships and connections online, there are also a lot of people like Eliza, whose online world is completely shallow. 

Eliza and her ilk are being portrayed as vapid and shallow. Not every single person who makes friends online. 

And even then, I think people are kind of misunderstanding the way the episode portrays Eliza. People are looking at the surface of the portrayal and not deeper to see what they’re really doing with the character. They’re hung up on the idea of Henry pointing out things that are “wrong” with her and having a knee jerk reaction of “she doesn’t need to change to please a man’s views of what’s appropriate!” that they’re not seeing the actual problems with Eliza’s behavior.

The problem isn’t that she’s sexually liberated. A lot of people have been complaining about the shaming of her “loose sexual morals”. And the problem isn’t even that she slept with a married man. The problem is that everyone knew he was married, that it was obvious he was married, but she was so self absorbed that she couldn’t see it. 

The problem isn’t that she spends a lot of time on her phone talking to people online. The problem is that in doing so she’s refusing to form relationships in the offline world to the point where she’s completely lacking in empathy. I saw one review get mad about the scenes between Eliza and Charmonique because “so what if she doesn’t care about how much sleep her coworkers are getting?” And that just so misses the point in the most unbelievably blatant way. It’s not about how much sleep Charmoniuqe is getting. That scene was used to demonstrate the fact that she spends every single day with these people she works with and she’s so self absorbed that she knows absolutely nothing about them, nor does she care. She’s so self absorbed she’s lost anything resembling empathy.

People are kind of getting hung up on the whole “internet” things that they’re failing to recognize that it’s not really about Eliza’s phone or how much time she spends online. That’s just a device through which to show how self-obsessed she is. It’s not the internet that’s her problem.

And really, I think the episode actually did a great job in developing Eliza’s motivations considering that this was the pilot, and it’s something else that a lot of people seem to miss. A lot of people are complaining about how she’s portrayed as so vapid and vile and self obsessed that they’re failing to recognize that, in the very first episode, they’ve already shown why she is this way. Because she grew up so starved for love and acceptance that she turned all of the love she could give onto herself because nobody else was going to, and in doing so she forgot how to care about other people. In a 22 minute pilot episode, they’ve already managed to make this character more complex and relatable than the silly, vapid girl she is on the surface, but people are so mad about things that they’re taking completely out of context that they’re not seeing that.

And now for the big one, which I admit was something that initially rubbed me the wrong way, but which I then realized was not what it appeared to be at first glance. A lot of people are understandably really bothered by the premise of Henry “changing” Eliza. I’ve seen a lot of ranting about him trying to conform Eliza to the patriarchy’s idea of what women should be.

But if you look at it in the context in which it’s displayed, that isn’t actually what’s going on. Henry isn’t portrayed as being some kind of flawless, perfectly knowledgeable about how women should be guy. He’s portrayed as being hyper critical and old fashioned. It’s not so much that he’s 100% correct about everything that’s he thinks is wrong with Eliza (though he is about somethings). It’s that he’s so hyper critical and obsessed with what he thinks is right that he’s unable to even so much as say something nice about Eliza even when it’s warranted. It’s a similar problem to Eliza’s self absorption. He’s obsessed with his views and his feelings that he’s unable to see any other viewpoints or accept them as valid.

I mean, seriously, the dude lives in a glass house,Did everyone just miss that giant, obvious metaphor,

This is obviously not going to be a show about a man crafting a woman into his idea of what is perfect and acceptable, which so many people clearly think it’s going to be. It’s going to be about two incredibly flawed people showing one another a different way to live and changing each other for the better in the process.

Lexa's Death Was Not Okay: A General Summary

Lexa’s death was wrong. It was not just like any other character death, it was not treating her equally despite her sexuality, it was not an unfortunate byproduct of living in the world of The 100, and it was not an interesting bit of writing that is a topic up for debate.

It was wrong.

I was expecting Lexa’s death, so I am not saying Lexa didn’t “need” to die; I am saying she didn’t deserve to die like this.

To those who would say The 100 is set in an unfair, cruel world, of which death is a part and sometimes those deaths are naturally unfair:

Dying, in itself, is already unfair. The world of The 100 is indeed unfair, and that is realistic, but the way in which a character dies can still have some method of justice to it.

Lexa’s death was unfair to her character, and it was sloppy writing.

I don’t need to describe Lexa’s character traits to you. These are known. I trust whoever is reading this understands who Lexa was as a character–a leader, a warrior, and a protector of her people above all else. She did not deserve to die from a stray bullet. She could’ve been assassinated–attacked by multiple people at once so she still went down, but she went down fighting. Her death could’ve gone any number of ways worthy of who she was. Lexa, as a character, deserved better.

However, rallying cries of “[this character] deserved better” can be heard across the land for all manners of characters and shows; so if that’s all this was–another unfair fictional death come about as a result of crappy writing–the response would not be of this magnitude. The crux of the problem is that Lexa’s death had layers of tragedy and horror to it that some people aren’t understanding, including the showrunner himself.

Media does not exist in a vacuum free from real-world implications.

Instead of being written in a way that did justice to her character and could’ve been explained as politically motivated, Lexa’s sloppily-written, stray-bullet death arguably came about as a direct result of her relationship with Clarke. This is potently significant, tragic, and wrong because Lexa and Clarke are queer.

We do not yet live in a world where the treatment and presentation of queer characters is no longer incredibly significant. Not all characters are created equal from page one. Not yet. Representation and history are irrevocably intertwined with media whether we like it or not, and historically, for decades, queer relationships have only ended in tragedy. There is a reason why the phrase “queer people don’t get happy endings” is used so often: they don’t. They don’t even get ambiguous endings (i.e., in this case, Lexa and Clarke parting ways and never being shown in canon together again, but there is still the possibility because they are alive). Instead, queer characters–and more specifically for the purposes of this post, queer relationships–get tragedy for “effect.”

And do you know how that tragedy is often shown?

Directly after happiness is achieved.

Two characters get together, and they’re happy, but.

Historically, in queer relationships shown in media, there is no “happily ever after.” There is always a “but.”

A terminal illness diagnosis. AIDS. A sudden death.

Happiness, and then the rug snatched out from under them.

This sends a message to viewers, especially those in the queer community. That message is actually how the concept originated: the idea that queer stories could be shown, but they cannot be happy, because to be queer is still inherently “wrong” and there will always be tragedy involved in such a life. The message is that you cannot be queer and happy, because it is not deserved.

This is untrue. Oh, it is so untrue. There are happy queer people all over the world, and they are living their happily ever afters. Never doubt that. But media is powerful (it is never “just a show”), and that is not what the media is saying.

This is why Lexa’s death was wrong.

Lexa and Clarke found their happiness, had their intimacy, and less than 5 minutes later it was shattered. Not only that, but it was shattered because of that happiness. Clarke was being targeted for loving and being in a relationship with Lexa, and Lexa died because of her love for and relationship with Clarke. Yet the writers didn’t even have the decency to let them exchange their love in words.

Lexa’s story and character were supposedly not defined by her sexuality, yet her main story was over once the storyline about her queerness was done; they built up her relationship with Clarke, and then as soon as it was done, she was gone.

Again: Lexa was not a heterosexual character, and Lexa and Clarke had a queer relationship, and that carries more weight because we do not yet live in a world where the treatment and presentation of queer characters is no longer incredibly significant. Non-tragic queer endings are rarely seen, and are not standard; there is an over-saturation of queer tragedy, a long list that now has Lexa as one of its most recent additions.

Media does not exist in a vacuum.

When discussing Lexa, we cannot acknowledge the positivity of the representation she brought to television, and then ignore the negative implications inherent in and the repercussions of her end.

Today, in our current society where equality and representation are still an uphill battle, to write a queer relationship (and push it, and promise queer fans that you can be trusted) is to shoulder a responsibility. It is a responsibility to do better. To do right by them. Representation is not simply bringing the character into existence (and queer people should not have to sit back and be grateful because “at least [the queer character] was there at all!”). Representation is also writing that character’s middle and their end in a way that is not tone-deaf to decades of history, and tragedy, and voices of those who have cried foul. It is the responsibility to write that character’s entire journey in a way that is just.

This was not justice.

Lexa deserved better.

And, more importantly, so did those who were watching her.

haxcall  asked:

You think too much about the creative process in comics. The people writing the material don't matter, it only matters if the material they write are any good.

Eh, you’re referring to something that’s a consistent debate concerning criticism: judging the work on its own or is the work tainted by association to the people who created it. Lindsay did a video about this a while ago:

It’s really up to an individual how they view the product and whether they need to care about it. That being said, I think you’re being a bit disingenuous when you say I “think too much about the creative process in comics,” since there’s more to it than just things known about the creator. The process is every bit as important, especially in explaining things like “why an artist chose to do one thing instead of another,” or color choice, or how things are affected because of the time period they were made in.

Media does not exist in a vacuum, nor do the creators of that media, so to me, at least, context and the individuals who create it are just as important… especially if they do not learn from their mistakes, but continue to repeat the same ones over and over. See: Greg Land, Rob Liefeld, Frank Miller, and with today’s episode: Scott Lobdell.

anonymous asked:

HELP ME UNDERSTAND. I believe in Elounor because honestly to me it seems REAL!! And IK all these blogs on here are older and more "intelligent" but honestly I don't understand larry shippers. WHY would eleanor spend time with louis family and why do louis sisters defend elounor if it's fake??? Also there are a few times when cameras aren't around tht they look like a couple like he put his arm around her waist and the mini golfing and the award show where she kissed him from the seat behind

The basic rules I set for myself when I decided to observe 1D was to pay especially close attention to 1) what is done for attention and what is not done for attention (if they know they’re being watched by hordes of fans shooting video, that’s something to consider), and 2) what is easy to fake and what is hard to fake. Not only because I know how that’s how you can distinguish a real from a fake relationship for closet reasons in general, but also because so much of the entertainment world is very much a show for the public.

It’s also important to be careful not to overgeneralize from what little you see.

I think you also need to understand that if an entertainer is in the closet, their family is not going to out them to fans. It might satisfy fans’ curiosity, but it would cause huge consequences for themselves. And I know that in general, when somebody is under enormous public scrutiny, people tend to want to protect them from the public.

‘when cameras aren’t around’ Are you talking about stuff you see on video and gifs going around tumblr?

Look, in general you need to be very careful about evaluating sources of information–and this applies to all of life, not just 1D. Being able to do this is an enormous asset in life–especially in today’s information age in which we are bombarded by the media. Information does not exist in a vacuum. It came to you from somewhere. If the information came from video, evaluate the source of the video. If the information came from hearsay/rumor, evaluate the hearsay. Ask how and why this information reached you. Remember that people have their own interests apart from you–so, for example, it would not in a family member’s interest to tell you that a relationship is fake, even if, especially if, the relationship /is/ fake, because it would lead to enormous consequences for them. It would be against their interest to tell you. So this is a factor to take into consideration when you evaluate the source. If I know that it’s in somebody’s interest to lie to me, I’m not going to weigh their words very heavily.

I’m getting the impression that you treat information as if it exists in a vacuum, without considering how and why it reached you–so, for example, when you see a photo, you don’t consider the circumstances in which the photo was taken. You act as if the photo appeared out of thin air. And you act as if events captured on camera happened without any cameras around. That’s not good. Don’t do that.