and gender queer villains

I’m pissed that Outlast 2 made the hot, ambiguously gendered, queer-coded character a villain who commits terrible sex crimes and other horrific acts. Way to follow the status quo, guys. Couldn’t possibly have a character like that be the PROTAG, now could we. 

…I’m even more pissed though that I still like Val and Outlast in general. I am terrible.

No but I’m really curious about gender roles and perceptions of sexuality on the Isle of the Lost?  Because a lot of the most well-known Disney villains don’t conform to gender roles (see: discussions of queer coding in Disney).  And, like, I’m not trying to say that the Isle of the Lost is some kind of liberated oasis of free thought or anything, observably islander culture is really repressive in some ways, like how people are encouraged not to form meaningful social bonds in a way that feels very toxic masculinity-ish to me.  Still, while a lot of things are stigmatized on the island, I get the sense that “not conforming to gender roles” or “being gay/trans” wouldn’t be among them.  This seems to be at least a little bit supported by canon, since the behaviors of various villain kids is generally more influenced by the examples of their respective parents (examples: Mal is a leather-clad badass who everyone is terrified of and who holds ridiculous grudges out of spite, Jay sometimes uses his unrealistically muscular physique to intimidate people but more often tries to gain power by being charming and getting people to trust him so he can stab them in the back/steal their stuff, Harriet Hook is in charge of a gang of pirates, Lady Tremaine’s male and female grandchildren try to gain social power by dancing with high-status people at parties and bragging about their aristocratic status, etc). 

Unfortunately there’s a few things in canon that contradict this theory but I feel like there are plausible explanations for this.  (I mean, okay, obviously there is a Doylist explanation and that is ‘the creators didn’t consider this aspect of the worldbuilding because they aren’t gender studies nerds like me’ but I think there are plausible Watsonian explanations too).  

Firstly, there’s Evie, who’s obviously pressured to conform to the traditionally feminine “Disney princess” archetype.  However, Evie is an exception to the rule because she wasn’t actually exposed to islander culture until later in life.  She spend most of her childhood being homeschooled by the Evil Queen from Snow White, who tried to gain power using a more traditionally feminine method (marry a rich dude, be The Prettiest) than e.g. Maleficent or Ursula.  In fact, Evie’s pursuit of traditionally feminine goals (being good at cooking and sewing, being obsessed with beauty, wanting to marry a prince) seems to be considered unusual by the other islanders.

There’s also a moment in the book where Gaston’s kids (named Gaston and Gaston, natch) try to impress Evie by being Chivalrous Gentlemen, but that definitely feels like another example of kids following the example of their parents.  Also, as I have established in my fanfiction, it’s my personal headcanon that Gaston and his family don’t really fit in on the island.  The fact that iirc the Gaston kids get made fun of for being stupid in the book seems to support that. 

On the flip side, I feel like open discussion of LGBT stuff is frowned upon in Auradon.  Like, I feel like Auradon has lots of “confirmed bachelors” and “roommates” and princes who go on “hunting trips” together, that sort of thing. So that’s another example of culture shock for the villain kids.

anonymous asked:

hi sorry to bother but I just wanted to ask what you meant by rumple being queer coded? thanks :)

So, queer coding is when a character is given stereotypically queer (gender non-conforming or gay/lesbian, usually) traits but never identified as such.  This happens a LOT with male villains in media, to the point that “sissy villain” is a trope listed on tvtropes.

After all, there’s nothing manlier than beating up a sissy. It doesn’t even matter that the limp-wristed villain is powerful, he looks weak and homosexual and that’s what matters.

This trope shows up mainly in Western works and those Japanese works aimed at a male audience; if the villain is presented as certain kinds of swishy, female fans are likely to declare him utterly fabulous.

(emphasis mine)

Once you know it’s a thing to look for, you’d be surprised at how prevalent it is in western media, it’s absolutely insane.

I’ve written before about how Rumple is an extremely gynocentric character in that he chooses traditionally female roles for himself (an association with fiber arts, very focused on his role as parent and caretaker to a child) but in his Dark One persona especially, well…

his wrists are a little limp

he’s extremely flamboyant

I mean, REALLY flamboyant

He prances a little

and his clothes. Tight leather everything, big sleeves…he draws attention to himself.

His every movement is over the top and theatrical and, well, effeminate. This article is pretty good.

Even traits that have become tropes for villains (being well-dressed; having feminine mannerisms or manner of speech; being aristocratic in manner, wealth and appearance; being a smooth talker; having flamboyant hand gestures, manners of dress, and decor in their homes/lairs; having little to no interest in women; being conniving or catty etc etc etc) show how deeply imbedded queer coding as been to the point where queer qualities are associated with evil.

DO!Rumple pings all of those except little to no interest in women (although approximately 2 women in 300 years…). He even has the well decorated house to back it up.

So yeah, Rumplestiltskin: the queer coded gender nonconforming anti-villain of my dreams.

when shows are supposed to be progressive

no sailor moon was progressive