in the last couple weeks I’ve seen so many posts mocking men who are upset about a lack of fully developed men in Ghostbusters and the response is always “now you understand how women feel all the time”
this is a pretty common argument in regards to ‘feminist’ media - women spend so much time existing in media as only a love interest, as only a shallow stereotype, as something that doesn’t have as much substance as the men around them
and so it’s really nice to turn something on and see a woman in charge and kicking ass and taking names and whatever else
however, this argument comes 99% of the time from white women.
white women say “now men understand how we feel all the time” and they don’t get that the only men who now ‘understand’ how they feel are…white men.
you know who else has shitty representation? men of color.
if a work of fiction is focused on men, it tends to lack people of color and women generally and if it’s focused on women it tends to lack people of color and specifically women of color
conversations about feminist media tend to focus on how if women of color aren’t fairly represented the work should not be called feminist, and I fully stand by that. if a show has a strong woman and that woman is white, it doesn’t do anything to bring the more vulnerable members of society into it and it ends up hurting us more than helping. women of color are twice fucked over in all arenas because white men don’t put us in their work except as stereotypes and white women want us to wait our turn for our representation because #girlpower is more important than diversity
but even in work that focuses on men, white women are more likely to be represented than non-white men are. and sure, the female characters tend to deal with sexism from the writing and from the fans, but the men of color are also dealing with racism from the writing and the fans and mainstream feminism will ignore it because seeing women as a class opposed to men doesn’t look at the nuances in representation based on race
white women complain about a lack of agency in media and forget that men of color rarely have agency in their stories. that’s why something can be called a feminist victory for passing the straight-washed Bechtel test while simultaneously being racist - even by virtue of how the non-white characters are treated (and not considering how erasing women of color is automatically racist)
“men now understand how we feel” is a lazy argument that lumps white men with men of color, even though men of color understand what it’s like to turn on the tv and see themselves only as a lazy stereotype that only gets focus for a special episode or to support the white lead (be that lead a man or a woman)
or as was pointed out to me by one of my brothers, “I nearly started crying while watching a Roots music video because it had a black character in a zombie apocalypse”
but yeah sure, ‘men’ get all of the good representation.