okay I really did enjoy “shut up and listen” but I’m frustrated to see that the show is able to discuss real world discrimination…..when it is either analogized through aliens/ai’s……or when it applies to a white person. like am I supposed to really believe that minkowski has faced discrimination not only as a child but as an adult in her career for the sole reason that she’s an immigrant……..but lovelace has never faced discrimination until becoming an alien copy????
like yes, having a Polish accent and not knowing English like native speakers is hard. as a person who is part Polish on my white side, I have family who have come here not speaking English and have strong accents and it does cause legitimate hardship sometimes. I can see how frustrated my babcia is when she tries to speak and no one understands. I know it must be painful for such a brilliant, resilient person to be seen as less capable; to speak English and then have people demanding translation because she is seen as incomprehensible. but she would be the first to say it isn’t anything on what my black immigrant family goes through on a daily basis despite speaking multiple languages flawlessly. whiteness will always act as protection, no matter how conditional and incomplete. being a white immigrant to North America is not the same as being a person of colour here, immigrant or otherwise.
and you cannot seriously be telling me that the only time this show wants to deal with real world discrimination against human beings is when it’s xenophobia against a white person from eastern europe. even with cold war politics factored in, I can’t accept that in the world of wolf 359, xenophobia and cold war paranoia exist, but not misogynoir. and if minkowski’s experiences are worth talking about, why is no other form of discrimination ever mentioned. why is there no acknowledgement of racism, of homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc. we’re talking about characters predominantly coming from a military background, but the only person to ever face bigotry or be held back in her career is Minkowski, not even for her accent, which she has concealed, however painfully, but for her name????
I’m frustrated because every time we’ve brought up problems with the show, or asked that there be better representation of queer characters, of characters of colour, and of the challenges those identities come with, we’ve been told that the focus is the story. we’ve been told that those issues of discrimination or real world marginalized identities aren’t the focus. but that isn’t true. this show wants to deal with these issues of alienation, marginalization, and identity–just not when it comes to people of colour, queer people, disabled people, etc. no, we get analogies. we get an AI and an alien to relate to (and I do truly relate to them but come onnnnn), and a single gay character who’s dead, and unresolved violence against the only character voiced by a black woman (but of COURSE it wasn’t MEANT to be about race and no one ever considered the implications). in the handling of Minkowski’s past and struggles, the crew shows that they very much understand how discrimination impacts people, and how to talk about it, so why is that nuance and sensitivity not applicable to groups that are directly marginalized?
like if they really wanted to talk about discrimination and Minkowski, I think her character being canonically Jewish would make a lot more sense in the context of both Poland and America. It would certainly be a more realistic and compelling reason for her to experience discrimination, and would have also explain why she would leave Poland, which is notoriously antisemetic. but all this over being a white Pole? I don’t believe that, and I certainly don’t believe it is the only instance of real-world discrimination experienced by anyone in the show.
anyway, those are my complicated, frustrated feelings about this episode. but before I finish, I would like to say one final thing: if you’re gonna talk about the significance of Minkowski’s name to her heritage, and the hurt caused by Eiffel’s careless, pervasive mispronunciation, at least get it right. because if the crew had bothered to research anything about Polish naming, they would know that as a woman, Minkowski would actually be Minkowska. and I feel like if you’re going to discuss the microaggression of having your name butchered by English speakers, you should at least be using the right name.