Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the it has been forever edition

Hi. It's been a while.

I haven't written one of these in a long time, mostly because I have just been busy. I've also been trying to find positive ways to channel my rage into useful things of late because the world is really just a giant tire fire right now.

So, I haven't been writing. Much.

I did write an actual book submission last month, and have started writing for myself in an actual journal again, so I am writing. Just not for everyone.

Which is basically the theme of my life in 2017.

Not for everyone.

I think that should be my personal life sub-title.

This week in the photo challenge I posted my personality picture about how I know that I'm not for everyone one someone (I don't even know who) almost simultaneously unfriended me, as if it was a pure and beautiful representation of just how well I know myself and the propensity of others to not like me.

It's all good.

And yeah, I know that there are Chrome extensions and apps that will tell you who deletes you, but the truth is that I just don't give a shit anymore. I really don't.

Take me or leave me, I'm good either way.


Anyway, we are here to complain, so let's get there.

I'm really only writing about one thing, and it's something that will likely make more than a few people grab their pitchforks and push that all caps button, but I'm going into it knowing that.

And. Again, I'm good with that.

I want to talk about Wonder Woman. Yeah, the movie.

If you haven't yet seen it, stop reading. I'm tired of people whining about spoilers...so here is your spoiler alert. If you read beyond this sentence, it's not my damned fault.
Now that we have that out of the way, the grievance.

I mostly loved the movie. I wrote a sappy post about how I've waited basically my entire life to see her get her own film, and how I was a dorky kid twirling in the backyard in my Underoos and how I have a tattoo of her logo and all that jazz. I wrote it before I saw the movie.

And don't get me wrong, the movie was good.

From a comic book nerd standpoint, it was really fucking amazing, though some dudes on the internet are whining that there weren't enough references to her S&M origin story portions.

*glares at the male gaze*

Maybe this wasn't for you, dudes of the internet.

(it really wasn't...)

I mean, she has a few lines in the movie about how men aren't necessary for pleasure anyway...


The fight scenes were pretty epic and the whole theme of the film stayed true to who she has always been written to be - a hero dedicated to fighting for truth, justice and peace even when the people she is fighting for don't deserve her.

Also, Robin Wright was rad.

I mean, seriously. I want to go rewatch it just to see the high definition crows feet and thigh jiggles in fight mode. Talk about fierce representation of badass women...

We do absolutely need to take a moment to appreciate how huge this film is in terms of bridging the gap between men and women on the screen, in particular in the superhero genre. This was her origin story, this was directed by a woman, this didn't pander much to the male gaze. She was strong and independent and all the things. It's a remarkable thing just to recognize the fact that our generation and all those before us have been surrounded by almost entirely the stories of men, and that from 2017 on (FFS this better be the first one of many), our daughters will grow up seeing women in that place too.

It's fucking historic.


Having said all that...

It wasn't perfect. Themyscira is a fictional island full of women...not a real place. Wonder Woman was cast with an obvious cap tilt towards the image of Diana we've always had. Fair skin, dark hair.

Did she have to be white? No. 

It's fiction. There's no reason she has to be white. None at all. 

She's white because of the reality of whiteness in Hollywood. Really no other reason. And yeah...I know she is Israeli...

The rest of the island, though, could have and should have absolutely been more diverse than it was. There is no real reason to argue that it shouldn't have been, unless you are trying to make that bullshit canon argument, because anyone who knows much about the original creator of WW knows that he was a racist dude with some definite misogynistic tendencies (she spent a lot of time in bondage in those early years).

Women of color were relegated to subservient and slave-like or slave roles in the early comics, and while the movie did cast some women of color as warriors and (one) Senator, most of the few WOC who were in the film were in those subservient roles. It jumped out at me immediately. 


It's 2017. 

Do better than this.  

We totally have to do better than this.

We have to demand better than this.

We can love the movie and appreciate the historical significance of it and fairly criticize it for its failings. We can do all those things. And we need to do all those things.

It can be awesome and highly problematic all at the same time...and if that makes you uncomfortable, I say "good". It should.

Personally, I hope that the success of this film proves once and for all that female heroes can carry a film alone, and that this results in more and more of these movies, and that those movies are done thoughtfully and deliberately and cast in a way that reflects the world we live in.

Ms. Marvel, let's do this.

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