Monday, March 08, 2010

Because this needs to be said to my wider audience too

"Apparently "Firefly" is antifeminist -.-"



Ugh! So much about this pisses me off. I could rant forever in response to this, but to sum up everything I feel quickly:

1) The person who wrote this clearly doesn’t understand the show. At all. She obviously watched it searching for reasons, and then, when she found none, forced it to fit her opinion. Which, it doesn’t. She also generalises, and accepts her personal opinions and experiences as fact.

and 2) She call herself a “feminist”, but, she is not. A feminist believes that men and women are equal, but she is an extremist, and seems to believe that women are better than men. In the comments she actually says “I hate men.” -.-

Anger! Anger! Is anyone else seething with anger?? If I were better at writing, I’d write her a kick in the face. ugh. anger.

and wtf was the “lesbian feminist” thing? just cause you are lesbian does not make you more of a feminist!

I want to just show her point by point how freaking wrong she is. ugh. ok… calming down for a bit…

Um, hi... I'm the woman who runs the Fuck Yeah Nathan Fillion tumblr so I know you've seen my SN pop up on your dash, reblogging your excellent Mal pictures and quotes.

So when I say what I'm about to say, I sincerely hope that you will take into account that, obviously, I'm a huge fucking fan of Whedon in general and definitely of Firefly specifically.

Allecto is not "crazy" or "just looking for stuff to get mad about".

I don't particularly agree with her on all of her points (no, really, I really, really, don't). In fact I'd go so far as to say that while I think she brings up some really interesting thoughts, questions and choices made in the show that should be taken seriously, just as often her analysis hinges on some extremely problematic ideas.

I'll give you a for instance: I completely and totally and vehemently disagree with allecto regarding her interpretation of Inara's character, who seems to be filling the role of "sex therapist/surrogate" often enough, and I think her labeling of Inara as a "prostituted woman" erases the character's agency, not to mention the agency of real life sex workers by association in the process. And I think that erasure operates very similarly to how she argues Whedon erased much of Zoe's agency, and that's pretty fucked up!

But that doesn't make her everything about her analysis "stupid," and just because she doesn't agree with your view of the show doesn't mean she's just so stupid that she "doesn't get the show."

Like all art, television is a subjective experience. And her experience was different from yours. But, again, that doesn't make it WRONG.

I've engaged in plenty of critique with Whedon's work, both favorable (like my Doctor Horrible series!) and not. He's not even close to perfect, and if you're emotionally invested in him being so, and being seen by others as such, you're going to be blindingly pissed off an awful lot.

But I mean for fuck sakes, Firefly is based in a world where the U.S. and China are supposed to be the basis for pretty much everything, and he had his characters speaking the wrong dialect and didn't cast a single Asian (much less Chinese) or mixed race character (and no I cannot take credit for realizing this, it was pointed out to me by women of color who I read online, though it was years ago and so I don't remember exactly who).

But yeah. Not. a. single. one.

And he has ADMITTED how fucked up that was, since then.

Because Joss Whedon is not perfect! He carries his own privilege and perspective and biases and life experiences into his work. And not all of that is going to be pretty, some of it is going to be (and has been) rather fucked up!

The same is true for any artist, and it should not prevent us from still loving their work while also being able to say "hey you can do this better" or "hey that was seriously messed up."

Because, and here's the thing a lot of the people I've seen respond with anger to this post seems to me to be forgetting: JOSS CREATED THIS SHOW.

Like, he DECIDED, purposefully, how the characters would be, what the plots would look like, etc. Everything in the show is the result of a conscious decision on his part or his writer's part and with his approval. So analyzing the CHOICES he made and what he DECIDED to present, with the thought in mind that had he wanted to he could have done something different, is vital to these discussions!

...Basically, what I'm saying is, if you disagree with her critique, that's fine/great/wonderful/perfectly acceptable to me, but how about you CRITIQUE IT! Meaning analyse her arguments and reply in kind, instead of just going "omg she obviously just is too stupid to GET IT!" and dismissing her out of hand.

And before you do that, you might want to examine your response to hers, because the amount of anger directed at her for the act of voicing her analysis of a television show seems really out of whack (you want to kick her in the face? what?). I'm pretty sure Joss Whedon doesn't need us white knighting on the internet for him...

Also, to all the lovely people whose comments I read in the "notes" on the tumblr post, talking about how much more feminist you and Firefly are than this writer is, while also calling her a BITCH and other choice words in the same breath, wow, that is pretty absurdly hypocritical. Just sayin'.

One last thing: Lesbian Feminism. Yeah, it's a thing. Not an unproblematic thing, but an established thing nonetheless.