neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

ranting on TV characters, discussions and prejudice

I organized various fandom commentaries I'd saved as documents. I saved some of Nadiacreek's race-baiting and queer-baiting posts and replies to them. She'd race-baited long before the F Yeah Glee Podcast folks said they were doing a "Race and Ethnicity" podcast and a "Queer on Glee" podcast. Someone said she'd baited people about the disability podcast, too. I'd like to find that. [Added: I found that. She said, "I'm sorry, but this is a load of crap. It is ridiculous to say that a group of people cannot get together and discuss an issue unless one of them -- or worse, more than one of them -- is personally a member of the in-group being discussed."  Emphasis hers.] Back to neyronrose: There's no particular reason to have someone white on a podcast about race or straight and cis on a podcast about queerness. Minorities already know what the majority thinks. It's a survival skill.

My objections around the disability podcast were the "allies" talking about representation. I didn't think that podcast participants should be required to disclose their disabilities to satisfy able-bodied people. I was happy they had a participant with a mobility impairment and participants with mental illnesses who could comment on disabilities from personal experience. It felt like they were forced to prove their qualifications first, to people who were concern trolling.  [Added: Let me qualify this.  I didn't object to there being representation.  I objected to forced outing.]

I think it's better that the podcast people publicly said they want to know podcast volunteers' experience first for the race and GLBTQ podcasts. I think they'll get good representation.

The canon disabilities podcast was good. The person with the mobility disability expressed how she felt about the slurs and outdated labels used for Artie. I took it as her feeling that the other characters should use correct language, that Artie simply being there wasn't enough. There is that argument that audience members will think slurs are okay. There was that argument about Unique that audience members wouldn't necessarily know that the things that Sue said to and about Unique were slurs if they weren't familiar with trans issues. Kurt got called many slurs and got treated like trash, and it was clear that it was wrong. To some extent, it depends how much a viewer knows about a minority group, whether they're watching because they're getting representation, or whether the prejudices are new to them, things they had never experienced.

I didn't like the podcast about perceived disabilities as well. The participants on that one seemed to very casually "diagnose" mental illnesses that they had no experience with. Maybe they knew more than came across. It really seemed like armchair diagnosis to me. I actually did feel that some of the characters had situational depression at times, which is armchair diagnosis on my part, but on the podcast it came across to me as the participants not being very familiar with the disorders they were talking about.  [Added: I looked it up, and, oddly, several of the same people participated in those same two podcasts.  I had remembered the first podcast being much more from the voice of experience than the second.]

I'm going to quote Nadiacreek on the "Upcoming Podcasts" post. She said, "What strikes me as sad, which I then try to laugh about because, you know, humor as a coping mechanism, is the fact that the viewpoints in vogue with the social justice movement are always advertised for and exalted, while other viewpoints whose members are not recognized as being part of an "identity group," are the ones that end up overlooked.

"It's important to have people of color on your race panel and lgbtq members on your queer panel. I absolutely agree. My problem is when that small set of identity issues becomes the be all and end all of what is considered intellectual diversity. Because opinions are as individual and varied as humanity is."

Added: I had more thoughts on the queer-baiting. (I use queer as a term that covers a lot, as it appears that the podcast folks are using it.) Part of queer-baiting is gay-baiting. Nadiacreek said in her posts about Kurt getting a tattoo that: "A person's attractiveness is only relevant to me if they are someone who is an object of my desire. That group is extremely small. Right now it consists of my husband, a handful of friends I have crushes on, Kurt, and Blaine. Those are the people I either (1) have sex with, or (2) fantasize about them having sex with or without me."

I post here about reading m/m romances and Klaine fic, although I think I come to it from a somewhat different angle. But she basically said in her replies to the "Upcoming Podcasts" posts that there shouldn't be a queer viewpoint represented without a straight viewpoint represented too, or a viewpoint from a person of color without a white viewpoint represented, too. So if a gay man talks about homophobia, a straight person has to speak, too, in that "logic." It's not like they'd have equal insight. The gay man is speaking from a lived experience of prejudice.

It's saying that a genderqueer person can't speak about Unique without having a cis person's viewpoint, too. And that a person of color can't speak about Unique without having a white viewpoint given, too. And that a Black trans woman can't speak about Unique without having a white cis person's viewpoint, too.

I'll go back to the fantasizing about gay men having sex but thinking there must be a straight person to give the straight viewpoint in talking about a gay man's life. This is why queer people say that there's a lot more to being an ally than liking m/m romance. Many lesbian watchers of Glee talked about how they hadn't seen Santana and Brittany kissing on screen. There didn't seem to be the interest in that from straight women that there was for Kurt and Blaine to kiss more. Or that was my impression. That's a reason why there's a "wrong kind of queer" tag. Politics, equal rights, not considered as important as the romance. Kurt and Blaine were talking about politics before they were old enough to vote. Kurt was getting homophobia, getting harassed and assaulted, long before he had a boyfriend.

I like romance as much as the next person, more than some, but there's more to it than that. Someone straight and cis does not have to give a viewpoint for every time someone queer gives a viewpoint. And a white person's viewpoint on racism is not informed by experience like a person of color's is.

There's my viewpoint on it.
Tags: disability, glbtq, rambling, ranting, reading, tv

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