Over at Ars Marginal, I guess I should have posted what I was thinking on my comment of the recent article “What I Want to See” instead of saying I don’t understand it because the author got low-key snarky. The point of the post was a desire to see women of color characters portrayed three-dimensionally and along all avenues of potentially, I get it okay. Look it up if you want to read it but this post is strictly for me to express something I’ve been wanting to say for a while so I’ll say it here in my own space so as not to disrespect or derail the author’s expression of what he/ze/she “simply wants to see”:
Loving ridiculously villainous characters is trendy, its a fad, and its also stupid. These characters are usually the kind of people you don’t even want to exist in real life, unless you’re morally unconscionable or privileged and bored. Or both. No matter how much time you spend fan-girling over them, there’s no way you really want them to pop up anywhere near you.
As a subscriber, I got the e-mail notification and wanted to see what the post was about. Lo and behold, Tumblr has followed me to WordPress and the post is written by someone who is obviously, indicated by their insistent desire, into what I call “bitch feminism” (don’t know if that’s a coined term or idea, whatever). I’ve been the unwitting victim of too many “bad bitch” feminists to find this perspective very amusing or agree with it to up to a certain extent. The bitch feminist type is, put simply, the type of person, woman, or feminist who upholds herself over everything and everyone. Good for her. But why the hell should I care about her as a character unless I want to be (like) her or kill her for doing something horrendous?
See how that works.
People are obviously so bored with representations of what doing good looks like in mainstream media and, I don’t know, everywhere, that they’re obviously turning to villains for entertainment and intrigue.
Take Slytherin House, my favorite example. In Harry Potter, the founder of Slytherin House is a flaming racist and many of its students past and present follow that tradition. What does the predominantly white Potter fandom do with this apparent information? Create an entire sect of fans where Slytherin House is celebrated and defended! What does J.K. Rowling do with this information? Have Harry name his son after a diehard Slytherin devotee whose only way of not being completely irredeemable is rooted in his obsessive love of Harry’s mother, totally selfish and doesn’t mean that he’s changed at all.
When I see a wonderful woman of color character portrayed at last, hopefully before I’m dead, I definitely don’t want to see some unapologetic evil bitch first thing. Y’all can keep that.
Hell, I might even be writing the ones that will win my heart right now. Forget these people, folks have completely lost their minds…