I downloaded Windows 10 on my laptop last night. For weeks, I was like “Ooo look, free upgrade! Poor people dreams realized!” I thought upgrading might help my aging computer run better (got it in 2010, can’t afford a new one).
So far though, I’m not enjoying Windows 10.
Windows 7 looks better to me, it looks smoother and brighter. I don’t like the blocky, pixelated look of Windows 10, particularly its taskbar.
Solitaire is gone? AND they took my desktop widgets? Oh hell no. Not here for it.
I can’t play DVDs as conveniently. Windows Media Player played my DVDs better than Cyberlink PowerDVD without glitching over a couple of minor scratches. I never had problems with the Windows 7 player and DVDs, whatever my other issues may be .
It appears to be screwing with my mouse. I can’t scroll on the right side of my touchpad anymore without clicking and dragging with the pointer.
The start menu has all this extra crap in it that Microsoft thinks I’m supposed to find helpful…I don’t, it isn’t.
And this may only be the beginning of things I don’t like about Window’s 10. I’m really not that keen on exploring. I just want to watch Hellboy: The Golden Army without messing about with apps, new software rules, or playback issues while I do my hair. That’s not too much to ask for.
I really should’ve researched this before I downloaded. Luckily, I can revert back to Windows 7 if I do it before a month is up. I intend to keep Windows 10 until I’m sure its in no way helpful. I am the kind of customer who has no problems remembering to cancel free trials and subscription before its too late–best believe that.
I think one of the biggest issues with Naruto, for me as a female viewer of color, is Kishimoto’s/the animators’ treatment and portrayals of female characters. Even if you were to argue that the target audience is mostly male, this should not excuse or validate sexism and, in some cases, misogyny.
Some of these point may be overlooked but it’s worth saying anyway in terms of how I view the roles and typecasting of female characters/kunoichi in the show.
There is a strict gendered separation of male and female characters that is maintained throughout the series.
Females are members of the team but there’s no way to really say that these male characters are actually friends with them. They are typically either 1) villains, 2) love interests/mothers, 3) team members/colleagues/comrades, or 4) sexual objects. I definitely think Kishimoto and the animators are more interested presenting fraternal relationships.
With the exception of Ten Ten who is rarely seen in the main story arc, many of the primary female characters may be fierce fighters but Kishimoto has firmly seated/stereotyped them as nurturing and motherly with the concept of medical ninjutsu and chakra control. As if females are natural healers and nurturers with natural propensities towards innate chakra control. It’s a useful skill to have but this idea is nonetheless sort of problematic, because it presents female ninjas as natural healers and softens their strength and abilities by placing them in the mold of “the healer type”, as if to cater to a largely male audiences needing motherly figures/nice girls to not feel emasculated. How many male characters do you see presented as healers, with the exception of Kabuto (a villain) and nameless medical nin who appear throughout the series? Because, obviously, guys’ chakra control is too poor so they get all the cool physical/flashy jutsu, yeah. So Kishimoto definitely plays to heteronormative gender roles, albeit in a way that can be overlooked.
The only brown female character so far is presented as a brute (Karui of Kumogakure). Nobody can tell me that two or three or more of the ninjas from the Village Hidden in the Clouds are not racist portrayals, and that includes Killer B.
Ten Ten is the only openly feminist-like character, or at the least the only person inspired by successful, powerful kunoichi (not just their beauty), in the whole series and it seems she gets the least airtime out of the Konoha female shinobi. (And there’s going to be some people who pop up and argue that Sakura’s also an exception but, just to let you know, I’m tired of Sakura, honestly.)
Is there any female ninja whose beauty or big breasts isn’t the focus of what’s great about her?
Many female characters are presented as sacrificial lambs, so to speak. For example: the f*king 5th Hokage, in all her years of combat, training, and experience, never developed a justu that could protect the entire village or kick Pain’s ass (one of Pain’s asses at least). Not that it’s something to be overlooked, but she instead protects the villagers by nearly sacrificing her own life with a passive justu that used her chakra in conjunction with Katsuyu. Annnd then…Naruto swoops in to save the day.
Of course there’s only one female shinobi per team and she will always need a male shinobi to save her at some point.
The younger female characters of the main cast are presented as boy crazy! Ten Ten and Temari, probably less than others but it comes out sometimes.
Additional Relevant Thoughts:
Are there no females who have the sharingan?
How is it okay for Jiraiya to invade women’s privacy in hot springs and this is largely treated as it is supposed be funny? I like Jariya as character—without the peeping. It’s really starting to bug me. You could have made him an imperfect character without that extent of perversion and sexism/objectification.
Is it too much to ask for a cool fat female character who’s not presented as a complete joke?
After studying the covers of books and reading their synopsis and a number of reviews, I can literally tell before I open it, sometimes before I touch it, whether or not it’s worth it or it’s shit. The moment that I saw the cover of Twilight, I knew it wasn’t worth shit. Let people belittle my sixth sense. I don’t give a damn.
Sometimes you can’t tell anything from the cover of a book. But other times, especially as the market is becoming more and more predictable, not only can you read the cover, you get a “sensation” of what could possibly be going on within the pages.
Let’s read the cover of Twilight, shall we:
Pasty white hands—this book is about pretty white people with problems.
Apple—forbidden fruit, pop angsty, horny teenagers. The color red, interesting. (keeping in mind that I already knew this was YA book)
Title/background/white lettering—‘Twilight’, black background, gothic, pop angsty, vampires because ‘the freaks’ come out at night, of course
Stephanie Meyer, you are a decade too late to catch me up with this, honey. I stopped reading historical romance and YA/teen fiction a long time ago.
If such horrifyingly boring, overdone, rip-off Romeo/Juliet, abusive, macho, love-triangle bullshit can be derived from the books, then the books suck by my reckoning.
I literally fell asleep during every.single.movie. (watched online, free)
Me: Hey Shauna—wanna watch the rest of your favorite movie, Twilight? [we both fell asleep on them the night before]
My Sister: Heh. That’s funny. [walks away]
Neither of the leads in these movies can act. It’s painful to watch.
I found it very metaphorical that there are so many scenes where we’re in Bella’s trunk and not only is she not driving, Edward at some point pops his pasty ass into the driver’s side window and takes the wheel from her. Bella’s entire life revolves around Edward or her rebound, Jacob. Has no life and personality and it’s very frustrating to watch. I found this more offensive than anything else.
So many of Bella’s scenes are in bed and/or with Edward. It’s like the rest cure in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”…only portrayed as romantic. When it’s really just creepy and disgusting.
Why is Edward over 100-years old and stalking a teenage girl???
We’re not even going to get into portrayals of POC in the films, but, for example, why are all the lycanthropes almost cookie-cutouts of each other, right down to what their wearing???
Why are these vampires so old and yet they can’t control themselves over a little drop of blood???
Stephanie Meyer came up with the concept of glittering vampires when she was staring at her cell phone jewel bling—I’m convinced.
I don’t even want to start a commentary on why so many teens like Twilight. I don’t even want to start a commentary on why so many adults like Twilight, which might be worse. People hate that Harry Potter might someday be included in literary anthologies, or doubt that it will be. All I can say is that if this is the literature of future generations, then we need to be concerned about the world’s children.
WhatEva, I don’t have any more brain cells to waste on this.
The anticipated and hoped for reaction by the story writers and marketers at Disney is that audiences will view Tiana’s transformation into a frog as fun, magical, entertaining, and necessary. However, what the transformation really does is erase any question or possibility of what the film might have been like if Tiana had been human, Black, and female the whole duration of the film like her fellow Disney princesses.
The visibility and hypervisibility of Black women’s bodies (and the bodies of women/characters who we identity with our eyes as [potentially] of color) serve as a ploy to identify them as the sexualized, racialized, exotic “other”, a phenomena presented usually in the form of a side character or supporting character, in a world where whiteness is the default. Simultaneously, the invisibility and hyperinvisibility of these women’s bodies (i.e. being turned into a cat or a frog, being presented as a [scantily clad] villian and non-human) makes them more palatable and digestable to the gazes of those audiences who have been socialized against accepting and embracing brown/Black bodies in roles reserved for white bodies. This further confirms, affirms, corroborates racist perceptions, ideas, and presentations of “black bodies” and “black spaces” and it does so safely within the sanctuary and under the protection of white spaces with the help of it’s gatekeepers and policers who silence dissenters.
But Disney’s The Princess and the Frog solidifies a new level of racism in mainstream media though I wouldn’t call it “progressive” or some kind of “step forward” because it’s been done before: Princess Tiana is the main character–this is the new level which draws viewers in since it is the opposite of her being a side or supporting character or an extra). However, where this gimmick particularly fails is when Disney decides to turn her into a frog for a chunk of the movie.
Princess Tiana is turned into an animal to erase the visibility of her Black, female, and human body and this is made possible by the invisibility of that human, Black body. As an animal, she is not only more digestable and palatable for white audiences via the invisibility of her human, Black-identified, female body, she becomes fun, entertaining, and non-threatening in a mainstream media where three-dimensional Black female characters rarely take “the lead”, a role that is reserved for whites or *shouts* “ANYBODY ELSE? ANYBODY…?”.
The Princess and the Frog again: white folks that I know come to me in confessional and tell me they think the film was racist and they know it but like/saw it anyway and let their kids watch it. They still take their kids to Disney World at least once a year. Disney can’t get it right, so when are we going stop wanting and feeling like we need to be included in Disney’s fantastical, wonderful world? And when are our so-called allies going to join our staunch allies and just say NO?
Why does it have to be “I love Disney, but….”? You could just as easily flip that sentence around and say “Disney is racist, classist, and sexist but I still love it”. Those statements are alarmingly similar if you ask me.
When we say NO, with everything in us, we won’t have to preface criticisms with “I love [insert problematic thing here], but…”.
In my case, I love the Kingdom Hearts videogames—not a Black person as a main character in sight in those games and Disney had their hands all over it. At the same time I don’t go around professing my love of Disney. I grew out of my sometimes blind love as a child for Disney gradually, starting with the appropriation and misrepresentation of Pocahontas as a fairytale and when that stuff in Fantasia was brought to my attention, it was just another nail in the coffin. Disney, in some ways, cultivated my vision of the fantastical when I was growing up and at the same time I have felt in recent years most acutely that it is completely necessary to hold Disney at an arm’s length and set it away from me. The addition of a Black Disney princess has not changed that, and nor will the next Kingdom Hearts game or the next catchy song in their animated feature or Johnny Depp in Pirates.
The piece I read at the satirical blog, The People’s News, made light of Black people’s criticisms of the film trailer supposedly in attempt to spark discussion. One piece I read is titled this and offers the opinion that “The Princess and the Frog is not (entirely) racist” (and so it’s okay because the movie isn’t “entirely” racist???). Not to jump down the throat of the guy who wrote that, but, again, why are we drawing the line at what is “acceptably racist” instead of maintaining that racism is never okay? A share of the articles were very tentative about criticizing the film so their arguments processed in my mind as helpful but kind of lukewarm. But most of all the articles I’ve ever read on the subject are from people who confess to be Disney fans.
“I hold Disney movies very close to my heart but is anyone else ever put off by some of the underlying messages?”
And that’s the trouble: We’re holding things like Disney so close to our hearts that we’re also refusing to acknowledge that what we love about it is too tangled up in what we criticize and want to change and what needs to be replaced with radical alternatives. Because Disney is not going to crumble to the ground tomorrow, not as long as people are supporting the negative things it does as a corporation that appropriates and panders watered-down, magicked-up fairytales. In this case, it is our love that renders us unable to raise our hand against that which dehumanizes us and those around us.
“This movie shows anything but the overcoming of stereotypes in Disney films. So until the real deal comes along, stay in your seats”
Nice try. That’s ifthe real deal comes along. I don’t even think Disney, as a corporation, is capable of “the real deal”…. A history and pattern of media production like the one the Walt Disney Corporation has just doesn’t disappear.
“The condemnation of black criticism from some whites suggests that black people are peripheral citizens or customers who are eternally the recipients of aid and should be perpetually grateful. What’s especially unfair about those who condemn blacks who criticize The Princess and the Frog is that whites, as a race, are not condemned as ungrateful or otherwise for critiquing the numerous white Disney princesses (or society at large.)… Another charge levied at black critics of The Princess and the Frog is that they are trifling to ‘waste time’ getting agitated over cartoons. But the fact is all media, especially those directed at children in their formative years, shape how people see and interact with the world.”
I recently came across an article about the Disney princesses and princes, Not Quite Going the Distance. The only thing that really disappointed me about the article aside from the fans posting there was the writer’s confession to an obvious love of Disney and I got to wondering why. I see that the comments on posts like this one are mostly from Disney fans indignant at the fact that someone dared criticize their childhood princesses despite their problematic presentations and messages. I’m not sure from the first opening line that the author was trying to be subversive or ease Disney fans into the conversation.
One commenter wrote, “It really depends on how you look at it though — if you are looking for a movie with a woman in a ‘supporting’ role, you will find it.”
Why can’t the postulation be this instead: It’s there and if you’re looking at it with both eyes open instead of closed, you’re not only going to see the isses faster and more clearly than the desperate fangirls with posters of Tiana, Belle, and Ariel plastered on the insides of their eyelids, you’re going to realize that Disney has been propagating this kind of media for decades and they’re not going to stop now.
As long as they’re making money and can get away with it, they’re gonna keep doing it. That’s what international corporations based in a capitalist nation are for, and, in the process, we’re the ones who pay for it.
Mila Rose (Bleach the animation) in her “released” form. Her originally non-human form was that of a lion-like creature. Her outfit in her human form before this is Amazon-ish.
Fun parts of the movie cannot be isolated and separated from it’s racism,
the movie cannot be isolated and separated from the history of the corporation that produced it,
and the movie cannot be seperated from the racism in the history of the corporation.
I’m saying this because Tiana is the first Black Disney princess though not the first princess of color and because of Disney’s history. I’m talking about this because movies like The Princess and the Frog not only promote the idea that stereotypes and caricatures of Black women/peoples and our culture are natural, but socialize children and their parents to view it as fun, entertaining, and okay as long as it’s “not entirely racist”.
So, we’re we going to draw the line at what is “acceptably racist” now?
“Notice, that in this so-called celebration of Black womanhood, that Tiana’s hair is far from kinky. Tiana also spends a large portion of the movie as a frog. How is this a celebration or even ground breaking, when she is not drawn with kinky hair and is then immediately erased to become an amphibian? She does get her prince charming, but unlike Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, or Ariel, she does not go off to lead a life of leisure in a castle; she gets to own a restaurant, where she will spend her days working…The Disney princess series is absolutely problematic in the harmful messages that it sends young girls, but I venture to say that its treatment of race compounds the dissonance of worth and value that little Black girls live with everyday. I believe as women, we would all be better off if the genre simply disappeared, but if they must continue, framing them in a manner that specifically harms girls of color by celebrating Whiteness as the ultimate example of femininity must end.”
Name another Disney princess, in the Disney Vault or out of the Disney Vault, who spent the majority of their starring or non-starring animated film as an animal? Nothing against frogs, I’m just saying. Ariel was humanoid—she didn’t even look like the mermaids from Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (fanged, man-eaters and such). Can we have a movie where we see the Black princess for the entire film and she’s not an animal? The visibility and subsequent “invisibility” of Tiana’s Black-identified body and other brown women in animated series is an issue here.
Not presenting Black women’s body as fully human or erasing and censoring their humanity as people who happen to be brown is not only a Disney issue. Let’s examine the colorism in the animated version of Bleach created by manga artist, Tite Kubo:
Shihoin Yoruichi (or Yoruichi Shihoin, first name first) spends her debut in the anime as a black cat with a man’s voice.
She is a “princess” though we have yet to see any of the members of her noble clan.
Yoruichi spends over a dozen episodes as a cat before it is revealed that she is a brown-skinned woman.
She is a supporting character, like many women of color who appear in the manga and animation.
She (and other brown characters) are consistently described as “dark-skinned” no matter what brown they are, on the Bleach Wikia and in the manga and animation.
The animation staff and Kubo have stereotyped, downplayed, killed off, or hypersexualized (most likely as fan service for male audiences) nearly every character that would be considered of color to appear so far. Other female characters from Bleach that are problematic include but are not limited to Harribel Tia and one of her subordinates, Mila-Rose, who aren’t even humans and are presented as villains, who are later utterly defeated. Read my earlier opinion on Japanese animation, colorism, and racism here.
Harribel Tia from Tite Kubo’s Bleach, in color. Note that the animators extended her jacket and the mask on her jaw and neck was extended to cover the whole of her breasts instead of just her nipples. The undersides of her breasts and her whole torso were both originally visible. Her original form was that of a shark-like creature.
Like Disney, the growing manga and anime market, it’s artists and animating staffs’ treatment of “brown people”/racialized characters and women is suspiciously patternistic. The thing that Disney’s animations and Japanese manga and anime share in common is that many of the people who are fans love it so much that they won’t look at it critically no matter how offensive it it. Love is blind, or so they say.
Everybody manifests and deals with dislike, anger, and other frowned upon emotions and traits like criticalness in different ways. But I would put out there that it is our love for corporations like Disney that allow them to thrive, miseducate, profit from, support and engrain stereotypes, and infantilize the masses.
The most difficult enemy to combat is an idea, which is an enemy that must be vanquished unmercifully again and again.
You wrote in “The Help Can Kiss My Ass“: ‘That these black caricatures are almost primary written by white authors should be noted. However, there are authors who have the talent to craft believable black characters. Richard Price, author of Clockers and writer of the critically acclaimed cable TV series The Wire is one notable exception.’–acriticalreviewofthehelp
I’m still trying to work through my issues and criticisms with the very idea of the book and the movie and the facts I know about them. At Racialicious, I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only person ‘boycotting’ the book and the movie and saying NO, JUST NO, the same way I am glad to see this blog and read that someone who has dealt with the book and seen the movie is breaking it down like this with an entire blog and multiple posts. My sister watched it last night and, having read about it, I immediately felt my blood pressure rising when she came to chat about it. It’s NaNoWriMo, I’m writing, and I wasn’t trying to hear that mess.
On a more critical note: I went to school for creative writing [and took up sociology] as an undergrad and grew up and lived in the South until recently, so I was overwhelmed to have it clearly said to me in college that slave narratives were not only edited and cut by white publishers and slave owners but additionally, the Black people whose stories they profited from rarely saw more than a dime of the money. What’s more–though some would argue that it’s better the narratives were published even if heavily doctored and cut by white folks running the show rather than not at all–is that the price for publication was that Black folks (their stories and lived realities) had to be further made into something that was consumable, entertaining, and digestible for white readers and buyers, a gimmick.
I don’t see ‘The Help’ as any different. Another white writer/publishers/producers making [lots of] money off of appropriating and misrepresenting images and portrayals of Black folks, our bodies, experiences, history, and cultures.
Considering the history of slave narratives, for example, it makes all the difference in the world that Kathryn Stockett is a white woman portraying these racist Black caricatures. It should not be overlooked, reasoned out, or understated that “these [B]lack caricatures are almost primarily written by white authors”. <—As a creative artist, Black female, “queen-sized” queen, Southerner, this is why “The Help” can kiss my ass on principle. I mean, why aren’t more people asking why so many of the worst portrayals of Black peoples and other people of color are created and perpetuated primarily by white writers? Will we always turn to excuses of fictional license to let them off the hook? Aren’t we just “letting it slide”, brushing aside, or even willfully overlooking for argument’s sake the truth that the same claim to fictional license by white writers, artists, and producers is rooted in white privilege, methods of acculturation and colonialism, hegemonic practices, and white supremacy? Thinking about Aibilene Cooper’s attempt to sue Stockette in court, I wonder if there can or will there ever be a law that really protects Black women/people of color from this kind of racism.
It’s so important that we speak out, speak up, and stand firm.
We do not need white people to tell our stories, lived realities, and histories. The time for that has passed, whether it’s fiction or not.
So, no, it’s not that white writers can’t write three-dimensional Black characters convincingly, but why is it that so many of them fail and fall back on Stockette-esque stereotypes, myths, and caricatures? Has white racism caused them to pathologize Black peoples as ‘the other’ on such a level that it cannot be mitigated or changed? Honestly, I’m very discouraged by the possibility that the answer is yes.
I haven’t finished writing everything I have to say about Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I have both read and seen the movie for, but this is half of it. Once the entire commentary is finished, I’ll will post it together under the drop-down menu of ISSUED, but for right now, it shall be in post format only under Part One and Part Two. ~MsQ
Since I typically don’t read them and yet they dominate the fields of horror and fantasy, I am glad to add the first male writer, JRR Tolkien, to the Issued series.
Don’t get it twisted—I really liked Lord of the Rings and its expansiveness. But I also liked Harry Potter and the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series and it didn’t stop me from criticizing them.
A mountain-load of research: Not to give this Eurocentric piece of literature too much credit but what must be appreciated about Lord of the Rings and all its related readings is the sheer amount of work, imagination, and willpower that must have went into it. I couldn’t fathom how to create languages other than the ones I speak at random when I’m feeling out how the character speaks or says things.
Whiteness and blondeness as light, power, purity, beauty, and goodness: As typical of most (white) writers in fantasy fiction, there’s this obsession with light and whiteness as good, power, and beauty and light (inherently all these things at once) that is presented in Lord of the Rings. Why did Gandolf the Grey have to become Gandolf the White. What’s up with Shadowfax (a white horse) being the lord of all horses. Why is the most spirited and badass hero(ine) of the story pale as milk and blond (Eowene). Why’s the most powerful elf-lady blonde as the palest blade of hair and white as Wonder Bread. Don’t deny it, you know its true. Keep in mind that the flour used in many things, if not all of them, that are baked are bleached so that they are white. I think this is interesting when looking at symbolic and metaphorical representations and imagery of whiteness, blue eyes, and blondeness in the LotR movies and literature, etc.
Darkness as ill-favored, grotesque, and evil: There are, of course, no people of color in the LotR triology. There’s a sharp contrast between white folks and inhuman dark things. Well, unless you count the men in scarves and turbans with their faces covered in the Oliphant scene, I think that’s about as close as we got to seeing people of color in the movie. Oh and those guys were evil and working for Sauron.
West vs. East: Maybe I don’t know enough to say too much on what bothers me about this theme in the movie, but I know that the Eurocentric West is always antagonizing and exotifying ‘the East’ in many American and European modes of discourse, especially literature and film. So I find it interesting that all the white folks in the “West” are portrayed as the heroes and all the creepy, violent, dark-skinned, evil stuff comes from the “East”.
Ladies of Lords: Why is it that all of the powerful women in the story are the daughters of powerful men? Where are the common folk in this?
The Wealthy Hobbit Saves the Day: In the same vein as the brief but poignant ‘Ladies of Lords’ section of this article, the attempted hero is not to just any hobbit, he’s a wealthy hobbit living comfortably with his wealthy uncle. NOTE: Let us not forget that Frodo is an orphan and his story isn’t all peaches and roses, and that he is portrayed as being exceptionally kind, spirited, and intelligent. But—yet and still.
Rings and Staffs as Ties to Power: There’s a lot of commentary here, which I think is also evident in Rowling’s Harry Potter, about material things like rings and wands and staffs tying people to and representing power. I find this both interesting and vexing. Why does power lie in material objects? If someone has a certain natural powerful, wands and staffs and rings and such should be unnecessary. Yet the object gives us something tangible to see and ground us in the story as we contemplate the necessity of the object and its meaning and symbolism.