[…] If Snowpiercer had merely told the tale of an oppressed working class rising up to seize power from an evil overlord, it would already have been an improvement over most of the political messages in mainstream cinema. There are all sorts of nice touches in its portrayal of a declining capitalism that can maintain its ideological legitimacy even when it literally has no more bullets in its guns.
But the story Bong tells goes beyond that. It’s about the limitations of a revolution which merely takes over the existing social machinery rather than attempting to transcend it. And it’s all the more effective because the heart of that critique comes as a late surprise, from a character we might not expect.
[…] All too often, explicitly political art fails as both art and politics. Socialists shouldn’t put up with half-assed imitations of popular genres, nor with political messages denuded of anything but the lowest common denominator.
What makes Snowpiercer satisfying is that it commits neither error. It’s an engrossing and stylish movie, and its underlying themes go beyond merely pointing out class exploitation to challenge the logic of capital. It’s a movie that should be seen as widely as possible, if only so that Bong Joon-ho gets more chances to make movies for English-speaking audiences that badly need them.
Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.
But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative? Because when it comes to guys, we have whole fandoms bending over backwards to write soulful meta humanising male characters whose actions, regardless of their motives, are far less complex than monstrous. We take male villains and redeem them a hundred, a thousand times over – men who are murderers, stalkers, abusers, kinslayers, traitors, attempted or successful rapists; men with personal histories so bloody and tortured, it’s like looking at a battlefield. In doing this, we exhibit enormous compassion for and understanding of the nuances of human behaviour – sympathy for circumstance, for context, for motive and character and passion and rage, the heartache and, to steal a phrase, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; and as such, regardless of how I might feel about the practice as applied in specific instances, in general, it’s a praiseworthy endeavour. It helps us to see human beings, not as wholly black and white, but as flawed and complicated creatures, and we need to do that, because it’s what we are.
But when it comes to women, a single selfish or not-nice act – a stolen kiss, a lie, a brushoff – is somehow enough to see them condemned as whores and bitches forever. We readily excuse our favourite male characters of murder, but if a woman politely turns down a date with someone she has no interest in, she’s a timewasting user bimbo and god, what does he even see in her? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great online meta about, for instance, the soulfulness and moral ambiguity of Black Widow, but I’ve also seen a metric fucktonne more about what that particular jaw-spasm means in that one GIF of Cumberbatch/Ackles/Hiddleston/Smith alone, and that’s before you get into the pages-long pieces about why Rumplestiltskin or Hook or Spike or Bucky Barnes or whoever is really just a tortured woobie who needs a hug. Hell, I’m guilty of writing some of that stuff myself, because see above: plus, it’s meaty and fun and exactly the kind of analysis I like to write.
And yet, we tend overwhelmingly not to write it about ladies. It’s not just our cultural obsession with pushing increasingly specific variants of the Madonna/Whore complex onto women, such that audiences are disinclined to extend to female characters the same moral/emotional licenses they extend to men; it’s also a failure to create narratives where the women aren’t just flawed, but where the audience is still encouraged to like them when they are.
Returning to Orphan Black, for instance, if Sarah were male, he’d be unequivocally viewed as either a complex, sympathetic antihero or a loving battler with a heart of gold. I mean, the ex-con trying to go straight and get his daughter back while still battling the illegalities of his old life and punching bad guys? Let me introduce you to Swordfish, Death Race, and about a millionty other stories where a father’s separation from a beloved child, whether as a consequence of his actual criminal actions, shiftless neglect, sheer bad luck or a combination of all three, is never couched as a reason why he might not be a fit parent. We tend to accept, both culturally and narratively, that men who abandon their children aren’t automatically bad dads; they just have other, important things to be doing first, like coming to terms with parenthood, saving the world, escaping from prison or otherwise getting their shit together. But Sarah, who left her child in the care of someone she trusted absolutely, has to jump through hoops to prove her maternal readiness on returning; has to answer for her absence over and over again. And on one level, that’s fine; that’s as it should be, because Sarah’s life is dangerous. And yet, her situation stands in glaring contrast to every returning father who’s never been asked to do half so much, because women aren’t meant to struggle with motherhood, to have to try to succeed: we’re either maternal angels or selfish absentees, and the idea that we might sometimes be both or neither isn’t one you often see depicted with such nuance.
don’t insult your kids, it’s damaging and ruins their self esteem
don’t insult your kids, it’s damaging and ruins their self esteem
don’t insult your kids, it’s damaging and ruins their self esteem and makes you a shitty person
lets be honest here how many parents do you think are on tumblr?
the question is:
how many FUTURE parents are on tumblr? At least some, and then it matters
*parent on tumblr waving hi*
I could talk about the PE teacher in my town who was asked to resign due to his harassment of female students, who was then hired as a school bus driver for a rural route with both primary and high school students. I could talk about how, from the age of seven, I refused to wear skirts or dresses, and from the time I entered high school at 10 to when I moved at 16 I always wore bike shorts or CCC shorts under my dress, because he was not particularly subtle about the way he looked at us – and those bus steps are high. I could talk about how this was common knowledge and was never denied by any authority figure we ever raised it with, but rather we were just kind of brushed off. I could talk about how, sometimes, I was the last person on my bus in the afternoon and I was never quite sure if something bad would happen to me, even though for a long time I probably couldn’t have articulated what it was that I feared.
I could talk about how I spent ten years of my childhood believing it was perfectly normal and acceptable for a seven year old child to stop wearing her favourite clothes because a grown man she relies on to get to and from school from a relatively remote location gets a thrill from looking up her skirt.
I could talk about the art teacher at my high school who used to run his hands up and down our backs, right along the spot where your bra sits. Considering most of us were fairly new to wearing bras in the first place, this was a decidedly uncomfortable experience. I could talk about how he used to get just a little too close for comfort in the supply room. Nothing overt, nothing nameable – just enough to make you drag someone else along with you if you needed a fresh piece of paper or you ran out of ink. I could talk about how the odd comment or complaint that was made was completely handwaved, that we were told to be very careful about what we were saying, that we could get someone in a lot of trouble by “starting those kinds of rumours”, and did we really want to be responsible for that?
I could talk about the first time I was made to feel ashamed of my body, at twelve or thirteen, getting into a water fight with my stepfather and uncle in the height of summer. I could talk about my grandmother completely flipping out, talking about how disgusting it was, how grown men should be ashamed of the way they were behaving with a girl. I could talk about how she then spent the next few hours trying to convince me I was being somehow victimised, while I was mostly confused about what had taken place – it took me a long time to work it out. I could talk about the unvoiced but ever-present fear for months afterwards that my grandma would bring it up again, that she would bring it up in the wrong place or to the wrong people and that my uncle, a schoolteacher, would suffer for it.
I could talk about how that destroyed what had been a fantastic relationship with my uncle, and how, ten years later, he still won’t hug me at Christmas.
I could talk about being called a frigid bitch and a slut in the same breath in high school. I could talk about multiple instances of sitting in a big group of friends, hearing someone trying to get into someone else’s pants, starting off sweet enough but quickly descending into emotional manipulation and thinly veiled abuse. I could talk about the time I went off with someone willingly enough and being followed by someone I considered a friend, someone who would not leave no matter how many times I said “no”, who only went away when the person I was with said that he “didn’t feel like sharing”.
I could talk about the family friend who always made me feel a little bit off for no discernible reason. The one who if I was left alone in the room with him, I would always find an excuse to leave. The one time I expressed this, I was told I was being a drama queen, and that I needed to grow up and stop being so precious, that one day I was going to have to deal with people I didn’t like and I might as well get used to it. I could talk about how he never did anything untoward, never gave me any specific reason to feel unsafe – but years after I last saw him, when he was found guilty of four historical sexual assault charges, one of rape and three of indecent assault on girls under twelve, I was, for reasons I still don’t entirely understand, completely unsurprised.
I could talk about my boyfriend justifying his rape of me with “you could have fought me off if you really wanted you, you slut”. I could talk about how, when I tried to tell people, I was told I was being a nasty, spiteful, vindictive bitch. I could talk about how selfish it was of me to say such things, that he’d overcome such a hard life and was going to go on and make something of himself, who the hell was I to try and stand in his way?
I could talk about how my response to being raped was to sleep with anyone and everyone because I rationalised that if I never said no, then no one could force me. I could talk about how I have been told time and time again, by people who should know better, that this is a sign that I wasn’t really raped at all.
I could talk about how, when I finally worked up the courage to make a formal complaint of sexual harassment against my boss, I was asked why I had let it continue for so long, and what I had done to make him think his behaviour would be welcomed.
I could talk about how when a much later boss got me completely wasted at my leaving party, to the point where I couldn’t walk, and fucked me in a back alley, he waited until I was sober the next morning to tell me that he had a pregnant wife, because he heard through the grapevine that I was very strict about not sleeping with married people or straight women, and he thought I should “learn my place” and realise that I’m “not such a high and mighty bitch with a moral high ground after all”.
I could talk about these things, but I very rarely do. Since I was seven years old, I have been told that my body is not my own, that my consent is not my own, that my feelings of discomfort are not my own. I have taught myself to suppress my gut instinct upon meeting people. I have been taught to smile, to be polite, to suck it up if I feel unsafe. When I complain, I have been told I’m being irrational, oversensitive, and selfish. The underlying message is, how dare I try and ascertain any kind of control over my own body?
I should talk about it. But I don’t actually know whether I can.
Teen Wolf has a launched a website for “Teen Wolf fans”, which aims to have fans upload their fanwork—including fanfic, fanwork, music, poems, and meta.
This is NOT a safe place for Teen Wolf fans (or any fans for that matter) to gather, and post their fanwork. MTV and Teen Wolf reserve the right to use your creations, and make profit from them. I, personally, find this unacceptable. Your creations, are your creations. Not theirs.
As written in the User Content Submission Agreement:
In connection with all User Content you submit using the User Content Submission Features, you grant to MTV, the Parent Companies and the Affiliates, the unqualified, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual and royalty free right, license, authorization and permission, in any form or format, on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered, in whole or in part, to host, cache, store, maintain, use, reproduce, distribute, display, exhibit, perform, publish, broadcast, transmit, modify, prepare derivative works of, adapt, reformat, translate, and otherwise exploit all or any portion of your User Content on the Site (regardless of the Device through which the Site may be accessed) and any other channels, services, and other distribution platforms, whether currently existing or existing or developed in the future, of MTV, the Parent Companies and the Affiliates (collectively, the “Platforms”), for any purpose whatsoever (including, without limitation, for any promotional purposes) without accounting, notification, credit or other obligation to you, and the right to license and sub-license and authorize others to exercise any of the rights granted hereunder to MTV, the Parent Companies and Affiliates, in our sole discretion.
What exactly does this mean?
It means that they are going to use your work, your creations, for promotion and advertisement for their show—to earn themselves money—but you will NOT earn anything in return.
You are legitimately handing over your hard work, so that they can get money, and no royalties will come to you. They can do whatever they want with your work.
Furthermore, please also note that MTV, and MTVteenwolf do NOT respect slash in any nature whatsoever. Now, they may pretend that they care about all fans, however, that is a LIE. I honestly don’t want to see innocent fans fall into their lies and promises that all fans are accepted.
Slash is huge, but they do NOT respect it. So, do not waste your time trying to put your slash work on their site. They do not appreciate it, nor do they appreciate you.
First off, Teen Wolf queerbaits. This is the first thing that should tell you immediately that Teen Wolf does not respect slash. They use fans, mostly the fans of slash pairings, to earn themselves recognition and money, and then treat us like nothing.
Second, I suspect most of you have already heard about Sterek material being banned from conventions. Now, while they may want you to believe that they have nothing to do with bans, and that those bans are put into place by the conventions and the actors agents, MTV and the Teen Wolf PR team are most definitely responsible for these bans.
They have no problem banning things in relation to a popular homosexual pairing, yet they openly allow heterosexual parings to be talked about at cons, as well as they allowed fanart and fanwork of other heterosexual pairings to be signed.
Teen Wolf does NOT respect all fans.
The Collective will be a place where fanwork of heterosexual nature will be posted without a big deal, but you will most likely find that slashwork will not be acceptable in most forms. They may, at first, allow some slash work to be posted. However, things will change. Please, do not allow yourself to be tricked and used.
The Collective, is just a way for them to get attention. Teen Wolf is successful because of social media. It’s a huge social show, and the fans built that. However, their social media ratings are indeed falling, which I suspect is the reason this site has been created. Not because they care about fans.
They want more attention, more viewership, better ratings. This is an attempt to do so, and they are going to use fans to get better ratings. This is all a ploy to take your work, use it, and get earn themselves a pay off.
As stated in their introduction piece, they say: ”We encourage any and all “Teen Wolf” fans to sign up for The Collective and share your thoughts, opinions, and talents with us.”
However, they’ve made it quite clear that they do not care for our thoughts and opinions when they don’t suit them. Constructive criticism is ignored. When we bring up plot holes, and certain storylines that do not make sense, they ignore us and tell us that they run the show.
When we point out gross things like the non-con and abusive scenes between various couples, they ignore us as well, and continue stanning for these couples, claiming how they are cute and romantic.
As I said before, do NOT allow yourself to be fooled. They do not care about fans. They care about money, which is what they earn by keeping Teen Wolf in a high social media infused bracket.
I encourage ALL fans, to just keep posting their fanwork (of all kinds) here on Tumblr. Share your artwork here. Share your meta here. Share your opinions here.
Here on Tumblr, things cannot be monitored and sculpted to fit MTVteenwolf’s vision of what’s acceptable.
I also encourage ALL fans to post their fanfic on Archive of Our Own (or other fanfiction oriented sites). Ao3 accepts all work, and most definitely slash work.
MTV, and MTVteenwolf have used us for as long as Teen Wolf has been on air. It’s time we take a stand. Please do not allow yourself to be used and exploited by using The Collective. This, in itself, is just a way for them to make money while spitting on you and your hard work.
[Also, please spread the word about The Collective gaining immediate ownership of the work submitted on their site. Dedicated and innocent fans should not have their work stolen.]
Be safe and wise, Teen Wolf fans.