1. Anonymous said: not that i don't agree with you know defending regina however, she has also done awful things that can't really be excused such as how she essentially raped graham and she isn't afraid of colleteral damage when harming others idk i get where the post comes from but the writing/narrative is so bad

    kalinda-sharmas:

    Hi Anon, i am going to treat you like someone who is genuinely concerned about these things and wants to like Regina than a troll who is pointing out Regina’s flaws by wrapping them up in a ‘i agree with you’. I am also gonna treat you like a WOC and assume ALL my readers are women of color because why the fuck not. 

    but first off, let me be clear that the point of my post was simply to point out that Regina is not a white dude villain- she’s not even a white lady villain. She’s a woman of color forced into a marriage to a man with much much more authority than her, who is much much older than her and let me just say that this is a reality that befalls thousands of young girls even today and that white dudes have a long history of buying and raping (with or without marriage) young girls of color and i wish she had crushed Leopold’s heart with her own hands and sometimes fuck even Snow’s heart because no, i hold my white lady colonizers responsible for my colonization. 

    Read More

     
  2. tldr; actually, leopold is the worst

    faeriesandbrimstone:

    "Leopold was never even implied to be vile."

    You’re right, the narrative never presents him as anything less than the good king.

    Except that’s the entire thing that is so wrong with his character.

    That’s what makes him all the more fucked up.

    OUAT does this thing where it boasts about how its characters are so morally ~complex~ but the problem is that even when characters are written as morally gray, the narrative itself does not treat them as such.

    On OUAT, where a character supposedly falls on the morality scale is almost completely, if not entirely, based on how the narrative presents them. It’s all about how we’re supposed to see them, because good and evil is somehow tied to their very beings.

    The very issue with Leopold is that he does all of these fucked up things, and yet none of the characters ever consider these actions of his and determine his character based on them. Rather, the very first thing he is seen doing (freeing the genie) is perhaps the one genuinely good and selfless thing he actually does, and this one good action, simply because of its placement, is seen as the determining factor for who he is – a kind, fair king – and thus we are meant to overlook his awful actions that follow because the narrative already told us he was supposed to be one of the “good guys”. People continue to tell us this, and yet what we are shown is a different story.

    Truly, one does not even have to look at “The Stable Boy” or “Bleeding Through” to make this argument, because Leopold’s problematic nature as a character can be traced all the way back to “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”.

    What is Leopold seen doing in that episode? After the genie scene, he ignores his now-wife at his daughter’s birthday party, instead singing praise to his late wife, not so much as glancing at Regina. He later reads her diary, discovering that Regina is perhaps gaining feels for a man because he actually pays her the time of day. Leopold’s response is to summon the genie (evidently, freeing him from his bottle is enough to expect Sidney to, what? Repay the favor? Even that one kind/selfless act leads Leopold to later employ the genie for his own benefit) and ask him to find the man who has “stolen his wife’s heart”, as if she is a possession without agency. He admits he knows she is unhappy (which also makes his neglect all the worse, for he is making no attempt to rectify this), but overall seems less concerned with her feelings than the fact that, by her displaying a sense of emotional independence, she is less his. While the genie is, to his knowledge, “investigating” the matter, he places Regina under house arrest. She has not even committed any sort of adultery, only privately expressed the stirrings of for someone who might be able to love her in the way Leopold admits he cannot, and his response is to lock her away and ban anyone from seeing her, including her father.

    "But this was all part of Regina’s plan!" you might say, but this only makes Leopold look worse. Regina did not force him to do any of these things – they were his own actions. For her to know he’d read her diary, or that his reaction to her expressing agency would be so extreme?

    Regina wouldn’t have formed such an important plan based on hunches, which means these are things that have probably happened before.

    That’s not something we’re supposed to think about, though, not something we’re supposed to ponder on, as it violates the “good king” image the narrative wants to believe in.

    So the story does not address it.

    Meanwhile, what does Regina do in this episode?

    During the birthday party, her look is forlorn, tearful, lonely – and more than likely fully genuine, for who would even be watching her in this moment? She has no audience, no point to prove. Which is why she gets up and leaves. The genie follows her, and you know how the episode goes. In the end, she uses his feelings for her to her advantage (in order to eliminate her abuser), and sure, it was wrong of her to manipulate and frame him in the way she did. But, besides the fact that she actually organized him an escape plan, she seemed legitimately upset and conflicted over letting him take the fall. She didn’t do it just to screw him over; she saw her Leopold’s demise as an end that justified the means. It is only Sidney’s objectifying wish, to gaze upon her face (reducing her to her appearance, showing that he was primarily attracted to her beauty, not her personhood), and the result of his own wish that she becomes truly victorious.

    It is interesting how Regina shows inner conflict over her actions in this episode, and Leopold does not.

    But, anyway, guess which one of these two the episode presents as the big bad villain, and which one is shown to be the poor innocent victim.

    Because the narrative has already established that Regina is badbadbad and that Leopold is goodgoodgood, and this is the more important than their actions in this particular episode. The hero and villain were decided before the battle had even begun.

    (A semi-related sidenote: I find it interested that people will argue that Regina is responsible for all of her actions because she made a choice – which is absolutely true, even if this is often used as an excuse to handwave Rumple’s, Cora’s, and yes, even Leopold’s immense influence on how she became the way she is, but yes, Regina’s choices were her own – and yet frequently say that Regina murdered Leopold, with no mention of Sidney, as if Sidney himself did not suggest they use the snakes to kill Leopold, as if he did not offer to do the act himself, as if he did not go and stick those snakes in Leopold’s bed all on his own, as if he is not also, y’know, Leopold’s murderer, as if Sidney’s choices were not also his own. But that’s an argument for another day.)

    I really, really should not have to go into how The Stable Boy and Bleeding Through only make Leopold look even more disgusting, and I already feel like I’m losing my original point, so I’ll leave you to think about those two episodes yourself.

    The important thing: none of Leopold’s actions are outright called into question by the characters. Never are we, as an audience, formally prompted to consider his actions and determine him to be anything less than the good man we are supposed to see him as.

    Leopold is one of the best examples of OUAT’s twisted way of morally defining its characters, of the toxic idea that people are innately “good” or “evil” and that this is defined by something they just are, rather than their actual actions.

    And he is an example of how harmful this narrative method is, because, while fandom may take it upon itself to analyze characters and plotlines think about them on a deeper level, many casual viewers do not.

    And for every casual watcher you have who calls out Leopold on how gross he is, you have people who swallow him just as he is served.

    I have a friend who I once mentioned my hatred of Leopold to, and she seemed confused, like she couldn’t think of why I could possibly hate him. I brought up his actions in “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”, as well as reminded her of the details of his proposal to Regina, and the expression on her face was one I will not forget: one of vague horror, of suddenly seeing what the narrative did not mean for us to see.

    "Bleeding Through" is the nail in the coffin. Leopold’s relationship with Cora ultimately solidifies his later proposal to Regina as, yes, vile (and it was really not that much less even beforehand; it’s only now more so), except this entire situation was done for plot purposes. To give Cora a reason to give up Zelena, to further explore the Cora/Eva blood feud (and, surprise surprise, root it in a rivalry over a man), and perhaps to make the family tree that much more fucked up.

    Leopold is never called out by anyone for proposing to the young daughter of his old flame. Regardless of audience reaction (because the writers frequently underestimate the intelligence and attentiveness of their watchers). The narrative does not even attempt to address this. In fact, it all but states him to be the only innocent party in the mess…

    …Because, ridiculously so, Leopold’s vileness is fully overlooked in favor of framing Eva as the one with “darkness in her past”.

    Goodness gracious. At least Eva outgrew her classism, yes? After all, when young Snow shows signs of being a classist, Eva quickly calls her out on this behavior and attempts to correct it.

    Obviously, Eva did not tolerate this type of thinking anymore. So I wonder which parent Snow learned it from.

    I understand that I’m reaching into subtext and probably headcanon now, but the point is that this is undoubtedly another thing we were never supposed to actually think about.

    Leopold was never even implied to be vile.

    You’re right.

    That’s the problem. That is the proof of my point.

    Not once – not once – has the narrative encouraged us to actually think about Leopold’s actions, the harm they have caused. Not once were we ever meant to think of him as anything than what we were told he was.

    Leopold is a character who displays possessive tendencies, who grossly puts a ring on a girl maybe a third his age despite the horror on her face because her mother’s consent meant more to him than her own, a girl he later ignores once she’s under his ownership, a girl whose probable depression he handwaves, a girl he locks up for displaying agency.

    And he is never actually presented as anything less than a victim. He is not held responsible for his actions because people are too busy babbling about how he’s such a “fair king”. As if his awful actions are excused or a non-issue because of who he fundamentally is.

    Add in the fact that he’s a rich white man in a position of high power, and the fact that there are so many people out there, on tumblr and off, who do not even regard his actions as anything problematic, and the fact that he is not the only character this line of thinking applies to, and this narrative becomes toxic. It is harmful.

    That is what makes him so vile.

     
  3. 19:46

    Notes: 48

    Reblogged from kalinda-sharmas

    Tags: ouat and race

    kalinda-sharmas:

    So, my discussion with Mari  has gotten me thinking about race and OUAT and just how much more problematic OUAT is about race than other lily white tv shows just because of how the show’s premise is built.

    OUAT conveniently has an in-text  explanation of why it gets a free pass in not engaging in race narratives because the main characters (aside from Henry who is born to white FTL natives) are all literally from another world. A world which happens to be mostly white but it is also a world with no explicit or implicit colonial or race narratives. Which means the race issues we see today- whether on a global level or the race politics of North America- do not apply in FTL and by extension in the ”protected from real world by a boundary” Storeybrooke if you are doing a Watsonian reading. POCs just conveniently don’t happen to exist for the most part in either the cursed Storeybrooke or the leftover FTL that Cora protected from the curse. Or even Neverland.

    So, if you are doing an in-universe reading of the show and relaying on canon events rather than your knowledge of the world we live in, you cannot claim conclusively that racism- as we understand it today to be a power imbalance skewered in favor of white people against other races through systematic oppression- actually canonically exists in FTL. Because we have no evidence of that. We don’t have evidence of POC smallfolk being mistreated in disproportionate amounts as compared to white smallfolk. We don’t have Prince Henry or Princess Rapunzel’s respective kingdoms being conquered by white royalty or young !Regina mocked for speaking Spanish. FTL is a raceblind  place. It’s not even post racial, it’s like racism never existed.

    And that’s what makes OUAT worse in many ways than any average racist show on American television. For instance if we take idk Gossip Girl. we can infer that the character of Vanessa- who is a person of color in a show that doesn’t engage in race narratives- has suffered from the effects of racism simply because the show is set in our world and she’s a woman of color in North America even if the narrative itself never explicitly refers to the racism. However, when it comes to any of the handful of POC characters in OUAT except Tamara (i have a whole caveat on why this show sucks ass because of its treatment of Tamara), we cannot look at the text and say that what these characters are suffering from is racism rather than individual instances of violence against people who happen to not be white…. simply because the show isn’t set in our world and most of the people were not born or raised in our world and there is no evidence of racism in FTL.

    And to add the cherry on top, OUAT then uses racist tropes for its treatment of POC while still forcing us to engage in a universe where racism doesn’t officially exist.

    - So we have a Latina Regina who is forced into service as the young  bedslave/concubine/nanny to a powerful white man by her white mother but what we don’t have is the text saying it’s because she’s Latina that she’s forced into this role. What we don’t have is textual evidence that it’s common in FTL to exploit young girls of color this way as it is in our universe. We don’t even have in universe acknowledgement that this is exploitation by the white man. Regina is is shown as an individual case rather than one of the many victims of the systematic violence against Latina women in FTL. 

    - And then again in Storeybrooke,  we have Regina, a Latina single mother whose son is snatched away from her by a white family on the basis that she’s an unfit mother, a criminal and also not his real mother. Now, we can argue that Regina in season two might be anunfit mother  who is abusive towards Henry in a single instance of We are Both Now but it doesn’t take away the fact that OUAT decided to show a Latina woman as the person whose son was snatched by a white family and the text unequivocally condoned the actions while still dancing around on the mantle of :”this isn’t an example of systematic oppression against Latina women because racism doesn’t apply in Storeybrooke.”

    (Add in the fact that Regina, as the caster of the curse, is consciously aware of and tries to hide her ‘immigrant’ status from the white raised in our world Emma in season 1 specifically so she doesn’t lose her son- a son that  was born in “our/Emma’s” world and therefore doesn’t really belong to Regina- and it’s just a messy pile of racism here.)

    - We have Sidney an African American dude (the only recurring African American dude) who is literally and metaphorically enslaved and trapped in service for eternity but that’s because he’s a genie- not because he’s African American and oh, whaddaymean it’s problematic that an African American dude is shown to be evil as well as subservient to the point of obsequiousness in both FTL and in Storeybrooke before being put on the bus. Again, we have no way of saying that the poor treatment and exploitation of Sidney in-universe is because he’s African American and he’s suffering from racism because it’s actually because he’s a genie. oh and evil. He also happens to be African American. oops.

    - We have Prince Henry who is shown to be a weak and ineffectual man who is too powerless to stop his white wife from abusing their daughter and forcing her into marriage with a white dude. Who is such a non entity that cursed!Regina’s last name comes from her white mother’s background than Prince Henry’s background. 

    - And let’s not talk about the Asian Mulan being in service to our white royals, Aurora and Philip. You can call it friendship or true love but Mulan is pretty much ready to sacrifice herself for Princess Aurora because her sole purpose is to protect the white girlfriend/wife of a white dude because he asked/ordered/same diff. And it’s not like we have any other Asian in SB/FTL to see if there is a pattern of systematic oppression here.

    So, tl;dr

    1. There are barely any POC characters in OUAT

    2. Those which are are there killed off, evil, put on the bus or used in racist tropes (usually a combination of two or more of these).

    3. All while the universe of SB/FTL is set up in such a way that racism does not actually exist in-universe

    4. OUAT is the worst

     
  4. (Once Upon A Meta) Politics, Ends, and Means — Isaiah Berlin and the problem of good and evil on OUAT

    Do the ends justify the means? What if the goal is one such as the removal of a tyrant or the establishment of a nation where peace, justice, and liberty are the rule?

    The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has this to say about political philosophyer Isaiah Berlin (emphasis mine):

    Berlin often noted the dangers of Utopianism, and stressed the need for a measure of political pragmatism. He may therefore appear to have been staunchly in the tradition of political realism. Yet this was not quite the case: Berlin sought to warn against the dangers of idealism, and chasten it, so as to save it from itself and better defend it against cynicism. Berlin’s pluralism points the way to a politics of compromise; yet Berlin also warned against the dangers of certain types of compromise, particularly those involving the employment of dubious means to achieve desired ends. Indeed, the problem of the relationship between ends and means runs through Berlin’s writings. Berlin, characteristically, warned both against an insistence on total political purity—for, when values conflict and consequences are often unexpected, purity is an impossible ideal—and against a disregard for the ethical niceties of political means. Berlin regarded such an attitude as not only morally ugly, but foolish: for good ends have a tendency to be corrupted and undermined by being pursued through unscrupulous means. Furthermore, since the consequences of actions are so uncertain, it is often the case that political actors don’t achieve their goals, or achieve them imperfectly; it is best not to make too many sacrifices along the way to accomplishing one’s political goals, since that accomplishment is uncertain. To the realist argument that “You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs,” Berlin responded: “The one thing we can be sure of is the reality of the sacrifice, the dying and the dead. But the ideal for which they die remains unrealised. The eggs are broken, and the habit of breaking them grows, but the omelette remains invisible.”

    Katherine Cross sums it up thusly (emphasis mine):

    Throughout his life the political philosopher Isaiah Berlin grappled with a haunting question: why are revolutions, especially violent ones, so often unsuccessful? In Berlin’s considered view, the great problem of utopian thinking (whatever its political provenance) is that it effaces human difference and diversity of thought: the honest and sincere disagreements about principle that characterise political life. True tragedy, he wrote, lay not in good against evil, but good against good. How, for instance, are we to always successfully reconcile justice and mercy? Revolutionary movements depended on an ideological fiction of harmony: that all conflict could be erased by their “final answer” and the cacophonous chorus of dissent would fall silent before the sight of perfection.

    This, Berlin believed, was a recipe for disaster. “If this is possible,” he wrote in The Crooked Timber of Humanity, “then surely no price is too heavy to pay for it; no amount of oppression, cruelty, repression, coercion will be too high… This conviction gives wide licence to inflict suffering on other men.” The ends, in other words, would justify the means because the revolutionaries always knew better. Citing Rousseau, he believes that this lies behind his conviction in “the right of society to force men to be free.”

    With these philosophical points in mind, where do you believe “good” rulers and Royals’ actions and beliefs fall in this equation?

    Do they fall into the traps of utopianism? Do they avoid it? Why or why not?

     
  5. White Lies

    elsodex:

    Snow White could have been dramatically more interesting is if they had stayed true to the season one canon. That is, when Snow told Charming in the pilot that Regina tried to kill her because “she thought I was prettier than her”, that wasn’t a continuity error—that’s exactly what the White Court, INCLUDING HER HUSBAND CHARMING, believes to be true. After she awoke from her cursed sleep, Snow White lied about Regina’s motivations to everyone

    "Snow White lies."

    In the first season there was at least enough there for me to see why so many would follow her. She was spunky, anti-authoritarian, a clever and headstrong thief. She grew up in exile so she lived with, and as a part of, the common folk—the righteous monarch cast out by a scheming step-mother, learning from hardship and heartache, until she found True Love in an epic star crossed romance with a prince who was once himself a commoner. That’s a powerful narrative with the right spin.

    Regina spent her formative years in the White Court, learning how to horse trade and backstab just to survive—she’s a political lion of the highest caliber, just maybe not so hot at PR. But Snow learned how to lead on the back of a war horse, at the head of an army. Snow was built to war, and that’s a different type of command skill.

    It’s the difference between a Napoleon or Churchill vs a Queen Elizabeth or Truman. One is capable on the battlefield, the other is an administrator—who delegates to their Eisenhower’s or Walter Raleigh’s.

    Let Regina and Snow be each other’s inverse. That’s interesting.

    Let’s see Snow falter when she’s asked to lead in peacetime (this admittedly seems like what we started to maybe get in last weeks episode from what I can tell of the gifs I’ve seen. But it’s all much too little much too late)

    Then again, I guess that would be character driven conflict and we can’t have that, not when there’s Neverland, and Hook, and a Henry to kidnap.

     
  6. trancer21:

    racethewind10:

    fairestregal:

    Sassgina Mills, everybody — (x)

     #The look on regina’s face in the third to last gif  #and really those last gifs in general  #are so goddamn satisfying  #this woman has the gall to break into regina fucking house  #and then ask for life advice  #just go fuck yourself snow  #and their performances are spot the fuck on  #snow just sitting there not fucking *getting it*  #like this is *solid* writing  #snow’s just clinging to that image of regina as her mother  #and regina keeps trying to tell her to kindly go fuck a tree  #snow *thinks* she’s being nice and helpful in her own twisted sort of way  #not realizing that she’s actually invading  #like guys this is race relations in the united states  #this scene sits within the deeper and broader context of our world  #because at the end of the day what’s on the screen is a white woman going to latina and asking her ‘how is babby raised’  #and miraculously regina gets to tell snow off  #good stuff  #what’s that you say? It got cut?  #of course it did - via elsodex

    First off, I’m reblogging this because ‘kindly go fuck a tree’ is now my new favorite phrase.

    Second, I’m disappointed this scene was cut for no other reason than Snow White, the epitome of ‘all that is pure and good’? is a MASSIVE fucking asshole in this scene. Seriously, Snow’s next scene is her throwing a hissyfit because there’s a problem with the power, and Snow being Mayor now because she would rather have killed herself and her unborn child than live without Charming, can’t deal with the fact that she’s expected to fix it (Once a self-absorbed, privileged princess..). Like, I would absolutely love it if this scene were the beginnings of an actual in depth examination of Regina and Snow’s relationship. If we were coming to a point where Snow White actually realizes and examines her role in creating the Evil Queen. Something that goes far, far beyond the choice Snow White made as a child. An examination that includes those years between Regina’s marriage to Leopold and Leopold’s death. Because the above is the epitome of that relationship. Snow has a problem, she goes to faux-mommy Regina *expecting* Regina to fix it, regardless of Regina’s emotional state. Regina, now the property of the King and his daughter, must do what’s commanded. And, for once, Regina is like ‘fuck off, no longer obligated to make it all about you’.

    I get why this was cut. Snow White stills gets to have her BAMF moment, but she figures it out all by herself instead of entitled brat stomping all over Regina first. And doesn’t undermine the throughline of Henry and Regina’s plot. I wish this had aired, but the placement (between Emma and Henry’s scenes) is all wrong. Emma and Henry were both there FOR Regina. Snow breaks into Regina’s house.. FOR SNOW, prioritizing Snow’s problem (the blackout) over the actual crisis happening in Storybrooke.

    While I’m sad the scene was cut, I hope the writers keep this particular interaction in their back pocket for upcoming scenes. Because Snow White, the MASSIVE fucking asshole, is something that really, really needs to be explored.

     
  7. Mulan, and how immensely meaningful her inclusion in ONCE is

    wherethewhiled:

    Since S3 of ONCE premiered, I’ve read a few posts about the character of Mulan, how she’s portrayed in the series, her inclusion as a Disney fairy tale, her Western interpretation, and her historical significance and influence in Chinese culture.  I’d like to add to the conversation because there continues to be some confusion regarding her origins, offer a different voice on the topic, and talk about how I feel as a Chinese Canadian woman when it comes to Hua Mulan and Disney’s translation of her story.

    Read More

     
  8. ouathinktank-metacommentary:

    As you can see, we got two asks covering this worrisome spoiler (because — character assassination by tossing two years of development right out of the fucking window, anyone?) of Regina asking Sydney to “kill the one standing in the way of her happiness”, both expressing similar, valid concern. So we’re going to reply both at the same time, if you don’t mind. (A lot ;) So, waffle ahoy. ;)

    Dear Anons,

    These are both excellent questions and capture the full extent of our growing distaste with OUaT. I mean serious distaste. So thank you for making us feel a little less alone in our 70s inspired cocktail induced bubble of righteous anger and disgust. Cheers.

    (First, disclaimer: Something I’m personally noticing a lot is this label used for Regina. You see, I’m really not sure that calling Regina white-washed is respectful. I understand your point though, and it’s all love and positivity here. (Also, imagine me laughing at my own jokes, so apologies in advance.) Because what you meant, I’m guessing, is that Regina is white-written how about that? So, can we start saying that on this blog, perhaps? When mixed-race actresses have to fight to have their characters reflect their actual ethnicity, the white writers can just push a dominant narrative anyhow because they don’t understand much about ethnicity or culture or cultural nuances. Adam and Eddy can’t write their way out of a paper bag, so capturing the nuances of positioning Regina as an actual descendent of the mixed-ethnicities of Puerto Rico, as well as Italy? On top of the fact that simply by hiring a WoC they believe to have achieved enough of a ‘representation’ without actually writing any of it into her character? Oh, now I’m laughing so hard I’m going to hurl. Laugh or cry, those are often our choices given to us by OUaT writing as of late, eh?)

    Anyhow. It’s sort of interesting how the unpacking begins with a basic point about plot holes, that is: where on earth has Sidney been and why would he help Regina when she put him there, after all those years of loyalty? Then you start thinking why, when Regina has supposedly come so far, largely with Henry and Emma’s help and to some degree Mary Margaret’s help as well, why oh why would they sink her into this nasty, sexist, racist ‘triangle’? Then you start to realize, as our second Anon has realized, that they’ve pitted the only PoC on the show against one another in a sexist and heteronormative arc that I’m sure the white supremacists among fandom will argue is equality because hey, non-white people can be mean too! That’s equality, no?

    {sounds of crickets. Can we insert a picture of a cricket to go with the sounds of crickets? Or Archie Hopper, at least?}

    But basically, indeed. OUaT is a racist, sexist, heteronormative narrative, yes, don’t pull your punches, Anon. Our first and worst clue was Tamara’s death at the hands of the white man whose sympathetic rendering was accomplished first when parts of the audience who couldn’t stand his abusiveness left and secondly when the writers constantly made his man-pain all about the women who have wronged him. But let’s revisit the list, shall we? Ok, so, what if we started to really unpack the ways that racism operates in conjunction with sexism on OUaT? I think we’d get even further as a fandom. So…

    SpittleMan: Invades Regina’s space, tries to use alcohol to ply her at all hours of the day, gives her heart away literally five seconds after she asks him (illogically, just because the writers made her) to babysit it, all after spit at first sight (which they don’t remember anyway, but hey, he ‘saved’ her life, didn’t he?) So, why is all of this so beautiful and romantic? Because white supremacy and heteronormativity say that the white man has instant and total access to WoC at all times, at his whim, when he likes. His mistakes and his fumblings and his stupidity are really just signifiers of his total superiority anyway, so along come the SpittleMan-GorgeousQueen shippers (we are no longer honoring their ‘ship’ name because it’s an insult to thinking human beings) who pretty much reinforce this superiority.

    RapeyHook: ABC types allowed his ‘fans’ to be called ‘hookers’, the sexist undertones so obvious there that we won’t even bother unpacking it. We’ll just hand out barf bags. Now, he has admitted to using booze to get his way with women which, in the United States of Freeeeee Ameeeerica, is often considered to be non-consensual sex which is also known as sexual assault. Again, he is the white male whose free and unhindered access to the women around him is a given. Come on, don’t question it! He knows you want it! Just say yes, already! As for what the hell that has to do with racism? Let’s insert some class analysis in here, since the racist system that Disney has upheld, is largely about ensuring that people stay in their place. Think there isn’t a class system in the freeeeeeeeeee Americaaaas? Think again! When poor African American communities started to create wealth and community for themselves, at every turn, the system turned on them. Blame the Beetles for destroying Motown, or, hey, blame the Prison Industrial Complex.

    Poverty operates with whiteness to create a divide-and-conquer mentality, which OUaT is reinforcing, by hitching Emma’s horse repeatedly to Killy Willy rather than to Regina, with whom she might (ironically) share some genuine solidarity. Now, Regina’s rather incredible apology for doing what she did to Emma’s life was graced with forgiveness in a now infamous and deleted (or discarded, whatev) hug, which the actresses saw as incredibly important — but which the white dudes controlling the writers’ room and editing booth and probably the gaming systems in their basement dens, felt the need to erase from the face of the planet. Do we even need to ask why?

    Rumps: Now, sympathy has sure grown for this guy, but let us not forget the origins of his story and let us not allow Killy Willy to take advantage of the lapses of memory that the writers of OUaT tend to encourage. Ok, now list all of what Rumps has done. Mull it over. Feeling a little ill? Especially at that scene when he physically abused his current wife? I sure am.

    Charming: A good guy. A good guy so when he manhandled Regina, it was for her own benefit. Charming isn’t generally a sexist dude, but the little arc that showed him and Daniel (zombified and dead Daniel) choking Regina out?

    Well.

    At day’s end, what they do to Regina is a drawn out teaching about the intersections of race, gender and sexuality. What they do by throwing Emma into her world adds class to the mix as well. So what’s sort of weird right now (well, for us here anyway) is that we can imagine a good quick set of fixes for all of this. Not fixes that erase the problems but twists that quickly reveal the underlying problems to a now shrinking audience. I saw a petition online recently, calling for other Oncers (Wtf is a Oncer anyway? That sounds like a cult, btw.) or drones or whatever you want to call yourself if you swallow every single word that Adam types on his wittle Twatter and follow ‘canon’ strictly because you’re just so much smarter than people who want something better with their Sunday glass (or bottle) of wine than rape culture and racism, anyway, to actually write to ABC to ‘Save OUaT’. Well, how about some fixes that might ‘Save OuAT’ for reals?

    Aside from banishing 9000 year old rapist named Killy Willy (because if there’s no Emma-skirt to chase, he has no other purpose anyway), and sending Spittle Man off with his attractive little family (because, well — what other purpose does he have?) and forcing Rumps to face his bad habits somehow, the narrative could turn all of these racist, sexist triangles on their heads. Regina and Emma could choose solidarity as co-parents and moms, and the writers could show Henry with Regina from time to time, eating dinner, arguing about socks on the floor, etc, and all of this swirling awfulness could become a kind of PSA about the power of mothering. Sort of like the end message of Kill Bill. Bill dies, and in doing so, apologizes for what he did to The Bride who becomes named again, according to her own name, not defined by marriage, and the closing line is about a mother lion being with her cub again or something like that, and all being right in the jungle and so on.

    Anyway, the point is — Regina, Emma, co-parents, Henry. It’s a much more powerful narrative than we might realize at the moment because we’re all so distracted by Kills and Spits, but honestly, that little family ties up ALL of these narrative issues and plot holes and even addresses the classism, racism, and sexism and all other isms that have generally existed in the show until this point. And puh’lease future anons, don’t talk to us about redemption arcs for 9000 year old rapists, because by the by, we do not share Jane Espenson’s optimism that male violence can be cured through heteronormativity and the fawning of a good woman.

    So yes, we agree with both you, dear Anons. Sending all of the show’s limited numbers of PoC off into a tub of oatmeal to wrestle for white viewers’ spectatorship is gross and obscene, and completely and utterly — irredeemable. 

    image
     
  9. Another layer of why Emma being the “better” or “real” mom is so fucked up.

    There are some posts about transracial adoption floating around on Tumblr, and there’s one that made me think about Regina and Henry.

    All of them are worth reading, but there is one that stands out for this part:

    The extremely few transracial adoptions of white children to non-white adopters that have taken place in contemporary USA not surprisingly also provoke hostile reactions and suspicions that the children might have been kidnapped and abducted, considering that historically there were laws banning and prohibiting people of colour to even foster white children.

    This sounds really familiar, doesn’t it?

    So the anti-adoption aspect of OUAT is also racist*.

    Go figure.

    *Blah blah colorblind. Blah blah half Italian. Blah blah Cora. Blah blah. Whatever. Lana Parrilla is a woman of color, and Regina is too. If you can’t understand that, please keep your comment to yourself.

     
  10. Why King Leopold doesn’t have to use force for it to be coercion

    This post about the white privilege involved in “life-hacking” says it all.

    Here is the most relevant piece (bolding the most crucial point).

    When you are an affluent-seeming white man and you ask for things that don’t belong to you, sometimes you’re not really asking. It’s sort like Bill Clinton asking Monica Lewinsky to have sex with him. There’s a context behind the asking.

    When you ask a serviceperson for something that doesn’t belong to you, there is often a subtext of, “If I complain to your manager, you know your manager is going to listen to me. Just look at me, and look at you.”

    And sometimes, of course, this is not the case at all, and you’re just being a garden-variety annoying customer. Or a bully.

    If you seem to be “getting everything you want,” you should probably examine whether you’re getting it at someone’s expense, or whether you’re just constantly, in small ways, making the world worse.

    And now in Enchanted Forest terms.

    When you are an old [white] king and you ask a young woman [of color] still in her teens for her hand in marriage, sometimes you’re not really asking. It’s sort like Bill Clinton asking Monica Lewinsky to have sex with him. There’s a context behind the asking.

    When you ask a person of lower status for something, there is often a subtext of, “If you refuse, and I speak ill of you, you know everyone will listen to me. Just look at me, and look at you.”

    And sometimes, of course, this is not the case at all, and you’re just being a garden-variety annoying Royal. Or a bully.

    If you seem to be “getting everything you want,” you should probably examine whether you’re getting it at someone’s expense, or whether you’re just constantly, in small ways, making the world worse.