1. thisrevolutionwillbeliterary asked: Hi! I know you've talked a lot about the double standard between Regina and Rumple on this blog before. I'm not sure if you're an Avengers fan, but I feel like Rumple is the OUAT's version of Loki, where his atrocities are glossed over entirely because the fandom prefers him as a woobie. Thoughts?

    I’ve seen the Avengers, and I enjoyed the Thor films, but there are other fans who can probably do the topic more justice than I. Publishing so they can respond.

     
  2. Womanist Glasses corrects the blurred, distorted visions of women of color in film, television, and fandom. Womanist Glasses seeks to do this by putting women of color front and center in discussing the meaning and impact of film, television, and fandom.

    Womanist Glasses asks things like, “How does this aspect of media or fandom impact women of color?”

    And, “What messages about women of color are being reflected and reinforced via media and fandom?

    And, “How does this aspect of media or fandom reinforce white supremacy and patriarchy?”

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that Womanist Glasses will exclude discussions about sexuality, class, disability, mental illness, and so on. But even so, women of color will be the focal point of those discussions. That means sexuality and women of color, class and women of color, disability and women of color, mental illness and women of color, and so on.

    That’s not to say that Womanist Glasses will be a dry, academic space filled with jargon that nobody will understand. Or that there is no room for humor or passion in this space. Far from it. Poking fun at media and fandom racism, misogyny, heteronormativity, cissexism, etc. is fully welcome here. There is room for frustration, anger, sadness, and disappointment too.

    But it is first and foremost a space for women of color to talk about media and fandom as women of color without the usual exclusion, erasure, and derailing that happens with frustrating frequency everywhere else. You don’t have to be a woman of color to follow or participate, but you must be ready to put women of color first in how you examine the things you see talked about here.

     
  3. bluedragon-silence asked: Forgive me if this was asked before, but I've been looking through the meta, and I'm curious about Snow's role in Regina's anger, and subsequently becoming the Evil Queen. I am of the opinion that at eleven years old, she should have been able to keep the secret, and it was wrong that she didn't. My sister argued that you can't hold a child culpable and that 100% of the blame should be on Cora. I don't disagree that Cora IS to blame, but I don't feel like Snow is blameless in that instance.

    deemnfic:

    Honestly, the telling of the secret is so low on the list of violence Snow has committed against Regina… its only relevance is that it is the first.

    But I’ll play ball.  

    First: Snow was not eleven, she was just about thirteen.  At thirteen—and also at eleven, but whatever—you absolutely are capable of understanding that your actions have consequences.  When you are explicitly told that there will be terrible if unnamed consequences to telling a secret, there is no additional metacognition that needs to happen for you to understand the stakes.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Snow telling the secret shows that Snow believed she had more right to determine the course of Regina’s life than Regina herself did.  Snow prioritized Regina’s relationship with her mother even after Regina herself said that her mother was the danger.  Snow did not do this because she knew anything positive about Regina’s relationship with Cora; Snow did this because of her own beliefs about the importance of mothers.

    [Nevermind that Snow ended up getting what she wanted: Regina as her new mother.  Only a minor detail.]

    Snow, as a thirteen year old, believed that she knew better, about Regina’s life, than Regina, and proceeded to take the one action that she was explicitly told not to take in order to direct Regina’s life to be in accordance with her own preferences.  That is an act of violence.  That has nothing to do with Cora, or Daniel, or anyone or anything else.  That is Snow reigning over Regina.  That is active oppression.  That is subjugation.  

    A thirteen year old with limitless power seizes control of a comparatively powerless seventeen/eighteen year old’s life against her explicitly expressed wishes. As a result, that seventeen/eighteen year old is subjected to rape, isolation, suspicion, imprisonment, infringement of privacy, and other untold levels of direct and indirect violence.

    Forget Cora.  Forget Daniel.  That is the root of Regina’s anger.

    As for everything else that followed: see here, here and here.

     
  4. queer storytelling: the sex talk

    deemnfic:

    So alinaandalion and I were talking about how difficult it is for either of us to write sex after I confessed that I had to have a drink or four to write our bodies making poems.  And she said something really, really important:

    I kind of wouldn’t mind just having a discussion on, I don’t know how to put this, how sex is presented in fanfic and how it sometimes feels like too much so I’m always hesitant to add to it too much because how many times can you have two people fuck each other, right? 

    And I feel like there’s a clear distinction between fic that’s meant in a porn sort of way, almost with the intention of getting you off, functioning very much in the same sense as pornography just in written form and then there’s fic like “our bodies making poems” that is about more than the sex, it’s about two people (or you know, polyamory, could be more than two) coming together and loving each other or connecting in at least some way. But, I sometimes feel that it’s forgotten by fandom that there’s more than just sexual intimacy, that there’s something just as powerful (and sometimes arousing) in writing two people in sync, being tender with each other, talking and living. 

    Apparently I’m having vaguely connected thoughts about sex and fic and when it’s exploitative and when it enriches the story.

    And I said, “Mere, we have to make this A Thing.”

    And then beynotce said all of these lovely things and now here is A Thing.

    So yeah, there’s totally a difference between fic intended for stimulation and fic intended for exploration.  To take it back to obmp: that fic could only happen because, honestly, I don’t find the sex arousing.  The focus of it wasn’t the sex, it was the entire concept of two people being so in love that it almost hurts (in a good way) to witness it.  So there’s explicit sex and that’s sexy but the sex itself doesn’t function (to me) as erotica; what I find stimulating is the love.

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  5. helebette:

    In response to an anon’s innocent questions about the dream catchers on OUaT…Maybe. Might be a hint at future canon. If Emma and Regina are linked by some dream catchers though…well I just really hope they’re not. 

    It’s a weird form of cultural appropriation that I would normally roll my eyes at, but after a day of fuck-duckery, I have to add to the eye rolling. 

    The thing with OUaT is that I think there are always two sides to the colonial coin. The first is the exclusionary side. I’m advocating for more queer representation and yet strangely, don’t want them to *touch* for even a second, any of the cultural forms that are a part of Indigenous life. Dream catchers are a form of craft that maybe have been rooted in something authentic, from particular parts of Turtle Island, but that are so far from those roots that they’ve become this way of settlers just sort of…I don’t know…making something ‘authentically Native’ for their own cosmologies. to make them into Emma and Regina’s magical unicorn medium is just…I’m too baffled to deal with it. 

    I don’t want them to touch Pocahontas with a ten foot pole. She was a sacred woman. A woman who worked hard within the context of her time, knowing that her people were in incredible danger, to act as a spy on the other side. For that, she’s been hugely misunderstood and her story has been misappropriated. 

    I want the dream catchers to stop being used on OUaT. I’m starting to realize that people didn’t quite get why I was LOL’ing over Emma’s unique form of magic before. Didn’t Neal give her some element of that? And Rumpel did as well? Rumpelstiltskin has shit-all to do with the cosmology of the Americas, so there’s that. You can’t transport other beings here and make any sense of it all because these places have spirits of their own. 

    I read the world’s most messed up post earlier tonite and I’m still shaking the feelings off from it. If Indigenous folks aren’t well understood by non-Indigenous folks, then I’m happy to answer questions. We know the struggle we’re engaged in and the cultures we’re rooted in better than anyone. 

    OUaT is going to have to hire some consultants if they’re going to go further into the cosmology of Maine (since they’re there and otherwise run the risk of disappearing the Indigenous people yet again). I read a post earlier, not a bad one but a bit misguided, that said that all Disney needed was better research? No. Disney needs to hire some Indigenous people to fill in the blanks but also as pay back for the stereotypes and fairytale cosmologies imposed on our lands. 

    that’s my complicated answer to the dream catcher question…

     
  6. Rumple’s lesbian moms…

    kgork94:

    I recently re-watched the episode of Once Upon a Time in which we find out that Rumple’s father is Peter Pan. And I think the two spinsters who adopted him are a good jumping off point to discuss LGBTQ representation on Once. 

    I think Once is strategic about content and promotion and what is done is what will make them the most money and please the greatest amount of viewers. So what does this mean?

    LGBTQIA people grow up groping for some representation, something that looks like them on the television. What they are faced with is a lot of straight and cis-gendered couples and characters. So what happens? They adapt, they find something to connect with and, in the process, realize that love is love and love is relatable to everyone. Now, what does this say of the casual straight/cis-gendered viewer? This is a blanket statement and certainly not true of everyone, but I do think it applies to a lot of the Once fandom: basically the casual non-LGBTQIA viewer grows up with no need to grope for representation or relatability and do not fine themselves needing to understand or watch gay relationships on television. So, if a gay relationship is put on a T.V show, it needs to be palatable to these viewers. That often means either no gay relationships at all, fetishized relationships, relationships with a tragic end and/or back story or gay relationships as a bridge into a more permanent straight relationship. If its a “normal” and steady gay love story, it’s not palatable to the general audience or at least the audience of Once

    So what does this mean about making money and keeping viewers? Well, a show knows that it won’t lose it’s gay viewers without gay couples on a show. Why? Because, gay people are used to not seeing themselves in the mainstream and dealing with it. They are used to watching shows with only straight couples. However, the casual straight viewer is not used to seeing gay relationships and some will stop watching in favor of the hundred other shows that have straight couples on them. Or at least that is the marketing opinion of these big, main-stream shows. 

    What do they do? Well, this is where the spinsters come in. Now, these two women are literally spinsters, they spin wool. But, they are also examples of what caused the term “spinster” or woman living without a man who makes her own way (by spinning for example). These two women are older and live together happily. They adopt a child as there own. They are implied lesbians. They are the “roommates” that high-society speaks about in hushed whispers. So to gay and allied viewers they are sliver of gay representation on Once. But it has to be played safe, because they don’t want to isolate their homophobic viewers. So, these women, don’t kiss, they don’t touch, the subject of their sleeping arrangements is skillfully avoided. 

    Rumple’s lesbian moms are the perfect example of what is happening with the gay ships on Once. The gay viewer is baited and given just enough Swan Queen or Sleeping Warrior without offending the sensibilities of the homophobic viewer. Captain Charming is joked about, Mulan almost tells Aurora how she feels, Emma and Regina sob their goodbyes and Regina gives Emma a happy-ending, but no one ever touches romantically or addresses their feelings directly. Meanwhile, more acceptable straight ships are being heavily promoted. 

     
  7. how many dead chicks does it take to make a ‘hit show’?

    deemnfic:

    image

    i’m really bothered by how some people cheered when they found out she got killed off. Same with Tamara. And the mermaid.

    Ditto, but on two different levels.  Level 1: the fuck, guys, this is a huge problem. Level 2: the amount of authorial manipulation happening that allows so many people to not think about what they’re seeing on their screens.  Because “a beloved character will die” or whatever moronic teaser they leaked and it’s not Mumbles McStubblepants or Captain Rapey so collective sigh of relief?

    No.  This is fucked up.  This is very truly seriously fucked up.

    I want a numerical count of how many women have been killed on OUAT versus how many men, and relative power of each of those. So like, Billy the Mouse versus Tamara the Badass.  Right?  Because I keep seeing women with power dying for the benefit of white male character ‘arcs’ and occasionally ordinary Joe Schmoe dudes biting it, and if that’s not a statement about what these showrunners believe about the world and how it should work, then what is it? Coincidence?

    Oh, right, I forgot.  This is the fandom where Coincidence is a Real Thing.

    Seriously.  Dead dudes with power.  One?  The Dragon, WHO DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A NAME?  

    • Billy: he was a mouse.  
    • Archie: LOL NOT REALLY DEAD J/K.  
    • Person who died for Archie: WHO CARES MAYBE IT WAS A TRANSFIGURED PARROT.  
    • Peter: human, peasant, dead
    • Daniel: human, peasant, dead. zombie, peasant, dead.
    • Lancelot: human, kind of a leader? dead. twice?
    • Leopold: DEAD AND WE DIDN’T EVEN SEE IT HAPPEN LIKE GODDAMN CAN I GET A FROTHING AT THE MOUTH FROM THE POISON AT LEAST?
    • Graham: okay but why was he even there in the first place.  human, fucking useless, dead.

    As for other characters who have ‘been written off’:

    • George/Spencer: HELLA FUCKING POWERFUL, given a pass into “disappeared” land.  
    • August: KIND OF MAJORLY CULPABLE IN THE WHOLE ‘EMMA GOES TO JAIL’ THING, GIVEN A WHOLE NEW LEASE ON LIFE
      NEVER MIND THE PART ABOUT THE SEX TRADE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA.  
    • Jefferson: HAPPILY EVER AFTER OFF WITH HIS DAUGHTER IN HIS CREEPY MANSION.  
    • Whale: GETS HIS WHOLE FUCKING ARM RIPPED OFF, DOESN’T SUFFER ANY NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES FROM BLOOD LOSS AND ALSO CONTINUES TO OPERATE AS A FULLY-FUNCTIONING SURGEON WITH THE OCCASIONAL DRUNKEN SURGERY.
    • Sydney: ????? in the psych ward at the hospital??  

    (Also of note: the three most powerful men on that second list are probably Jefferson, Whale and Sydney.  Jefferson’s a hatter, Whale’s got the mad science, and Sydney’s a fucking genie.  Guess which one is the only one who gets actively screwed by the storyline.

    Oh, hey, you guessed it: the black guy.)

    Meanwhile, our dead chicks list:

    • Cora: HELLA POWERFUL, DEAD
    • Milah: SO MUCH POTENTIAL, DEAD
    • Tamara: BADASS, DEAD IN A REALLY DISGUSTINGLY MISOGYNISTIC VIOLENT FIT
    • Eva: idk, whatever, but sad times for not getting more of Rena Sofer’s face, DEAD
    • Ruth: more idk, but she could’ve been nice. maybe she would’ve been that mother-in-law who very sweetly tells her son’s wife to stop being such a cunt. DEAD
    • Marian: DEAD. (i know no details, but I’m 200% sure it was senseless and rude.)
    • Johanna: DEAD.
    • Maleficent: POWERFUL, DIED TWICE
    • Blind Witch: POWERFUL, BAKED, POSSIBLY WITH GRAVY. THE POINT IS DEAD.
    • Mermaid: NOT EVEN SURE HOW POWERFUL BUT HELLA FUCKING SCARY, NAMELESS AND DEAD
    • Blue Fairy: I don’t even know how she died, I don’t want to know, point is, SHE DEAD.

    And the disappeared:

    • Ruby: IF YOU ARE NOT HOWLING WITH RAGE EVERY DAY ABOUT THIS WHAT ARE YOU DOING. APPARENTLY HER BESTIE GIVES NO FUCKS ABOUT WHERE SHE IS SO IT’S UP TO YOU.
    • Nova: SO THE CURSE BREAKS AND SHE’S ALL HUMAN AND HER MAN’S ALL HUMAN AND… OH WE’RE JUST NOT GONNA TALK ABOUT WHETHER THE GIRL IN THE RIDICULOUS FROOFY CLOTHES GETS HER HAPPY ENDING? BUT THE HATTER GETS HIS? OKAY.
    • Ashley/Ella: hadababyit’sagirlgottagoifshestayspastepisode4sheturnsintoapumpkin?????
    • Kathryn: DEAD/NOT DEAD/DISAPPEARED/?????
    • Actual Ursula: DUDE WE DON’T EVEN FUCKING KNOW WHERE SHE WAS TO START WITH
    • Mulan: maybe she’s queer maybe she isn’t if no one hears her say the word is she actually queer? whatever she’s OFF TO MILITANT EXILE after half a season in limbo.
    • Aurora: knocked up in an abandoned palace with her ghost/not ghost boyfriend after half a season in limbo?  
      oh my god, she’s actually barefoot and pregnant.

    I actually can’t keep going, I’m getting seriously nauseous.

     
  8. A child can’t have a child, Rumple.

    darthsavior:

    The above statement, though shown negatively in the show this week a few weeks ago was also supported by the action. By abandoning his child, and removing his role as a parent, Pan regains youth or rather I would argue stays youthful. The statement a child can’t have a child then is held. I think it deserves some dissection for one reason: what happens when the opposite ends up being true? 

    When a child has a child.

    This is the reality for only two characters in the show and fortunately for purposes of discussion IMO the two most compelling.

    You are to be my mother.

    No, I can’t be a mother.

    As we know at roughly the same young age (17ish) Emma and Regina are made unwilling parents. One is forced to remain with the child and the other is able to choose not to be. The reason for this we are told (unlike Pan) is for the best chance of the child in question. Emma is not treated with resentment for giving Henry up and neither is Regina for “raising” Snow up. 

    While Emma affirms the original assertion by being a child herself incapable of being a parent, Regina is not afforded the same and thus contradicts it… or do they?

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  9. I was thinking…

    helebette:

    so let’s say you wanna write a show about a closed adoption, between a bio-mother who is poor and incarcerated and an adoptive parent with addiction issues who is also a woman of color and stigmatized for past crimes, then make that adoption open so those women have to encounter one another and oops, maybe they make a connection, maybe they even care about one another, maybe they even fall in love…because hey, one way to challenge a system of multiple intersecting oppressions is to have people move past conflict and perhaps even care deeply for one another (especially two women whose lives are supposed to revolve around men and competition over men especially white men).

    you wanna write it but you can’t sell it to any network? so use magic and fairytales as overlays and write the story backwards. 

    but in order to write this story, you’d have to have a really good analysis of systemic oppression. the closed adoption system allows wealthy people to adopt from poor people and it allows white people to take the children of peoples of color and native american/canadian people in order to ‘civilize’ our cultures and societies. ask Cherokee nation reps, or the bio-parents of certain celebrity adoptees. the closed system also keeps adoptive parents from certain kinds of information, support and legitimization. why? because community parenting is nowhere in post-1492 North America except in communities that struggle to maintain practices that still consider aunties and grandmothers to be AS important as mothers. without community parenting, notions of biological essentialism are insidious and difficult to fight. 

    also, in order to write this story, you’d have to really understand how to sell it more generally. if you let your audience just run rampant in terms of bullying, racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism, then you’ll just spark a whole lot of fighting and a whole lot of people are going to be re-traumatized. failing to quickly and consistently address all of the issues you’ve opened up, means that people will go a full 2 years believing that your central message is that adoptive moms and women of color in particular, are not worthy of parenting perfect little white babies from perfect little white nuclear families. or, you’ll perpetuate notions that a bio-mom who was in the prison system when she gave birth (Piper Kerman’s advocacy in this area is actually something I really value) would and should necessarily give up her child for some greater good or that she should feel guilty for having given it up when she had no choice in the matter. 

    exploring all of these overlapping concepts is a pretty difficult thing. the writers of OUaT are going to have to start hiring out or fixing the messes they’ve made in the second act of this season. the parenting issues along with emma and regina’s relationship along with regina’s healing journey (i’m trying to avoid the redemption angle it’s too christian for my liking now) are the core issues that keep this show afloat and bring ratings up. regina is henry’s first parent, emma is also his parent, and emma’s parents need to butt the fuck out. neal hasn’t earned any parenting privileges yet but an actual fucking conversation with regina might nudge something along. 

    i have no idea what the writers are thinking of course. i’m still not over neal feeding henry food until he passed out. are they telling us that rules, boundaries and limitations are for children as well as dogs? i’m not sure about the life lesson with a whole lot of this stuff. 

     
  10. zorabet:

    Rapunzel is not a German fairy tale. Most fairy tales are not German. They are not anything.

    A huge tenant of the fairy tale is that it has no author. The Grimms did not write Rapunzel, they recorded it from the stories of people (usually women) who had been telling it for generations and generations. There are exceptions- ie, Beauty and the Beast, which has a distinct author. But most fairy tales, including Rapunzel? No author. No roots. 

    They are in all cultures. German, African, Persian, Arabian, etc etc etc for a million years. Literally.

    So, no, Rapunzel is not a “German” princess who is white and blonde. The Rapunzel we know and are comfortable with is white and blonde because she is produced by a white-favoring, racist media. Disney made her white and blonde because they aren’t great at diversity all the time. No media is.

    But there are black Rapunzels, brown ones, ones of every religion and race and origin you can IMAGINE, and a million more who got lost in the mix.

    Rapunzel is not a story of a girl with blonde hair. It’s a story about a girl made to pay for her parents’ debts, who is trapped and alone, who finds a way out of her tower through a Prince. About how love conquers all. Not white, blonde love.