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.


    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. 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…

  5. I was thinking…


    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. 

  6. 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.  

  7. strangesmallbard:

    oh my god ok ok i love tink she’s now one of my favorite characters on this show but that storyline/reaction to the storyline in “quite a common fairy” is deeply problematic:

    • you have regina, stuck not only in a loveless marriage, but in an implied abusive one, feeling trapped and feeling worthless, deeply unhappy and going through a lot of grief and anger and stress with absolutely no support system
    • in fact feeling these things enough and with enough force that the only solutions she sees to this are a) kill what she perceives to be the root of her unhappiness, snow white, there-by in her life getting rid of the block to her happy ending, and b) turning to dark magic to gain control of her own path
    • and actually i take that back you know who her only kind of support system is? rumpel. rumpel, who is 100% encouraging her to use dark magic to take control of her life, when it reality it will do the opposite, and convincing her that this is her only path to getting rid of her grief.
    • and then you have blue who only sees that her mother is cora, and her teacher is rumpel, and doesn’t even care about the struggling girl their forces are trying to shape into the evil queen, (cora - her past, rumpel - her present and future), and so decides that regina’s destiny is to be evil and good fairies don’t help evil people god this logic is basically the starchild from mass effect 3’s logic aka nO LOGIC AT ALL 
    • and then there’s tink, who really does want to help regina, even with her knowledge that regina is actively thinking about killing a twelve year old, she still sees good in regina, sees a person that needs help, still has a chance
    • but
    • regina says “i need freedom” she doesn’t say “i need a new boyfriend”
    • and tink, who is a romantic at heart as we saw in the narrative and believe that true love conquers all and all that doesn’t see what she really needs or doesn’t listen and plays into her own ideology
    • (actually one of the reasons why she’s one of my favorites - passionate and flawed)
    • so she convinces regina that this is her path, the one that will make her happy again, instead of perhaps trying to get her out of that toxic environment - aka freedom (both from rumpel + the castle with the king and snow).
    • i think (ok this is a little headcanony analysis but bear with me) regina recognizes that being around snow is connected to her desire to stay training with rumpel - snow represents all that was taken from her, rumpel all that can be gained back , and does want to get out, but also her anger and vengeance against snow is tying her there, fueling the void within her heart, and she also can’t let that go.
    • but even then, even as we could interpret her saying “i need freedom” as “i need to get out,” her we still don’t know what exactly regina needs (beyond a strong support system), because beyond tink that first outing, no one is listening to her, and no one, not even tink, is asking her.
    • (one thing i am really happy about with tink is that she doesn’t try to invalidate what regina is feeling - something a lot of the other characters on this show do, she sympathizes with what regina’s feels about snow, and understands her point of view, even as she misinterprets what regina needs in this situation)
    • but regina is terrified of loving agin, the last person she loved got murder right before her very eyes, love got her life ruined, no good deed goes unpunished, but tink is pushing it and just for a moment she allows herself to hope again, but her fear is strong and her desperate need to be strong vs. weak (love is weakness, regina) is even stronger and so she runs away before she can get hurt, be weak
    • tink, let’s not forget, did this out of her own choice. she chose to steal the fairy dust. she chose to try to help regina in the way that she did, and i bet even if regina went to meet robin hood, blue might have still taken her wings
    • but she didn’t understand that part of regina - the part that made her so afraid and lash out - and took it personally, which we can’t really fault her for, can’t fault her for her life experiences, for how she believes she is right, what she is feeling, even though it really isn’t regina’s fault that tink lost so much
    • (to me regina is tink’s snow, but that’s a whole other post)
    • and so she leaves regina, leaves her to her grief and her terrible support system and bing balla boom no one else believes in regina, (you could say snow does for a while, but honestly i don’t think with that betrayal snow could be the support system regina needed, even still, she is one of the characters who definitely invalidates what regina needs), no one believes she has a chance, she continues her lessons, and for several reasons she eventually becomes the evil queen

    now that’s the entire problematic part of the epsiode, let’s step out into the fandom world and the writing world:

    • the narrative seems to imply that regina is at fault for not going to see robin hood, that she’s at fault for what happened to tinkerbell, (and apparently for whatever misfortune robin hood had or something like that) because yeah it’s always regina’s fault right yeah *face meet palm*
    • and because the narrative implies that it’s regina’s fault, only allows for speculation from the fans on how it might be, instead of implicitly saying tinkerbell is wrong here for once regina is not at fault maybe things would have worked out wonderfully and so much could have been avoided if she had gone to robin hood
    • but she was pushed into it, and was told "here this is what you need because i say so!" when it was not what she needed, and tinkerbell chose to help her, and robin hood is 100% unaware of what’s going on and married maid marian and had a kid yeah his life was miserable (god i’m not even going to get into how pissed i am that they killed her off solely to create a parallel with regina and to open him up as a love interest god damnit)
    • you can have your opinion on the blame all you want, but to lay 100% of it on regina’s shoulders is just not factually correct
    • but so many people believe it is because the narrative says it is, and there are societal consequences in a narrative where a white woman barges in on a woc’s life and telling her what she needs when that’s not what she needs at all and saying i’m only trying to help! and then the woc gets blamed for it all when it goes in a different direction by the narrative
    • and that is why i believe this episode really problematic in the storyline, and beyond the storyline itself
    • anyone have thoughts?
  9. swanloves:

    Damn this was good….it was so much in one article that was touched on…and tv.com is kind of mainstream is or no? Either way they went there on several topics favorite parts:

    Mainstream media tends to hyper-sexualize gay relationships. Hence, many OUAT fans argue that you can’t have a gay couple on a family show about fairy-tales (often in very misspelled social media posts). But um, nope, that’s just not true. When viewers say they want to see Swan Queen, it’s not a request for the show to become sexually explicit, to be Once Upon a Time in My Pants, it’s asking the show and the show’s audience to recognize that all those idealized elements of true love—authentic connection, sacrifice, and loyalty—also happen in LGBT relationships. LGBT romances deserve an idealized, flowers and hearts, aspirational depiction that parents and kids can watch together and sigh and say “Awww!” the way they do currently with hetero ones.”


    Another layer of problems on top of Mulan getting baby pwned is that on OUAT, POCs (people of color) NEVER get ANY kind of happy ending ever, not once, in three seasons. POCs are either guardians (Lancelot, Mulan), victims (Gus, Sydney Glass), or villains (Tamara, Regina). Like, where the hell are Tiana and Jasmine? WHY ARE ONLY THE WHITE PRINCESSES HAPPY?!”

    I’m no folklore professor, I don’t own an amulet or Tevas, but even I know fairy-tales are one of the earliest ways we teach kids basic life lessons: what is good, what is bad, don’t talk to strangers, someday you’re going to find someone who will make all the terrible stuff worth it. If we can’t talk about gay relationships in fairy-tale terms, then we’re teaching kids who grow up to be gay that there isn’t a happy ending for them. Like, what other message does it send when Mulan walked away, sobbing, before she could even tell Aurora how she felt? “Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a powerful thing” is the show’s own thesis statement.Why not let gay kids, gay teens, and gay parents aspire to a happy ending too?”

    (Source: beatthe0dds)

  10. Let’s be clear… (Regina Musings)


    I don’t blow off the murders that my lovely bebe has committed nor any of the acts she committed at the height of her Evil Queendom (although some crimes are debatable if they actually occurred ..) but what I do is put it into context and perspective…

    Regina was a sweet young teen who eventually became known throughout the land as the infamous feared Evil Queen.  This girl (because that’s what she was at first when she married the king) just wanted freedom….she couldn’t have her love so she just wanted freedom…

    Looking at Regina without adding that fact to the conversation or even keeping it in mind, skews all the thoughts after. Not including that she is a woc changes her analysis and makes it less accurate of her actions and as well as the opportunities she had in front of her. Not including that her mother was magically abusive to her, that her father did jack shit to help that situation makes it seem like she had no challenges to her thought process. Not including the very direct manipulation that Rumplestilskin had on her life and her introduction to dark magic once again makes it seem like she hopped down that path all on her on and it doesn’t give a full picture of who this woman is. And last but not the least of the many things…she lived with Snow and King Leopold from anywhere from 6 to 10 years…yet they didn’t notice or care about her unhappiness. Let’s say Leopold didn’t abuse or rape Regina (side eye hard) …why did this man marry her just to ignore her and continue to travel with Snow ? We see in Season 3 her being left in the castle…alone and she confides in Tinkerbell that the marriage is a farce…what the fuck was the point…oh to be a nurse maid to Snow….So King Leopold deprives this teen of a shot at true love to add a trinket with no power to watch his daughter OH this is only when they are in town because he STILL travels and takes Snow along…he is still disgusting for this before we even get to other theories about his character. 

    When it comes down to Regina the above isn’t an attempt to excuse her behavior its to understand why would she make the moves that she has made. It’s to understand why she didn’t choose love, hope, and believe in her happy ending despite the sadness like “team good guy” was able to. I analyze Regina and there are a lot of fingerprints on her for the “how” of “who” she became. Yet no one really takes a share of “blame” for her or how their society or world could “create” someone like her. They say “she choose the path of free will”  or say that their contribution to the situation wasn’t relevant. And those who did apologize (Henry sr., snow, and eventually cora) there was no positive loving action to back up their proclamations of “sorry”. Then everyone wants to cry foul for the Evil Queen’s reign of terror but no one sits any blame with those who created her…not in fairy tale land nor in Storybrooke…they cry foul for her striking back with a harshness born of fear, anger, injustice, and just plain old giving zero fucks…

    Should the people have sat idly by and not raised up against the Queen as she was slaying them down to get to Snow, HELL NO. Fight and fight well. But keep in mind “know thy damn enemy”…and they don’t know at all and didn’t care to learn…. I’m surprised they didn’t have more Dark sorceresses running around in the Enchanted Forest…

    That is definitely worth a look at. Some initial thoughts: