I’m really glad Sleepy Hollow is doing well, but can we just take a minute to acknowledge that the past two episodes have contained:
- evil “g***y” witch
- mystical Native shaman
I really, really, really, really want to like this show but it’s sad to see it relying on such tired and shitty tropes.
She’s an associate professor of history at Northwestern University, and wrote this review of the film Lincoln for The New York Times. Quote above is an excerpt.
This review is why I will be skipping the film. (Actually, I was already not too interested in going.) Sure, Steven Spielberg is a great director. I actually like some of his films. He’s talented. Sure, Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Fields are great actors. But this is not about who is “talented” or not. That’s really not the point. (For some reason, possibly a part of the annoyance that is the theory of American “exceptionalism,” being “talented” is license to do whatever someone wants without contextual repercussions.)
Hollywood films are often propagandist and seek to whitewash and alter history (or reinforce stereotypes, or both) under creative license and do so for a viewing public that is grossly uneducated about the facts (and process many films as history lessons), or if educated, reject the reality of the complex history that is Black and White people in America. And, though it will have nice costumes, production design, art direction, makeup, cinematography and good overall film direction, I am just not in the mood for the context/theme of this. I’m rather tired, actually. So I will skip this film.
Oh, and before people who refuse to think suggest that I am calling Spielberg racist, and then of course they’ll mention The Color Purple…just…NO. Read her review. Read the last line of this quote. Sometimes “well meaning” people create propaganda that harms as well. (Kola Boof suggested the same thing in her response to Cynthia Mort.)
You know what pisses me off in TV shows?
- When one of the female characters gives birth, and then right after the birth her child is taken and raised away from her…
- And from then on the other characters attribute elements of this woman’s personality to the fact that “she’s a mother.”
- No. She’s not a mother. She gave birth to a child, but she never actually got to be a mother.
- Vala from Stargate interacting with Adria for like five minutes when Adria was four doesn’t count as being a mother
- Amy from Doctor Who growing up with River as a childhood friend doesn’t count as raising her
- Stop attributing these women’s wisdom or ferocity to the fact that they’re “mothers”
- because guess what, these elements of their character come from THEMSELVES, not the fact that they gave birth to a child
- and calling it their ‘motherhood’ perpetuates the idea that women’s entire psychological make-up is rewritten once they’ve given birth
- which is entirely fucking untrue
- guess what? women can be strong and important without being mothers
- and the fact that the other characters only recognize their strength and importance once they’ve given birth
- and even then, they attribute it to the fact that the woman’s a “mother”
- that sends the message to girls that the most important role they can play in their life is having babies
- and that they need to be “a mother” in order to be appreciated or in order to even be a worthy person
- and that is downright fucked up
- and don’t get me wrong moms are awesome, but moms are also their own people
- and women can also be awesome people without being moms
- the fact that some TV writers need this spelled out for them actually disturbs me
I just wrote a paper on stereotypes in media. The group of people I had to research was “Native Americans” and I watched all of these videos about how early media stereotyped them into being these horrible people. But the truth is, growing up I always wanted to be a Native American Indian. I thought they were great, and in the 1st grade I cried when I was picked as a Pilgrim instead of an Indian in our Thanksgiving play. I didn’t want to be a “white man”. Funny, I guess I never saw the negativity in the stereotype.
If your paper isn’t turned in yet, I’d like to offer you another resource. Even if it is done and turned in, I’d like you to read it.
(Feel free to quote from it; correct attribution is to Monique Poirier, Seaconke Wampanoag)
Carrie Bradshaw (via clarissa-dalloway)
(Extra points for some of the ‘bold gestures’ often seen in romantic movies being legitimately creepy or indicative of deep problems.)
I need to reblog this again to point out just why I love this particular picture so. That thing he’s holding? Yeah that’s a roll of packing tape in a plastic holder. That’s a thoroughly mundane, inarguably ‘modern’ artifact. Let me tell you why that’s important.
Many of the most famous and ‘iconic’ vintage photos of NDNs are from the body of work of Edward Curtis. You probably recognize some of them:
Curtis documented some aspects of the customs and lifestyles of American Indians of the trans-Mississippi West. The publication of Curtis’s work, highly romanticized and most craftily staged, exerted a major influence on the image of Indians in popular culture. Curtis is reported to have retouched some of the photographs in order to remove modern objects, adding to the popular illusion of Native Americans as a primitive people.
Yeah, see how that second photo is deliberately sepia-toned and how the clock between the two individuals has been removed because it’s ‘too modern’? Fuck that shit.
That image up there is of a child in full tradition regalia…carrying a roll of tape. Because that child exists today in the modern world where tape is a thing. That regalia exists -today- and is not a ‘historical costume’. My love for that image is the same as my love for things like this traditional elk hide hand drum painted to look like Captain America’s shield by NDN Etsy Artist JBear:
Or this kid in Superman Powwow Regalia:
Because NDNs are modern, living people influenced by modern pop culture. It’s what makes things like traditionally-beaded sneakers so awesome:
We are here, living -today-. Sometimes we own clocks and carry tape and reference cheesy summer movies and wear sneakers. And when we do these things, they are NDN things.
arrow-and-oracle said: Wow, I wonder what is the definition of “hippie bullshit”. Does it have something to do with the ideals of Native peoples? Peace, love, respect, all that???
Holy glittersnorting snotgarling shit.
"The ideals of Native peoples?"
Yes, all indigenous folks everywhere on earth have a shared set of new-agey ideals. Clearly this must be the case since we are a monolithic, undifferentiated mass in no way made up of millions of individuals of all ages and backgrounds from thousands of disparate cultures, each having a unique experience that shapes our personal worldview. That would be silly.