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Wherein solitary_summer will go out out for a walk first and look at comments later.


Fresh air & sunshine are good. Not making a habit of staying up in front of the computer until 3 am and crawling out of bed only at noon unless work forces me to would also be good.


But there's this thing about good intentions and roads to hell... *sigh *A couple of notes about that last TW post.

# What the post was not about, or only very tangentially since it's a much too complex subject, was the discussion about women writing slash. I'm not even sure about my own opinion there right now. On the one hand I understand how this could and can be seen as problematic and offensive. Cue the guilt. On the other hand I was one of the people who slashed book characters and TV characters long before I knew there was a word for it. Teenaged me feeling awkward and embarrassed to watch Maurice twice in the theatre in still very provincial 1980ies Vienna. Darkover novels. Long list of favourite authors who are gay. I'm still thinking about it. However, what is relevant in the discussion here is that the 'straight women writing gay porn' image is very much what is out there in mainstream media, even if it's simplifying a more complex reality, and that clearly a lot of gay men do find that problematic.

# I'm not saying that no one is allowed to discuss CoE and homophobia. What I do wish people would stop doing is assuming that in all the years he wrote for TV as a gay man RTD had managed to somehow remain completely oblivious of the dead gay character trope and all it entails, and wasn't perfectly aware of what he was doing killing Ianto. I think any discussion and critique should at least give him the credit of having made a deliberate decision to tell the story like that, ignoring the stereotypes or writing around them, instead of making armchair psychology assumptions about him being tripped up by his subconsciousness.

' Maybe Mickey could die? 'Nooo!' said Phil. But Mickey is the only one who seems killable, because he's not quite central, he's unlucky, he's the odd one out. It's inbuilt in Mickey's character. But then I get shivers, because it's always the black guy who cops it. Maybe that's politically correct of me, but political correctness can be political and correct.'

Which, again, obviously doesn't mean there are no issues about race in DW, or that they cannot be discussed. Just pointing out that the man knows his tropes.

# Finally and on a more personal note, writing that post and replying to the comments made me realise how completely isolated and alone I felt in TW fandom after CoE, at least until I wrote that long Jack/Ianto meta post, and what a huge relief it was/is finally being able to talk about that without feeling guilty and defensive all the time.


*off to the shower*

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
carose59
Jan. 16th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
' Maybe Mickey could die? 'Nooo!' said Phil. But Mickey is the only one who seems killable, because he's not quite central, he's unlucky, he's the odd one out. It's inbuilt in Mickey's character. But then I get shivers, because it's always the black guy who cops it. Maybe that's politically correct of me, but political correctness can be political and correct.'

But isn't the real question, why is it always the black guy who's not quite central, unlucky, the odd one out? Why is it built into the character of the black guy and not a white guy? The problem started before the question of who to kill arose. Writing the black guy as killable, then get the shivers when he's the one who has to die is a lot of things (unimaginative, for one), but it's hardly politically correct.
solitary_summer
Jan. 16th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
I absolutely agree with you. Like I said, there are issues. Although if you're not familiar with DW it's perhaps worth noting that among the six characters in question there was also Martha, the second New Who companion, who is a black woman. Mickey was Rose's (the first companion's) boyfriend and a recurring character in the first two seasons. In any case I apologise for having offended you. I only brought this up because I think a gay author who at least shows that kind of minimal awareness would hardly be unaware of all the stereotypes surrounding gay characters.


(ETA: No one died in the end.)

Edited at 2010-01-16 07:02 pm (UTC)
merricatk
Jan. 16th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
No, no offense at all! I was just pointing out what I saw as the flaw in the logic of the argument.

Actually, I'm not at all familiar with DW, but I've seen the same sort of thing in horror movies. The black guy doesn't get a girlfriend, and he's always killed.

I'm glad no one died in the end. *g*
solitary_summer
Jan. 16th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Have you by any chance seen Alien vs. Predator? Obviously not exactly a good movie, but she is the only human character who comes out alive. The only sad thing is that this was such a surprise...
coldwater1010
Jan. 17th, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
"What I do wish people would stop doing is assuming that in all the years he wrote for TV as a gay man RTD had managed to somehow remain completely oblivious of the dead gay character trope and all it entails, and wasn't perfectly aware of what he was doing killing Ianto. I think any discussion and critique should at least give him the credit of having made a deliberate decision to tell the story like that, ignoring the stereotypes or writing around them, instead of making armchair psychology assumptions about him being tripped up by his subconsciousness."

I have to say I kind of disagree with this. For one thing we don't really know what thought, if any, RTD put into killing Ianto. It's all assumption on our end so I don't think there's anything wrong with anyone wanting to question his motivations if they see something questionable in how he chose to tell that story. That doesn't mean that their conclusions are right and personally I don't think they are, but experience has taught me that those who should know better don't always. After all these are the same people to whom it apparently didn't occur that a guy using a spray to break down the inhibitions of a woman who'd already told him no just so she'd have sex with him might be construed as rape by their audience or why it might be considered sexist to put their cyberwoman in sexy cyberwoman gear.

"But isn't the real question, why is it always the black guy who's not quite central, unlucky, the odd one out? Why is it built into the character of the black guy and not a white guy? The problem started before the question of who to kill arose. Writing the black guy as killable, then get the shivers when he's the one who has to die is a lot of things (unimaginative, for one), but it's hardly politically correct."

I'd also like to say, as a sidenote, I agree with this. What made Mickey any more inherently killable than any of the other main characters other than writer's whim? It's not as if he faced any more dangerous perils than the other main characters and in certain cases faced a lot less. It seems even more of a bizarre assumption on a show that seemed to go out of its way 'not' to kill its main characters no matter how improbable that outcome might be. So what made Mickey so special for singling out?

solitary_summer
Jan. 17th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
For one thing we don't really know what thought, if any, RTD put into killing Ianto.

Obviously I don't know that either, but at a guess he might have been a bit more aware about writing a gay character/storyline, since that concerns him more personally.


What made Mickey any more inherently killable than any of the other main characters other than writer's whim?

I absolutely agree with what carose59 said about the fundamental problem being that characters of colour are much too often marginalised to begin with and therefore more likely to be killed from the start, but he's talking about the S4 finale there, and the characters in question are Sarah Jane (unkillable because she has her own spin-off show), Jack (canonically unkillable twice over, even if he hadn't been tied up in TW), Donna, Martha, Rose and Mickey. And with three of them being full companions (and one of them a black woman, so what is true for Mickey is also true for her) and two others even more impossible to kill, that does make Mickey the odd one out.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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