Narrative Soup Links — 7/15/2016

It’s been a rough month or so. Turning on the news is flinch-inducing every day. I’m trying not to get bogged down in the seductive trope that things are falling apart, there’s nothing I can do. It’s not easy.

When it gets bad, I watch sloth videos. Here, it might help you, too. (You need the sound on for maximum mood-lifting effectiveness.)

On to the links!

TV is still mostly white dudes: Variety breaks down the demographics of showrunners and it’s still mostly 90 percent white and 80 percent male.

Fandom isn’t Broken: Some context: after the stupid Captain America “twist”, someone complained the fandom is broken. Here’s a thoughtful refutation of that fairly ridiculous idea.

The Sexism of “Experiences Over Stuff”: This is not the best written refutation of this trope, but it makes some excellent points about how the idea devalues and even dismisses the work that (mostly) women put into “experiences”. Points which I’m pretty sure I’ll find echoed in Who Made Adam Smith’s Dinner, once it arrives from the library.

And finally there is a link I want to include but can’t find. It was a lovely and thoughtful new take on #notallmen. Primarily, it was about why the Stamford woman who was raped by Brock Turner (*) was widely believed and Turner was widely reviled. This is not how these things normally go in America. But, she points out, since men are used to being in every single story, they can feel like they must cast themselves in every single story. And in most rape cases, there are only two roles: the rapist and the woman. So they cast themselves as the rapist and get defensive and disbelieve the woman.  But in the Stamford case, there were the two male heroes. Not only is a man’s word more credible than a woman’s (in their minds) but it also gave them a proxy in the story. They could mentally cast themselves as HEROES! So suddenly, this was a valid story in their minds, because they could be the good guys! The essay is much better than this summary and I’d love it if someone had the link and sent it along.

One of the reasons that I loved the link was becasue it offered a way for me to start to understand those who say that #BlackLivesMatter is a hate group. It isn’t, of course, and I’ve been completely stymied at understanding why and how people see it that way. But if you’re white and used to being in every story, then the phrase Black Lives Matter displaces you from the center of the story. That makes you angry.  (It also explains the backlash against the Melissa McCarthy Ghostbusters.)

Damnit. I really wish I could find that essay.

* Because I write about language and narrative, I am very aware of the fact that English offers no good way to give this woman a noun that isn’t awful. “Victim” reduces her whole being to one night. “Woman who was raped by Turner” gives him a name and the verb in the clause. But for the life of me, I can’t come up with anything better. Taking suggestions in the comments.



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