Posted: Nov 23, 2019 9:40 am
by arugula2
Some of it may be rooted in modern western attitudes about authenticity in fidelity. In oral traditions, it's more often the story is expected to change with each telling, or with each storyteller or performance. Used to be broadly true of literary traditions, too, I think - especially in ancient times. I can't think of an obvious reason why modern western attitudes about this are what they are, or even to what extent they are. Shall we blame the Puritans and those other settlers of their time? Conservatism is fundamentally about resisting change. And habits survive even when they become unmoored from their origins. There's a weird intersection of different strains of counter-culture backlash that I find too compelling to ignore. I haven't seen a coherent argument against it. It isn't dissolving for me yet.

Also, we're talking about people during impressionable periods in their lives. If they adopt subliminal messages about "proper" hierarchies, but then insist they only want fidelity to a story... how the fuck are you and I supposed to untangle that? We can't. We have to assume certain things about the influence of the zeitgeist. And the zeitgeist is one in which white (cis, hetero) men dominate in our stories. That's just how it is for now. Motives can't be separated. Run a thought experiment in which that worldview changes within a few generations, in which the imagery and the propaganda change. What kind of reaction do you expect? Is it something like we see now? I haven't come across a thoughtful, persuasive argument to the contrary, one that takes the broad view of history with the aim to explain trends.

There's another angle which maybe westerners rarely are confronted with, which is that, even today, what with the world becoming super-connected, the flow of propaganda is largely unidirectional. One language dies every few days because its last speakers die, and they take their stories with them. Run another thought experiment: whose stories are likely going to be the last to die? I'm mentioning it because I'm sure that this status in the flow of information feeds into a sense of entitlement. These young (mostly) boys who later become angry redditors banding together against SJWs aren't just growing up thinking they have the "correct" stories - they're obviously growing up thinking these are the only stories on earth, or at least the only ones they need pay attention to or love. I find that heartbreaking. (By stories, I don't mean superhero stories, that's just a microcosm.)


Anyway, Thommo, I finally read the Moore article. His views about depictions of rape in pop culture are compelling, sensible even. Something also about the "right" of non-black writers to write about the black experience - and he applies it to other similar complaints. Also sensible, imo. I'm not sure he gets around to fleshing out some of his other views. Maybe I need to keep reading.