Good For Women
I just need to get this out because so much of the response towards criticism of the new HBO show ‘Girls’ has been bugging the shit out of me. It’s not a new argument. I’ve been hearing it for years and years but recently I’ve just gotten tired of tolerating it. People have been promoting ‘Girls’ as this big, feminist triumph. ‘It’s a show about ‘normal’ girls and addressing their lives in a ‘realistic’ way.’ ‘It’s a show about women that’s being created and written by women’ ‘THIS IS SO EMPOWERING!!!’
But then people started criticizing the show about the lack of notable WOC roles. And in response to those criticisms, I feel like the people that are defending this show as feminist are trying to eat their cake and have it too. They say, ‘yeah yeah there are no women of color but look at how groundbreaking this show is in other areas! Just having this show at all is good for women.’ But my response to that phrase is always the same. What kind of woman? Because from my perspective, this show’s possible success is only good for white women.
‘Girls’ isn’t the only property that has this issue. I mean there were countless of articles after ‘The Hunger Games’ made an ass ton of money that were creaming themselves in delight about how good that film’s success will be for women and women led movies. But from my perspective The Hunger Games success does shit for me and for all the other women of color out there.
Successful media that stars white women will only be good for more media that stars white women. Ripley begat Sarah Connor who begat Scully who begat Xena who begat Buffy who begat Bella who begat Katniss. Notice a pattern? Mulan was a popular movie both critically and financially but who did she begat?
I mean it’s not like I hate white women characters. I love so many. So many that it becomes depressing to me. Yes, I’m a woman but I’m black too. And I don’t want to constantly have to push my blackness aside so I can support media that’s “good for women” when I’m hardly ever included in the media and when I am, I’m used as a prop for the lead white female. How exactly is this good for me?
This is all over this place but I just wanted to put this all down because it’s something that’s just been really bothering me for awhile.