Saturday, June 28, 2014

"The Brilliant Misandry Of Orphan Black"

So, I saw a bunch of stuff about how awesome Orphan Black is.

So JQ and I watched a couple of episodes.


Absolutely not great.

Absolutely so not great that we didn't even do what we'd normally do, which is give a show like that another chance to prove itself.

In fact, it was so resoundingly not great that I was puzzled. I went back to see whether I could figure out what all the hubbub was about...  When I realized that it was Metafilter that I'd seen the most popular reviews on...and one of the characters in the show was flamboyantly gay. Exactly the kind of thing that would be sufficient to send MeFi into paroxysms of joy. Then I read that one character was "trans"...  Ah. Again, that would explain MeFi's love for the thing...

Now, more confirmation: Orphan Black is "brilliant misandry!"

It's something something the female gaze!!!!

(Note: if you see the phrase "male gaze" or any variation thereof used seriously (and approvingly), what you're reading is probably bullshit... Also: whatever it does, it probably does not "embody" the female gaze...but, when you're dealing with such a silly concept, it's hard to be too precise I guess...)

It's awesome because teh menz are dumb and teh secksy!:
Orphan Black’s straight men are among the stupidest and least riveting fictional creatures to populate the modern television landscape. After years of suffering through completely unrecognizable female characters on TV, it’s hard not to celebrate the show’s almost gleeful denigration of its straight male characters. Orphan Black’s creators are not interested in speaking to the straight guys’ justifications or needs, except to show how superficial they are. The straight men of are stupid, weak, simple, unethical, violent, buffoonish, and easily manipulated. They are purposefully one-dimensional sketches denied the layers and complex motivations given to the female characters.
Hey, great! Now I don't have to waste any more time sampling episodes to see whether the show really sucks or just seems to suck!

Also note: only the straight men... Jesus these people...

Look, as I've said many times, It's baffling to me that (especially) SFF doesn't have more and better female and minority characters. I just simply don't get it. SFF is largely about geeks and other underdogs having their day. And if you are interested in the triumph of the underdog...well...let me tell you about underdogs...

This is one of the reasons why Joss Whedon's stuff is so good, IMO. But, of course, Joss is now hated by the neo-racist, neo-sexist that are now making themselves heard on the web. So, that these folks would be ecstatic to see a show that (allegedly...but...again...not interesting enough to knows?) intentionally denigrates males isn't a surprise.

Look, I don't need equality in all my fiction. I love LoTR even though it does baffle me that a world full of elves and dwarves has so few notable females... But I have to draw the line at people who are intentionally being sexist d*cks.

I can certainly see an argument that says::

"Yo, look at the ten bazillion times the tables were turned...what's one that does it the other way?"

I think that's a reasonable point. Of course...there's not one show that does it that way...there are any number of shows that portray men as buffoons and their wives as sensible...I've never noticed nor cared much about those, and think that MRA types are silly for harping about them...but...if the above argument is going to seriously be made, the MRA point now has to be taken seriously itself.

More to the point: intentions matter.

I'm willing to let sexist portrayals slide if they're not too bad and they're not intentional. Call me crazy, I'm not so forgiving if it's intentional.

Also, I'm fed up with radical feminist bullshit, and the spittle-flecked misandry that has grown up on the web. I don't think it's a huge danger--it seems obviously incomparable to misogyny in terms of the actual harm it does. Still, it's ignorant prejudice, and I'm within my rights to tell ignorant bigots to go f*ck themselves.

If I just came across Orphan Black on its own, I'd just think it wasn't that good. (Again: I was so unimpressed that I didn't give it much of a chance... If I did, I might change my view about its quality.) If it were better, and I liked it, and the guys were all idiots, I probably wouldn't care much, honestly...unless I found out that was intentional.

But, now that the vapid left is crowing about its AWESOME BIGOTRY...well...I doubt I'm ever going to like it much...

Though, of course, one might say:
It's just trying to make a point. Whatever else it is, it's making a table-turning move. It's not doing it in a mean-spirited way, it's just trying to get people to see something.

That could very well be, and I actually think that would be a good thing to do. So, after the idiots now crowing about this are gone and forgotten, maybe I'll give it another chance. On its own, and without the penumbra of idiocy that seems to be growing up around it, I might like the thing...


Blogger jtnRN said...

Do you ever think that maybe you spend too much time wallowing in the nonsense of the "radical feminist bullshit"? Just like the people that read Townhall or Redstate so I don't have too, it can mess with your mind after awhile. As a long time liberal feminist working stiff I know that the people and ideas you rail about exist, but their relevance to our life and culture is, well, marginal at best. I remember college back in the 80s fairly well - I don't think much has changed. This stuff usually doesn't last long into the working world.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

> Do you ever think that maybe you spend too much time wallowing in the nonsense of the "radical feminist bullshit"?

Yes* **

* I'm trying to stop. But it's like waving a red cape in front of a bull (to use the common, flawed metaphor).

** Also, I think these people do eventually have influence, because of the strategic position they occupy in academia. They yammer on, most liberals refuse to criticize their nonsense, and it survives and ramifies and exerts its influence on academia, and middle-brow discussions, and the culture.

Still: yes.

7:57 AM  

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