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Posts tagged with "once upon a meta"

memorizeyrlines:

What if [insert white female character] were a woman of color?

oracuyc:

eshusplayground:

alwaysatrombonist:

womanistglasses:

What would be different about the meaning of her character and her story?

How would fandom’s reactions to her change?

I actually really liked doing this for Rachel Berry, especially taking a certain scene…

When it comes to Once Upon a Time, I have so much trouble imagining Emma Swan as a woman of color. I find that I just can’t do it. And that boils down to Regina and her interactions with Emma, her interactions with Emma’s parents, and her interactions with Emma’s grandparents. I don’t think I could watch a show where any woman of color experiences an attack on her motherhood from other women of color, an attack on her body by other people of color, and an erasure of her identity by other people of color. And the idea of a WOC!Snow manipulating Regina into murdering her own mother… When it comes to Regina, I can’t imagine Henry, Emma, Snow, King Leopold, Charming as POC because it then becomes a show where POC tear down and destroy each other, and I just don’t want to give white people the satisfaction.

But, when Regina is removed from the situation entirely, I can see where there could be a bit of intrigue with an Emma who isn’t White. Because the show would (at its core) have a brown woman as its hero, and that is rare on television. The characters on this show would owe their lives to a WOC and should respect her accordingly life saving or not, but would that translate over to (white) fandom? Judging by reactions to Tara Thornton, Martha Jones, etc, I believe (white) fandom would hate Emma in a way they don’t hate White!Emma.

Also with an Emma who is a WOC, there are so many aspects of her life that could be explored further. Keeping Neal White, for instance, keeping Pinocchio White, for instance, how would we read their hand in Emma’s life if she isn’t a White woman? How would we discuss Emma’s life pre-Storybrooke if she isn’t White? Would (white) fandom glamorize her past as they’ve done with White!Emma or would they find some way to punish her further in their fics (you know, like they do to Regina now)? 

And with POC!Snow and Charming, what does their story become when discussing the time before the curse? (white) Fandom were pretty much okay with how easily they slid themselves into Emma’s and Henry’s lives after the curse was broken, but if Snow and Charming were POC? I doubt fandom or the writers would make it so easy on them.

Umm…yeah.

Reblogging for commentary.

Feb 8

Forgive me if this was asked before, but I've been looking through the meta, and I'm curious about Snow's role in Regina's anger, and subsequently becoming the Evil Queen. I am of the opinion that at eleven years old, she should have been able to keep the secret, and it was wrong that she didn't. My sister argued that you can't hold a child culpable and that 100% of the blame should be on Cora. I don't disagree that Cora IS to blame, but I don't feel like Snow is blameless in that instance.

deemnfic:

Honestly, the telling of the secret is so low on the list of violence Snow has committed against Regina… its only relevance is that it is the first.

But I’ll play ball.  

First: Snow was not eleven, she was just about thirteen.  At thirteen—and also at eleven, but whatever—you absolutely are capable of understanding that your actions have consequences.  When you are explicitly told that there will be terrible if unnamed consequences to telling a secret, there is no additional metacognition that needs to happen for you to understand the stakes.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Snow telling the secret shows that Snow believed she had more right to determine the course of Regina’s life than Regina herself did.  Snow prioritized Regina’s relationship with her mother even after Regina herself said that her mother was the danger.  Snow did not do this because she knew anything positive about Regina’s relationship with Cora; Snow did this because of her own beliefs about the importance of mothers.

[Nevermind that Snow ended up getting what she wanted: Regina as her new mother.  Only a minor detail.]

Snow, as a thirteen year old, believed that she knew better, about Regina’s life, than Regina, and proceeded to take the one action that she was explicitly told not to take in order to direct Regina’s life to be in accordance with her own preferences.  That is an act of violence.  That has nothing to do with Cora, or Daniel, or anyone or anything else.  That is Snow reigning over Regina.  That is active oppression.  That is subjugation.  

A thirteen year old with limitless power seizes control of a comparatively powerless seventeen/eighteen year old’s life against her explicitly expressed wishes. As a result, that seventeen/eighteen year old is subjected to rape, isolation, suspicion, imprisonment, infringement of privacy, and other untold levels of direct and indirect violence.

Forget Cora.  Forget Daniel.  That is the root of Regina’s anger.

As for everything else that followed: see here, here and here.

I think I’ve reached my OUAT fandom threshold.

Too much stress, too much bullshit, too much.

At this point, I’m doing more for the show and the fandom than I’m getting out of it, and I think I should definitely pull back. If it comes to the point where I’m like, “Goddamnit, what now?” when anything related to the show comes up, it’s time for me to get the hell out and focus on things that feed me instead of leech me.

So I’m definitely gonna pull back and I’m gonna make it stick by doing some unfollows. Not because the people I unfollow are not awesome (because I wouldn’t follow them if they weren’t), but I need more space from this show and the fandom, to have my little bubble where I can keep show and fandom bullshit as far away from me as possible.

I want to talk about other shit and have other shit on my dash, especially now that I’ve got the Tolkien virus and the roleplaying bug and a copy of Soap right on my bedside table. I was dead serious about wanting to GM that First Age game.

I’ll still be writing Onyx Queen and making (more like reblogging) the occasional Once Upon A Meta post, but I’m no longer gonna follow the show, the cast, or any Tumblrs that are mostly OUAT-related. 

The people I want to stay in contact with know how to contact me outside of Tumblr, so if you wanna talk or something, you know how to reach me.

People of color in "Once Upon A Time"

"Though the actress who plays the Evil Queen/Regina is Latina, she’s not portrayed as Latina, so it’s hard to count that as one in the win column."

*rolllllllls eyes*

 

Experience and its impact on analysis in OUAT fandom

onceuponameta:

This conversation about Ellen Ripley got me thinking about what we bring to our analysis of OUAT and its characters. In that conversation, meanie-face makes an excellent point about the ways we ground our analysis of a story or its characters:

I didn’t bring up the personal value the second film has to me because I wanted to assert how attached I was to the characters. I brought that up because it’s about identification, womanhood, and experience. It wasn’t arbitrary whining about how you were “hurting my babies” or some such thing […]. It was about how my and my mother’s experience of womanhood, motherhood, and identity relate to the film, and the difference between academic-based analysis of the film and experience-based interpretation and analysis of the film, which is an important factor when talking about how fictional characters and the representation of their identities relate to real world people.

With this in mind, I want to open up a discussion about personal experience and analysis in OUAT fandom.

Some questions to get things started:

  1. Do you see a difference in experience-based interpretations and academic-based ones? What are they?
  2. How do your personal experiences affect how you respond to or interpret the show?
  3. How do you approach interpretations of the show that are rooted in experiences that are not your own?

Reblogging for people who are actually awake when the sun is up.

Experience and its impact on analysis in OUAT fandom

onceuponameta:

This conversation about Ellen Ripley got me thinking about what we bring to our analysis of OUAT and its characters. In that conversation, meanie-face makes an excellent point about the ways we ground our analysis of a story or its characters:

I didn’t bring up the personal value the second film has to me because I wanted to assert how attached I was to the characters. I brought that up because it’s about identification, womanhood, and experience. It wasn’t arbitrary whining about how you were “hurting my babies” or some such thing […]. It was about how my and my mother’s experience of womanhood, motherhood, and identity relate to the film, and the difference between academic-based analysis of the film and experience-based interpretation and analysis of the film, which is an important factor when talking about how fictional characters and the representation of their identities relate to real world people.

With this in mind, I want to open up a discussion about personal experience and analysis in OUAT fandom.

Some questions to get things started:

  1. Do you see a difference in experience-based interpretations and academic-based ones? What are they?
  2. How do your personal experiences affect how you respond to or interpret the show?
  3. How do you approach interpretations of the show that are rooted in experiences that are not your own?

Regina: victim or survivor? What does it mean for her to be one, the other, or both? (TRIGGER WARNING for abuse and rape just in case)

onceuponameta:

There’s no question that abuse has had a powerful impact on Regina.

There are two words that most people associate with people who have experienced abuse: victim and survivor.

Let’s explore that in a little more depth.

Questions beneath cut just in case.

(Standard disclaimer about not being a derailing asshole.)

Read More

Where does using mental health to understand characters end and pathologizing them begin?

deemnfic:

biogeekgrrl:

onceuponameta:

This discussion about Regina, Cora, and mental illness (and this post from a while back) got me thinking about how awareness of mental illness can be both beneficial and harmful.

When does using mental illness as a framework for a character’s psychology help, and when does it hurt? How do race, gender, and sexuality impact the benefit or harm that can be done?

this. i think there’s a fine line to walk wrt mental health especially with regards to POC/queers/etc in fiction. like, i understand why there’s a drive to understand how personality disorders/trauma/und so weiter affect characterization especially as it pertains to fiction and/or meta posts. but i never, never trust writers to be psychologists and i never assume that DSM categories of mental disorders are the be-all end-all of any character, particularly if that character isn’t a white man. 

Exactly.

Ideally, I think, the best way to increase awareness about mental illness would be to have characters who either have been diagnosed or are actual textbook cases, easily recognizable as an example of x y or z syndrome, and to not have it be a big deal.  Their function shouldn’t be to be the character with the mental illness.  It just happens to be a characteristic.

Because raising awareness goes hand in hand with reminding others that this person is still a person. They are not a walking disease, they are a human being learning to function as they are—which is the point of 90% of treatment: enabling the patient to live an uninterrupted life.

I know one work that gets consistent praise for how it handles mental illness is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and yes, it did pretty well.  The main plot wasn’t about a kid learning to deal with a diagnosis or treatment or just elucidating about a particular syndrome, but rather about a shattered family and trust and how the titular incident uncovers quite a few secrets.  Christopher’s particular cluster of symptoms came into play by complicating situations and coloring his reactions, and also changing how people reacted to and treated him.  Considering the main themes are family and trust, this obviously matters a great deal.  The other thing that perhaps worked well was that the novel never gives a name for what Christopher has.

The thing is: Christopher is a white boy who lives with his white father in a white neighborhood.

Like I said before: when it comes to queer | women | of color, psychology is far, far behind.  No DSM categorization can be trusted fully.  You can’t say, for example, that Regina has ASPD because the criteria for ASPD are based almost exclusively on cishet white men.  (Also, she doesn’t, but like that stops people…)

Consider, also, that the DSM-5 just came out in May—thirteen years after the publication of DSM-IV-TR (which only contained minor detail revisions) and nineteen years after the last significant revision (DSM-IV).  That’s almost two decades of research to process, distill, compress and restructure to create a Definitive Guide.  (I can go into a really long tangent about what research tends to get funded and how we’re still barely better off than we were in 1994 when it comes to POC, women and queer folk, but the point is: NOT MUCH PROGRESS WAS MADE.)  Consider all the factors going into what enters this definitive guide: who’s on the committee, what their respective research foci are, how much influence the pharmaceutical industry has over those people and over what research gets pushed to the forefront.  (Also consider that everyone on the Task Force was forced to sign an NDA.  Highly reassuring.)

Basically, what I’m saying is, the DSM is great for white guys who need pills, but if you’re writing about the rest of humanity, you’re gonna want to approach mental illness from the standpoint of, “What are some of the particular behaviors/mindsets and how would those influence my character’s life,” rather than, “My character has x so A B and C will happen.”

Write about people, not bullet points.

I just have to say that this is one of the best meta discussions I’ve ever witnessed or participated in. Thanks, y’all.

If you woke up one day and found yourself in what you once believed was a fictional setting, what would be your moral and ethical responsibilities to the people who live there?

lifeforliberation:

eshusplayground:

lifeforliberation:

eshusplayground:

Assuming that it turns out that this world is real and not entirely fictional, what would you be required to do with the knowledge you have of current and future events?

Like, if you landed in Middle-earth prior to the formation of the Fellowship of the Ring, and you know the whole story of The Lord of the Rings, do you have a responsibility to tell people what you know? Are you morally obligated to say, “Sauron ain’t dead, Gollum has the Ring, and Saruman can’t be trusted as far as Bilbo Baggins can throw him”?

Or, if you found yourself in the Warring States era of feudal Japan, and you encounter a hanyou named Inuyasha, or a miko named Kikyo, and all this prior to Naraku’s arrival on the scene, what are you required to do? How much must you tell them?

Or how about this? You land in the Enchanted Forest, and you come across a girl named Regina who has yet to meet a boy named Daniel, knowing what you know of her current situation and the future that’s in store for her (at least, the future that would unfold if nobody knows about any of it), what are you suppose to do?

i want for a story to engage with this and not default to oh i must shut up about it because changing time is a bad idea. because I personally would talk all the things. 

Inorite? They tend to handwave it like, “Don’t toy with destiny” or some shit.

And I’m like, “Fuck destiny! You know how many people are gonna fucking die if I don’t say or do something?”

But I am curious about how people would respond to those scenarios.

people act liek fate must never be tampered with. but so much is the result of accident and incomplete knowledge. so me, I will be the resident big mouth. if i can prevent fuckshit i will. and i firmly believe that the future is not chiseled in stone.

"Psst! Psst! Regina! Regina! Don’t save her."

"Hey, Gandalf. I got something real important to tell you but don’t let Saruman know nothing, a’ight? Just you, Elrond, and Galadriel, a’ight?"

"Inuyasha, hey! That’s not Kikyo."

If you woke up one day and found yourself in what you once believed was a fictional setting, what would be your moral and ethical responsibilities to the people who live there?

lifeforliberation:

eshusplayground:

Assuming that it turns out that this world is real and not entirely fictional, what would you be required to do with the knowledge you have of current and future events?

Like, if you landed in Middle-earth prior to the formation of the Fellowship of the Ring, and you know the whole story of The Lord of the Rings, do you have a responsibility to tell people what you know? Are you morally obligated to say, “Sauron ain’t dead, Gollum has the Ring, and Saruman can’t be trusted as far as Bilbo Baggins can throw him”?

Or, if you found yourself in the Warring States era of feudal Japan, and you encounter a hanyou named Inuyasha, or a miko named Kikyo, and all this prior to Naraku’s arrival on the scene, what are you required to do? How much must you tell them?

Or how about this? You land in the Enchanted Forest, and you come across a girl named Regina who has yet to meet a boy named Daniel, knowing what you know of her current situation and the future that’s in store for her (at least, the future that would unfold if nobody knows about any of it), what are you suppose to do?

i want for a story to engage with this and not default to oh i must shut up about it because changing time is a bad idea. because I personally would talk all the things. 

Inorite? They tend to handwave it like, “Don’t toy with destiny” or some shit.

And I’m like, “Fuck destiny! You know how many people are gonna fucking die if I don’t say or do something?”

But I am curious about how people would respond to those scenarios.

If you woke up one day and found yourself in what you once believed was a fictional setting, what would be your moral and ethical responsibilities to the people who live there?

Assuming that it turns out that this world is real and not entirely fictional, what would you be required to do with the knowledge you have of current and future events?

Like, if you landed in Middle-earth prior to the formation of the Fellowship of the Ring, and you know the whole story of The Lord of the Rings, do you have a responsibility to tell people what you know? Are you morally obligated to say, “Sauron ain’t dead, Gollum has the Ring, and Saruman can’t be trusted as far as Bilbo Baggins can throw him”?

Or, if you found yourself in the Warring States era of feudal Japan, and you encounter a hanyou named Inuyasha, or a miko named Kikyo, and all this prior to Naraku’s arrival on the scene, what are you required to do? How much must you tell them?

Or how about this? You land in the Enchanted Forest, and you come across a girl named Regina who has yet to meet a boy named Daniel, knowing what you know of her current situation and the future that’s in store for her (at least, the future that would unfold if nobody knows about any of it), what are you suppose to do?

Oct 7

Should Be Studying: Love and Darkness

rebelbyrdie:

rebelbyrdie:

So something that has been highlighted on OUAT is that love and darkness are connected.

When Regina loses her lover, Daniel, she goes full on Darth Vader.

When Snow forgets her love for David, she goes Assasin’s Creed.

It’s, of course, more complicated than that, but there is a definite dark…

#can Regina have them both?  

Well, sure, because Emma is just so darn good at sharing.  ”She’s MY girlfriend!”

Quite seriously, though, I do not think that current canon Emma is the right and healthy choice for Regina to make.  You can’t be in a good relationship with someone who calls you a villain and dismisses the fact that you are a mother.  Emma verbally and physically assaults Regina on a pretty regular basis and this “My Son” shit borders on psychological/emotional abuse.  

Take away the fairy tales for a moment and what do you have?  A spoiled kid lashes out at his adoptive mother by finding his birth mother.  Said birth mother, who signed away her parental rights, suddenly moves to town and insists on having a relationship with the child.  She then begins a passionate back and forth with the adoptive mother. Sometimes it’s sexual chemistry (eye-sex!) and sometimes, like any time there is a little stress or conflict, she pins the woman against things, hits her, screams at her and then ultimately takes custody of the child.

Now recast Emma as a man.  

It’s a whole different story now, isn’t it?

I am not denouncing SwanQueen.  I freaking love SwanQueen.  I am just pointing out that while yes, Regina is flawed and needs to work towards redemption, Emma is not perfect either.  In fact, if The Two Idiots actually did these things intentionally I would say that this is a representation of how the abuse cycle perpetuates itself.

Emma saw several cases of domestic violence and abuse growing up in The System.

Regina suffered at the hands of a confirmed abusive mother and a heavily alluded to abusive husband.

If they got together as they are in canon right now…I truly believe things would turn very ugly very fast.

This situation is one of the reasons I love FairyQueen.

No ship hate, just observational stuff.

You wouldn’t even have to make Emma a man to make it clear that it’s abuse. Domestic violence within the LGBTQ community is a thing.

But the thing you bring up that’s particularly interesting is how, when you look at it that way, it’s Emma, not Regina, who seems abusive (and nobody deserves that shit for any reason). A lot of people tend to assume that if any abuse happens in that relationship, it’s Regina rather than Emma who would perpetuate it, but I’m not sure that’s a foregone conclusion.

Yeah, Regina has done violent things, but something feels really different about the way that people like Emma or Charming or Rumplestiltskin when they get violent with Regina. For Regina, violence seems a means to a very specific end. Regina will murder, maim, and manipulate people, but even when she’s doing something horrible to them, she still acknowledges their humanity. But when others get violent with Regina, the violence toward Regina seems to be both means and end. I’m not sure if that’s coming across the way I mean it, but it’s the best I can explain right now. It’s as though she ceases to be a person and instead is an object or a concept.

Then again, this is a show where sexual harassment is framed as flirting and marital rape as non-existent.

What does it mean when good and evil are framed as identities and not as actions?

onceuponameta:

And what does it mean when you take race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability into account? When does good or evil as an identity reinforce harmful messages about race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, etc.?

What harmful ideas can get reinforced when good and evil are portrayed as who someone is rather than what they do?

How does one clearly make the distinction between, “These things this person does are harmful and wrong” and “Some people are born bad”?

To further discussion for my followers, what does it mean when the [queer] Latina is told, “Evil is who you are”? What does it mean when the showrunners or the audience talk about evil as Regina’s identity and not something she does?

Canon!Regina vs. Fanon!Regina, social skills, and ideals about femininity

This post is essentially ripped from this other conversation here, but I’m making it separate to start a new conversation.

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