Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Visibility and white privilege.
Okay, I'm white, I'm so fucking white that you could lose me in a goddamn blizzard easily.
That said? I am not remotely 'represented' by media featuring folks who are all or any combination of Cis/Abled/Rich/Straight/male/insert privilege I don't have simply because those folks are also white. I am tired of hearing that I can apparently see people like me on TV, I'm not just a white person, I'm also a genderfluid, poor, disabled, bisexual presumed female person. You cannot separate those oppressions from me and declare they don't matter when it comes to media representation. A Hollywood that only represents one part of me does not represent all of me.
As a Disabled person? There are no actors or actresses with my disability, let along characters. Characters with a disability (only a handful of specific disabilities are shown, most of which aren't what I have) are invariably played by an abled individual not a disabled one let alone one with the actual disability.
The stories the media gives to disabled characters who are typically played by abled people consist of:
1. Inspirational porn. An abled actor plays a character who breaks their back and walks within three months, it's so inspirational.
2. Abled Saviour targets. The abled actor plays a disabled character who simply exists for another abled character to save. The role has no agency and is there just to big up abled people.
3. Villain. An abled actor plays a disabled person who so resents being disabled that they become a super villain or a murdering psychopath.
And that is fucking it. In short, you never see actors from our ranks portraying us, you see abled folks playing a stereotypical cliche.
As a genderfluid person?
We get trans women badly represented, and the very very VERY rare trans man. Sometimes trans women are even played by actual trans women. Genderfluid/Gender queer and Agender characters though? I don't think there's a single one.
In short, people like me apparently don't fucking exist in the media's fictional worlds.
White privilege doesn't change this okay? White Cis abled actors do not represent me, anymore than a Cis white person in black face represents Cis PoC. A privilege in common is not media representation.