Every week Document has an agenda: digging up dispatches from the creases of global culture. With this information, go forth.
Toxic men are still ruining the lives of women who dare enter their sanctums of fandom.
Turns out that yes, male-oriented fandoms—think science fiction, superheroes, gaming—are still highly misogynistic domains. What already holds itself up with toxic gatekeeping turns even more spiteful and downright dangerous when anyone not white, heterosexual and male tries to enter their havens. This was, of course, what happened to Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in one of the latest Star Wars entries, The Last Jedi. Tran, who hits two of those marks—not male, not white—found herself and her Instagram under barrage of racist and misogynistic insults and threats, forcing her to delete all posts from her account, proving once more that at the end of the day, angry white males with near constant internet connection truly rule the internet. Yet again, we see the effects of free-speech absolutism on the internet that creates vast asymmetries: tolerated hate speech towards others and unsafe conditions for those on the receiving end, forcing the marginalized victims to flee the platform.
“These events are hardly unprecedented, with countless instances of targeted harassment for Tran, fellow Star Wars co-star Daisy Ridley, and other actors in the franchise — and oftentimes women. Ridley outright deleted her Instagram account in 2017 after reading negative comments criticizing her physical appearance in photos from an event held in tribute to victims of the Pulse massacre.”
Why do we keep building up our men as broken?
Why our obsession with disappearing fathers? It seems we are—and have been for quite some time—modeling our heroes after the deeply scarred—often by way of absent father. This character flaw usually warrants itself an outlet through anger, through violence and through a constant need for validation. So why are we peddling that to our children? Count that as another entry to the way we use the heroes on the screen to excuse toxic behavior, along with the “asshole genius” trope. Instead of finding conflict through realistic interpersonal growth or drama, these characters are there to fulfill their bruised egos and to be forgiven by those they harm in the process.
“For all that it appears to be about fathers, it’s not really about family. It’s more about a fantasy of male authority, emptied out of meaning until only its shadow remains.”
Bill Clinton deflects again on the #MeToo question.
It’s always a quarter of a step forward, and four steps back with Bill Clinton. The former president has still yet to grasp that there is a difference between taking responsibility for one’s actions, in this case his famous abuse of sexual power while in office, and merely making brief acknowledgement that “you understand” while then following up with a torrent of excuses and retaliatory attacks.
“If some viewers found Clinton’s ‘no’ and his stammering explanation insensitive, then he has no one to blame but himself. When Colbert called out Clinton for bristling at Melvin’s line of inquiry, however — ‘You are giving one side and omitting facts,’ the former president had protested — Clinton insisted to Colbert that Melvin had been out of line.”
A fight the left will never win.
Jon Stewart tackled a problem that has been plaguing the left for quite some time. At San Francisco’s Clusterfest this past Sunday, the former Comedy Central host brought up Samantha Bee’s comments and discussed how the outrage stirred up by her “c-word”remark—mostly coming from those on the right—showcases the magnitude of bad-faith arguments that conservatives have been thriving off of during the Trump presidency. The irony between Donald Trump spewing hateful, harmful, disgusting and downright bigoted comments—while in office no less—and then turning around to condemn Bee over her comedic joke, seems to be completely lost on those sharing their rage with the president.
“Please understand that a lot of what the right does, and it’s maybe their greatest genius, is they’ve created a code of conduct that they police, that they themselves don’t have to, in any way, abide.”