Interracial Independence in Media

Recent discussions here at the bar, on Abagond, and on the Blasian Narrative have gotten me thinking about some things.

The Pedestal Game

The Pedestal Game is very simple.  It's when one group of women seeks to be held up above all other women.  It's not enough for just men of their own group to hold them up as "the one and only"; all men have to fall in line and do the same.  Even the men they wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole must do so; even gay men are expected to show them preferential treatment (Neo-Prodigy will elaborate).

In the minds of such women, it's the men's job to play the Pedestal Game.  So if a man decides to focus on his relationship with another man, or pursue a woman who's not from the Group, then under the rules of the Pedestal Game, he's not doing his job.  Thus he can expect one of three reactions:

1) If he's somewhat to very attractive, he can expect the Sugar Treatment.  All of a sudden, he'll notice that every female member of the Group whoever dumped him or ignored him is now paying him a lot of attention and adamantly cock-blocking the non-Group woman.

2) If he's average-looking, he can expect excessive ridicule from the Group, and taunting to the point of harassment.  He'll find himself repeatedly asked why he couldn't get a real woman, or why he's slumming it.

3) If he's a member of the not-with-a-ten-foot-pool category, he can expect to be ostracized altogether.

The Pedestal Game in Media

I'm not going to spend too much time with this - patrons of the bar already know.

In fact, whoever can provide an media example for each of the above three scenarios will get a free drink at the bar.

Shattering the Pedestal

I now submit three specimens to the bar for analysis.  What do they have in common?




Time up's.

They're all independent forms of media - webisode, music video, short film - where a Black woman is portrayed respectfully in an interracial pairing.  I stress "independent" because they are basically the future of BW/WM and BW/AM in media: independent artists who aren't shackled by white-owned studios, who are under no obligation to appeal to a predominantly white female fanbase, and who are children of the Internet Age and know their way around the web.

Actor Dorian Santiago once asked me for my thoughts on "Eeazy" and I keep coming back to the same two words: "well done."  It's very well done.  Well-cast, well-acted, well-written, and well-filmed.  Well done!  Gritty street drama's not really my thing, and I wish the BW lead wasn't deceased at the beginning of the story, but her handling in flashbacks is...you guessed it.  Well done.

This is the second time an online show has really caught my eye with BW/WM.  Awkward Black Girl was the first.  Shows like these give me a new faith in BW/WM in media, 'cause Lawd knows I was having some issues.

Anyone who's watched films like Romeo Must Die (2000) or Ninja Assassin (2009) understand the importance of a short film like Akira's Hip Hop Shop (2007).  That simple love scene kept a lot of Blasians from snapping the fuck out.

In fact, aside for FlashForward (2009), the most intimate BW/AM material (excluding porn) appears in independent media.


Mainstream American media can screw around all it wants with POC in general, but it's fighting a losing battle.  This is how the Pedestal gets shattered.  This is why I get annoyed with mainstream media, but I'm still okay because not everything's about TV or the silver screen.

The computer screen is what matters now.

Comments

  1. Great post as always Ankh. I've been soooooooo tired of mainstream media for years now due to the lack of BW representation and all the Fukkery that is displayed whenever we are represented. I haven't owned a TV in 10 years!! every now a nd again certain shows grab my interest like the first 2 series of 'Misfits' and 'Merlin', but i'm still really wary of watching and sit poised ready for the tropes and bullcrap to begin. I'm extremely empathetic and can see my life experiences and richness in things where the protagonists aren't black or even female, but by now in my life i am seriously getting pissed with being constantly excluded and the token and a 2D token at that. I've heard so many great things about ABG and I'm reserving a day this week where i can watch all episodes back to back and get stuck in. AAAAAArgh!! Fashforward had the potential to be soooooooooo good!! How do you fukk up the combo of Gabrielle Union and John Cho??? Like seriously??!!! and the hatred spewed at the character Zoe?? That pedestal needs to be vaporised asap

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    1. How do you fukk up the combo of Gabrielle Union and John Cho??

      You put white people in charge who don't give a fuck about BW/AM.

      Delete
  2. Don't forget the shorts "Tall Enough" (LOL and to a lesser extent "Dragon of Love").

    YouTube and similar websites have given people an opportunity to create the kind of stories they want to see. It's the only place we can see people of color being EVERYTHING from the black women being the booty shaking, loud-mouth woman to being superheroes (I'm not kidding there really is a web series about a group of black female superheroines, but I can't remember the name of it right now). There's ABG and there's Osiris--two completely different type of shows featuring people of color and I love that.

    In terms of interracial relationships, I think it's the same. I think most TV show creators are writing relationships as outsiders. They probably had very little experience with dating outside their race and just add these relationships for variety. And it's not just "white" shows...I still cringe when I think of how the Toni/Todd relationship was handled on Girlfriends. But on the world of independent creators, you'll find people who have a real investment in said relationships, and will put more effort into presenting them in a better fashion. I didn't care for that Audrey and Dre web series for various reasons, but I can appreciate WHERE it was coming from. I think in the future we'll see more like work from people since pretty much everyone has a camera and a computer nowadays.

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    1. Exactly. For the indie artists, it's a labor of love, not publicity stunt or a paycheck.

      Delete
  3. " Even the men they wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole must do so; even gay men are expected to show them preferential treatment (Neo-Prodigy will elaborate)."

    Let me put it this way. You know in Spartacus Navaeh was the slave of Lucretia and you know how on Vampire Diaries Emily was the "hand maiden" for Katarina. Replace Navaeh and Emily with Jack from Will & Grace and that's pretty much what the women playing the pedestal game expect of the gays. Their fashion accessory/flamboyant hand maiden.

    And of course let's not forget 4. When steps 1-3 don't work, then the women flip their shit a good 12-times and go batshit crazy pulling the fatal attraction/single white female/Veruca Salt/fuckery.

    This includes stalking, pulling a Susan Smith/Rosewood or streaming whatever proverbial white woman tears to get their way. Basically the wankery that was displayed in Obsessed.

    Over on Livejournal, there's a community called Interracial and before I was appointed mod, we used to have problems like this all the time. Usually the site was open season on black women and it was usually some white girl coming on there bawwwing about how the black girls were so mean to her and black boyfriend and that they were clearly jealous of her unparalleled "beauty" (trainwreck doesn't even begin to cover it but anyway). So of course when their pedestal was broken and they were informed how they have white privilege and that most black women couldn't care less, epic wankery ensued. When I came in charge, my first course of action was to ensure that attacking black women was not allowed. The community is all but defunct now. Wonder why.


    I agree. I think independent media is the way to go. Slowly but surely I'm seeing an online movement of change. Be it with Middle Child Press, LXD, Hollowstone, Tulpa, ABG, etc. and so forth, we're finally taking our power back and doing our own thing and it's only a matter of time but there is definitely a change in the tide.

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    1. Definitely. It's great to see these artists doing exactly what they want without worry about losing funding or being canceled off the air.

      Delete
  4. people are over-doing it with the black woman bashing and then now trying to pimp black women around the media with white men, i like akira's hip hop shop, that was something new.

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    1. The hilarious thing is, once BW/WM was on the rise in media, the black women bashing suddenly increased.

      Delete
  5. have you seen this video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO7VKaUP2AE&feature=related

    ReplyDelete

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