This should’ve been my first post, but I’m pretty sure I made this account immediately after watching Bride & Prejudice (my first post).
Anyways, this is seperated into grading levels and what’s being graded on. The grading-levels are prettier and probably more focused on, so they’re first:
Dark Green – An excellent job, almost always perfect, an excellent job considering censors/meddling executives.
Light Green – A good job. May or may not occasionally have some negatives.
If a media has excellent (dark green) aspects but negative and/or neutralizing aspects as well, it may be downgraded to a light green. Alternatively, a media can have an overall good portrayal but is missing a certain je nais se quoi; which places it here.
Yellow – Okay, so-so, up & down, tried but meh. This is the middle-ground. If a media contains both negatives and positives of the topic (s), it goes here. Or it might just not try much at all, but it’s not N/A either. Since its the center point it’s usually seesawing between either light green or orange.
Orange – Does absolutely nothing for it, minor downgrades for it, tried but failed.
This is the usual and the poor attempts. This is when the writer doesn’t care or understand what they’re doing.
This is the average media portraying minorities & females, full of stereotypical tokens.
This is the media that tried to empower a minority group, but failed. Said specific people end up incredibly disappointed or offended.
Red – Makes it worse, terrible/insulting portrayal, definitely harmful.
This is the kind of work that validates fuckboys; encourages violence towards a minority group (even if indirectly), that traumatizes people of that group, that actually makes the real world dangerous for the people in question.
This is the stuff I’m considering in my color-coded reviews:
- Gender Orientation
- Sexual/Romantic Orientation
- Ethnic minorites (non-white Americans)
- Minority cultures
- Personality showcasing
- Mental illnesses
- Physical disablities
What’s “personality showcasing”? It’s elitism by personality and lifestyle. It’s when an aspect of someone’s personality is put on the spot, usually for a moral. Everyone has lessons to learn from the way they behave: that’s life. And that’s good for some shows.
But sometimes it goes to far. We all know that goody-goody charater whose supposed to be an angel but just ends up annoying due to the creator’s pushing.
We also know those characters who are shamed for what they did–which feels righteous to us. Like when Arthur hit D.W, who was always abusing him and getting away with it. And he was punished for it.
Naturally, this is a very YMMV aspect compared to the others. It’ll be rare when I use it in my reviews, it’ll be for special cases only.
But this plays a HUGE part in the portrayal of all of the others: this is where stereotypes derive from. The need to shame–or better–a race/sex/mindset/lifestyle than anybody else. This is how elitism funtions.
And thus, its automatically lumped in with most of the others.
Some of those listed are also lumped together. It depends mostly on the series. Generally we’ll have:
- Feminism=gender orientation + feminism
- LGBT+ = gender orientation + sexual orientation + romantic orientaion
- Race = Culture + ethnicity
- Class = culture + ethnicity + class
- Disabilities = mental illness + neurotypes+ physical disablities.
These are occaisonally joined because they reflect similiar issues within series. Race & culture are often naturally tied together, as race often indicates the culture one follows/is raised in. Racial stereotypes tend to be drowning with a mockery of cultural stereotypes.
Areas that are almost cropped out may be joined within an issue. Gender orientation (cis, trans, non-binary) is nearly nonexistent in most shows. When it is, it’s tied to sexual orientation issues. So it’s turned into LGBT on the whole.
Alternatively, gender orientatiom can be sidled onto feminism. Can guys be feminine? Is that tomboy trans or cis or…? Disney’s Mulan is a great example of this.
In other words, most of my considsrations are presented into similiar issues with one dominating above the other. When I see it fit to do so, I consider it alongside another attribute.
I also consider what sort of media I’m working with.
Certain media have executive meddling or an audience pandering that they have to adhere to. So for example, what would be a yellow viewed with clarity could actually be a dark green if it’s a children’s cartoon. The reverse can also occur; say an orange is a yellow. It’s all about what the media is (anime/book/cartoon/film/live-action show) whose its intended audience is (age & sex, but not location) and who the “actual” audience that contributes the most are (let’s be honest, most of us are thinking about MLP:FIM).
All of this media is taken from a United States perspective. That is, what would be light green in Pakistan might be an orange here in the U.S.
Yes, values dissonance is definitely going to be a thing.
Single works are graded as is; while series are either judged as a whole or split into seasons/chapters/individual works. It’s common for a media to, say, be light-green in feminism for the first season then degrade to orange in the next. Of course, the opposite can occur: book 1 is red on race, while book 2 manages to go up to a light-green.
Sometimes it’s a result of a change in writers, sometimes it’s by fan demand, but most often it’s just the writers being wonky.
Regardless, I shall judge as is.
There’s also the issue of “Token X” episodes. A token episode shouldn’t boost my ratings, but sadly it does. I make note of it. It’s a shame that a series has to put a majority of its wonderful representation into one little episode or chapter, when it could be spread across most of the series.
Token characters boost the ratings as well, but they also complicate things. Let’s say a show has one strong female protagonist, but is sexist otherwise. The main character might even be okay with femininity. But all the feminine minor characters are sexualized and it rarely passes the bechdel test. How am I supposed to grade that? The main character might be a dark green, but all the other ladies would be an orange. Guess I gotta settle with yellow.
The last thing I’ll mention is the bechdel test. Traditionally, this is used to apply solely to two women discussing men, in any context. Some people have been using it to apply sheerly to men discussed romantically/sexually. I distinctly remember an Adventure Time episode review where the reviewer had translated the Korean spoken by Rainicorn to Princess Bubblegum: she claimed that it passed the bechdel test, even though Rainicorn was detailing her nightmares about her uncle in a housefire. (If memory serves correct.)
That doesn’t fly with me. The script-writers could’ve EASILY placed “aunt” in there. Why didn’t they?
So, I’m sticking to my guns. Someone presented as a male mentioned in a conversation between two females won’t pass my bechdel standard, no matter the context.