I shouldn’t be writing this. I cannot believe I am writing this. Why in the name of all that’s holy am I writing this? Grown ass men are taking to social media to throw a temper tantrum that Netflix’s reboot of the 1980’s awesomness that was She-Ra has the title character looking younger and less like a wet dream.
I really am not making this up:
But the outrage over the new She-Ra doesn’t really seem to be concerned with that debate. It lives and dies by the idea that the new She-Ra isn’t beautiful, that She-Ra is supposed to be beautiful and sexy, and that someone has destroyed a previously beautiful, sexy woman. Some people also seem to believe that She-Ra’s reimagination is spiteful:
Boyish lesbian re-imagines SHE-RA as a boyish lesbian.
The utter selfishness and egotism of this is astounding. pic.twitter.com/PXIcoNkpaF
— Diversity & Comics (@DiversityAndCmx) July 15, 2018
I listen to Anita Sarkeesian’s podcast Feminist Frequency. It’s useful to get the feminist perspective on mass media and pop culture. And even though they have terrible taste in movies and their geek culture mistakes make me cry sometimes, their discussions on toxic fanboy culture are illuminating.
Sarkeesian was one of the primary victims (and “victim” is the correct word to use) of Gamer Gate. That was the massive online harassment campaign carried out by the proto-alt-right. Since then, she’s shone a bright light on the racist, sexist, entitled crybabies that feel they should be the gatekeepers of all geek culture.
Naturally, they hate her guts for it. But this latest freakout over She-Ra is just part of the same thing. These are the same jackholes that flipped their lid over The Force Awakens having a black male and white female lead. They foamed at the mouth over the character Rose Tico in The Last Jedi not being, I kid you not, in make up or clothes that accentuated her curves. Actress Kelly Marie Tran is actually quite attractive and does have curves to show off. But her character is a grease monkey working in the bowels of a starship. How many plumbers do you know who look sexy in the middle of their workday?
Oh, and they were offended that she’s Asian because that’s important somehow.
Toxic fanboys are deadenders who are still choking on the idea that women and people of color also read comic books, play video games, and watch science fiction movies. The entertainment industry has finally noticed this enormous untapped audience and started to cater to their tastes as well. This is what has sent the fanboys into a white hot rage (emphasis on the “white”). As far as they’re concerned, it all belongs to them and like spoiled children, they don’t want to share.
The She-Ra reboot is the perfect example. It’s being launched with a very specific demographic in mind: Young girls. Like any show aimed at young girls, the main characters will be closer to their age to make them more relatable.
Yet, adult men are enraged that a show not targeted to them at all is not fulfilling their need for sexualized eye candy. Why? Because She-Ra is geek culture and geek culture “belongs” to them.
God help us if they’d made She-Ra a different ethnicity!
This sense of entitlement is what has been leading white people to call the police of black people minding their own business in public places. It’s what lead them to vote for a white nationalist imbecile. And it’s what’s leading them to make asses of themselves over a children’s cartoon. It’s all part of the same obnoxious sense of white (mostly male) entitlement to anything and everything.
Jesus Christ, people! Get a grip already!
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.