I like the movie Scott Pilgrim vs The World even though it is racist in its portrayal of Matthew Patel, panders to stereotypes in its portrayal of Wallace, and trivialises queer female sexuality in its portrayal of Ramona and Roxy’s relationship. For fuck’s sake, Ramona even says “It was a phase”! How much more cliche and offensive could this movie be? Oh wait, remember how Scott defeats Roxy, his only female adversary, by making her orgasm?
It also bums me out, e.g., that LOTR can be full of magic and elves and whatnot...but females are still, just the sidekick sex. Magic swords? Possible! Heroic females? Weeeell...not so much (with a few exceptions).
But hating on this movie (yeah, I haven't read the comic I'm a total philistine) because they tried to be liberal but didn't do it in the "Right way" seems ridiculous. They were clearly making an effort to be "progressive" on race and gender.
Thirdly you must acknowledge other, even less favourable, interpretations of the media you like.
Sometimes you still enjoy a movie or book because you read a certain, potentially problematic scene in a certain way – but others read it entirely differently, and found it more problematic. For example, consider the scene in Game of Thrones where Drogo rapes Dany (which he does not do in the books). One of my friends feels that it was portrayed like rape fetish porn, sexualising the act and Dany’s pain. But I feel that the scene focuses on Dany’s pain and tears in a manner that is not fetishising them (though even so the narrative is still totally fucked up because Dany and her rapist then go on to have a good, sexyfuntimes relationship…uh, no, HBO). I don’t agree with my friend’s interpretation but I recognise it as a totally valid reading of the scene.
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