So, I’m currently a little stalled on my next blog post, “Are Cartoons Just For Kids?” (I’m sure you know what my answer is). Therefore, I thought I’d introduce some updates.
First, I mentioned in my “Struggles With Representation Part 1: Race” that many fans of established characters often have issues accepting a white character being made a minority. For some people this is still true, as tumblr. (I know, they’re probably all 10-year-olds who lied about their age) got into a little tizzy recently about some very popular fancasting for Wonder Woman:
For those of you who don’t know, that’s Gina Torres, well known for her role as no-nonsense-action-hero First Mate Zoe Wasburne on Joss Whedon’s beloved, yet short lived Firefly. You might also notice she’s not white. And, if you check around the Internet, you may also notice this is a pretty popular concept. Now, some people object to this casting because Gina Torres is a little old to play Wonder Woman. Others object to casting her as Wonder Woman or Wonder Woman’s mother, Hippolyta because:
You can’t just make a character any race you want. Wonder Woman is white, and she should be white always. It’s a classic. That would be like black Superman, chinese Batman, or a gay Cyclops. It’s just not done. Nothing wrong with like if they were those races or if Cyclops chose that preference. It’s just you have to stay true to the comics.
(This is part of a series of exchanges one tumblr. user, whose username is “totesmabutts” and whose blog is titled, “bad boys/sad girls. death sure makes a fuss.” has been having after suggesting Gina Torres would make a good Hippolyta and Zoe Saldana could be Wonder Woman)
I’ve also seen people as part of this argument claim Wonder Woman can’t be anything but white because she’s Greek. Perhaps, these people aren’t aware that there are, in fact, black Amazons.
The woman on the right is Phillipus. You may not have heard of her, as she is largely absent in non-comic adaptions of Wonder Woman (seriously, I have no idea why she and Artemis had to be lumped into one character for the animated movie), but Phillipus is vital to Wonder Woman’s mythology. She was General of the guard, served as regent Queen, and along with the redhead, Artemis, on the left, was made leader of the Amazons when the monarchy was dissolved for a period. Not only is she an important figure to the Amazons, but she is also important to Diana as someone who was integral to teaching and raising the future Wonder Woman.
Now, do I think movie producers have the guts to cast Gina Torres, Zoe Saldana, or any actress who isn’t white to play Wonder Woman? Probably not, but then again, if they get the guts to actually make a Wonder Woman movie, who knows what will happen?
Frankly, the fact that this fancasting is so popular just makes me feel better about the world because the main factor isn’t Gina Torres’s race; it’s that she’s awesome.
As a small update to “Struggles With Representation Part 2: Gender,” I’m sure you’ll all be happy to know I did find a Mulan action figure on Amazon. Yes, Amazon may be evil, but they almost always have an action figure when I’m looking for one.
I really wish this video had come out before my post “The Most Controversial Part of Fandoms: Shipping” as it adds valuable insight into slash fiction. Really though, if you haven’t already, check out Chez Apocalypse. There’s some really good and often funny analysis over there.
I may need to add another “Struggles With Representation” post about ableism after engaging in an interesting, occasionally heated, debate in the comments section of an article titled “What’s Wrong With Barbara Gordon as Batgirl”–note the lack of a question mark. This article, and many like it, is about the problems the author has with DC Comic’s New 52 version of Batgirl. I mentioned this briefly in my post “Women in Refrigerators, Demotion to Love Interest, and Loss of Identity or Why Superman and Wonder Woman Should Break Up.” Essentially, people are upset that they took DC’s most prominent disabled character, Barbara Gordon’s Oracle, and retconned her back to her able-bodied, younger self. The conversation also goes into issues with sexism in comics, and questions why Barbara Gordon, who had become pretty powerful as Oracle, must lose her influence in the reboot, but male characters like Batman got to keep theirs.
In general, I think more “Problems with Representation” posts may be coming in the near future.
Well, that’s it for now! Stay tuned for “Are Cartoons Just For Kids?” Where I’ll talk about all the ways animation tries to scar you for life!