[This is my submission for the Carnival of Aces for December 2017 under the topic of “Alienation & Belonging” hosted this month by http://curttu.tumblr.com/]
In media: Is there types of stories you feel leave you out?
Pretty much all of them, but that’s also because I’m aro and agender too.
I really don’t want to bash on any films because a lot of time, effort, and money go into making a movie and you really never know until it all comes together if it’ll work out or not. I have never ever seen or watched a film or other media that directly addresses asexuality and asexuality issues/topics. I’ve heard of a few, but I haven’t actually seen them so those types of media aren’t actually accessible to me. In light of that I’m going to talk about some non-ace related media that I’m aware of and what works or doesn’t work for me.
One film franchise that has never really resonated with me was the Harry Potter series. Part of the problem is I didn’t grow up with the books like most fans did. I read a LOT of fantasy as a kid, but I wasn’t exposed to HP until middle school and by then I had discovered Anne McCaffery and I just got two words for you, SPACE DRAGONS. I will overlook sex, romance, and weird scifi tropes for space dragons because SPACE DRAGONS. Also, TALKING DOLPHINS and mini-space dragons. I want.
Anywho, aside from a major dragon deficitcy I also have a few other problems with the HP series.
- White male protagonist.
- White male “chosen one” protagonist.
- Male British private school student, chosen one protagonist. Yeah, I can’t really relate there.
- Fantasy racism. (this is my same beef with LoTR)
- Do they ever address the blatant child abuse by family members? Because I never actually got past the first chapter of the book nor the third film and that’s a pretty heavy topic you should probably address especially in a children’s book.
- The power of true wuv vs. doesn’t-know-wut-wuv-is-so-must-be-evil thing.
- And as an aro-ace the whole the Lily, James, Snape and the “Always” love triangle just goes right over my head. Just all the love triangles.
In contrast I ADORE Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them because:
- White male ginger protagonist (It’s like space dragons, I have no excuse)
- Non-tradition masculine protagonist: Unlike the standard action hero, Newt’s super power is his nurturing nature. Forget the magic sword, just throw a cockroach in a tea pot!
- Still about the power of wuv, but a more palatable flavor. I totally can sympathize with a main character who just wants to save endangered animals and closeted minors.
- They address the blatant child abuse.
- “Because I like you. Because you’re my friend. And I’ll never forget how you helped me, Jacob.” *squeeee!*
So I have some really high hopes for the next film coming out in 2018 as long as there’s no executive meddling.
This totally could have been a post bashing every romantic comedy ever made, but honestly I don’t even watch romantic comedies so there’s really no point. I don’t relate to stories like Star Wars (I haven’t seen anything made after the prequals) with the chosen one thing, the rescuing the princess thing, and always killing off the mentor character thing. My favorite Star Trek series is TNG. I’ve seen the ones made after TNG, but none of the episodes from the later series stuck with me like TNG episodes did. I recall entire episodes of TNG, but just barely remember the overall premises of the later series. BBC’s Sherlock is fantastic for the first two seasons at least, but I don’t find myself relating to any of the characters least of all the title character (and I actually like Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot better as a detective character). It’s just really hard for me to find a story where I don’t feel left out. Thankfully there is one.
My favorite movie of all time is Denial (2016).
The film is a courtroom drama about the libel suit brought against American historian Deborah Lipstadt by British writer David Irving after Lipstadt called him a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite in one of her books. British law places the burden of proof on the defendant in libel cases. Lipstadt has to prove that she did not slander Irving by saying he created false evidence and misinterpreted existing evidence to deny the truth of the Holocaust.
Reasons I adore this film:
- Jewish female red-haired protagonist. (No space dragons, but redheads are cool too)
- Romance? What romance? Not even as a subplot, yay!
- I’m a sucker for courtroom dramas.
This film proves that you can have a compelling story without a romantic plot or subplot bringing it down. I just wish I had access to more stories like that.