249 Send in the White Terrorists: Joker, Violence in Media
Nichole took one for the team and saw Joker in theaters this week so we could talk about the “controversial” film receiving rave reviews from the Whites. Content warning for descriptions of white male rage, violence against women, murder, white supremacist ideology.
In This Episode
Submitted by: Amanda (she/her)
Short version: Should you inform someone when/why you’re setting a boundary in your relationship with them?
Long version: My mom started dating/married my step father when I was 15 (22 now). Nobody in my family likes him (family = my brother, sister, and maternal grandparents) because of how conservative he is (aka sexist, homophobic, racist) and our personalities tend to clash. My mom and him moved out of my hometown my senior year of high school (I’m the youngest) and I had just turned 18, so I “moved” into a friend’s house so I could stay at my school. A week before we left our old house, I told my mom that instead of staying there 2-3 nights a week so I could stay at my school, I was going to move out more permanently. I didn’t say it was specifically because I didn’t want to live with my step dad anymore, but I’m sure my mom could infer that. Last year, I finished undergrad, but I am finishing grad school in May, meaning I will be able to find an apartment and move all my stuff (furniture, etc.) out of my mom’s house. I am trying to decide what type of boundaries I want to set regarding visiting now that I won’t have stuff there. I really don’t like being around my step dad, but I’m really close with my mom. Early in their relationship, I was talking to my sister and she made a comment about this issue saying my mom will notice and come to us instead when we clearly avoid visiting her. Can I just invite her to visit and stay with me or do I have to tell her I don’t want to visit her because of him? (also she’s not super supportive of my veganism which makes staying there extra difficult). Can I assume she understands since I’ve set boundaries on living there/coming back for breaks often? I don’t want to unnecessarily hurt her feelings because I know she already feels isolated by the fact that her entire family disapproves of her marriage.
With all of this Joker controversy, I heard that the Joker from The Dark Knight is preparing to launch a radio station in downtown Gotham City…
Honestly, I’m at a loss for words right now. Fortunately, we had hours of words when we recorded. While so many on the internet are singing the praises of this modern Birth of a Nation, we, emphatically, are not. Please really listen to what we have to say, and please listen to what others, particularly black women, have to say by reading the articles linked below. This is a dangerous movie, and the dialogue around violence in films is seriously misguided.
This line from the first essay sums it up perfectly:
Did we really need a brutal movie about a white terrorist figure who uses gun violence to enact revenge on the society that rejects him? And did we need it now?Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Refinery29
The answer to both questions is: no.
- Joker Is A Dangerous Film — & It’s Bringing Out The Worst In The Internet (Refinery29)
- ‘Joker’ Review: For Better or Worse, Superhero Movies Will Never Be the Same (Indie Wire)
- TIFF 2019: Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is the antihero the alienated and angry have been waiting for, and that’s precisely the problem (The Globe and Mail)
- The Joker never needed an origin story, but especially not this one (Vox)
- TIFF 2019: Joker Is a White Man (The Root)