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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2021

entry arrow12:00 PM | The Ravages and Rages of Moral Twitter

I’m reading an essay about the YA book industry and the rages of Twitter from Nicole Brinkley, and I keep nodding and nodding. This particular passage encapsulates something I’ve always wondered about for some years now:

“This scrutiny and demand for perfection [in the cultural text] is infinitely higher for marginalized authors, who are often the target of the most critical segments of their own reader communities. Black authors must be perfect representations of Blackness despite the wide range of Black experiences. Queer authors must be out of the closet, in a neatly labeled box, for their queer representation to even be considered acceptable.”

So true! So many examples! The worst critics of gay movies are gay people — they were the ones who complained the most about the “imperfections” of shows like HBO’s Looking, among others. And the way they have demonized pathbreaking older shows like Queer as Folk, which were so important for queer people of my generation and helped us forged a more visible identity! The worst critics of Filipino representation in mainstream media are Filipinos. Take a look at those taking potshots at Netflix’s Trese.

Brinkley aptly described the whole sad phenomenon this way: “The notion of perfect representation [has] been weaponized.”

There is no such thing as perfect representation.

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