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As you've probably heard, Quvenzhané Wallis, the young actress from Beast of the Southern Wild, received some very insulting criticisms at the Oscars and over the internet last night. In case you didn't know, young Ms. Wallis is only nine years old, which makes most of the comments even more puzzling. Author Nora Jemisin sums it up nicely:

"[For some reason] half of Hollywood decided that it hated [Quvenzhané Wallis].

The reasons for that hate vary. Some of it’s just… Hollywood, land of the unbelievably hateful people who tear each other down to build themselves up. (Where I come from that’s called bullying, and it happens most often in a schoolyard.) There’s a billion snickering comments and articles online right now about the fact that one of the Oscar winners tripped. This is a professional culture of 12-year-olds.

Well. Except. Most of the ones with power are old white guys. They just have the sense of humor of 12-year-olds.

Here’s some things they did:

Oh, and it wasn’t just Hollywood misbehaving. The better-known chunks of the feminist community got in on the act, calling her “disgusting” and “insufferable” in the comments. Those people are getting told by quite a few people, but just goes to show you that even (sometimes especially) feminists can be racist fucks."

You should really follow the links and take a look at the insults that are being thrown at this child. And as for the feminist blog Jezabel, many of the comments can pretty much be summed up with, "this girl is just too uppity." In other words, she should know her place and be appropriately humble so she won't annoy the vast population who really only wants to see the real life reincarnation of Ruby Bridges on screen for them to romanticize.

But I think we must ask ourselves why there is so much anger toward Quvenzhané. Why does her presence cause so much animosity that there are so many people talking about a nine year in sexually derogatory manner? LOTS of people. People in power who are using that power to subjugate this little girl. What is the message here? Why, we must ask ourselves, have these (usually, literally, open-minded) people felt that it was acceptable to behave this way.

As a commenter on Twitter stated, most of these same people were rightfully angry when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut. But now they defend The Onion for referring to Quvenzhané as a c***. Could it be, perhaps, that Quvenzhané's race does not summon the same emotional innocence within our society as a white woman's does? 

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
batdina
Feb. 25th, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
just to say that her name? NOT so hard to figure out how to pronounce. not to mention someone could just ASK HER.

I do not go to movies, I do not watch the Academy Awards. I feel dirty anyway.

taking that gif for wallpaper for a while.
chesyaburke
Feb. 25th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd have to ask her to make sure I got it right. But that's something you do when you respect the other person. Otherwise, you just name them something that's more convenient for you--like "Little Q."
sartorias
Feb. 25th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
I am so very glad I missed this--it sounds utterly disgusting.
damedini
Feb. 26th, 2013 12:00 am (UTC)
And there I sat grooving on how she's young enough that she can still be gleefully full of herself and say it like she feels it. In two or three years, society will have trained her to hate her body, criticize every aspect of her appearance and denigrate her achievements like a good little woman. We all need to be more like Quvenzhané. She rocks!
marlowe1
Feb. 26th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)
Agreed on that part. SHe was pretty cool. I was disappointed to find out that the Onion did that joke and happy that they took it down and apologized. Only because it's the Onion and not 4chan do I give them the benefit of the doubt in hoping that they meant it as a parody of toxic Hollywood gossip columns.

The Seth McFarlane joke on George Clooney is more sad than offensive - only because that damn joke has been going around for decades. I remember Jay Leno doing the same joke with Michael Douglas as the punchline (he even used kids to do it)

The Jezebel stuff is horrible.
livejournal
Feb. 26th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
Quvenzhané Wallis' Outrage, Should Be Our Outrage
User fiat_knox referenced to your post from Quvenzhané Wallis' Outrage, Should Be Our Outrage saying: [...] Originally posted by at Quvenzhané Wallis' Outrage, Should Be Our Outrage [...]
dogzilla30
Feb. 26th, 2013 02:28 am (UTC)
I was really mystified by all the hate surrounding her at the awards ceremony. I saw the movie several times and loved it. I thought her performance was better than Jennifer Lawrence's.

Because the first part of the red carpet didn't record I missed her entrance but saw a photo of her with her purse. It's refreshing to see a young child who looks and acts like a child. It seemed her take on the Oscars was a big party to celebrate movies and the people who make them. Too bad more people don't see it that way.
flaxendandelion
Feb. 26th, 2013 10:14 am (UTC)
I can't imagine why anyone could this child, but then I get a daily dose of Hollywood gossip via Facebook and I see how blindly hateful people are. It's mostly middle aged women too. Really nasty shit. I'm weary of many women and I'm weary of feminists. They're as harmful to women's equality as patriarchy is.
elenuial
Feb. 26th, 2013 10:44 am (UTC)
Man, I don't even know what was up with that. I didn't really pay attention to the Oscars. All I know is that on fb this morning I got blindsided by a bunch of jerks yelling about free speech and censorship, and I had to put on my best calm, good-poc face to explain to them why they were jerks.
chesyaburke
Feb. 26th, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
The Onion issued a sincere apology: https://www.facebook.com/TheOnion/posts/10151500974969497

Of course it only takes reading the comments to become disheartened: "Well, if truth be told I found the child a little bit too affected by her fame. Sorry, but that is something a child doesn't need to think she is so SPECIAL for being in a movie. Excuse me? Too, too much of a princess." (i.e. she's uppity.)

"You should have never apologized, she IS a cunt." (Um...okay.)

And the number of people saying that The Onion shouldn't have apologized is amazing.
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