A link from some Fox News commentator's blog brought me a TON of traffic 'n' trolls. I've only dealt with less than a half-dozen trolls before, so this was an... experience. Many denied the existence of ableism, many told me to get a sense of humor, and the worst were bordering on threatening. It seems to have slowed to a drip now, and I'm thankful for the useful lesson in moderation, I suppose.
In any case, a couple of new visitors had useful critique. From J, on last week's post about 30 Rock:
My wife has MS and is in a wheelchair full time...You seem to think that my wife should be offended that Jenna danced for the Prince in the wheelchair, that is how I dance with my wife! If there is a better, more non-offensive way please tell me.
I don't think J's wife should be necessarily offended by anything I am. This is my point of view - no one is obligated to share my same exact reactions.
For the most part, I stand by my analysis. I think that particularly the scene that follows constitutes ableism (in which the wheelchair user literally kills himself after a woman with able privilege says untruthfully that she loves him). But let's look at the comment J refers to:
Since wheelchair users clearly cannot enjoy their own body, he live vicariously through Jenna. Jenna’s dancing, while physically funny, is at the cost of the prince’s bodily agency.J makes a good point: people in partnerships with wheelchair users have a number of different ways of being physical with their partners. My analysis of that scene constituted policing said relationships, and I apologize.
Renee and Daisy both emphasized Joan's status as the rape victim of the man she assaults in my Television Tuesday post. Fair point- she does deserve revenge, and the incident at hand in that post is disproportionate to what she went through. My central point is not to shame Joan for being a domestic abuser - Renee called it a pre-emptive strike, and I think that's fair and hope it's followed by Joan getting out of the situation and Greg meeting justice.
I stand by my argument, for the most part: the central point I meant to communicate (and the onus is on me to effectively get this across, ) is that Mad Men has erased the experiences of victims of domestic abuse during the silent epidemic of the 1960s in which many women were brutalized. Mad Men, a show that positions itself as concerned with portraying issues of importance to women, has only deigned to address the issue of violence in the home once directly. And in that case, a man who way deserved it was the recipient of violence in the home, and it was a scene that was intended to give viewers a sense of retribution, trivializing the suffering of the silenced women abused by their husbands in the era. And it's not for lack of opportunity - I don't believe that none of the men at Sterling Cooper were violent with their wives. I think that domestic violence towards women in the 1960s in particular needs serious consideration on the show's part, and this scene served to highlight that lack.
Having said that! I was too hard and focused too much on a rape victim's reaction to a terrible situation in which she looks to have little power, and not enough on the context. I also scolded other writers who had a valid reaction to the scene. This constitutes victim-blaming, and I apologize.