Reflections

Actually, diminishing trauma is irresponsible

I watched Menace to Society and was practically heartbroken by the end.

The films tells the story of teenagers who spend the summer getting in trouble with the law, brutalised by police, jacking people, jumping others and living because they feel there is nothing to lose. Often films like this get branded as irresponsible as the media feels they ‘glorify gang life’. More than ever I see the lie here. Many times in the film the characters call out police brutality, prejudice and the general theme of hopelessness doesn’t make what they go through seem appealing. Instead it is a view of how the forgotten live and die. It is NOT an aspirational fantasy.

Furthermore it’s clear to see that Black trauma gets diminished. The same people who look down on the story would do anything to not live such a life without choice. It’s hard to convince oppressed people of change when their world has convinced them otherwise.

So don’t be confused as to why we said the shutting down of Blue Story in cinemas was a racist move.

Reflections

Queen Vashti: ‘Boy Bye :)’

Queen Vashti, one of the first women recorded to say ‘Boy bye’. She gracefully took her crown and stepped into her new future after she was banished from her kingdom. You can find her cameo in the book of Esther in the Bible.

Vashti was the queen of Persia, wife to the mighty King Xexses and regarded for her beauty. One night her husband drunkenly demanded she showcase herself to his party guests, so he could gloat and they could salivate. A request she firmly rebuffed. She refused to prostitute her dignity and paid for it in full. Enraged at her audacity, along with the advice of his circle, he demoted her. They were convinced if the story got out women would despise their husbands and the world was likely to go up in flames. How dramatic. The King’s word was law and couldn’t be reversed even by himself, something he probably regretted it in the morning. Vashti would have felt violated, unprotected and grossly mishandled. Someone who claims to love you wouldn’t draw you out like that.

‘The room was brimming with sweaty abrasive men, eyes bright with lust and leaking obscenities. They daren’t say anything disrespectful out loud but their ferocious presence was unnerving. I hope that not everyone agrees with the king’s obnoxious behaviour but no one will fend for me so I’ll have to do this alone. I have not been considered.’

The scenery and culture may have changed but the acts of men high in authority hasn’t. For all we know this wasn’t the first time Vashti was hung out to dry by Xerses. I don’t believe she took an L here, I feel she stuck it on his forehead and it hung in a corner of his mind forever. It could be interpreted that she was being difficult but seems far too simple and insulting, we almost always have a reason.