Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Parking Wars

I live in an apartment complex, on the second floor of my building. Just over to the left is a disability space, then the dip, then another disability space. A few months ago, two cars kept parking in said disability spaces constantly, even though there would be spaces to either side and directly across the way. I finally got annoyed and left notes on their windshields much like this one, a note I left Saturday night (at about 12:30) for a new neighbor that has been in the same disability spot for a week:

The pun is new, though- we'll see if I do that again

(Also, the license plates on the car are Minnesota plates- so this person is obviously quite familiar with snow. The first draft of the note had a VERY snarky comment about how I'm from Las Vegas and park further than they do, so they, being from Minnesota, need to grow a pair and walk. I realized that was a bit... forceful... and toned it down for the one you see there, obviously.) 

At this point, I feel like I should make a stack to just keep on-hand for general purposes. The first time I did it for those first two neighbors worked- they haven't parked in either disabled spot since (as far as I'm aware, anyway). And I'm happy to report that when I stumbled outside, coffee-less, to let River do her thing Sunday morning at 8, the car had moved. So that's three-for-three. Maybe I should make some sort of thank-you sticker (I'm picturing the universal handicap sign and adding a smiley face somehow, with a speech bubble thanking the person... too snarky?).

If they hadn't moved, no, I would have no qualms in calling the police and giving them the licence plate number and vehicle description and stuff. Hell, not that I think they'd care enough, but it'd be so hilarious if the cops showed up at their door, "Now look, see, we've been getting complaints that you keep parking in this disability space..." 

Now yeah, I may not have a disability, and sure, it's cold- I certainly don't like the walk from my car to the building (or vice-versa). But I get so fed up with people insisting on using the disabled parking spots, or disabled bathroom stalls or changing rooms. Or sitting in the seats reserved for the elderly and disabled on the bus. And the worst is when someone with a legit claim to the thing shows up and the person occupying it gets huffy. I've seen it a million times on the bus- some asshole college student rolls their eyes and mumbles under their breath as they change seats when someone with a walker or a stroller or even a gorram wheelchair- the living version of the image on the seat- gets on the bus. I once had to ask a woman to vacate our big changing room in the store I work at a while back so a woman in a wheelchair could use it, and the former grew extremely uppity and had absolutely no shame- she gave both me and the woman in the wheelchair icy looks before scoffing loudly, tossing her head, and slamming her new room's door shut. I'll have you note, all of the other changing rooms had been open at the time, too- she had just gone in there on her own and was miffed when I asked her to switch.

I know what you're thinking:

Yes, really.

So before you think I'm some fearless crusader, flitting about like some disability-rights fairy and kicking people out of stalls, seats, and parking spaces all the time, I'll be real with you and tell you that I actually had trouble sleeping last night for a lot of reasons. Sure, there was some serious wind rattling the apartment and River kept shooting her head up and grunting at the window and walls. But I was also imagining my neighbor coming to my door, demanding to know if I left the note or not and pushing their entitled position, fishing for an ally in their insistence that they deserve that spot just as much as anyone, etc. It was one of those terrible daydream-type things (I say "type" because it was, obviously, night) that I couldn't get away from- every time I tried thinking about something else or clearing my head entirely, it came back, this image of a stranger yelling at me and telling me they'd done nothing wrong, deserved to park there, didn't like threats, etc. It was a scary thought, and I legit almost went back outside to retrieve the note to prevent it from coming to fruition.

Because while I'm all huff-and-puff on my blog, I'm actually a very non-confrontational person, to the point where I'm often reamed and insulted if I ever try to point something out to someone else. I get flustered when someone Schopenhauers me- which is the goal, to be sure, but still. So watching myself cower and start crying like that in my head, that seemed like a very plausible outcome if the person did come after me like I was envisioning.

Especially since if they were that pissed, they'd be the type to not listen to anything I'd have to say, too, even if I was somehow able to convince them I hadn't actually written the note but was playing Devil's Advocate for the writer. 

But what I'd do is try to explain to them that when a building doesn't have ramp access to the inside and elevators inside, it's de facto discriminatory toward persons with mobile disabilities- and blocking the ramp access to the building by parking in it does the same thing (because even if the inside was totally accessible, a person with a mobile disability wouldn't be able to get up the curb and thus not even be able to enter in the first place). 

I know  I seem petty and like I'm butting in. I have no idea whether or not anyone with a mobile disability lives in my building, or if anyone that would need that dip has tried getting in before. But that doesn't matter, and it's not the point. Access is about opportunity, not just direct need. It shouldn't take someone with a wheelchair showing up for a person without one to move- the latter shouldn't be there in the first place. 

Now let me tell you a more positive story.

On another day while working, this time at a different, busier location, I ran out of regular fitting rooms and a guest that was walking just fine asked to try some clothes on. So I let her into the disabled stall, when a few minutes later, a woman in a wheelchair showed up. When I asked the first woman if she'd be willing to come back out so someone in need could use that stall, she obliged warmly and we stood there chatting jovially for a while until one of the other changing rooms opened. 

That's sort of the unspoken rule about disabled changing rooms (or seats on a bus or in a theater or something)- non-disabled use them as a last resort with the understanding that they'd have to give it up if someone entitled to it came forth. So it went over just fine, because the gal in the big room was cool with that norm.

Parking spaces are different, though. Because unless someone was standing there, watching the parking lot, there'd be no way of knowing if someone needed the space- and anyone  that would, well, they'd probably settle for what they could and either make the longer route to the dip in the curb, or find some way to heave theirself up- or, you know, just give up, too.

Bathroom stalls are trickier- if you're behind the door of the stall, you wouldn't know if someone else needed it, and anyway, it's not like you can just quit mid-dump to let someone else use the stall, even if they did knock or something. 

I remember being a little girl and exiting the disabled stall to face an old woman with a walker, staring at me with brimstone in her eyes but not saying a word- the unspoken admonishment was prolly something like, "Young lady, how dare you?" I felt so ashamed, knowing I should have used one of the three regular stalls, instead. I'll still use a big one every now and then, if and only if every other one is occupied, and I've waited for a regular one to open up without entering the big one before. 

But I'm not guiltless, is the point. I don't think anybody is, really. And sure, maybe some of us are guiltier than others. But people being more respectful and courteous and conscientious, and willing to step aside or move over for others... I think that's what's important. And sure, I may have been annoyed that my neighbors kept taking handicapped parking, I'm actually really, really excited and pleased they've all moved their cars out of the way, and that none of them have done it again. I can't do anything to help the rude gal that scoffed at me for asking her t change fitting rooms, but my neighbors and the gal that switched, they're the ones I root for- and I hope they pay it forward and lead by example with their friends and families. And then maybe we'll reach the point where even without universal design, mobility is a little less difficult for people with physical disabilities. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Not Your Typical Campus Shooting"

That's a quote from the head of the Purdue University Police Department during their final press conference the day of my campus's shooting, Tuesday, December 21, 2014. By this, he meant that it wasn't a case of a person going in and randomly firing at people- the perpetrator went in, sought out the target, fired, then surrendered. This officer and the other people answering questions never said it out-right, but they danced around "pre-meditated" whenever talking about the shooter's actions.

This piece comes in two parts. The first, being my direct response to the university itself. Keep in mind, I wasn't on the campus- I was literally locking up my apartment to leave for my office when the first alert went out. The second will be my more general thoughts on these acts of violence and  what they say about us  as a society and culture, and what I think we can do to fix it, or at least make it less bad.

PART I: Poo-Poo Purdue

I’m sure anyone reading this from Purdue itself is aware of the timeline of events, so let me just break down my thoughts, here. When it comes to the on-the-ground response, the emergency teams did a superb job of handling the situation. They were on the scene within minutes, had apprehended the suspect even before the university had finished sending out its initial wave of alerts, and expediently evacuated the EE building, as well as helped get anyone unaware of what was transpiring indoors and out of harm’s way. My hat goes off to Purdue’s police and fire departments, as well as those of West Lafayette. And my thanks to all of the first-responders on the scene. Heart-felt and  sincerely.  

Now, the bad news. I find it… disconcerting, at best, that I, as a member of the Purdue community, was given conflicting information on my safety during the day: I was told in a text it was okay to move around as normal at about 1:30, and then again at 1:45, but the website referenced in those texts told me the opposite, that campus  was  still on lockdown- and  the  website remained as such until nearly 3pm. More than one person confused about what to do texted me, asking for my advice. (And that advice was, of course, stay inside- better  safe than sorry.) The text came pretty quickly, at 12:12, but what little info we got didn't add up very well. And on that note...

There was really just so little information sent to me directly, too- what’s up with that? I would have felt better getting the info from Purdue, not from checking out news websites because I happened to have access to the Internet, a circumstance not everyone else would have been in. My mom had more up-to-date info from watching CNN than I had from Purdue. That’s just wrong- I and every other member of Purdue’s community should have had been given real-time updates from Purdue. Our safety and emotional/mental well-being were on the line. 

Also, why take the surrounding buildings off lockdown if police are still searching and patrolling? Friends of mine on campus said there were still choppers circling after the all-clear was given at 1:30, and I finally got antsy and had to turn off the computer after over an hour of  listening  to police continue to search new campus locations and dig deeper into suspicious activities via their radio streaming site. If the police weren’t done checking the campus out, why let people wander around? What would have happened if  this shooter had not, in fact, been acting alone and someone else was hurt before the police finished their checking all the other buildings? What if they had all-cleared it too soon and there were more casualties?

Here’s another problem: I heard from a few people stuck in classes that their professors kept trying to teach during the whole thing, and I know of fellow grad students with  TA positions for classes that take place during the 3 and 4 hours that had to go to said classes- and, surprise surprise, more students stayed behind than  went. What compels a prof to go ahead with class on a day like that? I don’t think this demonstrates heroism or dedication- I think it’s short-sighted, narcissistic, and dangerous. If you think what you’re teaching is so important that it’s worth risking the lives of your students, you don’t deserve to be a professor (or instructor) in front of those students. And if some of these professors kept at it because  they  genuinely  don’t know what “shelter-in-place” means, then Purdue has some serious training it needs to do for its faculty- because even if the students somehow avoided it in school (which maybe international students, okay, but kids that grew up in the States have no excuse, really, unless maybe homeschooled…?), the people in charge of the classrooms should know that “shelter in place” means close and (if possible) lock the doors, close any blinds, keep quiet, etc. In drills, sure, keep the lights on, but for crying out loud  there was an actual shooter on campus on Tuesday. They should have closed the doors and blinds, turned the lights off, and awaited further instructions from the university. This was NOT a drill. A Boilermaker DIED, and you kept lecturing. Think about that. And be grateful for the tenure system and that I'm not in charge of Purdue, because if I was Purdue's president and I heard you had tried to keep jabbering at your students (and were probably befuddled or put-off by them, gasp, not paying attention to you), I would do everything I could to fire your ass.

I think the worst is that classes weren’t immediately cancelled for the rest of the day. If “they” knew someone was even just injured in a shooting, let alone lost their life, it would be “respectful” to cancel classes as soon as the info came out, not four-and-a-half hours later. Plus, they wouldn't then have had to go back and tell faculty to pretend classes the day of the shooting never took place the next day in an email ("Of course, we will all need to make adjustments to ensure that no faculty and students are penalized because they were unable to teach or attend class in the aftermath of yesterday’s terrible events. You will need to inform students of your plan to address this unforeseen circumstance. In particular, you should inform your class that you will not be counting the results of any quiz or attendance given for yesterday’s session, and that they will not be held accountable for any material covered."). Purdue ret-conning, back-peddaling, whatever you want to call it- Purdue cancelling classes over four hours later is deplorable and tactless, and the reminder to faculty not to hold students accountable for the  day of the shooting shouldn't be necessary (on its own and  also in conjunction with what I said about profs insisting on holding class between 2 and 4:30). This was no false alarm- someone died, and we knew that hours before the “discussion” (what the provost said they started having once they knew someone was hurt) amongst administrators led to canceling class. So why does it need “discussion” to cancel classes the rest of the day when someone is killed on campus? Discussion? I’m not remotely the only person at least surprised by this, if not flat-out appalled. This is an opinion piece, and my opinion is that canceling class for the rest of the day when there’s a shooter on the campus should be protocol, not the result of a “discussion.” Sure, maybe what happens the next day can be something the old boys’ network can debate, but expecting students to go to class when they’ve just been on lockdown and oh yeah, someone was shot and killed- and then expecting them to be top-notch is also narcissistic, or at least short-sighted- and the  latter is why  those same people had to send an email excusing anyone that, understandably, didn't go to class or didn't do all that well while there. It's just... Ugh. It was tactless for them to wait that long to cancel, and fumbling and pathetic that they had to excuse it after-the-fact. Disgusting. I can't wrap my head around why the first move wouldn't be  to cancel classes, I honestly can't. All I can think of is it's the bureaucracy wanking off again and taking itself too gorram seriously- which puts a bad taste in my mouth, because  that'd mean the fat-cats cared more about their own authority and "channels" or whatever than the well-being of their students. And even practically speaking, the utility in holding class an hour after a shooting would be small enough to render it nonexistent, or  even negative (because, no doubt, without the reminder not to, profs would hold students accountable for the material from that day because they "held class" as "normal," never mind  that  no "normal" student would be  able to function "normally" in class right after a shooting). 

I hope to God there isn't a next time. But in preparation, protocols need to be changed: 

1) The text alerts need to be in-sync with website and email updates. Conflicting information could get someone hurt.

2) DO NOT  give  an all-clear until police  are done searching buildings. The nearby  area may  have been clear, but how could they be certain there wasn't another  shooter? They wouldn't be  able to report that until they had finished their larger sweep, so let that happen before letting people go about their way. 

3) Cancel classes for the rest of that day the moment a legit report of a shooting is confirmed. I am still trying to comprehend why this  is even necessary to say. 

4) Make sure all faculty and staff have been through their own  shelter-in-place drills, or at least told what to do if  it happened for real, even if only during  an orientation  training of some sort for newbies. That way, even if  their students don't know what it means, they will.

5) Figure out a way  to penalize faculty that end up not doing the whole  "shelter-in-place" thing properly in the case of a real threat, once the threat is over. Again, drills are one thing, but actual, genuine threats are another, and they need to be taken seriously. So whether it's making them pay fines or do university or community service, or I dunno, mess with their sabbatical or something... I don't care. Just make it clear that they're in deep doo-doo for endangering their  students- because that's what that behavior means: Endangerment.

6) Send more updates, via text and/or email. Sure, some stuff needs to be kept private for a while, but letting the Purdue community know what kind of progress the police are making, what the suspects are up to, etc., and as immediately as possible, needs to happen. Again, I should have heard from Purdue, not CNN, that the suspect had been apprehended. 

PART II: Gun Control, Mental Health, and the Intersection of Ableism with Capitalist Individualism

So here's where it'll get rather controversial. Every time we have a shooting, the focus is always on the guns. Guns, guns, guns. And sometimes, the "crazy" bogeyman myth creeps up,  too, wherein the shooter is painted as a psychopathic freakjob that finally loses it and that's that. As if it's a random, one-time, isolated incident.

And while sure, the Newtown guy wasn't in cahoots with the Virginia Tech guy, who had nothing to do with the Columbine kids... There is a tie binding all of these shootings, and any other time when a person has walked into a building and shot anybody, whether it's one targeted person like what happened at Purdue, or a whole butt-load of random victims, like Virginia Tech. 

It's mental illness. Improperly cared for mental illness, I should say.

And let me say right now, I'm not saying it's the "crazy peoples'" fault. There's a sad, painful note of truth to the, "I couldn't take it anymore!" line that's supposed  to be funny or offhand (like when Carmine Falcone uses it after faking a suicide attempt in Batman Begins)- for whatever reason, these people reach a tipping point, and their moral compass gets broken, and they either don't remember that hurting other people isn't okay, or they cease to care. 

What I see going on is people who would benefit from quality mental health services don't get them, and without the proper coping mechanisms and lifeskills needed to function without hurting people, they snap. See, here's the rub: Western, and especially American society, has this weird, counter-productive stigma on mental health services. And I attribute this, at least in part, to our rugged individualistic, pull-yourself-up-by-your-boostraps wet dream we can't, on the whole, let go of. Because if we admit we have depression or mental health issues, let alone seek help for it, we're admitting we  aren't good enough to make it on our own - and the whole point of the American Dream is to make it on your  own, without help from anyone. Depression, anxiety, mental health problems, they're seen and treated as weakness. We blame the people who have them for not taking care of themselves, for being  too sensitive; we tell them to "get it together," to "keep it to themselves," to try harder. I love this image from the blog Robot Hugs

There are myriad others like it on the interwebs, but the point is the sorts of things that get said to people with mental health issues are being said to people with entirely physical ailments (if you can't tell, by the way, the one in the orange shirt is  shooting insulin or something, not  stabbing their hip with a nail- it took me a few seconds to see it, too, don't worry)- and the point is  to see that those statements are ridiculous in those contexts, and, really, ridiculous in the context of mental or emotional fragility, too. 

And don't those sound kind of like the individual liberty, ra-ra, capitalism rhetoric we can't seem to turn down in this country? Messages that we aren't tying hard enough when we're stuck in a minimum wage job, that our individual circumstances don't matter if we're unemployed... The way we treat (and don't treat, yup) mental illness is a part of that masturbatory obsession with personal responsibility. That it's somehow someone's own fault if they're depressed, just as how it's their own fault if they're in need of social assistance. Context? Psh. Factors  out of their own control? Nonexistant- every person is in charge of their own destiny! 

So then what? Well, just like how our pathetic excuse for a "welfare" system comes with all sorts of public  shame and stigmatization, so too does receiving  mental  health services. And, just as how the former is major hard to get, quality mental health services are hard to find, too. I think generally, our personal feelings are supposed  to be private, and it's not up to the government or society to help us out- because by golly, the government has NO RIGHT to tell me what I should be doing!

You: Wait, but providing the option for  mental health services isn't telling people what to do, it's just giving them somewhere to go, right?

Society: NO! If there were quality mental health facilities and services everywhere, free and available to the public, they'd just get backlogged with people taking advantage of it, and we'd create a culture of sissies that suck their thumbs and can't take the slightest setback in their lives!

It's basically  the same argument against a public healthcare system, and I'd say even against paid family leave and basically any form of financial assistance.

But what sets it apart is that during any "discussion" revolving around the question of the kinds of mental health services in the U.S., there's always this accompanying assumption that people with mental health issues are broken, under-par; that they don't measure up and thus aren't worth it, anyway. Why bother if they're already not good enough? And now, if you know me, you prolly see where I'm going and why it's ableist: There's an assumption that they'd be whole and Good if they didn't have their mental, emotional, etc. disabilities, see.  See? 

While it's hard to talk about the "Disability Community," since that doesn't really exist, I do believe, from my experience on the ground in services for the disabled in myriad ways, it's the invisible disabilities, the non-physical that get stigmatized in such a way that leads to the ailments going entirely untreated. It's a lot harder to ignore a physical disability or to blame someone with one for having it, but mental and/or emotional ones? Well what "causes" depression? What "causes" anxiety? People get blamed for "letting them happen," while nobody would really ever be accused of "letting" theirself get hit by a car or be born with CP.

Story time (sort of): Every  semester I've taught (so far- we'll see later), I've had at least one student come to me after their first quiz about disability accommodation. And the reasons they wait are always the same: They were "afraid" to tell me or that their peers would find out; they didn't want to seem like they were getting a handout; they were embarrassed that they'd need the help; they're ashamed that they have suchandsucha problem; etc. These signals come from the crap those people in the comic above are being told: People with disabilities are seen as "moochers," as in the same category as "welfare queens" and "bums" sucking the teet of Lady Liberty dry.

So no SHIT they're afraid to seek counseling, or to go to the professor to get the accommodation they're entitled to by the gorram law, nonetheless.

And even if it's not a consciously articulated thought, "I better not see a therapist, otherwise people will judge me," they subconsciously know it's bound to happen. And that negative view of mental health problems comes from a terrible intermingling of capitalist and ableist rhetorics.

So then this means, again, that services are lacking as it were, and that getting them is so hard, a lot of people don't.

And I'm not saying the stigmas on mental and emotional health issues are the only thing causing shootings like the one at Purdue- I'm not that bad. What I am saying is that gun policies aren't the only ones we should seriously revamp if we want violent incidents like this to stop. Sure, I'd be in favor of better gun controls (although I don't think they should be banned, no). But that wouldn't stop people from going on killing sprees when whatever mental health issues they have take control- there are tons of other ways to kill people other than guns, after all.

Our inability to address the mental health of our own citizens is, of course, more directly related to ableism. 

But really, when anyone says we're lacking quality mental health services, it shouldn't seem like a stretch for me or anyone else to say it's related to ableism. I mean, c'mon. Did you really need me to tell you that?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wonder Woes

I'm starting this post the morning I first heard of the rumor, but mayhap by now, dear reader, it has come to pass that it was all, indeed, a rumor. But I must needs catalogue my thoughts. 

I had an alarming message from a second-cousin in my FB inbox this afternoon, and after running the appropriate Google search, I found this article on  i09, one I likely would have come across sooner or  later, as i09  is one of the sites in my RSS feed. I'll summarize it for you:

The Wonder Woman that is set for being in the upcoming Batman v Superman movie is going to be a descendant of the Kryptonians that had been on Earth eons ago (at whose station Kal set off the distress beacon that led Zod to him in Man of Steel, the movie the one she'll be appearing in is a sequel to). She will be "powered-down" and have a fairly small role, comparable to that of Black Widow in Iron Man 2*.  And this backstory is likely to serve as foundation for any solo WW endeavors on the big screen. 

So yeah, I just wrote about Wonder Woman. And I have to say, this actually makes me sick. Now that I'm sitting down to really parse out my thoughts, my stomach is honest-to-Bob feeling icky and I have a pulsating ache behind my right eye. I usually say, "I don't get mad, I get hurt," with respect to people doing things that upset me- but right now,  at least, my blood is boiling, and I wish I had an intimidating death stare like this:

The short version is that this change, this turning Wonder Woman into a Kryptonian, is watering down an icon, and both physically and metaphorically weakening her. Further, this change, through backstory and self-made canon, sets her up as being dependent on and subordinate to Superman. 

So as I said before, one of the excuses to not make a Wonder Woman movie is that her (actual) backstory (or any of the versions from which to draw) is (are) too hoakey or weird. And as I said in response to that, bullshit- plenty of  "hokey" backstories starring men have had at least one film, if not more. But, this argument never ceases, so one could say this was part of the compromise, that she needed an entirely new, different backstory, one that could be easily explained in-universe, in order for film execs to give the go-ahead to having her in the upcoming movie. But my response to that is no different: What in her backstory is really so much more ridiculous, corny, cheesy, unbelievable, than a radioactive spider, a Nordic god (almost, anyway), a dude that gets a magic ring from a purple alien, or four people that all get exposed to the same explosion all coming out of it with different powers- one being invisibility, one being stretchy, one being basically the best  fire-bender ever, and  the last being, um, stone? Objectively, nothing. A gal living on an island controlled by Grecian goddesses is no more far-fetched Dr. Manhattan or a dude getting his broken spine  fixed by one solid punch in the vertebrae followed by a few days of hanging by a rope.

And for crying out loud, it's a comic book movie.  You can't possibly use "not realistic enough" or "hard to believe" for a comic book movie. Not one about a superhero, anyway. And not when so many others have retained such UN-believable plot elements from their respective cannons.  

One reason I find  this so upsetting is they aren't just stripping her of her unique backstory- they're turning her into  a tangential piece of Superman's. 

Think about it.

They're sticking her in as a descendant of Kal's ancestors. We've already been exposed to those old Kryptonians, sure, but this means she's being tied to them, not presented  as an independent  character. In fact, that'll prolly be the main point of her character even showing up: I can see them making her mission out to be  something like "find the Kryptonain male that set off the beacon" or something. Because what other excuse is  there for her showing up? It's not  like  Kal  has any  idea there are descendants of his hiding out on Earth. Normally, Wonder Woman  shows up to help because he asks her to, or because she has a feeling  he may need her help. If he doesn't know she's there, how can he ask her to come along? And  if they've never met, how can  she know  him well enough to know when he could use a hand? And so prolly  her first line  is  going to be, "Where is  the Kryptonian?!" Even if not, it's going to come up that she's basically Kal's great-great-great aunt or some kinda jazz, and that that is why  she's there- and she'll be presented entirely in a way centering around her relation to him in some fashion.

To put it another way, her individual story is getting removed, and she's instead being turned into a chapter in Superman's story. As the  person in the i09 piece pointed out, this means her biggest foes and allies alike from her mythos- Ares or Athena- would never be able to make an appearance. And the mythos surrounding her fellow Amazons is wiped away, turning all of them, as well, into weakened versions of themselves- and pieces of Kal's backstory. Sure, some of the less-Grecian villains and helpers may be possible, but the main points of her very message will be lost.

Because remember, she's a "warrior for  peace," right? All of the Amazons, whether  you're thinking about the older version, where they got sick of men fighting, or newer, where they're the reincarnations of murdered  women,  they train for battle, but they prefer peace. Their main enemy is  Ares... because he's the God of War. Now, Wonder Woman's main enemy is... whoever Superman's  is at the time? I get that as a supporting character in a Superman  movie,  sure, but what about in the solo movies that could result? What then? Is  someone going to crop up out of nowhere? And anyway, it's irksome that the usual  "I should be dealing  with  Ares right now, but I'll help you out, bro" thing  is going to be lost. Getting rid of that backstory rooted in Themyscira will obliterate any chance at her being independent, period.

And I can't help but think that having her be a descendant of those specific Kryptonians, meaning the ones on Earth (because if she had to be Kryptonian, why not make her from, I dunno, Jupiter? Wouldn't it be cool if the ancient colonizing Kryptonians were the ones that caused the Great Red Spot or something equally wonky but spiffy?), was a deliberate in-story ploy to make her physically weaker. The excuse being, of course, that since the Amazons were on Earth for centuries, they've had time to evolve and adapt to the atmosphere and gravity, so they'd be physically weaker and have fewer "powers" than Kal/Superman- and thus would Wonder Woman. So that sets her up as being weaker and, inevitably, subordinate to Superman. She'll answer to him, she'll probably have to be rescued by him. And that's FUCKED UP. Wonder Woman becoming a damsel in distress?


The way I see it, she's going  to go from an initiative-taking, butt-kicking leader that doesn't take any crap from anyone;that's on-par with Superman and helps him out, doesn't just answer to him, like this: 

That, to something like this, and the dynamic here being the main point:

Because don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be entirely against some sort of romance between her and Supes, or even her and Batman (both have been done, after all), if done well enough, as a sidepoint, at most, for her. I'm a hopeless romantic, after all, and I do often include finding "someone" in my "happy endings" criteria (if there seems to be a plausible "someone" in the story-at-hand). But given the way her backstory is already entirely wrapped up in that of Kal's, any romantic entanglements with the dudes in the movie would only lessen her individuality. So, you know, poo on that.

(Also, Amy Adams has already expressed a desire to not have to play out a love-triangle, bless  her ginger heart, so hopefully that'll have some weight, regardless of what Wonder  Woman's  deal is.)

I know I said I was tired of waiting for a Wonder  Woman  movie  before, but I'd rather wait and let her  have the movie she  deserves than whatever hogwash is going to result  from this deplorable change.  This 2.5 minute trailer gives more of her backstory than we'll get from whatever she does in BvS and any future solo films set in that universe- and that's really uncool.

So yeah.

And as with that last post about  Wonder Woman, I absolutely think  this is all rooted in sexism. That shouldn't be  hard to figure out.

It's the night after I started this, and I just checked The Mary Sue, as I knew they'd tackle this.  And they did.

And so it turned  out the  dude on  was just spouting his opinions.

(Also, I want my own Pie Maker)
But  it pisses me off a lot because why the Hell does he think it's necessary to wipe away any and all individuality from her? Why, when theorizing  about her, does it  have to resort to stripping her of anything that's really "Wonder Woman" about her in the first place?

So I stand by  my post, as a long rebuttal/explanation as to why that theory is bad. It's sexist (because come on, does  anybody think they'd do that to any of the male DC characters?), and it's unnecessary. And it just proves how unwilling to accept female leads in comic movies so many fanboys are.  

*Tangent: So, okay, all those "Marvel is so much better at women in its movies" people also have no explanation for why Black Widow is only ever a side-character. She's coming up on her third film to be featured in for Marvel, but has yet to be front-and-center. Yeah, just sayin', folks. Just  sayin'.