I just found the name of my genre.
So let’s do the POC Bechdel test on Driftwood/Dog Island and see what happens …
The rules are:
- At least 2 POC among the characters
- Whose names are given
- Who talk with each other
- About something other than a white person
So, let’s see …
Chief Razor Clam
Janeta (though she hasn’t appeared yet in person except in the “non-canon” short story Mother of Pearl)
And many more minor but still named characters …
Okay, so far, so good … Most people in the comic are actually POC. Just for fun I’ll include the following list:
Eva (pretty much passes for white except maybe in Western Europe)
Aeron (maybe doesn’t pass for white not least thanks to having a deep tan from working outside in the sun all the time …)
Their parents Natasha and Oleg
The Ghost (not really named, either)
My author-avatar :op
Characters of colour who talk to each other:
- Bijou & Temcheng talk about each other
- Kim and Bijou briefly talk to each other about Willie and Aeron who were looking for Eva
- Kim, Bijou and Temcheng talk about the (white) sailor whose head Kim just bashed in
- MAYBE you could count the silent conversation that Erlik and Samona are having at the end of chapter 7.
- There was a scene in chapter 6 where Kim and Bijou were talking to each other about each other, but I deleted it.
(Of course, if you count Eva and Aeron as POC it gets a lot better, but let’s be strict here and not do that.)
So, yeah, that’s kind of depressing. At least Bijou and Temcheng don’t talk about white people with each other, so Driftwood just barely passes the POC Bechdel test!
While most of the characters are POC, the main characters seem to be the whitest. Which is very typical and depressing. I may try to excuse it with the fact that I’m used to being the albino in my swarthy family, so that dynamic only reflects my own experience, but it still conforms with the “always a white main character” norm.
Dog Island is perhaps even more centered around Willie, so I wonder if it will be any better …
* * *
Yeah, the topic of race easily gets you into really weird and uncomfortable territory. But it’s important to be aware of these structures and how they divide and oppress people.
The definitions of who is a POC and who isn’t vary over geographical regions. “White”, which in practise means “not the Other”, is something that you - as long as your skin is a little bit lighter than someone else’s - become by oppressing other people. I’ve mostly applied the definitions most common today in our North America-centric culture, where big-nosed and slightly swarthy Czech people like Willie are definitely white, and where Samona may even belong in the “mixed” group because what if Tatars are in fact white …? (Many Tatars in Finland, for example, surely want to be white and not at all like those Middle Eastern and African Muslims who immigrated more recently …)
But actually I’m from Sweden and Germany, where whiteness is defined a bit more narrowly. Instead of POC I could use the Swedish term “blatte” - a general (and sometimes derogatory) term for non-western European immigrants and their descendants, which may often even apply to immigrants from Finland, at least if we are working class. And that would dramatically change the perceived racial dynamics - the entire cast except maybe Shannon would be “blattar” if they were immigrants in Sweden …! V^(oo)^;V
[15:58:09] Tinet: Well, the Irish guy is obviously the kind of person I would like to be like … And at the same time I sympathise with Dil’s story. And there’s the whole political background and what’s right and wrong, etc. … I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. I first saw it when I was around 14-15 or so.
[15:58:44 | Edited 15:58:47] Ilan: I have to watch it again.
[15:59:00] Ilan: You want to be a guy?
[15:59:03] Tinet: …………………..
Is it because 99,9% of the stories in the world have male characters that the viewer/reader is likely to sympathise with, while 99,9% of female characters in the world’s stories just happen to not be characters that a reader/viewer would identify with (because they are sexualized, objectified or have specifically “feminine”, not universal, gender-neutral, issues)? So Ilan has never had the chance to identify with a fictional female character and feel like maybe he would like to aspire towards being like her? While I have actually quite rarely had a chance to read a story about a female character I could identify with and want to be like?
Also, who the hell would voluntarily want to step down from male privilege and be a woman even in their imagination …?
dogs are important to the struggle and ill tell you why
- great singing voice
- sometimes smell like cornchips
- incorruptable singing voice
- fun at parties :3
If anybody wants to know why there are no updates - BLAME THE POLAR VORTEX
(Preventing me from moving out to my badly insulated trailer and forcing me to live with other people so I can’t draw)