So let’s have a talk about a sect of fellow Scandal fans that I cannot tolerate at this point. The ones who lose their fucking shit if Olitz is critiqued. The ones who tweeted me insults this morning because I do not always ship Olitz, especially during the incredibly abusive times of their relationship that are hard to overlook. The ones who cannot produce the essays that I produce on this show, yet have the audacity to call me “pathetic” (someone did on Twitter) and say things like “have a seat” (as their post tags) because of my views on Olitz. I can have a seat. But realize that I am one of the people who built the house where the seat is parked.
I was here for this show on day one. I’ve regularly tweeted about the show and actually brought in viewers which can be verified through months of tweets on it. I write on the show to share with the fandom, especially the more critically thinking fans who are interested in the show beyond a sole interracial relationship—ones who chat about the serious politics and sociopolitics of the show.
One of the fans, scandalousbazinga, created a post with my tweet to Ava where I mentioned the beauty of the love scene of Olitz in season 3, episode 8, “Vermont Is For Lovers,” despite my divergent and waning interest in Olitz as a couple, though that was not always the case. Long time readers remember my essays that shipped them and how this is not a static film but a dynamic show with ups and downs. Sure, there were times when I blogged positive GIFs of Olitz like this and this and wrote about them like this, this and this, and mentioned the few good things about their relationship to blog commenters, but again, just as their own relationship in the show is dynamic and up and down, so are some fans’ views. So this fan posted my tweet below with “UGHHHH seriously???” as her title.
— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Here are some other incredibly tunnel-visioned responses to her post in which they think they are “coming for me,” which is comical.
scandalous911: "I disagree about Olitz. Olitz is not losing popularity at all!!!"
Okay that is fine, when I said “almost nobody” I was mostly talking about the fandom who live tweets the show with me, not every single person in America. Some people hate the show right off the top so they would not even be included. And there is no way anyone can suggest that Olitz is as popular as they once were because the sheer fact that people who want a consistently healthy relationship for “Olivia” or ship Olake exist shows that the tides have become more nuanced than solely pro-Olitz or anti-Olitz.
scandalousbazinga: "Ava favorited this tweet but this woman is always hating on Fitz and Olitz UGH…she is one of those saying that Olivia is a side piece."
I cannot account for Ava’s views. But come see about me before making assertions. I don’t even tolerate the word “side piece” in a serious sense as it reveals a dehumanizing sexism that does not hold men accountable for their sexual behavior and literally alters the woman’s whole identity based on a consensual extra-marital relationship. This doesn’t speak to my politics at all. And people who know Gradient Lair know better. I even addressed the hideous "hoe versus housewife" patriarchal binary that patriarchal men (and women) trot out to control (or shame) women.
The person I reblogged to address the original post, hurricanemandy: "The conceit is PALPABLE! She’s simultaneously kissing Ava’s ass and dismissing her love of Olitz in one tweet."
Conceit? Is this person suggesting that how I feel about myself as a human being is based on Scandal or Ava DuVernay? Is this even the correct word to use? Beyond this ridiculous hyperbole is the assumption that praising ONE OF THE ONLY Black female directors even getting directorial time on a show that took almost 40 years for a Black woman lead to get is me “kissing her ass?” Really? (Further, after the trauma of episode 7, I felt Ava’s work was redemption for a terrible dip away from usual excellence.) I truly hope this is not a fellow Black woman suggesting this because this is so offensive and immature to me. And no, I am not required to love Olitz 100% of the time. This person, however, is required to grow up and understand that sure, when people attack the show simply to reveal anti-Black misogyny, I go HAM on those people. They attack Shonda, Kerry and the Black women who are fans. But people can like or dislike Olitz without being “conceited” and praise a great award-winning Black woman as a director who is rare in her field without “kissing her ass.” I support excellent Black women, period. This is not negotiable. Shit, I support Black women, even ones who haven’t “achieved.” That’s how I roll.
spectaclesinscript: "Come on, Trudz. Did you really make this statement with a straight face? Almost nobody? Was an opinion poll conducted? LOL! Okay, boo. All I know is that I better not see her behind boohooing on Twitter or on here when she gets a wave of Olitzers tweeting her their crazy. I know we around these parts interact in a vacuum and that my proceeding comment may be one that is full of bias, but I find it doubtful that the number of audience members who ship Olitz have dwindled down to “almost nobody”. Are we really that small of a group?"
Look at this comment. Just look at it my 23,889 people who follow my blog, my personal Twitter @thetrudz or Gradient Lair’s Twitter @GradientLair. This is comical to me. You all know what I have been through (and still go through) with real online trolling, online stalking, street harassment and even being a survivor triggered by episode 7 of this same show that I love. But a tiny group of Scandal fans who do not play well with most Scandal fans are going to have me in tears and off of the Internet? Think about WHY tweeting me “their crazy” matters to them and how this action is no different from the actions of the Black men who hate the show and tweet/comment with their misogynoir. I addressed the hyperbolic fans and haters for similar actions back in March.
marylinj: "Gosh!!!I gotta learn how to insert GIFs in ongoing thread. Anyway, certain things are just not worth addressing, no time for fuckeries, I have Olitz GIFs to reblog."
I really want you all to look at these comments and think about what these people sound like. I really do. “Fuckeries?” Again, some people want something else for “Olivia” even if they used to ship Olitz, though thematically we know the “hook” of the show is Olitz; that’s nuance that escapes some people it seems. Others ship Olake. These are opinions from FELLOW FANS and is not fuckery.
revolutionarypetunia: "No truer words have ever been spoken, Madam! Go get that GIF!"
Yeah, go get that GIF and below I’ll post my original body of work on the show as a Gladiator. While over time my views have become null and void to reactionary fans, for other Gladiators, they understand the dynamics of time and relationships and that television couples get shipped or don’t get shipped and things change. Remember, many people were blowing smoke up my ass when I defended some of the relationship nuances of Olitz back in January. But why on earth do my views have to stay static? This is a show that unravels with episodes, not a static film that is complete in 2 hours.
- On Scandal: Motherhood and Sacrifice
- Scandal: The Sexual Assault Scene Was TERRIBLE
- Scandal: “Olivia Pope,” Fear and Black Women’s Humanity On Screen
- The Serious Politics of Scandal
- Scandal: The Entertaining Chaos That Is “Mellie” and “Fitz”
- Season 3, Episode 2 thoughts (“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”)
- Scandal: Papa Pope and The Black Patriarchy
- Questioning Some Black Parenting Styles Used To Prepare Black Children To Deal With Racism (follow up to the previous)
- Scandal: How Anti-Gladiators Remain Pressed (Even In Season 3? Damn)
- Scandal: On Black Men’s Disdain For “Olivia Pope”
- It’s Almost Scandal Time! It’s Thurscandalday!
- Examining false equalization between Monster’s Ball and Scandal
- The Ignorance That Surfaced On Social Media During The Emmy Awards
- Thoughts About Scandal Season 2 Finale
- Shonda Rhimes and Scandal Remain On Top
- "Mellie" Can Be What "Olivia" Cannot; "Fitz" Can Be What "Mellie" Cannot
- On Scandal: “Olivia Pope,” Sexual Politics and Privacy
- When Scandal Haters and Fans Take It Too Damn Far (it got ugly for awhile amidst the fandom and the haters; wrote this in March.)
- Season 2, Episode 15 thoughts (“Boom Goes The Dynamite”)
- Mamsaphjez? (Scandal and Deception; Mammy, Sapphire, Jezebel?)
- Season 2, Episode 14 thoughts (“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”)
- If “Olivia Pope” Of Scandal Were White
- If “President Fitzgerald Grant” Of Scandal Were Black
- Good News About Scandal on ABC
- Scandal: Exploring The Criticism Of “Olivia” and “Fitz”
- Season 2, Episode 10 thoughts (“One For The Dog”)
- Why The Characters On Scandal Work
- Regarding Criticism On Scandal
- "Sally Langston"
- "Sally/Thomas" and Other Thoughts About Scandal, Season 2, Episode 8
- My Thoughts About Scandal’s 2nd Season (Thus Far…) (episodes 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3)
- Questions For Season 2 of Scandal
- Scandal Worries (pre-season 2 start)
- Why Shonda Rhimes’ New Baby, Scandal, Is Awesome
We are inclined to disagree on things about the show. We are not inclined to behave as if our own personal marriages and relationships in real life were insulted by people whose opinions change over time because they critically think about the show. Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn are actors. It is okay when fans aren’t feeling them as “Olivia” and “Fitz” or Olitz. Grow…up. And whenever I am not feeling them, it is NEVER because of the same ignorance that I fight everyday as a womanist, such as people being against Black women’s sexual freedom on and off screen, hatred for Black women in IRR yet everyone else can be in one, ignorant respectability politics on sexuality where a “side piece” should be a person who is devalued, or anything connected to misogynoir towards Black women by Black men or society at large. That is not who I am.
The fact that many Scandal fans told me that they avoid Tumblr because of nonsense like this is really sad. The fandom can’t talk to eachother? Shit, I talk to Hiddles and Sherlock fandom on Twitter all day without this bullshit. In fact, I would be totally fine with you all being this childish and ridiculous with my one tweet if you kept it away from me, but no, I had to be directly tweeted about this? YOU have the seats. ALL of them. Have seats in that nice new house that “Fitz” built for “Olivia.” Have seats in your house. Sit at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. I don’t care which one. Have it. Keep this ridiculous side of Scandal fandom away from the majority of Scandal fans who actually think and are entitled to divergent, nuanced and dynamic/evolving opinions.
Don’t come for me unless I send for you.
- Reject the politics of respectability. It won’t save us in 2013. Don’t incorporate it into victim blaming either.
- Bootstrap theory is crap.
- Stop silencing fellow Black people with “well…why are you surprised, this isn’t new!” every time they discuss racism.
- The White man’s ice is NOT colder.
- Being blankly against other Black people for being Black does NOT make you an “independent” thinker. Regurgitating White supremacist lies that purposely circumvent the role of institutional racism is not being a “truth-teller.” It’s just status quo. Loving Black people and yourself is revolutionary.
- We can’t end racism alone. We aren’t “responsible” for racism. Self-esteem and viewing Africa monolithically will not undo institutional racism.
- You cannot discuss IRR in a blanket and ahistorical or cisheteropatriarchal way. Nuance or bust. It is not all slavery or all liberation. Please.
- Complacency is not okay. However you don’t have to fight all racism in all places every single day that you breathe. Make sure to live to fight another day. Shit, just make sure to live. Not exist. Not just breathe. LIVE. ❤
Caveats: No, I don’t have to address Whites. This is Gradient Lair, a personal blog. Check ALL MAINSTREAM MEDIA for representation of you. No, it is not “racist” writing a post for Black people as a Black woman. Figure out what racism actually is. No, I don’t have to write the post to address all people of colour 100% of the time to have solidarity with non-Black people of colour. And yes, I know some Black people aren’t kinfolk as all skinfolk ain’t.
Here’s some things that people really need to stop emailing me. These type of emails will be deleted on sight now:
1) Your job. You’re a paid writer? Congratulations. How nice for you. I will not review your essays that you are paid to write. That’s why you have an editor. Leave me out of this. I am not paid and I am plagiarized, so spare me.
2) Your homework. You have a paper due for school? Congratulations. Get to work. Do the research. I will not send you links, citations, websites, books or any of that for a specific assignment. If you happen to go through my blog and see something that you want to use, as long as it falls within my Content Use Policy, and despite how much it honestly irritates me, you can use it with proper citation. This applies to papers. Use in other academic settings have different policies.
3) Your White guilt. I really don’t give a fuck how bad you feel about racism existing. Work through that shit outside of my space, especially outside of my email box. And SPARE ME with the "I ‘finally’ realized that racism is bad!" type of garbage.
4) How you’re a “different” Black man. Hun, I don’t give a fuck. This is not a dating site. This is not a site for male guilt or giving out cookies. Further, in the same way that you know that individual Whites might be “decent” or “different” does not mean that racism, White supremacy and White privilege evaporate is the same way you need to understand that just because you don’t street harass or do something else awful doesn’t mean that this type of abuse evaporates, nor does patriarchy, patriarchal masculinity and male privilege, even for Black men.
5) 24/7 updates on Black men. I do not need to know every single thing a Black man says or does when it is sexist or misogynist/misogynoirist. I am aware. I don’t need every goddamn link or tweet when they attack us Black women. I see plenty on my own. I don’t need fellow Black women sending me this, or referring my blog to the most virulently misogynoiristic Black men who only troll me, attack me and are not here to discuss or learn a single thing. So please stop. I don’t need reports on them. I live in the same world as you and face the the sexism and misogyny/misogynoir from them (and every other race of men) as you. I won’t comment every time they do something because like for you, many times it is painful and stressful to think about, let alone discuss.
6) “Did you hear about _____?” Yes. 99% of the time I heard about the same shit you heard about. Thus, I don’t need my Tumblr Inbox filled with a bunch of links to stories that I usually read 72 hours - 1 week before you sent them. Even if I did hear about something, I am NOT required to comment on it if I do not want to. I am not a 24 hour on-demand opinion generation machine. Conversely, sometimes I purposely skip stories because they are stressful, triggering or simply not of interest to me. And for Whites especially, stop emailing me every first grade level article or term you see on race. You’re in race kindergarten. I am Methuselah. So stop. It doesn’t mean I know everything, but really, you’re not gonna teach me anything new about what I LIVE. And while you were busy reading all White books your whole life, I read them AND a bunch by Black authors you never heard of. So stop. Please.
7) Your “learning” path when it includes bigotry. I don’t need to be exposed to your misogynoir just because you’re learning how not to hate Black women. This website is for Black women, primarily. I am a Black woman. If this confuses you, just scroll through my blog’s archive. That should clear things up. Thus, emailing me bigoted shit and then later apologizing because you’re “learning” how not to stereotype and hate me is not my business. Keep that shit to yourself or at least away from me. Keep your ignorant hateful racist stories about “other” Whites and how you are “different” away from me. Learn some fucking compassion you sociopathic barnacles. Why would I want to see a string of hatred from someone else and then you patting yourself on the back for not saying the things that you managed to copy and paste for me to see. Obviously doing that is NOT about me but about you performing racial tolerance for a one-person Black audience. Keep that shit away from me.
8) Essay suggestions. This is not a democracy. I don’t have an editor. I will write whatever the fuck I want. For some reason, people think this personal, one person blog on Tumblr is The Root or The Grio. I am not a news outlet. Subscribe or don’t. Take it or leave it.
9) Begging for a reblog. I post or reblog whatever I want. Most of the time people asking for this are self-indulgent, irritating and want me to post something that’s contrary to the purpose and ethos of this blog. Go…away.
10) Asking me to check something out. If I don’t know you or your work and we don’t regularly shoot the breeze, then you’re just spamming me. I hate it on Twitter and I hate it here. Please stop.
11) Asking for an Angry Black Woman™ for hire. While I certainly do not condone anyone treating you like crap, I have my own life and problems. Do not email me about how evil someone was to you and then sit there silently expecting me to be your junkyard dog or armor for your entertainment, to coddle your fear, to present yourself to others as a “calm” alternative to me or to protect your resume/job. That’s your issue. There’s really little more selfish than demanding a Black woman perform a stereotype for you as you sit back quietly unscathed.
If people thought about me as more than a mule, a collection of social justice facts or a receptacle for abuse that doesn’t feel anything in return, most of these emails would not come.
Why are you in a progressive and safe space for Black women yet enacting every single stereotype against me that I refute regularly? Stop.
Years ago several people gifted me Joel Osteen CDs (they didn’t know about me considering atheism at the time; I’m an agnostic atheist now) with his dreamy voice to match his bright eyes on TV and he spouted the disconnected from reality positivity police rhetoric that sounds fine when you aren’t critically thinking and the person is attractive and charismatic. Thus, it was no different from embracing any other kind of artist where people pretend the message is great because they are willfully choosing not to think. This was several years ago.
Yesterday On Twitter, I saw him tweet something rather awful:
When you allow what someone says or does to upset you, you allow them to control you.
Let the record show that this is bullshit. It is the CORE of victim blaming. It fuels abusers. It is their spinach if they are Popeye. It obscures the fact that abusive people often are already trying to dominate those that they abuse regardless of the abused person’s response or lack thereof. They blame the victim for being a human being and having a response. They buy into the myth that logic and emotion are diametrical. It begs for sociopathy that almost no one can perform. It forces people to deny humanity. It fuels power. It is no more theist than it is human-made imperialist White supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Well…those two go together at times (as does atheism at times, to be quite honest). Victim blaming rears its head absolutely anywhere; doesn’t seem to give a damn if a deity is involved or not. Victim blaming is social and human-made.
Jesus got upset; Matthew 21:12-13. Your comment is victim blaming. It empowers abusers, not those who are abused. Humans respond emotionally. Natural thing.
In the verses I mentioned, Jesus responded to those using the church for consumption and consumerism by tossing them out of there in a fit of anger. He had an emotional response to what he thought was disgusting. Throughout the four gospels, he regularly supported the abused and responded to their emotions with his own compassion. Did Jesus “allow” himself to be “controlled” because he was simply human when in a human form? When he cried out from the cross, "my god, my god, why hath thou forsaken me?” I’m so sure that was an emotional response to what was said and done to him. I’m so sure it was not about pretending to be an unemotional sociopath just to prove that Pilate (who washed his hands of the whole thing; oh look, no accountability) and those who held him to what they thought was justice (though they knew it wasn’t) could think that they didn’t “control” him.
Now, I don’t really care about these stories—though they have interesting metaphors that are completely and utterly ignored by some of these prosperity gospel theists—because they aren’t ones I believe in terms of a supernatural sense. I was not going to robotically retweet Osteen’s abuse apologism or even pretend that isn’t what it is, even if I were theist. I recognized this rhetoric even when I was one.
Love how these clowns don’t even use their own book. Your own book and idol is contrary to what you say. I don’t believe it but I READ it. Notice how many abusers will like his tweet. ‘If I abuse you daily and you respond, that means I control you! I win.’ Where’s accountability? Meritocracy, American exceptionalism, respectability politics AND prosperity gospel are all rooted in victim blaming. External individualism. None of these involve accountability, introspection or institutional/systems perspective. All external individualism. Farces.
What he tweeted is abuse apologism that is the foundation of every major American theory and institution—as I alluded to above—let alone the country itself. What he did is not something that can support any type of compassion and kindness. Even though his belief system is not mine, steam comes out of my ears when someone like him sits in every single privileged category that exists—literally ALL of them—and tweets something so benevolently reprehensible.
And sure, people focused on him as a celebrity personality and/or those ideologically committed to victim blaming (through purposely ignoring institutional and structural issues and their complexities and via the false notion that anyone who cannot consume and dominate at the level that someone else can must have “invited” abuse into their lives) will scour the bible looking for verses that justify abuse (and yes, there are many) or attack me personally or claim that I am just “mad” about church (no; for me, almost a decade sits between leaving church and leaving theism) because these are the lazy, quick and simple answers. Even citing any social justice work Osteen does is irrelevant here; it doesn’t make what he said any less oppressive. I had someone reply "really girls?" to me and another Black woman (@FeministaJones; I don’t know her overall religious/non-religious stance; I just know she recognized the problem with his tweet) who challenged Osteen’s tweet. Wow, thank you for that compelling argument!
I am not interested in what people believe or not when it is not framed any differently from the oppressive status quo. Osteen’s rhetoric supports abuse. I KNOW abusers who have said the same thing he tweeted and meant it. People who regularly abuse me online say it, assuming they aren’t busy mocking me for other abuse that I experience. In the past, I worked with teenagers who were abused by family members and heard similar. I studied psychology and criminal justice and encountered case upon case of domestic violence and even rape apologism framed as such. There is nothing revolutionary about taking a stance like Osteen’s and it doesn’t even match Jesus’ words and work. The abused are regularly more accountable than abusers. Regularly. They take on blame that is not even theirs to take on, even as people try to ration who deserves respect and who deserves abuse, as if the latter should ever be a reasonable stance.
I wonder how much time will continue to be spent framing victim blaming and status quo power protection as a belief system from the divine. It’s not. It’s simply oppression. Human-made, at that.