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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

curated: even the “contrarian” film critics are white men

So many white men…


posted in:
critic buzz
  • Tonio Kruger

    So many white men…

    So little time?

    But seriously, folks…

    We should not consider the number of female names on the list — not to mention the number of Asian and Hispanic names — to be a good thing just because the list is dominated by pale males?

  • Jurgan

    Yet the most contrarian of all film critics is named “White” but is actually black…

  • So little time?

    Definitely not.

    We should not consider the number of female names on the list — not to mention the number of Asian and Hispanic names — to be a good thing just because the list is dominated by pale males?

    I said no such thing, nor did I imply it. It is *precisely* this attitude that is part of the problem. Just because there are a *few* — a VERY FEW — names that are clearly not white and/or not male does not make the overwhelming dominance of white men any less of a problem.

    Also: white people can have Hispanic names.

  • Tonio Kruger

    I said no such thing, nor did I imply it. It is *precisely* this attitude that is part of the problem. Just because there are a *few* — a VERY FEW — names that are clearly not white and/or not male does not make the overwhelming dominance of white men any less of a problem.

    Point taken.

    That said, a few — even a very few — is still better than zero. And if overwhelming dominance of one group in a single occupation is a problem, then ignoring the exceptions in that occupation that aren’t part of the dominant group doesn’t seem like a logical way to help matters.

    Also: white people can have Hispanic names.

    Being the son of a light-skinned Mexican immigrant and a Polish-American woman, there’s no way I could possibly know that. ;-)

    But seriously, folks…

    I am well aware of that fact.

    I also know that it’s possible for a non-Hispanic woman like my mother to possess a Spanish surname due to either her marriage or her past marriage to a person of Hispanic descent. And of course, I’ve met Latin women with non-Hispanic surnames who have gained their surnames through marriage as well.

    For that matter, it is not unusual for many people of color to have the same names that most white liberals normally associate with white people.

    That said, I must admit that when I was growing up, I knew of two white non-Hispanic women who were film critics for the local TV stations. But I never knew of any film critics back then who were Hispanic.

    And while I’m human enough to admit that I would like to see more Latins on that list, I’m also human enough to admit that seeing a handful of Spanish surnames is better than seeing none at all.

  • Danielm80

    I4 (2015 card)

  • Tonio Kruger

    So a few film critics who aren’t white males aren’t better than no such film critics? Good to know.

    Must be my fault for not paying more attention to the new math.

  • Bluejay

    Clearly, you think a little head jiggle is supposed to make MaryAnn happy. :-)

    It’s all a matter of perspective. You’re more of a “glass is 0.5/100th full” kind of person, and she’s more of a “glass is 99.5/100th empty” kind of person. Yeah, it’s technically a good thing that there’s at least a few drops of water in there, but when someone’s dying of thirst they might think it’s a bit premature to celebrate.

  • ignoring the exceptions in that occupation that aren’t part of the dominant group doesn’t seem like a logical way to help matters.

    Who is doing that?

  • Tonio Kruger

    You’re more of a “glass is 0.5/100th full” kind of person, and she’s more of a “glass is 99.5/100th empty” kind of person.

    It’s funny that you say that because it should have been obvious from previous posts on this forum that I’m not a naturally optimistic person. And yet many of the people who have encouraged me over the years to think more positively have had far worse problems to deal with than I ever have.

    Granted, it’s not always easy to follow their advice. But some times it’s not so a matter of wanting to look on the bright side as much as having to look on the bright side.

    Anyway, my initial post was not meant to mean “hey, look. There’s a whole lot of people on that list who aren’t white males. Let’s quit and go celebrate” as much as it meant to mean “hey, that ain’t much but it’s more than we used to have. And if we work hard, there will undoubtedly be more tomorrow.”

    However, MaryAnn obviously has her reasons for her viewpoint and I should not have been so glib about it in my initial post.

    Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Well, for a while, I thought you were doing that.

    But then two of the female critics on that list are on my blogroll so that just could have been personal bias on my part.

    My bad.

  • Bluejay

    And yet many of the people who have encouraged me over the years to think more positively have had far worse problems to deal with than I ever have.

    I admire such people. May we all have their grace under fire.

    it meant to mean “hey, that ain’t much but it’s more than we used to have. And if we work hard, there will undoubtedly be more tomorrow.”

    I think it’s safe to say we all agree with that. Well, I’m not sure about “undoubtedly,” but we should work hard towards it anyway.

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