If you subscribe to any of the popular social media sites, then you probably have seen some discussion, analysis, or debate about one, if not all, of the following pieces of media; Mad Max: Fury Road, the latest Game of Thrones episode, or the Bad Blood music video.
Basically, the main disagreement has revolved around feminist, or anti-feminist, depictions in these pieces of media and entertainment. I am not going to get into that debate because, frankly, I have nothing to really add as individuals who study and are entrenched in feminist discourse have much better points to make than I. However, I find the entire ongoing debate interesting.because it demonstrates the dissidence and various perceptions people have over ideology and interpretations of media.
This is one of the main reasons why I always have a slight smirk when people ask me to justify why I studied English, Literature, Media, and Communication in school. It’s due to shit like this. A single film or song or television show or art piece or etc. has so many different audience responses that universally have almost nothing to do with the actual piece of media that is being discussed. For the most part, the people arguing already have a point they are trying to make and are simply using the movie to boost their original position.
Now, this is not to imply that either group is wrong or right; merely that, like so many aspects of culture and life, interpretation is up to the observer. And the result of that observation and interpretation says more about the witness than the thing being observed. Their decisions and observations are influenced and formed by their background. A lot of people, for some reason, don’t seem to take that into account when analyzing and discussing media.
So, keep having discussion, debates, and conversations about media through every possible lens. Why? Because doing so shows the legitimacy of media and entertainment and, more importantly, legitimate criticism improves art. It seems counter productive, but it is the truth. The only way to improve, to get truly better, is for your mistakes, your errors, your faults to be exposed. Then, and only then, can any artist really make their work better.
Or at least that is what I hope.