There Is An Elephant In This Room…
I have been keeping my mouth shut for a while now bc I know what a hot topic this is on the internet, but in your telegraph for Ep. 6 there was one viewer mail claiming that the MiB is not a main character, and that kind of leads to my point. It’s rather a general point on the second season as a whole, please bear with me.
I also think the MiB is not a main character, and my reasoning is this:
the second season of Westworld revolves mainly around feminism (understood as the fight against oppression) and the struggle of two different kinds of feminism that are at odds with each other in the real world right now. What am I talking about? Well…
Dolores, the exclusionary feminist vs. Maeve, the intersectional feminist
We have a lot of parallel imagery with Dolores and Maeve, and parallel story-telling. Both are fighting against an oppressive system that exploited and vicitmized them, represented by the MiB (the MiB mainly represents patriarchy or the sorry rest that is left of it), both collect groups of followers around them, but while Dolores also excludes people (bc they are not woke enough or the wrong race) and violently forces change on those she includes (the Confederados,Teddy), Maeve even accepts her former oppressors (Sizemore) bc they share a goal now, and goes out of her way to ensure free choice for everyone, even with hosts she cannot be sure are woke (Akane), and uses her ability to control people only in situations of self-defense.
Maeve’s and Dolores’ meeting and dialogue in an earlier episode steams of this struggle, especially with Maeve’s “revenge is just another prayer at their altar / and I guess you are the only one who knows the right way?” comments, and they often find themselves in similar situations in which they react differently according to these two forms of feminism.
There is a stream of feminism in the real world, which I would describe as exclusionary, that f.e. believes that the phenomenon of trans sexuality is actually some kind of conspiracy of “the patriarchy” to go on stealing privileges from women by having ,biological” men lie and state that they are truly women (aka TERFS, trans-exclusionary radical feminists). This stream also often fails to understand and consider the perspectives of POCs, which is a problem bc oppression often happens at an intersection of different areas. A woman of color faces other forms of oppression than a white woman, a poor working class gay man faces other forms of oppression than a privileged rich gay man and so on. Which leads us to intersectionality.
Intersectional feminism recognizes those different modes of oppression, recognizes that virtually anyone can be or become a victim of oppression under the wrong circumstances (enter: Capitalism) and recognizes that real change will only happen if a majority of humans work together regardless of what they are, which is something exclusionary feminists refuse to even consider.
In a nutshell: While exclusionary feminsts seek for ways to exclude groups of people from their fight and are on a sure-as-hell way to become just what they fought against, intersectional feminists seek for ways to make allies, to include people, and to make the world a better place for everyone, even the former oppressors.
I think it is impossible to ignore these themes and this struggle in Dolores’ and Maeve’s storylines, and characters like Teddy, the MiB and Sizemore are mainly there to show Maeve’s and Dolores’ different approaches when it comes to fight oppression, and I am really curious how this will continue.
Your podcast is very entertaining, I’ve listened since season 1 of Westworld, and compliments for adding Carrie, she is a real win for your show!
with kindest regards from Germany,
p.s.: I listen to a lot of channels that talk about Westworld, but so far I feel like this elephant has been ignored. That’s why I wrote you, I’d love to hear your take on that (if you dare…).
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