Do you know the ”opposition to violence in media is a social justice issue” thing? I’m not talking about where fictional violence intersects with a minority representation issue (such as sexualised violence GoT-at-its-worse style) but just the general idea that the progressive point of view should be to oppose violent entertainment.
I don’t take either of the extreme points of view on this- you know either “video games turn people into murderers” or the “media has no effect on anything in the real world ever”- clearly the debate is a hell of a lot more complex and grey than is made out.
However- i just do not believe “violence in media ” is a social justice issue i have to accept along with the anti-misogyny/ableism/racism/transphobia etc package. Suggesting that rappers “glorify violence” like a PMRC moral majority throw-back is part of the reason i came to loathe the Yourfaveisproblematic tumblr and the prescriptive unquestioning approach to social justice it represented. (who elected yourfaveisproblematic to be the arbiter of what is and it not problematic anyway?)
As a kid i loved pro wrestling more than anything (lol “when i was a kid”)- i also had severe problems with violent outbursts and temper problems. Obviously two and two was put together and my parent blamed wrestling for this. Tbh I’m pretty certain it was a reaction to the powerlessness of growing up in an abusive, terrifying household with the uncomprehending perception of undiagnosed autism . The powerlessness of moving on to a situation where i was disciplined with smacks and subject to laissez faire hippy hands off parenting combined with a much larger older brother. “you need to sort out conflicts between yourselves - I’m not going to interfere”- so as you can imagine laissez faire is the correct word - we’re talking a childhood in Atlas Shrugged.
If anything the simplistic power fantasy of professional wrestling, where the honorable goodies would invariably eventually triumph over the cruel, corrupt baddies was a therapeutic escape from a violent world in which i had no power or control.
I have wider criticism of the general perception of direct physical violence as the most detestable form of evil - i’m not a pacifist and believe this cultural perception has a lot to do with classism/elitism. Physical violence is “savage” visceral and base, where as more subtle and cunning forms of harm are sophisticated and cerebral. However- i won’t take that discussion too far here. Fact is i’m pretty steadfast that physical violence is largely wrong in about 95% of situations.
However - i don’t perceive the type of violence you’d see in the cartoons i grew up with, or in comics and comic movies, video games.. and indeed in pro wrestling as violence at all. I’ve seen PLENTY of violence in my life, and if you have you’ll know it and feel it in your gut when you see it. To get all pretentious on your ass- I see fantasy violence as a metaphor representing the conflict of ideas the heroes and villains in question are written to represent. I think it can be an entirely politically empowering thing, depending on what ideas are being represented.