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Joker: Good, Bad, & Ugly

Toxic Masculinization, of White Male Rage, & Saneism


My Own Thread

I wrote this thread immediately after seeing the film. I have seen more critiques I appreciate since then. I link to them below.

I initially took the film as a critical narrative on how toxic masculinization, trauma, and relational isolation (inceldom) radicalizes into a politics of resentment. I do think that stuff is still there, and so are the problems I had overlooked. I include it all, though if I were to rewrite my own thread, I would hold more space for the critiques in my initial praise…

For my Twitter thread on a film I 100% stand by, check out my piece on Abby Martin’s Gaza Fights for Freedom.

This is a common Incel refrain: “I am being so good/nice. Why are you not giving me what I want…?”

This continues the trope of wanting to be seen and valued, but not for doing anything in particular.

Because when mired in Individualism, an Individualist worldview feels apolitical…

Headless women, emphasizing the toxic masculinity
when he takes*
Gary’s experience. Joker…*

I got too stuck on this question of glorifying the character of Joker. Others, as included below, have noted that the question of justifying his behavior is far more relevant. I agree with this, and I do think the movie is far more guilty of justifying his behavior than it is of glorifying him. This is what allows White fascist misogynists to successfully co-opt this and other films.

But we need to know how the analysis fails in order to not identify with him too strongly

Bitchy Shitshow (formerly Vegan Princess Warriors Attack)

Liz Roderick

“I think the biggest reason non-psychotic folks write us into their stories, however, is because they want a vehicle to live out their violent revenge and power fantasies — and a vehicle which they can view as “other”: different enough from them that they’ll be spared the guilt brought on by identifying with the character’s motivations, and saved having to identify and examine their own non-socially-acceptable violent urges.”



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Pierce Delahunt

Pierce Delahunt

Social Emotional Leftist: If our Love & Light movements do not address systemic injustice, they are neither of those things