Woke Fiction Always SucksThe Dark Herald
Beloved Readers: And water is always wet, oh insightful one. What’s your point?
Today, I’m taking a dive into why it sucks.
What makes it so reliably bad? How come even the best Woke fiction never rises above mediocre? What exactly is wrong with it and is it possible to fix Woke fiction?
First, we need a functional definition: Woke fiction is a story whose primary purpose is not to entertain but indoctrinate an audience into current Feminist ideology by utilizing feminist critique.
Elements of Woke fiction have been around since the 1960s. It was in that period where Gamma resentment of traditional masculinity first made itself felt in counter-culture movies. There were individual examples before then, but a rejection of masculinity was not yet a cultural norm. Before the 1970s, a non-masculine hero was usually a “Fool Triumphant.” A physically weak man who defeats a bully with the power of his wit. These were restricted to comedies.
But like I said, “elements of Wokeness.” The whole thing hadn’t been wrapped up in a revolting little package yet.
Xena, started off reasonably normal. Hercules the Legendary Journeys had been a worldwide hit. So, the producers tried the same formula with a spinoff series starring a warrior woman and her boon companion. Gabrielle was at first, simply a ridiculous fangirl of Xena. It was understandable, Hercules had been a household name for 5,000 years, whereas Xena was the new kid on the block. Somebody needed to say how great she was. The internet was just becoming a thing and forums dedicated to the show speculated about just how obsessed Gabrielle was with her bestie. The showrunners noticed and started throwing in a few easter-egg-jokes. “Is that a hickey on your neck, Xena?” Gabrielle looks away in embarrassment. However, when the ratings started to slide, the showrunners went above board with it. And Lefties loved it!
Other producers noticed and followed suit.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer started off as a story about a girl with some specialized superpowers directed at the undead and her Scooby gang. By the end of its run, it was about a number of girls with these powers plus a lesbian witch.
This allowed the producers to pretend that they were being “brave,” when in truth it was just softshell lesbian porn. And to be fair, these things didn’t come out of the gate Woke, they just sort of got there when these series were at the end of their runs.
The first time I noticed something that arrived with the wheels already off was Agent Carter. The show started off with a ton of goodwill. Captain America had been great and there was real fan engagement with his love-interest Peggy Carter. People were intrigued with Cap’s 1940s world but he was removed from it by the end of the movie. Agent Carter would let that audience explore that world a bit more. Awesome!
That wasn’t what the show was about at all.
The Peggy Carter in the film was a reasonably good character. The Peggy Carter in the TV show was an utterly absurd Mary-Sue.
Post-WWII America is problematic for any adventure series. The Axis has been crushed and America bestrides the world like a colossus. A great cigar only costs a dime, your Daddy is rich and your Mama is good looking. Everything is too good it’s boring. Sure, there were baddies in the world but nobody in Hollywood could admit they were bad, and Communist governments wouldn’t be out of the picture for another fifty years.
The only bad guys, Agent Carter really concerned herself with were the Men in the Office. Apparently, women weren’t valued or respected in any way, shape or form in the late 1940s. Despite the fact that just two years before there had been US government-backed propaganda programs praising “Rosie the Riveter.”
Despite being the best at everything without trying, poor Peggy was relegated to “making coffee for the men.” And she really was the best at everything without trying. One of the sillier aspects of the show was how Carter could beat up three-hundred-pound pro-wrestlers in seconds with no explanation provided as to how she can do this.
Before Agent Carter, women who did that either had a superpower or something that functioned as one. Emma Peel could do that in 1965 because Karate was viewed as a legitimate superpower. Buffy could that because she was a Chosen Slayer. But there was no explanation provided at all as to how Carter could be such an ass-kicker. And none would be provided because “how did she get so physically powerful?” Was a question you were NOT allowed to ask by 2015. A woman who didn’t mass more than a fourteen-year-old boy could beat up men twice her size. This is a reality that you are not permitted to question.
Agent Carter also did a lot of picking and choosing as to what aspects of the 1940s would and would NOT be shown. Women not making it in a man’s world was a thing to be shown. However, in the second season, Captain America’s Sad Girlfriend decided to get on with her life by taking up with a black scientist. Peggy Carter had a black boyfriend in 1947. This was presented as something that was completely believable. Rather than something that was illegal in California at the time, (which it was).
The most ludicrous part of Agent Carter was that it actually got a second season, despite the fact that its ratings were in the toilet. No one wanted to watch this show except Disney executives.
Woke fiction is so pervasive at this point it’s developed its own identifiable cliches.
Protagonist is almost always a white female, (or so close to white it doesn’t matter).
-She can do anything without trying
-She can beatup Brock Lesner without working up a sweat
-Her biggest problem is usually emotional. This is the closest she gets to having character arc.
-If the Wokeness has barnacled itself to an established IP then the canon is rewritten to make her even more exceptional.
-She is greatly admired by everyone except her boss and the guys at the office who make her “get the coffee.” However, she can invariably defeat them with the feminist version of feminine wiles (IE she says she has to go out because she has “Lady Trouble.” The men will then recoil in revulsion like seven-year-old boys who have only just had this explained to them for the first time.
-She is theoretically attractive. Which is to say the actress is pretty enough, but her character is not permitted to “attract the male gaze.”
-She is vastly morally superior to everyone around her and angrily lectures them about their short comings.
-Any demonstration of good character is accomplished by how deeply she feels about the plight of marginalized people.
-If the character is around long enough, she will eventually become a lesbian (Agent Carter was flirting with this). There are two reasons for this last one. Subconscious acknowledgment by the writers that she will never be able to find happiness with any man. And SJW pressure from “shippers.” If the Woke protagonist has any female friend at all, the shippers will demand that she sleep with her. Since the writers are usually male feminists, they will happily give in to the demand.
That is the Woke Protagonist. And as you can see, she is really bad.
Rey, Korra, Batwoman and Captain Marvel all conform to these tropes to varying degrees.
However, what really makes Woke fiction suck is the antagonist. The villain is the “all and the everything” in fiction. Luke Skywalker has Darth Vader. Harry Dresden has Nicodemus Archleone. John McClane has Hans Gruber. Neo has Agent Smith.
In a good story, there is a severe imbalance of power when the protagonist meets the antagonist. The Villain is so overwhelming that the matchup appears to be… Well, not so much unfair, as it is utterly hopeless. The Hero doesn’t win that first fight, he escapes from it. Barely surviving the encounter. The next time they meet the power balance has shifted due to the training and adventures the Hero has had in the meantime and it’s a much more even match. The third time the Hero, after having been down his road of trials, now has what takes to defeat his antagonist.
But in Woke fiction the antagonist is NEVER any kind of threat to the protagonist at all. The Antagonist is almost always male. And is never any kind of threat to her. Childish and petulant. She defeats him with ludicrous ease every time they meet. He dismissively underestimates her, even after she has repeatedly defeated him.
Worst of all, the Woke antagonist presents no challenge of any kind for the Woke protagonist. The challenge of defeating this unstoppable enemy, this near force of nature when the hero first him is the heart of Western fiction. If the conflict with the antagonist is trivial then so is the rest of the story.
In Captain Marvel, the villain’s only function was to make her use her FULL POWER. She had been restraining herself because of male-generated circumstances up until the climax. Then the audience got to watch a pretty and boring light show.
No challenge for the protagonist means, no emotional gratification for the audience. The audience doesn’t care for the simple reason that they can’t. They haven’t watched a story; they’ve just seen a series of events. There was never any rising tension. There was never any character arc because nothing happened to the protagonist that could change that person.
So far as the Woke writer is concerned this is just fine.
After all, why would you want to improve upon perfection?
In summary: No, Woke fiction can’t be fixed.