The worst thing about what they do to Tara on True Blood compared to Sookie is that it reinforces the worst historical social constructs about black women and white women. Tara’s boyfriend gets shot in the head, she’s tricked, trapped, beaten, raped, for weeks, no one ever runs to her aid not even when Bill is right in the damn house with her—meanwhile there’s Sookie, delicate and sassy (but not offensively so) Sookie with no fewer than three men (not even counting the ones not romantically interested in her) tripping over themselves to get to her at any given moment—but not brash loudmouthed Tara, she’s tough, she can save herself and when she does, when she saves not only herself but Sookie as well, she doesn’t talk about it and Sookie doesn’t press. Instead they talk about her. Sookie is even able to defend Bill for turning his back on her best friend when she was being brutalized.
But Sookie’s inability to give more than a cursory fuck about what Tara’s been through isn’t her fault so much as a direct byproduct of the writers not giving a fuck. Because Tara’s tough. She’s hard. She can bounce back from anything you do to her.
See where I’m going with this? Ascribing fragile, proper femininity to white women while depicting black women as rougher and not in need of protecting is a trope as old as time but it’s harmful, restrictive, and undermining to all women. So seeing it so blatantly drawn on True Blood is disheartening.
1 year ago on June 28, 2011 at 10:20pm with 287 notes