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Jul 25th 2019 at 8:46:45 AM •••

I want to challenge the example of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse taking the rainbow lens trope \"to eleven\". I feel it is a shoe-horned example that focuses on specific interpretations to justify the queer angle. While I realize that YMMV is open to subjective meaning, the issues used to justify the example should at least be ambiguous in the movie.

The story presents Miles as struggling to find his identity and live up to the expectations being placed on him by his parents, his school, and the Spider-Gang. At no point does the movie show him \"ignoring his new abilities\", as if he is in denial or internalized hate. He\'s actually struggling to understand them in the absence of a competent mentor and the increased pressure of having to destroy the Super-Collider.

Spider-sense predates \"gaydar\" by several decades so equating the two is a forced similarity not an intentional allusion.

Finally, Miles\' father has a rational explanation presented in-universe for his \"hatred\" of Spider-Man... as a police officer he finds the vigilante behavior of the hero to be disparaging to hard-work the police do.

In short, I believe the movie has adequately presented Miles as dealing with the personal and social pressures of being \"the other\". He\'s smart which suddenly allows him to go to an exclusive school away from his home neighborhood, he\'s artistically talented with a limited means of expression, then he gets Spider-powers which further isolates him from the bulk of the population.

Granted, feeling that one is \"the other\" is a common experience in queer culture, but it is not exclusive to that culture. As such I feel that the example is essentially \"proof-texting\" specific issues to justify that the movie fits in Rainbow Lens even though the story presents solid non-queer reasons behind those issues.

Edited by rva98014 Hide/Show Replies
Jul 25th 2019 at 9:13:02 PM •••

I think the main trope description could use clarification. The note that this is sometimes unintentional and the YMMV status suggests to me that this is an audience reaction trope for when an LGBT Fanbase relates to a story because it reminds them of their experiences specifically as queer, regardless of how well it actually fits when you think about it or whether it was intentional.

If so, then pretty much any story with general Applicability could qualify, even if the similarities seem to be accidental and pretty general. I didn\'t personally see a Rainbow Lens when watching the movie, but if it\'s an audience reaction trope and there were other audience members who related to the story in that particular way, then they can probably put the entry on the page.

Some parts of the description do seem to imply otherwise, though, and if it\'s not based on audience reaction, then I\'d remove this example, and a few other entries, as well. Some of them do seem like a stretch, and based on pretty generally applicable situations, but it depends on the trope\'s specifications.

Jul 25th 2019 at 11:03:20 PM •••

I agree that the trope specification is so broad strokes that generally any story that involves having some kind of \"thing\" that makes a character \"different\" can be mapped onto this trope. As I said earlier, feeling that one is apart from society is a common experience in queer culture but it is not exclusive to queer culture.

I don\'t really think this is purely an \"audience reaction\" trope given that it lists 10 bullet items that are tied to the story-telling itself.

I\'ve also never viewed a YMMV trope giving carte blanche to anyone\'s opinion so that as long a one person can say it reminds them of their experience it\'s a valid example regardless of how well it actually fits the story or was intended.

I tend to see it as more like Alternative Character Interpretation. The new interpretation may be different than the most likely presentation of the character made in the story, but you are expected to point out the ambiguities in the character that allow for the alternate interpretation. In other words, there\'s a sense of wiggle room in what\'s presented in the story and not just personal opinion.

In this case, the example claims that the story has \"Miles initially trying to ignore his new abilities being eerily similar to the denial and internalized hate many queer people feel\". That just doesn\'t fit what happens in the film. While Miles does initially (and superficially) \"blame\" puberty for his new experiences, that quickly folds and I never see anything resembling \"internalized hate\".

I could maybe see keeping the example in the list provided it\'s reworded so that the claim that it takes Rainbow Lens \"up to eleven\" is removed. That implies that the interpretation being presented is rock-solid which is not the case.

I would propose this...

  • Some have chosen to read the basic storyline of Spider Man as having a resonance with the teenage queer experience of hiding a part of your identity from those around you. As such some have interpreted aspects of Spider Man Into The Spider Verse as demonstrating this trope. They see Miles struggling to come to terms with his new abilities being similar to the way many queer people feel when realizing their sexuality. They see the spider-people sensing others like them as an allusion to \'gaydar,\' and Miles asking his father if he really hates Spider-Man being like when queer people often ask their families how they really feel about LGBTQ+ people and issues before coming out.

In re-reading the above, it stands out how much of a stretch it is tying the trope to the movie. It really feels like willfully choosing to interpret things from the movie under the Rainbow-Lens regardless of what the movie is trying to say. I\'m still more inclined to just remove the example entirely.

Feedback welcome...

Edited by rva98014
Jul 26th 2019 at 5:07:41 PM •••

I agree the entry should at least be edited. It\'s written in a way that presumes similarities were intentional, which falls into speculation. The description of the film\'s events also should fit what happens in the movie.

I really think the trope\'s main description also needs to be edited for clarity. The conversation in the YKTTW Archive shows that were was some debate over how much of this was going to be based on Audience Reaction, and it looks like it was launched before that was fully resolved. Maybe we should reach out to the person who launched the trope.

Edited by bookworm11
Jul 26th 2019 at 6:28:59 PM •••

I tweaked your update slightly changing \"many\" to \"some\" as I don\'t feel it\'s a strong majority. I still feel the entry is a poor example, but I can live with it.

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