May 25, 2017 at 10:25 pm #339282
We had a much longer discussion on Milah a few years back if anyone is interested in reading through some of the various arguments.
This is the most pertinent comment for me, as it sums up how I feel about the Milah situation.
I don’t just understand but get, why one can hate what Milah did. But we should never make it easy for ourselves to hate a person (and not just their action, doings). So even if it is just about a fictional character it reflects on what happens in real, and it makes me sad, very very sad, that people are so quick with judgment.
I actually find it depressing how quickly people mete out judgement for Milah. Particularly because there are many, many women in the real world living under similar circumstances. I truly hope that people are more compassionate and understanding of the plights of these real women than they are to poor Milah.[adrotate group="5"]May 26, 2017 at 12:05 am #339283GaultheriaParticipant
Any of these things could be true, and in all probability, most of them are.
I think it’s reasonable to suppose that some of Milah’s bad behaviours could stem from unpleasant experiences, but without evidence there’s no way for us to figure probability. I mean, we could just as easily substitute “false” for “true” in the quote, based on what we’ve seen in the show.
Gaultheria's fanvids: http://youtube.com/sagethrasherMay 26, 2017 at 12:34 am #339284
I think it’s reasonable to suppose that some of Milah’s bad behaviours could stem from unpleasant experiences, but without evidence there’s no way for us to figure probability.
Well, all of the villains on this show have been given elaborate backstories to illustrate why they have done the bad things that they have. Indeed, a recurring theme throughout OUAT is that evil is made and not born. So why should this not apply to Milah too? I would argue that in the context of the show, it’s likelier that that her poor choices stem from unpleasant experiences than not. Besides, we do have evidence that she probably did hard labour (hauling wood in ‘Devil’s Due), she was depressed (she drank, she left her family!), and we know she thought things would be better if they moved, but Rumple didn’t want to. It’s not about probability, it’s about giving Milah the benefit of the doubt. We don’t have a whole lot of information, but we have enough to deduce that her life was extremely difficult. Life for ALL peasants in the EF was difficult, and Milahs’ more so from being an outcast.
I mean, we could just as easily substitute “false” for “true” in the quote, based on what we’ve seen in the show.
That would be missing the point, which is that Milah’s life was extremely difficult and painful. It’s about having empathy, and trying to imagine what could drive a person in her situation to make the choices that she did.May 26, 2017 at 7:13 am #339287pmcParticipantMay 26, 2017 at 9:08 am #339289nevermoreParticipant
So why should this not apply to Milah too? I would argue that in the context of the show, it’s likelier that that her poor choices stem from unpleasant experiences than not. Besides, we do have evidence that she probably did hard labour (hauling wood in ‘Devil’s Due), she was depressed (she drank, she left her family!), and we know she thought things would be better if they moved, but Rumple didn’t want to. It’s not about probability, it’s about giving Milah the benefit of the doubt.
I think I agree with most of your points. The problem isn’t so much Milah — it’s the overall grammar of the show that frames Milah’s actions, and which tends to be pretty black and white. On OUAT, you can be a terrible partner/significant other without being narratively framed as a completely hopeless villain (case in point, Arthur), but you can’t be a bad parent and avoid being villainized. In fact, being a bad parent is the one reliable symptom of villainy on OUAT. Similarly, villains are made sympathetic via their “correct(ed)” attitude to motherhood/fatherhood (hence Rumple, Zelena, Regina, Maleficient, and eventually Cora all have their sympathetic side revolve around their relationship to their children, and their redemption, when applicable, is framed around that too). So based on the way the show ties moral worth and parenthood, Milah actually is in the same league as Pan, the BF, and whatever other unrepentantly terrible parents we’ve seen. So it’s not her relationship with Rumple that makes her unsympathetic. It’s that the show systematically equates ambivalence, rejection, or improper interpretation of parenthood (see Cora & BF) with moral bankruptcy. I think we can discuss whether that’s a problematic message or not, but I think that’s what’s behind the audience’s dislike of Milah.May 26, 2017 at 9:55 am #339290
In fact, being a bad parent is the one reliable symptom of villainy on OUAT. Similarly, villains are made sympathetic via their “correct(ed)” attitude to motherhood/fatherhood (hence Rumple, Zelena, Regina, Maleficient, and eventually Cora all have their sympathetic side revolve around their relationship to their children, and their redemption, when applicable, is framed around that too).
This is a valid point. I have always had a deep problem with this aspect of the show. Women especially seem to have their worth measured through their parenthood. It’s archaic and slightly misogynistic.
It’s that the show systematically equates ambivalence, rejection, or improper interpretation of parenthood (see Cora & BF) with moral bankruptcy. I think we can discuss whether that’s a problematic message or not, but I think that’s what’s behind the audience’s dislike of Milah.
The show presents many ideas to the audience – whether the audience accepts them is another question. To use a contentious example, the show’s been telling us that CS is a great romance for years – but as we all know, there is a faction in the fandom that strongly reject that idea. There are many other examples as well. However, the case of Milah is interesting because the audience has swallowed the show’s predominant line about her without any protest at all.May 26, 2017 at 10:08 am #339291TheWatcherParticipant
Why? Emma left her son. Snowing left their daughter. Rumple left his son. Why does nobody give Milah the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe she was suffering so much, that she HAD to leave for her own sanity? As you say, she had to have been in a very dark place. Also, are you saying that this action is worse than mass murders? Because other characters have been forgiven for those.
I disagree. Emma was in jail and Snowing had no choice but to leave their daughter or let their entire family be cursed for possibly all eternity. Milan chose to leave her kid behind to chase a better life. She didn’t have to. That’s entirely different. What Rumpel did was also bad but he spent centuries trying to get back to Bae. The entire setup of the show is because of Rump trying to find his son again. I understand Milan being in an unhappy relationship. I will never understand how she as a mother could live her child to go live a pirates life. I mean let’s pretend Milan was a real life woman in a real relationship where Rump was actually physically and emotionally abusive. Imagine if she had the chance to escape (with her child) but just booked it out of there alone. Her situation is bad but damn, girl.
and I’m not saying it’s worse or that it’s not worse than mass murderer. Both are terrible. But I think I’d be more willing to forgive Milah if we knew for a fact that she actually was going to come back for Bae. I believe Hook told Bae that they THOUGHT about coming back for him. For me it seems like Milah had moved out and moved on toward a new life with no regard for her child. And given the connection between a mother and her child that does seem way worse than killing someone you have no connection to at all. I’m not saying she can’t be forgiven but at that point it doesn’t seem like she really feeling bad about what she did. Sure she wanted to come back but would she? If her life was so terrible that she had to flee it, then she’s condemning her son to that life without his mother. It’s very Cora-ish.
Does she deserve to die? Well I wouldn’t want many mothers like her walking around.
"I could have the giant duck as my steed!" --Daniel Radcliffe
Keeper Of Tamara's Taser , Jafar's Staff, Kitsis’s Glasses , Ariel’s Tail, Dopey's Hat , Peter Pan’s Shadow, Outfit, & Pied Cloak,Red Queen's Castle, White Rabbit's Power To World Hop, Zelena's BroomStick, & ALL MAGICMay 26, 2017 at 10:13 am #339292TheWatcherParticipant
i mean in short, I just see Milah as someone who chose her own happiness over the love of her child. Idc what tragic backstory she hails from. At that point that love between a mother and son should have held strong for her. She must have seen Bae as a burden to the life she wanted and the life Rump couldn’t give her. I don’t see any valid excuse for her choice, no matter how unhappy she was.
"I could have the giant duck as my steed!" --Daniel Radcliffe
Keeper Of Tamara's Taser , Jafar's Staff, Kitsis’s Glasses , Ariel’s Tail, Dopey's Hat , Peter Pan’s Shadow, Outfit, & Pied Cloak,Red Queen's Castle, White Rabbit's Power To World Hop, Zelena's BroomStick, & ALL MAGICMay 26, 2017 at 10:36 am #339293nevermoreParticipant
However, the case of Milah is interesting because the audience has swallowed the show’s predominant line about her without any protest at all.
That is very interesting.
I think one of the big exciting potentials and then disappointments of OUAT for me is how the show has dealt with the intersection of gender and class. The source material often deals with socioeconomic hierarchies very explicitly, especially when the fairytales aren’t about “princes” and “princesses” (which is usually what Disney gravitates towards), but about “common” folk. OUAT has at times tried to tackle class directly — Rumple’s story is, in a lot of ways, a story about class and masculinity — at least that’s how I read his DO “genesis” backstory. And it’s actually done fairly well — it is complex and compelling and ambivalent (for OUAT), which makes for satisfying storytelling.
But when the intersections of class & femininity are tackled – Cora’s story, and by extension, Regina’s, but also Milah’s story, and also to some extent Belle’s – this gets really hoary, heavy handed, and often extremely flat-footed. I suspect the reason behind it is that the show frames motherhood as a requirement for the full self-realization of its female characters. So while we all ooh and ahh over what a sweet dad Rumple is (and he is, and Bobby does this sort of role amazingly well), we (the audience) don’t usually extend the same credit to female protagonists, and even minor missteps are represented by the show as major violations. By extension, many of the female characters who fail to have children altogether (either naturally or by adoption) are either permanently villified (Cruella, Nimue) or infantilized (Guinevere, Emma until she ‘accepts’ Henry as her child). [With the exception of fairies, whose reproductive patterns are unknown]
Yet, despite this apparent focus on motherhood/parenthood, OUAT is risibly unconcerned with the pragmatics of the process once the child “pops out”, in particular in the most recent seasons — baby Snowflake disappears into the ether for most of 3 seasons, children are aged up to actually make them interesting or important to plot (Gideon), Robyn is nothing more than an accessory to Zelena’s redemption etc. The show doesn’t actually focus on anything even remotely realistic in terms of the pragmatics of rearing children in its rather crazy world. Belle and the nuns just babysit whenever needed. In other words, the actual pragmatics and dilemmas of parenthood, and its intersection with, say, class and gender — outside of the grand dramatic gestures of rescue and abandonment — don’t interest OUAT in the slightest. But this is totally unsurprising: this is a Hollywood product, after all, and Hollywood is itself the product of a particular culture/mentality.May 26, 2017 at 1:13 pm #339295AKAParticipant
disagree with a lot of this. Milah seemed to appreciate Rumple just fine before he went off to war. When he returned, they become social pariahs. In their society, with no government assistance or the like, social support would have been everything. It probably meant that Milah had to do all of the backbreaking work herself – even more so, since Rumple was compromised
Actually I believe this Proves my point, Milah cared about Rumple when he could provide for her but became abusive and neglectful when he no longer could Provide for her.
find it interesting that Milah, a poor, powerless woman whose mistakes are very human, gets almost universal hate from the OUAT fandom – the same fandom who can find plenty of sympathy in their hearts for mass murdering villains! Yes, she made mistakes which hurt her family. Yes, she needs to be held accountable for that. But did she deserve to be murdered in cold blood and then thrown into the River of Souls? I don’t think so!
I don’t think she should have died either. I also don’t think she was a poor powerless woman who should be given sympathy. I see Milah as she was presented by the show. She was a mother who left her young child at home alone so she could go out drinking in a bar and flirt with men (which by the way if you are poor may not be the best way to spend your money) and a wife who had no problem verbally abusing her husband in the same bar filled with people. This does not show her in a good light, no matter what perspective you look at it from.
know this sounds trivial, but for someone who never gets respect, it means everything. Respect is a fundamental human need. It’s why people join gangs and cults.
Completely Agree and My Main Problem with Milah is the LACK of RESPECT she shows both Rumple and Bae her husband and child. Could be why Rumple ended up taking the dark one powers.
People were about to die. Maybe she felt that asking about Bae was secondary to the fact that blood was about to be shed. Also, it’s just one instance. If we got repeated instances of Milah ignoring Bae, then yes, I’d say there was enough evidence that she didn’t care. But I personally think that it’s too far a leap to make based on this one situation, where there were mitigating circumstances. In ‘Devil’s Due’, Milah expresses regret about Bae and does ask about him.
People were not about to die on the boat and yet she fails again to ask about Bae. And we do have repeated instances of Milah ignoring Bae becasue I do believe Milah was the one who left a very young Bae alone at home so she could go drinking and then again she left Bae to run off with a pirate which would also being ignoring Bae and his feelings.
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