white straight ciswoman mid-20s-ish. surrounded by telly. likes words,
I have a hole punch, let's not get big-headed now.
keppps << shallitellyouastory
“And there are millions of teens who read because they are sad and lonely and enraged. They read because they live in an often-terrible world. They read because they believe, despite the callow protestations of certain adults, that books — especially the dark and dangerous ones — will save them. As a child, I read because books – violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not – were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life. And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons — in the form of words and ideas — that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.”
This quote is so great, and makes Chicago Public Schools’ recent decision to remove Persepolis from school curriculum even more heinous (they first tried to remove the book entirely from school libraries but I think have since backed down when people protested). Kids dying in Chicago is an all-too common occurrence. Many of them live with violence every day in their communities, and so to say that the subject matter in Persepolis is “too graphic” for middleschoolers, freshmen, or sophomores to handle is fucking bullshit.
Dale Spender, Man Made Language. (via dumbledoreisabamf)
the feminist movement has supported wars (afghanistan to liberate the poor brown women, anyone?) and the cruel medical use of the bodies of women of color (history of how the pill was developed, anyone?) and the murder of trans women (the transsexual empire, anyone?) among other… failings, shall we say, to put it lightly
feminism as an institution has colluded with white supremacy, with heterosexism and cissexism, with ableist power structures, with imperialism to bring “liberation” to white, western, christian, cishet, abled, thin women at the expense of women who can’t climb that ladder and cling to any part of that power structure as easily as they can
anyone who feels that feminist is a dirty word because ~ew won’t the women just shut up~ is a misogynist, plain and simple. but to pretend that there is no reason to eschew the label of feminist erases the violence done to many women in the name of feminism.
if you’re ever feeling lazy just remember that the ancient greeks believed their gods lived on top of a very climbable hill but no one even bothered to check
you know what, i want the version of lbd where gigi is so furiously fucking angry at george wickham that it’s white-hot and palpable through the screen
well, no; actually what i REALLY want is the version of lbd where this entire plotline was handled about 1000% differently. but if i can’t have that, i’d at least like the version of lbd where gigi is so angry at george wickham she burns with it, that the hate radiates up and off of her, that her lips contort around his name like it tastes bad in her mouth. you know what else i’d take, is the version where she speaks of him with that brand of brittle indifference that means you’ve actualized something, that you haven’t forgiven and haven’t forgotten but you’ve beaten it down, conquered it, used it to make yourself stronger. where is it, i ask you, the version where the narrative doesn’t treat him like the bogeyman of her fucking life, where it’s not constantly suggested that she can’t deal with, can’t handle this piece of her past, where she’s not regularly shown reduced to tears by reliving him—and this isn’t to say that i think for one second that crying over something or someone like this makes a person weak, by the way. it’s not because i think for one second that we don’t relive these things, these people, that these sorts of hurts don’t dig their heels in and scar us long after they’re over. i know, first-hand,that we do, that they do. that’s why this bothers me.
i am so fucking sick of watching these women cry over george wickham. and it’s not because the hurt he represents isn’t a valid one, and it’s not because i don’t think they’re owed some tears: it’s because this is a scripted goddamn show, a playact, a farce, and if you’re going to write an abuse plotline, lbd, you damn well owe me a survivor. you damn well owe me someone who fought the aftermath of their abuser and won, someone whose family and friends don’t treat them like a wilting flower whenever The Name comes up, someone who visibly demonstrates that these motherfuckers are not all-powerful even in absence. someone who is not afraid of their abuser anymore, because there is nothing left to fear. somebody who demonstrates that getting to that place is possible, that an abuser does not retain control forever. and the fact that you had that opportunity — the chance to create that character, to say to your thousands and thousands of viewers that abuse doesn’t define you, break you, make you a victim forever, or prove in the long run to be something you can’t heal from — and you didn’t use it? is maybe the most disappointing thing about this arc for me, despite the long list of missteps to choose from.
#the version i REALLY want is the one where gigi rescued HERSELF from george wickham #the one where lydia has oh i don’t know ANY CONTROL AT ALL in her own separation from him #the one where the narrative understands that in telling a story about abuse agency matters #the one where the narrative understands that in telling a story about abuse you must acknowledge that abuse is about control #the one where the narrative understands that in telling a story about abuse framing is everything #the one where the narrative turns to its massive audience and enforces the incredible staggering power and strength of the survivor #rather than playing out this tired boring demeaning weak-ass victim(blaming) shit that has been done to death for years and years #but that’s clearly not the version i’m gonna get; so.
All of these arguments going around centered around sexuality and pairing preference seemed focused on sex. Being comfortable with queer women having sex or women having sex or a lack thereof. I could understand that, except that isn’t the entire problem.
I don’t see gen writing for female characters. I don’t see E through T rated stories for queer female couples.
I see a fraction of the art, explicit or otherwise.
I don’t see the shipping meta, even for canon couples. I don’t see two female characters who share a smile or a compliment getting gifsets like two male characters do. There doesn’t even have to be sex, and yet there’s a dearth of a following.
I see fandom attaching like magnets to shows with a male-majority cast and ignoring shows with actual queer and sex-balanced casts. This also applies to novels, movies, and everything else.
If you are personally uncomfortable with your own body, I am never going to tell you not to be, but queer fiction for women (and I mean for women) is still suffocated. Historically, queer women’s sexuality has been dismantled as ‘not enough’ to count. They’re just friends. Boston marriages. Priests in the church saying they can’t actually comprehend about how two women have sex.
Queer historians have trouble even finding proof of queer female relationships in history. There’s Sappho and then occasionally they find a Dark Ages arrest warrant and once we finally reach the 1900s, there’s more to scrape up and display. Whereas a certain kind of queer male sexuality has been celebrated in many, many culture’s histories (Japan and ancient Greece immediately come to mind), the same cannot be said for women. Women have been wives and slaves and tools, not independent sexual beings. I can break out the books if people really want me to.
I even run a blog on the topic. Every piece on queer female sexuality on there represents hours of research and money out of my pocket. Whenever I post something dedicated to queer male sexuality, I just run a Google search. I get plenty of results, citations and all. It’s not hidden.
In the same era that Sappho was being ‘straightened out’ by playwrights and translators changed pronouns in her poetry from ‘she’ to ‘he’ so it was fit for public consumption centuries later, Walt Whitman was publishing Leaves of Grass.
It is only recently that it’s become - in the circle of mainstream pornography and media, which we already know is a pile of garbage - a male gaze showoff. And rather than it being reclaimed, it’s been abandoned. I’ve been in fandom for a decade now and with the exception of one fandom off the top of my head - Xena, since every male character of significance is killed at some point - femslash is the smallest slice of the pie. And not twenty percent or ten percent, but maybe, just maybe five percent.
Then you have to sort through the normal writing slog of half of what you find is going to be terrible and a fair amount is going to be something you don’t ship. We’ve gotten used to clawing for some crumbs because even other queer women aren’t comfortable writing what should be an instrument of their own sexuality.
Male sexuality, historically and presently, has always been celebrated more than female sexuality, straight or otherwise. Women are not supposed to be sexual, and plenty of queer women have been brand as manhaters for not joining in on the male celebration. They’re frigid, they’re dykes, and they need to be ‘corrected’. I don’t want to risk triggering people by explaining all the ways that has happened, but you don’t have far to look if you want to find out.
This is not a recent problem or a fandom problem. It is a historical problem. If you want a recent reference read this article and the comments beneath from published erotic fiction authors. There isn’t just a lack of interest in writing about queer women together, there is an active disgust, even when it is written by women for the enjoyment of other women. That is a hell of a problem. I’ll be honest, even the thought makes my blood boil a bit.
There is a void left for the male gaze, because guess what, unless two women are fucking in full display? We’re told it doesn’t count. It isn’t a relationship. It’s not really sex. Go back to the above Xena fandom and you’ll find people insisting that a pair of women kissing, calling each other soul mates, calling each other girlfriends, sleeping in the same bed, several seasons of constant innuendo, and being married in a future life does not imply homosexuality at all. They’re just friends. Even though the producers were forced to edit the opening credits of the show on numerous occasions because they said certain cuts implied that Xena was interested in women.
I see female characters in general torn to pieces. Their motivations and their needs. It’s no wonder fandom doesn’t ship them because they seem to only exist as fodder for meta and argument. And when there is celebration, they’re all alone because the men around them have been shipped off with each other.
I am not saying anyone has an obligation to ship or not ship certain sexualities, pairings, or couples. But when there is a severe, blatant imbalance erasing female sexuality and relationships, attention should be paid to as to why. Doing nothing or passing the buck doesn’t help anyone.
As a given disclaimer, most men shipped by fandom are also white and cis. This applies to the fandom spectrum as a whole and continues to add to the rampant lack of representation.
ps forever irritated that uk and canada haven't got history texts which reflect y'know reality
vis a vis ethnic breakdown of these nations since they began resembling what they are now
how can you like... discuss the racism enacted against metis people
and then pretend that it was a thing limited to the french and the first nations
disingenuous in the least
unresolved canada irritation feelings
anyway anyway anyway
more relevant to the uk in any case
not much fantasy set in canada :P
Things that ACTUALLY EXISTED FOR REAL IN EUROPEAN HISTORY: Non-white people, mostly those of North African and Middle Eastern heritage who were immigrants, merchants, missionaries, mercenaries advisors, and scholars; female leaders, including the famed Warrior Queen Boudicca; and queer folk, seriously, Shakespeare wrote sonnets for dudes.
Things that did NOT actually exist for real in European History: Magic, faeries, dragons, wizards.
Q.E.D. The “well, there’s no black people/brown people/women leaders/gay people in this European inspired fantasy because that would be inaccurate” rhetoric is bullshit.
Since people often ask “Alright, well this is fantasy! Why can’t we have boob shapes in plate armor?!” I decided to make a post about it. My frustration has nothing to do with historical inaccuracy and I’m all for imagination and freedom— but I’d like to (very quickly) illustrate this for you:
I purposely over-emphasized the shape of the two spheres in the armor so you can really think about this.
Look at the shape of the blue cups and the green line, think about the form of that on some beautiful ornate plate armor. A female warrior is charging into battle. In the midst of this, she trips! Or is pushed over, or takes a blow to the chest! So long as the force is on the front of her torso it really doesn’t matter for the conclusion:
She feels a sharp pain in her chest and hears the cracking of bone! Oh no, what’s gone wrong? Well she doesn’t have time to think about that, because she is now dead.
Her sternum just fractured, take another look at that green line, that’s where all of the pressure from any front impact is going to go because of the shape of the two blue cups made for her breasts. The rest of the armor slides around your body, but because of the two cups for breasts that are often made in fantasy female armors, the pressure point is directly on the sternum. The breasts are not going to stop the force of you falling onto them, and because of that the metal is going to push in and bash you in the sternum.
What does a fractured sternum do? Why it goes right into your heart and lungs of course.
(that was the sound of all of my followers inhaling a sharp breath between closed teeth at once)
Here are three great solutions to the problem:
GREAT EXAMPLE OF FANTASY TORSO ARMOR THAT IS FEMININE BUT FUNCTIONAL:
It is usually possible to bind the breasts when fighting if they really are far too large to fit into regular looking armor (there’s padding anyway), but most women can actually fit into a similarly sized male counterpart’s armor quite easily. Even if that’s the case, the armor can be made to have a curve to it without putting all of the pressure in one area, which was actually a style of armor for quite some time as shown here:
And don’t even get me started on the dreaded “Cleavage Window”
The “Cleavage Window” defeats the purpose of having any armor on your torso because it means you’re just going to be leaving open the vital organs the rest of the armor is trying to protect.
If people are going to protect themselves and not have much torso protection, invest in some blocking lessons, because the best defense is to not get hit at all. There are also advantages to not having plate armor, and plate armor was often really expensive anyway.
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
― Albert Einstein
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
― G.K. Chesterton
“Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf.”
― Alfred Hitchcock
“Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life.”
― Friedrich von Schiller
I think what a lot of people fail to realize is that fairy tales are about emotional truths. No one reads a fairy tale and thinks that they may literally have to slay an ogre, or steal the golden goose, or wear out seven pairs of iron shoes and dress in a thousand furs to find the prince, but some people criticize them, saying this is unrealistic, this is all there is to the tale. Put a little thought into it. In your life, you may not have to climb mountains to find the home of the north wind, but you might have to ask someone intimidating for help. You may never have to trick the wicked prince into looking into the glass-filled barrel, or the witch into peering into the oven, but you might have to sacrifice someone else’s comfort for your own wellbeing. Your mother might not be wicked, but sometimes you’ll be angry with her. You might not be turned into a Beast, but sometimes it feels like there’s nothing about you worth loving. Fairy tales remind you of that. They remind you that there are troubles and trials, and that this is normal. It is the way of things, and you’ll come through it. (via agreyeyedgirl)
That Chesterton quote doe.