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POSTINGS

abluta:

daughter-of-the-stars:

"You hit like a girl," the strong female character says

"Stop being such a girl," the strong female character says

"Man up," the strong female character says

"Shut the fuck up," I whisper

More like

"You hit like a girl," the clueless male writer writes

"Stop being such a girl," the writer who calls himself a feminist writes

"Man up," the writer who thinks the only way to write strong female characters is to strip them of being a woman writes

"Because the blame shouldn’t be placed on a fictional character instead of the creator," I whisper

I get where this is coming from, but I have to take issue with the “strip them of being a woman” part. It doesn’t matter if a woman has absolutely zero traits or behaviors that we arbitrarily label “female.” If she identifies as a woman, she is a woman. Tomboys and butches are still women, and I’m very tired of some femmes acting as if they get to decide whether a given woman—fictional or no—is woman enough.

Note to pop feminism:

Being ugly and recognizing that the commercialized versions of femininity and sexuality don’t fit me and never will does not mean I’m inherently sex-negative. On the contrary; I’ve learned that my gender and sexuality are not owned by people who want me to hate myself for not winning the genetic lottery. I have a right to my sexuality even if I have an enormous ass and a face like an orc, and even if no amount of fashion, cosmetics, gym time or surgery will change that. I reject these things not because I reject sex, but because I embrace it, and believe it belongs to everyone, not just those who fit what the beauty industrial complex tells us is acceptably fuckable.

Anonymous asked: You can either be a feminist or a Muslim. You cannot be both.

awaitingmyescape:

Ohhhhhh I’ve been waiting for the day someone would say this.

Dear anon,
When I claim to be a feminist, I am not one of those “white feminists” who want to liberalize everyone by forcing women to walk around naked. Islamic feminism is the opposite actually, because we PROTECT ourselves from the gawking and staring of sexist men.

Unlike white feminists, who are victims of femen (which btw was found by a man) we don’t give in to the reverse psychology of the patriarchy.
It’s really simple how it works: rich white guy tells women their only worth is their bodies, so logically these women want to show that their bodies are something men should get used to and thus walks round naked. Rich white guy wins.

Now in Islam we don’t let the rich white guy, or any other guy win for that matter. Rather than parading around naked, we show off our personality because that’s what ACTUALLY has value.
Just like we cover to protect ourselves from these sexist men, men in Islam are also commanded to lower their gaze and not stare at women.
Men are also told to grow out their beards, and to wear loose clothing as to not attract physical attention either.

Islam teaches us that men are not superior to women. Actually, we are taught that paradise is beneath the mothers feet, that your wife completes half your religion, and that the treatment of your daughter is what opens the gates to paradise.

The prophet also teaches men that “the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

And if you don’t believe all that, here’s a verse straight from the Quran: “O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will.”
The same verse goes on to say “…live with them on a footing of kindness and equity” [noble Quran 4:19]

What you need to understand anon is that Islam TELLS men to deal with women as equals, to treat them with respect and honour and value them. The stories we hear these days about Muslim men are actually stories of men doing things AGAINST Islam.

Don’t look at Muslims to learn about the religion, look at the fundamentals of the religion to learn about it.

Islam does not allow a girl to be forced into marriage
Islamically a girl has to approve of the man before she is married to him, and the sheikh doing the marriage contract is supposed to ask her if she approved
Islam does not tell women they are inferior to men
Islam does not tell men to treat women as a lower class
Islam does not forbid women of being educated
Islam does not forbid women from driving
The list goes on and on

My point is all these sexist things you see come from old culture, and when you look into the religion, Islam is against it.

So anon, please educate yourself before you assume that Islam and feminism don’t work together because in fact they go hand in hand.

Also, don’t assume that white feminism is the only feminism.

I strongly debated whether to comment on this because I’m not remotely qualified to address the specific Islam-related issues in this, and I defer to those who are, including the eloquent commenter above.

However, speaking more generally, it seems to me the underlying question isn’t about how much skin a person is showing, but to what degree their choices in adornment and grooming are being unduly influenced by sexist cultural standards. 

A truly free person will base their choices on these factors:

1. Comfort

2. Weather

3. Situation (workplace, athletic activity, dancing, etc.)

4. Personal taste/self-expression

Choices based instead on how others may perceive/react to one’s body and/or sexuality (unless one is actively seeking a sex partner)? That’s sexism talking, not personal choice. And that goes whether one is covering up the controversial bits or putting them on display. If you can’t feel confident unless you’re in heels and a mini, with a canyon of cleavage? You’re reacting to sexism. If you can’t feel safe unless you’re in something utterly shapeless and opaque? You’re reacting to sexism. Even men aren’t totally immune; the way men (queer and straight) choose to dress and groom is often based at least somewhat in establishing an acceptable level of heterosexual-coded, dominant masculinity. And that’s all entirely aside from the even thornier issues faced by trans*, genderqueer, and other folks who don’t fall neatly into the cis box. Don’t get me started on issues of passing. Eesh.

Honestly, virtually all of us are dealing with this, regardless of the specific culture we’re in. I’m dealing with it: I’m comfortable and happy with my t-shirts-and-jeans uniform, but I almost never go swimming, nor do I wear shorts or less-covering shirts when it’s hot. My body is fat, my skin is blemished and I’m unshaved. That combination is considered ugly to the point of offensive in my culture, so not keeping that covered up would make me a target for abuse. (And please, folks, don’t do the “stop caring what other people think” advice. Not all of us have a level of privilege that allows us to disregard the opinions of others. Plus, when you look like this, what other people think often comes out in what they do. I’ve had healthcare pros treat me differently as soon as they see my unshaved legs. Yes, really.)

Thing is, our bodies should be utterly irrelevant to our worth as human beings. Our sexuality should only be a factor when interacting with a current or potential partner. We shouldn’t feel pressured to dress or groom in a way we don’t find pleasing or comfortable just to meet sexist standards. But we do feel that pressure, and so we follow it to keep from having to deal with the fallout of being a rebel. Obviously, religion is a factor in some of this, but it’s more a matter of how sexist culture uses religion as an excuse/enforcement tool. Cherry pick/spin the text of your choice and you can justify everything from slavery to murder. Sexism’s downright easy in that case. Attacking Islam, in other words, won’t stop sexist dictation of how people are supposed to dress, because sexism is not religion-dependent. 

As the saying goes, feminism is not about the freedom of one woman. It’s about freedom for everyone who isn’t living life the way they want to because of pressure to be, as Kate Bornstein calls it, the “perfect gender.” Achieving that requires intersectionality, and confusing degree of nakedness with freedom helps no one. 

I wrote a thing

About Thor 2, the Avengers franchise, and women characters. Over on my quasi-legit blog.

Post-script

gorgbus:

textualdeviance:

I still think Warehouse 13 needs to be considered a bible for all writers/directors/producers on how to make something brilliant that also happens to pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, AND includes canon queer characters, older women, people of color, etc. It’s one of Syfy’s top-rated shows, too, so boom go the “people won’t watch it” excuses for making stuff into nothing but sausage fests. It’s doable. If you can’t/don’t/won’t, it’s because you’re shitty at your job, not because audiences won’t watch stuff without wall-to-wall straight, white dudes.

great point. the show is not above criticism as it sidelines and typecasts poc, as well as ignores positioning Steve as an actively gay character. that being said, the show still kicks some serious ass and this post is a super important point. long live the warehouse!

Points taken, definitely (though I think the latter issue may be improved upon somewhat as the rest of this season goes on.) 

I also have to give credit to Joanne and Jaime, for pushing ahead with the Bering/Wells thing even if it wasn’t originally intended to be canon (and still isn’t, technically.) Kind of funny, really, how the show’s biggest fan-supported ship turned out to be f/f, and traditional m/f-leads het shippers are finding themselves in the position slashers usually are. 

Overall, I think most SFF shows these days are doing diversity much better than their mainstream counterparts. There are still fails now and then, both in the stuff I mentioned in the previous post (SPN, DW, Merlin) and in other stuff (why, if Grimm has a gay showrunner, has it had no gay characters? Weird.) But there’s also been some great progress. Honestly, I think that’s why it’s so jarring when stuff like SPN does fail to be inclusive. It’s just not that common anymore for a genre show to be all white dudes, all the time. We’ve definitely made some great steps forward. 

And speaking of steps forward, I do have to put in a plug for a couple of shows about to have their U.S. debuts on Syfy next month: Sinbad and Primeval: New World. The former has a black lead and other prominent PoC characters, and for once is a fantasy set outside of Europe. And the latter has both PoC characters and a canon bisexual (not to mention one of the most realistic women characters I’ve seen in years in Dylan Weir.) Many of Syfy’s other recent shows have been good, too—Defiance, Continuum, etc. (My issues with Lost Girl are a different post, sadly.) 

I think the conventional marketing wisdom is still a factor. Cable shows do still make only a fraction of the ratings of their network counterparts, and goodness knows the biggest ratings of all are still going to trashy reality dreck, instead of quality scripted stuff. Sadly, many women, queer folk and people of color are still blithely watching stuff that marginalizes or even denigrates them, and straight, white dudes are still considered a target demo, even if they don’t make up the majority of viewers and haven’t for a generation. But we are making progress, and I think there are fewer and fewer excuses to be had now for not being inclusive. The target 18-35 demo takes diversity as a given, not a controversy, so there’s no point in trying to pussyfoot around their delicate sensibilities anymore. The people who did care about such things are aging out of marketing sweet spots, so catering to prejudice just isn’t important anymore. 

Now if only the folks with the purse strings would realize that. ;)

Post-script

I still think Warehouse 13 needs to be considered a bible for all writers/directors/producers on how to make something brilliant that also happens to pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, AND includes canon queer characters, older women, people of color, etc. It’s one of Syfy’s top-rated shows, too, so boom go the “people won’t watch it” excuses for making stuff into nothing but sausage fests. It’s doable. If you can’t/don’t/won’t, it’s because you’re shitty at your job, not because audiences won’t watch stuff without wall-to-wall straight, white dudes.


itisnotofimport:

Misha lays down the motherfucking law. [x]

In which Misha explains—perfectly—why I stopped watching the show. I just can’t get into anything that doesn’t have three-dimensional women, even if it’s a slashfest. This is also why I’m not terribly into Sherlock or Merlin, though I watch them. Every woman in them is a cardboard stand in, not a real person.

He’s also right that many SPN fans would find female characters threatening to their pairings, which is ridiculous. I don’t think a show/movie/book has to be devoid of realistic women in order for slashable pairings to happen. Arrow, for instance, has plenty of slash potential, but also has some great women. And of course my favorites—Primeval, Game of Thrones, Vikings—are swimming in slashbait, yet also manage to pass the Bechdel test at least now and then. When’s the last time SPN, Sherlock or Merlin did that? Hell, DW also doesn’t do it often, which is why I don’t watch that, either. Honestly, if a dudebro bait/slash tsunami like Hawaii Five-0 can manage to include great women, there’s no excuse for a fan-savvy SFF show not to.

I just don’t get why women would be so heavily into stories that basically erase them from existence or treat them like unicorns or scenery. We’re half the damned population. Why are we only 25% of TV characters?

(Source: heckybarnes)

Well!

There are a lot of things about Revolution that don’t quite sit well with me, but I was impressed at them featuring a middle-aged lesbian couple in this last episode. 

(Not only that, but in NBC’s episode synopsis, they referred to Beth as Jane’s wife. Whoa!)

This is one of those one-off things where they could easily have just defaulted to an opposite-sex couple, or some other family member, and in virtually every show, that’s what would’ve happened. They had to make a conscious decision to include lesbians, which is really progressive. The bonus of them being middle-aged, long-term, etc. is even better. Young lesbians and bi women get a fair amount of screentime these days (relatively speaking, of course), but older women, and older lesbians in particular, are very few and far between. Really nice to see.

Woman power

This season is REALLY proving why Game of Thrones is such a feminist powerhouse. Can you name ANY other currently airing show with so many strong women of so many different types? They span decades in ages, are of many different social classes and professions, are butch, femme and everything in between. There are mothers, sisters, daughters and lovers of men, but they’re rarely defined by those roles, and are different from other women who have the same labels. Cat, Cersei, Gilly, Olenna, Lysa and Dany are all mothers, and yet all wildly different from each other, for instance. And the women warriors are different from each other, too. Arya, Brienne, Ygritte, Asha (Yara), Meera … all different. You basically never see that anywhere else, since most writers assume giving a pretty girl a weapon instantly makes her a strong character. 

This story—book and TV both—is not without its problems, of course, but for something written by an old white dude, the women (and girls!) in it really are phenomenal. And it’s not like a woman writer would guarantee such a diverse group of women characters, either. (In fact, they often default to women with whom the author identifies. See: Girls.*)

It could use more women of color, definitely (though: non-book readers will be pleased to know there are more coming in future seasons, as the story moves to Dorne) and a proper lesbian or two would be nice as well. But really, I continue to be impressed with the female characters in this story, and only wish that would happen in other stories, too. It’s rare enough to have strong women characters in mainstream entertainment. Having so many different kinds of strong women is more or less unheard of.  

*ETA, in case that statement is unclear: My point is that merely being a woman doesn’t guarantee a sense of diversity. The problems modern feminism has with intersectionality should be proof enough of that. Sexism, racism and classism have ensured that most of the women who have a voice in pop culture are white, femme, 30-something, educated urbanites, and unfortunately, they tend to write women characters who fit that same description. 

Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry

jazzylittledrops:

So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts… 

Read More

Read all of this. It’s brilliant. 

The problem I have with this (beyond the fact that parent company Unilever is a bunch of devils) is the problem I have with all fashion and cosmetic companies that try to “expand” the definition of beauty:

1. They’re only trying to increase the size of their customer base, by easing the boundaries around “beauty” to include more people.

2. There will ALWAYS be people beyond those boundaries no matter how much they expand them, because the success of their product still depends on women trying to improve their looks in comparison to people considered unattractive. 

This is just a modern, milder version of Backlash feminism: re-coding the instruments and paradigms of sexism as empowerment to avoid having companies fail when women realize they’re being swindled. 

The message shouldn’t be that fat/black/age/etc. is “also” beautiful; it should be that the physical appearance of women is utterly irrelevant to our value as human beings. “Beauty” is a word for flowers and sunsets and generous spirits. It should never be the primary label for a person’s physical being.

FTR: This doesn’t mean we can’t find people physically attractive or enjoy what they look like. It also doesn’t mean people can’t play with makeup and costuming for fun. It only means that we mustn’t ascribe virtue and value to things that are dependent primarily on a combination of genes and enormous amounts of money funneled to the Beauty Industrial Complex. 

And it also means that if you yourself are funneling money to those companies, you might want to take a step back and see if there are other ways you can indulge your interests in those things without contributing to a paradigm designed to make people spend money so they don’t feel shitty about the face and body nature gave them. 

About Me

Texty

Writer of dorky fantasy novels.

Singer of classical stuffs.

Shameless fanthing.

Queer/Genderqueer. Feminist. Progressive. Gen X. Northwest snob. Journalist and media-deconstruction nerd. Happily married and an adoptive parent of a most excellent little boy. Endless pontificator on topics both sublime and ridiculous. Expect both breathless pop-culture squee and wordy rageflails about social justice.

My "home" fandom is Primeval, but these days I'm most heavily into Vikings, Game of Thrones and Arrow. Check my background image to see the other current stuff I usually post about.

Also into older/cancelled stuff including Sinbad, Leverage, Fringe, BSG, Lost, Sanctuary, The Hour, Being Human (UK), Eureka, Longmire, Merlin, and The Borgias, along with a ton of other stuff from the last ~40 years. If it has a kickass chick, a charming rogue, and/or an adorkable nerd in it, I probably like it.

Oddly enough, I'm not a Whovian and I kinda lost interest in SPN, but I'm still sort of fandom-adjacent there, since it's impossible not to be whilst on Tumblr.

Fun fact: I had crushes on both C-3P0 and Data.







Favorite Quote


No matter where you go, there you are.

-Confucious, by way of Buckaroo Banzai


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