While we celebrated LGBT Pride in June, four trans women of color were murdered across the country.
|—||Junot Diaz (via virginalvalour)|
- date the kind of people who will still respect you when you no longer love them
- date the kind of people who will still respect you when they no longer love you
- do not waste your emotional capacities on people whose respect for you is conditional
this is terribly important
either you’re a blessing
or a lesson.
|—||Frank Ocean (via goldenspine)|
One of my least favourite dialogue tropes is when a man tells a woman “you can’t do that” or “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” and she says “why? because I’m a woman and therefore too weak to handle this/can’t take care of myself?” or something to that extent and the guy replies with “no, because everyone who tried that ended up with a bullet in their brain” or something equally reasonable and not gender specific that paints him as the rational not sexist guy and the woman as irrational paranoid feminist who searches for sexism in everything. This whole scenario is built on the idea that sexism is over and women’s fears and suspicions don’t have a leg to stand on. It’s also self-congratulatory pseudofeminism bc it’s supposed to make the viewer/reader/listener feel that in this specific work of fiction women are treated respectfully and as equal with men.
I think it’s dangerous to talk about ‘Oh, that character just happens to be gay’ as some kind of goal for us and our literature. The important thing is to show as much of the spectrum as possible, and to continue to investigate it.
|—||David Levithan in an interview with the Associated Press on the representation of LGBTQ teens in YA (via diversityinya)|
bring back raj singh 2k15
There is a difference between:
a queer character whose story doesn’t revolve around them being queer
a queer character whose story completely ignores the fact that they are queer
Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.
But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative? Because when it comes to guys, we have whole fandoms bending over backwards to write soulful meta humanising male characters whose actions, regardless of their motives, are far less complex than monstrous. We take male villains and redeem them a hundred, a thousand times over – men who are murderers, stalkers, abusers, kinslayers, traitors, attempted or successful rapists; men with personal histories so bloody and tortured, it’s like looking at a battlefield. In doing this, we exhibit enormous compassion for and understanding of the nuances of human behaviour – sympathy for circumstance, for context, for motive and character and passion and rage, the heartache and, to steal a phrase, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; and as such, regardless of how I might feel about the practice as applied in specific instances, in general, it’s a praiseworthy endeavour. It helps us to see human beings, not as wholly black and white, but as flawed and complicated creatures, and we need to do that, because it’s what we are.
But when it comes to women, a single selfish or not-nice act – a stolen kiss, a lie, a brushoff – is somehow enough to see them condemned as whores and bitches forever. We readily excuse our favourite male characters of murder, but if a woman politely turns down a date with someone she has no interest in, she’s a timewasting user bimbo and god, what does he even see in her? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great online meta about, for instance, the soulfulness and moral ambiguity of Black Widow, but I’ve also seen a metric fucktonne more about what that particular jaw-spasm means in that one GIF of Cumberbatch/Ackles/Hiddleston/Smith alone, and that’s before you get into the pages-long pieces about why Rumplestiltskin or Hook or Spike or Bucky Barnes or whoever is really just a tortured woobie who needs a hug. Hell, I’m guilty of writing some of that stuff myself, because see above: plus, it’s meaty and fun and exactly the kind of analysis I like to write.
And yet, we tend overwhelmingly not to write it about ladies. It’s not just our cultural obsession with pushing increasingly specific variants of the Madonna/Whore complex onto women, such that audiences are disinclined to extend to female characters the same moral/emotional licenses they extend to men; it’s also a failure to create narratives where the women aren’t just flawed, but where the audience is still encouraged to like them when they are.
Returning to Orphan Black, for instance, if Sarah were male, he’d be unequivocally viewed as either a complex, sympathetic antihero or a loving battler with a heart of gold. I mean, the ex-con trying to go straight and get his daughter back while still battling the illegalities of his old life and punching bad guys? Let me introduce you to Swordfish, Death Race, and about a millionty other stories where a father’s separation from a beloved child, whether as a consequence of his actual criminal actions, shiftless neglect, sheer bad luck or a combination of all three, is never couched as a reason why he might not be a fit parent. We tend to accept, both culturally and narratively, that men who abandon their children aren’t automatically bad dads; they just have other, important things to be doing first, like coming to terms with parenthood, saving the world, escaping from prison or otherwise getting their shit together. But Sarah, who left her child in the care of someone she trusted absolutely, has to jump through hoops to prove her maternal readiness on returning; has to answer for her absence over and over again. And on one level, that’s fine; that’s as it should be, because Sarah’s life is dangerous. And yet, her situation stands in glaring contrast to every returning father who’s never been asked to do half so much, because women aren’t meant to struggle with motherhood, to have to try to succeed: we’re either maternal angels or selfish absentees, and the idea that we might sometimes be both or neither isn’t one you often see depicted with such nuance.
women who succeed in male-dominated fields are always labeled Female Athletes or Female Rappers or Female Presidents but when landon donovan scores 57 international goals (which is 110 less than abby wambach’s record), nobody feels it necessary to label him the Leading Male Goal Scorer. no, he just gets to be the best goal scorer. even though there are a dozen women who have outclassed him. funny how that works.
Who Owns Media (US Edition)
Via Gizmodo, which also includes graphics on what brands own what consumer goods, consolidation in financial markets, what auto makers own what cars, and what breweries make what beer… which is important.
Images: Studios and media companies (top), and TV stations (bottom). Select to embiggen.