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“When I tell my daughter stories at night, inevitably a few things happen. Number one, I use my imagination. I always start with life and then I build from there. And then the other thing that happens is she always says, ‘Mommy can you put me in the story?’ And you know it starts from the top up. So I’d like to thank Paul Lee, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Bill D’Elia, and Peter Nowalk for thinking that a sexualized, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49 year-old, dark-skinned, African-American woman that looks like me.”

The 100 being totally awesome at feminism without even trying

I’m just LOVING the shit out of The 100. Talk about a feminist show.

Often times in TV the few female characters who actually get screen time are too generic, too stereotypically feminine or trying too hard to appear masculine. But “The 100”  shows us all shades and sizes of a woman. Women doctors and leaders and scientists and engineers and war generals and rebels. And the best part is that the show is not even trying to be (overtly) feminist- there’s an equal number of male and female characters, of men and women in positions of power and they are portrayed as each other’s equals.

It’s not a show that’s proving a point about how strong and independent women are/could be. It’s just a show written by people who genuinely believe men and women are equals and each individual has their own unique personality that defines them as a person. And you cannot make it more feminist than that. 

Just watching the 100 is giving me hope about what the future could be. (not literally, I hope we don’t need a nuclear war to destroy Earth in order to achieve gender equality)

One of the problems I see all to often with people criticising sexist writing is that in order to do so they often apply different standards to male and female characters. The female characters have to jump through far more hoops to be complex or deep or have agency, and that’s really not a good way to go about analysis due to the inherent sexism in the double standard.

It’s sometimes hard to avoid this type of thinking, because I totally get wanting to see the best female characters we can, and increasing our expectations is always good for that. This article makes quite a good point that even though it’s great to have complex female characters in our blockbuster movies, it would be even greater if they were as pivotal to the plot as the male characters. 

However, it’s important to keep an eye on the difference in standards between male and female characters, because as much as it’s great to want to improve representation, holding female characters to a significantly higher standard can have rather negative consquences. Particularly in a fandom environment with a lot of young women, many of them are seeing that characters they relate to are “not good enough” or “not real enough”. Those aren’t good thoughts to be encouraging, and it’s important to realise when that might be the case. It’s also important to make sure our own thinking isn’t turning into it being okay that women have to meet a higher standard in order to be on a level playing field with men. 

tl;dr: When you’re making a criticism of female characters, even if it’s directed at the writer, make sure you’re aware of your thinking patterns and any double standards you may be using.

brushbell asked:

I just wanna say really quick about the genderbending ask that I understand their POV and I realize that a lot of genderbending can come off as trans/homophobic (like how they changed Watson to a girl in Elementary but not Sherlock) but for me and a lot of the fans I know who love fem!Bilbo it's more about female representation. There are so few female characters in Tolkien's writing and I just don't think we should have to feel bad for trying to relate more to our favorite character.

yeah, though Elementary is much better representation-wise than Sherlock(tho… that’s not very hard seeing as Sherlock has an all-white cast with no queer characters, except Irene Adler who falls in love with Sherlock even tho she’s supposedly a lesbian). So I’m kind of happy for that. Plus, Watson and Sherlock aren’t a couple in canon, Elementary or Sherlock so you can hardly call it homophobic. Only thing BBC Sherlock has that’s even close to queer representation in the main characters is gross queerbaiting, so… I’d say BBC Sherlock is more homophobic than Elementary, tbh. Subtext≠representation. 

But Thorin and Bilbo aren’t a couple since we’re talking about fanon gender and sex changes, so it actually has nothing to do with the thing I’m talking about. 

I agree that there should be more female representation. The Hobbit and LoTR is atrocious when it comes to representation of anything that isn’t cishet white males, so yeah, I completely understand that. However, it still can come off as very homophobic, and is pretty hurtful for some people. I never said you people were bad, and neither did I say you’re terrible people, I’m just calling it what I think it is.

Also, if one wanted female representation, I think you should make both characters women, to be honest. Like if you’re going for representation, and you’re not truly homophobic, then pls change both into cis!females or change none. I realise I may come off as agressive saying this, and if so I’m sorry, but it’s what I think.

Plus, it’s still transphobic, since the term “genderbending” itself is really bad, and could very well be considered a slur. Plus, it assumes that gender=genitalia, and since we only swap “the opposite sexes” against each other, I think it’s pretty gross. When we change gender and presentation of for example Bilbo, we give her a dress, breasts and vagina, because obviously genitalia and gender must always match. 

I’m all for making a character genderqueer, or trans, or whatever, but the problem is it’s always a swap of cis-for-cis, and it just reinforces a lot of transphobic ideas. 

And again, please don’t make it sound like I want you to feel bad. I’m here to inform you, and all I want is to make the Bagginshield community a nicer place. I’m really just saying what I, a gay person, and other people in the LGBTQA+ community think.

Here’s more links to read on why it’s not the best thing to do:

X

X

X

(and an extra link for the elementary thing X)

Also, I’m not a trans person, so I obviously can’t speak for them, but I’m conveying what I’ve read and heard said by trans people, and I think it makes sense. 

if any of my followers are curious about what I actually like about star wars

  • the Original trilogy
  • KotOR 1 & 2
  • The Clone Wars TV series- I disagree with a lot of canon decisions in the prequel era, but TCW got the closest to being what I wanted the prequels to be even with including some of the inherent flaws of the premise, told some great stories, and had great female character representation. It basically salvaged the concept of the prequels for me

everything else I hate with a burning fiery passion or I don’t know or care about. Rebels is still on my “we’ll see” list.

Where were my women who were forced to learn that with great power comes great responsibility? Where were my awkward school girls who were just trying to graduate high school when they found they didn’t need their glasses anymore, but could lift a school bus one-handed? Where were the funny best buddies? It’s not as though we can all be Lara Croft. Yet for a long time, she was all we had: if you were a woman, you had your place, on one end of the spectrum or the other. Why, I still ask every single time the movie is on TV, is it Kick-Ass and not Hit Girl?

Then the recent Marvel films arrived. Pepper Potts came along in her business-wear and skyscraper Louboutins and was unstoppable in her rise to CEO of Stark Industries. Black Widow slunk onto the scene and showed us that we don’t need to choose between sexy and dangerous. Jane Foster, the astrophysicist genius, still blushed when confronted with Thor’s overwhelming good looks, just the way the rest of us would, while Darcy Lewis was as concerned about her iPod as she was about the faceless government organisation behind its theft.

Maria Hill reached the very top of the male-dominated SHIELD organisation, Sif is a fully-fledged goddess of war, and Peggy Carter was a sharp-shooting, red lipstick-wearing female officer at the frontline of WW2. These aren’t the cardboard cut-out women of action movies gone by. They’re more than the girlfriends or relatives or unobtainable dream girls, more than pawns for a hero’s man-pain. They’re definitely more than a gorgeous yet robot-like tomb raider with a penchant for dressing in clothes that are so often inappropriate for the weather.

They’re you, me. The boss you want to be someday, the academic your friend aspires to. The student who just wants to listen to music and have fun. The women who can do battle, run Fortune 500 companies, wield tasers and drive questionably. Girls who can show fear but fight against the bad guys anyway, who flirt just for fun. The brainwashed Russian superspy assassin. (OK, so maybe not that last one. Then again, we do all have that one friend we wonder about.)

1-25-14
Dear Lego company:
My name is Charlotte.  I am 7 years old and I love Legos but I don’t like that there are more lego boy people and barely any lego girls.  Today I went to a store and saw Legos in two sections - the pink (girls) and the blue (boys).  All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people and had jobs, even swam with sharks.  I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!  Thank you.
From Charlotte.

io9: LEGO Gets Told Off by a Seven-Year-Old Girl.

Square Enix Is The Only Publisher That Would Touch Life is Strange Because It Has A Female Protagonist

"Square Enix has announced their newest IPLife is Strange, follows Max, who has the power to rewind time and is searching for a missing fellow student. The game will be released digitally and episodically, with “each new chapter building and evolving based on the choices you made in previous episodes.” So why did it take so long to find a publisher for Life is Strange?

Max is a girl.

French studio Dontnod is creating Life is Strange, the same studio that made 2013′s female-led 2013′s Remember Me (though that game frequently did not make the best use of its most interesting mechanics). In a developer diary, Dontnod’s creative director Jean-Maxime Moris said,

Square is basically the only publisher who didn’t want to change a single thing about the game. We had other publishers telling us to make it a male lead character, and Square didn’t even question that once.”

Nice work Square!  

Read the full piece here

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The Valiant Little Tailor

Jack and the Beanstalk

Beauty and the Beast

Pinocchio

Thumbelina

Puss in Boots

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

The Little Mermaid

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves

The Princess and the Pauper

The Snow Queen

HBO’s “Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child” 1995 - 2000

(from the same people who eventually brought us “The Proud Family”)

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Did you know that in 2011, only 11 films out of the top 100 films had female protagonists? The Bechdel test aims to highlight this lack of female representation in Cinema by rating films according to three criteria; in the film are there at least 2 named women(1) who talk to each other(2) about something besides a man(3)? Shockingly many of our favourite films do not pass. Is it so far-fetched that a film should contain a scene in which a female talks to her friend about literally anything in the world other than the male lead? Surely this is the bare minimum of female representation we should expect from films. Women populate more than half of the world and yet we are still so often consigned to being the ‘love interest’ whose lives centre wholly around the male protagonist even to the point where the majority of mainstream films in our cinemas seem to find it impossible, in their entire run-time, to imagine a world in which a woman conducts a conversation that is not about a man.

Nice job Prez! Kathleen Hanna must be proud - girls to the front

Also: cue sound of a million MRA heads exploding.

Obama Just Made History by Ignoring Men for an Entire Press Conference

As the president took questions from reporters before setting off for vacation in Hawaii, he electrified the Twittersphere by doing something entirely unexpected and unprecedented: He only took questions from women. 

After a brief comment on the economy, Obama fielded queries on the Sony cyber attacks, Cuba and more from eight women — and no men:

The deliberate decision to call on only female reporters was a subtle gesture but a big deal. While there is no shortage of talented women in political journalism, like in many other sectors they’re often crowded out of highly ranked and conspicuous positions due to individual and institutional prejudice. 

"The fact is, there are many women from a variety of news organizations who day in and day out do the hard work of covering the president of the United States," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said after Obama’s press conference. “As the questioner list started to come together, we realized that we had a unique opportunity to highlight that fact at the president’s closely watched, end-of-the-year news conference.” 

Read the full story here

Update / Note: after posting this, I realized how this is a more nuanced topic than usual so I wanted to add a note.

If you are one of the readers seeing this news and thinking - “well that isn’t fair / two wrongs don’t make a right / reverse sexism” - let me help you process this situation.

First: admit to yourself that historically and currently, in every state in the U.S. - I can’t speak for other countries - there are boards / councils / departments / etc. that are 100% men. If you find yourself upset by today’s event, ask yourself why you haven’t been bothered by the ongoing injustice in favor of men. Are you REALLY bothered by abstract injustice, or just bothered that men didn’t get their say this one time?

Second: recognize that the world will live if once in a while we listen to women, and women who aren’t being interrupted or corrected by men. Let’s give them a listen. Hear what they have to say. The world won’t explode. Civilization won’t end. You can deal with it. Grow up.

And there you have it! Bottom line - it’s OK to listen to women, and if you’re really freaking out about this, look in the mirror to see what’s really bothering you.  

I just want a good sci-fi movie that is entirely female dominated.

No, not a movie with one great female captain, or one computer genius, one great supporting character, or one awesome pilot, or one leader on a council, or one love interest who gets to be awesome.

Not one or two female characters.

Female dominated.

I want a sci-fi movie where most of the background extras are women.

I want a sci-fi movie where, with absolutely no explanation other than the sheer force of how damn capable and badass and interesting and fantastic they all are, most of main characters are women.

Where more than 50%… Heck, 85% of the main cast is female.

Where the relationships of women drive the narrative, where women talk to each other and work with each other and fight each other and maybe even love each other, but they are affected by each other’s lives and they matter to each other and as characters in their own right.

I want women who are scientists and pilots and heads of government and mothers to daughters and sisters and doctors and soldiers and every other role you can think of, and they are given interesting motivations and backstories and agency.

I want a movie where no women are dressed in skimpy clothing unless that is their choice and they are completely comfortable with the situation, and the situation serves the narrative in some meaningful way.

I want a movie where there are only two (three, tops) male characters who are given full names.

I mean, sure, we could fit in a few more guys.
Maybe a few background extras, maybe someone who is only referred to as ‘brother’ or ‘father’ or ‘son’ or something, and gets fridged, or a character who runs in, gives a piece of exposition, and then is never heard from again.

I want the men to wind up in a difficult situation and be force to rely on the women to rescue them.

I want very little or no time to be spent developing the backstory of the male characters, except if there is a situation where they can relate better to the female characters by bravely revealing deep emotional pain from their past in order to encourage the character development of the female character

I want the ‘main’ male characters to not ever speak with each other during the duration of the film, and at least one of them be defined primarily in their role as a love interest to a female character.


I want a movie like this, because I am just so very sick to death of it being the other way around.

10 Things Agent Carter Did Right

The seven tests that Agent Carter passed in two hours, and the three it thankfully failed. (Spoilers)

1. Passes the Mako Mori Test:

  • The Test: “The show has a) at least one female character, b) who gets her own narrative, c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.”
  • Peggy Carter isn’t kicking butt because she’s trying to prove herself to anyone, she’s doing it because she wants to help people. That’s why she joined the SSR back in WWII, it didn’t change when she met Rogers, and it hasn’t changed since she lost him.

2. Passes the Bechdel Test:

  • The test: “The show has a) at least two women; b) who talk to each other; c) about something besides a man.”
  • This is the lowest bar for female representation and not only does Agent Carter pass, but an entire sub-plot is nothing but two females talking to each other about everything but guys.

3. Passes the Oracle Test:

  • The Test: “The show has a disabled character who a) is not there ‘to be fixed’; b) whose narrative does not revolve around the disability; c) does their job while having a disability, not in spite of having a disability.”
  • Sousa is a wounded war vet who may not be able to chase down bad guys, but he has a voice in the group and does his job. He’s not trying to prove anything, nor does he have something to prove. He’s disabled because it’s simply a part of who he is, not what he is. [edited 1/9/15 7:48pm]

4. Passes the Phryne Fisher Test:

  • The Test: “The show has a female character who a) has a traditionally masculine job; b) does not masculinize herself for the sake of the job; c) uses her femininity to her advantage; d) is not sexualized in the narrative.”      
  • Peggy is allowed to be herself, and that means wearing whatever makes her comfortable. She wears skirts, has her hair done up, and her makeup is on point, for her, not for an audience who might want to sexualize her. And when she needs a day off to go hunt down bad guys without her boss knowing, she has no qualms in using his chauvinism against him. She even threw out that line about ‘until I’m married’ to convince the land lady to rent her an apartment. 

5. Passes the Sexy Lamp Test:

  • The Test: “Can you replace the female character with a sexy lamp? If so, then you’re a hack.”
  • Just because Peggy is the title character doesn’t mean she can’t be overshadowed by her male counterparts. In Agent Carter, Peggy is more likely to hit you with a sexy lamp than be the sexy lamp. Angie also passes the sexy lamp test as the supporting character.

6. Passes the Lottie Test:

  • The Test: “The show has a) character(s) who rival the main character’s job or love interest; b) have reasonable skill in the job or allure for the love interest; c) are likeable or at least respectable.”
  • This fails when a rival is made either a complete idiot or horribly unlikable, but only to make the main character look good. In Agent Carter, Jack is chauvinistic but no more than expected for the time period. He’s intelligent and stays only a few steps behind Peggy who had an advantage over him because Stark confided in her. But this only gave her a head start, Peggy has to use her smarts and wit to keep ahead of him which only showcases how clever she is.

7. Passes the Brittle Sword Test:

  • The Test: “Even a warrior’s sword has to be able to bend, otherwise it becomes brittle and breaks.”
  • Peggy is certainly very strong but when her friend is killed, she first kicks a lot of butt, and then takes a moment to mourn and cry. Peggy is not made to look cold and heartless in order to make her appear to be a strong character, she’s allowed to have emotions.

8. Fails the Pantomime Test:

  • The Test: “The female character can be swapped with a male character, with little to no edits, and the narrative still makes sense.”
  • Peggy’s character does follow several tropes typically seen in male led storylines, but her characterization and personal plot points are uniquely feminine. Her fighting blatant chauvinism, her difficulty in finding a safe place to live, and other aspects of her story would not make sense if Peggy was Peter.

9. Fails the Moonlighting Test:

  • The Test: “The main character a) is given a partner or work rival; b) this character is immediately set up to be the love interest; c) and they may be instantly despised by the main character in order to force sexual tension.”
  • Peggy is given a partner, Jarvis, and a rival, Jack. Neither are set up as the love interest. This means that her interactions between them are not meant to further a ‘will they, won’t they’ sub-plot, but to actually further the plot. This serves to give Peggy, Jarvis, and Jack their own identities.

10. Fails the 9 to 5 Test

  • The Test: “The female character a) has no female friends outside of work; or if she does a) she spends over half the time talking to said friend about work and/or relationship; b) the friend does not help to further character development; c) they are only there to bounce exposition off of.”
  • While there is mention of Peggy’s job at ‘the phone company’, she spends most of her time talking to Angie about customers, apartments, and other girls. Peggy’s reluctance to put Angie in danger shows character evolution. Angie gives Peggy an existence outside of her work environment and offers more facets to her character.
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“It’s cool having a couple who are madly in love around you. It shows you that it does exist.”

I was ecstatic when Rae and Finn became a couple and equally as devastated when they broke up. But there was always that love in the air that gave you hope that a love like that could exist — for you, for your friends, or for your family. It’s a TV fantasy that is so relatable that they remind you of your best friends down the street. [x]

"The lack of PoC in Frozen is definitely problematic and people should be calling the h*ll out of it. However, it confuses me why this otherwise very progressive and positive movie (when it comes to female representation and empowerment) is getting a disproportional amount of hate as compared to other recent works of animation — who’s got mostly good responses despite being guilty of the very same problem and, sometimes, are even more problematic than Frozen in other aspects."

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Women On Canadian Money May Finally Be Possible With Confederation Bank Note

The Bank of Canada wants Canadians to help it design a bank note to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

This may finally be an opportunity to put Canadian women on the country’s money.

The bank has issued a call out to Canadians to “propose ideas for the design of a new bank note,” according to a Friday news release.

Canadians can submit their ideas on a web page titled “New Bank Note for Canada’s 150th" for a bill that is set to be available by Canada Day, 2017.

There are two requirements: designs must adhere to the bank’s principles for how bills appear, and they have to represent the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

That makes things a tad narrow when it comes to women — especially given that the “Fathers of Confederation” are credited with founding this country.

But there are plenty of Canadian women who ought to be eligible to appear on bills, and just because it’s Canada’s birthday it doesn’t mean they can’t be considered alongside the fathers.

Victoria-based historianMerna Forsterhas long worked to highlight women’s contributions to Canadian society.

Last year she started aChange.org petitioncalling on the Bank of Canada to put women on bank notes.

This year she started a website, “Women on Canadian Banknotes,” where the public was invited to design $100 bills featuring women.

Here are a few ideas that the website helped to generate.

Continue Reading.

I included a few notable women in Canada above but there is a lot more in the article.

Above: 

-Michaelle Jean: (former governor general)

-Kim Campbell: Canada’s first and only female prime minister

-Harriet Tubman: Helped hundreds of slaves escape from the US to Canada via the underground railway.

-Roberta Bondar: Canada’s first female astronaut and second canadian astronaut in space.

-Agnes MacPhail: First female elected to the house of commons.