when you say “i think it should be about the acting ability, not the races of the actors” you are, one, working under the false assumption that actors of all ethnicities auditioned and the best one just happened to be white (the vast majority of casting calls either ask specifically for white actors only or show a decided preference for white actors as the “default race”), and two, basically saying that poc can’t be good actors.

in other words, you’re wrong, and you’re wrong.

THE CURRENT DISCUSSION OF REPRESENTATION AMBIGUITY ON MY DASH IS FUCKING PISSING ME OFF.

Specifically, this. I’m a big fan of prettyarbitrary and I’ve already done my “rage-as-rhetorical-device” thing on her once this week, so instead of reblogging, I’ve tagged her instead to ignore/block at her leisure. So, once and for all, this is my manifesto on representation in Sherlock.

No one is saying that* a canon queerplatonic or asexual relationship for John and Sherlock is unwanted. No one is saying that asexual representation or aromantic representation is less important, or less necessary, than queer representation. However, if the writers of Sherlock do decide to go down the path of a romantic asexual or a queerplatonic relationship, in order for that representation to be good representation, there must be a certain amount of in-text education of what that means. 

I talk a little bit about what good aromantic representation is here. As far as good asexual representation goes, it should be explicitly acknowledged that John and Sherlock are in (romantic) love with each other, that they do not have sex, and that that aspect of their relationship does not make their romantic relationship any less valid than any married couple. In both cases, not a single audience member must be able to write it off as being “just friends.” Because of universal ace- and aro-erasure, ambiguity and representation are mutually exclusive. If there is room for doubt, it’s not representation. Ever.

Speaking of ambiguity, for marginalized groups who have to fight for every scrap of representation, there is no such thing as ambiguity. Implicit representation is never enough. I’m aware that in less-forgiving environments, when you could be jailed or ostracized for just writing about homosexuality, the implicit queerness of Oscar Wilde’s works or the original ACD stories have inspired a generation. But in this (Western) media landscape, there is no excuse.

Just as characters of books are white until assumed otherwise, characters of mainstream books, television, and movies are straight until assumed otherwise. The same tenets that mean that ambiguity and good representation cannot coexist side-by-side in a work also apply to queer representation. Sherlock has placed John and Sherlock into romantically-coded roles. That much is absolutely true. It can either choose to follow through on those roles or not. The former is representation, and the latter is queerbaiting. There is no in-between

In a perfect world, the narrative decision to let the audience make what they will of the relationship, giving rise to a multiplicity of readings and versions, would be just that — a narrative choice. But media doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Narrative choices are also political and ethical choices. And in the context of the intense emotional investment of hopeful queer viewers everywhere, in this world, where representation is so desperately needed and longed-for, a choice for ambiguity is necessarily a choice against representation. If there is room for doubt, it’s not good representation. Ever.

(Personally, I would be thrilled if one of my favorite TV shows described one of my ships as “queerplatonic” for this first time, and if one of my favorite TV characters turned out to be aromantic. Considering that half the psychological community tends to doubt our existence, though, I think canonical representation of aromanticism is a little too progressive for Sherlock. According to loudest-subtext-in-television's “big gay bombshell,” though, canonical representation of homo-/bisexuality isn’t, which is why the discussion has mainly centered around explicitly sexual queer relationships.)

*When I say that “no one is saying that,” I mean that no one who I know in the context of the representation discussion on Sherlock is saying that, and that no one should be saying that. If you see someone who is saying that, bring them to me and I’ll tear them a new one.

hey y’all, because of a variety of reasons, including an incredibly poorly-timed migraine (that i am still actually somewhat experiencing), my poor life management skills, and my flight home today, i am only now able to access tumblr

as a result, this blog is basically becoming a ferguson blog for the next few hours, at least. if you have self-care reasons for wanting to avoid ferguson, i’ll be tagging everything with #breaking, so i suggest blacklisting that or temporarily unfollowing. if you don’t have self-care reasons for wanting to avoid ferguson but just feel uncomfortable because of white guilt reasons, please unfollow permanently.

peace out. stay safe, y’all.

the “republicans control both houses/president can’t pass laws/americans get mad at obama" post that’s been circulating almost nonstop since the midterms actually really annoys me

literally nothing has changed since before the election, it doesn’t matter whether the republicans control one house or two, you can’t pass a law with only one house of congress

there are things that only the senate can do (approve treaties, approve presidential appointments), but because of peculiarities in the way the senate works, without a supermajority nothing was getting done there either

clearly this is a large political step backwards for vulnerable populations and/or people who, like, care about people other than themselves, but in terms of legislative action, absolutely nothing has changed, republicans have been preventing the president from passing laws and americans have been getting mad at obama for it long before they controlled both houses of congress

i wish there were, like, an archive of awful things people say, so that when you’re making a point and ignorant, blesssedly sheltered people are like, “BUT NO ONE SAYS THAT THO” you can point them towards it and watch them weep

i mean i would mod it myself but honestly i can barely keep up with real life well enough to work on this blog, and plus my mental state fluctuates so that on some days i can barely stand conflict, while on other days it’s what inspires me to keep going, and that’s just not conducive to keeping a good record

theawilford asked:

Very, very much appreciated your post commenting on what "queerplatonic" does and doesn't mean. One more question. If a relationship between two people who consider each other the most person in his/her life includes sex but not romantic feelings, does the word queerplatonic still apply? Or is a queerplatonic relationship one that by definition includes neither romance nor sex?

glad you liked. <3

i think of it like this: there is romantic love, and there is aromantic love (platonic love, because defining something in terms of what it is not is hugely problematic, but for the purposes of trying to answer your question, it’s helpful to think of them as not opposite tentacles, but two sides of the same tentacle).

romantic love can be sexual (what you’re used to seeing), or nonsexual (ace relationships).

platonic love can be sexual (friends with benefits), or nonsexual (what you’re used to seeing).

just as how the romantic relationship(s) that usually gets codified in the form of marriage is romantic love turned up to 11, as in this person is more than your bf/gf/nbf, this person is the #1 person in all the romantic annals of your heart, qp relationships are that with friendship — this person is more than your friend, this person is the #1 person in all the platonic annals of your heart. and just as the aforementioned über-romance can either be sexual or nonsexual, qp relationships can be sexual or non-sexual.

incidentally, just like you can also be madly, deeply, devotedly in love with more than one person (as in poly relationships), you can also have multiple qps, which is way more common, because for some reason society doesn’t tell us we have to have The One Friend the way it does with The One Romantic And Sexual Partner.

that’s just one (slightly queer) aromantic woman’s definition of qp relationships, though. my favorite blogs that post things about aro people and aro relationships are aromanticaardvark, aromanticnerd, fyeahqueerplatoniczucchinis, aroramblings, and aromanticadvice, so feel free to check in some or all of those places if you want to explore how other aro people have defined queer- or quasiplatonic relationships. mostly what i see though is encouraging people to adopt the label if they feel it’s helpful, and that there is no one correct political definition of these words — literally labels are for helping people cognitively organize their own experiences, and you can claim them and use them as long as you feel it helps.

(obviously in the context of the political advocacy for representation, “queerplatonic” takes on a whole host of new meanings and responsibilities — there are right and wrong ways to use the word in political contexts. but in real life, there is no “right” way to have a queerplatonic relationship, so, as long as you’re sincere and not being an allo asshole, there’s no right or wrong way to claim the word.)

1. mike brown was not a thief
2. like, just factually, there’s no fucking way that story is true
3. even if it were what the fuck does that matter it has been well-established he was unarmed and had his hands in the air
4. i stole a dress from the mall when i was fourteen good to know i deserve to be SHOT for it
5. fyi that white kid over there has probably smoked pot or jaywalked at some point in his life why don’t you get up and shoot him right now, go on i’ll wait
6. i can’t believe we’re even discussing this literally none of the facts have changed UNARMED CHILD who had his HANDS IN THE AIR shot MULTIPLE TIMES by armed police officer FIRING FROM A CAR

lol literally bleeding followers for my ferguson posts

y’all think this is bad wait till you see what i’ve got queued up for tomorrow

literally the only reasons my blog hasn’t been 112% ferguson over the last couple of days is 

  1. extremely ill-timed finals
  2. an even more ill-timed anxiety attack
  3. for once in my life i actually have things in my queue

which is to say get ready y’all if you are avoiding ferguson news coverage for mental health/self-care reasons please blacklist the tag “breaking” now

— an excerpt from some textbook my globalization professor scanned and made us read

like sometimes you just read something that is being actively pressed onto children and you’re just like…why the fuck is this bs being actively pressed onto children

because look here friend if you think that there is no “sense of american culture as superior” or “defensiveness against foreigners” in modern american political discourse you seriously need to stop writing textbooks and start, uh, going outside

MISS CUTIE PATOOTIE IS 112% NOT FUCKING AROUND
  • Miss Cutie Patootie:ugh, no, it's too late at night for ancient greek literary devices. one a.m. is time for flippity poo and crapola and more made up words.
  • Me:my favorite is still oozy woozy caloozy. how do you spell that?
  • Miss Cutie Patootie:you spell it however you damn well feel.
  • Me:democratic neologisms! i like it.
  • Miss Cutie Patootie:republican version: you can fuck it over and exploit it however you damn well please.
  • Miss Cutie Patootie:as long as you're a white male*
  • Me:OH MY GOD

i’m reading an article advancing the idea that small amounts of violent protest (which “justifies” police violence, thus enabling mass media to disseminate images of violent police response much more freely) in a larger primarily non-violent protest is far more effective in awareness-raising than nonviolent protest alone

and i am sitting here shaking because oh my god, yes, i don’t know how i never saw this before, i don’t know how this idea could’ve possibly slipped by me, theoretically i’m aware that when nonviolent protest fails the only way to go is up but it never really struck me that violence has a rhetorical role, a role which justifies its existence, a place in which violence could be preferable to a lack of violence

this is terrifying and huge and amazing and luckily it’s famous enough that you can find it in pdf form on the internet, go forth and read

next up in the assigned reading: should we worry about just some muslims, or all of them? it just gets better and better, doesn’t it.

which, i mean, i guess eight percent of two million muslims in the us is still pretty scary. except that when you ask americans if they approve of bombing civilians to defend the the us, you get approval ratings between 40 and 80%. (x)

except, of course, in the us, we don’t call them bombs; we call them drone strikes.