I made a video about one of the networks behind Antifa
Youtube deleted my channel without notice
So several weeks ago I started a YT channel that blew up pretty quick.
First thing that happened: Youtube demonitized me. I got about 50 cents on 100k views. There was no explanation.
Today I tried to log on and Youtube straight up deleted my account and everything on it, with no way for an appeal, and no explanation. There was nothing that should be against the guidelines, but the new ‘policy’ is just that vague that anything inconvenient can be deemed ‘hateful’.
Since Youtube clearly doesn’t want people to see this, I might as well post it here so more people do.
After the vid was posted, more people started talking about Felarca, BAMN, the RWL and other people I mentioned in the video, it was posted on various forums, reddit, chans and other places. So in case you’ve heard of this stuff or seen it, spread it for awareness anyway.
Considering that I have been vocalabout queer rep for this fandom, I wanted to discuss the four queer characters that we got in ACOWAR and go through the good and the bad for each. Please note that, especially in regards to Mor, I approach this from a representation standpoint, how the way queer characters and queer identities are discussed in relation to how queer readers will interpret them. Trying to discuss queer identities and characters from the character’s perspective would make this monster even longer than it already is, and I would prefer to leave those discussions to those from more abusive/homophobic backgrounds than my (healthy, more heteronormative than homophobic) background. @illyrianazriel has been discussing this pretty consistently, and I highly recommend this post in particular for a discussion of Mor’s queer identity as a character. Finally, please realize that I am only one person, and while I have tried to take into account the opinions of others I have talked to, it is impossible for one bisexual to speak for all bi/gay/pan people. This post is meant to be part of the discussion of queer rep, and I welcome other queer people adding your thoughts and opinions. (If you’re straight, please make sure that all engagement is respectful.)
I didn’t really have any issues with Nephelle or Thesan. They were both highly respected, in loving same sex relationships. Nephelle in particular was viewed as a hero, an idol, whose actions are meant to be emulated and upheld by both the heroes and the reader. My only issue with either of them was the use of “lover,” particularly in the case of Thesan. I find “lover” to have a very sexual connotation which is uncomfortable when queer people are so often simplified to just what they do in bed. I realize that “lover” was also used in regards to straight relationships, but because of the sex-obsessed view of queer people, it still makes me feel uncomfortable. Though Nephelle’s “lover” eventually becomes “wife,” I was uncomfortable that Thesan’s “lover” isn’t referred to even as “partner,” which takes away the solely sexual connotation. They mentioned that their relationship was ignored UtM for what Amarantha would do to him, and so it is understandable then that he isn’t “consort” or “husband” yet, but in the spin offs that are after ACOWAR, if he’s brought up in that, I hope that one of those other terms will be used. Additionally, it bothers me that in the ACOTAR universe, there is still no mention of same sex mates. The mating bond in this world is very heteronormative, but it would be awful for SJM to make a world in which all Soulmates who experience True Love are heterosexual. If anyone has any additional information from something she said on tour, etc., please hit me up.
While I (and many others) adored Helion, he very very narrowly escapes the “slutty bisexual” trope. Even our first contact with him in ACOWAR, the letter he sends accepting the invitation to the High Lord meeting–what should be solely professional correspondence–is said to be readable “between all the innuendo,” (293). Though he is mostly professional in the meeting itself, it isn’t long when meeting personally–without the “’swagging prick performance’” (450)–that he brings up sex. His sexuality is described to Feyre by Rhys as “Helion favors both males and females. Usually together in his bed” (450-451). While this alone would be enough to make him part of this negative trope, I believe it is avoided for a mix of four reasons. First of all, there are multiple other queer people in this book who are not viewed negatively (as above, with Nephelle and Thesan). Secondly, his sexuality, while joked about, isn’t insulted and is treated in a similar fashion as the jokes made about Cassian’s sex life in ACOMAF (this isn’t really possible to prove, per say, but it personally read as similar teasing to me). Thirdly, we are given proof of him being in love with, of having feeling and emotion for, a single person. It would have or could have been a true monogamous relationship if it was up to Helion, but the Lady of Autumn “’chose to stay’” (455). This removes part of this trope by showing that bisexuals can have romantic feelings for people and care about things other than sex. Finally, Helion is highly respected in the narrative/by the readers, perhaps only second to Rhys. This is shown multiple times. During the meeting of the High Lords, it is said that only three of the current High Lords were present for the last war against Hybern, being Beron, Rhys, and Helion (436). This in of itself sets Helion equal to Rhys in terms of experience, knowledge, and (at least political, if not magical) power. After the meeting, it is written in the narrative that “[Helion’s] muscled body was only a mask–-to hide the cunning mind beneath. I wondered if Rhys had picked that up from him” (452). Our Hero has this same trait–-a trait that the readers love him for–-and he learned it from Helion. Helion taught things to the Hero. I think that speaks for itself. Additionally, Helion is treated as a friend, invited to have dinner with the Night Court, as Kallias and Vivane are (459). Very specific battle plans are discussed between the Night Court and him, and he is intelligent and largely professional at the meetings. Then, in the final battle, it is said that “If Rhys[’s beast form] was a flying terror crafted from shadows and old moonlight, Helion was his daytime equivalent…. Together, my mate and the High Lord of Day unleashed themselves upon Hybern” (645-646). Once again, Helion is set as an equal to our Hero. Once again, this speaks for itself. Now, with all four of these factors at play, I would say that Helion avoids the damaging “slutty bisexual” trope. If one of these four were removed, I would argue he falls into that trope. As such, fandom should make sure that in the way we talk about Helion in the future does not remove the respect and complexity canon gives him. (I personally haven’t really seen anything that has made me uncomfortable yet, but if I do see an issue, I will call that person out on it.)
Now, on to Mor, by far the most controversial of the group. Her sexuality is told to Feyre as “I do find pleasure […] in both…. But I’ve known, since I was little more than a child, that I prefer females. That I’m… attracted more to them over males. That I connect with them, care for them on that soul-deep level” (589). I know there is currently a debate going on in the fandom over whether she is gay or bisexual, but I would like to say that this reads as bisexual to me. In fact, this is the only part of Mor’s queerness that I thought was well done: I, along with many other bisexuals I’ve talked to, identified with this description of her sexuality. I know that this is how I feel about my own attraction, and past that, it can be appreciated that there is a bisexual in media who is not viewed as “50/50″ like so many are, that can like both while still having a preference one way or another. Obviously this is a discussion that should be had among the bi and gay girls in this fandom but: people have called her lesbian. People have called her bisexual homoromantic. For the number of self-identifying bisexual women in this fandom who have said their attraction matches what is described here, I would call her bisexual. Though there are people who find the split between romantic and sexual orientations helpful, and there are bisexual homoromantic women in this fandom who identify with Mor’s description of her sexuality, I think that calling her bisexual homoromantic ignores the fluidity of sexuality that many bisexuals (myself included) feel. The discussion of labels is something that the fandom should continue to have, but in the fandom, if you are not bi/pan/gay, tread carefully when trying to name her sexuality.
That description was the only good thing about Mor’s coming out. Everything else was, as my gay friend and I said while discussing it, A Heterosexual Mess.
The scene starts off with Mor deciding to tell Feyre because Feyre got angry at her and Mor felt bad. That’s gross. No one should have to come out because their friend was shitty to them. No one should have to come out as a form of apology. No one should be coerced into coming out. And this might be a nitpick, but there is a line from this moment: “[Feyre] reached for [Mor’s] hand, prying it off her arm” (589). I know this was meant to be comforting, but a light caress on her hand to see if Mor was okay taking it would be a lot better than a straight person trying to force comfort on a queer person because They Are Understanding and Accepting. Later on in the scene, Feyre specifically says, and Mor agrees, that “’Rhys wouldn’t care–I don’t think anyone in Velaris would’” (592). But Mor continues to stay in the closet for the sake of Azriel’s happiness. All of these things put straight comfort and happiness over queer health. All of these things make it seem as if queer people owe something to straight people. And we don’t.
And then, at the end of the scene, Feyre says to Mor,
“I’ll stand by you no matter what. Until then… Your secret is safe. I won’t tell anyone–even Rhys.” “Thank you,” [Mor] breathed. I [Feyre] shook my head. “No–thank you for telling me. I’m honored.” (592)
A queer person thanks a straight person for not outing her, which would negatively impact at the very least her mental health and relationships, if not her authority and power over her past abusers. The straight person replies that she is “honored.” Honored for what? That her friend has been hiding herself because of a homophobic society for 500 years and can only admit who she is to someone she’s known a matter of months? (I know some people find it easier to talk about these things with people they know less rather than more, but it shouldn’t be a big enough deal for Mor to be scared about it in the first place.) Honored that straight people have to be told that people they know are queer because otherwise they’ll assume everyone is straight? Coming out is not “honoring” someone. It’s telling someone, anyone that you trust to not hurt you, something about yourself. Coming out is a product of a heteronormative society.
The fact that Mor has been hiding it for five hundred years is also disgusting. Considering that Helion’s, Thesan’s, and Nephelle’s queerness are all accepted, this would suggest then that the Night Court is homophobic while other courts/societies are not. There is no reason to make any place in fantasy homophobic. If you can write about a bunch of hot people with endless magic, you can write about a society where homophobia doesn’t exist. I was reading another meta about Mor earlier today by @my-name-is-fireheart, where she says that, with the Court of Nightmares being what they’re being, they would have made Mor’s life worse for her being queer. I don’t disagree. But then she says:
Realistically, I don’t know how Maas could have avoided Mor’s painful backstory given what we know of her family. The only answer is that Maas could have written Mor as out from the beginning, and…then what? Had the court of nightmares, in all its patriarchal glory, be okay with her as bi? Be fine with her preferring females? Be happy with a daughter who was LGBT? Sure that is all wonderful but…not realistic given who Keir is. So…the only way to really change Mor’s backstory is to change who her family is.
Yes, she could have written Mor as out from the beginning. She doesn’t need to change her family to do this. I’m not suggesting that Mor come out to her family while they still had physical power over her, but once she was in the Court of Dreams, she very well could have. It would just add another layer of hatred and resentment from her family towards her, her power over them, and her freeing herself from them. Also, you can come out to one group of people and not another. She could be out and free to the Court of Dreams, Velaris, and Prythian and not out to the Court of Nightmares. How would they find out? It’s not like she’s going to bring anyone she’s dating with her on her job (not until “dating” becomes “possibly engaged” or “married/mated” at least). Would she sit on the throne and make a proclamation of her sexuality? Maybe I’m the outlier in this community, but that’s certainly not how I did it.
And I know, I know that coming out is hard. And that, as Mor says, you want to keep people from “shaming me, hurting me about this one thing that has remained wholly mine” (590). But by doing that, you are still putting fear above happiness. You are still putting straight comfort over queer health. And I really wouldn’t want a young version of me seeing this rep and doing that. Because I did it for a long, long while, and it nearly destroyed me. I don’t want it destroying another young queer girl, just coming into her sexuality. The scars and the pain of being queer fade generation to generation, but I will do everything in my power to end that pain altogether.And that means starting here, making sure that the media that failed me does not fail others.
With everything, I fully expect one of the spinoffs to be about Mor, her coming out to everyone, and her finding happy queer love. With all the pain Mor has gone through, she cannot pushed to a subplot as part of one of the other books–or worse, be pushed to the side to make room for a heterosexual ship. (And honestly, if this scene is gone back on and she ends up with Azriel, I will throw a fit. Because all that says is, “if you try hard enough, you can be happy with a man!” which is even worse than not having this at all.) If you are going to spotlight a queer character’s pain, you need to spotlight their happiness as while. And for future books and future queer narratives, the best way to prevent this would be to create a world in which homophobia does not exist, or doesn’t exist enough to force a queer character to stay in the closet. Becausewhile coming out is a product of a heteronormative society, queer pain is a product of a homophobic society. Queer people aren’t tortured about their sexuality because of their sexuality, but because of how others view it. Yes, homophobia is something that needs to be worked through, but as a straight author writing about writing narratives of queer pain and homophobic societies in a fantasy book, you are perpetuating the very thing we are working to get rid of. You are contributing to the problem, instead of helping to fix it. And you are the one who is going to have to look yourself in the mirror every day and determine if you can live with that.
*All page numbers taken from the US Target edition hardback.
She hasn’t left her false eyelashes, but she has gotten rid of her sadness. After two years of absence, the diva of ‘sad pop’ comes back with a ‘Rage de Vivre’ translation of ‘Lust for Life’ her fifth album which comes out July 21st and “Love” her single, which has already passed 50 million views on YouTube. Same hypnotic voice, same poetic universe for a woman who now has a certain taste for happiness. Since her debut in 2012, on the internet, with ‘Born to Die’ which made her one of the biggest stars in music, Lana tells us in mind-blowing songs and beautiful music videos of her fragile life as a young girl haunted by death and failure. Today, she says that she has overcome these demons and her toxic relationships. Single, maybe, but a little more light-hearted.
For her, it’s already history. At 17 years old, Elizabeth Woolridge Grant wrote her own songs and made her own music videos: ‘I took a lot of photos. Then I started to record myself, to use my image.’ After seven hellish years of singing in Brooklyn bars, her music video ‘Video Games,’ posted in 2011 and has since been viewed 155 million times, which thrusted in a few minutes, the young American into an unforeseen notoriety. She evolved into Lana Del Rey, Lolita 2.0, fan of the sixties who over the course of her songs tells a sometimes indecent and provocative story but always sensual. ‘I am connected to the future and the past at the same time… That’s why I have few friends…’ Today, she sings ‘I’m young and in love’. But confides that she has found happiness… since she is no longer dating. ‘I’ve never been lucky in choosing boyfriends’.
She always loved putting on a show: ‘As a child, I loved making my life a work of art. - My passion for beautiful films might explain my aesthetic’ says the woman who would have loved living in the Flower Power of the hippy years.