Men's-Essentials

Types of Literary Criticism

NEW CRITICISM, or: “READ THE FUCKING TEXT”


  • Also known as ‘practical criticism’.
  • This theory was dominant in the US and UK between the 30s and 70s. 
  • A formalist, decontextualised approach to literature where the text is examined independently of other influences.
  • Explores the essential elements of language, imagery, symbolism, figures of speech, ambiguity, irony, paradox.
  • Pretty huge span of approaches - for example, within Shakespearean new criticism you had A.C. Bradley’s character-based critique, Harley Granville-Barker’s study of stagecraft, G. Wilson Knight’s exploration of image and theme, and L.C. Knights’ suggestion that Bradley is a douche and Shakespeare was a poet, not a dramatist. (Yeah, fuck you, Knights.)


HISTORICIST CRITICISM, or: “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, DUH”

  • Funnily enough, this approach believes that historical context influences interpretation.
  • Stuff like: religion, political idealism of the time, cultural shifts, social attitudes, war, colonialism (although that’s a whole other bag of cats, see below), pop culture references and in-jokes, and anything that might have influenced the text during the era in which it was written.
  • Within historicist criticism there should be a distinction between text and context; history is the background that the text passively reflects.
  • Buuuut often this approach reveals more about the critic’s political/social/personal values than the period they are studying. Natch. 


LIBERAL HUMANISM, or: “STORIES ARE JUST A REFLECTION OF THE AUTHOR, DUDE”

  • Popular at the beginning of the 1900s - literature and art are timeless, revealing a universal truth about humanity.
  • Like, writers are totally free agents whose intentions shape the meaning of their writing, man. 
  • Like, human consciousness shapes language, culture and society, NOT the other way around.


MARXISM, or “WE’RE ALL SLAVES TO THE ECONOMY” 

  • A criticial theory systemised in the 20s, based on the materialist philosophy of Karl Marx (1818-83) and Friedrich Engels (1820-95) whereby the material circumstances of life are determining factors in the individual’s experience.
  • So, like, the economic organisation of society shapes culture, politics, philosophy, religion, education, law and art.
  • So, like, fuck liberal humanism; people are shaped by their environment, NOT the other way around. Authors and their works are basically products of society. 
  • These guys believe that art reflects changing economic conditions and class values. There’s a little cross-over with historicist criticism in the approach that literature should be interpreted within the context of the period and its political inflections - often with a focus on the lower classes.
  • Get yourself familiar with the Marxist concept of ‘ideology’ - a function which ‘naturalises’ the inequalities of power through a complex structure of social perceptions which renders class division invisible. 
  • Yeah. It’s heavy, dude.


STRUCTURALISM, or: “LANGUAGE IS EVERYTHIIIING!”

  • Based on the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913)
  • The belief that language shapes humanity, culture, communication, and the way we perceive the world. Yay, go language.
  • Structuralism was a radical theory during the second half of the 20th Century whose central argument opposed liberal humanist ideas (Recap: lib-humans reckoned that human consciousness creates language and culture - structuralists reckoned the complete opposite. At this point everyone is basically being completely contrary for the sake of it.)


POST STRUCTURALISM, or “WE’RE SORT OF ON THE FENCE ABOUT LANGUAGE SO JUST GO WITH IT”

  • A critical theory prominent in France in the 1960s, primarily associated with philosopher Jacques Derrida and critic Roland Barthes - a reaction against structuralism as well as a development of it. <sigh>
  • Ok, so this language thing? How about we agree that reality is constituted through language BUT language itself is unstable and beyond our control. Like, language is an unreliable narrator, yeah? Yeahhh.
  • Essentially, it’s language that speaks, not the author. So let’s call it THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR because we are needlessly dramatic. 
  • So, like, literary texts don’t present a single or unified view and the author cannot claim authority on interpretation. (The curtains are blue…)
  • You can trace a whole thread of critical development here from formalist criticism to structuralism to post-structuralism and later to deconstruction - all of which are concerned with the ambiguity and contradictions within text and language. To make it even more confusing, new historicism (see below) can also be seen as post-structuralist since it places stress on a text’s connection to culture rather than relying on the autonomy of the text itself.
  • Time for a stiff drink.


NEW HISTORICISM, or “IT’S THE CIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIIIFE - ART AND HISTORY ARE STUCK IN AN INFINITY LOOP” 

  • A term coined by Stephen Greenblatt (Shakespeare-critic-extraordinaire) in the 80s - a reaction against old historicism (where text is a reflection of historical background) and a move away from Marxist and post-structural theories.
  • New historicism asserts that the text is an active participant in historical development.
  • So, like, art and literature help to create the cultural values of the period in which they are produced. BUT, we are also formed and tied to cultural ideologies, so it ain’t all about the text. 
  • Involves close reading of the text, taking into account political ideology, social practice, religion, class division and conflict within society.
  • A pessimistic take on Foucault: the belief that we are ‘remarkably unfree’ of the influence of society and socio-political power operates through the language of major institutions to determine what’s normal and demonise ‘otherness’.
  • Seriously. Fuck society. 


CULTURAL MATERIALISM, or “WE NEED A BRITISH VERSION OF NEW HISTORICISM”

  • We can’t let the Americans monopolise this kind of criticism.
  • Goddamn Greenblatt.
  • So consider this: how much freedom of thought do we actually have? Does culture shape our identities or can we think independently of dominant ideologies? Huh? Huh? Are we saying anything new yet? 
  • Basically, a historicist approach to political criticism with a revised conception of the connection between literature and culture. 
  • Culture is a complex, unstable and dynamic creature which offers an opportunity for the radical subversion of power and society.
  • Unlike historicism or Marxism, cultural materialists believe the author is able to achieve a degree of independence from prevailing structures of power and discourse. 
  • Often demonstrates optimism for political change - once again, critical theory reflects the critic’s personal opinions and hopes for change in present day society. Literary criticism can change the world, man.
  • Some crossover into feminist/queer/post-colonial theory, because FUCK ALL THOSE OLD WHITE GUYS.


FEMINIST THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE”

  • Following the women’s movement of the 1960s, feminist theory was established in the 70s and 80s and founded on texts Le Deuxieme Sex by Simone de Beauvoir and Sexual Politics by Kate Millett.
  • Explicitly political – similarities to new historicism and cultural materialism - challenging the subordinate position of women in society and deconstructing/contesting the concept of essentialism, whereby men and women have intrinsically separate qualities and natures. 
  • Often seen as an attack on the Western literary canon and the exclusion of female writers throughout history. Focuses on female characters and authors, exploring the influence and restrictions of patriarchy, and constructions of gender, femininity and sexuality (both in text and culture).
  • Feminists influenced by post-structuralism tend to disregard the positive discrimination of women writers, claiming “it is language that speaks, not the author.”
  • Feminism and psychoanalytical theories (esp Freud and Lacan) contributed to the erosion of liberal humanist ideas, redefining human nature and the concept of child development, and exploring the psychology of patriarchy and male-dominated culture. 


GAY/LESBIAN CRITICISM AND QUEER THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE/STRAIGHT”

  • During the 80s, queer theory was influenced by post-structuralist ideas of identity as being fluid and unstable, and investigates the role of sexual orientation within literary criticism from a social and political viewpoint.
  • An opposition to homophobia and the privilege of heterosexual culture and an exploration of themes that have been suppressed by conservative critical theory.
  • A look at LGBQTA, non-binary characters and authors and their influence within a historical, political, religious and social context.
  • The end of ‘gal-pals’ and ‘no-homo’, fuckboys.


POST COLONIAL THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICAL THEORY FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T WHITE”

  • A critique on the English canon and colonial rule with a focus on canonical texts written during periods of colonisation.
  • An exploration of cultural displacement/appropriation and the language and cultural values thrust upon/developed by colonised people.
  • Post-colonial theory gives voices to colonial ‘subjects’ and looks at the impact on individual and collective identity, as well as the complexity of colonial relationships and interaction.
  • Gonna have a lot to do with politics, history, social ideology, religion and international/race relations, obvs. Stay woke.
Wonder Woman Sentence Starters- Part 1
  • “What if I promise to be careful?”
  • “The Gods gave us many gifts and one day you’ll know them all.”
  • “Only the fiercest among us even could and that is not you.”
  • “You’re safe and there is nothing you should concern yourself with.”
  • “You keep doubting yourself.”
  • “You’re stronger than you believe.”
  • “Never let your guard down!”
  • “You’re a man.”
  • “I’m one of the good guys and those are the bad guys.”
  • “What man fights against his own people?”
  • “I can’t tell you that.”
  • “That’s all I’m at liberty to say.”
  • “I’m a spy!”
  • “This is our duty.”
  • “Is it true you saved his life?”
  • “I didn’t see you come in.”
  • “Would you say you’re a typical example of your sex?”
  • “I am above average.”
  • “You let this little thing tell you what to do?”
  • “Thank you for what you did on the beach.”
  • “I guess I gotta try.”
  • “My father told me once he said “if you see something wrong in the world you can either do nothing or you can do something.” And I already tried nothing.”
  • “I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost.”
  • “You know that if you choose to leave you may never return.”
  • “Who will I be if I stay?”
  • “You have been my greatest love, today you are my greatest sorrow.”
  • “I thought maybe you’d want to get some sleep.”
  • “You don’t sleep with women?”
  • “I do–I do sleep with women!”
  • “Outside of the confines of marriage it’s not polite to assume.”
  • “So you can’t sleep with me unless we are married.”
  • “I’ll sleep with you if you want, I’ll sleep right there.”
  • “There’s plenty of room.”
  • “They came to the conclusion that men are essential for procreation but when it comes to pleasure… unnecessary.”
  • “Welcome to Jolly Ol’ London.”
  • “It’s hideous.”
  • “We made a deal. And a deal is a promise, and a promise is unbreakable.”
  • “You’re not wearing any clothes.”
  • “Thank God, you’re not dead.”
  • “I go where he tells me to go and I do what he tells me to do.”
  • “Where I’m from that’s called slavery.”
  • “It keeps our tummies in.”
  • “Only a woman with no tummy would ask that question.”
  • “Fight? We use our principles. Although I am not opposed to engaging in a bit of fisticuffs should the occasion arise.”
  • “Really, specs? And suddenly she’s not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.”
  • “Is there anything else you want to show me?”
  • “You mean you were lying?”
  • “I’m a spy, it’s what I do.”
  • “We are probably gonna die.”
  • “This is a terrible idea.”
  • “Who gets paid for honor?”
  • “I’m both frightened and aroused.”
  • “I assume you’re here planning something that will either get you court marshalled or killed.”
how to tell a femme lesbian from a straight girl (the answer u wont like)

so when i mean if u know how to look you can spot a straight girl from a femme lesbian i dont mean like. show me a picture of a het and a femme and i’ll be able to spot the lesbian (i might be able to but its not bc of how they look)

i know yall arent gonna like this post bc its based off generalizations but uh. generalizations are how u make judgements abt things without flat out asking someone so unless u think its better to assume the statistically speaking less-likely scenario then this is ur best bet

the vast majority of my gaydar relies on body language, social cues, behaviors, and what information a person chooses to share when the subject of sexuality comes up

obviously none of those things are 100% foolproof, my gaydar has been wrong before (like everyones has) and all that other disclaimer bullshit, but if u know what to look for u can probably figure it out (again, not every lesbian acts this way and some straight girls do act this way, dont call me a heterophobe or accuse me of “stereotyping lesbians” bc i do not have the patience for that bullshit and i will block u dont try me tonight)

heres the deal: lesbians have very different life experiences than straight women. there comes a time in every lesbian’s life where u have to come to terms with the fact that the entire universe revolves around men but ur entire universe has nothing to do with them and frankly doesnt give a damn about them. u end up disconnected from the entire world, questioning your own value and usefulness, and all kinds of other angsty lesbian things. we all know this.

and straight girls dont experience that. obviously straight women dont base their entire lives around men. im not claiming they do. but straight women’s universes inherently include men, and the socialization that straight women and lesbians experience gives two different outcome because you have two different initial conditions

when push comes to shove, men are essentially irrelevant from lesbians’ lives. outside of compulsory heterosexuality, we don’t have anything to prove to them. yeah we might be friends with them, but at the end of the day, how men feel about us is. irrelevant tbh.

a straight girl will care about how the men around her view her, through things like body checking (which lesbians can also partake in, mind u) and y making an effort to like. include and be active in men’s lives because they are men. straight women like men and they like men’s company. yeah, they’ll joke about “hating men” but at the end of the day they go home to their boyfriends or husbands and spend the rest of their lives with a man. (i am aware bi women do this too, but bi women’s experiences are fundamentally different from straight women’s experiences bc they arent straight, and this post is specifically abt lesbians vs straight women)

u have to overcome a lot of shit to be a lesbian, to call urself a lesbian, to know ur a lesbian. and that doesn’t happen without changing who u are deep down. lesbians hold their heads high, they dont fuck around, and they give off vibes. they prioritize women. they disregard men. they dont subconsciously cater to the men in the room. they pay more attention to women. they shy away from affection from men.

they also dont talk abt how much they love men. we all went to sleepovers with straight girls, we all got the dreaded “who do u like” question, and we all heard our straight girl friends talk aout the guys they like. a lesbian never praises some mediocre white guy because he’s “got nice hair” or whatever. they might shrug off comments about them not having a boyfriend, avoid talking about celebrities they like, and generally be vague when it comes to conversations about love. and u know why, lesbians generally dont start talking about being gay around a pack of straight girls who will immediately recoil at their once-believed-straight-now-evil-homosexual-friend’s touch

lesbians get a shit lot in life, to be frank. and u can see it. u can hear it. you can watch it. what do u do that u do bc ur a lesbian that isnt flannels and docs? how has being a lesbian influenced you? do u avoid eye contact with men? consciously sit near women at all times, stare a pretty classmate, avoid talking about boys? look for that same behavior in other women. it’s subtle, but if u pay attention you’ll see it

please dont respond to this post without reading it in its entirety or accuse me of making generalizations, this entire post is built off generalizations bc its abt gaydar so

I recognize every lesbian’s experience is different and of course if u make assumptions about someone based off a complex and often ambiguous communication such as body language you can be dead wrong bc every human being is different

AU where bitty is on the lacrosse team and manages to keep the lax bros out of smh’s hair long enough that the boys start to get suspicious

word count: 1603

part 1 here


After what Bitty has been referring to in his own head as “The Incident” (with capital letters and all), things between the lax team and the hockey team are… Better? Naturally, Bitty couldn’t tell his team about what had happened, and in fact hadn’t even been pressured to; the teammates who’d been in the house at the time hadn’t even realized he was gone until he was strolling back through the door. So much for having each other’s backs, Bitty had mumbled to himself as he rolled out his pie crust.

But that had been nearly a month ago, and since then, the hockey team hadn’t been over even once to bang at the door with complaints– not even when the house had hosted a party two weeks ago and their music had been loud enough for the bass to be felt a full block away. It’s unusual behavior, and Bitty would be lying if he ever tried to say he isn’t curious about it. The way he sees it, they’re probably just feeling guilty over the whole kidnapping thing. Which is probably fair, all things considered, and Bitty appreciates their consideration. For the most part.

Despite the hockey team’s apparent peace with the lacrosse team, they do still seem a little spiteful. Either that, or Bitty is projecting his own spite onto them; he’s been sitting at the house’s kitchen table for a full two hours now, picking at a now cold tray of bagel bites as he tries to finish an essay. It’s not due until the next Monday, a fact that has Bitty thanking any and all gods who may exist, because there is no way in hell he can finish it tonight with the loud music blaring from across the street. Bitty keeps finding himself bouncing a leg to the beat and staring blankly at his laptop instead of actually writing, and after the fourth time, he finally sighs and slams the thing shut, sliding it perhaps too roughly into his backpack. He deposits the entire bag safely by the stairs before he heads out.

Keep reading

3

The Battle of Blair Mountain

 Around the turn of the century in West Virginia, the coal companies controlled everything. They owned the towns, had their own private militias, and even paid local law enforcement officers and politicians.  However, the coal companies control over the state began to wane when the miners started to unionize. One of the last counties to unionize was Logan Country, located in the southwest of the state. In 1920, agents of the Baldwin Felts Detective Agency arrived in the independent town of Matewan to evict several miners families and arrest the local police chief, Sid Hatfield.  Hired by the coal companies, the men were essentially there to strong arm the town, which was staunchly pro-union. Days before, the coal companies had tried to bribe the local mayor into placing 5 machine guns on the roofs of the town buildings "in order to maintain order" among the coal miners.  The agents threw out several families from their homes at gunpoint.  They were met by Chief Hatfield and his deputies, who told them to get out of town.  A gunfight ensued, resulting in the deaths of ten men, 7 of which were Baldwin Felts agents, including two of the brothers of the company’s founder, Albert and Lee Felts. The town mayor, Cabell Testerman, was also killed.

Police Chief Sid Hatfield

Sid Hatfield was cleared of murder charges, which was seen as a great victory against the coal companies.  Bolstered by the victory, Sid Hatfield and a union organizer named Bill Blizzard organized the miners of Logan County into a union, which quickly went on strike.  The coal companies responded by hiring scabs and strike breakers.  On August 1st, 1921 Sid Hatfield was called to McDowell County to stand trial for sabotaging a mine. While walking up the courthouse steps with his friend Ed Chambers and their wives,  a group of Baldwin Felts agents opened fire, killing Hatfield and Chambers.  Chambers, who was only wounded, was executed by one of the agents with a gunshot to the back of the head.

 Enraged, the miners took up arms and organized to forcefully break the power of the coal companies. They were joined by thousands of miners from other counties who were sympathetic to their cause.  Altogether, the miners formed an army consisting of around 10,000 men.  Its is no exaggeration that they were an army, many of the miners were World War I veterans who had seen combat in Europe.  Armed with hunting rifles and shotguns, they organized battalions and regiments, assigned commanders, set up command posts, set up hospitals and mess tents, dug trenches, and did everything that a well organized army would do. Their opposition, a eclectic group of coal company militias, guards, state and local police, and Baldwin Felts agents, only numbered around 3,500, however they were well armed with machine guns and other military weapons.

On August 25th, the two sides met, and a battle raged in the West Virginia mountains for almost a week.  In the ensuing battle, 50-100 miners were killed, around 30 men on the side of the coal companies were killed.  Hundreds more were wounded on both sides.  The battle ended when Federal troops arrived on September 2nd.  985 miners were indicted for treason and murder, but in the end none were charged.  Overall the battle was a victory for the coal companies in the short term, who clamped down even harder on the miners.  In the long term, the battle was a victory for the miners, as the battle rose awareness of the coal miners plight.

5

No Chaser Beard Oil + Beard Shampoo is for Black Men, from a Black Woman. I have an affinity for Black Men, of all types, on all spectrums.
Especially bearded Black Men.
Every bottle used is an upcycled, mini liquor bottle, hence the name, “No Chaser”. I am trying to do my part in reducing, reusing and recycling, when and where I can.
I have handcrafted this mixture with love + knowledge of Black Men and essential oils.
My beard oils come in attractive scents for men, while also pleasing to women;
trust me, I know. I personally use a combination of these oils on my hair + body.

I am giving you what I give myself; the very best.

My website is www.nochasernaturals.com

I Got You Part 2

Characters: Reader, Dean, Sam

Summary:  Sam and Dean rescue reader from captivity.  Who held her captive?  Why?

Word Count:  1484

Warnings:  Violence (alluded to)

As always, feedback is welcomed and appreciated.  Tags are at the bottom. There’s still room on my Forever Tags.  Add yourself here.

Part 1 Here

I Got You Part 2

Dean lays you down gently on a bed. The room is spartan in its furnishing, there are no windows, but it feels secure. A man trails him into the room, wearing a trench coat and tie.

Dean sits on the edge of the bed. “(Y/N), this is my friend, Castiel. He can heal you, he’s an angel.”

Your eyes widen in surprise. You’d heard the stories of course, but you’d never met an actual angel. “You’re real?” you blurt out.

Dean chuckles and Castiel looks puzzled. He looks down and pats himself, as if to reassure himself that he is, indeed, real. “Of course I’m real. Do I look strange?”

Your cheeks redden, embarrassed. You have no idea how to address an angel. Probably formally. You’d heard from another hunter that angels are egotistical pricks.

“Cas,” Dean says, “can you just get with the healing? She needs to rest.”

“Oh, yes, of course, Dean.” The angel crosses the room and reaches out a hand to your forehead. You cringe, not knowing what is about to happen. He touches you briefly, light seemingly emanating from his palm. It’s as if you can actually feel your body healing itself - bones knitting together, skin growing back into place. A sense of peace washes over you while he touches your skin. When he removes his hand, you feel whole once again.

“Thank you,” you whisper.

“You’re welcome,” he says simply before slipping out of the room.

Dean stands too, the mattress springing upward, free of his weight. “Get some rest, (Y/N). We’ll talk more in the morning.”

———

There is a slight moment of panic when you wake in the morning, the room unfamiliar. Your heart pounds against your ribcage. It takes a moment to focus and remember that you are safe. Safe. Is there really such a thing? Yes, you decide. You’ve felt it in the last twenty-four hours. Every time you are near Dean Winchester.  

You realize that you’re still wearing his flannel. You wrap it tightly around yourself, as if it’s some kind of magical armor, and step out into the hallway. It doesn’t take long to figure out which way to go - you follow the tantalizing aroma of bacon wafting down the hall.

“Mornin’, sunshine,” Dean says when you step into the kitchen. The smile on his lips reaches his eyes when he sees you’re still wearing his shirt. “Have a seat, I’ll grab you a plate.” He jerks his head to indicate the blonde woman standing in the kitchen. “(Y/N), this is my mom, Mary.  Mom, this is (Y/N).”

Mary crosses the room to you. She extends her hand and you shake it. Her grip is firm, her face is a mask. You can’t quite get a read on her. “It’s nice to meet you. My boys told me what happened. How are you doing?”

“Much better, thank you.” Dean slips a plate in front of you and you tuck in, still feeling the effects of starvation. “Do you know who it was that tortured me?”

Mary and Dean exchange a look as if they are deciding what to share with them. Smart move, considering they don’t know you from Adam. Mary shakes her head, almost so slightly that you barely miss it. Dean tilts his head as if silently arguing with her.  

Apparently, Dean wins, because he answers you. “I don’t know if you remember much from last night, but this is the Men of Letters bunker,” he says, waving his hand around.

“Wait - the Men of Letters were real?” you ask, snatching another piece of bacon from the tray.  Mary’s lips quirk up in an approving smile.

“Yep, Sam and are I legacies,” Dean responds with a twinge of pride.

“Oh, congrats…I guess?” you ask.

Dean deflates a little and Mary stifles a giggle. Did you hurt his feelings? God, you feel like a moron.  

“Yeah, yeah,” he says, but he doesn’t seem mad. “Our grandfather was a member. It’s a long story, but he traveled through time and told us about the Men of Letters. We moved in here shortly after. We figured the Men of Letters was essentially defunct after all these years.”

“I’m sensing a plot twist,” you comment and that earns you a dazzling smile from Dean. It makes you feel warm and tingly all over.

“Turns out the British Men of Letters were still operational all these years. And they’ve decided that they need a foothold here in America too,” Dean explains.

“Yeah, and they are total assholes,” Sam’s voice booms out behind you as he enters the kitchen. He reaches out and squeezes your shoulder. That small kindness is worth more than a thousand words. “We’re pretty certain they were the people who tortured you.”

Your fists curl into tight balls, anger flooding through you. Though your body may be healed, the rage you carry at being tortured can’t be healed as easily as your body. You were going to kill every one of those bastards. “Where are they?”

“We’re trying to track them down, but we don’t have much to go on. We’ll let you know as soon as we know anything,” Dean assures you. “Don’t worry, we’ll find ‘em. I got you.”

————-

The bunker is comforting, a refuge, you feel safe within its walls, but you are a woman of action. Sitting around doing research is nothing short of maddening. When Dean stands and says he’s running into town for a supply run, you jump at the chance to go with him.  

The ride into town is pleasant, it’s a mild day and the windows are down. You ask Dean about his car and listen while he describes it. It’s clearly the love of his life. It’s almost sexual the way he describes the sleek lines and the purring engine. Most of the technical detail is beyond you, but you are happy to listen, to see the way he lights up talking about something he’s passionate about.  

You are acutely aware of the way his hand rests on the back of the bench seat, close to your shoulder. How would it feel for him to reach out and touch you? What is it about him that draws you to him so strongly? He’s certainly easy on the eyes, but it’s more than that. He turns to you and smiles, the sun glinting off his face. His fingertips barely graze the bare skin on your shoulder. Your stomach fills with butterflies.  

God, you are so done for.

———

At the market, you place your items on the counter. “Dean,” you say quietly. “Don’t look, but we’re being followed.”

Dean pitches his voice so only you can hear, leaning his head down close to yours, your foreheads almost touching. You imagine how it looks to anyone around you, the two of you inclined toward one another, whispering like a couple sharing secrets. “Where?”

“Standing by the magazine rack, blue shirt. He’s been watching us since we came here,” you respond. Dean lifts his shirt and slips a blade out his waistband and pushes it into your hand. You haven’t handled a weapon quite like it but you know how to use it.

“K, when we leave, turn down the alley to the right. I’m going to come around the other side, we’ll surround him.”

“Got it,” you reply. Dean hefts the grocery bag in one hand and the two of you exit the store, splitting up.

The guy exits shortly after and turns to follow after you. So that answers who he’s looking for - he’s after you. Hiding flat against the wall, you listen to his footsteps approaching. Taking a deep breath, you ready the blade. As he makes the turn, you use the element of surprise to you grip him by the shoulder and whirl him around. You slam him to the wall, the blade glinting in the sunlight as you press it to his throat.

“Who are you?” you demand.  

“I’m nobody,” he says.  

“Fucking hell, you’re nobody. Why are you following me?” You press the blade a little further into his flesh, blood dotting the shiny metal.  

“There’s a price on your head, girl,” he says smugly.  

“Who is looking for me?” you question, increasing the pressure on his throat.

He shrugs in your grip. “Don’t know, don’t care. I’m just in it for the prize.”

Boot treads indicated Dean’s presence in the alley. “What prize, you fucking prick?” you question.

“Freedom,” he says.

“(Y/N), watch out!” Dean shouts. You realize your mistake - so caught up in questions that you didn’t see the weapon your stalker pulled from his pocket.

You spring back, the knife slicing through your shirt. He charges at you, knife raised high. You duck and twist to the side as he runs at you. Sweeping out your leg, you knock him to the ground. He keeps his grip on the knife, but he’s had the wind knocked out of him. Quickly you grip the blade in your hands and slam down with as much force as you can, breaking through his rib cage and stabbing him in the heart.

By the time Dean reaches you, the body below you is sparking, orange light emanating from the body. Dean kneels down and grabs you by the shoulder, “You okay?”

You’re breathing rapidly, the adrenaline coursing through you. There’s a thin line of blood streaking your shirt, but it’s a shallow wound. Yes, you are okay. You are more than okay.  It felt really fucking good to kill something, to let that anger out that you’ve been holding at bay since your capture.

“Good, yeah, I’m good.” Dean stands and reaches out a hand to pull you to your feet.  

“Why is a fucking demon following you?” he asks, staring down at the body.

“I don’t know, but he says there’s a bounty on my head.”  

Dean snaps his head up, eyes clouded with concern. “Let’s get back to the bunker.”

———–

Back at the bunker, Dean explains to Sam and Mary what happened in town. You’re glowing with pride at the way Dean describes you taking down that demon like you’re some kind of goddamn superhero.

“So now is every demon after (Y/N)?” Mary asks.  

“I don’t know, I tried calling Crowley but he’s not answering,” Dean responds.  

Sam’s phone beeps and he holds up a finger and steps out of the room. “What do we do know?” you ask.

“We’ll figure it out. In the meantime, keeping you safe is my number one priority, don’t you worry,” Dean assures you. Your heart skips a beat, just a tiny little erratic skipped a beat, when he focuses his attention on you. Your eyes lock together and you feel the intensity of his gaze. Neither of you seems willing or able to tear away.

The enchantment is broken when Sam enters the room. “We have a problem,” he announces. “Two more hunters are dead.”

Part 3


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Maedhros slips into Black Speech without even realizing it, and unintentionally, it becomes a second language to him.

Learning the language in Angband was a necessity for survival, as his own tongue was banned. Guards refused to acknowledge prisoners who spoke the language of the elves, and punishment was dealt with those found speaking Quenya.

Thus, he became fluent in Black Speech, learning it from prisoners such as himself, guards who spoke it in his halls, and lowly orcs (at times, prisoners themselves) kind enough to teach him the basics.

It continues when he is amongst his kin again, a trait he is unable to shake off due to the time he spent speaking it. Of course, he does not fluently speak it around his family or people, but certain words, phrases, and lingos are present in his speech.

And the elves learn to deal with it, to normalize it.  Telling Maedhros to stop only resulted in an awkward silence, and a stuttering speech pattern.

“Will you at least tell us what some of it means,” Celegorm had asked him once, “Because our men are having an impossible time deciphering your words.”

So Maedhros teaches he and his brother’s men his language.

Essentially, it hurt everyone who first heard it, sent his brothers and Fingon grimacing, wincing at the words. Their armies were no better, staggering and stumbling in place at the onslaught of Black Speech. The fact that Maglor sang it to them (suggested by Maedhros in order to project it) didn’t make things better. But it was necessary, and benefited the elves in the long run.

(He spends careful time teaching Maglor Black Speech, makes him incorporate the words into his music in order make it corrupt, to make it more potent).

They could understand the enemy, could withstand their brutish tongue.  Not only that, but tracking down orc-ish spies and reading their documents put the elves a step ahead of Morgoth’s army.

I’m on mobile rn so I can’t find the comment in my notes but I’ve been getting some concerning commentary on my post about how lesbians do not need to date men and shouldn’t be pressured or guilted into dating men.

The comments are highlighting the part where I say that lesbians don’t need to date cis men OR trans men, and are essentially calling any lesbian who breaks up with a trans man gross and transphobic under the assumption that they’d be breaking up with their partner because they were trans.

That is extremely disingenuous. This is *not* a discussion of breaking up with a partner due to their trans status, which *would* be transphobic. This is a discussion of lesbians being allowed to leave relationships with men.

If, for example, a lesbian was dating someone and that person came out as a trans WOMAN and revealed that they are not cis, leaving them just for their trans status would be indicative of transphobia. But a partner who a lesbian believed to be a woman coming out and revealing themselves to be a MAN and the lesbian in question deciding to leave because of his *gender* (NOT his trans status) is not transphobic. It’s respecting that he is a man and as a lesbian you can’t sustain attraction to a man.

There is literally nothing wrong or gross about lesbians not wanting to enter or stay in relationships with men. It’s not okay to shame lesbians for not being attracted to men. It’s not okay to call lesbians gross for leaving relationships with men.

The idea that trans men are a different gender than cis men just because of their trans status is transphobic. The idea that lesbians need to stay with men just because they thought that man was a woman initially is lesbophobic.

Respect trans men’s identities. Respect lesbian’s right to not date men. That’s all I have to say on that.

Name: The Woman’s Triple Shift

Year: 1976

Artist: Duff & Maria

Value: $901,283,912,321

Rarity: Universal

Description & History:

The domestic labour that women provide is essential for men do perform their job effectively. The role of the housewife was socially constructed after industrialization as women were excluded from the ‘dangerous’ workplace, in order to look after the children, who were also excluded at the same time. Even though women are more likely to work in contemporary society, they are still expected to perform the domestic labour duties. This is supported by Ann Oakley (1976) who claimed that women have a ‘dual burden’ of employment and domestic labour when they come home. Duncombe & Marsden (1995) go further by stating that women now perform a ‘triple shift’ as they also have to perform emotional labour as well as employment and domestic chores. Fran Ansley (1976) would support this claim as women are expected to soak up the frustration of the man’s working day in order for them to return to work in a productive mindset. All domestic and emotional labour is done for free and therefore benefits the ruling class without costing them any money.

Trivia: This portrait is one of the leading examples of why we need feminism.