because women have to be more presentable

If Marvel movies were written by women

-Peggy Carter’s funeral would have been more than 3 minutes long.

-Tony Stark would have given a eulogy to Peggy, having grown up admiring her, his dad’s colleague of many years, a tremendously strong female role model (the woman who approved Pepper’s hire, of course).

-Steve Rogers would not have put the moves on Peggy’s niece within a day of burying Peggy.

-Black Widow would have gotten her own movie by now.

-A big part of Bucky’s backstory/flashbacks would have been told through Natasha’s viewpoint, her memories of either working with or against The Winter Soldier in Russia and the East. 

-Pepper Potts would have been in Civil War, speaking for herself.

-Wanda’s grief over her brother would still be very present.  Her feelings of loss and mourning would be front-and-center for her character.

-Black Panther’s woman bodyguard would have had more than one line. 

-Natasha would have told Steve that she was at Peggy’s funeral in part because she didn’t want him to be alone, but also in part to pay respects to the great Peggy Carter.

-There would be way more women in these movies.  There would be women of many ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and nationalities in these movies.  There would be many scenes of women talking to women.  There would be many more scenes of women talking.  And doing.  And feeling.  And being. 

Cardiac distress symptoms in women

In the wake of Carrie Fisher’s death four days after she suffered a massive heart attack, one thing that was reported by some news outlets was that she had been in “significant distress” on the flight. We don’t know the exact details of this, but in my experience as an EMT, it often means “hysterical woman having a panic attack and thinking she’s dying…*woman dies* …oops, guess she really was dying.” 

It is SO IMPORTANT to remember that many women present in what medicine considers an ‘atypical’ manner for heart attack, but it actually IS typical…for women. Women are more than twice as likely to die from cardiac emergencies, not because our physiology is that much different than men and thus gives us a worse chance at survival (it’s actually better if treated promptly and adequately), but because our symptoms are more likely to go unrecognized or to be dismissed entirely.

Thus, please take a moment to review and pass on this list of cardiac distress symptoms as seen in women: 

Shortness of breath - This is the most common one. If a woman, especially one without prior history of respiratory issues or shortness of breath, seems to be having trouble catching her breath and/or complains of such, pay very close attention. If she continues to feel winded after sitting or laying down, it’s probably time to call for help.

Feeling of impending doom - This can range from a sense of general unease to a full-blown panic attack. This one is extremely important, and is the symptom most commonly disregarded by doctors and hospital staff. If a woman tells you that she feels ‘not quite right,’ or like something terrible is about to happen, or that she’s about to die, LISTEN TO HER FFS. 

Nausea and “indigestion” - Also common. Heart attacks frequently present as a feeling of vague nausea or indigestion, but unlike typical heartburn, antacids and other OTC treatments will not alleviate the symptoms.

Hiccups - Unexplained hiccups, especially if seen with any of the other symptoms listed above, can be indicative of heart muscle that is being acutely or chronically starved of oxygen.  The exact mechanism isn’t known, but it’s thought that the enzymes released by the dying muscle irritate the pericardium and adjacent diaphragm, causing spasms in the healthy muscle. 

Fatigue - This is another commonly seen symptom, and is often overlooked or ignored as just transient tiredness. Many women having a heart attack will complain of feeling “flu-like” symptoms of nausea, sweating, fatigue, and shortness of breath, and they’ll lie down for a nap and never wake up. 

Lightheadedness - A feeling of being lightheaded or about to faint isn’t terribly uncommon in many benign conditions, and many women experience it on a monthly basis. However - be aware when it appears unexpectedly or unexplainedly, and/or with one or more of the other symptoms on this list. 

Sweating (diaphoresis) - Heart attack does funny things to the sympathetic nervous system, which is behind reflexes such as sweating and hiccups. If a lady is experiencing unexplained or excessive sweating, pay attention to anything else that might be going on with her. 

Tingling or numb extremities - A feeling of numbness or “pins and needles” tingling in the extremities can be an important sign that cardiac function is being impaired and those body parts aren’t receiving enough oxygen. 

Peripheral and/or central cyanosis - Often accompanies tingling or numbness, and is considered a later-stage symptom of cardiac distress and heart failure. Finger and toe tips will turn pale or blue first, and lips and gums after that. Important to remember that darker-skinned women may present cyanosis as ashen, grey, or darker purple rather than pale or blue. 

Back pain - Pain between the shoulder blades, in the cervical spine, or even further down in the torso or lumbar region can be a symptom of heart attack. Alone, it isn’t that suspicious, but if it’s unrelenting and presents with any of the other symptoms above, keep a watchful eye on things. 

Classic “crushing” or “tight” chest pain or pressure - Women DO experience this classic pain, too, just not as frequently as men do. This may be due to our higher pain threshold, or differences in blood volume, or maybe we’re just not sure because nobody’s bothered to really study it. Whatever the reason, some women do still experience the crushing or tightening pain, and others may experience less painful pressure or tightness that doesn’t seem to be relieved by anything.

Arm and jaw pain - Another “classic” heart attack symptom, and a bit more common than central chest pain. Unexplained pain in the left arm or shoulder, and on the left side of the neck or jaw, should not be ignored by anyone.

there are trans women who present as more masculine because they either cant or havent yet come out or dont have the resources for certain things but theyre still women you fucking dirt mongers

Ezra Miller’s response to “Your identification as queer has had a big impact on a lot of young people.” :

“It was unconscious when it happened. It was a conversation much like this with a human being I felt a kinship to, but within the official context of an interview. It’s not something I had given a spectacular amount of thought to, but I told her how I identified. It’s been interesting these past couple of years seeing the way that media and culture has received that statement. When I identified as queer, even though I said that most of my partners had been women, [it was] immediately: gay actor, Ezra Miller. When I identify as queer, it simply means that I don’t wish to conform to the binary system when it comes to who and how we love. I’m glad to have identified as queer, first of all because it’s true, and because I think ultimately, when we are creating the identity that we present to the world, if it can be close to the identity we actually maintain in our personal lives, [it] will probably end up being more comfortable and sustainable.”

A man mansplained linguistics to me

I’m currently doing a PhD in linguistics. I have a BA and MA degree in linguistics. I am being funded by one of only seven research councils in the UK and was offered funding by another too.

Yesterday at a party I had to listen to a guy, who has never studied linguistics, tell me how women talk far more than men and “dominate” conversations.

Even when I tried to present him with studies that show that men typically hold 75% of conversations, will view a woman as dominating if she takes up more than 25% of the conversation, and interrupt far more frequently than women, he would just talk over me to tell me all about how women talk too much.

He actually said at one point “women just talk loads and say nothing. Men don’t have to say much because we can just get our point across without the chat”.

All while he was giving me his opinion and refusing to listen to anything I had to say based on my 5 years of linguistic knowledge and 24 years of experience as a woman.

I mean…

The Photograph

Hi babes! This is a fluffy oneshot about Peter having a crush on one of Michelle’s friends at Midtown High. One day, he spots her reading outside and secretly takes a photo of her because he thinks that she looks too perfect to go unseen, and he pins the photo up in the back of his locker. Everything is fine until Flash Thompson gets his hands on Peter’s photo and brings it to her attention. After that, awkward cuteness ensues and I hope that you all like it!

The Photograph

Hot licks of pain seared throughout Peter’s body. His lip was split, there was a purpling bruise on his temple that was accompanied by a headache so powerful that it’s aching refused to be ignored. Even walking from class to class was taking a toll on Peter. He was exhausted and in pain, but Peter remained hellbent on keeping Queens safe, no matter the cost.  

    Peter’s eyes glazed over and his body was ready to shut down. Doing his best to keep himself up on his feet, he focused on the photo that he had tacked up of her in the back of his locker.

    In the photo, the girl was outside, hidden beneath the shade of a rather large tree. She was stretched out on a light pink blanket, a copy of Charles Baudelaire’s, ‘The Flowers of Evil,’ open in front of her. There was a carton of fresh strawberries and a rather oversized iced coffee balanced haphazardly against her backpack on the ground with her, and every so often, Peter recalled how delightedly blissful she looked each time she bit into a ripe berry. The sun’s rays, the soft breeze wandering through the tree’s leaves, and the chatter bumbling down to her from their shared high school didn’t even faze the girl. Her mind remained with the poet’s.

    After a few minutes of watching her, Peter felt soothed. Everything about her made him feel better. He loved the way she licked her lips after she ate, he loved the way that she read her favorite verses aloud, he loved the way that she laughed at herself when she nearly spilled her coffee, and he loved the way that she helped him forget about the constant stress that was now heavily present in his life.

    When Peter finally snapped the photo, she was laying on her side, one hand wound into her silky hair to keep it out of her eyes, and the other hand holding her poetry book open. Her eyes were focused on comprehending the poems on each page, but she wore a soft smile on her lips that made it clear that she wasn’t scrutinizing anything too intensely. The girl was merely enjoying her free period in the sun and Peter longed to do the same.

    Since then, Peter looked for her in almost every hallway, in every classroom window, and everyday at lunch. They’d spoken a handful of times, seeing as they were in the same history class, but other than class discussions, Peter hadn’t mustered up the nerve to say hello outside of an intellectual, in-class debate.

    One day, she was late to history and when she’d walked into the room, she found that her normal seat next to the window had been taken, so she headed towards the first empty desk she saw. Peter, already occupying one of the seats, nearly suffered a heart attack when she placed her binder next to his and offered him a quiet “good morning.”

    It had taken Peter a few seconds to force his brain to form a response to her and then to get his mouth to open and say the words that his brain was attempting to communicate back to her. When he stuttered out, “hey, yeah, good morning,” she didn’t tease him for his weirdness, instead she smiled at him and Peter could’ve melted onto the floor right then and there.

    During that day’s lecture, their teacher was detailing women’s struggles throughout the years to gain the 19th amendment, which won women of all colors, and social standings the right to vote. She scribbled down notes and nodded in agreement with the teacher as she spoke of Ida B. Well’s, Lucy Burns’ and Alice Paul’s courageous actions in the suffrage movement. It was only after Flash Thompson opened his mouth that Peter observed a frown cross over her features.

    “Why didn’t they just keep doing what Florence Kelley advised? If they had followed her directions, they wouldn’t have gotten radical and thrown into prison. Florence Kelley was meeting with President Woodrow Wilson, and he explained to her why he couldn’t grant women suffrage right then, but he said he would going forward. The National Women’s Party didn’t know what they were doing, and furthermore, they set the women’s rights movement back with their crazy antics.” Flash finished, folding his hands behind his head and leaning back in his chair.

    Glancing over at the girl in the chair next to him, Peter knew that not only was Flash painfully incorrect and uneducated, but she was clearly getting ready to put Flash back into his place.

    “Wow, that’s actually so, so, so wrong.” She started, turning slightly in her chair to face Flash, “if Florence Kelley had kept asking President Wilson to recognize women as intelligent, reasonable beings capable of making a decisive decision, it’s unlikely that the 19th amendment would’ve been passed in 1920. The only reason women were granted suffrage is because of The National Woman’s Party. These women marched, were beaten in the streets, picketed in front of the White House, and were thrown into jail for the good of women everywhere. President Wilson only granted women the right to suffrage after women were dying in prison due to the hunger strike Alice Paul began. Not to mention, while these women were imprisoned, they were denied basic human rights and the entire reason they were in locked away in jail was because they were blocking traffic on the sidewalk. It took drastic measures to humanize women in men’s eyes and without the heroic antics of these women, who knows where women would stand today. I mean, a woman’s right to her own body is something that could be taken away at any moment, and women are constantly battling the image that men have imposed upon us. Therefore, your opinion is invalid because you apparently cannot grasp the severity of the situation, past and present.”

    Peter, as well as the rest of the class, was stunned into silence. Normally, she didn’t partake in class discussions because she was shy, but now that she had, everyone in the room was shocked by the intellect that she had just destroyed Flash with. Peter wanted nothing more than to hear her speak all day, and maybe to introduce her to Aunt May.

    Peter could barely focus as Michelle began to back her up. Leaning closer to the wonderfully insightful girl next to him, Peter let her know just how clever he found her. “That was amazing, everything you said was perfect and spot-on. That was the greatest thing that I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait for you do it again.” Peter congratulated the girl.

    “You don’t think it was too much?” She asked worriedly, biting her lip and fiddling with the pencil in her hands.

    Peter shook his head, his eyes wide, “No, no! Absolutely not! You would’ve made Alice Paul very proud.”

    Placing a hand atop of his, she thanked him with a smile. “You’re the best, Peter,” she said before turning her focus back to their teacher.

    After that, she had joined Peter on Flash’s hit-list, so Peter should’ve known better than to try and relax with his locker wide open. Peter was knocked out of his daydream of going home to her and simply curling up around her to sleep by Flash’s grabby hand, first shoving him out of the way, and then stealing his photo of her.

    As Flash rushed down the hall, Peter struggled after him, both boys trying to beat each other to where she stood deep in conversation with Michelle about the numerous male authors whose most famous novels were stolen works from their wives.

    “Flash, don’t” Peter shouted, as he tried to ignore the shooting pain traveling up his body.

    “Too late, Penis Parker,” Flash called as he weaved gracefully inbetween students to get to their target.

    “Oh my gosh,” Michelle muttered, rolling her eyes as she nodded her head towards the two boys heading their way. “Losers.”

    “His lip is bleeding,” She said, concern lacing into her tone. “Do you think he’s okay?”

    “Your boyfriend is fine, probably tripped over a lego or something on his way to the bathroom and banged his head into the wall on his way down.” Michelle tried to reason with her friend. She’d detected that her friend and Peter had the biggest of crushes on one another way before either one of them had, and she had made it her mission to mock them every chance she got.

    Flash was the first to reach the two girls, holding up the photo of her that Peter had taken of her reading outside. “Parker, Penis.” He wheezed, “Penis Parker took this picture of you and had it taped up behind his textbooks in his locker.” Bending over to soothe the splint in his side, Flash handed the photo to the confused girl in front of him.

    As Peter came to a stop in front of her and Michelle, he groaned and threw his hands up into the air, uttering a barely audible, “fuck.”

    When the girls saw Peter up close, they found that Peter was barely recognizable due to all of the bruises masking his pale skin. Quickly handing the photo to Michelle, the girl surged forward, lightly grabbing onto Peter’s sweater to steady him. “Peter, what happened to you? You’re hurt,” she questioned, growing a little more distraught as she studied him face to face.

    “The picture, I’m sorry, I know it’s so creepy. I didn’t mean to be a weirdo and I’m sorry if it made you uncomfortable, I swear that I’m not stalking you.” Peter mumbled, trying unsuccessfully to keep his lip from bleeding.

    “Peter, I don’t care about the photo. What happened to you? Oh no, your lip is bleeding,” She rambled, steering Peter towards the bench nearest to them. “Sit,” she instructed, digging through her backpack for a tissue to dab Peter’s cut with.

    “You’re seriously not going to say anything about the picture he clearly took of you?” Flash whined, refusing to accept defeat.

    Michelle raised her eyebrows, “No, I think it’s disturbing too. You’re not alone in that, Flash.”

    “Do you need ice?” She asked Peter, guiding Peter to look up so she could inspect his face for any further damage. “You need ice, Michelle, could you please go get him ice? Flash, could you please go away?” She asked, looking at the pair over her shoulder.

    Flash was nearly beside himself, “it’s weird! You have to acknowledge that it’s weird that he not only took a photo of you without your knowledge, but that he has it pinned up like you are his girlfriend or something? Really not going to say anything about that?”

    “For all you know,” she said, turning to face Flash as she did that day in class, “Peter could very well be my boyfriend!”

    Peter’s jaw dropped so far that she had to readjust his head to keep the tissue on his open wound. Gently prying her helping hand from his lip, “wait, really?” Peter asked. “You’d be my girlfriend after all this?”

    “This is disgusting,” Michelle interjected. Handing Peter’s photo back to him, she grabbed Flash by the collar of his polo shirt and dragged him down the hallway. “We’ll be back with ice and some band-aids.”

    She and Peter could hear Flash’s discontented grumbles as he followed Michelle down to the nurse’s office to retrieve some medical aid for Peter.

    “Are you really not freaked out?” Peter asked, staring up at her with big, brown, puppy-dog eyes.

    Sighing, she moved to stand in between Peter’s legs to inspect how much further his lip had split. “If you keep talking, the cut is never going to heal. This,” she gestured to Peter’s clearly damaged frame, “freaks me out more than anything. What’s happening to you? If I can help you, please let me. I care about you and I hate that you’re hurt.” She pouted.

    She was so close that Peter could smell all the floral notes in her perfume, and if he wanted to, he could hug himself close to her and never let go. “I can’t tell you what’s happening, but if I stop, things will get worse. Not just for me, but for everyone. I’m trying to help.”

    Running a hand through his hair, she shook her head. “Then let me help you. If you’re helping everyone, you deserve to have someone help you, and I want you to let me be that person, Peter.”

    Pinching the palm of his hand, Peter spotted Flash and Michelle returning with ice, ointment and bandages in hand, and he knew that he had to be quick. “It would really help me if you went out to dinner with me. Just being with you would help me. That’s why I took the picture of you. Every day that I felt like I was drowning, I would look at you, well the picture of you, and it would help me to breath again.”

    “Pick me up on Saturday. I’ll be ready at 7:30,” she agreed, much to not only Peter’s, but Flash’s surprise.

    “Come on!” Flash hissed, “how is it that Parker gets a date with a hot girl after he hides in the bushes and takes secret pictures of her? What the hell is going on right now? Do I live in the twilight zone?”

    “For fucks sake, Flash.” Michelle muttered, turning to him with squared shoulders, “she clearly knew that he was taking the photos of her. Who would smile while reading ‘The Flowers of Evil?’ And beyond that, she’s liked him for months and he’s liked her for months. All you’ve really done is finally bring them closer together. Congratulations Flash, your plan has officially backfired.”

    Flash groaned throughout the rest of the day and Michelle planned on teasing him for the rest of the school year. The girl’s cheeks were flushed pink until she went to sleep, and Peter couldn’t stop smiling, even though it only made the split in his lip worse.

   


give me trans girl pidge who grew used to having her hair short again and is unsure of letting it grow out, looking at allura’s long hair and wondering if she could pull it off again

trans girl pidge where she wears basketball shorts the most when hiding her identity because theyre big on her and the closest thing to feeling like a skirt

trans girl pidge coming to allura and asking if she has any other dresses they could tailor to fit her, thus it ending in creating a wide variety of dresses for pidge to walk around in and show off

trans girl pidge who is working really hard to make her voice sound higher to sound more feminine after having to untrain herself just that

trans girl pidge desperately trying to make herself seem more feminine to aliens they meet just so she doesnt risk being misgendered anymore than she has been

trans girl pidge who plays video games to let off steam and falling in love with the masculine presenting female characters she comes across because shes like that too and the characters are still known as women to everyone else

trans girl pidge going to bed that night after coming out to the team and letting out a deep breath of relief and happiness because she’s finally found people who still accept her for her

trans 👏 girl 👏 pidge

Here’s the thing.

I am a transgender man (see photo of my mug for context).

I love all trans people and I love non binary people. But lately some of my trans spaces (both on the web and irl) that are mainly non binary have started to feel a little hostile.

I want to make something perfectly clear before I continue - I love and respect non binary people, I think their genders are valid and I am in no way suggesting they are any less important that myself or any other binary trans person. I also need you to understand that this isn’t meant to be a post calling out non binary people at all, it is just me talking about my personal experiences in the hope that it can get people to be a little more considerate sometimes?

In university spaces, it seems that there is a growing population of non binary people that tends to dominate trans groups. Which is good in lots of ways, especially since it shows how this generation has become much more relaxed and aware that gender is a construct and fluidity is key. However, amongst people I know there is a lot of ‘ew gross men’, or 'ew gross trans men that are masculine’, while at the same time being predominantly DFAB populations.

Now trust me, I very much understand the dislike a lot of dfab trans people have of men. A lot of us are survivors and I think that does play a big part in how we feel about the gender overall. Not to mention it is not uncommon for men to be, for lack of a better word- wankers. However, I don’t think people consider trans men when we are talking about this.

Making a comment like 'ew men are so fucking gross’ to a room of trans people means that to a trans man you are saying one of two things - 1) you are gross, or 2) you aren’t gross because you’re not a Real Man, and you are excluded from this statement because you are and always will be, partly a woman. Even now I feel uncomfortable 'complaining’ about this. I have to remind myself that just as suggesting that a trans woman is somehow different to other women would be considered incredibly offensive, so is it for trans men.

I didn’t realise how much this stuff affected me until it did. Constantly being around people that talk about, how body hair on men is gross, masculinity is by default toxic, making jokes about my masculinity being toxic when I excitedly tell people that I’ve started going to the gym and its making me feel better about my body. No, it’s not funny. It’s MY dysphoria I’m trying to ease. I as a trans person want to feel supported and loved when I do things that have a chance of making me feel good about my body.

It hit me like a brick wall when I realised how much it had affected me. I was with my partner, and was trying to have sex, but I just broke down. I felt so incredibly disgusted with my body and myself. So much hair, so masculine. The noises I made, gross. The way I touched him, creepy. I couldn’t get out of my head the idea that later in life he would talk to people about how gross and unshaven I was, just like I had heard friends describe ex boyfriends so many times before.

I felt cheated because these were the changes I WANTED my body to make. But now they felt ruined. Spoiled.
It was after that realisation that I decided I had to get out. I stopped going to some of student socials and instead started attending a group for older trans people. It was so refreshing to meet other trans men for once (just because I rarely meet them at uni, and it was nice to talk to someone similar.) It was awesome to be around people who weren’t shitty about trans people being stealth (as I remember I once was.)

There are some important things to take away from all of this:

1) Telling trans boys and men that they are disgusting for wanting to be like men will only destroy self esteem and feed into the toxic environment that a lot of cis boys grow up in.

2) Non binary people are extremely valid and awesome, but also must accept they have a responsibility to cultivate a supportive and friendly atmosphere in spaces where they are dominant (I put this in here for university spaces especially)

3) Laughing at a trans man/woman for being excessively masc/fem presenting if you are a dfab nb person who mainly presents as fem or androgynous is facetious and not respecting that they may have to present that way to stay safe, (especially in the case of trans women that may be more 'obviously trans’) and that despite suffering prejudice in many ways, the one thing you are not realistically facing is street violence and such because you inevitably are not going to be clocked as trans. (which yes, does NOT make your transness invalid but we have to respect the different struggles people in our community face.)

4) Someone being stealth does not mean they are adhering to 'toxic gender roles’. It means they are either 1) trying to be safe or 2) surprise surprise they want to live their life as the gender they identify with. Trans people are not less legitimately trans because you think they are 'acting cis’.

5) Being a binary trans person does not give you privilege over nb people. Like seriously, trans women are literally the most likely to be murdered. Don’t be a dick. Erasure is a problem yes but it’s not the same. I read names out at the TDOR vigil and pretty much all of them were trans women of colour. Respect that. Help the community. This isn’t about scoring points over who has it the shittiest.

6) The idea that the only good kinda of trans men are 'soft sensitive kinda trans masc guys that don’t have surgeries and shave all their body hair’ is shitty and offensive (tho that kind of trans man is totally valid, that not what i mean). Its shitty because one you’re sexualising them either as more childlike or more feminine (both is rude, former is creepy), but its perpetuating the idea that trans men aren’t really men and the best ones are the ones that YOU think still kinda look suitably enough like women.

How To Make Almost Any Narrative More Interesting

More women. So many women that the Smurfette on any five-person team is now a Smurf.

Relationships of every type between said women.

Less heteroromatic tropes.

More queerness.

Less whiteness.

Make people fall in love and stay in love. LOVE IS NOT BORING. It is spectacularly unlikely and thus really quite fascinating.

If there’s a larger mystery in play, solving part of it will not actually make your world collapse, so for fuck’s sake GIVE PEOPLE THE SMALL WINS.

Don’t be afraid that the audience has figured out where you’re going and thus change everything to produce a “surprise.” A surprising amount of people actually have no problem with suspecting where things will end up, so long as you give them the ending they feel they and the characters have earned.

Whenever possible, go with adults over children, children over babies, babies over pregnancies. You’ll never go wrong with this one simple rule.

NEVER present lying to people you supposedly love as any sort of a legitimate choice. Call that crap out if a character does it, and make them stop it.

Legitimate foe-yay and enemies-to-friends comes out of common goals, common interests (competence porn), common enemies and/or common moral meet-points. It’s not code for “I bugged [this person] until they gave in,” because that shit is gross.

Let more het, cis men and het, cis women be friends.

Let more people of every other type than het or cis be more than friends.

Less moral binarism. Let people be grey. 

Let the standard be protagonists, not heroes. It makes the heroes stand out like they do in real life.

Let characters learn, grow and change. No take-backsies.

No fucking re-set buttons.

2

It’s definitely a girl-power show. It’s very female-driven. How cool is that? Not only is our show headlined by strong, powerful females, but it also doesn’t pit them against one another. All of these women don’t hate each other for no reason. … There [are] friendships and alliances and teamwork. B and V often stand up to Cheryl and her bitchiness, which comes in and out, but they both understand that Cheryl is a lot more damaged than she likes to present to the world. They take everything she says with a grain of salt because they know it’s not personal. Josie and Veronica also have a special relationship, which they explore in Season 1 as well. But it’s never catty with these women.

“I’m not Barack Obama. I’m not Bill Clinton. Both of them carry themselves with a naturalness that is very appealing to audiences. But I’m married to one and I’ve worked for the other, so I know how hard they work at being natural. It’s not something they just dial in. They work and they practice what they’re going to say. It’s not that they’re trying to be somebody else. But it’s hard work to present yourself in the best possible way. You have to communicate in a way that people say: ‘OK, I get her.’ And that can be more difficult for a woman. Because who are your models? If you want to run for the Senate, or run for the Presidency, most of your role models are going to be men. And what works for them won’t work for you. Women are seen through a different lens. It’s not bad. It’s just a fact. It’s really quite funny. I’ll go to these events and there will be men speaking before me, and they’ll be pounding the message, and screaming about how we need to win the election. And people will love it. And I want to do the same thing. Because I care about this stuff. But I’ve learned that I can’t be quite so passionate in my presentation. I love to wave my arms, but apparently that’s a little bit scary to people. And I can’t yell too much. It comes across as ‘too loud’ or ‘too shrill’ or ‘too this’ or ‘too that.’ Which is funny, because I’m always convinced that the people in the front row are loving it.” 

– Hillary Clinton, Humans of New York

Nonbinary characters in Steven Universe

Steven Universe has been (rightly) praised for its inclusion of nonbinary gender characters. We live in a world where media almost exclusively presents characters who are men or women (and often treats binary trans people, when they’re even included, as if they are an additional “middle” gender even if they don’t identify that way). So of course, characters who are agender or nonbinary are long overdue and worth celebrating.

HOWEVER.

Steven Universe includes two forms of nonbinary characters, and they both involve aliens. We have Gems who come from space and are largely femme-presenting nonbinary aliens (who use she/her pronouns, but that does not make them female), and we have Fusions whose gender and pronouns are shifted to neutral or undetermined when Steven is included.

While it’s still great to have such a cool science fiction show that’s got nonbinary characters, presenting their nonbinary gender as a consequence of “mixed” genders or extraterrestrial origin subtly associates nonbinary gender with being nonhuman. 

Stevonnie is referred to canonically as “they/them,” and it sets a great example, but we know they are a Fusion of Connie (she/her) and Steven (he/him). 

Smoky Quartz has been referred to as “they” in a context where it was unclear whether it was them or their components being talked about, but given the precedent, I assume Smoky is also they/them: another Fusion of a she/her and a he/him. Fusions of Gems who both use “she/her” are also referred to as she/her, so these pronouns are not reserved for Fusions.

I know several nonbinary, trans, and otherwise gender-atypical people who relate really hard to Stevonnie and/or Smoky, and are thrilled to have this kind of representation. It’s so excellent to see Stevonnie, with their femme-leaning androgyny and their clear attractiveness to guys and girls on the show, developing confidence and never dragging the audience through a Very Special Episode where they feel required to disclose and discuss their gender. They’re worried about other things, but this gender thing? It just is, and people in their life don’t make a big deal out of that part of it. But I think we need more, and I think Steven Universe is just the show to do it.

We currently DO NOT HAVE any known nonbinary characters in the show who are not either aliens or Fusions. If we continue to represent nonbinary characters as having a nonbinary gender only because they’re a mixture of male and female or influenced by nonhuman gender concepts, we’re presenting it as a concept but not as one that might be applicable to someone in the non-magical, non-alien, everyday Earthly world. 

But nonbinary humans are everywhere, and I would love to see someone show up in the show with casually referenced nonbinary representation–so we know this isn’t a gender concept we can only accept in association with fantasy concepts.

What’s interesting is the Steven Universe COMICS are already doing this. First, in Issue 1 of the ongoing comic series begun in early 2017, Steven, Peridot, and Lapis find a baby bird. Steven automatically defaults to they/them pronouns for the bird, and after they argue about the bird’s name for a while, they settle on naming them Susan. 

Susan is a name pretty heavily coded as female in Western society, but they set a great example here by NOT having Steven change to she/her pronouns to refer to the bird just because they have a traditionally feminine name. There is no discussion of what pronouns to use and no justification of this. It’s just there for you to accept, casually, as it should be.

In Issue 2 of the ongoing comic series, we have Stevonnie going to prom with Kiki. There is plenty of weirdness associated with this because Kiki doesn’t know Stevonnie is a Fusion of two kids and they’re both struggling with teen awkwardness that has nothing to do with Stevonnie’s Fusion status, but what’s significant about this is Kiki’s automatic, consistent use of they/them pronouns for Stevonnie when introducing them to her friends. 

Plus, Stevonnie and Kiki use the same dressing room when trying on dresses, try on a variety of clothes (some of which are traditionally gendered either male or female), and don’t completely ignore the issue. 

Kiki asks Stevonnie if they prefer to lead or follow, and that’s a really nice acknowledgment that the expected gender roles have to be redefined for a dance couple like them. 

If you just present a nonbinary character where no one’s ever confused about how to treat them, you’re ignoring programming nearly everyone in our society has, and it’s inevitable that someone like Stevonnie would sometimes confuse people if they’re trying to squeeze them into a gender box–and unfortunately, that also sometimes means being misgendered, like when Kevin called Stevonnie “girl” during their first appearance on the show.

But then, most notably, in Issue 4 of the ongoing comic series, Peridot goes to a Renaissance Faire and watches a joust, with a visiting knight named “Sir Render.” And Sir Render, despite their traditionally masculine appearance and title of “Sir,” is consistently referred to with they/them pronouns. 

Even though they’re a pretty beefy, hefty knight, and even while they’re getting booed by audience members who want them to lose. Nonbinary people do not have to be androgynous, and they/them pronouns can apply to people who are frequently perceived as traditionally feminine or traditionally masculine. Sir Render doesn’t HAVE to “try” to look androgynous or less traditionally masculine to have their pronouns respected. And Sir Render is a background human. Not a Fusion and not an alien. This comic also includes the phrase “Lords, ladies, and gentle-enbies.” Wow.

Some people have criticized Steven Universe for featuring so many same-gender relationships between Gems without broaching that subject with humans. Gems are not women/girls, but because of their gender presentation and consistent use of she/her pronouns, they are clearly designed to at least be very relatable to female and femme audiences. Nonbinary people are certainly supposed to be able to see themselves in the Gems, but girls and women can too–it’s amorphous and up to interpretation, and couples like Ruby and Sapphire or Pearl and Rose can be very meaningful to fans who feel their relationships are more like their own relationships than most anything on television. But when it comes to humans, the explicitly romantic relationships and crushes that include them are surprisingly straight. (And this is acknowledging that human men’s crushes on Gems are not “straight” crushes, since literally any relationship that includes one of them is a queer-coded romance by human standards, but these men are likely perceiving the Gems as women and being attracted to them for the same reasons they are attracted to women.)

Jamie crushes on Garnet. Mayor Dewey crushes on Pearl. Greg crushed on Rose and fell in love with her. Sadie and Lars have, well, something. Steven and Connie are developing a close friendship that will likely one day be a straight-up romance. Lars’s parents Martha and Dante appear to be a straight couple. Connie’s parents Doug and Priyanka appear to be a straight couple. Vidalia had a child with Marty and married Yellowtail, and those appear to be straight relationships. I of course have to be cautious here and acknowledge that characters who LOOK like straight couples may not be straight, especially since bisexual and pansexual people who “settle down” in a relationship are often misinterpreted as being an orientation they don’t identify as just because of the gender of their partner. But given no evidence to the contrary, the show does appear to be showing us humans coupling up only in cross-gender partnerships.

The only exception I can think of besides non-speaking background characters is Mr. Smiley’s relationship with Mr. Frowney. It is not explicit, but subtext certainly suggests that Harold and Quentin used to be a thing. 

There is also Pearl pursuing Mystery Girl and receiving her phone number, which does suggest Mystery Girl was attracted to femme-presenting people at the very least. 

Oh, and of course we also see Peridot rooting for the Percy/Pierre ship on her favorite show, even though the canon of the show has Percy being pushed toward Paulette. And Uncle Andy made a reference to one of his relatives having a “partner,” which seems like something he wouldn’t do if it was a cross-gender relationship considering he also assumed Greg had a wife and used the word “wife.” (This was offscreen, however–not even pictured characters.) 

But overall, what we’ve seen is that we can have same-gender relationships as long as we can hide it behind aliens for plausible deniability. (Though at least in the United States, I think reports of Cartoon Network actively attempting to stop “gay relationships” from getting on TV is highly exaggerated.) It would be fantastic to get some explicit representation of humans having these relationships too. But at least there are some hints and some subtext, while we really don’t have much of anything for human nonbinary characters.

Like most other situations in the show, I think the usually sensitive writing and nuanced understanding of these important issues would be in reach for the Crew on this topic. I really hope we will see nonbinary characters on this show in the future when there is no “alien” or “Fusion” explanation. Plenty of nonbinary humans exist in the real world, and this show would be a perfect place to start reflecting that.

anonymous asked:

Have you ever thought about how most TBS readers are female? Are you concerned about the lack of male readers, or indifferent? Would you write differently to attract a male audience? And do you know why TBS has attracted such a female majority?

This questions taps into many veins of frustration I have with society at large. It’s a big issue, so I’m not going to be able to answer it very well in one ask, but I’ll try and summarise. 

I should begin by saying that I do have male readers and have been reviewed favourably by men, and I don’t have statistics on whether more men or women are buying my books. From the demographic at my events, however, I think it would be fair to assume that more of my readers identify and/or present as female. And I think this is probably true of most authors. Studies have concluded that women read more than men and are more active in the literary world, e.g. book clubs and libraries. 

Personally, I don’t think the scarcity of men in the audience at my events has all that much to do with what I’m writing. Firstly, I think it’s simply because women read more than men. 

Second, I think it’s because I myself am a woman.   

Joanne Harris often talks at events about men who have come up to her and happily proclaimed that they don’t read books by women. That they’ve cut themselves off from a wealth of literature just because the author presents as female. I’ve heard stories like this from many a female author. Some men Just Don’t Read Books by Women. And they are apparently proud to declare this to the world. Shannon Hale has also spoken out about the fact that schools have stopped boys from coming to her events and only sent their female pupils. 

The problem begins at an early stage. Frustrated booksellers try to get books about girls into the hands of boys, but find themselves stopped by the parents, who clearly live in terror that their kid is going to grow up gay (which they would hate) and/or bullied if he touches a Girl Book. Like femininity is some sort of contagious disease. 

Society tells men and boys that it isn’t cool to read books by and about women and girls. The same doesn’t apply to books about boys. Girls loved Harry Potter, but the world didn’t judge them for it. Because it’s okay for girls to empathise with boys, but not the other way around. This is a symptom of the deep-rooted misogyny bubbling away beneath the polite face of society, and it plays into why I have such a fervent dislike of the Strong Female Character archetype. She’s praised because she displays traditionally masculine forms of strength.

I want men to feel comfortable reading my books. I want everyone to feel comfortable reading my books. But even if I did change what I wrote in the hope of attracting more men to my work – which I wouldn’t – I doubt it would have any significant impact on the demographic of my audience. Women are happy to show up to my book events and buy my books because they don’t think it’s uncool to read books by and about other women. Until society changes its attitude, many men – especially young men who are afraid of judgement from their peers – won’t feel comfortable doing the same. Hence why female authors are still using androgynous pseudonyms to this day. And why men still feel comfortable declaring to women that they don’t read books by women. 

(Side note: It will be interesting to see if The Priory of the Orange Tree attracts more male readers than The Bone Season, as it has two male POV characters. My suspicion is that it won’t, and that my audience at events will remain pretty much the same.)

I’m not going to change what I write to attract men – not only because I love my existing audience, and I don’t think there’s any reason to shy away from the fact that my work is enjoyed mostly by women, but because I’m not going to tailor my creative output to pander to a toxic system. I don’t think this particular issue begins with creators. It begins the first time a little boy is told to put down that copy of The Princess Diaries, because that book isn’t for him. 

anonymous asked:

how can you can you call yoruself bi if your married to a guy?

WHAT. I just. I can’t even.

I call myself bisexual because I *am* bisexual, as I understand the term (I’m personally more comfortable with “bisexual” as it’s the term that was in use when I came out, in, you know, 1986). As I understand it, bisexual means I have the potential to be sexually attracted to both men and women. Gender presentation does factor into attraction for me, so pan is not, as I understand it, the correct term for me.

I’m not attracted to ALL men or ALL women - just, you know, some of each, and not that it’s any of your business, anon, but I’ve also dated and had sex with both men and women in the past.  However, my sexual history with others is, in my opinion, absolutely irrelevant to my self-definition. Even if I’d never, ever been sexually intimate with a woman, or with anyone other than my husband, I’d still be bi.

I’m married to a man because I met a person who is one of the absolute best people I’ve ever, ever met, who I fell in love with, and we got married because we wanted to make that commitment, in that way, to each other. For us, it was meaningful. Marriage doesn’t change my sexual orientation, it doesn’t make me someone other than who I was.

I don’t even fucking know what else to say to this.

anonymous asked:

you said in your post about color blindness that the first two are more common in men is there a reason for that or..? I'm curious

(Anon is referring to this post) Yes there is a reason! Red-Green colour blindness has two subtypes; deuteranomalia and protanopia. Both of which are significantly more common in men, and this is all to do with genetics and how it is inherited.

We all have 23 pairs of chromosomes, half from each parent. You’ll notice, however the 23rd pair differs from the rest. This is beacause it determines whether the individual is male or female, so it is called the sex chromosome. Females have XX and males have XY. 

You’ll notice the X chromosome is much larger than the Y chromosome and this is because in addition to carrying genes that determine sex, it also carries genes that code for non-sexual characteristics, including that for red-green colour blindness. Okay so now I’m going to assume you have a vague understanding of what a recessive/dominant allele is, if not, this page gives a pretty good explanation. 

I’ve made a quick graphic to sum up the next part because it can be a bit confusing:

Crucially, the gene that causes red-green colour blindness (shown in red) is recessive, so females need two copies of the gene to express the trait & be colour blind. The probability of this is low because if a female has a dominant allele on her other X chromosome (white), that will be expressed instead and she will have full colour vision. For this reason, red-green colour blindness is not very common in women (present in less than 0.5% of white women).

However, since men have the XY chromosome pair and not XX like females, if they have the colour blind gene on their only X chromosome, it will be expressed anyway. There is no corresponding dominant allele to override it. As a result, it is much more likely for a male to be colour blind (seen in 6-8% of white males).

This explanation became a hell of a lot longer than I expected but I hope this makes sense, genetics can be confusing af so I tried to break it down as much as possible. Other X linked traits include haemophilia (where blood can’t clot properly), and baldness. 

LGB no T.

I am so sick of this. The black community has worshipped dick and centered black men in everything since day 1. Now silly handmaidens and black men who ‘identify’ as black women want to speak over actual black women to prop themselves up. How dare you disrespect our existence and use patriarchy in a dress to make yourselves the focal point of female oppression. It’s called SEXISM not genderism for a reason. Being female has been the sole basis of our abuse and you have the nerve to pretend all of that can be redirected to being about your “mentality”. Get the hell outta here. You don’t get to redefine things to suit your agenda. Now you’re out here peddling the lie that “black trans women” face the highest level of violence. Bull fucking shit. Black women have experienced more violence than ANYONE ever, especially if we are dark skinned. Black people have been enslaved by other black people, whites, arabs and Natives, all of whom raped black women . Some even forced us to breed in astronomical numbers and take care of all the children regardless of color because all we were good for was production. Black women have suffered FGM, have been forced into marriages as children, our bodies have been placed in human zoos for people to gawk at our 'unusual’ figures, our bodies have been used against our will to advance science. Present day black women carry those scars with us because trauma against our humanity for daring to exist while black and female is generational. Not only are we missing and trafficked at ridiculous rates but we are also raped, assaulted and killed under the radar. We have become the punchline for black 'entertainers’ and black men everywhere from our skin tone to our character to our mannerisms to our genitalia to our diction. We get cervical cancer more than anyone but we better not say it because “not all women have a cervix.” 😑 We are the poster children for everything wrong in society. When society talks about welfare queens and single motherhood, they’re not thinking of 'trans’ black women. When we get blamed for “destroying the black community with our feminism”, they’re not thinking of 'trans’ black women. When society talks about black women being ugly and ghetto they’re not thinking of 'trans’ black women. When people approriate our culture and style to give themselves an edge, they’re not taking it from 'trans’ black women. Black women have attitude. Black women are fat. Black women are raising thugs. They’re not talking about 'trans’ black women. Day in and out, black women are society’s scapegoat while all you care about is being able to use the bathroom you prefer and being able to date straight men without opposition. That is what we call a First World Problem. Your identity crisis and the elective surgeries you get to appease it do not take precedent over the global and never ending disrespect of black women. We didn’t have to alter ourselves and go out of our way to be oppressed like you. Just by existing as is, the world has told us that is enough reason to take endless craps on us. Stop acting like black men haven’t always found it ok to fight black women like men because our blackness allegedly discounts our womanhood. Stop acting like black men haven’t embedded it in their mind that black women are not human but their mules to take care of them when life is hard, only to be discarded when they become successful. Stop acting like black girls aren’t constantly robbed of our innocence with assault and dubbed 'fast’ so our pain is overlooked and our fault. Stop acting like people haven’t always called black women, men because we are the antithesis of white beauty standards. Stop acting like every woman doesn’t get an ego boost on our backs. We are woman enough to be raped, trafficked, called bitches and hoes but too 'manly’ to reap the finances, protection and reverence patriarchal society’s claim to give women. Stop acting like black women are not abused physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially and haven’t always been by white society, black society and everyone in between. Acting like you have it so hard when we have always been treated like an other just for being born. “The most disrespected and least protected person on the planet is the black woman.” - Malcolm X He said black woman. Not black 'trans’ woman. Cis privilege my ass. You think because you’ve been feeling for the last year what black women have been feeling since FOREVER, that you have it worse? You are only experiencing a sliver of what we get anyway. It’s just that typical fragile masculinity you were born into that has you thinking you are the peak of oppression. You went your whole lives ignoring and/or capitalizing on the degradation of black women because your maleness allowed you to put it on the back burner. Your internal issues with gender did not negate the external privilege you received. But now that you 'identify’ as one of us, we need to make you a priority or you slander us with poor reverse psychology. How narcissistic can you get? Womens rights are only worthy of attention when you are involved? “TERF” is not a thing btw. Stop using racism, sexism and homophobia to make yourself valid. You cannot compare white privilege, male privilege and straight privilege to this nonsense. Women have never had privilege. Or do you just wanna ignore the last thousands of years? You were born on the side of privilege and into the dominant oppressing class. Now you want access to a marginalized group with no questions and throw tantrums when we say no. It’s almost like your male privilege conditioned you to force yourself onto women at any cost and taught you how to play victim when women don’t fall for your shit. You want equal footing in womanhood but won’t hesitate to remind us you “have it worse”. You want to call lesbians bigots if they exclusively like women and vagina… because hey, how dare some women not want penis in any way, shape or form. Blasphemy! You have no concern for women in shelters fleeing abusive men. You invade their spaces and tell them to suck it up if they don’t like your dick and masculine energy. You say nothing when born males use their advantages to dominate female sports. But you’re the victim, right? I will say it again. It’s called SEXISM, not genderism for a reason. You don’t get to keep playing the “being born in the wrong body is not a privilege” card to ignore your advantages and complicity at our expense. Gender identity issues are low priority in comparison to everything else. Every day black women leave our homes, we are subjected to antiblackness and misogyny just for being ourselves. Doesn’t matter how we dress or speak, it is hurled our way just for being in a female body via a black package. It will be a cold day in hell before those born male and their delusions get to define womanhood but those of us born female and our realities that came with it don’t. Yes, we are the arbiters and gatekeepers of womanhood and it pisses you off there’s nothing you can do about it except rally your naive liberal handmaidens and scream TERF. Interestingly enough, there are countless instances of 'trans women’ raping, assaulting and killing women but not ONE woman has done that to you. Yet here you all come… into our spaces IRL and on the internet to force yourselves onto us. Why don’t you go after the men who fuck you in private but don’t want to publicly be seen with you and take your lives with the same gusto? Is it because you have no privilege over them and instead, it’s easier to gang up on the 'weaker sex’? It’s almost like you devalue women so much, you wanna speak over, redefine and attack us all while blaming our words for violence against you… well what do you know, patriarchy strikes again. We will not give into your demands. We don’t negotiate with terrorists. (If misgendering you is 'violence’, well propagating existent violence against us is indeed terrorism.) 😊

#blackfeminism #feminism #womanism #womenfirst #saynotopatriarchyinadress

“I’m not Barack Obama. I’m not Bill Clinton. Both of them carry themselves with a naturalness that is very appealing to audiences. But I’m married to one and I’ve worked for the other, so I know how hard they work at being natural. It’s not something they just dial in. They work and they practice what they’re going to say. It’s not that they’re trying to be somebody else. But it’s hard work to present yourself in the best possible way. You have to communicate in a way that people say: ‘OK, I get her.’ And that can be more difficult for a woman. Because who are your models? If you want to run for the Senate, or run for the Presidency, most of your role models are going to be men. And what works for them won’t work for you. Women are seen through a different lens. It’s not bad. It’s just a fact. It’s really quite funny. I’ll go to these events and there will be men speaking before me, and they’ll be pounding the message, and screaming about how we need to win the election. And people will love it. And I want to do the same thing. Because I care about this stuff. But I’ve learned that I can’t be quite so passionate in my presentation. I love to wave my arms, but apparently that’s a little bit scary to people. And I can’t yell too much. It comes across as ‘too loud’ or ‘too shrill’ or ‘too this’ or ‘too that.’ Which is funny, because I’m always convinced that the people in the front row are loving it.”

Here's a shoutout to GNC bi women

We exist, we’re strong, our position to gender and presentation of such is part of what makes us so strong

Shoutout to the bi girls traumatized by mothers that screamed at them, prodded their faces and tore their hair, that burned their favourite clothing and dictated every aspect of their appearance as to not risk them becoming too “unfeminine”

Shoutout to the bi girls who avoid dating men because, no matter how deep your feelings for them, the way you are seen and expected to look and behave when with him make you feel like you’re in the body of a stranger

Shoutout to the bi girls accused of being predatory, for having the male gaze or even privilege, for having to watch the other girls on the train deliberately avoid having to sit anywhere near you, for changing alone in the stalls every gym class because you felt guilty for even being there

Shoutout to the gnc bi girls with buzz cuts and nose rings and ripped jeans, with crisp dress shirts, pressed ties and and slicked back hair, girls who are fat and hairy and who work gruelling jobs or are unable to work at all

Shoutout to the bi girls who felt like they needed to pick between their gender expression and their love for other women, because having both would make you a stereotype, a faker, an embarrassment

Shoutout to the bi girls who wear their gender nonconformity with pride in face of the fear of being targeted for it. Shoutout to the bi girls who can’t present the way they want because of that fear, and I hope one day we can help you be the you inside yourself.

GNC bi girls and women are strong, even when we don’t feel it, even when we allow ourselves to be weak, and we deserve all the love in the skies.

(Adding onto this post with more gnc bi girl shoutouts is more than encouraged! Also all this goes doubly for gnc bi trans women!)

anonymous asked:

What a great answer! Jaime is one of the most complex characters in asoiaf. Now, a little more difficult question. Which character do you prefer and why? Sansa or Arya? Let me clarify. This is in no way a "Sansa vs Arya" question. I love them both but we all have our preferences and i would like to know yours

Hah, yeah, setting things up as ‘Sansa v. Arya’ is always risky, though I get that’s not what you’re doing. Let’s just say that Arya is a precious murderchild and a cool deconstruction of both revenge plots and the classic ‘rebellious lady dresses as a boy’ trope, but that neither of those things grab my interest too strongly for purely personal reasons.

So, yeah. Definitely Sansa. Not because she’s ‘better’ than Arya in any way, just because her narrative speaks to me really powerfully in ways that very few character arcs tend to do. I’ve also said a bit about why I see Sansa as one of the most genuinely idealistic characters in the series, in a positive sense, here.

Another reason I love her character is that I personally think Sansa is currently one of the most feminist characters out there. Again, not because she’s somehow ‘superior’ to other female characters or more ‘deserving’ of good things, but because she is a fully fleshed portrait of a deeply feminine character who slowly acquires agency and power in deeply feminine ways - despite the constant constraints of a massively misogynistic society dogging her every step of her journey. Sansa doesn’t learn to play by the rules of the ‘men’s game’ or gain her independence by taking on a ‘man’s role’ in the world. She learns how to play by the rules of the women’s game, and she becomes more independent the more she comes to understand and master what society has deemed to be a ‘woman’s role.’

Sansa is also, I think, the character in this series with the most formative female relationships in her life. For good or for bad, Sansa has been shaped by her experiences with her mother and her sister, with Cersei and Margaery, and with the female friendships she makes as Alayne in the books and with Brienne and Shae in the show. Women matter to Sansa, not just as an ideal but as a reality, and she relies on them and reacts to them and learns from them throughout the series.

Keep reading

From non-binary to gender critical

So, not many of you know this, but from about mid-2015 to early 2016 I identified as non-binary. Now there are a couple of reasons I did so.

1. Anorexia screwed with my hormones. When males are underweight (in my case 48kg at my lowest, with a Body Mass Index of 15), their testosterone level drops dramatically, which messes with the balance of testosterone and oestrogen in the male body. However, with still higher testosterone than a female body, it left me with something in between; not quite ‘female’ and not quite ‘male’ (even though I was, still am, and always will be very much male). It’s really, really hard to explain. However, this was about 5% of the reason.

2. The other 95% is because I felt I had to. The discourse around the LGBT+ community right now perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes. I, however, break societal norms as a gender non-conforming (GNC) man. For a boy like me - who loves flower crowns, flowers, dancing, baking, makeup and other traditionally ‘feminine’ things, and who is kind, gentle, curious, caring and loving, and who even looks ‘feminine’ - the label of ‘masculine’ doesn’t fit me. I didn’t fit the stereotype put forward by toxic masculinity, therefore I couldn’t be a ‘man’. So I turned to the LGBT+ community. What did I get? I got “No, you’re not a man, you must be non-binary!” To them, I didn’t fit the traditional gender stereotypes, therefore I wasn’t a man, and I could identify out of being one. Not only that, but I also have quite severe body dysmorphic disorder. People in the libfem and trans community told me that this is body dysphoria (it is not).

There is an immense amount of pressure put on GNC men and women (particularly on GNC lesbians and gay men) to identify out of being lesbians and gay men. Society can’t handle us, and apparently neither can our own community. How about that, our own community can’t handle a butch lesbian or a fem gay man, so they want us to identify out of it.

I could have identified as non-binary for the rest of my life, but I have my friend and radical feminism to thank for snapping me out of this delusion. My friend is a de-transitioned lesbian radical feminist, and she told me something I had trouble dealing with. Gender and gender stereotypes are bullshit. I am masculine because I’m a man. The notions of masculinity enforced by the patriarchy - and upheld by liberal feminism - don’t mean anything. My masculinity involves wearing makeup, dancing, baking, kindness, gentleness and everything that is me. She taught me that it is up to GNC men and women to reject the categories that society tries to force us into, to stand up and say no, we are masculine/feminine, nothing that anyone can say will ever take that away from us, and that traditional notions of masculinity and femininity are bullshit.

This really did help me, and it made me realise just how much liberal feminism has become a tool of the patriarchy to uphold oppressive gender stereotypes.

Not only this, but the whole ‘non-binary’ category allows people to attempt to identify out of privilege. You can be heterosexual, rich, white, male and masculine presenting, but if you decide to identify as non-binary, you suddenly become oppressed. 

There is no doubt in my mind that people, whether it be on a conscious or subconscious level, do this. How many times has a man (sorry, non-binary person) - who is heterosexual, white and masculine presenting - told you that he’s more oppressed than you on the basis of his gender? For the women out there, how many times has he said that you benefit from being women while he doesn’t benefit because he’s ‘non-binary’. It’s happened to me, and the man in question had a full beard and a man-bun.

The question is, if you have to continually keep telling people how oppressed you are, who are you really trying to convince?

I hope a GNC gay man or lesbian out there reads this. If you are one of these people reading this, I want you to know that you matter and you are valid. Your identity is yours, and don’t let anyone take that away from you.