feminine archetypes

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My All Female Justice League Line-Up. (Minus Mera obviously. And only because theres no footage of the Queen of Atlantis just yet.)

“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”  -  William Moulton Marston 

Do not cringe and make yourself small if you are called the black sheep, the maverick, the lone wolf. Those with slow seeing say a nonconformist is a blight on society.

But it has been proven over the centuries, that being different means standing at the edge, means one is practically guaranteed to make an original contribution, a useful and stunning contribution to her culture.

When seeking guidance, don’t ever listen to the tiny-hearted. Be kind to them, heap them with blessings, cajole them, but do not follow their advice.

If you have ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious, you’re on the right track.

Wild Woman is close by.

If you have never been called these things, there is yet time. Practice your Wild Woman.
—  Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Goddess Archetypes.

Goddess, from a feminine perspective, represents a particular feminine archetype. Archetype, as a concept, is at the foundation of Carl Jung’s psychological works. Archetypes are deep enduring patterns of thought and behavior laid down in the human psyche that remain powerful over long periods of time and transcend cultures. Archetypes form the basis for all unlearned, instinctive patterns of behavior that humankind–regardless of culture–shares in common. Archetypes are found in dreams, literature, art and myth and communicate to us through many symbols. Archetypes compose the ultimate source of psychic symbols which, in turn, attract energy, structure it and influence the creation of civilization and culture. Consider: male and female organs are, in fact, symbols for the archetypal energies known by the Chinese as yin and yang. Archetypes also go beyond the psyche bridging inner and outer worlds.

A goddess is the form that a feminine archetype may take. Goddess types represent models of ways of being and behaving that we women all share and recognize from the collective unconscious. In fairy tales this archetype may be revealed to us as a queen, a princess or a witch. In our nighttime dreams we tap into the collective unconscious whereby we access the common pool of archetypal images. Goddesses, as a feminine archetype, remain alive to this day in the psychology of women; and, depending upon which energies are more pronounced, influence her personality with a distinct character, a way of being, a way of relating in the world–a way of offering her special gifts. In other words, women are a blend of these types with particular types predominating while other qualities may be more recessive–out of her conscious awareness.

I could write my damn dissertation on all of Snape’s sub-textual coding.  Feminine coding?  Check.  Queer coding?  Check.  Class coding?  Check.  Race/religion/ethnic coding?  Check.

Snape is one of the biggest single collections of historical literary coding in contemporary literature.  I could go on.  Witch archetype?  Check.  Negative Jewish archetype?  Check.  Surrogate mother figure archetype?  Check.  Ugly=evil archetype?  Check.  Queer-coded threat to the heteronormative narrative archetype?  Check.

Classism.  Antisemitism.  Sexism.  Queer phobia.

My first published work as an academic is going to be a collection of essays on Severus Snape, just you watch.

I am so not going to get tenure.

STRESSED MECHA PILOT

(TECH) (VICTIM) 

THEIR STORY: It’s important that this mission gets completed, and if mecha pilot won’t do it, no one can. Stressed mecha pilot can’t take any more, but will anyway. Stepping into the cockpit makes it hard to breathe. Mecha pilot can smell blood. Taste blood. Is it the mecha or is it just the mecha pilot? Whose heartbeat is that pounding in their ears? They can’t abort the mission or open the cockpit door anymore. Breaking down isn’t an option, not yet. That is a luxury for another time or for someone else.

WHY THEY’RE WRONG: The world does not rest on your shoulders. You can never save the whole world. There are no ideal actions. No one won’t know you don’t want to do this unless you tell them. Don’t sacrifice yourself for someone else’s reasons.

Eve and Lilith: Feminine Archetypes

By Samsaran

Let us take the ancient stories of the Bible as myth. In Genesis we have the story of Eve. Well, actually two stories. In one she is created from Adam’s rib and so Adam is her superior. In the other she is made of clay just as Adam was. This is an ancient story which originated in Sumer a thousand years before Genesis was written down in the sixth century BCE. 

Along with the Eve story is the Lilith story. Lilith is not found in the Hebrew Bible directly although she is a part of the original Sumerian story and part of ancient Israelite mythology. In this story Lilith was the first wife of Adam. She refused to lay under Adam in sexual intercourse because she would not accept an inferior position to man. She was banished from paradise and became a witch who took the lives of newborn babes. Here is where she appears in the Bible. She was the prototype of the crone, the wicked witch and mistress of herbs.

Eve became the original mother, subject to her husband. Lilith the childless hag who communed with spirits and who could offer boons but always with a price. The Lilith story can be seen in the story of Snow White, the story of Sleeping Beauty and even in the Disney version of the Little Mermaid.  Lilith is the power of the feminine and this power frightens men and so these frightening tales are told.  We have all known Liliths. She is an archetype. 

I do so love my witches and wicked queens. I find myself drawn to feminine archetypes that previous generations have found threatening or dangerous: crones, oracles, madwomen, Amazons, virgins who aren’t helpless, bad mothers. I love to give the vagina dentata voice. It so rarely gets to speak for itself.
—  Catherynne M. Valetne

lilibae  asked:

I noticed the phrase "Johnny/Jenny" in your last answer. Do the other archetypes have feminine names?

As for the player psychographics:

Timmy/Tammy.

Spike is unisex so we let it be.

For the aesthetic profiles:

Melvin became Mel

Vorthos, which is made up, stayed Vorthos.

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A male hero, at best, lacks the qualities of maternal love and tenderness which are as essential to a normal child as the breath of life. Suppose your child’s ideal becomes a superman who uses his extraordinary power to help the weak. The most important ingredient in the human happiness recipe still is missing-love. It’s smart to be strong. It’s big to be generous. But it’s sissified according to exclusively masculine rules, to be tender, loving affectionate, and alluring. “Aw, that’s girls stuff!” snorts our young comics reader. “Who wants to be a girl?” And that’s the point. Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman. ★ [The Secret History of Wonder Woman, (2014)]

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Other interpretations of her story focus on Persephone as one aspect of the Triple-goddess, a powerful feminine archetype where maiden, mother and crone are seen as one.  While the three parts of this trinity are sometimes seen as Demeter, Kore and Persephone, many modern authors focus on Demeter and Persephone’s relationship with the moon-goddess, Hecate. In the Hymn to Demeter, Hecate is the only one, besides the sun-god, Helios, to hear Persephone’s cries during her abduction. When Persephone returns from the Underworld, Hecate vows to serve her as her “chief attendant.” Some scholars, such as Patricia Monaghan, even go so far as to explain that: “The Greek world was divided into three parts, in honor of the Threefold goddess,” with Hecate wandering the sky, Demeter ruling the surface of the earth, and Persephone ruling the world of the afterlife

There’s this notion that’s been popularised in certain circles that in order to create well-realised female characters, it’s necessary to resort to wholesale rejection of performative femininity - in essence, that writing a character who performs traditionally feminine gender roles is mutually exclusive of writing a character with depth.

Steven Universe doesn’t buy into that. Few would argue that the Gems aren’t varied and well-realised characters, yet each of them recognisably adheres to a traditionally feminine archetype. (Yes, even Jasper!) It’s consistent enough that I’ve gotta believe this has been done deliberately, too… with one possible exception.

The only one I can’t readily pin down is Peridot, and I’m not sure whether that’s because she’s deliberately the odd Gem out, or because she’s just performing an archetype I’m not familiar with.

If it’s the second one, anybody wanna clue me in?

I do so love my witches and wicked queens. I find myself drawn to feminine archetypes that previous generations have found threatening or dangerous: crones, oracles, madwomen, Amazons, virgins who aren’t helpless, bad mothers. I love to give the vagina dentata voice. It so rarely gets to speak for itself.
—  Catherynne M. Valente
How Steven Universe subverts archetypes so well

This video by Moviebob got me thinking about the tropes we use in distinguishing the good guys from the bad guys in media. Mainly how the “good guys” in a traditional sense are seen as these big, macho, muscular paragons of manliness. 

While the bad guys in a traditional sense seem to be more flamboyant, sneaky, wispy and at times weak-looking models of an almost feminine appearance.

Even some of the best written female characters can really just be summed up as “male action hero with a woman’s body.”

A lot of these use of tropes could simply be boiled down to “Masculine good, feminine bad.” Now of course, tropes are tools, we can get good things out of these types of character archetypes, a lot of the images sourced here are from good media, it’s just how much of it there is. But it’s refreshing to see subversions to these types of works, such as in Steven Universe.

One of the things I love so much about Steven Universe is that it subverts all of these feminine bad, masculine good archetypes. All of the crystal gems feel like different flavors of feminine, even Garnet, the most “masculine” of the gems is very caring and doting toward Steven. She seems to understand him on an emotional level much more closely than any of the other gems. Steven himself is a very feminine boy, and it’s never portrayed in a way that makes him seem weak or submissive, if anything it shows that its his greatest strength. He’s loving and empathetic and only uses violence as a last resort, more often than not he wants to show others how to be good and wants to find an end to fighting. These actions don’t weigh him down or make him weaker, it just shows how good a person he is.

And on the other side, you know who’s the evilest character we’ve seen thus far? (Yellow Diamond has yet to make a full appearance so she doesn’t count) 

Jasper, the muscular, macho, male character spray-painted as a female character. She’s huge and strong, but she’s a brutal and prejudiced sadist who uses her strength to pummel the weaker, more “femininely evil” opponents into the ground. All of these are clearly male empowerment symbols and tropes but in a sexless “female” form. Hell, Jasper is even a traditionally male name, and the only reason why it works as her name is because it’s also a gemstone. But not once is her strength and power seen as empowering or just, it’s always seen as cruel and brutal, showing her a remorseless and mindless punching machine.

Even her insult to Garnet could be seen as metaphorical for something:

Taking in the whole “fusion is a metaphor for intimacy/relationships” thing, Jasper could’ve easily stated that having feelings or loving others is just a way of looking weak. Another thing about the empowered male symbol is that they’re seen as stoic, yet rage-filled testosterone dispensers, and showing feelings other than that makes them look like wusses. Fusion in this context (fusion has like 50 different metaphors at once) is seen as showing love and concern for others. 

Garnet literally states that she is “made of love, and it’s stronger than you,” showing Jasper that contrary to what she thought, Ruby and Sapphire’s love is what made them stronger, not held them back. Their love for each other and for Steven gave them the drive and the focus to fight back against Jasper and use he wits, beating her mindless strength with cunning and guided passion.

And it took a more loving, more emotional, and more feminine gem to beat her by using her own strength against her.