french can do it better


HISTORY MEME - FRANCE VERSION ♛ [05/10] moments : Storming of the Bastille (14 july 1784)

On the morning of 14 July 1789, the city of Paris was in a state of alarm. The demonstrators, led by Amaria Cahila, of the Third Estate in France, had earlier stormed the Hôtel des Invalides to gather arms and were mainly seeking to acquire the large quantities of arms and ammunition stored at the Bastille. At this point, the Bastille was nearly empty of prisoners, housing only seven old men annoyed by all the disturbance : four forgers, two “lunatics” and one “deviant” aristocrat, the Comte de Solages. The cost of maintaining a medieval fortress and garrison for so limited a purpose had led to a decision being taken to close it, shortly before the disturbances began. It was, however, a symbol of royal tyranny. The crowd gathered outside around mid-morning, calling for the surrender of the prison, the removal of the guns and the release of the arms and gunpowder. Two representatives of the crowd outside were invited into the fortress and negotiations began, and another was admitted around noon with definite demands. The negotiations dragged on while the crowd grew and became impatient. Around 13:30 the crowd surged into the undefended outer courtyard, and the chains on the drawbridge to the inner courtyard were cut, crushing one unfortunate vainqueur. About this time gunfire began, though some stories state that the Governor had a cannon fire into the crowd killing several women, children, and men turning the crowd into a mob. The crowd seemed to have felt it had been drawn into a trap and the fighting became more violent and intense, while attempts by deputies to organise a cease-fire were ignored by the attackers. The firing continued, and at 15:00 the attackers were reinforced by mutinous gardes françaises and other deserters from among the regular troops, along with two cannons. A substantial force of Royal Army troops encamped on the nearby Champs de Mars did not intervene. With the possibility of a mutual massacre suddenly apparent Governor de Launay ordered a cease fire at 17:00. A letter offering his terms was handed out to the besiegers through a gap in the inner gate. His demands were refused, but de Launay nonetheless capitulated, as he realised that his troops could not hold out much longer; he opened the gates to the inner courtyard, and the vainqueurs swept in to liberate the fortress at 17:30.

More. [x]

I have a lot of thoughts about gender choices in the Hamilton fandom.

So Hamilton is, obviously, a really male-dominated show. There are four female speaking parts, two of them played by the same performer. For most of the show, those characters are not present - they are not in the room. Tent. Battlefield. Cabinet. The women are confined to the domestic sphere and I understand the historical roots of that.

It means when we come to write fic, it’s really easy to perpetuate female invisibility. It takes work to avoid doing that (that’s why the last installment of Camaraderie has Maria Reynolds providing the aftercare, where many room-where-it-happened fics cast Burr. I originally intended to use Burr, until I realised I was erasing someone.) We don’t always do that work, we’re not always in the mood to do that work, and that’s okay - and I’m a queer guy. Male/male porn is valid porn and doesn’t need excusing.

So there’s that going on, where we write the women back out. And there’s the accompanying thing where we make the women into glowing orbs of purity and sweetness, and they have to stand in for the entire concept of femininity, thus losing their personalities. Not everyone does it, of course not, but it’s an easy hole to fall in. Eliza spends a lot of her time being Hamilton’s better angel, infinitely understanding and forgiving. Angelica becomes Eliza’s guard dog, the feminine defensive power. Peggy…

ah, now, here’s where I really get uncomfortable.

Peggy gets to be the trans one.

She gets to be the trans one for reasons I can’t fathom unless they boil down to “because she’s the minor character we feel comfortable redefining”. There’s nothing in the show to give you “Peggy is trans”. There’s only an absence of evidence that she isn’t and gosh, if you want to write trans people but only if we don’t change anyone important, then thank you but your representation could do with work.

The other gender-noncomformist around this fandom is Lafayette. There has been a collective decision that Lafayette is nonbinary, and I’m massively disturbed by that.

I am not disturbed by writing Lafayette as nonbinary. I am disturbed by the way Lafayette is always the nonbinary one. I’ve seen a couple of fics where Burr is a trans man, but I don’t think I’ve seen any where someone else is genderqueer. If I see “genderqueer character”, I already know it’s Lafayette.

If there’s any reason to make Lafayette nonbinary, it’s that Lafayette is flamboyant and dressy and European. And, therefore, not manly.

Gross, darlings. Really gross. We’re better than that. We can do better than make the secondary characters trans just so we tick that box. We can do better than pick the French guy and say, he’s clearly genderqueer, and then assume nobody else is. We don’t have to do this thing we’re doing.

Also, too, I’d like to present a candidate for a trans character, and I can present textual evidence for my case: Alexander Hamilton.


Fanfiction language-nerd question: is AO3 not big with German-speakers, or in Germany/Austria/Switzerland? I swear I see fics in basically every other major European language – French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, even some less “major” ones like Polish and Hungarian – but I never see them in German. Is there another site they like to use?

Been thinking of translating some of my fics as a fun exercise. Would probably start with French since I can write it in much better, but thinking of doing German once I get better. So it would be nice to know if I’d have an audience. Do German speakers just not use AO3, or just not have many overlapping fandoms with English-speaking fandom compared to others?

I need Sarah to drop off Kira at Cosima’s lab and be like, “Shit Cos, I’ve got Proletheans and the DYAD chasing me. Can you take care of Kira for a few days?” And then Cosima would say “They’re watching me like crazy and I don’t even know how to take care of kids, okay?” Then Sarah would look all sad and Kira would say something like, “It’s okay Aunt Cosima.” Then Cosima would be shocked and flattered that she is now “Aunt Cosima” so she’d obviously take Kira in. Then her and “Aunt Delphine” would have to find creative ways to hide her from Leekie and Rachel and they’d make an adorable science family because when she’s not hiding, Kira is helping with experiments and messing stuff up but she’s cute so it’s ok. Then like a week later Sarah returns, but Cosima and Delphine have turned Kira into a major nerd with pretty Delphine hair who speaks fluent French and can do lab-ish things. And Sarah’s like “Shite, Cos. She’d be better with Alison.”