So I get really narky when people pull the whole ‘oh Eowyn’s
storyline came to such a sucky ending; she was really cool going around killing
orcs and Witch-Kings and then she got shoved into a traditional girly role by marrying
Faramir and becoming a healer’ thing, because no. No-no-no-no-no. Not only does that
stray dangerously into the territory of ‘women only have worth if they’re doing
traditionally blokey things’, but that misses almost the entire point of Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien was in the trenches in the first world war, right?
He got all that ‘for death and glory’ shit shoved down his throat, that was the
whole point about the war, it was when so many people came to see how awful and
misleading all the propaganda about winning glory through violence and death was. And Tolkien’s work completely shows
that: it’s why the hobbits, who’ve never craved power or battle the way men do,
are the heroes of the book; it’s
why strong men like Aragorn and Faramir are shown to be lovers of peace rather
than war. It’s why the quote - but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for
its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory; I love only that which they
defend – is so poignant and beautiful, when
seen in the context of all Tolkien had gone through. He’d seen all but one of
his closest friends die in an utterly pointless war; the prevalent message in
his books is ‘if you’re going to have that many people die, let it be for
something worth dying for.’ (Like
defending your home from the lord of all darkness, for example.)
might be a fantastic female character, but she’s also got so much development
to go through, and she’s by no means perfect. I find it really interesting that when Eowyn talks to Aragorn
about wanting to go off and fight she never really actually mentions protecting
her people, but speaks about wanting to ‘face peril and battle’, and to
do ‘great deeds’. And it’s not that Eowyn doesn’t want to protect her people, because of course she does, but she’s also got such a
driving motivation within her to do glorious and fell deeds simply for the sake
of valour and renown. It’s one of her defining features, having an attitude
that got so many young men killed in the war and which, obviously, Tolkien
would have been very wary of.
(Also, I think, there’s so much in Eowyn that wants to prove
herself to be more than ‘a mere woman’; because twice in that conversation she
asserts that she’s no mere ‘dry-nurse’ or ‘serving-woman’, but a member of the
house of Eorl and therefore capable of greater things. There’s almost this
slight sense of Eowyn considering herself more than ‘just’ a domesticated woman that I
sometimes get from her in the books? Which is very sad - the idea of Eowyn having less regard for others of her sex who do mind the house or raise the children - and why I so love that ‘I am no man’ moment in RotK. Eowyn’s no longer hiding herself, or dismissing fellow women as the weaker sex,
but acknowledging and embracing the fact that women in all their forms can fuck you up.)
And then we reach
the Houses of Healing, and Eowyn yearning for death in battle just like her
Uncle Theoden, and basically buying into that whole world war one ethos that
Tolkien would have considered so poisonous. Which is why her friendship and
courtship with Faramir is so fricking beautiful.
Remember that quote I wrote earlier? That’s from Faramir. He’s not backing down
from conflict, he’s in no way less of a ‘real man’ than anyone else; he’s just
saying there needs to be more to the fight than simply having a fight. There needs to be a reason; something worth
fighting for. Eowyn recognises that Faramir is a good man in every sense of the
word: he’s strong and valiant, but he doesn’t fight simply to prove himself or
for the sake of winning glory, he fights for other people. And Faramir gently challenges Eowyn on her
idolisation of battle-glory and encourages her not to scorn gentleness or
peace, and he’s so freaking good for her.
(Seriously. Can we just stop for a moment and think about how
wonderful Eowyn and Faramir are for each other: Faramir encouraging Eowyn to
turn towards life and healing and openness while never denying her strength or courage, and Eowyn giving Faramir the
validation and security he never got after so many years of an awful
relationship with his father? I honestly don’t know why I don’t get all giddy
about these two more often, because they make the very best otp.)
And the result of the departure of the Shadow and her
friendship with Faramir is Eowyn’s decision that ‘I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I
will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.’
I think that last bit is so important because I’m certain
that Tolkien doesn’t mean for Eowyn to immediately pack up her sword and shield
and become a good girl sitting at home with her knitting and waiting for the
men to return home after the fight – after all, she’s going to be the wife of
the Steward of Gondor and there’s a lot of mess to clean up after the War of
the Ring. Eowyn’s probably still going to find herself defending hearth and
home from time to time. But the important thing is that she’s no longer
defining herself simply by the doing of valiant deeds; she’ll no longer compare
herself to the great warriors of her house and feel lacking simply because she
hasn’t killed as many men. Most importantly, she’s not going to take joy only in the songs of the slaying, in
destruction and death. Tolkien was all about healers symbolising life and
rebirth, and Eowyn’s decision to become one – to aid in the preservation of
life rather than the taking of it – is so beautiful. I don’t think Tolkien ever
wrote Eowyn’s ending to make her reclaim her ‘lost femininity’; I think it’s a
lovely way of adding to the ever-present theme in Lord of the Rings of hope and
frailty and healing and friendship over glory and battle and strife.
Allow me to just have a bit of a ramble, yes? I want to talk about two of my least favorite tropes with you today.
You all know that I absolutely hate the trope where the female protag describes herself in neutral or positive terms and obviously has a conventionally attractive (usually white) face, but then concludes it by saying some shit about how she’s “average” or “plain”.
Let’s break this down: It’s basically a girl who is forced by mainstream culture to be “attractive”, but god forbid she actually admits it, right? So we get this dishonest nonsense, where the author (and in turn, the character) must reassure the reader that no, don’t worry, she’s actually VERY VERY HOT, she just doesn’t THINK she is, which is what good girls must be like. Because you see, if you’re attractive and you know it, you’re a vain bitch who needs to be taken down a peg. But if you’re actually ugly, then you can basically die and nobody wants to read about you. Seriously, point me to a story about an conventionally unattractive girl getting the prettiest boy in school.
This character either conforms to the ideal from the start (she’s pretty but doesn’t know it) or she’s forced to conform to become attractive to the male love interest (makover scene).
I’ll come back to this, but let’s examine another un-favorite of mine:
Female characters who have traditionally masculine hobbies or skills that go “I’m not like those OTHER girls who wear slutty clothes and talk about dumb stuff”, but she’s always conventionally attractive and never too masculine. (She can take out seven men by herself but she has zero muscle definition.) She’s not allowed to be, because that wouldn’t be attractive to the presumed straight male audience, it would be threatening. So even here, she must walk a balance between not being too girly, because traditional femininity is deeply devalued, but she must also make sure that she’s never actually anywhere close to being masculine, because then men wouldn’t wanna bang her.
So what we end up with is female protagonists who are forced to walk the same impossible balance that actual women are IRL. Be gorgeous, but only naturally gorgeous. If you try to achieve beauty through other means, you’re a fake slutty bitch. Be beautiful, but don’t you dare be confident. Be feminine, but don’t you dare be interested in dumb “girly” shit. Be smart (but not too smart) and have masculine skills, but don’t you dare be too good at those, because then men will be threatened and won’t find you attractive.
People are now pushing for female characters to embrace femininity, and while I can support that, it can’t be the only thing we need to push for. Because while appreciation for the traditionally feminine would be refreshing and help undo some of the damage, it’s still pushing female characters to be traditionally feminine and only that.
I want to see female characters who are allowed to be unattractive but are still loved. I want to see female characters who are allowed to be skilled in traditionally masculine areas without regard for how attractive they’d be to men. I want more women who reject traditional femininity but – and this is important – without shitting on it. Give me grimy, unpleasant, confident girls who aren’t perfect all the time, who don’t look like models, who aren’t pretty but still have so much worth because of course they do! They’re more than how attractive men think they are.
Let your female characters be both. Let some be prissy and delicate and some be disgusting goblins who wrestle dudes in the mud, and not in a sexy way. Let an old, scarred war hero love knitting and kittens. Let the beautiful princess be a brilliant strategist. One does not cancel out the other.
Please let’s just have both. We need both. Desperately. Because in the end, nothing is inherently feminine or masculine. There are so many different expressions of identity that only pushing portrayals into one direction could be as bad as forcing characters to uphold some artificial balance.
Okay so idk if anyone’s done this before but I honestly love how Red Vs. Blue has perfectly set Donut’s storyline up for him being a trans guy:
- he vehemently defends his masculinity, almost as if he’s had to work to earn respect for that
- he regularly corrects people and makes sure they know he’s a guy
- he hates when people call his armor pink
- he always corrects people’s assumptions that because he’s wearing light-ish red armor he’s automatically gay
- he makes his attraction to girls well-known and makes sure people know it’s valid
- at first he hated it, but his new light-ish red armor is “roomy” in the crotch area compared to the regulation red armor, almost as if the army recognized him as a girl when he first joined, but now they recognize him as a dude and gave him the correct armor, which would mean more space in the groin area
- once people quit calling him a girl and realize he’s a guy, he seems to feel more comfortable with making dick jokes and gay innuendos
- he seems to hold onto some “girly” traditions such as sleepovers and sleepover games (i.e. truth or dare with Caboose), braiding each other’s hair, among other things (I remember him referencing things like this, but I can’t remember exact quotes, so I don’t wanna mis-quote anyone)
- he thinks some chick things are fun, such as ribbons and unicorns, and he also thoroughly enjoys interior decorating (a stereotypically girly thing, pardon me for including that one)
- near the end of season 2, when Donut is abducted by the Blues and the rest of Red team is trying to figure out a plan, they say they have to rescue him “before he cracks and reveals everything.” Grif asks “everything like what? Where we keep his tampons?” Most people probably took/take this as a normal jab at Donut but idk Grif’s tone isn’t the same and it’s not said as if it’s a joke like their other comments on his pink armor or his innuendos; it’s said like he’s being serious: Red Team really doesn’t have any secrets, except that Donut is a trans guy and they keep tampons and other supplies on hand for him
- he has lace underwear (and offered to let Caboose wear some of them)
I’m sure there’s a bunch more, I’m only on s4 of my most recent re-watch, so I’ll probably add more and feel free to add more. I just love the idea that Donut is a trans guy who’s helping to save the galaxy, one douchebag at a time.
Do any of the yandere guys have a type of girl? like pls pls could you do this with reaper and genji <3 <3
Hell, I’ll do it with a lot of them for you…
Also, I don’t mean to offend anyone in this, these are just head-canons really
Loves quirky girls that can put up a fight - if you pull his hair, for example, he’d turn into a moaning mess
He thinks brightly colored hair and makeup is fucking hot
Following that trend, he prefers the party boy lifestyle, so he loves girls who are full of energy and can keep up with his antics - so if they can handle drink and drugs, that’s definitely a plus
Body wise, he loves athletic-built girls who can pin him down as easily he can to them
Fucking adores traditional ‘girly’ girls; since Jesse tends to go for ‘Southern’ types, he loves seeing his s/o in dresses or tied up button shirts and shorts
This man lives for curves and ‘thicc’ bodies, he doesn’t keep his hands to himself either
Jesse is pretty dominant and gets extremely moody when he doesn’t get what he wants.. so more submissive girls are for him
Tends to go for girls who are much smaller than him, mostly so he can throw them over his shoulder and hold them close to his chest whenever he sleeps
He loves protecting small girls, but he also finds it cute it if they’re a little intimidated by him
Though he complains about it, he loves to ‘tame’ loud, badly behaved or more bratty girls too
He’s a massive slut shamer, and he loves it
Though he’ll seem possibly uninterested in public towards girls like this, he adores feisty and slightly promiscuous girls who could probably rip his nuts off
He’d adore keeping a girl like this all to himself, once a playbunny, now all his..
HOWEVER, he’s also really into seriously innocent girls.. he loves murmuring dirty things in their ear to watch them turn all shades of red
Prefers delicate, slight girls who are quite shy or timid.
He also likes rather typically feminine women who are very respectable and domesticated
Hanzo finds soft voices and girlish mannerisms particularly sweet
He doesn’t like being disobeyed, so unless he reckons he’d be able to ’train’ them, Hanzo isn’t particularly interested in badly behaved girls
Jamison loves girls who will agree with everything he says - if he suggests that the two of you are going to do something stupid, he’d get seriously sulky if his s/o refused
Similarly to Mccree, Junkrat loves curvy girls.. He’d fall asleep curled around them like some weird cat, with his head either on their lap or on their chest
He’ll also get extremely, and I mean stupidly protective if he sees anyone talk to his girl. Jamie would curse at anyone who dares touch his girl.. The unlucky individual may even find a little ‘present’ (an explosive) under their bed from the Australian man
He likes his s/o to be rather quiet. He doesn’t mind especially timid girls, he loves giving his s/o tons of aftercare because this man is a big softie deep down
He’s not bothered really about their body type, he loves big pretty eyes and sweet smiles though..
Typically likes ‘littles’
He loves smart and sophisticated women. He loves them to be as intelligent as they are beautiful, but they should know when to shut their mouth unless they want him to wipe the lipstick off their pretty little smirk
Akande quite likes taking feisty girls and totally domesticating them to his beck and call
He expects his s/o to wear fine jewelry and he adores red stain on their lips.. but he prefers the makeup when it’s smeared across silk pillows and they’re a sweating panting mess beneath him.
I have mixed feelings over the "warrior woman" characters.
Don’t get me wrong; I like that women can fight and be strong. But what I don’t like is when a woman is only considered “strong” is if she fights physically or has an attitude.
For example, in a lot of shows, the most popular female characters are the ones who “kick ass”. The female characters who act more traditionally feminine are usually less popular, or are even regarded as weak or boring.
And I feel like this can be just as damaging a message as telling women they can’t fight at all.
To me, when you prop up the warrior women and ignore or belittle the others, it is saying “women in ‘traditional’ roles don’t matter. A woman is only worthy of respect-is only considered "strong”-if she acts masculine".
So I have these mixed feelings, because I love the idea of warrior women, but not at the expense of other female characters.
Many female viewers/readers may look at that and think “Oh, I have to be a fighter. I have to be feisty and strong and be a fighter in order to be respected”. And for women who do not consider themselves feisty; who are shy or like traditional “girly” things, who have no desire to be a fighter, that can be damaging, because it may make them feel inadequate and insecure, that they are not good enough when they are.
I don’t want woman to think they have to act like a man to be respected as a woman.
If your school requires you to wear the uniform of the gender assigned to you at birth, it may help to wear something underneath it to combat dysphoria. This could be wearing tights under pants, wearing boxers instead of traditional ‘girly’ underwear, or anything else that may help you. Just beware as some schools have very strict dress codes and will not allow added items if they show at all.