Betty Smith and the Issue of Race in Aberford

One of the critics of this game once called me out over a post about Betty, in which I confessed that it was very difficult to write sometimes when other characters were being racist towards her and she didn’t get mad or fight back. (I get a little too involved in my writing, so it feel like I’m doing and saying those things and it’s awful). The gist of the call-out was “how dare you imply that someone doesn’t lose their mind over every act of racism because they’re too strong to fight back”. I think, in the mind of that critic, fighting back was the only real way to show strength, and I deeply disagree with that sentiment, as did people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Jesus Christ.  Siddhārtha Gautama. I could go on.

There are lots of ways to show strength, which is a big part of what we’re trying to explore in Aberford. Each of the playable characters is a very strong women in her own way, and none of them are strong in the same way. And with those strengths come what can be viewed as weaknesses. Peggy is quick to stand up for what she thinks is right and she’ll fight with just about anyone who crosses her (with words or frying pans). She wears her strength in a very visible, physical fashion. But in turn, she is reckless, impatient, and difficult to get along with. Doris is focused and loyal. She shows her strength through friendship and by rising to meet any challenge with a “can-do” attitude. But she’s also dogmatic, inflexible, and extremely distrustful of “outsiders”. Sylvia, as an INTJ personality, draws strength from logic and emotional detachment, but she also runs up high personal costs which, sooner or later, come due. Each form of strength has its own advantages and disadvantages, and even complicated, resilient problems like racism can be tackled by whatever form of strength you possess (although results may vary).

With Betty, her strength lies in her ability to excel. This is a woman who can do anything she sets her mind to and get it done better than almost anyone else. The “weakness” that often comes with this personality is a need for approval and connectedness. So Betty doesn’t fight with people. She stays calm. She stays polite. She tries to be friendly with everyone. She fights racism by proving people wrong. Not with shouting or violence, but by exceeding people’s expectations. Always. And cheerfully. And either people love her, or they end up hating themselves more.

Now, that is not my default approach to anything (I’m a Peggy/Sylvia hybrid and it’s a mess). And it’s probably not yours either (only about 12% of the population fits this type). And it certainly isn’t the approach that gets headlines and retweets. But this is the approach of Betty Smith because this is who she is: a person and not a stereotype. Does this approach work? Well, Aberford will get into that.

Now, look at the other ESFJ personality characters. Thor certainly isn’t one to avoid a fight, but violence is different for him, since it’s more like a sport or a job. It’s what he excels at, and it doesn’t take an emotional toll on him, so it’s what he does. However, the “conflicts” that Thor avoids revolve around disharmony between his friends and family. Thor wants everything to be good between everyone, so he ignores growing problems and discontent. He is genuinely surprised to find that Loki resents him. He wants to believe the best about Loki, that Loki can somehow be saved and redeemed, because the alternative is too difficult for him to bear. Heck, in Avengers, when Loki’s influence is making everyone drudge up personal beef, Thor’s only accusation is that everyone is tiny and petty. To Thor, every fight should end with everyone (friend and foe) getting drunk and singing viking songs together. (Dean Winchester is probably of this same personality type, where he just wants his family and friends to get along and be happy, and he avoids any conflict that might tear those people apart).

With Donna Noble, again, you have a person who exactly 0 problem speaking her mind when it comes to the Doctor, but she ignores the red flags in regards to her weird alien fiance. And her fights with the Doctor generally focus on keeping him on the same level as the people around him, keeping him human. She avoid discussions with her mom about how she’s wasting her life (I think, it’s been awhile since I’ve had time to binge watch DW). When there are awful, disruptive truths to be tackled, Donna avoids them, believing that just being herself will brings things around right in the end. 

Kaylee from Firefly is the same way, willing to take charge in her area of expertise, but she becomes extremely uncomfortable when the crew starts fighting with each other. (BTW, if you don’t love Kaylee, you are wrong). Immediate harmony is the ESFJs’ goal, and they tend to have big blinders regarding things that make harmony impossible.

So this is what you’ll see from Betty in Aberford. You’ll see someone who wants, more than anything, for everyone to like her and get along with each other. It’s not intended to be a blanket statement on race issues. It’s an exploration of how one woman deals with it (and her marriage and her job and her friendships, etc). Each of the other women have their own unique slice of issues and they deal with them in their own way. Doris and Mary and Alejandra each have their approaches to race issues. Sometimes, you’ll see an example, and sometimes you’ll see a cautionary tale. Different people might see different things. But if any of those issues, and the way they’re dealt with, help people find better ways to address the problems in their lives, that’s what we’re after.

For anyone that’s interested, this is how I structure my character sheets. I like a lot of straightforward information that I can glance over quickly and still get a good sense of who the character is. It also helps a lot for organizational purposes. The composition of this sheet is taken from a lot of sources, both my own and others, though I can’t definitively say what came from where.

Applicable quote, usually a song lyric. –Source


  • NICKNAME(S): name [type of nickname: is it an alias? a childhood moniker? an official designation?]
  • AGE: 
  • GENDER: cis female, trans male, genderqueer, etc.
  • HERITAGE: their ethnic and/or racial ancestry (i.e. african-american, chinese, nordic)
  • SPOKEN LANGUAGE(S): if you want, add how proficient they are in languages besides their first
  • SEXUALITY: romantic orientation and sexual orientation


  • FACE CLAIM: if applicable
  • HEIGHT: 
  • SCARS:
  • ARMOR: if applicable
  • WEAPON OF CHOICE: if applicable
  • POWER(S): if they are a mutant or the like


  • FINANCIAL STATUS: middle class, lower class, etc
  • EDUCATION LEVEL: list the highest level of education they’ve received. if they’ve taken classes at a place outside of the normal high school or college curriculum, such as cooking classes or karate at local venues, list them here as well
  • FAMILIAL CONNECTIONS: name [relationship to character and sometimes age, status, occupation, etc]; second name [and so forth]
  • ROMANTIC CONNECTIONS: same as above
  • PLATONIC CONNECTIONS: same as above
  • HOSTILE CONNECTIONS: same as above


► VERSES [this section is generally for roleplayers who rp in multiple universes. though, if you have a universe traveling plot, i suggest using this section to outline the differences between one universe or another. if you plan to fully develop an alternate character in their own right (see: fauxlivia dunham from fringe), i recommend an entirely new character sheet for them]

  • VERSE TITLE [Main Verse]: a short explanation of their natural habitat universe. very bare bones, just the basics.
  • VERSE TITLE: an alternate universe that the character can be applied to. this section is optional if you have a character with a specific setting in mind, though it can be helpful for rpers who multiship within the same setting.


this is one of the most important parts of the character sheet. this is how your character came to be the person they are today. i tend to write practically essays in this section, but another nifty alternative i’ve found useful is listing important dates/events in the character’s life and explaining how those events shaped them.


i like to write a lot here, multiple paragraphs, but if listing a few traits is more your style, go for it!

► OTHER VITAL INFORMATION [are they open or closed for plotting, shipping, etc?]

Richard Armitage 31 Day Challenge

Day 6: A role of his you haven’t seen but want to.

Having seen all Richard’s past roles, the ones left now are those for which he has either completed filming (Urban and the Shed Crew, Hannibal and Sleepwalker) or is in the process (Pilgrimage). I thought I would be safe from having to watch him in something like Hannibal as he himself had said he probably wouldn’t choose to do horror genre - he’s fully aware he’s gone back on that now [x] Thanks Richard! :-(  Frances Dolarhyde is a role I am sure he will knock out of the ball park, but do I want to see it? Not exactly, the thought of all that gore turns my stomach, but I’m sure when the time comes I won’t be able to help myself.

I’m really looking forward to his role as Raymond de Merville in Pilgrimage, but that movie’s release is some time away yet, so for today’s challenge I’ll choose “Chop” in Urban. I’ve read the book, and my reaction to Bernard Hare’s character was mixed to say the least, so it will be very interesting to see the production’s - and Richard’s - interpretation of him.

Images from RANet [x]

anonymous asked:

Ok, so I have this couple, and they meet in the beginning of the book, and break up in the end because she moves away and they both know that a long distance relationship probably wouldn't work out. Do you have any tips on foreshadowing this?

More-legit here

This isn’t something you’re going to foreshadow the way you would a character’s death or a plot twist or a big unexpected revelation.

They are a couple. Healthy couples communicate. If she’s going to move away, surely she finds out a few weeks prior at the very least. She’s not going to spring it on him right before getting on the plane. They’re going to talk. They will share their feelings about whether she should move away. Whether there is a way to not be apart. About where they are in the relationship, since this is a recent one. And when they do come to the conclusion that if they stay together, it’s going to be long distance, they’re going to talk about how they feel about long distance relationship.

These conversations are most likely going to take place from the moment she finds out she’s moving to when she does leave. 

Also, your ask doesn’t say, but “a long distance relationship probably wouldn’t work” isn’t enough of a reason for them to decide to break up. Because it can and does work for plenty of people. So make sure that you’re not just giving that reason as a blanket statement. What is it about them that makes it unlikely for it to work in their particular case?


So a good while back, I designed a set of Transformer twins [who have been named Chirality and Helicity] based on two background characters from G1. I’ve scribbled them in passing here and there, but I’ve never actually fleshed out their designs that well. The other day - mostly after seeing some of the characters revealed for the Windblade comic - I was reminded that they existed, and I’ve been trying to finish figuring them out. Which involved redesigning their helms a bit.

There are still two of them, they’re still gender-neutral, and they’re still identical; the only way to tell the two apart is by looking at which side of their chest the red stripe is on. Because they are identical, I’m just doing sketches of an ambiguous one of them while I figure things out.

anonymous asked:

So I'm not sexually attracted to anyone in real life and I'm neutral towards the idea of having sex, but I am sexually attracted to (or at least aroused by) concepts such as fictional characters, furries, etc. I do imagine myself being involved, but as someone else. In other words, I'm asexual in reality, but bisexual in fantasy. Where would I fall under on the asexual spectrum?

Sounds like you might be experiencing autochorissexualism. Also check out my characters tag for others who share similar experiences. Some people choose to ignore fantasies entirely simply because they don’t reflect reality. If you want to identify as asexual, then that’s that.

anonymous asked:

I dont like how they treated Gamzee and how Vriska was in the upd8, it just feels sp fake that everyone suddenly agrees with her. Especially Karkat, he's the most argumentative and whiny of them all. And Rose is suddenly a total pushover? Like when did that happen?

Their behaviour towards Gamzee is completely atrocious, but that’s a given :o/

I think Vriska’s fucked them up since she’s totally normal yet everyone else is incredibly apathetic and docile and bending over backwards for her. So I think it’s either her Thief abilities or using her psychics- and even using Terezi since Terezi would feel guilty over very nearly killing Vriska and Vriska has already pulled the ‘well obviously YOU have the best instincts! Not like it lead you to almost kill someone aka me before’! which Vriska uses to shame Terezi into compliance whenever she goes to speak out.

I’m not sure what happened to the humans; I mean we already know Dave is a useless piece of shit, but Rose is acting even more daft than usual so yeah

Idk, it’s like they’re browbeaten sheep all bending to her will. She’s done something and I feel such vindictive glee about it due to all the idiots going OH VRISKA IS GONNA MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER DESPITE BEING SUCH A DOUCHEBAG! SEE?? due to the Vriskagram update. Yeah, see how she fucked up everyone as usual lol