inherent rights

anonymous asked:

Hey, you're awesome, thanks for existing, basically ^_^ Anyway, I wanted to know if you have any tips on how to write different personalities? My characters (all of them) always end up with the same default personality that I fall back on. Thanks!

Thanks for your question, darling!  I think most of us have struggled with this – after all, we’re conditioned to one way of thinking, feeling, and acting for as long as we live.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we write characters like ourselves, though.  In fact, many of us have a “default character” that’s sassier than we are, sweeter than we are, or in some way different enough from us that we still feel like we’re writing a character.

The problem, then, isn’t that we can’t visualize a different personality than ours.  On the whole, we can.  What we’re missing are the small details that make it feel whole – otherwise, it’s like painting the same room six different colors and trying to pass it off as six different rooms.  Different dominant traits can’t hide the fact that you’re working with one template!

So the question we’re left with: what are the traits we’re missing?  And how can we change them to create a unique and whole personality?


Three Types of Character Traits

There are, as the title suggests, three major categories of personality traits as I see it: fundamental traits, acquired traits, and detrimental traits.  A well-rounded character needs some of each to be three-dimensional and realistic.

Fundamental Traits

The fundamental traits of a person’s character are not as simple as interests and preferences; they are the very base of all decisions and desires.  They are either learned in early life or developed over a long period of time, rooting deeply into the personality.  A few examples of fundamental personality traits include:

  • Upbringing – The word choice here is conscious, as upbringing encompasses many different aspects of a person’s development.  Consider who raised them, and with what morals and practices they were raised to adulthood.  Consider their influences, both familial, social, and in media; consider the relationships that were normalized during their development, as well as the living conditions (financially, emotionally, environmentally, etc.).  The people, places, emotions, and conflicts made common during a person’s developmental period are essential to their personality in adulthood.  This is why psychologists often draw present-day problems back to a person’s childhood memories – because those formative years can subconsciously dictate so much of a person’s future!
  • Values – These may not coincide with the values a person is raised to hold, but upbringing certainly has an influence on this. A person’s values will direct the course of their life through every decision, large and small.  You don’t need to outline everything your character believes is important – every moral and every law they agree/disagree with. But those values which stand above others will give your character purpose.  A few of my favorite examples are: Jane from Jane the Virgin (whose initial storyline is heavily based on her religion and desire for a beautiful love story, as well as her childhood influences who inspired these values) and Han Solo from Star Wars (whose character development rested upon his values shifting from money and gratification to more honorable things).
  • Beliefs – Different from values, beliefs are a more general set of guidelines for how a person believes things are supposed to be.  Beliefs can also be a source of great conflict, as a character tries to stay aligned with their beliefs despite other values or desires.  These beliefs can be established systems, like religion or politics; they can also include more personal belief systems, like nihilism or veganism.  A characters beliefs, like their values, can change over the course of the story – but even if a character is questioning one system of belief, like religion or pacifism, they should have other belief systems in place to govern some of their activity.
  • Reputation – A lot of human activity, whether consciously or not, is dictated by how others perceive them (or how they believe others perceive them).  There are two types of reputation: personal and passing.  For instance, a woman named Sally who gains a personal reputation of sleeping around will behave in reaction to this reputation – either sleeping around because everyone already expects it of her, or specifically not hooking up because she wants to shake this reputation, or developing a thicker skin to deal with the rumors until it passes.  A man named Billy who, because of his tattoos, bears a passing reputation as an intimidating man will either try to soften his demeanor with strangers, own up to the image, or at least learn to expect judgment from strangers as a consequence.
  • Self-Image – Also relevant to a person’s behavior is the way they perceive themselves, which can often have little to do with their reputation.  A lot of self-image is based on definitive moments or phases in the past.  For instance: for several years after I started wearing contacts and cutting my hair, I still saw myself, in dreams at night, with long hair and glasses.  One of my friends, similarly, could not seem to notice when boys would flirt with her during sophomore year – because she still saw herself as an awkward middle schooler with braces, and not as the charming cheerleader with the great smile.
    Inversely, self-image can be inflated, causing character to behave as though they are funnier, smarter, or more prepared than they truly are (see: the rest of my sophomore acquaintances).  This can be an overlooked character flaw opportunity – or flawportunity…

Originally posted by alliefallie


Acquired Traits

Now we move on to the acquired traits of personality, which are the ones you’re more likely to find on a character sheet or a list of “10 Questions for Character Development”, alongside a million other things like their zodiac sign and their spirit animal.  But the traits I’m about to outline are a little more relevant to a character’s behavior, and more importantly, how to make this behavior unique from other characters’ behavior.  The following traits will be learned by your characters throughout their life (and their story), and are more likely to shift and grow with time:

  • Interests – I know, I had to reach deep down into my soul to think of this one.  But it’s true!  Interests, both in childhood/adolescence and in adulthood, are an important part of a character’s personality and lifestyle.  Childhood interests both reveal something about the character (for instance: my nephew loves trains, Legos, and building, suggesting a future interest in construction or engineering) and create values that can last for a lifetime.  Current interests affect career choice, social circles, and daily activity for everyone.  Forgotten or rejected interests can be the source of pet peeves, fears, or bad memories. There’s a reason I’ll never play with Polly Pockets again, and it 100% has to do with bloody fingertips and a purse that wouldn’t open.
  • Sense of Humor – This can be a little hard to define, understandably.  If you were to ask me what my sense of humor is, I’d probably start with a few stupid memes, pass by Drake & Josh on the way, and somehow wind up telling you bad puns or quoting Chelsea Peretti’s standup comedy. A person’s sense of humor can be complex and contradictory!  Sometimes we just laugh at stuff because someone said it in a funny way.  But anyway, to help you boil this down to something useful: take a look at a few kinds of comedy and relate it to your character’s maturity level.  Do they laugh when someone lets out a toot?  Are they the kind of person to mutter, “That’s what she said,” or simply try not to laugh when something sounds dirty?  Can puns make them crack a smile?  Do they like political humor?  Do cat videos kill them?  Is their humor particularly dark?  Can the mere sound of someone else laughing make them laugh?  Figure out where your character’s sense of humor is, and you’ll feel closer to them already.
  • Pet Peeves – For every interest a person may have, and everything that makes them laugh, there’s something else that can piss them off, large- or small-scale.  Are they finnicky about their living space and neatness? Do they require a lot of privacy? Do certain sounds or behaviors drive them crazy?  What qualities are intolerable in a romantic interest for them? What kind of comments or beliefs make them roll their eyes?  If you need help, just try imagining their worst enemy – someone whose every word or action elicits the best eye-rolls and sarcastic remarks and even a middle finger or two – and ask yourself, what about this person makes them that mortal enemy?  What behaviors or standards make them despicable to your character?  That’s all it takes.
  • Skills – Everybody has them, and they’re not just something we’re born with.  Skills can be natural talent, sure, but they’re also cultivated from time, values, and interests.  What is your character okay at?  What are they good at?  What are they fantastic at?  Maybe they can cook.  Maybe they have a beautiful eye for colors.  Maybe they have an inherent sense of right and wrong that others admire. Maybe they’re super-athletic or incredibly patient or sharp as a tack or sweet as a cupcake.  Maybe they know how to juggle, or maybe they’re secretly the most likely of all their friends to survive a zombie apocalypse.  Where do they shine?  What would make someone look at them and think, “Wow, I wish I were them right now”?
  • Desires – A good way to “separate” one character from the next is to define what it is they want, and then use every other detail to dictate how they pursue that goal.  Every real person has a desire, whether they’ve defined it or not – whether it’s something huge, like fame or a family of five with triplet girls and a beach house on an island, or something small, like good grades for the semester.  These desires can cause a person to revise their values or forsake their morals; and these desires can conflict with other people’s desires, influencing how people interact with each other.  Remember that every character is living their own story, even if it’s not the story you’re telling.
  • Communication Style – A majorly overlooked character trait in pop fiction is unique communication styles.  Having every character feel comfortable arguing, or bursting out with the words, “I love you,” is unrealistic.  Having every character feel paralyzed at the idea of confronting a bully or being honest to their spouse is also unrealistic.  There should be a healthy mix of communicators in a group of characters. Some people are too softspoken to mouth off at their racist lab partner.  Some people wouldn’t see their girlfriend kissing another guy and just walk away without saying something.  Some people just don’t react to conflict by raising their voice; some people enjoy sharing their opinions or giving the correct answer in class.  Boldness, social skills, and emotional health all have a part to play in how people communicate their thoughts – so keep this in mind to create a more realistic, consistent character.
  • Emotional Expression – Along the same lines but not the same, emotional expression is more focal on feelings than thoughts.  If you’ve ever heard of the fight-or-flight response, the different types of anger, the stages of grief, or the five love languages, then you’re aware of different “classifications” of emotional expression and management.  Read up on some of those things, and think about how your character handles emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, paranoia, and so forth.

Detrimental Traits

While acquired traits are certainly more enjoyable to brainstorm during the creation process, detrimental traits are as important – or even more important – to the character’s wholeness as well as their role in the story.  Not only do these negative or limiting traits make your character realistic, relatable, and conflicted – they create a need for other characters and their strengths to move the plot forward.  A few examples of detrimental traits include:

  • Flaws – Character flaws are probably the first thing that came to your mind while reading this, but they’re the essence of the category.  Flaws in a character’s personality, morality, or behavior can be a source of character development; they set an individual on their own path and provide a unique motivation for them.  Having Character A struggle with sobriety while Character B learns to be a more patient mother can do a lot to separate their stories and personalities from each other.  Even if certain flaws don’t reach a point of growth, they create a third aspect to personality and force us, as writers, to be more creative with how our characters get from Point A to Point B, and what they screw up along the way.
  • Fears – Everyone has fears, whether we’re conscious of them or not – and I’m not talking about phobias or “things that give you shivers”.  Just like everyone has a primary motivation throughout life (romance, family, success, meaning, peace of mind, etc.), everyone has a fear behind that motivation (loneliness, failure, emptiness, anxiety).  We all have something we don’t want to happen places we never want to be and things we never want to do.  We’ve all been in situations that mildly bothered others but wildly affected us at the same time.  For me, it’s a lack of autonomy, or in any way being forced to do something or be somewhere against my will.
    What does this mean for me?  It means that when other people have nightmares about being chased by an axe murderer, I have nightmares about being kidnapped and locked up.  It means that I’m continually aware of my “escape plan” if something goes wrong in my living situation, and I’m hypersensitive to someone telling me, “You have to do this.”  It means I struggle to follow rules and usually don’t get along with authority figures because I have to assert my independence to them.  It’s irrational and continual and doesn’t just affect me in one situation; it subconsciously directs my steps if I let it.  That’s how real, guttural fears work. Phobias are only skin deep, and they don’t make you feel any closer to the character.

Originally posted by giantmonster

  • Secrets – Even goody two-shoes Amber from the swim team, with her blonde blonde hair and her good good grades, has a secret.  Everybody does, even if it’s not a purposeful, “I have a deep, dark secret,” sort of secret. We have things we don’t tell people, just because they’re embarrassing, or painful, or too deep to get into, or they don’t paint us in a good light.  While the secrets themselves tell a lot about a person, so do the reasons a person keeps a secret.  Hiding something out of shame suggests a person is prideful, or critical of themselves, or holds themselves to a higher standard than they hold others.  Hiding something painful suggests that the person struggles to handle sadness or regret, or that they feel uncomfortable showing raw emotion in front of loved ones. And so on and so forth.
  • Conflict – Whether internal, interpersonal, legal, moral, societal, or what have you, conflict will limit your character’s actions at every turn.  A story is nothing without conflict driving the plot in different directions and causing your character to rethink both their plans and their lifestyle.  Without Katniss’s moral conflict over killing other tributes, The Hunger Games would be the story of a girl who entered an arena, killed a lot of people, and lived the rest of her life rich and comfortable.  If Luke Skywalker didn’t have interpersonal conflict with Darth Vader, Star Wars would be the war-story of a guy who joined a rebellion and then… yeah.
  • Health – Physical, mental, and emotional health is a huge limiting factor for characters that often goes untouched, but it’s valuable nonetheless.  Not everyone has a clean bill of health and can jump off trains without pulling a muscle, go through a traumatic life experience without any hint of depression or anxiety, or watch a loved one die in gunfire and shove right on without emotional repercussions. Consider creating a character who’s not perfect – who isn’t perfectly in-shape or abled, or neurotypical or stable day-to-day, or completely clean and clear of residual heartache, unhealthy relationships, or bad emotional habits.  Don’t define them by these traits, of course – but don’t feel that you can’t write a character with health issues without writing a “sick character.”

So this post got ridiculously long, but I hope it works as a reference for you when creating unique characters.  Remember that you don’t need to outline all of this information to create an individual, realistic character.  These are just some relevant ideas to get you started!  It’s up to you, as the writer, to decide what’s necessary and what’s excessive for your creative process.

Still, I hope a majority of this is helpful to you!  If you have any more questions, be sure to send them in and we’ll get back to you :)  Good luck!

- Mod Joanna ♥️


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask us!

Stop minimizing and discounting your feelings. You have every right to feel the way you do. Your feelings may not always be logical, but they are always valid. Because if you feel something, then you feel it and it’s real to you. It’s not something you can ignore or wish away. It’s there, gnawing at you, tugging at your core, and in order to find peace, you have to give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you feel. You have to let go of what you’ve been told you “should” or “shouldn’t” feel. You have to drown out the voices of people who try to shame you into silence. You have to listen to the sound of your own breathing and honor the truth inside you. Because despite what you may believe, you don’t need anyone’s validation or approval to feel what you feel. Your feelings are inherently right and true. They’re important and they matter — you matter — and it is more than okay to feel what you feel. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, convince you otherwise.
—  Daniell Koepke

Once, during a fight with my parents when I was about 12, I told them that the reason I was upset was that I felt disrespected by them. Their response was that was fine because I hadn’t earned respect because I was just a child. They weren’t of the opinion that it had anything to do with my behavior even. They said that no child deserves to be respected because they haven’t lived long enough. They told me they deserved to get respected by me because they were adults but that they did not have to respect me in return because I hadn’t earned respect by living a long enough time. I asked them if you had to do anything special to get respected as an adult and they said no, you just have to be an adult. I told them that I thought that was wrong and that all human beings are born deserving to be respected. They didn’t agree nor did they ever bother to respect me when I was a child. When I became an adult, they disproved their own theory by continuing to not respect me even though my being an adult, by their own reasoning, should’ve automatically earned that from them.

I was raised by some of the stupidest people who ever lived.

anonymous asked:

Do you realize that being fat isn't always good? I mean if you're still healthy it's fine but once it gets to point it starts becoming a health problem. It's not good for that to happen right? Do you want people to slowly waste away and die of heart disease? They're basically killing themselves and it's not a perfect comparison but if you meet a self garner do you want them to stop?

HUZZAH! This is my first psuedo-intellectual anon hate. And my-oh-me, it’s a doozy. I love the condescending “gotchya” tone in this, as if anon is asking ground-breaking, mind-blowing questions and not the same bullshit concern-trolling that has been debunked over and over again. But I’ll indulge anon’s ignorance for the moment, if only so that I have a comprehensive response to link to other fatphobic assholes in the future. 

Put simply, my dear anon, your questions are silly, and you should feel bad about how ignorant, hateful, and fatphobic you come off in this ask.


1. Health is a complex concept that is dependent on many individualized factors. Similarly, weight is complex and depends on many factors completely out of an individual’s control, including genetics, poverty and food insecurity, and trauma history. Neither exercise nor a “healthy” diet result in long term weight loss. 

2. Weight is a really inaccurate, non-evidence based proxy for the concept of health. Hate to break it to you, but the BMI is bullshit, and overweight and obese people actually have lower mortality rates than people in the “normal” category. Yes, you read right, evidence shows that being fat can be good for your health. 

3. Heart disease has links to several risk factors, and “overweightness” by itself does not reliably predict heart disease. In fact, some evidence suggests fat people are better able to survive cardiac events than thin people. Correlation is not causation, yes, even with conditions such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, so it is incorrect to say that having a lot of adipose tissue directly causes illness of any type. Being fat is not per se unhealthy. Additionally, invisible disabilities and illnesses exist, which precludes you from knowing whether ANY given person, whether they are thin or fat, is “healthy”. 

4. Based on 1,2, and 3, it’s clear that you have no idea what someone’s health-status is simply by looking at them. You have no idea whether someone’s weight is “killing them” or causing them to “slowly waste away”, and all the evidence suggests that it’s simply inaccurate to say being fat is enough, by itself, to kill someone. 

5. Linking someone’s health to their moral goodness or worth is inherently ableist. If someone is fat and unhealthy they are still a human being worthy of love and respect. If someone is fat and disabled they are still a human being worthy of love and respect. If someone is fat and eats nothing but “junk food” and never exercises THEY ARE STILL A HUMAN BEING WORTHY OF LOVE AND RESPECT.  

6. Shaming people into the weight loss you deem to be “appropriate” does not work and actually leads to increased weight gain and a myriad of negative outcomes (more discussed in 7 and 8). For example, the “War on Obesity” has been linked to increased disordered eating in pre-pubescent children.  Harm reduction and trauma-informed, client-centered care works better than the shaming, 12-step, crash-diet, “I know more about what’s better for your health than you do” bullshit. 

7. Mental illness kills tens of thousands of people in the United States every year, and shaming someone’s body size under the guise of “health concern” has empirically proven negative outcomes on mental health

8. Fat stigma in the medical establishment and society at large arguably kills more fat people than fat does. Attempts to “correct” fatness such as repeated dieting and “lifestyle changes” have been shown to have negative health outcomes.  

9. Of all the complex health and mortality risk factors that exist, fat seems to be the only one that you care about. Why aren’t you yelling at people you see driving cars or smoking? Probably because your “health concern” for fat people is just thinly veiled fatphobia.

10. THE HEALTH STATUS OF OTHER PEOPLE IS NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS ANYWAY. Right to privacy in personal medical concerns is like, one of those inherent human right things that we have all these laws protecting to the point that it’s a crime to share someone’s private medical information without their consent.  

In conclusion, this fat ass is off to eat some cake, cuddle my cats, kiss my partner, and love my fat body just the way it is. 

i really hope that there are no redemption arcs in the star wars sequel trilogy, period. they feel outdated; like, it fit the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in part because it was very fresh storytelling at the time (esp in genre fiction) and in part because of the culture of the era

but tfa was very updated for the late 2010s, even if the basic story arc was still the monomyth (which doesn’t prescribe redemption or forgiveness or w/e anyway so it’s not A Given Just Because It’s Star Wars)

what would be fresh and culturally relevant storytelling today would be accountability arcs

I’m totally open to Rey and Finn and Poe d fucking up and having to be accountable and fix their own mistakes. I’m totally open to Luke and Han and Leia being acknowledged to have made mistakes in creating the New Republic and the new Jedi and being held accountable to fix them. but the difference is… no one ever held Vader accountable. that’s why i don’t believe he was redeemed, too, bc he got the easy way out of his massive bad choices. he just did one semi-decent thing and immediately died. neither he nor palpatine was ever held accountable for what they did.

i think it’s time to leave the idea of absolution or redemption or forgiveness being some kind of inherent rights to feel as outdated as the rest of 1977’s cultural landscape. that shit has to be earned through hard fucking work on yourself and accountability. just saying you’re sorry and doing nothing to change your behavior bc you conveniently immediately die means nothing tbh

i want to see Kylo Ren’s punishments fit his crimes. i don’t want anyone to forgive him just because he asks for it. I’m about accountability arcs. i want him to have to truly, truly face what he’s done and i want his victims to have the latitude to choose not to forgive him, even if he does get held accountable by some higher authority I’m the story. his victims owe him nothing and never will.

our culture right now needs to make accountability the priority of the decade in fucking general. that includes in our stories. i don’t think you can really call any idea a significant part of a culture until it’s embedded in its stories.

And I realised – I realised how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.
Rhys’s eyes darkened, and I knew he read what I thought, felt. “You might be my mate,” he said, “but you remain your own person. You decide your fate – your choices. Not me. You chose yesterday. You choose every day. Forever.
— 

Sarah J Maas, ACOMAF

Originally posted by meanwhileongiphy

The world made a lot more sense once I was told that Milton wrote his Lucifer in Paradise Lost as if he were the protagonist of a tragedy.

Like I never really understood why or how the devil was written so sympathetically until I compared his fall to that of protagonists from Elizabethan and Jacobean drama - such as Macbeth. Like many tragic protags, Satan commits atrocious crimes and is ultimately responsible for his own downfall - but when we see things from his perspective, we cannot help but be moved to understanding, and beguiled by the strength of his rhetoric and lamentations

So you want to call yourself “pro-life”

Okay.  I get it.  You don’t like abortions.  A fertilized egg is the same thing as an adult human being.  Abortion makes you sad.  And you want to put a stop to abortions in America.

Now, you can do it the easier way.  The way countless dumbshits have done it since the beginning of time: attempt to make it illegal and figure now everyone has to “deal with the consequences” of having sex.  

But that’s not pro-life.  To be “pro-life,” you have to actually give a shit about the life of the person, not just whether or not they’re born.  If you say “Tough shit, you’re on your own” as soon as the pregnant person is denied an abortion, you can’t call yourself pro-life.

You wanna be pro-life?

Then you’d better:

- Support paid maternity and paternity leave.  

- Support a minimum wage increase so that one person can comfortably and safely provide for a household.  

- Support increased funding for public schools (which includes a living wage for teachers!)

- Support government funding for before- and after-school programs for children living in a single-parent household.

- Be in favor of socialized health care.  This especially includes free or affordable access to birth control and prenatal care, but extends to everyone for the duration of their lives.  Those things you claim to be campaigning to preserve and protect.  This includes mental health care.  

- Be in favor of disability payments being large enough for the payee to live a safe and comfortable life (and cutting the $5,000 in the bank and you’re cut off rule off while you’re at it).

- Accept that this shit is going to cost taxpayer money.  Recognize that if you truly believe that life is precious, and that ending abortion is killing babies, it should be worth it to you.

- Quit spreading lies and misinformation about birth control.  The more people who have access to birth control, the fewer unplanned pregnancies.  It’s not rocket science.

- Fight against rapist and abusers’ inherent parental rights so no one feels an abortion is their only option to be safe.

- Fight for the rights of birth parents and adoptive parents in adoption.

- Protect the rights and lives of immigrants and refugees.  “All lives matter,” remember?  Support the religious minority communities in your area and stand up for them when they’re attacked.  This includes Native communities; this includes religions you don’t personally like.

- Pay more than lip service to the ideas of gender and racial equality.  Accept that sexism and racism are still prevalent in American society.  Recognize your privilege and use it to help others.  Racism isn’t “over,” slavery isn’t something people should “get over,” the wage gap is real, and there’s no such thing as reverse racism.  Accept that leveling the playing field isn’t unfair to white males.  

- Vacate the voluntourism industry and use those thousands of dollars you pay to make yourself feel good to actually help people in those countries if you want to “be a blessing” to them.  Plenty of better-qualified people have written extensively on why this is a must-do.

- Hold the police responsible for use of excessive force and assault.

- Advocate for those unfairly imprisoned.

- Protest the exploitation of current and former prisoners, immigrants and the disabled in the workforce.

- Support all marriage rights.  Your religion doesn’t matter to anyone but you;
the government benefits to legal marriage matter to everyone.

- Recognize that TRANS LIVES ARE VALID.  TRANS LIVES MATTER.


And finally, accept that the pregnant person and the fetus cannot possibly have equal rights.  Understand that abortions are going to be necessary sometimes. 

 If a person is trying to flee an abusive spouse, it may not be safe for them to remain pregnant, and THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If an eleven-year-old is impregnated by a family member, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone whose medications cause birth defects cannot abstain from medication for nine months, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone has severe PTSD that would be triggered by pregnancy and childbirth, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone’s only means of support is physical labor that cannot safely be done while pregnant, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone cannot safely go through pregnancy and childbirth, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone is diagnosed with cancer after finding out about their pregnancy, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone is faced with the decision to terminate a pregnancy due to birth defects incompatible with life, regardless of the decision they make, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

And ultimately, YOU do not get to decide that they matter more or less than their pregnancy.  


Can you fight for these values and accept these things?  Can you accept that this is NOT ABOUT YOU?  

Do you still want to end the necessity of abortion in America?  To make it as rare as humanly possible?  Knowing that in some tragic circumstances it will be necessary for it to be a safe and legal procedure?

 Congratulations, you’re pro-life.

If not, you’re a controlling asshole who wants to punish someone for getting pregnant.  

bellewithbooks  asked:

Although the LGBTQ+ community is widely and openly accepted nowadays there are still some people who are against this idea. My question is what do you feel/have to say about parents who teach their children that being gay/bi/etc isn't 'right' or something that shouldn't be accepted?

A parent’s job is to love their child exactly how they are. If you can’t do that, if you’re not prepared to do that, then you aren’t ready to be a parent. I called my new series “Chosen Family: Stories of Queer Resilience” because as LGBTQ+ people, we historically have been told by our families, churches, communities, etc that we have something to be ashamed of. My response to that is the celebration of picking our own family. The empowering idea that we get to surround ourselves with people who do get us, people who do love us exactly as we are. I get to have my moms & dads who are LGBTQ+ elders who paved the way for me, I get to have my sisters who I can go to for advice & help & love & support, I get to have my queer babies who I can help guide in my own way. Might be silly or cheesy, but I find it lovely. Plus, there’s something to be said for how special someone must be if you choose them yourself to be in your family. Just because I was born into a family doesn’t make it inherently right or better. Make sense?

It's ok to be angry

What abusive parents do to their children is unconscionable. It is indefensible. It is an outrage and a crime against the inherent rights of every human child. It is the lowest of the low. It completely lacks integrity. It lacks all humanity. Abusive parents don’t have even the easiest, basic aspects of humanity. Believe me. That’s what it takes to abuse a child. It takes no humanity. And you deserved humanity. You deserved more than that. You deserved love and instead what you got was constantly stripped of your dignity. It was WRONG.

I want all of you to hear that.

You were not wrong. You did nothing wrong. Nothing you could ever do justifies abuse towards you. They are the ones who are wrong. The abuse you suffered was wrong. It was wrong and it was wrong of them. I know. I’m saying wrong a million times. It’s because it’s hard for us survivors to believe it. But it’s true and I want you to know that unequivocally. THEY were wrong. It was ALL THEIR FAULT. Completely and totally. Not one single iota of it was your fault. NOT ONE. I don’t usually use caps, but they are needed here. Because you were wronged, deeply, and it’s natural and you have every right to be absolutely seething about it.

Abusive parents are particularly oppressive toward any expression of anger from others at their behavior toward them. You may have a hard time feeling angry at them. That’s ok. Don’t force yourself to feel the anger. Just know that it’s ok when you do. That when it finally does come, you are completely within the norm and within your rights to just GO WILD WITH IT.

Another ramble against self-sacrifice and for self-care

(Note: I’m criticising a lot of modern popular stories in here, some of which I deeply love myself. Loving something doesn’t mean you can’t criticise it. So don’t read if that’s not your cup of tea. Also, this is obviously my personal opinion, you’re free to disagree.)

What I really hate and what keeps coming up in stories and forms of self-help, is the notion that loving someone means to sacrifice your self, your needs, your well-being for them. Look no further than Disney’s Frozen definition of love: “Love means putting someone else’s needs before yours.” And this is planted in the heads of young girls. Convenient.

Destroy that idea! When you love someone, OBVIOUSLY you don’t want them to suffer and most certainly not because of you! No one who loves you would want you to suppress your needs for them, nor to hide them in order to prevent conflict. Someone who loves you wants you to know your own value and to love yourself and to practise self-care! Not sacrificing your needs for others is an act of self-care and it’s scary how much courage this often takes for people these days, particularly girls, who still get taught that they have to accommodate other people’s needs.

This idealisation of sacrifice is a huge part of cultural/religious/historical baggage and it still carries on in society, and this is reflected in popular stories. Some big examples from the victorian age are “Little Dorrit” by Charles Dickens (the heroine is emotionally abused by her family, but she sees it necessary in order to be “good” to stay with them and comply to their every wish) and “The Mill on the Floss” by George Eliot (the heroine is in the same situation, though more rebellious, but every act of rebellion leaves her guilt-stricken, and in the end she heroically dies together with her abusive brother, glorifying the union and naturalness of family).

A modern-day example of a similar situation would be “Cinderella”, in which the heroine also stays with her abusive family, and the motto of the story is “Have courage and be kind.” In a more general manner, sacrifice also is idealised as the sign of “the good” in Harry Potter, Lord of the rings, and Star Wars. Harry’s ultimate heroic act is to die for all the people he wants to protect (which has been planned so by his mentor, a champion of “love”) and dying for someone even is one of the strongest types of magic you can perform!!!! (Let that morbidness sink in for a bit, my friends.)

Tolkien puts his take on it plain as well when he lets the deeply traumatised hero say before dying sailing into the west: “It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.” There’s a lot of arguing of how much christian philosophy Tolkien put into Lord of the rings, but whatever the source, it’s clear that this is another example for idealising self-sacrifice.

Lastly, in Star Wars we first have Luke who is ready to die in the attempt to bring his father back to the light, and then Darth Vader dies saving Luke. In the prequels we see Anakin being rebuked time and time again for not letting other people die, in others words, to sacrifice them. Yoda, the head of the order and embodiment of the jedi philosophy, predicts his downfall because of clinging to his individual feelings and needs (”train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” = train yourself to sacrifice your needs). Selflessness as a jedi-ideal is explicitly named several times in the movies as well as in other parts of the saga. In The Clone Wars series, the Daughter (who is aligned with and symbolises the Light Side of the Force) dies trying to protect her father, and her last act before dying is to convey the rest of her life force into Ahsoka to save her. Anakin himself says in RotS, repeating what he learned: “They  [the Sith] think inward, only about themselves. The Jedi are selfless…they only care about others.”

One could argue that a lot of times the heroes are in situations of high pressure and stress and their “sacrificing” is an impulse of the moment, nothing they really intended or might adhere to as a philosophy. But one has to remember that these are stories and the actions of a hero are thought-through by the authors of the story, who also wish to convey meaning with what they create. Associating sacrifice/selflessness with the heroes of a story is deeply symbolic, whether the author intended it or not (and I think in all these examples it’s pretty much impossible to argue that the authors didn’t intend this association. What reason they intended it for is another question - I’m not arguing here that these authors meant harm with it.). Furthermore, stories always work on a symbolic/psychological level, not a literal one - no one thinks that Harry Potter or Star Wars are about getting advice of how to face evil dark lords and how to best fight them or that that is something that might happen in your life. No, everything is more general, it’s about good and evil in general, how you react to it in any form, etc.

Of course, since these stories carry such general symbolism, you can also interpret more than one meaning into them. For example, Luke’s act of “sacrifice” can also be seen as a symbol of his individuality, that he sticks to his principles/morals (not to become the slave of the evil emperor, not to kill his father) no matter what. And also one has to keep in mind that the jedi really are as much the villains of the story as the Sith, if not even more so, so their philosophy isn’t one that is advertised to copy. Nevertheless, I think the theme of “selflessness is the mark of the hero” still rings through all of these examples (even in Ahsoka, Luke, and Anakin, who all turned their back on the “official” jedi), no matter what other symbolisms they carry (and these might as well contradict each other, just like people and life carry contradictions).

So in my opinion, to give the equation: sacrifice/selflessness = goodness, is highly questionable and dangerous, to put it mildly. It only adds to people feeling guilty when they assert their right to self-care (and I think a lot of people who are insecure, have had to struggle with emotional abuse or have low self-worth for other reasons, are often also people who look to fictional heroes as inspiration). Sacrifice should NOT be hailed as the ultimate act of love. What we need are a lot more stories in which self-care gets thematised and idealised, and clearly marking it as NOT selfish. Having villains who appear to only “care” about themselves (when they really don’t), opposing heroes who are ready to sacrifice their own self is extremely outdated and immoral, in my opinion. These archetypes might be mythological/religious remnants in which individual ambition/going against the common rules is shown as a danger to society/”the greater good” of majority - is that REALLY what people, what individuals need to internalise? Is that “good”? Let’s be honest, such a “moral” of the story only can help the oppressors, the people in power, who want you to resign and give up under the overwhelming helplessness and worthlessness of the individual in the age of mass ignorance, to hate yourself and buy lots and lots of products that tell you how to please others and get validated by others in sacrificing your self-care.

In the end, idealisation of self-sacrifice (and thereby marking self-care as selfish) profits the villains of real life.

Autistic people are just as awesome, wonderful, and valid as any other person.

When society keeps claiming stuff like “the way you do things is weird” or “you don’t look normal” or “you should try harder to fit in”… they’re the ones who are wrong, not anything about you.

Neurotypical standards or means of expression should not get to be the default, because the spectrum of human life experience is far wider than that.

Neurotypical is not “right” and neurodiverse, including autistic, is not “wrong”.

Being your unique self is inherently right, no matter how that looks for you and how different it may be, because there is goodness and beauty and worth and importance in every human and their individual life experiences.

you know what’s sad about this clip , it shows that no matter how hard minorities try to fit in no matter how good their actions and intentions are people will just always find it easier to just  alienate them than actually accept them, sana has never mocked, bullied or belittled any of the girls, she hasn’t offered any real reason to hate her other than the fact she’s muslim and hijabi but still she gets treated this way, people will choose to hate minorities no matter what, we are demonized , no need to even take our actions into consideration because we are inherently evil right ?

The Kiss That Made History

   Amidst the chaos of excitement from the most recent episode of Yuri On Ice, I don’t think some understand how important that kiss was. So I think I should explain it to those of you who are unsure of its importance. This is going to be a long post, so bear with me please!

   In Japan, they are not as openly accepting of homosexuality as people in the US are. Normally, if you wanted to see two guys, or two girls kiss, you had to either watch hentai/porn or a certain type of genre known as, “Yaoi/Shonen-Ai,” or “Yuri.” (Note: You may still see two guys or two girls kiss in an anime that qualifies for neither of these things, but it will be a mature rating because of it.) This is still standard.

   Now, why Katsuki Yuuri and Viktor Nikiforov’s kiss was important, was because it will change the future of the anime industry as a whole. Yes, you read this right. This show is making history in the most brilliant way possible.

   Since Japan is strict about censorship laws and is a very conservative culture, they (studio MAPPA and the director) could not show the kiss in it’s entirety. They used Viktor’s arm as a clever censorship, to get around the censorship law.

   If they had shown the kiss in its entirety, they would have either had to change their rating or their genre (or both), which is a hassle and will prove to have big problems for them.

   The director of the show has always loved putting gay characters in her works, whether it’d be a gay male(s) or a gay female(s). She loves to break typical Japanese stereotypes and tropes in anime and manga that are commonplace for gay characters.

   Now in anime, the most typical stereotypes for gay characters are usually as follows (I’m only going to be highlighting four of the most common tropes to avoid this list from getting even longer):

   The Weird Foreigner-

This stereotype is common in an anime with foreign characters. These characters are usually from outside countries or something as simple as the neighboring town/city.

This cliche or trope depicts a type of outlandish or sometimes over the top male or female foreigner who are perceived by others as having homosexual tendencies (sometimes towards the main lead(s).)

They dismiss this characters homosexual tendencies as simply being a part of the culture from where they are from, or blaming their homosexuality on their “foreignness.”

The characters will try to avoid him/her and call them strange or weird, typically negatively. They will sometimes show other characters from the same country as acting the same way as the foreigner.

   The Confused/Mistaken “Heterosexual”-

This cliche/trope depicts a character, usually a teenager or young adult, who has homosexual tendencies, coming to terms with their sexuality (usually at the beginning or middle of the shows run.)

They are told by the other characters that they’ll grow out of their tendencies, or worse, will attempt to teach them how to be heterosexual because the other characters believe that they are simply “confused,” or “mistaken,” about their sexual orientation. They will attempt to correct it by any means throughout the show.

Another worse stereotype that goes hand in hand with this one, is one I’d like to call:

   The Infected/Diseased Homosexual-

This trope goes hand in hand with the previous one, and is sometimes influenced by it.

It depicts a homosexual character who can turn others gay.

Yes, you read this correctly.

This character is avoided like he/she were diseased or infected, hence, the name of the stereotype.

One look or touch, or something as simple as being influenced by them, can turn a character into a homosexual too.

Often times, the other characters will try to help the, “infected,” or “confused,” character by teaching them of their heterosexuality.

But wait, there’s more!

   The Homosexual Pervert/Sexual Harasser-

This stereotype is the most common, and it is the most damaging stereotype/trope in anime and manga.

The homosexual character is depicted as extremely perverted and will do absolutely anything to do as they wish to any character of the same sex (typically the main character.)

This character may also touch, grope, or hold onto their desired character without consent and are typically represented as not taking, “no” for an answer.

On an even more damaging scale, these characters may also kiss, or attempt to rape a character of the same sex with no particular order or care for the feelings of the character they are attracted to.

The less serious on this scale, is a homosexual character that has an attraction to a character of the same sex, but they do not force themselves onto the character.

This character’s only purpose get in their desired character’s way, be obscenely annoying, or a nuance to the character or plot and may even be violent to the love interest of the character they are attracted to.

Which is not as bad, but is still a damaging trope nonetheless.

   Not only do typical anime and manga use and incorporate these stereotypes into their material on a regular basis, but Yaoi and Shonen-Ai also use these tropes too.

   Yes, you read right. The genre that features a gay love story/gay characters in an abundance, also uses these stereotypes just as much as other shows, if not, maybe more.

   You might be thinking, “Lyra, how could a genre about gay characters incorporate these negative stereotypes just as much as your typical anime or manga?”

   I’ll tell you.

   I have seen a lot of Yaoi, I have read a lot of BL, and over time I have noticed a predictable cycle of negative stereotypes and unhealthy romances that, after a while, just become background fodder.

   My most recent watch was JunJou Romantica, which was decent enough, but I cannot begin to describe to you just how many times I’ve seen the Homosexual Pervert/Sexual Harasser trope used in Yaoi, Shonen-Ai, and BL as a plot point.

   Typically, the main character will be in denial about his sexuality. The main character then meets his love interest. Now at this point in the story, the love interest will either be the aggressor and sexually harass the main character until he gives in, or there will be another character to sexually harass the main character, appointing the love interest to save the main character (usually out of jealousy or selfishness.)

   When the main character is out of danger, the love interest will typically do the same thing to the main character as the previous aggressor was just attempting, but it will typically have a different effect because, “it’s you, and you’re different.”

   Sound familiar? That’s because this is the exact formula for any BL or Yaoi story. There may be some changes or differences between some, but this is the absolute blue print for any type of unhealthy BL romance out there.

   Not only is this extremely disengaging and damaging, but there is another strange and equally damaging stereotype that is typically selective to Yaoi and BL.

   The Uke/Seme Mentality-

This trope is everywhere. In every single BL or Yaoi romance.

Now this usually is supposed to display who is more submissive and who is more dominant in the relationship. Nothing inherently wrong there, right?

Except when the uke is portrayed as more emotional, more womanly, and always submissive in the relationship. Especially when the seme is always portrayed as barely emotional, manipulative, and always dominant in the relationship.

This is inherently, imitating heterosexuality and is very inaccurate when it comes to two men or two women who share an equal attraction to one another.

Two men or two women in a relationship are equals, and one should not treat one as being the, “woman,” and the other as being the, “man,” in the relationship. They are both men/both women. They are equals.

   Not only are these stereotypes negative towards gay characters in anime and manga, but there a ton of regular romantic stereotypes that are just as unhealthy and forced.

   So much so, that any romance with these tropes is just hard to watch or practically unbearable to sit through.

   Here’s a brief list of some of these tropes (these should be obvious/self explanatory so I won’t waste your time explaining them):

  • Attraction is instant/rushed.
  • Attraction is only valid between a male and female lead.
  • Characters decide they love each other within the first moments/days of meeting each other.
  • Conversations between the two characters are rushed with little to no importance.
  • The romance hinders the plot and/or does not progress it.
  • The romance does not benefit the plot/is practically meaningless.
  • The romance is only valid when the characters kiss or have sexual intercourse.
  • One or both partners say/do things to their significant other without their consent.
  • One or both partners assume that since they are in a romantic relationship, they can kiss or have sex with their significant other any time they want to, and will ignore when they tell them to stop or that they are not in the mood.
  • One or both partners will consciously ignore problems within the relationship, instead of addressing them.
  • One or both partners will not fully trust one another.
  • One or both partners are consistently jealous of their significant other’s friends, exes, or family members.
  • One or both partners will not let their significant other have their own space or privacy.
  • One or both partners often fight or have miscommunications over things that people with healthy relationships would be able to address, discuss, and understand.
  • Miscommunications are often created to further the plot, and will be resolved haphazardly.
  • Any romantic attraction between two men or two women is often invalidated and/or ignored entirely.
  • One or both partners are pressured into relationships because they believe that they could never truly be happy without a significant other.
  • When one or both partners disregard their significant other’s feelings towards their actions or words.
  • When one or both partners do not confront their significant other for their wrong doing(s).
  • When one or both partners will not admit when they’ve done/said something that hurt their significant other and refuse to apologies for it.
  • When one or both partners are manipulative towards one another.
  • When a romance is built on lies or false pretenses/expectations.
  • When one or both partners only show care or affection for their significant other during sexual intercourse.
  • When one or both partners are not sure of the other’s feelings towards them, even after they’ve had sex or continue to show affection towards one another.
  • One or both partners do not appear to have any chemistry but will still say that they love each other, even when there is no existing connection between them.
  • One or both partners will have “crushes” on other characters to create tension between the two love interests, even if they are already in an existing relationship with other characters.
  • When certain characters are homophobic or disapprove of the relationship just to create high stakes for the plot.
  • When one or neither of the characters are likable or interesting and yet you are still expected to care about the romance between the two characters.
  • When one or both partners will pretend to not be in a relationship because they feel like others will disapprove/make fun of them because of it.
  • When little to no conflicts arise to draw the two characters closer, yet they end up together regardless.
  • When the two characters end up kissing or having sexual intercourse as a temporary solution to a problem or miscommunication in the relationship, instead of discussing it with one another.
  • The development of the relationship feels unnatural or off.
  • One or both partners will not benefit or better each other because of their relationship.

   Now seeing as how damaging these stereotypes can be in the anime industry and in romance in general, Yuri On Ice has managed to go above and beyond what any anime, manga, or romance has managed to do.

    Yuri On Ice has either avoided or destroyed these tropes entirely, and continues to do so magnificently.

    It has created both a healthy, unforced, naturally growing and developing love story that just happens to be between two men, and is also destroying some of the most damaging and commonplace stereotypes for romance and gay characters in the anime industry.

    Since Yuri On Ice had the guts to take on these problems head on, instead of turning away from the obvious flaws of the anime industry, it has set the bar high for other anime in the future.

    It has given us a much higher expectation for a healthy romance, well portrayed and matured homosexual characters, story, animation, and music. It will leave a mark on the anime industry and it will hopefully encourage other shows to do something like this in the future.

    Now, Yuri On Ice has always been iffy for me (not that I didn’t like it, I love this show). The reason it was this way for me was because I was nervous and concerned that they would abandon Viktor and Yuuri’s relationship, or sweep it under the rug and never resolve the feelings these two characters had for one another.

    Yet I had always had faith that the director would pull through, and they did so magnificently.

   Now since Viktor and Yuuri have kissed, people have began to say that this anime should now be in the Yaoi genre/category. That simply cannot be farther from the truth. If you’re confused as to why this is the case, this post summarizes it perfectly.

    When Yuuri and Viktor kissed (on screen, no less) I knew that Japan was changing. This is one of the first sparks, that will lead to a complete change in the anime industry. Now granted, Yuri On Ice was not the first to do something like this.

    No.6 was the first to feature a well portrayed homosexual lead and an unforced romance between two men without changing their genre or rating (which is seriously amazing).

    Just because Yuri On Ice was the second, does not mean that it has any less impact and importance. Now, a kiss between two male characters on screen, without any change in the rating and genre is astonishing.

   Having a show that’s so driven to destroy these damaging stereotypes and tropes that are so common in the anime industry, gives me hope that other shows will do this in the future.

   These two shows have set such a high bar for expectation from the media, and I have faith that Yuri On Ice will continue to make history.

to all of you courageous and resilient women, taylor swift included: you’re worthy of bountiful respect. keep fiercely fighting for your inherent right to wholly exercise control over your own body. taylor’s trial has proven that this is truly a worthwhile fight, in light of how distressing and hard it is to relive any form of sexual assault.
taylor is grace and innate strength personified, and her bravery has illuminated how no woman deserves to be alone in seeking out their right to explicit consent. she’s an empowering and inspiring force to be reckoned with.

Not ALL Slytherins!
—  all Slytherins