me to the patriarchy

2

My (wishful thinking  accurate!) OB prediction for the creepy dinner with schmucks PT Westmoreland. 

Rather than Cosima being forced to wear men’s clothes, my head canon says that our beloved and stubborn Cosima would poke the bear by choosing to wear a tux instead of a gown. Giving a (not so) subtle middle finger to PT and his archaic views on how women should dress for dinner. “Take that, patriarchy!” - Cosima basically…and I love her for it!! Despite Delphine cautioning her against being antagonistic (and shooting Cos her trademark worried ‘oh ffs’ Delphine glances), Cosima doesn’t heed her warnings. If we’ve learned anything by now it’s that Cosima gonna Cosima. 


[updated with stills from the Love Conquers All promo that confirmed my prediction *brushes shoulders off*]

4

Feminist embroidery
“Feminine” arts were traditionally undervalued and now they have a feminist spin.

[image descriptions:
1:Embroidery on white linen in an embroidery hoop with a pink and green floral border to the left and right and the words “fuck gender roles” in sky blue thread
Made by Moonrise Whims on Etsy
There’s a pair of gold stork scissors off to the lower right side and a white doily off to the top left of the hoop and a pink linen backdrop.

2: Embroidery on white linen with a lower floral border with tiny pink buds on crisscrossing green stems and the words “you don’t owe prettiness to anyone” in light pink and darker pink thread.
Made by RubyAndJack On Etsy

3: Embroidery on white linen with a lower floral border with burgundy, purple, yellow, and coral flowers and dark green vines and the words “Smash the patriarchy” in dark coral thread
Made by Moonrise Whims on Etsy

4: Embroidery in an embroidery hoop on white linen and a lower floral border with 3 pink pansies surrounded by green grass and the words “don’t tell me to smile” in golden yellow thread
Made by RubyAndJack on Etsy]

choice feminism is dangerous because it repackages complacency under patriarchy (and other institutional power structures) as empowering. like the 35 year-old woman who shares Girl Power memes on facebook but “doesn’t like to get political” about shit like the refugee crisis or the rise of white nationalism in Western countries is still a “good feminist” under choice feminism. it’s an ideology that allows the privileged to disregard their social capital in favor of feel-good platitudes, and it repackages the idea of empowerment to mean the same thing as “safely remaining uncritical of my actions and the ways of the world”

What frightens me about the men I know is that I know men are so good at compartmentalizing and creating public and private selves. I don’t think there’s a single man I know, including gay men, including men I love, including men in my own family, who I don’t fear might secretly be doing some horrific shit on the internet. I’ve just read too many stories about women who were happily married for years before they found out their husbands’ abusive online habits.

I’ve often joked with my friends about how me using the internet in front of other people (like in a class) is “taking a walk on the wild side” because the might see my search history, but I just want to clarify: when I say that my search history is private and might be embarassing, I meant, “I look up geeky, uncool things like fanfiction and I spend too much time reading celebrity gossip blogs and looking at Pinterest shit,” not embarassing as in the male sense of “My search history would reveal that I send violent, abusive threats to women online and watch rape porn.” My private self is maybe less cool than my public self, but it isn’t so dramatically different that my ethics would be called into question if my search history were to be made public.

reasons why the princess diaries 2 is actually the best movie ever made

ok so i know that when we were all young fanchildren we all watched this movie and sighed dreamily. but i am here to tell u that this movie is even better than u remember

1. the main conflict in the movie is the arranged marriage. i’m gonna stop right here, because princesses in arranged marriages are a classic fanfiction trope that we are all trash for. don’t lie to yourself. but it gets BETTER. not only is there an arranged marriage… the guy she’s arranged to marry is actually a really chill dude. u like this dude. u know they would be good friends and partners. he would make a good king. but sHE DOESNT LOVE HIM!!! she doesn’t love him. and it would be so easy for the narrative to say ~oh look at this selfish girl she has a handsome titled good man ready to marry her she’s so SELFISH for wanting passion and true love, so naive~ (see fuckboys: i’m so nice and handsome why doesn’t she love me she’s horrible) instead the narrative presents her not marrying him as a perfectly valid choice and one the viewer sides with her on. the narrative supports her choice and makes it clear it was the right decision. ADDITIONALLY, the solution presented to fix the arranged marriage problem is to DESTROY THE PATRIARCHY. like???? don’t fuck with me this movie is perfect

2. literally the other main conflict is the love interest. he’s essentially a conman trying to convince mia to fall passionately in love with him so he can steal the throne. but along the way… he falls in love with her. THIS IS LITERALLY THE PLOT OF THREE THOUSAND FANFICTIONS PEOPLE

3. speaking of fanfiction…this movie is one. like, i’m not even joking. the first princess diaries movie essentially compiled the first 3 books into a movie, but the sequel wasn’t based on the books at all. disney just pulled something out of their asses and was like “this will make the fangirls happy”

4. at the beginning of the movie mia graduates from princeton’s woodrow wilson school of international affairs… literally one of the best international studies programs on the planet.. then she’s flown to a castle…where she’s a princess..and has hot men falling all over her…and wears ballgowns…like…mia is such a mary sue but somehow the movie manages to avoid making her one AT ALL

5. also holy shit??! mia doesn’t just stand around looking pretty as a princess.. she’s clearly really smart and genuinely cares about the people of genovia and does her best to serve them well even to it’s hard work… like damn mia is fucking committed to being a good queen she’s not just a princess because castles make good backdrops for romances

6. the queen/joe YAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS u fucking know u shipped that shit

7. THE ENTIRE MOVIE IS ABOUT FUCKING THE PATRIARCHY. MIA IS PORTRAYED AS KIND AND SENSITIVE BUT THAT ADDS TO HER APPEAL AS A RULER NOT DETRACTS FROM IT. AT THE END OF THE MOVIE SHE’S LIKE “fuck these rules written by old white men, i’m gonna make my own less sexist rules” AND THEN SHE FUCKING DOES?!? SHE FUCKING CALLS OUT THE SEXISM OF THE LAWS AND THEN CHANGES THEM. HELLO WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT! GOODBYE BOYS CLUBS! A WOMAN IS FULLY CAPABLE OF RULING ON HER OWN WITHOUT A MAN AND SHE FUCKING DRILLS THAT INTO THEIR GODDAMN HEADS

8. chris pine. what a hot piece of ass amiright

9. the number of times something fucking bizarre happens to mia and she theoretically looks into the camera like she’s on the office is comedic gold honestly. the maids?? flirting with her arranged husband?? climbing out a window?? the fAKE LEG!? mia is just trying to live her life but the universe keeps fucking it up. i feel u mia. 

in sum i have n o idea how the fuck this movie got made but goddamn is it not god’s gift to man

Because some people don’t seem to get it: when I say “I don’t trust men I don’t know” I don’t mean “I hate those little babies with Y chromosomes, they are Bad” what I mean is “I don’t trust our society to raise good men at a ratio I find acceptable.” Have you SEEN pop culture? Have you seen gamer culture? Have you seen the peer pressure boys undergo? Have you seen an Axe ad, like, ever? Media doesn’t just bounce off of developing minds. Someone is consuming these messages in bucketloads. This stuff sells. Misogyny sells. Yeah, some dudes overcome it or aren’t as susceptible to it. But how many? I’d wager less than half. So when I say “I don’t trust men,” when you need to pass a sort of clearance stage before I am comfortable with you, it’s like I need to pull out my meter that detects radiation levels except the radiation is misogyny and if you have saturated yourself in it I want to keep that shit away from me. What is so hard to accept about this?

this is something that was called to my mind specifically by that (disturbing) video of a child applying a full face of makeup that’s been going around but I also think that it pertains to discussions of makeup more broadly

makeup is absolutely sexualised & I trust I don’t have to expound upon that claim but I’m kind of uninterested in trying to apply some kind of biological explanation for why men, like, instinctively find it attractive (because “blush mimics post-orgasmic flush” or “redder, fuller lips mimic sexual arousal” (?) or “mascara mimics heavy-lidded, post-orgasmic eyes” or something or other). I don’t think it’s useful and it comes dangerously close to saying that makeup is not sexualised, but innately sexual

the thing is that standards pertaining to the use of cosmetics & skin care as they’re pressed upon women have changed as beauty standards have changed (given my background, the aestheticisation of sickly, wasting pallour in Victorian England comes to mind). if you search in biology for some kind of post hoc explanation for why these things are considered attractive, sure, you’re always gonna be able to come up with something, but I don’t think that that’s the right direction to go in

ultimately, beauty standards for women 1) reveal more about the character of the age than biology or what men find ‘innately’ attractive (sickly, wasting pallour = feminine weakness = proof that you can support an idle wife = hot), and 2) don’t ultimately come down to nothing more than what men find attractive in women!–from my Victorian example all the way through the present day there have been a lot of very, very vocal men who have said & wrote that corsets “deform” the “ideal” female body, or that the fashions for “women these days” are horrendous, or that they “don’t like too much makeup.” & I bring this up, not to deny that there are men who find these things attractive, or that these are ultimately beauty standards forced on women by patriarchy, but just to say that what individual men find attractive is not the beginning and end of the point.

the point is that these standards, as much as they can be enforced by individual men (and by women too!–let’s not forget that mothers very often teach gender to their children), are ultimately imposed by capitalist patriarchy. the point, to me, isn’t so much what the particular beauty standards are, because you’re always going to be able to find an example of an opposing standard at some point in history (although, again, they can reveal something about the character of a time & place). the point is the fact that they are imposed in order to enforce compliance in women (& arguably, a lot of what some men find attractive about these standards is less about the standards themselves & more about the evidence of that compliance), & in order to force them to devote large amounts of time, energy, and money (!!!) to fulfilling them in order to be perceived as worthwhile (by other people–men and women–or, more insidiously, by themselves.

in general, I think that trying to talk about patriarchy as if it is something perpetrated entirely by individual men against individual women is kind of missing the point insofar as the structures of capitalist patriarchy don’t respect identity!–again, women can be enforcers of gender just as much as men can. as always, when you try to abstract a critique of something away from capitalism you’re going to come up with something kind of vague and metaphysical

& again, trying to talk about what men biologically find attractive (even if you acknowledge that the means to enhance these traits are forced upon women by patriarchy) is too close to naturalising beauty standards for comfort.

  • You: Patriarchy hurts men too! We need to include men in our feminism!
  • Me, an intellectual: Patriarchy was created by men and for the benefit of men. Maybe they are negatively affected in some ways, but the multitude of ways in which they benefit from patriarchy certainly outweighs these negatives. Furthermore, it's not our responsibility to address men's problems which they created for themselves and should fix themselves. It is within our rights to create a movement exclusively for women's liberation and to suggest otherwise is frankly misogynistic.
  • radfems: The whole of feminism can be broken down into two basic camps - 1) wicked awesome radfems, and 2) weak minded libfems. We clearly know SO MUCH MORE about womyn and feminism than other womyn and feminists.
  • radfems: We need to overthrow the notion of Gender, but you have have HAVE to have a V at birth to be a womyn. Obvs!
  • radfems: No Muslim womyn ever could EVER choose for herself to wear Hijab because Islam is a nasty Patriarchal religion that takes all of womyn's rights and agency away. Nevermind that we come from Patriarchies too - We should still get to choose FOR them!
  • radfems: Our ideas are so gosh darn RADICAL, why can't you libfems keep up already?!?!!?