men essentials

anonymous asked:

What does MRA mean?

“men’s rights activist”

essentially a bunch of guys going around making fun of feminism, saying that men “actually” have less rights than women (bullshit), and they usually are extremely sexist

most of them come from 4chan or reddit honestly

An actual conversation that happened today
  • Me: so what's the oldest you'd date?
  • Friend: ummm 19 I think
  • Other friends: what omg that's like 3 whole years older than you
  • Friend : i know but if I really loved someone age wouldn't matter
  • To me 19 is abit old but love is love right
  • Other friends: true but 3 years is abit too old. Like that's too old
  • Me : sweating nervously

Baze Malbus is so important to me, you guys. Specifically the actor that portrays him. I need to talk about Jiang Wen.

He is my favourite director and actor from Mainland China. And he’s just… so cool. And so brilliant. Man is a genius. I didn’t even know he could speak English until I saw Rogue One.

And now that he’s been in Rogue One, I can reblog fan art of Baze Malbus. I can buy a toy of Baze Malbus and have a tiny Jiang Wen to put on my desk and admire. There is currently nothing I want more in my life than a tiny Jiang Wen.

Like…

If you don’t know anything about him as an actor, imagine something like a Chinese Clint Eastwood with a hidden soft side, and you’re basically on your way to understanding the wonder of this man. For Western audiences right now, his appearance on the mainstream film stage is a chance to get to know another facet of Asian masculinities. Asian men in film can be stone-cold badasses without having to be martial-arts masters, without having to be made to seem asexual, without having to be set up as supervillains. They hit that on the head with Baze, who is super cool, genuinely heroic, and probably getting it on with Chirrut. And I am so, so happy that people in the West can get to know him now.

To look at an actor like Jiang Wen from the perspective of Chinese history is fascinating. He was an unsupervised army brat in Beijing when the Cultural Revolution was going on. That was a ripe time and place for youth gang activity, since everyone was either busy with revolution, or at labour camp. He’d likely have been part of/peripheral to that 1970s hooligan culture that romanticised heroism and bonds of sworn brotherhood like in Chinese kung-fu epics, and spent weekends clashing violently in the streets with bicycles and meat cleavers.

When the revolution was over, prominent male intellectuals were taking to the media to discuss how they felt ‘emasculated’ by Maoism, since gender roles (especially femininities) had been kind of in chaotic flux for ten years; now there were voices in the media calling for basically a return to gender essentialism. During that trend Jiang Wen sort of emerged as one of the faces of this ultra-macho post-Maoist masculinity, kind of a return to something essential and primal, something “natural” after all the political artifice of the Cultural Revolution. See Red Sorghum, a film that literally has him running around a stark yet idyllic rugged Northern backdrop, sweating and half-naked, getting drunk and engaging in ritual singing with his fellow male wine distillers. Of course, gender essentialism and machismo are problematic. Machismo in Chinese culture and history in particular has had and is still having tragic effects. But I’m inclined to believe that it’s the homosocial camaraderie that is the most important part of the work in this early part of Jiang’s career (from the 80s to about 2000), that offers space for exploration of a host of different Chinese masculinities, and that it’s important for Western audiences to be exposed to it. Plus, there’s that soft side I mentioned. The man brings his mum and dad on his shoots, for chrissakes.

All that is not even to say anything of his crazy talent as a director, which I’m way less qualified to talk about and I’ll probably vomit up a lot of meaningless words. Just go watch In the Heat of the Sun and Devils on the Doorstep right now, if you can handle gross images of war, violence and dubious sexual situations.

Anyway, tumblr, please keep the Baze art coming. I may or may not paper my office in it.

Types of Literary Criticism

NEW CRITICISM, or: “READ THE FUCKING TEXT”


  • Also known as ‘practical criticism’.
  • This theory was dominant in the US and UK between the 30s and 70s. 
  • A formalist, decontextualised approach to literature where the text is examined independently of other influences.
  • Explores the essential elements of language, imagery, symbolism, figures of speech, ambiguity, irony, paradox.
  • Pretty huge span of approaches - for example, within Shakespearean new criticism you had A.C. Bradley’s character-based critique, Harley Granville-Barker’s study of stagecraft, G. Wilson Knight’s exploration of image and theme, and L.C. Knights’ suggestion that Bradley is a douche and Shakespeare was a poet, not a dramatist. (Yeah, fuck you, Knights.)


HISTORICIST CRITICISM, or: “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, DUH”

  • Funnily enough, this approach believes that historical context influences interpretation.
  • Stuff like: religion, political idealism of the time, cultural shifts, social attitudes, war, colonialism (although that’s a whole other bag of cats, see below), pop culture references and in-jokes, and anything that might have influenced the text during the era in which it was written.
  • Within historicist criticism there should be a distinction between text and context; history is the background that the text passively reflects.
  • Buuuut often this approach reveals more about the critic’s political/social/personal values than the period they are studying. Natch. 


LIBERAL HUMANISM, or: “STORIES ARE JUST A REFLECTION OF THE AUTHOR, DUDE”

  • Popular at the beginning of the 1900s - literature and art are timeless, revealing a universal truth about humanity.
  • Like, writers are totally free agents whose intentions shape the meaning of their writing, man. 
  • Like, human consciousness shapes language, culture and society, NOT the other way around.


MARXISM, or “WE’RE ALL SLAVES TO THE ECONOMY” 

  • A criticial theory systemised in the 20s, based on the materialist philosophy of Karl Marx (1818-83) and Friedrich Engels (1820-95) whereby the material circumstances of life are determining factors in the individual’s experience.
  • So, like, the economic organisation of society shapes culture, politics, philosophy, religion, education, law and art.
  • So, like, fuck liberal humanism; people are shaped by their environment, NOT the other way around. Authors and their works are basically products of society. 
  • These guys believe that art reflects changing economic conditions and class values. There’s a little cross-over with historicist criticism in the approach that literature should be interpreted within the context of the period and its political inflections - often with a focus on the lower classes.
  • Get yourself familiar with the Marxist concept of ‘ideology’ - a function which ‘naturalises’ the inequalities of power through a complex structure of social perceptions which renders class division invisible. 
  • Yeah. It’s heavy, dude.


STRUCTURALISM, or: “LANGUAGE IS EVERYTHIIIING!”

  • Based on the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913)
  • The belief that language shapes humanity, culture, communication, and the way we perceive the world. Yay, go language.
  • Structuralism was a radical theory during the second half of the 20th Century whose central argument opposed liberal humanist ideas (Recap: lib-humans reckoned that human consciousness creates language and culture - structuralists reckoned the complete opposite. At this point everyone is basically being completely contrary for the sake of it.)


POST STRUCTURALISM, or “WE’RE SORT OF ON THE FENCE ABOUT LANGUAGE SO JUST GO WITH IT”

  • A critical theory prominent in France in the 1960s, primarily associated with philosopher Jacques Derrida and critic Roland Barthes - a reaction against structuralism as well as a development of it. <sigh>
  • Ok, so this language thing? How about we agree that reality is constituted through language BUT language itself is unstable and beyond our control. Like, language is an unreliable narrator, yeah? Yeahhh.
  • Essentially, it’s language that speaks, not the author. So let’s call it THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR because we are needlessly dramatic. 
  • So, like, literary texts don’t present a single or unified view and the author cannot claim authority on interpretation. (The curtains are blue…)
  • You can trace a whole thread of critical development here from formalist criticism to structuralism to post-structuralism and later to deconstruction - all of which are concerned with the ambiguity and contradictions within text and language. To make it even more confusing, new historicism (see below) can also be seen as post-structuralist since it places stress on a text’s connection to culture rather than relying on the autonomy of the text itself.
  • Time for a stiff drink.


NEW HISTORICISM, or “IT’S THE CIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIIIFE - ART AND HISTORY ARE STUCK IN AN INFINITY LOOP” 

  • A term coined by Stephen Greenblatt (Shakespeare-critic-extraordinaire) in the 80s - a reaction against old historicism (where text is a reflection of historical background) and a move away from Marxist and post-structural theories.
  • New historicism asserts that the text is an active participant in historical development.
  • So, like, art and literature help to create the cultural values of the period in which they are produced. BUT, we are also formed and tied to cultural ideologies, so it ain’t all about the text. 
  • Involves close reading of the text, taking into account political ideology, social practice, religion, class division and conflict within society.
  • A pessimistic take on Foucault: the belief that we are ‘remarkably unfree’ of the influence of society and socio-political power operates through the language of major institutions to determine what’s normal and demonise ‘otherness’.
  • Seriously. Fuck society. 


CULTURAL MATERIALISM, or “WE NEED A BRITISH VERSION OF NEW HISTORICISM”

  • We can’t let the Americans monopolise this kind of criticism.
  • Goddamn Greenblatt.
  • So consider this: how much freedom of thought do we actually have? Does culture shape our identities or can we think independently of dominant ideologies? Huh? Huh? Are we saying anything new yet? 
  • Basically, a historicist approach to political criticism with a revised conception of the connection between literature and culture. 
  • Culture is a complex, unstable and dynamic creature which offers an opportunity for the radical subversion of power and society.
  • Unlike historicism or Marxism, cultural materialists believe the author is able to achieve a degree of independence from prevailing structures of power and discourse. 
  • Often demonstrates optimism for political change - once again, critical theory reflects the critic’s personal opinions and hopes for change in present day society. Literary criticism can change the world, man.
  • Some crossover into feminist/queer/post-colonial theory, because FUCK ALL THOSE OLD WHITE GUYS.


FEMINIST THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE”

  • Following the women’s movement of the 1960s, feminist theory was established in the 70s and 80s and founded on texts Le Deuxieme Sex by Simone de Beauvoir and Sexual Politics by Kate Millett.
  • Explicitly political – similarities to new historicism and cultural materialism - challenging the subordinate position of women in society and deconstructing/contesting the concept of essentialism, whereby men and women have intrinsically separate qualities and natures. 
  • Often seen as an attack on the Western literary canon and the exclusion of female writers throughout history. Focuses on female characters and authors, exploring the influence and restrictions of patriarchy, and constructions of gender, femininity and sexuality (both in text and culture).
  • Feminists influenced by post-structuralism tend to disregard the positive discrimination of women writers, claiming “it is language that speaks, not the author.”
  • Feminism and psychoanalytical theories (esp Freud and Lacan) contributed to the erosion of liberal humanist ideas, redefining human nature and the concept of child development, and exploring the psychology of patriarchy and male-dominated culture. 


GAY/LESBIAN CRITICISM AND QUEER THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICISM FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T CIS/MALE/STRAIGHT”

  • During the 80s, queer theory was influenced by post-structuralist ideas of identity as being fluid and unstable, and investigates the role of sexual orientation within literary criticism from a social and political viewpoint.
  • An opposition to homophobia and the privilege of heterosexual culture and an exploration of themes that have been suppressed by conservative critical theory.
  • A look at LGBQTA, non-binary characters and authors and their influence within a historical, political, religious and social context.
  • The end of ‘gal-pals’ and ‘no-homo’, fuckboys.


POST COLONIAL THEORY, or: “LET’S RECONSIDER 100 YEARS OF CRITICAL THEORY FROM A PERSPECTIVE THAT ISN’T WHITE”

  • A critique on the English canon and colonial rule with a focus on canonical texts written during periods of colonisation.
  • An exploration of cultural displacement/appropriation and the language and cultural values thrust upon/developed by colonised people.
  • Post-colonial theory gives voices to colonial ‘subjects’ and looks at the impact on individual and collective identity, as well as the complexity of colonial relationships and interaction.
  • Gonna have a lot to do with politics, history, social ideology, religion and international/race relations, obvs. Stay woke.
how to tell a femme lesbian from a straight girl (the answer u wont like)

so when i mean if u know how to look you can spot a straight girl from a femme lesbian i dont mean like. show me a picture of a het and a femme and i’ll be able to spot the lesbian (i might be able to but its not bc of how they look)

i know yall arent gonna like this post bc its based off generalizations but uh. generalizations are how u make judgements abt things without flat out asking someone so unless u think its better to assume the statistically speaking less-likely scenario then this is ur best bet

the vast majority of my gaydar relies on body language, social cues, behaviors, and what information a person chooses to share when the subject of sexuality comes up

obviously none of those things are 100% foolproof, my gaydar has been wrong before (like everyones has) and all that other disclaimer bullshit, but if u know what to look for u can probably figure it out (again, not every lesbian acts this way and some straight girls do act this way, dont call me a heterophobe or accuse me of “stereotyping lesbians” bc i do not have the patience for that bullshit and i will block u dont try me tonight)

heres the deal: lesbians have very different life experiences than straight women. there comes a time in every lesbian’s life where u have to come to terms with the fact that the entire universe revolves around men but ur entire universe has nothing to do with them and frankly doesnt give a damn about them. u end up disconnected from the entire world, questioning your own value and usefulness, and all kinds of other angsty lesbian things. we all know this.

and straight girls dont experience that. obviously straight women dont base their entire lives around men. im not claiming they do. but straight women’s universes inherently include men, and the socialization that straight women and lesbians experience gives two different outcome because you have two different initial conditions

when push comes to shove, men are essentially irrelevant from lesbians’ lives. outside of compulsory heterosexuality, we don’t have anything to prove to them. yeah we might be friends with them, but at the end of the day, how men feel about us is. irrelevant tbh.

a straight girl will care about how the men around her view her, through things like body checking (which lesbians can also partake in, mind u) and y making an effort to like. include and be active in men’s lives because they are men. straight women like men and they like men’s company. yeah, they’ll joke about “hating men” but at the end of the day they go home to their boyfriends or husbands and spend the rest of their lives with a man. (i am aware bi women do this too, but bi women’s experiences are fundamentally different from straight women’s experiences bc they arent straight, and this post is specifically abt lesbians vs straight women)

u have to overcome a lot of shit to be a lesbian, to call urself a lesbian, to know ur a lesbian. and that doesn’t happen without changing who u are deep down. lesbians hold their heads high, they dont fuck around, and they give off vibes. they prioritize women. they disregard men. they dont subconsciously cater to the men in the room. they pay more attention to women. they shy away from affection from men.

they also dont talk abt how much they love men. we all went to sleepovers with straight girls, we all got the dreaded “who do u like” question, and we all heard our straight girl friends talk aout the guys they like. a lesbian never praises some mediocre white guy because he’s “got nice hair” or whatever. they might shrug off comments about them not having a boyfriend, avoid talking about celebrities they like, and generally be vague when it comes to conversations about love. and u know why, lesbians generally dont start talking about being gay around a pack of straight girls who will immediately recoil at their once-believed-straight-now-evil-homosexual-friend’s touch

lesbians get a shit lot in life, to be frank. and u can see it. u can hear it. you can watch it. what do u do that u do bc ur a lesbian that isnt flannels and docs? how has being a lesbian influenced you? do u avoid eye contact with men? consciously sit near women at all times, stare a pretty classmate, avoid talking about boys? look for that same behavior in other women. it’s subtle, but if u pay attention you’ll see it

please dont respond to this post without reading it in its entirety or accuse me of making generalizations, this entire post is built off generalizations bc its abt gaydar so

I recognize every lesbian’s experience is different and of course if u make assumptions about someone based off a complex and often ambiguous communication such as body language you can be dead wrong bc every human being is different

Wonder Woman Sentence Starters- Part 1
  • “What if I promise to be careful?”
  • “The Gods gave us many gifts and one day you’ll know them all.”
  • “Only the fiercest among us even could and that is not you.”
  • “You’re safe and there is nothing you should concern yourself with.”
  • “You keep doubting yourself.”
  • “You’re stronger than you believe.”
  • “Never let your guard down!”
  • “You’re a man.”
  • “I’m one of the good guys and those are the bad guys.”
  • “What man fights against his own people?”
  • “I can’t tell you that.”
  • “That’s all I’m at liberty to say.”
  • “I’m a spy!”
  • “This is our duty.”
  • “Is it true you saved his life?”
  • “I didn’t see you come in.”
  • “Would you say you’re a typical example of your sex?”
  • “I am above average.”
  • “You let this little thing tell you what to do?”
  • “Thank you for what you did on the beach.”
  • “I guess I gotta try.”
  • “My father told me once he said “if you see something wrong in the world you can either do nothing or you can do something.” And I already tried nothing.”
  • “I cannot stand by while innocent lives are lost.”
  • “You know that if you choose to leave you may never return.”
  • “Who will I be if I stay?”
  • “You have been my greatest love, today you are my greatest sorrow.”
  • “I thought maybe you’d want to get some sleep.”
  • “You don’t sleep with women?”
  • “I do–I do sleep with women!”
  • “Outside of the confines of marriage it’s not polite to assume.”
  • “So you can’t sleep with me unless we are married.”
  • “I’ll sleep with you if you want, I’ll sleep right there.”
  • “There’s plenty of room.”
  • “They came to the conclusion that men are essential for procreation but when it comes to pleasure… unnecessary.”
  • “Welcome to Jolly Ol’ London.”
  • “It’s hideous.”
  • “We made a deal. And a deal is a promise, and a promise is unbreakable.”
  • “You’re not wearing any clothes.”
  • “Thank God, you’re not dead.”
  • “I go where he tells me to go and I do what he tells me to do.”
  • “Where I’m from that’s called slavery.”
  • “It keeps our tummies in.”
  • “Only a woman with no tummy would ask that question.”
  • “Fight? We use our principles. Although I am not opposed to engaging in a bit of fisticuffs should the occasion arise.”
  • “Really, specs? And suddenly she’s not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen.”
  • “Is there anything else you want to show me?”
  • “You mean you were lying?”
  • “I’m a spy, it’s what I do.”
  • “We are probably gonna die.”
  • “This is a terrible idea.”
  • “Who gets paid for honor?”
  • “I’m both frightened and aroused.”
  • “I assume you’re here planning something that will either get you court marshalled or killed.”