narrative intersections

getting a good grade as a “gifted” child doesn’t like actually feel good for very long or allow you to be happy with your success or anything ime, it just means that you’ve escaped the immediate necessity of self-castigation & proven that you’re not completely worthless THIS time, so you’re just briefly relieved and them immediately have to start worrying about the next grade that you’re going to get

also there’s not really much of a thing as a “good” grade, there’s an “acceptable” grade which is 100% of the points that you could have earned on something, and an “unacceptable” grade which is anything else and which will lead to self-reproach no matter how “good” other people might think it is

Destiny, Tragedy, and Radiants: Character Arcs with Two Parts

Okay, bear with me for a moment, I’m gonna ramble for a moment about the Mistborn Adventure Game Guide. In the Adventure Guide, they have a very interesting way to build character arcs into the narrative of the game. During character creation, you come up with two things: a Tragedy, which is the worst thing that ever happened to your character, and a Destiny, which is what that character is supposed to be, why they are a hero. It’s also noted that the DM can come up with their own destiny for the character, that the character doesn’t know–because characters don’t always know what’s going on and the DM might have a better idea. 

Over the course of the game, heroes have to grapple with and overcome their Tragedy and achieve their Destiny–and neither should be easy. The other factor is that the further you move trying to overcome your Tragedy, the harder it gets, representing being weighed down by painful things of your past; the further you get in your destiny, the more power you get. 

So I was thinking about that with the way Sanderson handles his characters, and I was especially thinking–because I’ve been reading it–about the Stormlight Archive. 

The way Radiants work, their Tragedy is inherent in the fact that they’re Radiants. They have to be broken somehow in order to get their powers. We’ve seen some of these: the worst moment in Kaladin’s life was either when Tien died or when Amaram betrayed him. The worst moment in Dalinar’s life was when he was drunk and asleep when his brother was murdered. So on and so forth. 

I’ve been rereading Words of Radiance, and I’m finding it particularly hard to go on to the next part, because Kaladin has been thrown in prison, and I know how dark his character arc gets here–when before, he had been almost ready to admit he was a Radiant to Dalinar and show his powers openly. But putting it in terms of how these character arcs work, what happened was Kaladin’s two narrative arcs intersected–and one of them was stronger than the other. We’d been getting for a while that Kaladin’s hatred for Amaram–mechanically speaking, his tragedy–was starting to overshadow his arc toward being a Windrunner.

The duel–him interfering to protect the Kholin brothers–was a high point of him being a Windrunner, and also led him toward realizing things about spren and Shardblades. And Sanderson followed that high with a powerful low in what happened next, with Kaladin’s tragedy–basically, he was betrayed yet again by putting his trust in lighteyes. 

And so that’s why this next bit is so painful–Sanderson gave us an idea Kaladin was going to be on an upward trend for a bit, and then slapped him back down, painfully. 

I don’t know, I’m just rambling, but I like this way of looking at characters–it makes their movement and arcs more dynamic. 

I think one of the things I really dislike about this website is the way that trans men are treated so differently. Because for so long, people here hated men. And when people starting pointing out, “Hey, that includes trans men”, the whole perspective changed. They started to treat us as if we weren’t men, just so it fit the narrative of ‘intersectional feminism’.

Only ten pages in but this is already an amazing book! Definitely recommend for young women of color who want to read intersectional narratives that can relate to their lives or just want to hear stories from women who share the same struggles and histories as them.


SIDESHOW: Sometimes there are other ideas that I think would be awesome. So think of these as guest blog entries from other sections of my brain. (See all Sideshows here.)

This is from a Tumblr that doesn’t exist called Brangela Davis. All captions are quotes from American political activist Angela Davis. All images are of Game of Thrones character Bran Stark.

anonymous asked:

hi, I saw where you tagged a post about Ginny Weasley as a "death shrouded girl." I searched your the tag on your tumblr but all that turned up was a post about Eowyn. Can you explain the tag?

So, I’m terrible at tagging things. Death shrouded girls, though, my friend. Death shrouded girls. 

I just have a thing for female characters whose narratives spring from, intersect with, circle around, obsess on, or defy death. I dunno, man. They’re just great. They tend to end up being my favorites. 

Susan of Narnia, the last Pevensie, who buried her parents, her brothers, her baby sister– who lived through it, who carried those ghosts all her long life.

Allison Argent, she of the lethal arrow, the silver knife, the silver bullet, who dragged her self and her family screaming out of a death-driven code of war. Lydia Martin, who resurrects and screams and survives. (Death shrouded girlfriends, there, alright?) 

Eowyn of Rohan, she of frosted sword steel, the girl ready to shatter, looking for death and calling it glory. 

Ginny Weasley, who carried a ghost in her eleven year old chest, who died on that cold Chamber floor and came back, who lived loudly for the rest of her life. 

Daveed Diggs in Word Becomes Flesh. [A] series of performed letters from a young, single father to his unborn son, [the] play integrates hip-hop theater and contemporary dance performance to deconstruct black male identity in the 21st century. This show critically, lyrically and choreographically shares one man’s personal experience of fatherhood—and in doing so examines the legacy of patriarchy and male privilege, the continuum between fathers and sons, and the relationships of women and men. Together these narratives confront the intersection between the reality and the mythology of the black male body—from the cotton field to the athletic field and all spaces in between.


Intersections: Narratives of Queer Students of Color by Cuyler Otsuka ‘14

Black History Month: Feminism and Inclusion

“As a woman of color, Black History Month holds a special significance for me. In particular, it allows me to reflect on my personal experiences and perspective, not just through a gender lens, but also that of an African-American.

Since beginning my tenure at the Ms. Foundation for Women, I have embarked on a comprehensive listening tour, traveling around the county to hear from community leaders of all backgrounds. From our grantees to grassroots leaders, these are the people on the ground propelling grassroots movements that affect thousands of lives everyday.

We continue to work to ensure that the lens of race and gender are not left out of our current social justice movements. Whether fighting for reproductive justice or environmental protections, the voices and experiences of all women must be included. Much like Harriet Tubman and the forgotten women of Selma, highlighted in Ava DuVernay’s recent film, feminism has a leading role in shaping progressive movements to be inclusive, while striving not to be ambivalent of race.

That is why I am calling on you to renew your commitment and dedication to building diverse and powerful movements for equality. Together we can bring more people to the table by expanding feminist narratives and acknowledging the intersection of issues within the larger movement for women’s empowerment. We must acknowledge, that to strengthen our movement, we have to address inequality as all women experience it.

Also know, that I am committed to upholding our obligation to continue building diverse, inclusive movements for equality, and we promise not to rest until we have justice for all.”

- Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO, The Ms. Foundation for Women

Read the full piece here