perception of women

Film Analysis: The Themes of Wonder Woman

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

I know I pretty much never deviate from SU but I really loved the latest Wonder Woman film. I just wanted to do a brief analysis because I feel like there are so many themes to unpack in the film (so there’ll be spoilers) and I was pleasantly surprised by the way things turned out. 

I’ll be using images only from the official trailer WB posted on their YouTube channel though, in case you happen to scroll past and don’t want to see anything yet.

This post doesn’t feel like the appropriate avenue to talk about the cast, the sets, music, and colours, so I’ll be focusing on the film itself, particularly on the story. I enjoyed all the other things about the movie but won’t go into them here.

1. Diana of Themyscira 

Source: WBP

Before any other character in DC and now the DCEU, I read and watched Wonder Woman. One thing I’d like to point out is how the story doesn’t shy away from her god-heritage and how that dictates her interactions with others. In fact, one pertinent lens to view this film is that of self-discovery.

Diana doesn’t know she’s god. Throughout the story she believes that she is as capable as any other Amazon (I really liked the Amazons, but maybe another post). She believes she’s equal in capacity and potential. I think this is an important thing to note. Diana didn’t go into war, looking for Ares, certain she was stronger than any other member of Themyscira. She left her home not because of a conviction that only she could do the task but because she believed it was the right thing to do. In her eyes, her mother and the other Amazons just didn’t see the value in entering human affairs the way she did. That was all. 

What I appreciated was that she went on her “hero’s journey” not out of a sense of duty as the only one who could do it, but precisely because anyone could go and help put a stop to the fighting. It then was not a question of who was most worthy, which is a question that excludes, but a question of who believed in this cause.

That agency is important in the story, as many heroes’ journeys often begin with a powerful force that pushes the hero to step up. In this case, she could have remained in her insular life, but she decided to step out of the comfort of the island and into a world she’s repeatedly been told does not deserve her.

In that regard, Diana knows what’s waiting for her will be difficult and fulfilling her objective will be a struggle. That struggle extends beyond the fighting, as even walking down the street is an issue for her.

And these “issues” are laden with our concept of heteronormativity. We’re talking about the early 1900s and perceptions of women at the time were brought up again and again. How she should act, speak, and dress are all moments that were presented with a tension that rubs up against our current understanding of equality. For instance, that a session could no longer be held because a woman entered the room is the kind of dissonance that I feel was intended to come off as laughable, because decades later the idea of perpetuating the same attitude is absurd (and very inefficient). In the same way, I feel it calls to attention present and more subtle forms of bias that the film hopes we grow to see as equally absurd to perpetuate.

Source: WBP

Diana is presented as a character of depth. She is exceptionally strong, learned, and yet feels like a believable character because she is also prideful, flawed, funny, and naive. It’s a good proof as to why realistic movies don’t have to be “gritty” per se. Grit isn’t the magical ingredient; it’s grounding. And in her struggles to understand those around her as well as understand herself, the movements of the micro story are embedded and woven into a huge historical narrative, that of the Great War. 

And I think that’s where we feel all our individual stories are. We are at once absorbed in the primacy of our own lives while living in the tumult of the world at large. Navigating both the personal and the global is the daily struggle. 

Despite all of these struggles, both the physical fighting and the social tension, Diana stays true to her convictions about who she is and what she aims to do. Those beliefs can change, especially in light of new knowledge, which is what does happen in the film as she learns more about Sameer, Charlie, and Chief, but there is a Diana who remains. 

“I am Diana, Princess of Themyscira,” she says in the film. Her commitment to an identity of which she isn’t even fully aware is striking, and that message is empowering to any viewer. 

Because of this, the “reveal” of her godhood does not seem like an upheaval of her character. It is a part of Diana, but it doesn’t exclusively define her. In fact, as she knows more about herself, of which being a god is only a part, the more she is able to succeed. At the climax of the film, it is when Diana declares she fights for love and peace that she is able to muster up the strength to defeat Ares. 

2. Her relationship with Steve

Source: WBP

From the onset, Diana is presented as the protagonist of the film. There is no question. Her first interaction with Steve is her saving him from drowning. Then, she walks in on him immediately after he bathes. Then after they leave the island, she makes it clear that she knows about “the pleasures of the flesh” and just doesn’t believe that having two people sleep beside each other is going to lead to anything if they don’t want it to.

In the earlier parts of the film, their interactions were presented with vulnerability on Steve’s part (danger, nakedness, fear), but we begin to see it in all the characters as the movie progresses. Moreover, we see how they deal with their vulnerability. Steve is a cynic, and this underlies the way he acts.

Steve isn’t a one-note character though. He is complex and has stories implied about him. He is able to think quickly and hold his own in all the situations they’ve been placed. And his occupation as a spy does seem to hit very close to the theme of self-discovery taken by Diana’s character. As a spy, Steve holds on to his core identity and plays with the characters he assumes, never losing sight of who he is. As such, we have two characters very different, but also very similar. 

On the other hand, Diana isn’t presented as a character with gaps to fill (in the form of Steve). Rather, she’s a complete individual on her own, which is what makes her decision to love Steve more significant. It isn’t a decision of necessity, but similar to her deciding on taking the hero’s journey, it is a matter of choice.

The romance in the film feels organic in progression. I think it should be noted that the threat of death and the war ahead may have provided an adrenaline rush that propelled their romance forward, but even without taking it into consideration, they had a very intimate platonic relationship prior that could have believably developed towards the romantic. And again, for Steve’s character as well, it was a choice.

I enjoyed the contrast of Diana’s frankness and Steve’s truly trying to be inconspicuous and subtle in all his affairs. By the end of the film, both had begun to take up the better traits in the other. It is especially marked in Steve as he’d begun to trust Diana and open up about himself a little more.

3. The “Villain” 

Source: WBP

A lot of people I know found the “villain” Ares to be lacklustre, and the ending cheesy. I disagree because systemic issues and human nature are my favourite things to explore in media, particularly media created for popular consumption. 

Very explicitly it’s said in the film that we can’t all point our fingers to one “bad guy.” There is no one reason for war, inequality, poverty, and all of the injustice that we see in the world. There are many people who, and entire societies that orchestrate, execute, and then perpetuate the injustices that plague people even today. Tyrants don’t rise overnight (and they hadn’t in history either). This isn’t the first film to show this, and I hope it isn’t the last. 

I really liked how the film pointed out that systemic and systematic injustice exists. There are specific people who do things that are deplorable, but there are also systems that enable them, and I think that is the takeaway from this theme.

I also applaud the look that was given Ares. Instead of the stereotypical villain, who is bigger, more violent, and appears more physically powerful than the protagonist, we have someone who looks unassuming but is infinitely powerful. We don’t see the usual male villain who is really muscular and that becomes the focal point of his villainy. Instead, we have someone manipulative and powerful in a different way. Instead of the traditional god of war who brawls, we have someone equally powerful but more tempered in that power, and it’s the mark of someone who really has lost everything and everyone and now just wants to start over.

Striking also is how all of the characters talk about the war as “The war to end all wars.” That was the honest sentiment of people during the First World War. Operative term here being “first.” That there were more wars that followed really speaks of how those systems and ideologies lived on after the people who instigated the conflict. And situated in the context of all those who died and lost everything, it seems callous that we would keep fighting one another and causing more destruction. But it is something that’s been done and is now etched forever in history. 

The non-violent message features rather heavily in the film’s climax. When Diana fights Ares, the first thing to go is her sword, the one she believed was the god-killer. The sword is a classic symbol of violence, conflict, and war, and it was destroyed almost immediately. It’s interesting because she clung to that weapon throughout the film, and it gave her faith in her own abilities.

In the end, it is not brute force that will stop the existing brute force. Diana herself put a stop to Ares. It was what emanated from her that destroyed the embodiment of violence. 

In that regard, it is the individual who has to decide not to give in to the temptation of furthering violence and injustice. After all, Ares’ main role in the film was to tempt. That was exactly what he did to Diana and she resisted.

4. The role of Dr. Poison

Source: WBP

Isabel Maru had such a presence in the film, even though she didn’t feature on the screen as often as did the other characters. Back in London, they deemed her the greatest threat. They were setting out specifically to destroy her laboratory. 

I find her character very interesting because we get the faintest sign of a backstory from her and it’s still all very coherent. Her file reveals that she didn’t always have an injury on her face, and based on her interactions with Ludendorff and later, Steve, she’s searching for acceptance and affirmation. There is a subtle manipulation that goes into convincing her to continue creating poisons and chemical weapons.

Even among enemy lines, there is a struggle for her not to be infantilised and patronised, or to be viewed only as a woman in the case of her interaction with Steve. Especially in the latter scene, Isabel is fully aware of this and explicitly tells him she knows. She may not have been pulling all the strings, but she was presented from the beginning as a strong secondary character to the main enemy.

Diana was able to defeat Ludendorff relatively easily, but Maru had survived until the end of the film and was in the climax. What Ares tempted Diana to do was destroy Dr. Poison, and Diana let her go.

In depth: Throughout the movie, Diana was never directly pitted against her. The former’s goal was always to remove Ares in the form of Ludendorff. Then suddenly, close to the end, Ares pits the two women against each other (It’s all a very familiar story). Diana chooses not to perpetuate the cycle of killing and violence that characterises the pasts of so many of the other characters.

5. What it leaves us

Source: WBP

One emergent theme from the film that we get is a loss of innocence. At first, Diana is idealistic and feels her beliefs are clear-cut. Liars are bad. Ares is responsible for everything. Being strong is enough to save the day.

Gradually, we see her belief in these things erode, eventually replaced by an understanding that the world is more complex than it was made out to be. At the same time, there are moments when world doesn’t want to be saved.

It culminates when Steve sacrifices himself at the climax of the film. At this point, it appears as though there is no use in fighting Ares, and it seems as though Ares was proven correct all along. Human beings are cruel and violent and selfish. It becomes so easy to assume apathy. What does it matter what one person does if there are all these people and systems that perpetuate injustice? It becomes easy to give up and do nothing or give up and join in.

At the same time, though, Steve’s loss presents the other side of the story. Human beings are empathetic and altruistic; they try to see the good in others and are moved to change by others’ suffering. It is true that a lot of the systemic issues we see in the movie, particularly for equality and peace, are still present today, but we’re making progress.

Diana emerges with a realistic working understanding of human beings. They aren’t perfect, and they are capable of great harm, but also great good. As she said, she’s realised it wasn’t up to her to save the world for them, but she’d be there when they did make the decision.

In our current socio-political climate, it is almost the default to affect the same hopelessness and apathy. But that’s why the message of love, justice, and peace was anything but “cheesy.” It’s precisely what we can do in the environment we’re put in. It’s something that is in our control, and like all things the movie presents, it is a choice.

I really love Wonder Woman. Before there was Harley Quinn in my life, there was and will always be Wonder Woman. I loved the way Jenkins told the story and I really hope for more like it in the DCEU. So much could be written specifically about the character as a woman, and all the imagery that comes with it. And the Amazons. Countless posts could be dedicated only to analysing their social structure, values, and dynamics. The film was great and it did justice to a lot of what made Wonder Woman so appealing when I was growing up.

As a companion to my list of college-set movies written by women, I now bring a list of high school oriented movies written by women, for those who have just begun, returned to, or are nostalgic for high school. 

Keep reading

taylor swift was publicly humiliated and widely disliked for years for no real reason other than blatant sexism and she could be real bitter but no she’s an actual ray of sunshine and is instead doing all she can to change perceptions about women in music and that hopefully this means that eventually no young female singer will have to go through what she did again

In some languages, my name begins in silence,
so I know how to be quiet, how to diminish.

I have practiced a smile that has no exposed teeth,
only the briefest flash of dimple. I know how to hide
my hair with a pin, how to fade into the periphery,

how to be a background screen.

It doesn’t sound so bad, being two-dimensional,
when the alternative is being one-dimensional,
being a line, a point, a place for people to wait.

When someone asks me if I know how beautiful I am,
I know what they want to hear. I know it looks like
I need to be spoken into existence, given a witness

like I am a theory until proven otherwise,
like a fallen tree must boom before the ground can say goodbye.
—  Yena Sharma Purmasir, “thirteen of thirty” (2017)
I hope I’m educating outsiders about the long time existence of fatphobia in the African American community.

So many people believed and still believe black women don’t experience fatphobia because of the myth that most African America men like curvy or thick women. This belief ignored years of fat black women or bigger black women who’ve suffered through body image issues, and eating disorders. Every time there’s a study it’s perpetuating the myth that all of us are happy with our bodies because our culture loves bigger girls. That’s complete rubbish and I know that with a fact. That’s not true and has never been true. 

What they don’t know is that our culture’s definition of “thick” is a skinny girl with an acceptable amount of butt and boobs, and has always been.

I mentioned the video model/urban magazine era and how I’ve been around long enough to remember it, and how many believed that era supposedly highlighted the belief or myth that black men preferred bigger women because they were using video models in their videos. In Westernized America where Victoria Secret models are the standard, in black culture video models are equivalent to my size.

If you Google Ki Toy, Melyssa Ford, Vida Guerra, KD Aubert, Bria Myles (some of their pictures are NSFW, and I can’t think of anymore, those are the most popular one’s I remember right off the top of my head), and see what I mean by slim girls with an acceptable amount of butt and boobs. 

And over time the girls got thinner, and the actual thick girls got called too fat, and turned away from videos. Even in old school Hip-Hop videos (Baby Got Back for example), and R&B videos the women were slim not “thick” and definitely never fat/plus size.

There has never been a time in our culture where bigger black women were actually celebrated. The only time we did feel a litte reassured is when another fat black woman made it possible for us to feel comfortable (comedian/actress Monique). And plus size/fat black women always got/get the short end of the stick. We were always seen as the symbol of failure in the black community. The poster child of poor decisions. We had to go through years of being told how fat we are compared to other races of women with some loser pulling up outdated information about our bodies.

If you look in black culture fat black women are always people’s punchlines, it started way back then, not just because social media exists. Those hurtful images and comments turned into memes to bash fat black women have always been there. Joke upon joke comparing us to animals or inanimate objects in the most brutal or antagonizing way.

In our music and in film or t.v. like Big Momma’s house, Friday, Norbit, Martin (character Cole’s girlfriend Big Shirley where she would never be shown, but they’d play up horrible stereotypes about her size and weight by making loud footsteps sounds with the floor shaking indicating how big she was)and many other representations, it’s extremely prevalent to see fatphobia in black culture.

Our fatphobia also comes with racist perceptions about fat black women and black culture so that adds to the burden. Racism is a driving factor of fatphobia.

Fatphobia and eating disorders target black women too.

Permanent Tomboys, Perceptions of Maturity of GNC Women

One of the things that tires me out as a GNC woman is how young people perceive me to be. I’m not entirely sure if it’s because I am so often initially read as a young man or boy (no boobs, no receding hairline, short af) or if its because people’s mental image of a twenty-something adult woman is quite necessarily an image of a stereotypically feminine, attractive heterosexual woman. Either way, it gives them an excuse to condescend to me. It probably goes back to the trope of the tomboy kid eventually “growing out of it” and becoming a Full Fledged Real Woman–disidentification with femininity and refusal of the feminine role, for young female people, is thus associated with childishness and immaturity. It isn’t necessarily that tomboys are supposed to give up all of their apparently unfeminine interests: sports and outdoors and videogames, stuff that might actually make them desirable to men or somehow “not like other girls”, but they are definitely supposed to take up feminine interests as well at some point. Not doing so is a sure sign of social underdevelopment. GNC women are seen as these ugly ducklings who never became swans by failing that all important outgrowing step. 

Even when people know I’m a woman they still seem to assume I’m younger, even in my late teens, and treat me as such. I never wear makeup, I never wear high heels. I never wear anything but baggy, comfy clothes. Placed next to my peers, I probably do look younger just because I don’t put in the same amount of work into a feminine appearance, and luckily I have a job where I don’t need to. 

The problem is that I tend to internalize this sentiment and start to assume that I must actually seem and act younger. I fear that misinterpretation of my age/maturity will serve as yet another social stumbling block when I try to interact with others out in the world. Or, I fear that people will assume I am underdeveloped or socially deficient. I fear that I really am socially underdeveloped and deficient. In reality this anxiety is absurd. I’m a full grown woman with the same amount of experience and capacity for intelligence and competence as anyone else my age. At this point I’ve lived in four different states and I’ve held more than a handful of full time jobs. I have a degree. I can replace a radiator hose and follow directions. I’m a damn adult. I’m not less of an adult because I refuse to take part in the ridiculous heterosexual dress up and make-believe games that we believe to constitute “adulthood”. 

Its not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things compared to homophobia and misogyny but its annoying to say the least and I’ve got a good amount of social anxiety around assuming that people are going to condescend to me. Waiting for that gray hair to start coming in, I guess. 

HEADCANONS; five years into the future

in five years, here’s where i imagine the sab characters at:

bay kennish, now 26, is still living in KC. she still works at bombshell betty’s but is quickly saving up to get her own shop started––though noelle is talking about leaving bay her shop when she retires. she makes enough to not only afford her chair every week, but enough to afford a nice apartment. she’s decorated the walls with her art and family photos, and the whole thing is very modern with a grunge edge. she’s still with travis and they’re discussing getting engaged, soon (travis has bought the ring already, little to her knowledge). her portfolio grows every day as does her lifestyle. she also bought a brand new VW Thing as soon as she could (plus a Bus, which she calls the Mystery Machine without a sense of irony in her voice).

daphne vasquez, also 26, is in her third year of med school, despite the fight she had to fight to get there. she still lives in the apartment above the cracked mug, though she thinks as soon as she starts her residency she’ll move into a comfortable apartment with some roommates (possibly Mingo, though they’re keeping it casual until she’s graduated and has the PhD in her hand). (He’s planning on proposing the day she graduates and is saving up for the ring). She’s killing the medical game and killing everyone’s perceptions of both women and deaf people. 

regina vasquez, 56, graduated three years previous with an associates in business management; she’s running both stores in such a lucrative way that she can afford to take care of herself, Will and Eric. Eric, of course, only served two years (with the second year out on probation for good behavior), and they’re discussing either expanding the second shop or building a third. Will is seventeen and on the track to graduate high school (with honors), and, as angsty as any teenager is, he loves his parents. he’s taken to calling regina mom. 

katherine kennish, 58 (but don’t remind her), is still married to John and has since been appointed dean within UMKC. she’s very proud of her job, her new novel coming out, and her second grandbaby on the way (Lily’s pregnant!). she’s hoping it’s a girl, though Toby is fighting names like “River”, “Meadow” and “Rain” (though he secretly likes Autumn and Hazel). 

john kennish, 62 (and thinking he looks damn good), has started coaching for his old team, the royals; and they’re on track for the world series. he’s proud of all three of his kids and both his grandkids (who he’s trying to push “john II” on as a possible name). 

toby kennish and lily summers-kennish, 27 and 29, are trying so hard to wrangle a now six-year-old carlton (which is extremely hard while eight months pregnant!). he’s energetic, sociable and into everything. he especially loves science. toby has been giving motivational speeches on disabilities (specifically down syndrome and autism, along with other developmental disabilities) support alongside his day job of running a center dedicated to providing resources for people with disabilities. his work encompasses work training, college prep and assistance, and organizing caregivers for those who need it; he often brings carlton along for the ride. lily still teaches (though toby’s trying to convince her to take maternity leave before her water breaks). carlton is very excited for his new sister, who he thinks should be named “cupcake”. 

emmett bledsoe, 25, is an accomplished photojournalist. he travels the world so much and so often that he’s hard to catch, but he keeps roots in KC and often visits on holidays. 

travis barnes, 26, has made amends with emmett and, as mentioned, is working on how to propose to bay (he’s so nervous that he feels like his stomach is going to drop out of his butt every time he thinks about it). as soon as john started working for the royals, he bought out travis’s contract and now he’s playing (extremely well), for them. actually, he’s their star player. not that he likes to brag (he does). 

The Blue Room (1923). Suzanne Valadon (French, 1865-1938). Oil on canvas. Centre Pompidou - Musée National d'Art Moderne. 

The growing prevalence of female artists has forced a re-examination of the traditional male perception of women as objects of sexual adoration. Titian’s “Venus and the Lute Player” (circa 1565) is revamped in Valadon’s “La Chambre Bleu” (“The Blue Room”), in which the subject is now a clothed model who smokes and reads books.

People have been talking about this for a while now on here, so I thought I’d way in and give my piece.

Ever since it was announced that John Simm was making a return as the Master, people have been voicing their opinions on Missy, and how they hope she’s the Rani, or Romanna or even Susan. They’ve been expressing a deep dislike for Michelle as Missy, invalidating her as a character and even refusing to acknowledge her as the Master at all.

Now. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m very excited about John Simm’s return, and I loved him as the Master. But, I can be excited about Simm’s return without invalidating Michelle or Missy. Michelle is an amazingly talented actress. She was nominated for an award for Best Supporting Actress at the BAFTAs. She’s witty, funny, sarcastic and a little crazy (even she’ll admit that if asked). She’s perfect for the Master. Of course she is, or she wouldn’t have been cast as them.

Would all this have happened had Michelle not been cast as the Master? If a man had been cast in her place? Or a POC? Would people have invalidated Simm’s replacement as much if he were male? Perhaps, but we’ve no precedent to compare it to, as the Doctor and the Master (disregarding the comic relief special) have always been male and white. For Bill, there’s been a backlash about her sexuality (looking at you Daily Mail readers). It’s been proven (The General in Hell Bent/Heaven Sent) that Time Lords can regenerate into the opposite sex. So why are people having such a hard time accepting Missy and Michelle as the Master?

There’s also the example of someone writing to the BBC demanding “reassurance” that there would never be a female Doctor. A “rogue” BBC employee wrote back with a positive reassurance that there wouldn’t be one in the foreseeable future. I’m not too sure what happened to said employee afterwards, but the article I read gave the impression that the Beeb was less than impressed with the whole thing.

So why is all this happening? It’s sexism. Low level, underlying, misogyny. Now, I’m not saying everyone who dislikes Michelle as Missy is sexist, some people just dislike Missy for how she’s portrayed, or how the character is written, and that’s fine. It took me a while to warm up to Clara in her first series because I was still sad about Amy and Rory and I didn’t initially like the romantic subtext between her and the Doctor. I’d also not seen very much of Jenna Coleman’s work, only her early stuff, so I had some reservations. I came to love her eventually, and was extremely sad to see her leave, but my point is my reservations weren’t based on her sex, and while I had made some assumptions about Clara that proved to be wrong and unfounded, never once did I invalidate Clara as the Doctor’s companion. I may not have liked her much initially, but she was the Doctor’s companion and I respected both her and Jenna greatly.

As a show that’s all about change and renewal, the fandom are terribly bad at dealing with change (myself included; I will admit to dreading the regeneration of a much beloved Doctor or the departure and/or death of a companion). I’m not sure what people’s refusal to accept Michelle and Missy as the Master says about us as a society and our perceptions of women. If we can’t accept that a woman is taking on a traditionally male role in television and fiction, and doing it amazingly well I might add, what does that say about our attitudes in real life? Most people would never say “that woman shouldn’t be a doctor” or “that woman shouldn’t be a lawyer”. But because we’re talking about a character, people feel more able to express their dislike and, quite frankly, their outdated misogynistic, conservative views. It may be a bit of a reach, but there’s certainly something there.

I love Michelle as Missy, I think she’s doing an amazing job at continuing the Master and Doctor Who’s legacy. It’s such a shame that people can’t see her talent just because of her gender.

Let's Talk

After my hiatus and self-reflection from my cancer diagnosis and operations, I’ve decided to stop compromising when it comes to my art. This is something that I enjoy, and what I feel I was put on this earth to do.

That being said, this policy of no compromise applies to the way others interact with my art, which brings me to my main point.

I’ve noticed a trend where people will make rather risqué and honestly salacious comments and reblogs on my art. I’ll post something sweet (mostly fan art) and inevitably somewhere in the notes will be comments like “[Blank character] is sweet but they can also be rough too ;)” or “[blank character] knows their way around a whip” and honestly sometimes even more mature stuff.

That’s entirely inappropriate. It would be one thing if these comments were strictly on my nsfw art, which I stow away at @jp-after-dark, but these inappropriate comments are on art that does not warrant that kind of talk. Even on my nsfw blog it’s a little off-putting, but I understand that that sort of art, no matter how subtle and pure, draws those reactions from people.

I create art for lesbians and wlw of all ages, meaning minors are able to see your thinly-veiled innuendos on my work with just a click or tap on the notes.

It’s also disrespectful. Disrespectful to me as an artist, and me as a lesbian, and other wlw. For the vast majority of my created pieces of art, I create wholesome drawings of women in love, and to bog down my art with that kind of talk, regardless of your sexuality, perpetuates the perception that relationships between women are purely sexual and for sexual entertainment, it’s fetishistic of w/w relationships, and as a lesbian myself that kind of persistent talk about my work, innocent work, compounds as a slap to the face to my sexuality.

This kind of talk has gone on for the entire three years since I started this blog, and, frankly, it won’t be tolerated.

This isn’t even half of what I wanted to say, but I’m honestly pretty upset by this and keep losing my focus.

Compulsory “they”hood

If I look like someone that you think ought to be “genderqueer” or something besides a woman, an adult human female, then you have a limited and twisted perception of what women are. 

That is your limitation, it is not mine. 

Do not put it on me. You can take that patriarchal stooge bullshit elsewhere. And if you’ve had the nerve to ask my pronouns because you think you’re entitled to unilaterally change the social contract about what pronouns mean and that I should be somehow grateful about it because you think you are doing it to be considerate? Then LISTEN when I tell you SHE. 

Every time you say THEY you are telling me about your own state of limitation and your own failure to see the possibilities I represent. 

You are telling me about your well intended naivete at best and your disgusting, callous misogyny at worst. You are telling me you have no room in your consciousness for what women are. What we REALLY are. You are saying that “she” is the only boundary you never need to take seriously or respect. Keep your THEY. Keep your compulsory THEY. It is not a compliment. 

It is not the sign of respect that you think it is, to be told I am other than female.

anonymous asked:

You do realise that they will over feminise PM now!! They will make sure in every interview that he champions women and all that crap. To late I already know what I need to know before Gillian's PR tries to trample all over him. lol

They will undoubtedly try  to make him very pro women’s rights and pro feminist. They will try to create a picture of him as being something completely different from what he used to be representing. 
I have no doubt that there will be many who will think that they, when that happens, now see the real PM. (It’s the PR Magic.)

People are basically willing to forgive and forget. Especially when it comes to people we respect and in one way or another see as a role model.
Because GA is with him in one way or another, people would like to see something positive about him, otherwise GA would not be with him? -right? 
Some have already seen a lot of postive and already talks about all his many good qualities. Then there is the rest, who has not seen the light yet! That’s what PR is going to need to take care of and it will happen! -if this thing I can not describe, will continue. There will also be many who change the mind about him and again will think of GA as a wonderful person. All this mess will be forgotten by then. 

I will never be able to respect PM and I will never be able to forget this mess. I’ve seen parts of GA I can not respect and I´ve seen too much of him (🤢 both physically and personality wise) and what I’ve seen, is SO far from a person I would ever be able to respect or like. No matter what “false” image they are going to make about him in the media. I will never be able to change the image of a man who behaves in a controlling, disrespectful, demanding, childish, scornful, contemptuous, patronizing and selfish way. 
Everything he has shown to date bear witness to a man who loves himself most of all and wants to put himself in the center constantly (because he is the most important!) this has been true both when he has acted alone and in association with GA . In addition, I’ll never forget that the man in no way has shown support for things other than his own and even if he starts doing it in the future, it will only in my eyes be because of the PR magic. 

something i saw that really made my blood boil was “bi women can be homophobic because homophobia is the result of social conditioning” which is such a horrible simplification of what creates and maintains homophobia, and it also ignores that bi women are victimized by homophobia as well. i mean this is seriously why i say that most people on here have never met or interacted with living, breathing bisexual women. so much of what we do in life in the realm of the sexual or romantic is shaped around avoiding homophobia or staying safe in homophobic environments just like every other lgbt person. no one would ever say that a gay or bi man could be “homophobic” against a lesbian or a bi woman because “homophobia is socially conditioned” and that’s because you people continue to view homophobia as a pattern of behavior targeted exclusively against same-gender attracted men. 

denying that a gay/lesbian person is gay/lesbian because they’ve been in heterosexual relationships before is homophobic. claiming that lesbians replicate the male gaze or that they have “monosexual” privilege” or that butch lesbians specifically have “masculine privilege” is homophobic. stating that bisexual men are not truly bisexual/erasing their identity is homophobic. pretending that gay men are inherently privileged or are exempt from the problems they face because they’re men is homophobic. stating that lesbians are predatory or that they fetishize women is homophobic. reducing the struggles lesbians face with compulsory heterosexuality is homophobic. claiming that lesbians, gay men, or bisexual men talking specifically about their issues is “divisive” is homophobic.

yet all of those things happen to bisexual women too - bisexual women who have only ever been with men, or have been with mostly men, or have never actually been with anyone before, are denied their bisexuality. bisexual women who have difficulties conceptualizing or creating a cognitive percept of their attraction to women because of compulsory heterosexuality are denied their bisexuality. bisexual women are accused of having straight-passing privilege. bisexual women are told that they benefit from the oppression of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual men. bisexual women are said to perform bisexuality for the sake of the male gaze and that thus they “fetishize” women for their own pleasure. bisexual women are told that they aren’t allowed to talk about homophobia or their unique struggles because they may be in heterosexual relationships which don’t face the problems gay relationships do. they are called selfish or attention-seeking, or, god forbid, “sapphique libkweers” when they try to talk about their specific issues.

none of the latter examples are ever recognized as homophobia, lol. 

so much of the bullshit people say about each other looks exactly the same but with different labels and different targets, lol, but it’s so fascinating how everyone is quick to forget that bi women are subjected to homophobia too. 

alwaysworryneverhappy  asked:


OK, @eldritch-cthulhu also asked me. But it’s a lot less fun than explaining about demonic summoning, because it’s not actually about that. It’s about misogyny.

It’s by a dude but a useful book I read in explaining these feelings (which I had starting early, but couldn’t really sum up) I encountered in college was The Triple Bind: Saving Our Teenage Girls from Today’s Pressures and Conflicting Expectations, by Dr. Steven Hinshaw. It’s not a perfect book, and I don’t agree with everything in it, but the thesis was a useful one to me and I’ll paraphrase it here.

The book describes a ‘Triple Bind’ that many young women and girls experience, and carry into adult life. These are basically three conditions that cannot conflict to remain valid, but inherently contradict:

  1. Be good at all the ‘girl stuff.’ That’s not just performative femininity, looking ‘like a girl’ and having access to resources required for feminine appearance. But also performing all of the emotional labor expected from girls, roles expected from girls, and be good at them.

  2. Be good at all the ‘guy stuff.’ If you want to survive in our current culture, women need to ‘trespass’ into activities that our culture once coded exclusively male like work and careers, sometimes in school sports, being aggressive or assertive in projects, sometimes just having access to and spending money. This includes emotional approach and labor, performing a sort of numbers-filed-off suggestion of masculinity because the feminine is inherently considered subordinate. But not one that’s ‘good enough’ to transgress against assigned gender, or has access to challenge men in their own sphere of life.

  3. You MUST conform to the above, within a narrow set of standards of success that can’t mutually fulfill both of the prior conditions completely. Women’s role models are expected to have both traits, but not too much of both or either. You can be a star athlete, but people will criticize the same body they celebrate. You can be a successful career person but be prepared to be seen as cold, demanding, and non-maternal. Alternatively, you can be a mother but you better not be one of those no-career moms who just aren’t Feminist™. But a mother with a job is a bad mother and a bad worker because she’s not one thing or the other. You can be a tomboy but you better not transgress against the gender binary or heteronormativity too much. Girls who don’t wear blue jeans and aren’t cool with ‘the guys’ aren’t ‘cool.’ But some (gross men) want those girls because feminine girls are typified as not aggressive. But you better not have worn a skirt to the club, because you were asking for what happened next. You also better be aware of all of this, in control at all times and not have any form of disability or mental illness that effects your behavior or presentation.

Because the ‘girl stuff’ and the ‘guy stuff’ contradict (many people have described femininity as a lack of masculinity, and masculinity as a lack of femininity) it’s impossible to meet both demands at the same time in a satisfactory way. And then the third part of the bind that you must meet both, that it is not optional further traps women and girls. Basically it is a hell of inauthenticity that can leave someone feeling empty trying to meet all of these contradictory demands, inevitably doing something ‘wrong,’ and never being able to tell what is actually their real personality and what is just something that was expected of them that they can’t actually ever succeed at properly.

So that was long, but back to the whole joke of ‘why settle when you can have it all’ via demonic summoning. 

Because it’s impossible to fill these demands, so much media,

both by men who idealize a woman who magically achieves the contradictory demands (think: women by Joss Whedon)

and by women and girls who are tortured and are trying to invent ‘better’ versions of themselves that fulfill the contradictory demands (think: women by Stephanie Meyer)

depicts women and girls that come across as ‘too perfect’ or else strangely not subject to reality or their environment that in real life maintains we can’t ‘have it all.’

And yeah some of it is misogyny– there’s no reason to call Rey from Star Wars a Mary Sue other than that you think women shouldn’t be competent at anything. 

But you can’t deny that in a lot of media women’s power fantasies are not merely about ability or image, but about control: achieving a very specific sort of ideal persona that is able to be in control of patriarchal demands upon them, perfectly respond to everything society asks of women. Be strong but not so strong you threaten men. Be maternal but not too maternal, and still do all of that work to reassure men that you’re there for them. Be one of the guys, but don’t lose your feminine appeal to them. Be sexual and model a typified-male detached view of sexual encounters, but don’t be a slut. Be beautiful, but don’t come across as if you need to maintain your beauty. Be powerful, but remain firmly within the male gaze. Be independent, but not too independent.

It really can feel like the only way anybody in real life could somehow fulfill all of this at once is to sell your soul to demons. A lot of lateral hostility among women follows that script. it’s framed as ‘jealousy’ but it’s more complex than that. It’s a warped perception that some other women ‘have’ managed to fill the triple bind a little, and a self-loathing that we can’t. She must have sold her soul somehow, is faker, is more superficial than we are, to have met some of her contradictory hell demands.

Often this kind of anger has to do with hatred or idolization of money, which is one of the ways to lessen the triple bind; be able to buy all this shit that fills the image and makes it ‘easier’ for some women. But it better not be your career. Get a rich husband. But then you’re a gold digger. And it begins again.

So in the end that picture isn’t just a joke about summoning demons to gain control over your life and avoid the eventual mediocrity all people will achieve in some aspect of their lives. Intentionally or not, It’s also about women discussing that they are in hell and the only way one could ever win is to somehow impossibly bend the demons to their will. It’s a bitter joke because in real life you can’t make the patriarchy lay off of you, just as much as you can’t actually ritually summon imps to do all your chores.


Blondie’s Debbie Harry had worked as a waitress before working at Playboy. “Being a Bunny involved a rare combination for a woman in the workplace,” she says. “It was an unusual perception of women that they could be beautiful, feminine and very sexy, and at the same time ambitious and intelligent. At Playboy, those women had a place where they could use those attributes to make money — and also be really valued as employees. Bunnies were the Playboy Club.”
Playboy quickly realised they had mixed a volatile cocktail of beautiful young women wearing provocative costumes in a sophisticated party atmosphere teeming with alcohol-fuelled men. What to do about it?
As Debbie says: “There were strict codes of behaviour for both employees and customers. Bunnies had to maintain a certain decorum: if you overstepped the parameters, you were out of the game. The rules worked both ways. If a customer got out of line, he lost his Club membership. You knew that management backed you up and that you were protected. As someone who had worked as a waitress before, that was a shocking revelation.”

Text from “The Bunny Years” by Kathryn Leigh Scott (1998)

It says more about bi women’s perceptions of other bi women that instead of seeking each other for their dating pool, they blame lesbians who don’t date bisexual women as the reason why they mostly end up with men.

….uhm so instead of accusing lesbians of having particular views of bisexual women, a lot of you need to re evaluate your own perceptions of other bi women and ask yourselves why you don’t even consider dating other bi women when you make posts crying about your dating pool of women being small? Why is it only lesbians you seek as women to date and why is that the end of your effort? Why blame a small group of women with an even smaller dating pool than y'all…?

🙄 And obviously if this doesn’t apply to you, you don’t need to get offended but recognize this is a common complaint of the WLW community and a major force behind bi women being resentful of lesbians.

How Women Became Persons in Canada

In Canada, we generally state that the year women officially won suffrage was 1921, but this is not true. The road to women’s rights and opportunities concerning politics in Canada has a long and tumultuous history, in which  women of colour were often excluded and neglected. First, women of colour were not permitted to vote in federal elections until the late 1940s, and Aboriginal women until 1960. Also, while (some) women had the right to vote in the federal election, they were not legally considered persons until almost a decade later. From this issue spawned the Famous Five and “The Persons Case”, which legally established women as people under Canadian law.

At the time, as stated by Canada’s Constitution, only “qualified persons” could hold positions in the Senate. So while women were allowed to vote and hold positions in the House of Commons, they were not legally considered persons under law and could not be appointed to one of the highest positions in the Canadian government. This problem was first tackled by five Canadian women after Emily Murphy, a pioneer for women in Canadian politics, was barred from being elected to the Senate. With the hard work of herself, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Edwards, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parbly, the Famous Five  took what became known as “The Persons Case” to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1927.

Over the course of a year the case was heard,arguing that women should be granted the same legal acknowledgement and political opportunities as men. Finally in 1928, over a year of deliberation, the court ruled not in their favour and Canadian women continued to be labelled as second class citizens unworthy of the label “person”.

Despite this ruling the Famous Five refused to rest and appealed to the highest court in Canada. On October 28th, 1929, the highest court in Canada ruled in favour of the Famous Five, and legally declared Canadian women “persons”. Furthering their victory, the courtman who declared the ruling stated “the exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours” (famou5 foundation). This marked an important shift in the perception of women in North American society. While there was still much opposition and further work to be done, society was beginning to respect the important role of women and allow them to become influential members throughout Canada.

Less than a year after this important court ruling, Canada’s first female senator was appointed to office. The Honourable Cairine Mackay Wilson took her seat February 30th, 1930 and proceeded to serve both domestically and internationally with the Canadian government until her death in 1962. Although she was not a member of the Famous Five, during her first speech in office she thanked these important women for all they had done for Canadian women in government.

The Famous Five and “The Persons Case” were not just an important part of women’s history, but also of Canadian history. Without these women and this ruling, women would have continually been barred from office, which would only be reflected in societal treatment of women. Without people like Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Edwards, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parbly, Canadian women today would not enjoy the basic rights and freedom all persons deserve.