@kinfirms tagged me in a post talking about how internet “mom” culture is toxic, (I saw your tags, dont worry <3) and wanted to talk about it a little, but without the queer phobic language it was giving off.
For the most part, I fully and readily agreed with parts of the post detailing how adults can and do behave inappropriately in online spaces towards minors, and how the parental name thing can be a power move.
I grew up with a lot of fandom “mom” types, who with hindsight, turned out to be rather toxic and predatory. One of them actually took great joy in being a “corrupting” force, and would make lewd jokes and inappropriate comments towards us. And us being vulnerable kids who wanted to fit in and belong went along with it, because it made us feel special to be talked to like we were fellow adults.
Except we weren’t fellow adults and nor were we being treated as such. We were impressionable youths being treated like toys to stroke an older person’s ego, and that was 110% not okay, and those adults should have known better not to engage with us on those topics.
I’m hyper aware of being an older person in certain groups now, and try to act accordingly. I try to distance myself while managing to remain encouraging and supportive and hopefully, a positive signifier that people like me can and do grow up into happy (semi-)functional adults. I know there were times growing up when I feared I would not.
I will also never insist that anyone call me “mom”. It’s not a name I picked for myself. It’s an honorific deserving of great respect and mindfulness towards those who gave it to me, not the other way around. People can use it if they want to, and I will respond to it if people use it, but it’s not a role or title or sign of authority, and it’s 100% up to others if they want to use it or not, I don’t mind either way. And just for the record, I also respond to Aunt, Sister, Cousin, Bib, or even my rarely used actual name, Joy :)
I work very hard to respect the boundaries of others, and adhere to my own rules of interaction. I don’t follow back anyone under the age of 18 (with very few exceptions), and I always try to ensure the age of someone when they start talking to me about certain things.
Most of the people calling me “mom”? Seem to be in their early 20s, chronically ill or queer like me, and or at college age and going through that weird panicked stage of “help, I need an adultier adult how the heck do you make a food budget” so it’s not too much of a problem, but I still take those extra steps anyway.
I tag my work, I put it under cuts and generally make it known that I don’t want anyone under the age of 18 to read my 18+ work, because it’s the responsible adult thing to do—and it’s my responsibility to lay down those terms. Not the minor.
If a minor ignores my requests, my tags and the numerous other steps I put in the way to keep my NSFW work hidden? That’s on them, and I can only hope they find it positive and maybe possibly affirming as well—just don’t tell me about it. (I speak from experience, as a minor who went onto 18+ forums looking for something that would show I wasn’t alone with my thoughts and feelings. I found acceptance in queer fanfic that society and family otherwise denied. I wasn’t awful for liking both Superman and Louise Lane, I wasn’t awful and wrong or alone for not being sure if I wanted to be Princess Leia or be with her. And that was very important for 15 year old me, even if it would take another 15 years for me to feel safe enough to tell others.)
When people started calling me “mom” of their own volition, I had a real internal debate over how I felt over using that same moniker others had used before me, and done so in a harmful manner. I wasn’t too keen on it at first, it felt weird, but when people kept on using it without me prompting them to, I came to the decision that hey, it’s just a fun nickname poking fun at my personality, so I just kinda rolled with it. But I also made the conscious decision that if I was going to allow for that nickname, I would strive very hard to be worthy of it and be the adult I needed as a young person, and not like the people I had known.
But that all said? Not all adults take this mindset, and do not behave appropriately towards teenagers and young adults, and you should absolutely be wary of anyone who puts themselves in that position of authority.* It makes me extremely uncomfortable when I see other adults talk about younger people as their “minions” or pets.
They are not.
They are people who are deserving of your fundamental respect and often looking for some sort of help or guidance from a role model they lack in real life, or even just want friendly people to talk to about the things they love. They are not there to prop up your ego. Don’t do that shit. Reflect on your own behavior and say “if this was my child, would I be happy about the way I am interacting with them?”
If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure”, that’s also a no, and you need to back the fuck off and reevaluate how you interact with others as a whole.
If you are in a fandom or online forum space where the adults are not behaving mindfully of your age, undermine you, or insist on inserting themselves in your life as an authoritarian parental figure? Go with your gut instinct and get the fuck out of dodge.
You are no one’s minion. You are you, with your own boundaries and levels of comfort. Don’t let anyone try to take them from you or make you feel bad for being uncomfortable with their behavior. That’s a common tactic used by abusers, and if you say to someone “what you are doing makes me uncomfortable” and their response isn’t “I’m sorry, how can I change that?”, but defensive anger or guilt tripping you? Fuck ‘em. There are other groups, other people to talk to. Make your own if you have to. Block anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable. You don’t have to put up with that bullshit to prove your own maturity or worth.
*And just because I feel this is important to say: please question me. Challenge me, point out when I say or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. I won’t be mad or offended. I welcome corrective feedback. Tell me if I use an out dated term or if I word something poorly so I can apologize, reevaluate my behavior and try to change for the better. I’m human and therefore always learning and making mistakes, but they come from a place of ignorance, never malice. Take care of yourselves out there <333
<b>anon question:</b> What do you look for in a guy?<p/><b>lemme-holla-at-you:</b> A smart, loyal, honest and funny guy who knows what his priorities are in life and is prepared to work hard, together with me, to accomplish all of our goals we have in life.<p/><b>anon:</b> so not a cute face or body??<p/><b>lemme-holla-at-you:</b> A cute face or body won’t raise my children.<p/><b></b> Ladies, and gentlemen, THIS IS THE REAL QUEEN.<p/></p>
Kevin, Ryan and Neil are a Fighting-Dark-Psychic triad: a dissertation
I’ve worked in close contact with the Pokemon fandom for several years so I’m competent enough to make this statement.
First, the obvious:
Kevin is Fighting type: The Fighting type isn’t just about physical strength, it embodies virtue and honour and it is typically the “Hero” type in juxtaposition with Dark which is the “Evil” type in Japanese.
Kevin is not only canonically the strongest of the three, he’s also the most honest and honourable, as specified in the official source below.
In the Money Tree, Kevin kickstarts a series of regrettable events, however his motivations were noble: he wanted to help his friends and himself live a better life.
Even in real life, Kevin is a complete hero and role model and has never done anything wrong in his life. Kevin is Fighting type.
Ryan is Dark: First of all, Ryan hangs out in graveyards, owns several cursed items and writes creepypasta, or at least used to.
Now you may tell me that this would make him a Ghost type rather than Dark, however I beg to differ: Ghost is weak against Ghost and immune to Fighting. Ryan cannot feasibly be weak to Ghost- and in Mister Basement, Kevin knocks him out in a single move.
IF YOU THINK RYAN MURPHY: PSYCHIC FRIEND IS PROOF THAT RYAN IS PSYCHIC TYPE, THINK AGAIN. Ryan may be able to use Psychic powers but it is clearly not something that he does naturally and willingly. He may know Psychic type moves but it isn’t his bread and butter. Also, this image is really good.
Ryan is clearly the most morally ambiguous of the three. While he is on the same side as the other two, he operates by his own specific set of greyish morals. In The Vigilante, he becomes a hero archetype, however he beats people up and is shown to be a general menace.
Moreover, in The Curse of Spooky Manor, he lies to Kevin to preserve his own safety and Neil’s, a classic Dark type move. In general, Ryan is shown to use any means necessary to overcome difficulties, no matter how dirty or trope-breaking. Plus he has the Dark type aesthetic. Look at him. He has the Dark type aesthetic. Look. Ryan is Dark and there is very little contrary evidence to this statement. He may however be a mixed type, like Dark/Poison, or Dark/Fairy or something.
Neil is Psychic: Neil is often played as the geeky smart one of the trio, and also the “idea-haver”, making him a plausible Psychic type and thus nicely completing a rock-paper-scissor triangle wherein Kevin beats Ryan, Ryan beats Neil, Neil beats Kevin (not to say that they would ever fight each other or have any reason to, but this is how hypothetically the weaknesses would work out).
Neil’s videos and music have a typical Psychic type feel, implanting songs and memetic content in people’s heads and occasionally causing headaches and nausea in the least acclimated. Neil’s mind control abilities would deserve a post on their own as this is getting long.
His aesthetic is overall consistent with the Psychic type, with stats probably strongly oriented towards special attack rather than defense, as is common with Psychic types. There is a chance, again, that Neil may be a mixed type, though I feel that in his case it would be a lot harder to identify his secondary type. However there is strong evidence that he is at least part Psychic.
A Complete Collection of LGBT Pop Culture- An Idea I had
Ok I’m going to say something that I never heard before, but I feel like it is a known fact in our culture: going into the LGBT+ community is sometimes hard. There are over a million of reasons why people can feel this way, and even though are community tends to be open minded, it is still kinda hard to find one’s footing.
I remember when I realized my sexuality, I felt like I had no one to talk to. I wasn’t out, plus my mom worked at my school, so I didn’t feel comfortable going to any groups because I feared it may get back to her. I was in high school, and even when I started telling my friends what was going on, I still felt really alone. I came from a very liberal high school where people wore tails and pjs to class, and I knew that there was representation there. It was just that I didn’t know anybody. I had no one to look up to, no one to be my role model. That was until I decided to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was already into shows with wlw in them, e.g. True Blood, Glee and Pretty Little Liars, but at that point I had fated interest in those shows as I grew older. Willow was the first character that I really bonded with, and she kinda became my first role model. After finding her I realized that while I didn’t have any role models in real life, I could find strength and a sense of community within TV shows. I went from watching at total of around 5 shows ever, to about 10x that in the span of a couple of years.
The reason I’m saying this now is because it took me a really long time to find the shows that spoke to me. I found out about Clexa existing from a facebook article talking about her death. I found out about Wayhaught from my youtube suggested videos. The only reason I was able to watch Sanvers as it occurred is because I saw Supercat cracks mixed in with other crack videos. I stumbled on Hollstein by accident, and almost never watched Carmilla. What I’m saying is, so much of who I am today, and why I am proud to be who I am today, came from these characters and the amazing fandoms behind them. And so many of these communities I came only to be in by happy accidents.
Which is why I am proposing creating a space with all the history of our pop culture documented. I believe that by providing a place where people can go and learn about our history and how we got to where we are today is important, especially through the eyes of pop culture. A place where all fans of different fandoms come together, forget the shipping wars at home, and join to create something beautiful, where all members of our community will have a voice and representation.
The only rules I have in creating this space is that we are inclusive to everybody. I know that there is rarely an issue that everyone agrees on, but in this space we should be able to critic work without spilling hate- even though sometimes it can be deserved. We already have Tumblr for that, so let this space be a place for people looking for new things to watch, read, listen to, just to find.
So what am I asking? Mainly for help and ideas. Even though I have learned a lot about this community since I joined it, I know have tons still to learn. Also while I can tell you a lot about wlw ships, I really can’t speak for many mlm ships. There are so many voices here that can tell stories to this community that I would never be able to tell. I know a lot about TV ships and the trope Bury the Gays, but have no knowledge about LGBT+ artists and how their work has influenced the community. So first, lets get down a good idea, maybe a website of some kind, maybe a wiki- I really don’t know the internet well, I can’t even make a gif, but I know there is someone out there who can. People who are smarter than me, more creative than me. Lets find a way to get this collection out to the world. If something in pop culture, i.e. celebs, music, art, TV, movies, comics, musicals, plays, youtubers, or anything else which fits in this category, write something about it. We will build up a collection of information to help the next generation come into this community and something that hopefully they will be able to add onto. So please spread the word if you think this is a good idea.
I’ve kind of answered this in several videos and over the course of several tweets, but I’m happy to repeat!
Of course I’m a feminist - to me feminism is common sense. Women are humans and deserve to be equal to all other humans. Everyone, regardless of where they are on the gender spectrum, deserves the best opportunities in life.
For a long time, though, I didn’t consider myself one because I was unaware as to what ‘feminism’ actually meant. Its meaning had been polluted by people who were against women’s equality, as well as (and this is important to remember) some of the more aggressive (and subsequently more vocal) women’s rights campaigners who didn’t do a good job of representing their cause.
I had also been raised to believe everyone SHOULD be equal, I had an array of role models (both celebrity and real life) that eschewed any notion of what a male or female role should be, and so I was under the impression that everyone shared my view. It was only growing up, and seeing that actually not everyone saw my side, that made me question what I thought feminism was, and questioned whether my behaviour needed to change in light of new knowledge. It did, and so I did.
And I’m a feminist, because I need feminism as much as anyone. We only do well if we raise each other up.
1) I am inherently skeptical of [this post’s] interpretive merits because OP has stated on several occasions that they truly dislike Hux.
I am skeptical of anyone who denies the idea that abusive behavior is
learned behavior. Children raised by parents who value violence and
control over affection and nurturing will most likely suffer some level
of maladjustment. [… Children]
are not held accountable for their behavior as a predictive measure for
their future selves.
3) This post wildly misses the point that Armitage Hux is terrified of these children, nearly on the verge of tears, and shaking as
he makes this command. He clearly hopes to assert some small,
self-protective authority and ensure that he’s not about to be murdered
by a trained gang of murder orphans. He is wildly outnumbered, and they
are much bigger than him. He responds in a way that a) he was likely
taught, and b) that seeks to assuage his fear.
4) Hux feels a strange and sinister buzz of excitement because he has never felt powerful before. This
feeling is entirely new to him. Again, I’m not saying that it won’t
define his future actions, but I am saying that exerting control when
you’ve always been stripped of it, and taking pleasure in that, does not
a future sadist make. Maybe it was formative, sure, but Hux has been
told his entire very short life that he is weak and useless, and that’s
canon. And welp, here is he, showing his canonically abusive father that
he is not weak, that he is not useless. Just saying.
Sloane, a grown woman, and a seriously high ranking imperial official,
is afraid of these very same children. Tell me again that they are Hux’s
PS: OP fails to mention that HUX IS FIVE YEARS OLD.
I’d like to add that most five year olds
have no concept of morality yet. It’s downright silly to expect them to
know right from wrong, especially in extreme situations.
we go again with the realistic villains/unrealistic heros thing - Rey
and Finn are written with just as horrible backstories, but they are never tarnished.
they came out of horrid circumstances as normal, well-adjusted people
with functioning moral compasses (that kind of thing doesn’t happen. It
just doesn’t; these things need to be taught). The more realistically written villains (Kylo and Hux) look twice as bad in contrast.
It all boils down to the good old portrayal of mentally ill people as monsters.
Those children could kill without batting their eyes, but no one will
comment them as “naturally evil” since they certainly had been taught
so. Then a five-year-old who had been scared into tears by them is
judged to be “evil out of his own choice”. Ironic comparison.
What would happen if the paladin+ Allura and Coran, finding and abandoned baby galra? How would they handle the situation if they became their new mom/dad?
tag urself i’m allura
Shiro is a little wary at first; for the most part, Galrans had been nothing but trouble for him since the Kerberos mission. In the end, he takes his duty as a father, even as an adoptive one, seriously because this is a real life and it’s important. The Best Role Model™.
Keith has no idea what to do. He’s spent limited time around young children, so he doesn’t have a lick on how to function. It takes him a little bit of time to come around to the idea of actually raising this being, albeit with a sprinkle of persuading from the rest of the team. Despite popular Team Voltron belief, Keith is a good father.
Hunk “I really don’t know what to do, but I’m adopting immediately” Garrett. He hardly questions it, taking the tiny Galran into his heart and warms up to it instantly. He makes sure to raise it with good intentions, teaching it from right and wrong, good and bad. He tells the child about its real family, but it’s okay if they want to stay with the team because he knows it’s the only life this adopted child has ever known. Literally teaches the kid all of his recipes.
Lance dies. All the time. Nobody else was stepping up to raise the baby, probably just out of spite so they could laugh at the Cuban’s misfortune. Much to their hilarious plan, he’s actually a wonderful father that teaches his child everything he knows: fighting, reading, piloting, etc. Will support his kid no matter what. 10/10 marriage material tbh.
Pidge literally screamed. They’re only a child themselves and can hardly take care of themselves, so how am I supposed to raise a baby? Ah, come on guys. Help me out here. The team helps them out, just because of their age. They have trouble balancing raising this child of their enemy and piloting the green lion, but they manage it somehow. A great mom/dad who learns to love and accept people no matter their differences, and loves this tiny Galra child just the same.
Allura had a million red flags go up when the responsibility was passed onto her; after all, her biggest enemy was the Galra and here was this small baby, hardly even a year old. Her biggest problem is getting over her bias to actually raise the child, but once she is reminded many times that not everyone is bad, she starts. She’s practically a mother to the paladins (and Coran), so she’s an excellent one to this child. She teaches them about Galran and Altean history, but tells them that after raising them for so long, she loves them no matter who they are. 10000/10 great mother i want her to adopt me too tbh.
Coran is an absolute mess. He tried to find out who dropped the baby on their metaphorical doorstep and why, but couldn’t dig up anything. Honestly, Coran had the least amount of responsibility on the ship; Shiro, Keith, Lance, Hunk, and Pidge all trained to pilot their lions better, and Allura was always directing their missions among other aspects of the team, so theoretically, this was Coran’s newest job. Admittedly, he isn’t the best father out there, but he tries his hardest and does what he can. The two often watch the paladins goof around in the training arena or help Allura when assisting on missions, as Coran taught them a lot about battle techniques and tactics. All in all, Coran for dad of the year for teaching them about all they need to know on the light side of the Voltron fight???
Troian Bellisario, I saved the best for the last, so get ready, this post might be long (and cheesy!). I can say this with a 100% honesty: you are my most favorite actress ever! And believe me, I know that sounds cheesy, but it is a 100% the truth. Every single episode of PLL, you continue to blow me away. Just when I think you can’t possibly get any better, you do by being Alex Drake to our TV screens. You honestly KILLED it as Alex Drake & as Spencer Hastings. I can’t think of a single actress that could play Spencer Hastings better than you. Throughout all 7 seasons, the one character that has always been my favorite was Spencer. I love how determined, driven, intelligent and caring she is. I can not possibly thank you enough for making my fall in love with Spencer each and every Tuesday! You not only slay as Spencer but you slay in real life. You are such a role model and such an inspiration. I admire how down to earth you are and how hard you work at your job. You are such a triple threat! Brain, Beauty and Talent. I will ALWAYS continue to support you in all future projects and I will be waiting for the day you win your Oscar, because we all know that you have the talent for it. I LOVE you so so so much!!!! Thank you for being such an inspiration and such an amazing person to look up to. You really are a QUEEN. Everyone, let’s get #proudofTbells trending on Twitter to show our support for this amazing and beautiful women.
I’ve got a bone to pick with people’s interpretation of Lan Fan, specifically of the idea that everything she does is motivated by Ling and that her loosing her arm is just torture porn.
First of all, if you think Lan Fan is solely motivated by protecting Ling, I have no idea what show you watched but it wasnt Brotherhood. Yes she cares about Ling very deeply and yes she’s putting her life on the line from him,but thats because her honour and her entire clan history is based on service and dedication to the Yao clan. Fu does the exact same thing as Lan Fan. He puts his life on the line for Ling and subsequently dies protecting his prince, but I don’t see anyone crying about this being unnecessarily brutual. If you watch the series Lan Fan and Fu are equated as equals with equal responsibility to keep Ling safe. Why? Because its their job. Lan Fan just happens to be a girl who is doing a job that involves serving a noble family.
Secondly, Lan Fan also just happens to be a girl who is hurt in the line of duty and becomes disabled. But guess what? Disabled girls exist. They exist and in some cases become disabled through extreme experiences like Lan Fans. And these girls matter. These stories matter. Yes torture porn is a huge issue in the writing of action oriented series but Lan Fan is not the only character to become disabled through an extreme experience (cough cough Edward Elric, Jean Havoc and Scar all receive extreme bodily injuries over the course of the story) nor is her experience sexualized in any way shape or form. If you think the scene where she’s in the bed and biting on the rag is sexual than you’ve got other issues friend.
But most importantly, Lan Fan isn’t written out. She deals with her injury in a very real, human way. She takes time to heal and comes back to fight out of loyalty not just to her prince and her country, but to her family. Lan Fan isn’t ever defined by her missing limb. She’s a girl who happens to loose an arm and still has a life afterwards. And personally I think something FMAB excels at is the idea that sometimes in life terrible things happen and they leave scars, both physically and mentally. But scars do not define what anyone is capable of nor are they ever seen as making a character weaker. Just look at how autmail is portrayed in the show. Its consistently shown in a positive light as a tool to help disabled characters continue on with their life. Like I said before, disabled characters, specifically disabled girls, are still people. They’re allowed to exist and experience tragedy because guess what?? Disabled girls exist in real life and deserve to have role models like Lan Fan.
I could write a whole different post about why Lan Fan’s fight with Wrath is absolutely brilliant writing and why if you think she lost that fight you’re missing the entire point of her character but I wont
TL;DR Lan Fan is a female character who happens to loose an arm. This doesn’t define her character whatsoever and if you think otherwise idk what show you watched but it wasn’t Brotherhood
Lottie Williams came to attention in 2013 as Curvy Kate’s “Star in a Bra” winner. Modelling here for the same brand she is snapped at a trade show. A heroine, in our book, for bearing her body in such a public arena, Lottie is pleasingly like the rest of us, with her own curves, lumps and bumps. That the bra and knickers she models are somewhat unremarkable is of secondary interest to such a life-affirming role-model.
My story with Ben actually begins a few years before I even knew he existed. So, when I was a freshman in high school, I was struggling to find a career I wanted to pursue in college or what I even wanted to major in. It seemed like everyone around me had found their calling, and I just felt completely lost. Eventually I got interested in a military career and was looking at joining the Coast Guard. One day, I came downstairs and decided to sit with my mom and discuss this option. She immediately started to talk me out of it, saying I would have to leave home, my family, and my friends behind if I joined. She was also extremely nervous that I would die, and I remember telling her that I didn’t care because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself.
In the summer of my freshman year, I decided that I’d rather be a part of the Army. The decision was mostly based on my love of the American Revolution, as I wanted to be a part of America’s first military group and the same group that George Washington commanded (Washington is another huge role model in my life). I kept that decision a secret from my family and friends for almost a year. I was afraid of what my mom would say, and I knew in my heart that my family especially wouldn’t be supportive of me, so I put off telling them for a very long time. And that began my research of the Army. I soon decided that I wanted to join the ROTC in college and become a military intelligence officer. There wasn’t really a big reason behind my decision; I just thought military intelligence looked the coolest, but that decision soon became a blessing.
In my sophomore year of high school, I decided to watch a show on Netflix called Turn. I knew I would like it because it was about the American Revolution (my favorite time period in history) and it was on AMC, which played my favorite show at the time, The Walking Dead. So I knew Turn wouldn’t be bad, and surprise surprise, I loved it, and I started watching season 2 when it premiered on TV. One reason why the show stuck with me so much was that there was a character named Benjamin Tallmadge, who become America’s first military intelligence officer. So from that point on, I became obsessed with learning more about him.
I had spent my whole life growing up without a real role model, someone who I could relate to and look up to, so when I found Ben, it felt like I found my missing piece. If I wanted to be a military intelligence officer in the future, I knew the best place to start was to study another military intelligence officer and learn from his accomplishments and mistakes. I wanted to learn from Ben how to become a strong leader.
In my junior year of high school, it felt like everything in my life was falling apart. I had told my family about my decision to join the Army, and I was correct in the assumption that they didn’t want me to join. The vehemently disagreed with my decision and constantly bullied me and put me down, telling me I’d never make it in the Army. Through all that, it seemed like my only friend was Benjamin Tallmadge. I was still doing my own research on him and trying to follow his example. I had some really dark days where I constantly felt lost and confused, and it felt like no one was there for me.
But the more I learned about Ben, the better I felt, because I just related to him so much. His father didn’t want him to join the Army, which I related to of course because of my mom.
Ben didn’t come from a military family, neither did I.
He constantly wanted to give up whenever he failed as a military intelligence officer, but he never did. He would have low points in his career when he would become angry or feel like all hope was lost, and he would have high points when he succeeded in a mission or got recognition from Washington. And these reasons made me feel like I had found a soulmate in Benjamin Tallmadge. I had so many failures along my journey to join the ROTC, but it always felt like Ben was with me, pushing me to succeed. Nearly every day I’ve talked to him, and I know he’s right there listening to me, trying to help. He makes me feel like anything is possible, because at the end of the day, he was just some teacher from Connecticut who joined the Army with his buddy. He wasn’t the strongest or the bravest, but he kept working hard and eventually won the war for us. What makes his story so powerful to me is that he was just a regular guy. He wasn’t perfect. But over time, he became such an important figure, not just in the Army or in military intelligence, but he was also a great humanitarian.
That’s why he’s my hero both literally and personally. He helped win me my freedom, but he also helped me get where I am today. Today, I’m a freshman in college, about to join the ROTC. I couldn’t be more nervous, but I know through thick and thin, Ben will be there with me, helping me along. He is everything to me and I couldn’t ask for a better guardian angel in my life (because I have mountains of evidence that he is actually haunting me). I could’ve never gotten where I am today without him, and I’ll never stop pursuing my dreams because I know, no matter what, that Ben will help me achieve them.
Happy Independence Day, Ben. America wouldn’t be here today without you.
I don't think Anita Sarkeesian's videos should be treated as an extension of the PMRC mindset. She's pointing out misogynistic tropes in video games, not advocating censorship. I mean hell, she starts her first video in the series saying that even though she's pointing out problematic aspects of games, that doesn't mean those games shouldn't be played or enjoyed. I don't understand why she's getting as much flack as she is.
Anita is getting flack because she’s an ignorant outsider. I’m not even a gamer, and this is apparent to me.
Whether you agree the content Anita showcases is misogynistic, offensive or not, most of her videos function on the same, flawed premise: That the negative gender stereotypes she finds in these games are harmful to the gamers that play them. She argues that these games somehow ingrain negative gender stereotypes in the individuals that play. They hurt women via perpetuating these stereotypes, essentially.
This is pure, unsubstantiated BS. Anita would never fund an actual study with the tens of thousands of dollars she’s raised, because she knows any such study wouldn’t work in her favor. It’s easier to buy a bunch of video games, cherrypick the most offensive parts for ignorant viewers, and then keep the rest of the money for yourself and your organization, right?
You’ve gotta wake up to the truth: Anita’s videos are about as effective and as enlightening as an elementary school screening of Reefer Madness.
Media—especially popular media—reflects already-existing norms, ideas, concepts, and sentiments in a society, it doesn’t dictate them to consumers. Slasher flicks don’t make serial killers. Grand Theft Auto doesn’t increase the probability of shooting sprees. Gangsta rap doesn’t create gangs. The game Bully doesn’t create bullies. Reading 50 Shades of Grey probably doesn’t increase the likelihood of the reader getting tied up and whipped for sexual pleasure either.
If EA Games were to somehow create and sell a video game titled Mysogyny: Women Suck, the only people who would buy and enjoy such a game would be individuals who already agreed with the game’s clearly stated ideology. Anyone else buying and enjoying the game probably just dabbles in whatever fantasy the game presents during gameplay only.
The probability of this game somehow CREATING a misogynist is about as likely as your local library’s copy of Mein Kampf creating a Nazi. Any such result would be minuscule if charted in a study of any sort.
As a kid, teen, and adult, I’ve been exposed to TONS of media that has displayed women as the weaker, more submissive, and more sexually desirable gender. However, this is not something I feel is reality. Why? Strong female role models, good upbringing, friends, family, amazing wife, and plenty of real-life interactions with women. FUCK A VIDEO GAME! A healthy reality ALWAYS trumps a fantasy.
If you really want to change hearts and minds when it comes to gender roles in society, you’ve got to work on changing that society’s reality, not its media—especially media that so explicitly deals in fantasy. I know we tend to blame the media for a lot of our ills, but your real-life interactions and role models play a larger role in guiding your moral and social outlook than any music, movie, game, or book you’ll ever consume.
Anita is on the most foolish of errands, but y’all are eating it up like a hot pizza. Looking for positive gender roles in a game like Hitman is like looking for positive gender roles in any of the three Expendables films. There’s nothing applicable to real life in Hitman because the game’s not meant to guide anyone through real life. It’s a violent video game, not a dating advice show. There aren’t a whole lotta healthy social norms in the game because it’s not meant to portray any sort of normality.
NOW DON’T GET IT TWISTED: I do understand that violent, male-pandering video games persist in the video game industry. They make a lot of money, yes. And I completely acknowledge that a lot of what’s in games like Hitman, Manhunt, and Grand Theft Auto isn’t exactly, uh, healthy when it comes to the gender roles displayed. There’s a definitely a lack of female leading roles in many games, too.
However, it’s not like there aren’t alternatives here. There are plenty of non-violent, positive indie and mainstream games out there that would love more customers. And there could be MORE if we supported this sect of the industry. If Anita really cared about the future of the video game industry in relation to her cause, well, then she’d encourage all of her fans to purchase video games that work outside the negative gender stereotypes and violence of games like Hitman. It’s that simple. Supply and demand might have created Hitman, but it can just as easily create games with positive messages and gender roles, and it already has. You just have to buy them and be willing to support future releases that fit in with your taste.
But Anita is no gamer, and most of her supporters aren’t either. They’re outsiders that want to see change in a market they don’t participate in. Anita’s lack of experience is plain as day, yet, she’s lauded as some kind of expert. What if we applied the same angle to me right here:
Would you take my metal reviews seriously if I owned no metal records? Didn’t listen to metal? Had no real history with metal? Disliked metal? Constantly criticized metal with surface-level complaints like it being too loud, satanic, violent, angry, and perpetuating dangerous, overly masculine gender stereotypes? No, you wouldn’t. No one—except people equally ignorant to metal—would take me seriously. I’d be an ignorant outsider, which Anita is when it comes to gaming.
And I still stand by my PMRC comparison, too. I see similarity in her determination to find social dangers where there really are none. Yeah, Anita has nowhere near the same level of power or political influence, and she probably never will. And she probably won’t try to pull off the same censorship stunts due to the inevitable failure of trying to enforce or legislate any such censorship. It would be more beneficial to her to stay on the sidelines and collect her fundraising bucks as she highlights games she deems misogynistic. I agree America’s got a long way to go when it comes to creating social equality between the genders, but video games are nowhere near the root of the issues we need to address. They’re just an easy target for the quick to complain.
All in all, it’s same shit, different decade. People have been whining and moaning over “harmful” media for generations. And it should be no surprise that those desperately seeking to be offended lose every time. You can be on that side if you want, but just be a good sport when you take your “L”.
I don’t know about y'all, but my favorite thing about country girls is that we’re real. No, we don’t weigh 120 and barely eat. We aren’t stick thin. But we are sexy. We are sexy because we are comfortable in our own skin. We are rough and tumble girls. We drink beer. Enough to be able to keep up with any man. Your friends will love us. Actually, they’re probably mutual friends. We love to play in the mud. Whether we’re in trucks, atv’s, horses, bikes, or even on foot. If there is a mud puddle near by, we’ll find it. We love to be outside. We’re pretty rough around the edges, but there is nothing we love more than sitting with your arms around us at a bonfire with friends. As much as you love to show us off, we love to show you off. The saying “she can go from make-up to mud in 1.5 seconds” can not be more true for country girls. We can easily dress up to a 10 and outsiders will have no idea we are indeed country girls. Our family and religion is everything. We are muddy. We are classy. We drink. We hang with the boys. We drive trucks. We curse like truck drivers. We ride horses. We have fun. We pray no matter where we are. We are loud mouthed. We are the ones little girls look up to. We are strong. We are proud. We aren’t stick thin. We are country girls. And we are the ones real men chase.