Awesome Angry Fairy Princess

One reason why I love Strange Magic is that Marianne is allowed to be ANGRY. I’m not referring to her facial expression, not that that isn’t awesome, too.

Roland betrayed her, and even when her father sides with that ass, she refuses to swallow the shit Roland’s trying to hand her and smile and give him another chance like a “good girl” should, but kicks his ass instead. The “Stronger” scene is where I fell in love with the movie, and it’s still one of my favourite parts.

Instead of absorbing abuse and making herself as small and accomodating to others as possible, she respects herself and takes care of herself.

And while the movie goes on to show that isolating herself completely is harmful and opening up to someone who deserves this trust is a good thing, I never had the impression it tried to paint her initial reaction as wrong — I read it so that she needed the time and focus on herself to heal.

There is so much pressure on girls and women to neglect their own needs and feelings and “be nice” and “just give him a chance”, and stories that treat female characters as things and trophies where of course the guy who wants a certain gal gets her in the end, Strange Magic was for me a very needed breath of fresh air.

(This is likely to get me into even more trouble, but whatever - the new Buckleming episode airs this week, so I’m guessing we’ll have worse problems by Friday.) 

So, my dash seems to be split between pro-Mary and anti-Mary people, and the debate is getting pretty intense and occasionally awful. And I just wanted to say that yes, it’s probably true we hold women (and especially mothers) to different standards of behaviour, and I’m sure there are some overt or subconscious sexist components in our dislike, or even outrage, in some cases, of her actions this past week, but also - to me, the problem is that Mary started out in a good place and is now going downwards, if that makes sense. Like, Crowley - Crowley is fascinating in and of himself, but one big reason I feel so sympathetic towards him right now is because he started out as a selfish, even cruel villain and he’s experiencing an upward arc towards understanding and helping other people. And this is a popular trope and all, but it’s popular for a reason: because it gives us a sense of satisfaction to see someone become a better person.

(Also because two thirds of Western culture are basically Christianity, which is the poster boy of the Redemption Arc, so we’re probably pre-programmed to like this from birth, but whatever. It still makes for a good story)

Now, Mary - Mary started in the best possible place, that of the Innocent Murder Victim who, on top of everything else, was a Mother and Beautiful and Trying to Save Her Baby Boy - Jesus, there’s not much that will give you more points than all that. So it’s not surprising, really, that her arc must be downward, because how the hell would have she been able to go higher that actual martyrdom? So her having trouble connecting with her kids, her being secretive and skulking about and making deals with unsavoury characters - of course it’s nothing different or worse from what every single person on Supernatural has done for the past twelve seasons - the problem is not in the actions themselves, but in where they are in her character’s arc. That’s why, I think, we perceive her behaviour as less forgivable - not (only) sexism.  

The advent of capitalism created “the economy” as a seperate sphere, disconnected from other aspects of life. In a massive wave of expropriation, millions of peasants were forced off their lands and made to work in factories that were located somewhere other than where they lives, thereby creating the now common distinction between the workplace and the home. The new system created a new form of gender relationships - while it was the men who went to earn the wage, women were supposed to stay in the home, look after the kids and provide the necessary regeneration for the working male so he could turn up for work the next day. 

Of course this gendered allocation was always a more ideological than actually existing one - just as today women still have to flock into the factories by the thousands. As an ideology, however, it was powerful enough to create the binary, heterosexual gender system as we know it today: the world of wage labor required individuals who were rational, calculating, aggressive and competitive. The world of the home needed to be populated by people who would be gentle, managable, emotionally supportive and nurturing.

Nurturing that is necessary to continually reproduce labor power, can not be organized in market relations. Consequently all that can not be expressed in terms of ‘value’ becomes literally 'devalued’ and feminized. 

Some feminists saw the exclusion of women from the “male” sphere of wage labor and commodity exchange as the core problem. Others condemned capitalism as an inherently male project and called for a a revaluing of female emotional labor. Both traditions, while offering important insights into the gendered nature of economic practice, do not challenge the very distinction between 'male’ commodity exchange and 'female’ economies of giving and the persistent hierarchy between the two.

The heterosexual binary is built into the capitalist ecomony to such a degree that it is impossible to overcome without overcoming capitalism itself. The gendered division of labor is not so much an extension of patriarchy into capitalism but rather a genuine product of it. Capitalism creates the modern notion of 'masculine’ and ’ feminine’.

—  Stephanie Grohmann - Queering the Economy. In: Queering Anarchism (2012) 140-145.
On Asian Women and On-Stage Sexism

(this is long, oops. If you want it shortened I can always do so.)

Hey, so I asked about submissions on intersectionality about a month ago. Here’s just some of my experience, and I wanted to share it with everyone!

I’m a school aged girl who happens to be Asian (not at all pale or white-passing) and plays the violin in a few youth orchestras. One of the most FRUSTRATING parts of doing so is because of consistent put downs in my community.

One of the best violinists in our state is a Chinese girl (who’s name will be redacted, let’s call her C for now). C has been playing since she was three years old and her mom is a violin teacher, so it makes sense she’s an absolute expert at what she does. Everyone knows she’s the best, but at the same talks bad about her and people like her. Principal bassist in the highest level youth orchestra is Asian as well, and so is our principal cellist. C’s twin sister is principal violist, and a Filipino girl plays principal violist in the youth orchestras for middle schoolers. I’m proud and excited to have so much members of the Asian community to flourish and be in such high positions! But, everyone else isn’t.

Everyone is familiar with the stereotype that all Asian kids are nerdy geniuses that are musical prodigies. But here, it’s so bad. I’m not too good, I can call myself decent but I love what I do and want to keep working on it. But because of people like me in positions such as, there are stereotypes.

When I do well (first seat in my school orchestra whoo), everyone dismisses me as “of course you did well, you’re Asian”. When I fail, everyone doesn’t hesitate to say “oh come on, you’re Chinese”. You can’t win, whether in last seat or first your race will be used against you. Not to mention you’re a girl, so that means you’ll also face the backlash that “the conductor put you there because you’re a girl and they felt sorry for you” or the dreaded “you’re not good enough because you’re a girl”.

That’s the problem, being an Asian person (with the added female trait), is exactly like a balancing act. Do they want me to do good or not? You can’t be too much or too little, because they’ll hate you either way.

Sexist Studio

A fellow member of my cello studio was not wearing any makeup while performing for the class. This girl typically wears fairly elaborate makeup, but is exhausted seeing as she’s stressed, busy, and it’s very close to finals. Before she played, our teacher went on this rant about how pretty she looked and how women look so much better without makeup and just shouldn’t wear any.
I was so angry and embarrassed.
Men look so much prettier when they refrain from making comments on a woman’s makeup choices.

When I joined my school’s band, the other tubist (your stereotypical big guy tuba player) was quite convinced I couldn’t lift the tuba on my own for the first month or so. Due to the stress of joining band and playing with an ensemble for the first time, I couldn’t play correctly, and he’s assumed since I’m not capable of playing at all.

I really want to switch to trumpet.


So I study vocal performance at an HBCU. We already experience enough crap because we’re a black institution (even though we have one of the best music programs for a public university,) but I won’t get into that.

However there is a vocal coach at my school who is very “old fashioned” about how women should act or look-both on and off the stage. She’s always making comments on weight. And you know how college students roll up in class with sweatpants and a hoodie? Yeah well nice professional girls should never do that ever. You should always be in heels and wearing full face makeup.
In fact the whole makeup thing goes across the entire music department. I hate wearing it because it seriously irritates my skin. Also the cosmetic industry was not made for black people. End of story. I still can’t find a foundation that works for me.
I went on a tangent. The big problem is that when you’re a classical singer, your appearance actually matters almost as much as your talent and it really sucks.

I also play trombone, and it goes annoying when people are surprised when I tell them that.
I mean, what else would I play? What did you expect me to play?


Utah high school forced female students to go on a date with a boy — and follow a list of sexist advice

  • Jen Oxborrow, the parent of an 11th grade honor student at Highland High School, said her daughter Lucy Mulligan received the mandatory homework assignment to “go on a date!” with a boy. 
  • On Monday, Oxborrow posted a screenshot of the handout the teacher distributed to female students, which lists some truly antiquated advice.
  • Some pointers on the pink worksheet include “don’t waste his money,” “be feminine and ladylike, don’t use vulgar language or swear” and “have a sense of humor.”
  • In an evergreen double standard, girls are also advised not to “worry about [their] appearance on the whole date” just before they’re reminded to “dress appropriately.”
  • The boys’ equivalent wasn’t much better, suggesting they bring their date flowers, open doors for her and “have her home on time." 
  • According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the assignment was part of the school’s state-mandated "Adult Roles and Financial Literacy” class. Read more

Women’s March on Washington | January 21st, 2017 — Some of my favorite photos I took.

(please do not remove this caption)