sexism right in your face world

To the woman in the grocery store who came over to my wife while I was with my kids:

I would like to apologize.

You grinned, pointed at me and asked my wife, “Did you know you have three kids?” I stood there completely dumbfounded by the question and didn’t even have the courtesy to respond to your patronizing words.

I would like to take a minute and share my thoughts.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I love my kids but don’t consider myself one. I’m sorry you can’t tell the difference between having a good time with your kids and being immature. I’m sorry if you think men are irresponsible or babysitters but that’s an outdated way of thinking. More than anything, I’m sorry for the men in your life who’ve convinced you of this idea.

I’ve been writing about fatherhood for over five years now. I’ve made a living out of it, with articles on websites like Fast Company, Buzzfeed, Babble, Babycenter, Huff Post, but I couldn’t string the right words together to correct your antiquated thinking. I’ve spoken at the White House about how fathers strip away gender bias and are great partners in fighting systemic sexism. I’ve become friends with thousands of fathers who do an even better job at speaking about their lives or their work evolving the face of men caring for their children.

But all of this work hasn’t made my job as a dad any easier. If anything, it’s made it more complex. I’m examining my life, paying attention to doing it right. It’s a weekly exercise in being honest with myself and about the world that my children face.

So, I’m sorry if making my kids laugh in a public place warrants a snarky remark, but I need to teach them adults need some levity as the world faces some of its toughest battles ahead.

I plan to keep laughing with them for as long as I live.

anonymous asked:

Do you know why Martha Jones and Tara Thornton seems to be so hated in both fandoms? Did they do something that I didn't know about? Like where they evil people or did they betray the main character or something? Just please don't tell me it's because they are both black women. It will break my heart to know that most of the women I can identify with as a black woman will always be some of the most hated in fandom

I honestly don’t know what to tell you. I love both of these characters. And sadly, there are a lot of racists out there in every fandom. I am truly unqualified to address that. Except to say: I wish I could reassure you that race had nothing to do with it. But we both know it does. In a very big way. 

Judging by the complaints against them, there is definitely a uniting theme:

They are disliked because they are open with what they feel. Because they are vocal in their expressions of those feelings. Because they are unapologetic about it. They are women (a disadvantaged position to begin with), they are black women (which means they are doubly so), and they refuse to fit into the spots allotted to them by the deeply ingrained stereotypes. It makes a lot of people angry.

Of course those are not the reasons they’d give you if you asked. They will recite a laundry list of whys and thereofs, but they would be lying. I have yet to see a single reason advanced for hating Tara or Martha that isn’t, when you come down to it, deeply rooted in either sexism or racism or both.

There are differences, of course, because Tara and Martha are different characters, coming from different backgrounds. Tara is poor, she is from a small town, and she is in your face outspoken. That just triggers all sorts of hate. “She is too angry” is the most common complaint. As if her anger was a nuisance instead of completely justified, warranted reaction to the world around her. As if a woman, especially a woman in her position, did not have a right to anger. As if she had to be polite about it. Or nice about it. You know, sure, Tara, you are being shat on, but could you be a little quieter and more demure about your objections to it? We would like you so much better if you just wrap your anger into some arbitrary socially-acceptable form. 

Martha is from a well-off family, she is highly educated, a future doctor, and she is very polite. She almost never shouts, her reactions are measured, and she is socially accepted. And the racist reaction to her is harder to spot, because it’s seldom as overt as what’s aimed at Tara. But see, Martha committed a cardinal sin of falling in love with the Doctor. And that is a big “no.” Generally speaking, it’s a big no for any female character from the certain contingent of emotionally stunted fanboys, but it’s especially a “no” for a black woman. 

I’ve seen “she is just a tag-along,” “she is clingy” (this is aimed at Rose, as well), “she is only interested in what the Doctor can give her…” All manner of nonsense that is, of course, completely not supported by canon, but also is very indicative of the underlying notion. The notion that a female character who dares to aspire to something, anything, that is considered out of her reach, is going to be vilified. And if it’s a POC female? God help her. 

And God help her if she fights for it. Or if she stands up for herself. 

Of course some just hated her because Rose just left and anyone in Martha’s place would have gotten the same reaction from them. But those people concern me less. And many of them grew to like Martha as the time progressed. 

***

(cont.): I asked about Martha and Tara because coming to your blog..you seem to like both of them very much. Which is a big contrast to what I see in the fandom as a whole

Thank you. And yeah … I am lucky that I follow people who love these characters, too. But I am not blind to the hatred, and it saddens me. And scares me, too, for the larger implications that it has. 

Imagine telling Tauriel about the sexism in your world, making her enraged and concerned enough to teach you how to fight.

writer-of-bagend 

warnings: mentions of sexism, some minor cursing

You and Tauriel lounged in your quarters after a long day of work, chatting amicably and occasionally complaining about the difficulty of your jobs. Tauriel rested her bare feet on your lap while you leaned against your sofa, nodding occasionally as she told you of her day. After you had been transported to Middle Earth, you and Tauriel had grown very close with one another. You found comfort in the elf, though she had intimidated you at first when she had saved you from that horrible spider.

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