NONE OF YOU better sleep on A Wrinkle In Time next year! This is the first time an African American Woman has been in charge of a Live action movie with a budget over 100 million! It’s made several characters from a well known story who were thought to be white Woman of Color, like Mrs Who and Mrs Which, DOCTOR Kate Murry, and her children!
Even if it doesn’t look like your kind of movie or it doesn’t look faithful to the book, please support it and give it a chance! Ava DuVernay is making history, support her and A Wrinkle in Time!
APPROPRIATE TERMS AND WORDS FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
I’ve been asked to compile a list of appropriate terms/words when referring to Indigenous Australians.. So here goes!
As a little bit of back-ground info on us.. Indigenous people in Australia have the longest continuing culture/s in the world. With many different language groups, culture groups, similarities with cultures in certain parts of Africa, Indonesia and nearby countries/nations, Aboriginal Australia is indeed diverse, to say the least.
Terms/words that are appropriate:
Torres Straight Islander person/s
Torres Straight Islander people/s
Native (though it’s not used as much here and more often heard to describe the Indigenous people of America, some will use the word)
Black (yes, we ARE Black.. the white settlers used the term “Blacks” which reduced us down to our skin color.. we’ve reclaimed that word and is often used like “Black-fella”)
ATSI - Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander/s (umbrella term for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island people’s or for shorthand)
Terms/words that are NOT appropriate:
Aborigine/Aborigines (a big no-no and sadly many still use these terms today)
The Aboriginal people
The Torres Straight Islanders
The n word (pretty obvious, really)
Appropriate area-specific terms:
Murri - Qld, north west NSW
Nyoongah - WA
Koori – NSW
Goori - north coast NSW
Koorie - Vic
Yolngu - Arnhem Land
Anangu - Central Australia
Palawa - Tasmania
Ngarrindjeri – SA - River Murray, Lakes, Coorong people
Torres Strait Island Peoples
Murray Island Peoples
Mer Island Peoples
Also, words that are used to describe us as “less-advanced” when compared to European societies, are not acceptable. We are not less-advanced, or less-modern or a “primitive” people - we are just different. As is everyone.
And yet, even while the planet continues to heat up, people still don’t connect the dots. Many people still completely undervalue Indigenous knowledges, in spite of people like award-winning scientist, broadcaster and environmentalist, Dr David Suzuki urging society and our institutions not to. On his last trip here, Suzuki said that “Australia could learn from its Indigenous peoples”. He went on to say: “We need to have a paradigm shift; to me the paradigm shift is that we have to see the world as Indigenous people see it.”
Of course this is something many of our people already know and have always known.
Still the urgency of global warming, and the destruction that capitalism and colonialism has caused our planet, continues to be ignored by Australian governments. This is a worldwide human issue impacting on our children’s right to a future.
My understanding of the Murri perspective of humanity means that country is taken care of, in order to sustain life. I believe this is connected to the fact that many different Indigenous groups across the continent and the world have creation stories that relate directly to land and/or waters which ensures that all land is held sacred in its production of life. This relationship between people and land lays the foundations for the relationship between people. We cannot treat land with disrespect without disrespecting ourselves and each other.
I’ve always had this tendency to apologize for everything—even things that aren’t my fault, things that actually hurt me or were wrongs against me.
It’s become automatic, a compulsion I am constantly fighting. Even more disturbingly, I’ve discovered in conversations with my female friends that I’m not alone in feeling this impulse to be pleasant, to apologize needlessly, to resist showing anger.
After all, if you’re a woman and you demonstrate anger, you’re a bitch, a harpy, a shrew. You’re told to smile more because you will look prettier; you’re told to calm down even when whatever anger or otherwise “unseemly” emotion you’re experiencing is perfectly justified.
If you don’t, no one will like you, and certainly no one will love you.
I’m not sure when this apologetic tendency of mine emerged. Maybe it began during childhood; maybe the influence of social gender expectations had already begun to affect me on a subconscious level. But if I had to guess, I would assume it emerged later, when I became aware through advertisements, media, and various unquantifiable social pressures of what a girl should be—how to act, how to dress, what to say, what emotions are okay and what emotions are not.
Essentially, I became aware of what I should do, as a girl, to be liked, and of how desperate I should be to achieve that state.
Being liked would be the pinnacle of my personal achievement. I could accomplish things, sure—make good grades, go to a good school, have a stellar career. But would I be liked during all of this? That was the important thing.
It angers me that I still struggle with this. It angers me that even though I’m an intelligent, accomplished adult woman, I still experience automatic pangs of inadequacy and shame when I perceive myself to have somehow disappointed these unfair expectations. I can’t always seem to get my emotions under control, and yet I must—because sometimes those emotions are angry or unpleasant or, God forbid, unattractive, and therefore will inconvenience someone or make someone uncomfortable.
Maybe that’s why, in my fiction—both the stories I read and the stories I write—I’ve always gravitated toward what some might call “unlikable” heroines.
It’s difficult to define “unlikability”; the term itself is nebulous. If you asked ten different people to define unlikability, you would probably receive ten different answers. In fact, I hesitated to write this piece simply because art is not a thing that should be quantified, or shoved into “likable” and “unlikable” components.
But then there are those pangs of mine, that urge to apologize for not being the right kind of woman. Insidious expectations lurk out there for our girls—both real and fictional—to be demure and pleasant, to wilt instead of rally, to smile and apologize and hide their anger so they don’t upset the social construct—even when such anger would be expected, excused, even applauded, in their male counterparts.
So for my purposes here, I’ll define a “likable heroine” as one who is unobjectionable. She doesn’t provoke us or challenge our expectations. She is flawed, but not offensively. She doesn’t make us question whether or not we should like her, or what it says about us that we do.
Let me be clear: There is nothing wrong with these “likable” heroines. I can think of plenty such literary heroines whom I adore:
Fire in Kristin Cashore’s Fire. Karou in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Jo March in Little Women. Lizzie Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. The Penderwick sisters in Jeanne Birdsall’s delightful Penderwicks series. Arya (at least, in the early books) in A Song of Ice and Fire. Sarah from A Little Princess. Meg Murry from A Wrinkle in Time. Matilda in Roald Dahl’s classic book of the same name.
These heroines are easy to love and root for. They have our loyalty on the first page, and that never wavers. We expect to like them, for them to be pleasant, and they are. Even their occasional unpleasantness, as in the case of temperamental Jo March, is endearing.
What, then, about the “unlikable” heroines?
These are the “difficult” characters. They demand our love but they won’t make it easy. The unlikable heroine provokes us. She is murky and muddled. We don’t always understand her. She may not flaunt her flaws but she won’t deny them. She experiences moral dilemmas, and most of the time recognizes when she has done something wrong, but in the meantime she will let herself be angry, and it isn’t endearing, cute, or fleeting. It is mighty and it is terrifying. It puts her at odds with her surroundings, and it isn’t always easy for readers to swallow.
She isn’t always courageous. She may not be conventionally strong; her strength may be difficult to see. She doesn’t always stand up for herself, or for what is right. She is not always nice. She is a hellion, a harpy, a bitch, a shrew, a whiner, a crybaby, a coward. She lies even to herself.
In other words, she fails to walk the fine line we have drawn for our heroines, the narrow parameters in which a heroine must exist to achieve that elusive “likability”:
Nice, but not too nice.
Badass, but not too badass, because that’s threatening.
Strong, but ultimately pliable.
(And, I would add, these parameters seldom exist for heroes, who enjoy the limitless freedoms of full personhood, flaws and all, for which they are seldom deemed “unlikable” but rather lauded.)
Who is this “unlikable” heroine?
She is Amy March from Little Women. She is Briony from Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Katsa from Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse. Sansa from A Song of Ice and Fire. Mary from The Secret Garden. She is Philip Pullman’s Lyra, and C. S. Lewis’s Susan, and Rowling’s first-year Hermione Granger. She is Katniss Everdeen. She is Scarlett O’Hara.
These characters fascinate me. They are arrogant and violent, reckless and selfish. They are liars and they are resentful and they are brash. They are shallow, not always kind. They may be aggressive, or not aggressive enough; the parameters in which a female character can acceptably display strength are broadening, but still dishearteningly narrow. I admire how the above characters embrace such “unbecoming” traits (traits, I must point out, that would not be noteworthy in a man; they would simply be accepted as part of who he is, no questions asked).
These characters learn from their mistakes, and they grow and change, but at the end of the day, they can look at themselves in the mirror and proclaim, “Here I am. This is me. You may not always like me—I may not always like me—but I will not be someone else because you say I should be. I will not lose myself to your expectations. I will not become someone else just to be liked.”
When I wrote my first novel, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, I knew some readers would have a hard time stomaching the character of Victoria. She is selfish, arrogant, judgmental, rigid, and sometimes cruel. Even at the end of the novel, by which point she has evolved tremendously, she isn’t particularly likable, if we go with the above definition.
I had similar concerns about the heroine of my second novel, The Year of Shadows. Olivia Stellatella is a moody twelve-year-old who isolates herself from her peers at school, from her father, from everything that could hurt her. Her circumstances at the beginning of the novel are inarguably terrible: Her mother abandoned their family several months prior, with no explanation. Her father conducts the city orchestra, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. He neglects his daughter in favor of saving his livelihood. He sells their house and moves them into the symphony hall’s storage rooms, where Olivia sleeps on a cot and lives out of a suitcase. She calls him The Maestro, refusing to call him Dad. She hates him. She blames him for her mother leaving.
Olivia is angry and confused. She is sarcastic, disrespectful, and she tells her father exactly what she thinks of him. She lashes out at everyone, even the people who want to help her. Sometimes her anger blinds her, and she must learn how to recognize that.
I knew Olivia’s anger would be hard for some readers to understand, or that they would understand but still not like her.
This frightened me.
As a new author, the prospect of writing these heroines—these selfish, angry, difficult heroines—was a daunting one. What if no one liked them? What if, by extension, no one liked me?
But I’ve allowed the desire to be liked thwart me too many times. The fact that I nearly let my fear discourage me from telling the stories of these two “unlikable” girls showed me just how important it was to tell their stories.
I know my friends and I aren’t the only women who feel that constant urge to apologize, to demur, to rein in anger and mutate it into something more socially acceptable.
I know there are girls out there who, like me at age twelve—like Olivia, like Victoria—are angry or arrogant or confused, and don’t know how to handle it. They see likable girls everywhere—on the television, in movies, in books—and they accordingly paste on strained smiles and feel ashamed of their unladylike grumpiness and ambition, their unseemly aggression.
I want these girls to read about Victoria and Olivia—and Scarlett, Amy, Lyra, Briony—and realize there is more to being a girl than being liked. There is more to womanhood than smiling and apologizing and hiding those darker emotions.
I want them to sift through the vast sea of likable heroines in their libraries and find more heroines who are not always happy, not always pleasant, not always good. Heroines who make terrible decisions. Heroines who are hungry and ambitious, petty and vengeful, cowardly and callous and selfish and gullible and unabashedly sensual and hateful and cunning. Heroines who don’t always act particularly heroic, and don’t feel the need to, and still accept themselves at the end of the day regardless.
Maybe the more we write about heroines like this, the less susceptible our girl readers will be to the culture of apology that surrounds them.
Maybe they will grow up to be stronger than we are, more confident than we are. Maybe they will grow up in a world brimming with increasingly complex ideas about what it means to be a heroine, a woman, a person.
Maybe they will be “unlikable” and never even think of apologizing for it.
The Midheaven (MC) is commonly thought to describe one’s career path. Although this is a decent indicator of one’s overall path, it can be hard to relate to a specific career so early in one’s life. So, if you don’t relate to your Midheaven like, “Oh, you have a MC in Aries, so you’re probably going to be a police officer, solider, or athlete" then maybe try thinking of the Midheaven as how you will be remembered or what you are generally associated with. (Always trust your dominant sign to describe you the most- *a post similar to this coming soon) ✨No matter what career you decide, you will be remembered by your peers, co-workers, friends, and family by traits from the sign, aspects*, and planets* bestowed upon your 10th House.✨
♈ Aries MC: will be remembered for their courage, boldness, intimidating/unsettling nature, and/or originality. (ex. Stephen King, Meryl Streep, Kanye West, Joan of Arc, Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, Madalyn Murry O'Hair, Pablo Picasso, Rachel Maddow, Will Smith, Franz Kafka, Tyra Banks, Aleister Crowley, Tina Fey, Francisco de Goya, Julia Roberts, Chris Farley, Joseph Goebbels, Marvin Gaye, Iggy Pop, Kate Moss, Alfred Hitchcock, George Wallace, Hank Williams, Ayn Rand, Rob Zombie, Alexandre Dumas, John Steinbeck, Anne Frank, Twiggy, Jack Black, William Blake, Celine Dion, Galileo Galilei, Al Gore, Emmylou Harris, Las Vegas-Nevada, Manhattan-New York)
♉ Taurus MC: will be remembered for their extravagant style or possessions, their values, and/or “diva” attitude. (ex. Henry VIII, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Tina Turner, Pope Francis, Jackie Robinson, Selena Gomez, Drake, Donald Trump, Freddie Mercury, Agatha Christie, Muhammad Ali, Frida Kahlo, O. J. Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Marlene Dietrich, Malala Yousafzai, Christopher Columbus, Michael Bay, Luciano Pavarotti, Nicole Richie, Woody Allen, Marilyn Manson, Maya Angelou, Martin Scorsese, Bernie Madoff, Ringo, Josephine Baker, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Palin, Josh Groban, Chris Brown, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Norway)
♊ Gemini MC: will be remembered for/through words (writing, phrase, acting, thoughts, speech), their cleverness, and/or mental/emotional detachment. (ex. Jean-Jaques Rousseau, Albert Camus, Madonna, J.R.R. Tolkein, Donna Summer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Chelsea Handler, Alex Trebek, Kurt Cobain, Julie Andrews, Oscar Wilde, Jay-Z, Richard Nixon, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Tom Hanks, Kris Jenner, Walt Disney, Miss Cleo, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Hugh Hefner, Lizzie Borden, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Kathy Bates, Winston Churchill, Melissa Ethridge, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Mitchell, Paul Simon, Greece, Tokyo-Japan)
♋ Cancer MC: will be remembered for their emotional impact, sensitivity, and/or parental care/control. (ex. Beyoncé, Matamha Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Venus Williams, Britney Spears, Arthur Rimbaud, Elizabeth Warren, Denzel Washington, Jeffery Dahmer, Sun Yet-sen, Bob Hope, Stevie Wonder, Anderson Cooper, Cat Stevens, Anna Nicole Smith, Joe Jonas, Rock Hudson, Alice Cooper, Woodrow Wilson, Barbara Walters, T. S. Elliot, Coretta Scott King, Albert Schweitzer, Ted Cruz, Monica Lewinsky, H.P. Lovecraft, Anaïs Nin, Katie Couric, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Harper Lee, Giacomo Puccini, Sidney Poitier, September 11 attacks, United Kingdom)
♌ Leo MC: will be remembered for their theatrics, arrogance/vanity, power, and/or regality. (ex. Grace Kelly, Prince, Isaac Newton, Adolf Hitler, Katy Perry, Charlie Chaplin, Aretha Franklin, Sigmund Freud, Jacqueline Onassis-Kennedy, Stanley Kubrick, Courtney Love, Mark Twain, Chaka Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, Kathy Griffin, Jim Carrey, Alfred Nobel, Eric Clapton, Annie Oakley, Martha Stewart, Divine, Louis Pasteur, Robin Williams, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Chuck Berry, Vladimir Putin, Clint Eastwood, Missy Elliot, Frank Sinatra, Mel B, Edgar Allan Poe, Los Angeles-CA)
♍ Virgo MC: will be remembered for their scandals/controversy, never-ending toil, physicality/health and/or attention to detail. (ex. Hillary Clinton, Bruce Lee, Kim Kardashian, Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Pitt, Nelson Mandela, Bette Davis, Justin Bieber, Elvis Presley, Erykah Badu, Jimmy Page, Eartha Kitt, Leonardo de Vinci, Bob Marley, Joan Crawford, Margaret Thatcher, Eminem, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Lynch, Chaz Bono, Marlon Brando, Björk, Ozzy Osborne, Emily Brontë, Bernie Sanders, Georgia O'Keeffe, Diana Ross, Kahlil Gibran, Russia, United States)
♎ Libra MC: will be remembered for their inner/outer beauty, adaptability, and/or desire for or appearance of stability. (ex. Elton John, Jane Goodall, Malcolm X, Coco Channel, Kylie Jenner, Ronald Reagan, Princess Diana, Michelangelo, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Dylan, Winona Ryder, Jimi Hendrix, Mother Teresa, Elizabeth Taylor, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angela Merkel, Tom Brokaw, Alan Watts, Charles Darwin, Brigitte Bardot, Patti Smith, Chuck Norris, Linda Lovelace, Ray Charles, Lionel Messi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lewis Carroll, Noam Chomsky, Lucille Ball, Venice-Italy)
♏ Scorpio MC: will be remembered for their physical attractiveness, taboo activities/topics, and/or natural talent. (ex. James Joyce, Billie Holiday, Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, Carrie Fisher, Jim Morrison, Selena, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Queen Elizabeth II, Ariana Grande, Marie Curie, Anthony Hopkins, René Descartes, Nina Simone, Willem Dafoe, Paul Newman, Mariska Hargitay, Thomas Jefferson, Ray Bradbury, Joseph Stalin, Larry King, Duke Ellington, Joan Jett, Buddy Holly, Megan Fox, Johnny Knoxville, Daniel Day-Lewis, Gwen Stefani, Francis Ford Coppola, Sophia Loren, Marcus Aurelius, China)
♐ Sagittarius MC: will be remembered for their joviality, reckless/wild free spirit, sense of humor, and/or philosophy/spirituality. (ex. Al Capone, Deepok Chopra, Shia LaBeouf, Audrey Hepburn, Harvey Milk, Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Bettie Page, Pablo Neruda, J. K. Rowling, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, Henry David Thoreau, Adele, Janis Joplin, Maximilien Robespierre, Ellen Pompeo, Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney, Evel Knievel, Bruno Mars, Jimmy Fallon, Peggy Lipton, Karl Marx, George Takei, Ryan Gosling, Whoopi Goldberg, Vincent Price, Rio de Janeiro-Brazil)
♑ Capricorn MC: will be remembered for their accomplishments/legacy, conquering of odds, and/or persistence. (ex. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Rihanna, Isadora Duncan, Benjamin Franklin, James Dean, Nikola Tesla, John D. Rockefeller, Serena Williams, Joan Baez, Snoop Dogg, Alexander the Great, Barbara Streisand, Ron Howard, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, Joan Rivers, Immanuel Kant, Queen Latifah, Johann Sebastian Bach, Walt Whitman, Che Guevara, Liza Minnelli, Amelia Earhart, Mariah Carey, John Lennon, George Lucas, Donatella Versace, Louis Armstrong, Pakistan)
♒ Aquarius MC: will be remembered for their rebellious nature, involvement in a social organization/group, and/or unpredictability. (ex. Miley Cyrus, Tim Burton, Voltaire, Mick Jagger, Carl Sagan, Rita Hayworth, Neil Armstrong, Amy Winehouse, Pamela Anderson, Carlos Santana, Edward Snowden, Leo Tolstoy, Mae West, Orson Welles, Charlie Sheen, Eva Peron, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Johann Kepler, Suddam Hussein, Ruby Rose, Gerard Way, Helen Mirren, Howard Stern, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, George R. R. Martin, Kristen Stewart, Jean Piaget, Ronda Rousey, Willow Smith, Florida, India)
♓ Pisces MC: will be remembered for their delusional optimism, supernatural success, and/or they are often idolized. (ex. Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein, Irene Cara, Cher, Salvador Dalí, William Shakespeare, Edie Sedgwick, Fidel Castro, Lady Gaga, Dalai Lama XIV, Steven Spielberg, George Michael, Marie Antoinette, RuPaul, Judy Garland, Michael Phelps, Sally Ride, John Cena, William Faulkner, Victoria Beckham, Lee Harvey Oswald, Douglas Adams, Jean Renoir, Buzz Aldrin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Farrah Fawcett, Osama bin Laden, Sam Cooke, Michael Jordan, Switzerland, North Korea)