the women are the strong ones truly

It was just beautiful singing with her, because she has a beautiful, strong voice and an amazing soul. I was honored and it was a blessing to be up there with her. I’ve always been a fan. I’ve always loved and truly, truly respect Taylor Swift as a woman, as a businesswoman, and as an artist. So I immediately said yes because I just love her that much. Taylor has great, relatable lyrics. And she is a great businesswomen and she’s a great example for a lot of women — young women and older women — to follow. Her music speaks for itself. And that’s one of the reasons why I loved the opportunity of being on the stage with her tonight, because I respect real artists, and she’s a real artist. The song ‘Doubt’ is a song that I truly love and means so much to me, and as you could see tonight, it means so much to her. So I asked her if she could sing it with me, and she said yes. And then of course ‘Family Affair,’ she wanted me to perform that. And I said, ‘Just sing all the songs with me tonight—let’s just make it a duet night.’
—  Mary J. Blige on performing ‘Doubt’ and ‘Family Affair’ with Taylor Swift 08/22/15 (x)
The Hurt Sherlocker.

This Molly slapping Sherlock thing. Ooooh, everyone’s so delighted it happened!  Molly’s finally gotten strong!  She’s standing up to Sherlock!  I even read one comment that said something to the effect of - I don’t truly understand why she did it but it’s wonderful that she did, I really enjoyed it.  It’s about time. 

About time for what?  About time that Sherlock was punished for being unpleasant?  Or about time that Molly demonstrates what seems to be the new trend of “strength” in women - the ability to commit violence, just like men.  If a woman can slap someone, brutally, three times, in the face, she’s “badass."  If she were a man, she’d be abusive, but I guess that’s kind of the point.  Men have abused women for so long that if a woman can abuse a man right back, that makes her strong.  Wait, what?

Just like Mary being a killer for hire makes her UBER-badass, sexy, a strong woman, complex and compelling.  Listen, as someone who has lost a loved one to a murderer, I can tell you with authority that all it makes her is beneath contempt.  Lower than shit.  But again, a woman’s capacity to wreak violence is suddenly a beautiful thing.  It’s Trending on Tumblr.  Weird.

Well, Sherlock DESERVED IT you say, throwing away the beautiful gifts he was born with.  But does anyone else have the right to tell us what we should do with our beautiful gifts?  SHOULD they have the right?  Sherlock has spent his whole life agonizing with those "beautiful” gifts.  They’ve brought him a lot of grief.  He struggled to find a way to use those gifts in a way that would allow him to live with them, but nobody helped him do that.  Should he be beholden to anyone else as to how he uses them? 

Ok then, he deserved it for “betraying the love” of his friends.  Well, it seems to me that the love of his friends is pretty thin on the ground for Sherlock this season.  John wants excitement, but he’s not willing to turn to Sherlock for it now.  Before, John would have just gone on a case with Sherlock, but John himself says, after the wedding. “I’ve not seen him in ages."  And, remember, Sherlock gave Molly a go at replacing John, but she didn’t want the gig.  So he’s alone again, back where he was before John, doing The Work by himself. 

See, everyone else seems to think that Sherlock just accepts the abuse because he knows he’s in the wrong, but I have a totally different read on it.  I think he just stands there and takes it because he’s back where he was before, trying to do The Work by himself. He’s doing it according to his own rules.  Is he high?  Yes.  But he’s pretty controlled about it.  I don’t think he’s using recreationally, he’s using FOR EFFECT.  And he’s a chemist, he knows how to do that.  But of course, everyone around is yarping on about politically correct claptrap, and he’s just standing there and letting them get on with it until they let him go so he can get back to what he was doing.  They won’t actually help him do The Work, but they’re always whining on about HOW he should be doing it.  Stupid and boring. 

And there’s a little bit of something else in there too.  Molly helped Sherlock with The Fall, so she has some proprietary interest in him.  Fair enough, she gets one slap.  One.  But three?  Seems to me that’s overkill.  There’s a little edge of hysteria creeping in there.  Molly is obviously frustrated with Sherlock, but I feel it’s less to do with his wasting his beautiful gifts and more about Molly’s inability to get over him, no matter how hard she tries.  I think Sherlock feels that too, because she tells him to say he’s sorry, but what he DOES say, wryly, is, "I’m sorry you’re not engaged any more.”

Maybe he feels, like I do, that by slapping him, Molly is displaying her weakness, not her strength.  She’ll never be her own person until she gets over Sherlock.  Maybe SHE’S the one who should be slapped a bit.  Knock some sense into her.

Bet John would like to slap to Mary, too.  If he attacked Sherlock THREE TIMES for lying to him, you’d think he’d at least like one go at Mary.  But he can’t, of course, because she’s a woman.  Oh, but wait!!!  Mary has a long history of cold-blooded, ruthless violence!  That makes her John’s equal!  She’s a strong character!  She should be able to engage in a full-blown knock-down drag-out fight, let alone be slapped a bit.  Oh, but she’s pregnant …

Sorry, then, as you were.  Back to beating up on Sherlock.  But why??  Is it because we both love and hate beautiful people?  We love them in that we idolize them, and advantage them.  But we hate them, too, don’t we, we want to drag them down and punish them for the beautiful gifts they were born with.  Especially if, like Sherlock, they’re doubly-blessed with both brains AND beauty.  (Not to mention that voice!) 

We’re horrified that Sherlock uses Janine, but when John proves he has no more idea about who his girlfriends are as people than Sherlock does (in Belgravia, when he stands his gf up because he has to babysit Sherlock and says he’ll make it up to her by walking her dog, but wait, sorry, she doesn’t have a dog, it was THE OTHER ONE!!), well, that’s not disgusting, that’s just funny. 

Let’s give Sherlock a bloody break! This season he’s been tortured by the baddies, slapped by Molly, strangled, punched and head-butted by John and shot by Mary.  He’s laid his soul bare in front of a room full of wedding-guests and exposed all the humble feelings of a “ridiculous man”. He’s had no one to dance with, no one to work with and no one to share takeout with.  He’s become human and now has all these emotions  that are eroding the beautiful gifts that he was born with, in exactly the same way that cocaine does, but no one’s worried about THAT.  And all this has availed him is exactly NOTHING.  He’s even more alone than he ever was.

So let’s get off his back, ok?  He’s had way, way more to contend with this season than one person can comfortably handle.  He should be praised, not brutalized. Sherlock deserves some love!

my favourite thing about the unbuttoned purple shirt is that it’s held together between buttons by like a fucking pin. like i am imagining this character going “okay i specifically want to reveal 2.5 inches of cleavage hee hee” and pinning it at that exact spot in a very deliberate display of sexiness


the women are the strong ones, truly. || here’s to the girls who are heroes, to those who are villains, and everything in between. here’s to the girls who get back up, and here’s to the girls we’ve lost. here’s to the girls who just want to be loved, and here’s to the girls who don’t. here’s to the queens, and here’s to the warriors. here’s to the girls that are human. (except a.l.i.e she’s a computer programme but whatever)


It’s the end of the year, and with Droughtlander upon us, I decided to go back and rewatch all sixteen episodes of Outlander and pick and choose which moments I decided were the best. Claire is a complex character, both strong and vulnerable, both impulsive and patient. She gets shit done, and she is honestly one of the best female characters ever created. Many props to Diana Gabaldon for creating such an awesome, realistic, complex woman that women of all ages can relate to in one way or another. And so here are my top ten moments of Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser.

#10 - “You have strong fingers.” The Way Out, S1E03

I have to say this was the pivotal moment where the friendship between Jamie and Claire was well and truly established. When she asks if he’s got strong fingers and then they both set about rescuing the boy from the pillory, it always makes me grin. Especially the part where she feigns a faint and then Jamie says she faints at the sight of blood. It has to be the oldest trick in the book, though, considering the time travel, maybe the diversion is the newest trick in the book? Either way, it is one of my favorite moments of the entire series and always makes me giggle.

#9 - “Not a Wet Nurse.” Sassenach, S1E01

By far one of the humorous scenes. Back in the day, the only nurses anyone knew anything about were the wet kind, so that moment when she’s putting Jamie’s shoulder back in place and says she’s a nurse, his eyes go straight to her boobage and she’s all aghast about it. Honestly, if not for the situation, I think she would of slapped him. And it would of been a well deserved slap.

#8 - “Oh Fuck” The Search, S1E14

Nothing quite encapsulated the moment so well when Claire was forced to literally sing for her supper, or at least information. She and Murtagh are scouring the highlands for Jamie Fraser and part of doing so means putting on singing shows. And so, Claire’s first show to a rowdy bunch of drunks in a tavern is quickly started off with the exclamation. Brilliant and funny.

#7 - The Dagger to the Throat, The Reckoning, S1E09

After the six month break between episodes eight and nine, nine came in with a huge bang. And by bang, I mean Jamie slamming that window open and pointing that pistol at the sorry bastard BJR. Now the reckoning, was actually my favorite episode of the entire season and there are two moments on this list. This is the first one. After all the fighting, and back and forth between them, Claire and Jamie have some good ole fashioned make up sex, you know, the best kind there is and while she is on top, laying it on him thick, she takes his weapon, puts it to his throat and makes him swear to never lay a hand on her again. It’s also a sex scene where she is most definitely in control of him and she lets him know it too. Considering the fact that he’d tanned her hide earlier, getting fucked while subsequently being told if he ever hit her again, he’d have his heart cut out and she’d eat it for breakfast, is probably enough for a man to get the picture. She was the boss, and Jamie knew it.

#6 - “Does it bother you?”, The Garrison Commander, S1E06

After a really tense hour of superb tension between Claire and the disgusting Black Jack Randall, it is determined that the only way to save Claire from the clutches of the evil bastard is to turn her from an Englishwoman into a Scot. And that means marriage. And so, she and Jamie are set to be wed. After all that tension, the two moments that break up the anxiety the most are Dougal’s Corn Grinding line, and this one when she asks Jamie “Does it bother you, that I’m not a virgin?” And when Jamie responds. “No, so long as it doesn’t bother you that I am,” the look on her face and the guzzling of her wine are proof enough that she’s just not wanting to deal with this shit. It’s also why she gets more than a wee bit drunk. Who wouldn’t with that kind of news?

#5 - Choosing Jamie, The Devil’s Mark, S1E11

One of the most pivotal moments in the entire show for Claire, was when she makes the decision to permanently put Frank behind her. In a way. When she decides to choose Jamie, in this world of war, pain and torment, versus the much safer world she lives with Frank, you can see the angst, the fear and then the complete and total determination. The moment she tells Jamie “On your feet soldier” and you seem them embrace and kiss, you know that everything, for now, is going to be alright. That she’s found her soulmate and she loves him, even if she doesn’t say the words.

#4 - The Dying Man, The Gathering, S1E04

This moment is truly when you see Claire’s compassion. The man gored by the boar has no chance of survival and it is this moment that I also believe Dougal finally gives Claire some respect. Granted, he is still a major asshole, but he’s the kind of asshole, you can’t help but admire a little. Regardless, this moment when she comforts this dying man in his last moments, it’s tender and shows Claire’s true want to help and the grief when she cannot do so. A common thing for a woman who is used to seeing the dead and dying on the battlefield.  A poignant moment for Claire’s character and her relationship with Dougal’s character.

#3 -Pregnancy Announcement, To Ransom a Man’s Soul, S1E16

The ending moments of the season, after all of the ups, the downs, the terrible things that have happened, when she tells Jamie she’s pregnant is truly the light at the end of a dark tunnel. They love each other, and the child she never thought she’d have, is now in her belly and so she and Jamie are truly a family again. Things aren’t back to normal, by any means, but they are getting there. And this baby is truly that hope for a better future between them.

#2 - The Big Fight, The Reckoning, S1E09

By far the best Claire moment with Jamie is this one. By a mile. The tension between them and the chemistry are clashing. The insults back and forth, the affront. The sexual chemistry is so strong between them in this one scene that you can feel it steaming off the tv screen and when they glare at each other, you don’t know if they are going for blows or for hard kissing. It’s sexy, raw, powerful. Claire hold’s her own, she let’s Jamie know what for, she calls him a fucking bastard, he calls her a foul mouthed bitch. By far some of the best acting of the entire series happens in this moment and I’m honestly sure when she slapped him, she really slapped him. Note to Jamie, never tell a woman to apologize when they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. I think he learned his lesson.

#1- The Bitch Slap Heard Round the World, By the Pricking of My Thumbs, S1E10

Ah yes, nothing quite felt as satisfying all season, in my opinion as the moment when Claire loses her shit on Laoighaire. Now…I get it. Laoghaire is a teenager. She’s a bit bratty. She’s got this huge ass crush on Jamie. But she really crossed the line when she tried to seduce him by the stream. Then she has the utter nerve, to say that Jamie must get sloppy drunk to fuck Claire. And the reaction to such a thing is the satisfying bitch slap that Claire lands on her. Now, hitting anyone is wrong, but admit it, most if not all of us felt a great deal of satisfaction in watching that display.

So what were your favorite Claire moments of Season One?

I am appalled at the number of men who nod along politely to mildly feminist ideas of gender roles and what not, in an attempt to be politically correct and less controversial, but then turn around distance themselves from those concepts personally. They’ll nod along when you speak about structural oppression but silently wish for a woman who is smaller than them, weaker than them. “That feminism stuff is cool and all but I don’t wanna deal with that in my house.” A woman who is strong - don’t get me wrong - but never stronger than him. A woman who has opinions but never ones that threaten him. A woman who has ambitions but not a kind of glory that outshines his. 

It’s truly alarming how many men are out there who simply can’t be bothered to voice their disagreements/questions regarding women’s rights or a shift in gender roles and such simply because they operate under the assumption that it’ll never affect them beyond that conversation, that they’ll go home to a “good” wife who won’t cause them any trouble, who will be smaller, weaker, lesser, easier than them. There is so much to deconstruct and so much of that is within ourselves - how do you do that when you think you’re above an issue?  

Feminist Killjoy

We’re three episodes into True Detective, which we’re watching because ZEITGEIST but also because we’re fans of unreliable narrators and a well-told story. The internet is smitten with this show right now. Every day, from men and women alike, I see fan art on Tumblr or tweets heralding the show’s dense philosophy, its unmistakable literariness. That’s fine. You’ll get no argument from me that it is not a well-made show: the acting is strong, the mystery is engaging, the music is supervised by T. Bone Burnett. But every time I see it being praised, I find myself biting my tongue a little, because in order for us to understand True Detective to be a truly excellent show (an understanding upon which we all seem to have agreed), we have to ignore the fact that no one involved in the making of it felt the need to include any female characters that resemble real human beings in any way.

So far, on True Detective, women have served no purpose other than to nag (wives), get naked & give blow jobs (mistresses), get our heroes coffee (that one receptionist), or get murdered (prostitutes). It’s not like True Detective invented these tropes; on the contrary, the tropes are so embedded in pop culture that half the time I see them, I barely blink. It’s the fact that this supposed work of art, this groundbreaking new crime drama, which is innovative in so many other ways, could not muster the energy to subvert a single one of them. Maybe a subversion is coming? But I don’t feel it yet, where I stand at the end of three episodes. At the end of three episodes, I understand only that True Detective is another show in which women’s bodies are entirely disposable. The disposing of them is not a cause for celebration–Matthew McConaughey looks at a veritable collage of dead female bodies with a sad, haunted look in his eye–but they are still the easiest things, on earth and in fiction, to get rid of for the sake of the narrative.

Here is the thing: if I could remove the chip in me that picks up on underwritten, or just plainly badly written female characters (for me, TD’s fall into this second category–Woody Harrelson’s wife is barely coherent from one scene to the next; in the third episode she asks him, “Why is there this distance between us?” and I shouted out, “Because you’re not a real person!;” I am a really fun person with whom to watch television), I would! I would do so in a heartbeat! All I want in life is to be told a good story, to let myself be swept away in it, to never feel the way I do whenever these cardboard ladies appear (that this story wasn’t meant for me. That the writer doesn’t care whether or not I hear it). But until that technology is possible, I expect I’ll keep feeling that itch of dissatisfaction as I watch the rest of True Detective and find out the reasons these female bodies were destroyed. Not the plot’s apparent reasons–because we know that women are raped and killed every day, by people they know and people they don’t, and we don’t really need a clever new twist to understand that it’s so–but the show’s reasons. Are the dead female bodies simply the key to our male protagonists’ inscrutable psychology? This is what I’m scared of. Hopefully they turn out to be more than that. Hopefully they turn out also to be actual people, who died, who were destroyed.

Watching True Detective, I’m reminded a lot of Cara Hoffman’s excellent, truly subversive crime novel So Much Pretty. I think all the time about a particular passage in that book, in which a teenage girl considers the inherent horror of the central crime of the book–the gang rape and murder of a young woman she does not know–and her scrutiny of a few of the possible suspects:

I felt bad when Wendy was found. I knew that I would not feel the same again about my school or friends or the place I lived. The whole world. And I felt sad about her body. Which was like my body. Being able to devote myself to the study of Bruce and his friends made me feel better because I was doing something. Because it was a rational thing to do, to consider my ethical obligations.

It would hardly be rational to accept that I live inside a thing made of flesh that people capture, hide, and then wait in line to rape.