Character A is just a head. In a science experiment gone wrong, Character A found the cure for death, but wound up getting decapitated in the process. Undeterred from this, Character A continues to try to replicate the accident that lead to their immortality – possibly to save the life of a family member/lover/best friend/etc., but maybe for the money – much to the discomfort of Character A’s lab assistant, Character B.
*class is discussing Stevenson’s Jekyll & Hyde and the lack of representation of women/representation of women in servant roles*
*we talk about 1880s historical context and expectations for a while; class is happy enough to talk about the novel*
me: thinking about some of our other readings, and present-day popular culture narratives you might be familiar with, how do you feel about the question of gender representation - is there an identifiable shift, or not so much, or any main similarities or differences you notice compared to CURRENT representations of women in popular media?
me: yes, that absolutely might be true, and we can talk about examples in a sec, but that’s interesting phrasing you chose just now, isn’t it? GETTING better, but not done yet?
student #2 (young, male, white; clearly bright from his writing assignments but normally quiet in class): *raises hand shyly* so…okay, so if we’re talking about it, and you’re asking us that question, that means we’re not there yet? like, if we really weren’t sexist anymore, and it just WAS better, we wouldn’t need to have discussions about representation, because it would already be equal? I mean, like, we still actively NEED to talk about sexism and, like, also racism, in society, so we still, um, have work to do.
Yes, student, yes. Well done. Very well done. *waves pom-poms of enlightenment and encouragement for him*
What I hope we can all carry forward from today, that we really shouldn’t need to be told (and I am including EVERYONE from the most obsessive snogger to those among us who occasionally indulge in relationship speculation), is that whatever our intentions are, in doing that we overstep a boundary.
Gillian shares her work with us. She engages at conventions. She shows us snapshots of her thoughts, attends panels, gives interviews. She shares more of herself with us than most of us share with each other. And that has to be enough. We have no right to know her mind or her heart, to question who she shares those private parts of herself with, and the implication that we do is so problematic.
As a fandom, going forward, can we please hold ourselves accountable, remind each other (kindly) when we go too far, reign ourselves in from wild speculation, shine a light on the things shared willingly rather than digging for the things meant to be private.
I’m not trying to police anyone, but I think the fact that anything had to be said, says so much. Let’s not let it go so far again.