whitney dawn

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At 1:28 Tobin: I think uhh dawn is switching teams
HAO: let’s keep dawns personal life out of our game

Dawn: focus on the game

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Lucy Dodd kicks off her four-day-long Open Plan installation with Dawn Kasper. Through Sunday, Dodd is bringing her studio activities into the gallery and inviting artist and musicians to perform.

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anonymous asked:

👫

SEND ME 👫 ON ANON AND I’LL TALK ABOUT A RANDOM ONE OF MY SHIPS!! not necessarily romantic.

@plainbadge‘s whitney and dawn!! SPORTBALL SPORTBALL

ok listen they only have 1 thread right now but LISTEN

SPORTY GAL PALS HAVIN FUN WATCHIN THEIR SPORTBALLS TALKIN BOUT POKEMON BEIN CUTE AND ADORABLE

A while ago, Jeremy Whitley, who works on pony comics with IDW, released a comic about a Feminist princess who uh… intends to reverse the trope about damsels in distress by being a condescending, unlikable, mega-bitch who’s smarter than absolutely every man alive. It was lauded by a few Feminist articles because it toes the ideological line well, and Whitley’s world is full of awful twists of logic that let its main character knock down casual “misogyny” like its causes were made of straw or something. And while that was great for people who already agree with Whitley, it didn’t exactly appeal to people who didn’t agree with him, and where I often harp about negativity, this morning I was thinking about how you might write a story from this perspective, but have it be charming to a wider audience.
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For Starters, Burn the Bridge Behind You
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I think one of the things I hate most about ideological propaganda is that the characters representing the ideology are always too smart to be real while simultaneously being dense as hell. They’re able to fit into the roles the ideology shuns, but they actively choose not to because they recognize the innate perfection of the author’s world model. Skulls like granite, but they’re right about everything. At the word “go” this is where the comic sets itself up to be intolerable.
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I think a better approach is to have a more pragmatic perspective, and then burn the character’s bridges. For some women, staying at home and looking after the kids totally works and they live happy lives, but for our princess – who we’re going to call “Whitney” from now on – it just doesn’t. Whitney has been trapped in a magical tower all her life being looked after by magical woodland creatures, magical brooms, and a magical talking hand massager (that she briefly dated). Whitney doesn’t have any practical skills! She can’t sew, she can’t knit, she hasn’t even seen a baby before, and on top of that she realized she was fantasizing about girls a lot as she got older.
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So when brave Sir Knights begin showing up to rescue her from her tower and make her a wife, Whitney panics. Oh don’t get her wrong, she’s sympathetic. They seem like nice guys and they’re trying to help, but some aren’t capable in the first place and get themselves killed, which Whitney unnecessarily blames herself for. She does her best to persuade the others to go away, fearful they’ll go through all the trouble and then have a wife who can’t do anything useful and who would ask for separate beds. The ones who are insistent, she sabotages, and otherwise she just tries to make herself seem unappealing.
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Pretty soon, Whitney develops a reputation, and oh no. The knights stop coming. For a little while, it’s a relief, and then it dawns on Whitney that a door has just closed on her face and it looks like she might be trapped in a tower for the rest of her life. Unless, that is, she rescues herself. The bridges are burned and Whitney is on deadly ground! There’s no retreating, she can only fight forward from here!
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This set up does a number of things for the plot. First of all, it demonstrates a variety of shortfalls and insecurities in Whitney that the reader will understand and forgive throughout your story. They understand that Whitney can’t fit into what’s been described to her as a “woman’s role”, and it’ll consistently make sense if she shuns it, questions it, and talks it down. She can’t accept it! There’s no choice for her! Some people don’t get choices, and Whitney is one of those people. In other words, with the above set-up, Whitney is the underdog. She’s not the smartest person who’s right about everything while everyone is worse than her – she’s average, and doing her best to blaze a trail and make something work for her.
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Tropes and Reversals
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When people talk about “tropes”, sometimes they get confused. They aren’t actually real in an absolute sense. They’re more like a shorthand an author can use to establish some familiarity for his readers. By having Whitney be a damsel trapped in a castle, you haven’t defeated or reversed the “damsel in distress” trope by making the knights stupid or by having Whitney rescue herself. It’s still the “damsel in distress” trope. People still understand this set-up and off the cuff they won’t ask annoying questions, like, “Why would someone lock a princess in a tower?”. A reversal of this trope would be if you imprisoned the knights in a tower for trying to marry Whitney, while Whitney herself went free.
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And that’s why an actual reversal feels clever. It takes a set-up you’re familiar with then flips it upside down. It makes you wonder, why didn’t the witch simply imprison the princess’s suitors? What if the witch set herself up as the royal adviser and caused trouble from within the empire? Who would send knights to screw up her plans then? It’s a much more complicated game we’re playing, here!
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In any event, once Whitney has rescued herself we’ve moved past that trope for whatever it’s worth, and now we’re dealing with Whitney’s basic survival. In Whitley’s original comic, I believe he had a scene where the princess goes to buy some armor and finds the shop is selling bikinis, like in video games. I can’t recall distinctly if that was Whitley’s comic because this propaganda stuff runs together in my head and it’s hard to separate them sometimes, but as par for the course, the princess chastises the shopkeep and knocks him down like the pathetic target he is. There’s a lot of stuff like that throughout the comic and most comics on this level.
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But again, when we do this – when we set up the bikini armor and then just criticizeit, we’re not really making a clever reversal. I see better reversals of this concept in the comic “Oglaf”, which is a sex humor comic that has repeatedly done jokes about sexy armor. An Orc invasion where every Orc is in a sexy thong that somehow made them impervious to damage. A knight wearing enchanted plate with boobs and the word “slut” hammered into it because seriously, guys, it’s really good armor. The reversal being applied in Oglaf is that if bikini armor and boob plate worked then everyone would be using it!
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There’s a difference between being condescending about a trope versus actually turning it around in a thoughtful manner. You could use this for universe building. A good joke would be for Whitney to go to the “women’s armorer” and then get flustered and upset when the shop tries to sell her lingerie. Then it turns out she was mistaken – if she wasn’t looking for something to wear during the Exotic Summer Militia Parade, the normal armorer is just down the street. It turns out that the “women’s armorer” sells armored things specifically for women, like bikinis. It’s a niche business – the standard armorer sells enchanted light-weight clothing that provides ample protection through spells and demonic possession.
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In a way, you may be forgiven for thinking this is mocking the Feminist, because she got to spit acid about a misogynistic convention, only to be rebuked. But if you begin to think about it, it’s mainly setting up nuance and showing the reader how this world actually works. A society that is intentionally sexist all the time to its own total disbenefit is a society that’s going to die when its more efficient neighbor shows up with proper weapons and attire. Your message shouldn’t be that there is only one way to live that everyone has to fit into it or else they’re stupid – otherwise you’re equally or more oppressive than the status quo. The point you want to make is that the status quo exists, but it doesn’t fit everybody and nor does it have to.
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So how do you reconcile it to make it work with the Feminist message without being condescending and obnoxious? Easy. The real armorer explains that a lot of women don’t purchase armor because real combat is usually a skill practiced by the landed elite. Horseback archery is not a shortly learned ability, horses are not cheap, and neither is this armor by the way. That ceremonial bikini stuff Whitney was looking at before? A fraction of the cost but doesn’t hold up to much wear and tear – lingerie is dry clean only, you see. Also you’re supposed to wear it over non-enchanted fabric, not by itself - jeez.
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Again, we’re not using blunt force trauma here, so I’ll spell it out. Establishing our causes and explaining the hurdles that have made it so only men usually buy armor both explains why most people follow the gender role, while also establishing the skill Whitney is going to require to meet the standard. I’ve been talking, here, about the armor being enchanted because the minor things you say in your setting can make a lot of difference. If we’re being realistic, nobody wears heavy plate for just walking around. Back then, armor was essentially unisex, consisting of chain thrown over leather interwoven with metal plates. It was common for that armor to have sort of a skirt thing going on – I just feel like it’s a little dumb arguing about realism just before you drop seventy pounds of steel on someone and make them leap and swim in it like you’re playing Skyrim.
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Video games may design something sexy and slap an arbitrary +40 def on it because they can, and it’s a great big “no duh” that sexy armor is for sex appeal. Want to turn that around and demand to know why the men aren’t wearing leather thongs? Well you don’t understand women, fool. If you want the men to be sexy then they should be in sharp-looking, formal suits that provide an arbitrary +40 def. Throw another +10 def on there for nice hair and a good scent. The concept of enchanted armor can open up some neat doors for world building if you care about it beyond pushing a message, but whatever you do and whatever you say, you need to be consistent and apply it.
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In the End
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Anyway, I got on this because I feel like there’s a lot of potential for a fun story when the princess saves herself and tries to break the mold. And to do it properly, I feel like you can’t be following the mold all the time just to complain about it. After all, the world is not such a rigid place, and not all things are always true for all people all the time. So I guess if any of you guys ever decide to do a comic or a story like this, then shine on you crazy diamond, but do it like you have respect for the world and the fact that people will usually do the best they can with what they think they have!