Confession: Sully and Sam are both boring characters who constantly needs saving. Sam is a selfish asshole. Chloe and Nadine are hated because it’s two women for a change. TLL is one of the best, if not the best Uncharted game.
While we’re having a lot of lovely discourse on here about how Joss Whedon writes heroines and how people in general write heroines based on the leaked WW script, I’ like to actually address another part of the problem: how you write the dudes in the story. Because the guys will inevitably interact with the heroine and therefore their writing has an effect on how the film views her.
“Feminist Fantasy” is a term I sometimes see used to describe fantasy/sci fi/supernatural stories that have powerful female characters. Thing is, feminist fantasy, much like feminist theory, evolves as time goes on. What would still be acceptable as FF back in the 90s may come across as cliche or even regressive today because opinions change as time goes on. And that’s a huge part of why the leak WW script rubs people the wrong way, especially how the guys act and how they impact Diana’s role.
The idea of “prove the boys wrong” is one that has been done to death since my childhood. It’s a typical plot or subplot. Girl wants to do X thing, boys say she can’t since she’s a girl, girl proves boys wrong, boys learn their lesson. Here’s the thing: that is no longer feminist fantasy. Because that is real life for so many women, having to constantly prove themselves to men over and over and still be looked over next time due to being a woman and have to do it all over again. Feminist Fantasy has moved into the realm of Fury Road and Wonder Woman 2017–where the woman never has to “prove” anything, at least not to the men on her side. She’s accepted as a capable human without a whole arc proving herself such.
Max never questions Furiosa or even the wives because they are women. The times he does argue or question are purely logistical and have nothing to do with belittling them or asserting his preconceived superiority as a man–he’s usually just checking the plan. While Capable does comfort Nux, it’s Nux who proves himself to the wives by getting the rig rolling again. While Nux learns to see them as people, the onus is not on the wives and other women to make that happen. Steve only offers the barest concern for Diana being a woman, mostly just related to how she dresses in London. Other than that his main issue is the Ares thing which he does not ever use to declare Diana naive and in fact it’s noted in-universe that she may even have a point before Ares shows up. He doesn’t just humor her about Ares, its treated more as a conclusion he disagrees with but can’t prove wrong so they simply operate based on their differing conclusions (Diana’s of “Ludendorf is Ares” and Steve’s of “idc if he is or not we’ve got to stop the chemicals”) until the Ares question becomes unavoidable. The other men similarly don’t belittle Diana or creep on her, the most we get is Sameer’s “
both frightened… and aroused
” joke when she beats a guy up and Sameer jokingly commenting on wanting to see her island.
How the men act is important compared to the WW 06 script, because the 06 script is much more regressive. Both the heroic and villainous men act like creeps and belittle Diana, sexualize Diana, lecture Diana. Essentially, guys treating Diana badly is a thing both the bad guys and the good guys do and she just has to deal with it. Which is just shit, from a feminist perspective. The idea that the guys who are heroes are going to treat women as badly (or even just almost as badly) as the bad guys and the only difference is the heroic guys are the ones who change their minds when she “proves herself” is really, really old. It’s simultaneously discouraging to women and insulting to men by saying that all men are pigs and women just have to deal with that, and it’s the “strong” women who do and change the mind of the “good” men…who are still going to be pigs but maybe less so towards you since you proved yourself. The idea of a guy who’s not a pig is not a thing.
Feminist Fantasy has moved beyond that. Feminist Fantasy is no longer where women are able to constantly prove men wrong–it’s when they don’t have to prove men wrong before being taken seriously as people. Because that shows a future, a past, a world where a woman can simply be accepted as a potential expert, or a warrior, or whatever else the character is doing without having to “prove” it to any man in the vicinity because that still places the men as having power over her. It’s not that they can’t prove men wrong–some still will sometimes and all of them could if directly challenged to–it’s that they don’t have to. Guys who are on their side simply accept that yeah, a woman can be that badass while guys who aren’t on their side, well the opinions those guys have a) don’t matter as much and b) because they’re the bad guys, she’s more focused on stopping their plans than proving her worth to them.
Women having to “prove” ourselves more than men before being taken seriously is not aspirational fantasy anymore–it’s where we are, more often than not. The fantasy is that we only have to prove ourselves to the same degree as any man written in the same situation would, and be treated equally to them. We already know the real world is not there yet (see every “Rey is a Mary-Sue compared to Luke and Anakin” argument ever) but the idea that escapist fiction can’t be a bit ahead of the curve on that should be eyeroll inducing at this point.
Tumblr has always been a place where feminists could connect and speak freely. And as Tumblr has grown, so have the allied communities and the size of the conversation. From 2013 to 2015, year-over-year growth in the number of original posts tagged #feminism increased at an average rate of 4.22%.
That changed in 2016. As Tumblr discussed the US presidential election and its impact on women’s rights, access to healthcare and the importance of consent, the rate of original posts tagged #feminism grew 20%, five times the growth of the previous three years. Looking at the entire ecosystem of Tumblr tags, original posts and reblogs about #feminism accounted for triple the amount of conversation it did in 2015.
2016 also saw a change in Tumblr’s understanding of what feminism means.
The term intersectionality describes the overlapping systems of oppression at play in society—it’s the idea that gender inequality, racism, class status, and other injustices are inseparable from one another and can’t be studied in isolation.
Between 2014 and 2016 there was a modest increase in engagement around #intersectionality. Original posts increased 13%, while searches increased 44%. But then came the Women’s March. On January 20th, 2017, engagements around #intersectionality spiked 5191% from just two days before. Since then, the whole tone of the #feminism conversation on Tumblr has changed.
In 2017 so far, people are talking about intersectional systems of oppression 21% more than they have in the last four years combined.
How does that change in tone manifest itself? Here’s a sampling of posts that have gone viral since the March:
If you’re interested in joining the feminist conversation on Tumblr, there are tons of places to start. In addition to the #feminism and #intersectionality tags, you can head to tags like #wage gap and #pro choice to learn more about specific issues. There are also dozens of Tumblrs that dive deep into the conversation:
Feminist Frequency (@femfreq), a place to talk about feminism in gaming
Celebrating Amazing Women (@celebratingamazingwomen), which highlights women who have changed history on their birthdays
Whovian Feminism (@whovianfeminism), which looks at inequality through a fannish lens
Empower. Volunteer. Unite. (@ucf-now), the official Tumblr of the University of Central Florida’s National Organization for Women chapter, and
Action (@action), our hub to help connect you to the resources you need to become an agent of change.
“I’m not doing it for the accolades, I’m not doing it because of some narcissistic reason, I’m doing this because I love what I do.” And look, she changed the course of history. These women changed the course of history. Because they didn’t let those obstacles get in the way, and they didn’t focus on problems, they focused on solution.
a sad truth of women in relationships; their silent tears in the bathroom, the lights off during sex, unspoken insecurities and questions; fear of being too loud too hysterical too clingy. try to fix themselves to fix the other person’s problems - if i am prettier, smarter, faster, better - try to erase themselves to avoid conflict. small terrible jealousies he does nothing to dispel - he likes her facebook profile picture even after you tell him she rips you open - small terrible compromises that are really just giving up. women who change the core of themselves, who quietly give up dreams for his successes and for his children, who ask for little more than somebody else doing the dishes and still get moaned at. women who are the backbone of their house and still only seen as a kitchen trophy, a maid, a ball and chain.
“There are women who make things better… simply by showing up. There are women who make things happen. There are women who make their way. There are women who make a difference. And women who make us smile. There are women of wit and wisdom who- through strength and courage- make it through. There are women who change the world everyday… Women like you.” - Ashley Rice
this doesn’t seem to be popular knowledge but the idea that “female sexuality is more fluid” actually derives from studies that show that women are more likely to change how they identify over the course of their lives.
which, if you actually listened to women, should indicate the increased pressure on women to identify, the intensified coercion into heterosexuality, the alienation and apparent discoursive impossibility of non-heterosexual female sexuality.
and of course, as a product of the latter, instead of revealing it, this evidence becomes yet another tool to enforce it.
Okay so I have gotten a steady flow of asks both positive and worried after the finale so I thought I would just post one, big analysis of Jonerys in the finale for anyone interested in my take on things!
First of all I just want to establish that I loved this episode and it is my favorite of the season. There was much more to love than Jonerys here, but they are what I will focus on for this particular post, and I think this episode solidified their love in a major and lasting way. This is giant so I used a cut.
The day is April 23rd, 2017. It’s an ordinary Sunday afternoon in London.
The crowd bustles, trains whirr, birds chirp.
Life in the city is business as usual.
Three teenage girls take photographs outside 187 North Gower Street, soaking in the ambiance of the Sherlock set. They step into Speedy’s for a cup of coffee.
The women lament over the loss of their favorite show. On March 8th, the BBC announced Sherlock would not be returning for a fifth series, and cowriters Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss were quick to assure their fans that it was time to lay the beloved program to rest.
But what the women saw next changed their lives forever.