MARY FUCKING SHELLEY. ’oh, i’m a nineteen year old female in a world where females are basically valued only as mothers, grieving over the loss of my child, disowned by my father, in dire financial straights, stuck in a country that’s not my own, ignored and cheated on by my husband, and belittled by my husband’s friends? how am i going to deal with this? WHY DON’T I COMPLETELY CHANGE THE RULES OF LITERATURE, MOTHERFUCKERS? AND WHILE I’M AT IT, I’LL SIMULTANEOUSLY INVENT AN ENTIRE NEW GENRE, AND WRITE THE FIRST NON-RELIGIOUS CREATION MYTH.’
I don’t even know where to start with how wrong all of this is.
Rinse and repeat: Mary Shelley is awesome and it’s awesome that she wrote Frankenstein so young. But she didn’t invent either horror or science fiction, and pretending she did erases from history the contributions of other women writers, and probably non-European contributions to literature that I’m not aware of because of erasure just like this.
I’m also pretty sure she didn’t write the first non-religious creation myth… and I’m not even sure what you’re talking about, there. Like, how are you even understanding the word ‘myth’? Because I’m not even sure I can make sense of this statement without severely twisting the meaning out of the common parlance to fit your purpose. Like, I don’t know that Mary Shelley has actually written any myths intended to explain the world that people have actually believed. I think you mean that she wrote something that has become an architype monster featuring the trope of humans creating life. And, like, I think we can find earlier versions of that literary trope. Like, we can definitely see the influence of the story of Pygmalion, and prior to that in Greek myth Daedelus’ talking statues and Hephaestus’ automata.
Again, by all means, praise Mary Shelley, she made an enormous contribution to literature and should be remembered. But don’t do it by ignoring history that is inconvenient to you, twisting definitions (or simply not bothering to check up on them), and especially don’t do it at the expense of earlier women, like Margaret Cavendish, Clara Reeve, and Ann Radcliffe.
I find it really interesting that the historical men like Vincent Van Gogh, Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon portrayed in Moffat Who are always three dimensional and treated respectfully, while the historical women like Elizabeth the First and Nefertiti, are always love sick idiots drooling over the Doctor.
It almost seems like Moffat cannot take women seriously, even if they ruled nations.
And Nefertiti goes from drooling over the Doctor to running off with a Victorian misogynist because fighting = love. (In the process abandoning not only her powerful position, her husband, and her five* daughters, but also a religious revolution she appears to have been a major player in. Look, if you can’t be bothered to even read the fucking Wikipedia article about the historical figure you’re including in your episode, don’t include her in your episode.)
“One year my colleagues David and Carole were preparing a skit on abuse for a conference, and they decided to perform a rehearsal for their abuser group. Afterward, the group members rapid-fired their suggestions for improving the skit, directing them mostly at David: “No, no, you don’t make excuses for why you’re home late, that puts you on the defensive, you’ve got to turn it around on her, tell her you know she’s cheating on you….. You’re staying too far away from her, David. Take a couple of steps toward her, so she’ll know that you mean business…. You’re letting her say too much. You’ve got to cut her off and stick to your points.” The counselors were struck by how aware the clients were of the kinds of tactics they use, and why they use them: In the excitement of giving feedback on the skit, the men let down their facade as “out-of-control abuser who doesn’t realize what he’s doing.”—
“Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft (via bajo-el-mar)
“Their intelligence. Elephants understand that ivory is the reason they’re being killed. There are very, very few big bulls with big ivory left in the world, and the two or three still in Tsavo have become nocturnal. I’ve seen a bull with big tusks by the road turn his back, trying to hide the ivory.”—
What’s the biggest misconception people have about elephants?
Warner Bros has optioned Pern, and I am trepidatious as all fuck about it, because there’s about a million ways this could go badly wrong, only some of which have to do with the source material itself, but let’s pretend for a moment we live in a universe where big studios don’t have a long and torrid history of fucking up their adaptations of beloved fantasy properties, and especially fantasy properties that are traditionally female-oriented, and take a moment to imagine how could great this could be if they actually got it right -
FOR INSTANCE: A Harper Hall TV series that’s all about Piemur and Menolly being Secret Musician Spies, with Robert Sheehan as Piemur,
Zoe Kravitz as Menolly,
Nicole Beharie as Lessa,
Godfrey Gao as F’lar,
Jamie Campbell Bower as Sebell,
and Gary Oldman as Robinton.
Or, or! We could actually unproblematise the depiction of green riders, and have discussions about feminism and maybe even some positive gay romance, with dragons! Miriam and Menolly being best friends! Canon asexual Jaxom and asexual Ruth! Fix the rapey bits!
EVERYTHING IS HEADCANONS AND NOTHING HURTS.
I am not feeling the Sebell casting, but the Piemur is PERFECT.
Also not feeling the Menolly, but that’s such a personal one for me. Boy-HOWDY. Of course, she has to be tall - her sense of feeling gangly and awkwards was such a part of the character. I wish I knew more youthful actors. My brain goes ‘Sophie Turner’, but I like the more racially diverse casting, here (and my headcanon was always of her with dark hair).
Nicole Beharie could work as Lessa.
I’m also not feeling that F’lar, but maybe it’s just the over-smouldering look. Of course, the F’lar casting also affects the F’nor, as they are brothers. And I hope I’m not the only one who feels how important F’nor is! Hmmm.
Also, have we thought about Kylara? My mind is just screaming Natalie Dormer on this one:
And, holy shit, how good would Angel Coulby be for Brekke?
And I dunno about Robinson. I kind of think the most important thing is his voice? Notes of Ian Glen with a hint of Morgan Freeman, am I right? Anthony Stewart Head, maybe?
reverse hades/persephone, where the young daughter of summer uses plant magic to ensnare the lord of darkness and keep him prisoner in a beautiful garden above ground. Eventually, enchanted by her cleverness and wild youth he agrees to eat six pomegranate seeds and stay with her for half of every year.
Pronouns are words like he, she, them, it, etc. They’re words that take the place of people, so we can say…
I agree with this, but would like to add that gendered pronouns are important for affirming the gender identities of binary trans people
They can be, absolutely! I was trying to be funny, but my point isn’t to take gendered pronouns away from people for whom they’re important. I’m not the language police! I’d like to argue for alternatives (specifically, a widely-supported gender-neutral singular pronoun to stand beside ‘he’ and ‘she’) and WHILE WE’RE AT IT, pronouns that prepare us for a robot clone invasion, just in case, and not because I have inside knowledge that this is coming sooner than anyone dares think.
This was my concern, also, so I am glad it was answered. The whole ‘kill gendered pronouns’ thing does sound problematic for a lot of people to whom they are important.
Otherwise, as someone who would dearly love to not be referred to in a gendered way, I am all for this. I would like a pronoun that also conveys that I sadly do not own a humanoid robot, yet, please!
It’s Swedish, so it’s probably not what you may be thinking about hen’s gender, but still: awesome!
I am a big proponent of gender-neutral pronouns in language, mainly because baking gender into the language that way is wasteful and pointless and stupid (TELL ME WHAT YOU REALLY THINK, RYAN?) (TOO LATE I JUST DID) (IF YOU WANT TO HEAR WHAT I REALLY THINK IN MORE DETAIL, CHECK OUT MY TEDX TALK ABOUT TIME TRAVELWHICH ACTUALLY TALKS ABOUT THIS, EVEN THOUGH YOU MIGHT NOT EXPECT IT TO, OR REALLY, EXPECT TO SEE A TEDX TALK ABOUT TIME TRAVEL IN THE FIRST PLACE)
For English gender-neutral pronouns, I am a big fan of “thon” (in comic form, no less) but if it doesn’t catch on, in my heart of hearts I know why. It’s too awesome for this world.
I really wish I liked any of the English options: zie/hir, them/their*. I actually like ‘hen’, but I don’t see it catching on because it originates somewhere else. I have an unpublished story in which a main character switches (physically) easily between sexes and doesn’t really think about gender at all. The other characters really struggle with this, because English doesn’t accomodate ungendered, agender, non-binary, or genderfluid characters, let alone a sex-fluid agender character like the Qynne. In the Qynne’s own language it simply isn’t an issue, and the Qynne has enough arrogance to simply ignore any petty struggles human English-speakers have talking to or about them.
One of the reasons I did it was to make cis/binary readers uncomfortable and to highlight the limits of the language. Within the story, the characters settle on saying ‘she’ when the Qynne appears as female, and ‘he’ when they are male. One of the first things a cis-het white man said to me one critiquing the story was ‘You can’t keep switching gender pronouns like that - it’s confusing for the reader. You should just pick one and stick to it’.
And this is the thing. In a language where there are no options, those who identify in a binary way, and who have privilege, perceive the most reasonable and sensible option to be forcing others to conform to making them comfortable. They don’t even consider that the discomfort arises from the inadequacy of the system, not the people who do not fit it. Of course I, as a writer, should start referring to the Qynne as either male or female, even though she/he actually is not female ate certain times, and actually is not male at certain times, and ignoring the fact that if I start using ‘she/her’ exclusively the reader will automatically assume that the Qynne is really female, and this is the precise point I am trying to avoid.
There really should be pronouns that can be used for just anyone, that don’t give any information as to gender or sex. Any situation in which you actually need to know my sex (and lack of gender) should be a situation where you are no longer relying on pronouns for this information, OK?
*Although I will totally say whatever pronouns you prefer once I know!
so sometimes i think about harry potter being in the aurors and like
he’d never really thought about child protective services, muggle or otherwise, cause it’d never been relevant, right? like when he was a miserable kid he just thought that was what it was like being an orphan. but then he sees cases come through the department where parents are murdered and there’s kids sitting in their waiting room with copies of the quibbler and water waiting while an auror sits down with a family tree and tries to find whatever relatives this kid might have in the wizarding world, going back maybe even five generations to find anyone living and vaguely related to this child to drop them off with
and he goes to shit apartments in diagon alley after noise complaints and finds children who are black and blue with hexed, bleeding skin who insist they were just playing with a weasley’s wizard wheeze, no really mr. potter
and he thinks about how merope gaunt stumbled into a muggle orphanage and left them a child who would grow up learning fear was the key to harmony, and becoming a god meant safety
and really, how was the headmaster of a school the person who made the call about where he ended up, how was the system so haphazard that a man who wouldn’t be part of his life for another ten years got to make the biggest decision of his life
harry thinks about his cupboard
and then harry potter sits down with hermione and ron and neville (cause of course neville would want a stake in this) and says, “we need to change the wizarding world again.”