"… and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end."
Here’s to book seven. Here’s to the years of anticipation before it and the years of discussion in its wake. Here’s to the boy who lived and how he changed everything.
And here’s to you, if you know that “the very end” isn’t happening anytime soon.
- 2 days ago
- 2 days ago
Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.
But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative? Because when it comes to guys, we have whole fandoms bending over backwards to write soulful meta humanising male characters whose actions, regardless of their motives, are far less complex than monstrous. We take male villains and redeem them a hundred, a thousand times over – men who are murderers, stalkers, abusers, kinslayers, traitors, attempted or successful rapists; men with personal histories so bloody and tortured, it’s like looking at a battlefield. In doing this, we exhibit enormous compassion for and understanding of the nuances of human behaviour – sympathy for circumstance, for context, for motive and character and passion and rage, the heartache and, to steal a phrase, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; and as such, regardless of how I might feel about the practice as applied in specific instances, in general, it’s a praiseworthy endeavour. It helps us to see human beings, not as wholly black and white, but as flawed and complicated creatures, and we need to do that, because it’s what we are.
But when it comes to women, a single selfish or not-nice act – a stolen kiss, a lie, a brushoff – is somehow enough to see them condemned as whores and bitches forever. We readily excuse our favourite male characters of murder, but if a woman politely turns down a date with someone she has no interest in, she’s a timewasting user bimbo and god, what does he even see in her? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great online meta about, for instance, the soulfulness and moral ambiguity of Black Widow, but I’ve also seen a metric fucktonne more about what that particular jaw-spasm means in that one GIF of Cumberbatch/Ackles/Hiddleston/Smith alone, and that’s before you get into the pages-long pieces about why Rumplestiltskin or Hook or Spike or Bucky Barnes or whoever is really just a tortured woobie who needs a hug. Hell, I’m guilty of writing some of that stuff myself, because see above: plus, it’s meaty and fun and exactly the kind of analysis I like to write.
And yet, we tend overwhelmingly not to write it about ladies. It’s not just our cultural obsession with pushing increasingly specific variants of the Madonna/Whore complex onto women, such that audiences are disinclined to extend to female characters the same moral/emotional licenses they extend to men; it’s also a failure to create narratives where the women aren’t just flawed, but where the audience is still encouraged to like them when they are.
Returning to Orphan Black, for instance, if Sarah were male, he’d be unequivocally viewed as either a complex, sympathetic antihero or a loving battler with a heart of gold. I mean, the ex-con trying to go straight and get his daughter back while still battling the illegalities of his old life and punching bad guys? Let me introduce you to Swordfish, Death Race, and about a millionty other stories where a father’s separation from a beloved child, whether as a consequence of his actual criminal actions, shiftless neglect, sheer bad luck or a combination of all three, is never couched as a reason why he might not be a fit parent. We tend to accept, both culturally and narratively, that men who abandon their children aren’t automatically bad dads; they just have other, important things to be doing first, like coming to terms with parenthood, saving the world, escaping from prison or otherwise getting their shit together. But Sarah, who left her child in the care of someone she trusted absolutely, has to jump through hoops to prove her maternal readiness on returning; has to answer for her absence over and over again. And on one level, that’s fine; that’s as it should be, because Sarah’s life is dangerous. And yet, her situation stands in glaring contrast to every returning father who’s never been asked to do half so much, because women aren’t meant to struggle with motherhood, to have to try to succeed: we’re either maternal angels or selfish absentees, and the idea that we might sometimes be both or neither isn’t one you often see depicted with such nuance."
- 3 days ago
- 3 days ago
You win this round cheese
actually that is a rectangle cheese
[oxford comma laughing in the distance]
[vocative comma wondering what oxford comma thinks it’s doing here]
I already reblogged this for the pun but I’m reblogging again for the sick punctuation banter
it’s wild times on tumblr tonight
(via moelskerdeg)Source: memeguy-com
- 3 days ago
- 3 days ago
“Killed 99 bears”
a fact that if actually accomplished, should be put on a tombstone.
My favorite part is “We hope he has gone to rest.” What, like… they weren’t sure? Maybe, if ever the bear uprising should start again, he would rise from the ground to finish what he started and slay that 100th bear?
Was this man so powerful they are concerned he might not have decided to rest at all and is simply biding his time?
The bears made that tombstone.
A warning, and a prayer.
That he really, truely stays down.
This is too badass not to reblog.
Reblog for last comment
unseenphil . Right?
- 4 days ago
Gaston on women’s Lib.
You see this is the sort of thing I like. Because, especially at Disney, you don’t want to really discourage any of those ideals “thinking, having your own ideas” but you also have to stay in character. So you associate those ideals with the princess in the group, the one who the young girl is supposed to idolize. So, while staying in character, Gaston can announce his displeasure for women who read while also encouraging it in a young girl by giving it the good association of Belle. Idk, I always thought those work arounds that Disney villain face characters go through to not be overtly mean to children but stay in character were really interesting.
I just gained so fucking much respect for this Gaston.
(via sellerslibteens)Source: disney-park-junkie
- 4 days ago
Favorite missing book quotes → Ron’s dueling advice
#But can you imagine if James had still been alive?#A letter arrives from Hogwarts saying Harry was caught out of bed after curfew and has detention#and then a letter from Harry arrives explaining that he had to do it#because he had to beat Draco in a duel.#And Lily reads it and just sits there with her head on their kitchen table going ‘oh god why did I have a child with you’#while James dances around the house singing about how amazing their son is.#Harry gets a reply a few days later#a letter from his Mum saying she’s disappointed and those rules are there to keep him safe and he should obey them#(Hermione reads that over his shoulder and practically cheers)#and from James#a gigantic box of chocolate frogs and a pack of stinkbombs or something with a note saying ‘for Draco’ (via thankyouforyourcooperation)
And then a very detailed letter from Sirius explaining to Harry 101 ways to beat someone in a duel and a list of useful hexes
(via phoenixrei)Source: acciomychildhood
- 4 days ago