Category Feminism

Examples of Diversity in Writing

With the advent of recent shows in diversity, and to combat the fear of that diversity leaving in the face of certain leaders, let’s rehash some recent boons in Diverse writing! I’ll be linking to several good articles on each section, as well as writing up my own experiences with it.

We can learn something from these giants, and we absolutely should!

source site Hamilton – Race in Theatre

Ever since Hamilton received a record 16 nominations for Tony Awards, it’s been clear that the diverse cast had something to do with it. Telling a story about white individuals using black individuals as the actors has turned out to be an outstanding way to support people of color and impoverished communities as well. It proves that no matter what the source material, ability should dictate who gets a part, not race or body shape or anything else.

  1. Hamilton Fans Flock
  2. Hamilton Cast – “We are the Diverse America”
  3. What does Hamilton tell us about Race in Casting?
  4. No, Hamilton’s casting call is not Reverse Racism.

http://cms-tn.org/wp-includes/certificates/how-do-you-see-your-background-check-work-in-texas.html Legend of Korra – Bisexuality

Legend of Korra is the hit sequel to Avatar the Last Airbender, and boy howdy, did it hit hard on the radar of all the sites I frequent. In fact, the final couple, Korrasami (Korra+Asami), seems to be a warning for conservative television. That is, your days of heteronormative television are over. Now, I personally didn’t make it tot he end of that series (Mako made me want to throw something at my television in the hopes it would hit him) but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. It’s a masterpiece of writing, and I think you should absolutely watch it, if you want to be an author.

  1. Korra goes beyond bisexual representation
  2. Thinking of watching Korra?
  3. And the Korra Wiki

source url Undertale – Gender Diversity

(Spoilers ahead)
In Undertale, the main character, Frisk, is always referred to as They. Not only that but all of the children are referred to as they as well, except the Prince, Asriel. The ghosts are referred to as They. This use of the third pronoun, They/Them, is very unique, in that it was clearly a premeditated choice on the part of the writer, and yet it appears as easy as breathing air to the main characters and their cohorts. This sort of gender inclusivity is rare. Not only that, but there is a character that clearly represents the transgender struggle. If you’re familiar with Mettaton, try looking up the Meta (Get it?!) around his creation. Beyond even that, you have Undyne, who slays gender roles, Papyrus, who shows us it’s okay to be effeminate and cook and still be a badass bone brother.

  1. Undertale Science Lays it out for us
  2. An interview with Toby Fox
  3. Gender Identity in Undertale via Reddit

Yuri on Ice – Homophobia and the Lack thereof

One of the greatest shows in the Fall 2016 lineup, Yuri!!! on Ice is a sports anime about figure skaters. Yuri, Victor and Yurio are the three main characters, but even Yurio falls away when compared to the wonderful love story unfolding before us. Victuri (Victor+Yuri) is a healthy romance for the years ahead, and one for the storybooks, in my opinion. But what is incredibly vibrant about the show isn’t just the love between it’s two leads, but the fact that NO ONE IS SHAMED FOR IT. There is no homophobia in sight! It’s proof that one CAN write a healthy, happy romance, without having to include the icky awfulness that our everyday reality pushes onto it.

  1. Yuri!!! On Ice! is the Skating Anime for Everyone
  2. Yes, Yuri!!! On Ice is as Gay as you Think
  3. Gender in YOI

 

In conclusion, go educate yourself, and have fun writing your diverse cast! There’s no reason to stick to straight white protagonists anymore, and certainly no reason to limit yourself. Dream big!

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Creating Diverse Literature

Today, I’ve had a guest post published over at Writerology. A wonderful site, they offer lots of resources for up and coming authors. Please, do take a look. The article I wrote can be found here. It’s a two-thousand word essay on how to create a more diverse cast of characters in your novels, and why. Please do take a look! <3

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26 Questions No One Should Answer

Courtesy of Tumblr, I’ve found a blog-post thing that I figured I could fill out for fun and profit. Profit mainly being answers to questions I never thought I’d have to answer. So, here we go, 26 questions that literally, no one should answer, Ever.

  • A. If you could get away with one murder in your lifetime without any legal, social, or emotional repercussions, would you kill someone? -Absolutely. There are a lot of people out there that really, really do not deserve to live. And I’m pretty sure they may not know who they are. But if I were able to live a free life afterwards, I would happily murder some of them.
  • B. What is your first thought when you receive a message, are you excited for the idea of someone from potentially the other side of the world wanting to talk to you or fearful that someone will criticize you? – Well, Both, a little, but honestly, I’m just excited, because it means that someone actually wants to talk to me, and it’s someone I can hopefully have a long, heartfelt dialogue with.
  • C. Have you ever looked down on someone because you thought your religious views were superior? – No, But I have looked down on someone FOR their religious views. There are people who beleive that their religion comes over other’s basic human rights, and that in and of itself makes me angry.
  • D. Would you rather know everything the universe has to offer but in exchange lose all emotions or remain the way you are now? – …I’d rather remain the way I am now. My emotion is part of what makes me who I am. Not only that, but if I knew everything in the universe, what fun would it be? Part of the joy of life is discovering what exactly I’m looking at.
  • E. If you could live and be healthy without sleeping or eating/drinking, which would you cut out of your life? …Sleeping. Eating and drinking is VERY, VERY fun, new tastes, sensations all of that. But honestly, sleeping I would miss if only because I have really awesome nightmares sometimes that turn out to be really great story ideas.
  • F. If you could take on the exact body and form of anyone else on Earth, who would it be? – …Uh, well… I’m a little partial to the form of one Tom Hiddleston. I wouldn’t mind being him for a while.
  • G. Would you rather burn or freeze to death?-  FREEZE. ABSOLUTELY. Freezing makes you want to go to sleep. Burning just hurts. Everywhere. Forever.
  • H. If it meant it would solve all world hunger, war, disease and bigotry, would you spend the rest of eternity in Hell? – Yes. I would. Because honestly, if one person could end that much hatred and pain, then any torture is worth that sacrifice.  And if I could be that person, then I would suffer through the pain and torture knowing that my pain brings others happiness.
  • I. Was the first crush in your life something you had or something someone had on you? – A boy named Bobby Brown had a huge crush on me when I was living in West Virginia at the age of Nine. He and I went to school together, and we were best friends. Turns out, he had a huge crush on me, and for christmas, had his dad help him buy me emerald earrings. I have no idea where the earrings are, but I remember him, and I miss him to this day.
  • J. Could you live without having sex ever (again) in exchange for eternal youth? – <Asexual laughter in the distance> No, but really, I could absolutely live without ever having sex again. As an Asexual, I don’t need it, don’t like it, and honestly, would much prefer eternal youth.
  • K. Have you ever watched a full length pornographic movie? – Yep. It’s like any other movie, only with more grunting and a lot of sex.
  • L. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? – Neither? If only because both of them are good, but not my favorite.
  • M. If you could have the ability to manipulate matter or energy, which would you choose? – Matter. Energy is constant, but matter can shape and change. So, I could, technically, create more money. Which would be useful.
  • N. What was the worst nightmare you ever had? – One night, I dreamt that I was a mother of two, in a post-apocalyptic world, covered in water. I was searching for a place for my children to be safe, and took them into one of the few non-flooded basements I could find. My child was curious, and opened a door. Inside was a creature I can only call a Revenant, a strong, fast, and vicious zombie-like thing, and it attacked the child. I tried to leap forward, to put myself between it and my child, but… I couldn’t. I woke up crying out for a child I don’t have yet.
  • O. Would you rather spend one year with your one true love just to never see them again or the rest of your life with second best? – …I…Wow, this one is hard. Probably the one year. Because better to have and lost, then never to have at all, right? But… Wow, yeah, that would be difficult.
  • P. All the sequels/remakes/adaptations/rip-offs in movies nowadays, good or bad? – Neither? Some are good, some are bad. They’re getting better, though.
  • Q. Would you rather be dirt poor and emotionally fulfilled in life or be rich beyond imagination and emotionally dissatisfied for life? – … Considering I’m dirt poor and emotionally dissatisfied right now, I’d say Rich. Because at least then I wouldn’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from.
  • R. Do you have any (secret) feelings of bigotry to any group of people? – Unfortunately, yes. I do. I’ve often been jealous and bigoted towards those of a Mexican background. Their women are prettier than I am. Not only that, but I was jumped by a gang of mexican children when I was in gradeschool. So I harbor a grudge.
  • S. Would you rather be the only person in the world that can read minds or have everyone else in the world be able to read minds except for your own? – I’d rather read other people’s minds. Honestly, because that way, I could try and make peace with everyone.
  • T. If everyone in the world would automatically only know one language, which language would you choose? – Japanese! JAPANESE. I want to learn that language SO BAD. You have no idea.
  • U. If you were old enough and not in a situation where it would be inappropriate, would you sleep with one of your (past) school teachers/professors? – …Not really? None of them were attractive to me. And, again, Asexual.
  • V. A world without religion, good, bad, neutral? Neutral. People would find other reasons to kill each other.
  • W. The men’s rights movement, legitimate cause or laughable, and why? – Well, honestly? Legitimate cause. But not the way they’re going about it. The way most men’s rights activists go about it is to bring out their issues whenever a feminist brings out theirs. Which demeans both causes, and brings more and more distain down on both of them. Men do have problems. They can’t report rape without being laughed at. The ‘Sissy’ standard. Domestic violence issues. I understand this. But that does not compare, not right now anyway, to the systematic rape and repression of females all over the world. Personally, if MRA’s want to make things better, maybe they should concentrate on helping Feminists first.
  • X. You can eliminate one of your five senses to substantially strengthen the others, which one and would you do it? – Hearing. Because while there are lovely sounds in this world, and music is beautiful, it is nothing compared to the beauty of a sunset, or to the touch of soft fur, or the exquisite taste of a well-cooked meal.
  • Y. Do looks mean anything to you? Don’t lie, could you fall in love with someone you thought was ugly? – Looks do mean something to me. I want the person I love to take pride in their appearance. So yeah, I would have issues falling for someone I deemed unnattractive.
  • Z. Can you understand the mindset and logic used by the opposite spiritual opinion? An atheist understanding the belief in a higher power and vice versa. – As a Pagan kitchen witch, I do understand the beleif in a higher power, whom sent their most beloved down to die for you, and all like you. I don’t beleive the same, but I can understand the instinctual comfort such a thought would give.
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Darling Mother Dearest

We know the type. The Mother, The Magdelene, She Who Nurtures, and she is the singular woman who defines who we are, who we become, and what we’re going to do with the world around us. Developmental theory often refers to her as the Female Rolemodel. In Fairytales, her title might be Step-Mother, or Queen, or any number of other things. But in the end, she is that one discerning force that brings us out into the world.

Now, this is where we draw the line. There are many types of Mothers.  Good ones, bad ones, evil ones, abusive ones, caring ones, obtuse ones, demanding ones, mothers run the whole spectrum, because they are, in fact, people. And no matter what your experience with them, or lack thereof, they still define parts of you to this day. Often, it isn’t until we grow up and get our own jobs and move on, that we realise our mothers, good bad or missing, are part of what motivates us in the world.

Three very good examples of mothers include Mother Gothel from Tangled, Eudora, Tiana’s mother from Princess and the Frog, and finally, one we all know very, very well, Wendy from Peter Pan. Now, you may be wondering where Wendy comes into this. Just hold on, and let me get to my point.  All of these fine ladies exemplify motherhood one way or another. Each different kinds, each with their own flaws, each with their own strengths. But beneath it all, they’re all women, down to the bones of it. Beneath the veil of “Mother” lies a woman, and it is that woman who determines how her children will turn out.

To start with, we’ll give you a good example. Eudora, the mother from Princess and the Frog, is a good woman. Married to her husband of many years, she works hard in New Orleans in the 20s. Which, for a woman of color, could NOT have been a good time for her. But she made the best of what she had, and because of that, she raised a resourceful, kind, and determined daughter. Because beneath the Mother, there was a resourceful, kind, and determined woman.

Now, Mother Gothel, as you well know, if you watched the movie for even half of its length, was abusive. Emotionally, and at the end, physically. She constantly belittled Rapunzel under the guise of motherly help. She put her down, and if you watch her most minute actions, all of her affection was aimed towards her daughter’s HAIR. The magic, not the girl. No wonder Rapunzel wanted out so desperately! But, if there was anything she did do right, is that she provided for her daughter. Rapunzel never wanted for anything, not food, not a roof, other than entertainment of course. And she encouraged her hobbies, baking and reading and painting. Even the worst mother can have a FEW redeeming qualities, I suppose.

Wendy, however, is a very special case. She actually wasn’t really a Mother. Not to begin with anyway. But the boys adopted her, and unwilling, she ended up a mother. This is the important part. She didn’t WANT to be a mother to those boys. Peter forced it on her, much the way single mothers are forced to take up both parental roles. However, unlike either of the mothers above, Wendy falls under the pressure. She caves. And in the end, she leaves. This too, has an impact upon her ‘children’. The boys once again only have Peter for guidance, and instead of growing up, they languish in Neverland, playing games forever with their child king.

So you see, no matter who she is, absent, missing, there, loving, nurturing, evil, selfish, cold, the mother has a big influence on her children. And before you get into it, fathers do too, but this is about mothers, so hush.  Mothers are what teach us how to emotionally handle the world. They prepare us, one way or another, for what we’ll find when we leave the nest. Some are good at this duty. Some are terrible. But no matter what, even if you loathe your mother and her actions, there is always something that will bring your mind back to them, something that makes you remember her, absent or not. And that, my friends, is why women become Mothers. That is our immortality.

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Beauty and her Beast

Beauty and the Beast Vs. Taming of the Shrew

Both iconic tales, although for very different reasons. Long, well-known, articulate, and fascinating, both tales are considered love stories, usually of the romantic variety, with sweet connotations, underneath everything else. The humor in Taming of the Shrew is considered a finer point of William Shakespeare’s works. The “song as old as time” of Beauty and the Beast is famous for it’s sweet romance, persisting through the ages as a love story to be emulated.

However, both stories have deeply troubling issues within them that few enjoy looking at. Truthfully, I don’t enjoy looking at it. Like any little girl, I absolutely adored Beauty and the Beast, wanting nothing more than to find that kind of adventure and love so easily. And my teenage self really enjoyed Ten Things I Hate About You, which is roughly based off of Taming of the Shrew. Both were funny, quirky, beautiful stories that made me think that maybe, just maybe, love was out there for everyone.

Now, break it down, by role. Let’s start with the women of each example.

Beauty, whose name literally describes her both inside and out, is a sweet, dutiful girl, who is obedient, intelligent, and (in the original tale) respectful. The disney version added a firey backbone, which was quite nice, actually. Her role in the story was to meet and be enslaved/captured by the beast, and then, despite being cruelly abused, verbally, and physically (he occasionally throws her around even in the disney movie) is supposed to fall in love with the Beast, once he exposes his true, good heart.

Katherina, the infamous Shrew, is an obstinant, firey woman with a temper. She is determined to have her way, and will not be told what to do. She chooses not to marry. During the course of her play, she is psychologically tortured by her soon-to-be-husband, through various methods such as removing her clothing and food, by saying it isn’t good enough for her, and deliberately misinterpreting what she says. She, in the end, also falls in love with a rude, obstinant man, whom has proven to be a rather cruel fellow.

Both women seem to be intelligent, well-thought out women, for all that they’re a little… one dimensional. Beauty is beautiful in all that she is, and Kate is well… a shrew.  But both women are forced, quite against their will, to be in the company of a man who is downright brutish.

The Beast is just that, a monstrous beast both outside and in, with claws that have rended the entire castle. Belle must have lived in fear, for I know I would, were I surrounded by stone gauged by such talons. Not only that, but he treats her as though she were a servant, a slave. He yells, demeans her, and as illustrated before, throws her a few times. He is brutish, boorish, angry, frightening, and supposedly, deep down, has a heart of gold. Belle just has to endure until it begins to show itself. Meanwhile, Beast is just waiting for the right woman to come along and teach him proper manners. How demeaning is that, as an allegory for the male gender? Hear that guys? You have no choice but to be an ass until the right woman comes along and *FIXES* you.

Petruchio, meanwhile, had the benefit of being raised in Italy. Meaning he’s an ass too. Also, he’s psychologically manipulative, and uncaring of Katherina in a personal sense. All he wants, as is stated in the play, is to marry a bride. He too is cruel, wooing a woman who obviously doesn’t want marriage, and basically talking her into marriage with the most backwards sweettalk in existance. He knowingly enters the relationship set to break down Katherina’s spirit and make her docile, accepting, and obedient.

Both men are the worst sort of examples of mankind one can think of. I personally am embarrassed to even call them men, for I’ve MET good men, and they do not act this way.

Now, you ask, at what point do these two stories even coincide with each other? Well, think about it. Beauty and the beast is a story about a woman taming a man. Taming of the shrew is about a man taming a woman. They’re the same story, only with the genders reversed.

What’s worse is, instead of the man showing the woman kindness, as Beauty showed Beast, and finally revealing the heart of gold inside, in Taming of the Shrew, Katherina is instead browbeaten, psychologically tortured, and in general treated as a problem, something to be beaten down and changed.

Both stories have problematic elements, Beauty with her stockholm syndrome and Perchutio with his cruelty, however, when looked at, it is clear what the commonality is. In both stories, women are clearly a means-to-an-end. Nothing more. Katherina is refused her personality, changed by the man in order for him to gain a bride and her sister to be eligible for marriage. Beauty exists for her father to trade off, for the Beast to gain back his humanity. Nothing more.

THIS is the problem with these two stories. When you are writing, consider the women in your story. Consider what they do, who they are, WHY they are in the story. If they are nothing more than a means-to-an-end, then you are doing them, and yourself, a disservice. After all, Misogyny is often internalized, and it’s time that women became women, and not just a catalyst.

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Is Sexism alive and well? Try to get a Tubal Ligation, and find out.

Got Some Qualms (lifesneverhumdrum: rcmclachlan: doodlyood: …).

 

While doing my normal average tumbling for the day, I came across this lively discussion. Apperantly, it has become doctoral procedure to discriminate against women for their ability to bear children. Several examples spoke of in that small conversation prove the point.

When a woman goes in for a Tubal Ligation, a process by which a woman’s fallopian tubes are severed, and then tied, henceforth stopping any form of conception, she is given a stern lecture of the likes of “You’ll regret this later in life.” or “Have a kid first, then come back.”

What I find absolutely appalling is that men, when going in to have a vasectomy, are basically given an immediate okay. It’s ridiculous that women are told to go home, when asking for the same sort of rights as men. We should be able to control our reproductive rights.

I personally, want as many children as I can carry. I don’t think I would ever consider having a sterilization surgery. But that doesn’t mean other women, women who do not wish to care for children, shouldn’t be allowed to!

This is ridiculous, and something needs to be done.

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