Posts tagged fight the oppression of the phallocentric society
Posts tagged fight the oppression of the phallocentric society
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. (via riverran)
#mary shelley #this quote though #it’s all kinds of wonderful #hey remember that time one asswipe was like you have 30 seconds to name something invented by a woman… #…and Mary was like SCIENCE FICTION MOTHERFUCKERS #that was awesome #thanks Mary Shelley (via snappily)
And the next time someone starts claiming that teenage girls have ruined the horror genre with romance or whatever you can be like, hey dicksmack, teenage girls and romance built your genre so sit the fuck down. (via sharpestrose)
Mary Shelley fucking invented your favourite genre motherfuckers. You owe her Kirk and Vader and every goddamned thing Joss has ever done that’s made you cream your pants. Created when she was a teenager cause, hey, that’s how she rolled. She took love and showed it as the powerful, terrifying, all-encompassing, ruthless, wrathful thing it is. (via piinboots)
And I would like to add:
Whenever I remember that Shelley was 19 when she wrote Frankenstein I’m like “shit why haven’t I written a best-selling novel that creates a whole new genre yet”
As many of my female peers are doing at the moment, I’m reading a book by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg called Lean In. The first chapter asks: What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
My answer? I’d write this blog.
Hello. My name is Meagan Marie, and I’m a person. I’ve…
Today is International Women’s Day (if you hadn’t already heard), and I’ve been moping about most of the day trying to figure out what to write about. Doubly so because it’s frankly been a long time since I posted much of substance and I feel pressure to be impressive. But then I realized the two problems were somewhat related.
When I started this blog, it was on a whim, joining the ranks of Tumblr with a bunch of other comics fans I “knew” online. I chose the topic of women comics creators mainly because it was different from all the “women superheroes” blogs that attracted me to Tumblr in the first place, and also because many of my favorite creators happened to be women— the ranks of which have perhaps unsurprisingly grown immensely since then.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a “woman comics creator” as both a subset of the group “comics creator” and as a thing unto itself. I know of plenty of creators who embrace the latter, and equally as many who despise the distinction. Where do I stand on all that? It’s hard to say.
On the one hand, to pretend there’s any kind of gender parity in the world of professional cartoonists and comics creators is laughable. And speaking strictly from a business perspective, it obviously comes from the same place as gender disparity in any other industry— these industries were old boys’ clubs for so long and they still haven’t shaken that, even if they’re trying. I feel it at my uber-corporate job, where my immediate manager is a woman, but everyone else up the chain is a man. So on that level, I feel having a forum to discuss and promote women creators is as important as the women employee’s network at the company I work for.
On the other hand, I absolutely reject the idea of women being pigeonholed as “women comics creators”, not to just be thought of as creating “girl books”, and having every pen-stroke judged through the lens of one’s gender.
On top of all that, there’s a little voice that needles at me whenever I think “too hard” about comics that it “doesn’t really matter”. For that little voice, I am grateful to the work of Geena Davis and her Institute on Gender in Media, who work tirelessly to remind us that girls need to see strong images of women in mass media to grow up with a healthy self-image and limitless ambition, and that having women producers of mass media increases those images. (The example I always think about is that Dame Judi Dench became James Bond’s boss when Barbara Broccoli took over as co-producer of the franchise.)
But when I see male critics writing flippant reviews (and oh did I) of Moto Hagio’s Heart of Thomas, failing to note or even recognize her towering reputation (second only to Tezuka in the pantheon of mangaka), and the book’s historical value in the scheme of both the boarding school and boys’ love genres (both immensely popular and seen as “girls’” genres), and criticizing her ‘overly feminine’ art style, I see red. And I remember why I want to focus on women and their artistic achievements.
Damn whatever navel-gazing criticisms I might have of myself, and I respectfully disagree with any women creators who feel that blogs like mine and any all-women projects don’t ultimately do women any favors. Women’s voices are important in every possible sphere, whether they’re talking about “women’s issues” or creating in “girls’ genres” or telling more “universal” stories and reaching for a diverse, more “mainstream” audience (though don’t get me started on the fact that “universal, mainstream” stories are almost always about straight white men), women’s contributions in any media should be valued and encouraged.
And that’s what this blog is all about, Charlie Brown.
(Image: “Every Woman a Wonder Woman” by Lucy Knisley)
On the importance of Magical Girl Heroines & Weaponized Femininity:
Let me start by saying that officially speaking, Sailor Moon is older than I am. I started watching while living in Singapore while I was four, so I definitely came in around the end of Sailor Moon R and watched Sailor Moon S despite the fact that it was played in Japanese with Chinese subtitles. When I moved back to the States, Sailor Moon started being released and aired in sub and dub form and being young and happy to actually hear a language I understood with a show I already liked, I watched the dubs. They’re not the shining star of any animated dub, but I went back several times as I got older, and rewatched the series, in dubs, in subs, all 200 episodes. I changed my self-identified scout, I understood what got cut out of the show, what was censored, I went back and relived my crush on Tuxedo Mask again…and again. In terms of “formative media” Sailor Moon is probably near the top of the list. I still have the sticker book I had when I was 5/6 that has a page dedicated to these magical girls, and they’ve been with me a lot longer than almost anything else, including Harry Potter, Avatar: the Last Airbender, and most other narratives, superhero, fantasy, or otherwise.
When I got the chance last year, I showed one of my girl cousins (who was twelve) the first episode of Sailor Moon. She came back to me about a week or so later and was maybe thirty episodes into the series, bursting with excitement over everything and every one.
I stopped to think about how much that meant to me. Then I thought a little harder. One of my best friends gave me an opportunity to cosplay as Sailor Scouts, and I leapt at the chance. I accidentally stumbled across the newer series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and marathoned all twelve episodes. Then I made my best friend watch it.
Why does Mahou Shoujo stick with us? The show I loved when I was six is something I love when I’m twenty, and something my cousin who is a tween also loves. For that matter, Puella Magi is, essentially, an update of the classic Magical Girl story, with some genre subversions thrown in. What makes magical girls so important?
It clicked, today, and I think I’m stating the obvious here, when I say I didn’t get a whole hell of a lot of Female Coming of Age narratives in school, in the media, or otherwise. The word bildungsroman is practically synonymous with “story about a young boy who grows up”. It’s not that I can’t relate to those narratives - I can - it’s just that they’re not about me.
The Magical Girl genre is essentially a genre which explores the female Heroine’s arc, the female coming of age story, and the womanhood narrative with varying degrees of success or failure — but it gets explored. I’d be hard pressed to name a whole lot of series that allow women to play every single archetypal role in the heroic book the way say, Sailor Moon does. Because Usagi Tsukino is a regular girl who is sort of clumsy and a bit of a bad student, but kind and loving and sweet. She is the “regular young girl” who begins a journey into becoming a powerful woman. She might initially play at being the virginal Princess type, but let’s face it — her future child drops out of the sky, and there’s never any sort of real play at insinuating she’s a bad person because she grows up. Usagi is a Warrior, a Queen, a Mother, a Lover, a Friend, a Sister - the Heroine of the story. She saves her own boyfriend/consort’s ass regularly from the bad guys. Essentially, she’s the hero, and the story is about her.
It’s more complex than that, of course. Her weapons are pink and shiny and come in the form of compacts and wands with heart and moon shapes. She wears a sailor fuku, she’s got long flowing hair, she’s feminine, beautiful, and when she doesn’t trip first, she’s going to kick your ass in the name of the moon (and love and justice). Being a girl is her weapon. Being feminine and a woman is her weapon. Some of the other Scouts have other presentations of themselves and their genders, but that’s just it - womanhood and girlhood, and gender, and sexuality, and so on — has a spectrum. It’s all there.
Now look at Puella Magi. At only twelve episodes it packs a hard punch, and it’s so easy to claim that Kyubey represents the devil, with a contract waiting to be made to essentially use your soul to fight witches. This claim that the narrative is Faustian isn’t wholly wrong, but I’d argue it’s not all there is either.
Kyubey isn’t the devil. Kyubey is the society we live in, which takes up and preys on young girls at vulnerable times in their lives, and asks them to be perfect. Society asks girls to fight against evil, the icky, awful, and impure, and it keeps asking until we say yes. Yes to being beautiful, and perfect, and good, and pure, and sweet, yes to being a nice young lady, yes to fighting everything that is bad and evil and dangerous - to fighting the things that threaten us and our friends.
Except there’s a catch. We’re fighting ourselves. What they don’t tell you, society, or Kyubey in this metaphor, is that there is no way to prevent yourself from becoming what you started out fighting. You lose, in this scenario, every time. At some point, a young, “emotionally volatile” girl grows up and becomes a woman. One day, you hit puberty, or maybe you haven’t yet, and someone leers at you, or looks at you wrong, or calls after you and you are suddenly made aware of the fact that being a woman is dangerous. Growing up means something incredibly different for girls than it does boys.
And this is something Kyubey himself says, and the implications of it are astounding. Girls become women. Magical girls become witches. There’s no stopping it, the process happens whether you want it to or not. You grow up, sure, but there’s a reason for it. Sayaka Miki fights relentlessly against the evils she sees in the world, but she becomes obsessed with her imperfections and failures, she berates herself for falling short of her own standards, and for standards thrust upon her, and she literally can not win. The standards are always changing, they can’t be met, they’re meant to keep you fighting, but only in a certain way, only the way society wants you to. Sayaka loses her cool, she overhears some men say awful, horribly misogynistic and sexist things about their ‘girlfriends’ on a train, and she loses it. Sayaka reacts to the endless stream of hatred and misogyny set up in a patriarchal society that has been asking her to fight against women who failed to met society’s expectations and while we don’t see the results of her losing her cool on the train directly, we can all imagine that she could have beaten these men up, or she could have killed them. In the end, the result doesn’t matter. The losing her temper does.
You become a witch or a bitch the day you fight back. And even if you don’t fight back, you’re going to become a witch or a bitch eventually. That’s the unfortunate truth of growing up female — sooner or later, society will betray you. And while you might not become Walpurgisnacht, it can be as simple as a hiss in your ear, or a seething message in your inbox. You’re an emotionally out of control girl, you’re evil, you’re bad, you’re a slut, a whore, or a bitch, or hysterical, or over reacting. You become a woman in a society that hates women. And if and when you react, you get tossed straight into the bin of evil terrible things.
Puella Magi is a story about young teenager girls who, while exploring who they are as people, their sexualities, their lives, their desires, hopes, wants, wishes, and dreams — find out that society is going to see them as shitty monstrous plagues upon the world sooner or later. And you can try to stop it, or take it back, or hold out hope, or you can lose your unholy shit and hit back. You can say the idea of witches is complete and utter bullshit, and women and girls don’t deserve that fate. You can fight against it, you can be Madoka Kaname, or Usagi Tsukino and you can fight against people who prey on other girls and women for having anything special or bright about them and try to make it something terrible or wrong.
Magical Girl stories are stories about growing up and becoming a woman, and protecting other women, saving other women, following desires and dreams and wishes and then kicking the bad guys in the face with your high heeled boots. The weapon is womanhood and girlhood and your sexuality because that’s the weapon society gave you and told you you were going to hurt yourself with it. Except the thing is, you don’t have to hurt yourself. You can protect yourself, and your friends, and your ideas, and feelings, and some days, yes, you fall down on your knees and sob messily because you can’t defeat every bad guy on your own, or ever, or alone - but goddamnit you have the ability to take power in your agency and who you are. Society doesn’t OFTEN tell girls that. We don’t often get the message that who we are is okay, acceptable, powerful, or amazing, much less that it’s also okay if we don’t succeed every single time. We know the fight is a part of our lives, but survival is the minimum. Getting stories about winning beyond that is amazing.
This is why I cringe when people complain loudly that there aren’t “Magical Boy” series for them to watch. To start with, there are already several series that involve young boys transforming with magical powers and skirts/wands/sparkles/etc. There’s also an abundance of already available fantasy male heroes who start off on Hero’s journeys that describe the process of growing up and becoming a “man” in society. Magical Girls are a genre that rely on a female narrative, on becoming a woman, on relative experiences of love and sex and dreams and wishes that are influenced by the treatment of women in society. That doesn’t mean men can enjoy these stories, or relate to them, or that people who don’t fall in the binary gender spectrum can’t relate to them (on the contrary, there’s a lot of reliability in not “fitting” gender roles or expectations in the series I’ve just mentioned), it just means that this genre is built on something very specific to a narrative that is not male dominated, that isn’t a male narrative. There’s, uh, a reason why Mamoru Chiba is the major male love interest, and why PMMM features one male love interest who ends up with someone else. The ability to find WOC and QWOC in Magical girl series is also a big part of the genre, and pushes the majority of the focus on female pleasure rather than the dudes. Yes, the Male Gaze exists in much of the genre, but… Tuxedo Mask is also clearly a young girl’s dream man. So is Sailor Uranus. The crushes and loves are often more fluid than they would be elsewhere, and equally important, they’re not in the perspective of Prize/Not prize and give an active role to the women in the relationships.
Magical Girls are important to real girls because they tell us stories about ourselves and our powers, and we need them, because girls need to see themselves as heroes and saviors too.
More feminism e-cards.
He gets it.
actually so powerful
#ruined by kings and now ruiner of kings #honestly do you know how much potential this film would have had as a real examination of queenship/femininity in a patriarchal world? #the answer is a lot #it could have been utterly breathtaking and amazing and ridiculously on point #if they had used beauty as a repeated motif - because yes yes ravenna is right #because queens are figureheads who rarely get to rule; because women are judged on what they look like #and so in a world like that - to take power; to take true power #you have to use your weakness and fashion it into your strength #so yes yes beauty is power #cosmetics and physical appearance as an extension of the will #’as strong as an arm’ #and beauty is how ravenna conquers but faith is how snow conquers #it could have been amazing as an examination of the two different forms of queenship #ravenna who uses her very self as a weapon against the world and snow #who had been forged by the world and comes back in armour with no pretensions to feminine beauty or tradition #to take the throne #two methods of conquest and both succeed. and in time the throne will rest as heavily on snow as it did on ravenna #jesus christ you deserved a better script
Feminism DOES NOT EQUAL ‘man-haters’, ‘women are better’, ‘feminazis’, etc.
Feminism means realizing we live in a society where men are valued above women, where men make the majority of the decisions.
Feminism is fighting for equal opportunity for ALL genders.
Feminism is not a dirty word.
Proud to be a feminist.
Feminism is the radical idea that women should be treated as people. You can tell if a deal is fair if it’s still a good deal from the other side. I doubt many men would accept the treatment they dish out to women.
I’ve seen my share of “fake geek girl” shaming, and just thought having a Fairy Gamer Momma to come to the rescue would be nice. I know they exist, I’ve met plenty who are amazing and could beat my ass at any version of Mario Kart. Give the Gamer Momma in your life a big hug! :D
I love this. LOVE. Plus, I know some ladies who would be excellent Gamer Mommas. (I wouldn’t, I’ve never played video games.)
Have these whippersnappers ever even been in a real arcade? Like, with quarters and lines and death-matches?
Avengers Academy -VALKYRIE - BAD TEACHER….BAAAAAD!!! ;)
This interview may be from 2010, but our Secretary of State’s badassery lives on.
Previously on “Amazing Women Calling Out Sexism,” Emma Stone.
One of the BEST ad campaigns about representation I have seen.
Everyone has a backbone. Use yours.
A 12-year-old schoolgirl has been accepted into Mensa after discovering she is brainier than both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
Olivia Manning, from Liverpool, managed to get a whopping score in an IQ test of 162 - well above the 100 average.
Her score is not only two points better than genius German physicist Einstein and Professor Stephen Hawking, but puts her in the top one per cent of intelligent people in the world.
(and of course the mainstream media won’t even acknowledge this because women doing smart things in math or science? GEDOUTTATOWN.)
This is so awesome!
SIGNAL BOOST! This is AMAZING!