angry weakness post
I FUCKING JUST
what I mean when I say “we need weak female characters,” when I say “we gravitate to the white male characters because they’re people,” when I say “men’s self-loathing is presumed literary while women’s self-loathing is just anti-feminist” —
my first Feminist Awakening was when, at the height of my K/S phase, I was reading a ton of h/c dudeslash and realized that I’d be uncomfortable with reading het of the same nature if the woman were on the receiving end of h/c. because, you know, a man being torn apart and breaking down and needing somebody to soothingly stroke his forehead? fine. a woman in the same situation? OH GOD NO CRINGE.
because we’ve got a threshold of weakness, and women are already presumed weak, so they can’t be made weaker in fiction.
and that’s why we’ve got the tortured complicated daddy-issues white boys who are the stars of the show, and meanwhile the People Like Us are perfectly coiffed, poised, ever-ready with a sassy comeback. the more marginalized demographics, the glossier we’ve got to be, otherwise we’re at risk of MISREPRESENTATION. of being a DISGRACE TO OUR PEOPLE. it’s not spoken, but I feel it, too. we bear the brunt of the “responsible storytelling” myth. can’t be a single stupid woman character, otherwise somebody might think women aren’t smart.
and I just — who the fuck do you THINK we’re going to gravitate to? the characters who look like Examples for us, who are there to assure the world we’re worthy of existing (because People Like Us are only worthy of existence if we’re perfect, goddamn) or the characters we can actually relate to, because in relating to them, we get a taste of power? the power that means you’re allowed to be weak, you’re allowed to be a full, flawed human being?
and I don’t think I’m even mad, anymore.
I forgive fandom for woobifying our clichéd leading men in the efforts to woobify ourselves. I don’t condone disrespect, but I forgive clumsy attempts to wriggle into our own humanity. because it’s goddamn hard to write People Like Us as people, no matter who you are; we’ve got all of society bearing its weight against us.
just be careful, be kind, and take all the narratives of shame and self-loathing and being broken and battered and cared for — take them. we deserve them. take all you can get.
#i don’t know how harriet mcbryde johnson managed to give herself a narrative#that took full control of her own self-hatred and insecurity and doubt #and thinking the Wrong Things#everyone says it’s better now that you’re gone #well maybe everyone is wrong #musings #’he’s a nasty bastard and i want him anyway’
Wow, OK, I had kind of conceptualized that Joss Whedon post along the lines of “here are some random thoughts that I’m gonna store behind a cut in case a few people are interested,” not expecting so many people to reblog it. But since there was so much interest, I ended up thinking about it more. And the direction my thinking took me in was this: what is it that women find attractive in male and female characters, and to what extent does this match up with what men assume that women find attractive in these characters?
and for ambitious ppl i think there’s also an element of like…. if you screw other people over you will eventually be surrounded by close friends who screw each other over… you won’t realize you’re alone bc you’ll be surrounded by friends that you don’t like and you’ll just think that that’s normal… there is no ‘off switch’ to being a bastard and there’s no stop where you get off the ‘asshole’ ride
what i like about the devil wears prada is it REALLY truly feels like anne hathaway has no choice but to listen to meryl streep’s needs bc it’s her job and it’s only later in the film u kinda realize that that’s exactly how a life of isolated career ambition starts. like… u never really have a clear chance of when u are going to choose career over personal life- its always little decisions piling up on each other until u realize you’re alone. that feels more true to me
i think mostly that i’d rather have a happy personal life than a successful career and i’d never choose money over loved ones but some times i wonder if that’s what i really want or if that’s just what the patriarchy wants for me