I’m so surprised to see people promoting ‘All About That Bass’ when it’s such a clear example of both body-shaming and validating one’s worth through men, like
It explicitly bashes skinny girls AND a big chunk of the refrain is about how it’s okay to be bigger because MEN PREFER IT
This isn’t going forward, this is going fucking sideways. We need songs that encourage women’s self esteem irrespective of what men think of how they look, and we don’t need to shit on women whose bodies are socially more accepted than ours who have done nothing wrong
Ladies, I am holding out my hand. Do you trust me?
I need you to open Google Maps. Locate your nearest mall. Get in your car. Drive to Yankee Candle.
Past the seasonal pumpkin display, near the back of the store, you will find a trash pile Man Candle section. You will see candles called MMM, Bacon!. Riding Mower. Man Town. (I’m not kidding. Man Town.) Stay strong. Not in this section, but likely very near this section, you will find a candle called Mountain Lodge.
Hold this jar in your hands like a talisman. Close your eyes and picture a man.
I want to be clear: I’m not talking about a Hugh Dancy. Or an Andrew Garfield, a Ben Whishaw, even a Tom Hiddleston. This exercise requires someone in the Chris Evans weight class. The Richard Armitage department. Someone with smile lines around his eyes who could chop the cedar for your bower with his own hands, strangle an alpha wolf, carry you home when you sprain your ankle in the woods, bench press your entire body. Picture this man in your mountain home with a full beard, a slightly grimy white henley, a fond half smile he reserves only for you. Now open the lid and smell Mountain Lodge.
Steady yourself on the man candle display. Give yourself a second. No, you’re not wrong. Yes, the Yankee Candle Company has just eliminated the need for men. This medium tumbler Mountain Lodge candle jar is now your boyfriend. The Yankee Candle Company has effectively replaced the need for contact with the male half of our species with a compact and clean-burning candle in a jar.
"Do you like this one?" the cashier asked, ringing me up. "Every man should be required by law to smell like what this candle smells like," I replied intensely. "That’ll be $12.01," she said.
we were at the mall yesterday, and while my friend when to go get her ear pierced again i wandered into the yankee candle store, because i fucking love smelling candles. the saleswoman comes up and asks if i need any help, and i say yeah, actually, do you have a candle with a bearded man on it or something like that
she then asks if there’s some sort of weird scavenger hunt going around, because multiple people had been in to ask about it
Hi. So, from your blog I saw that you have a general dislike of books like Twilight and Ignite me, because you feel like it's giving negative messages to young girls about romance, love, etc. But, these books are in a fantasy world. Vampires do not exist. Dystopian worlds do not exist. Don't you think maybe you should give girls more credit?
You know what, Anon? Good question.
It’s not about thinking girls are stupid, or gullible, etc. And I don’t know every girl in the world, but I know me. And, my idea of romance, of love, of my perfect guy comes from movies, TV and books.
Writers, even bad ones, have a way of tapping into fantasy, dreams, etc. They have a way of finding your pleasure centers and pushing them.
I started reading romance when I was about 12. I was staying with my Dad in Florida and I got my period. (not my first, luckily). So, I couldn’t go in the pool and I was moody and I hated everything. And i literally sat around, eating doritos and reading my stepmothers books.
My step mother had harlequin and historical romances. I FELL in love with the idea of the rich guy on the white horse who would come and make me a millionaire. Honestly, her books were from like the 80s and earlys 90s. Those books are all about rich pirates, Counts, dukes and billionaire businessmen. I am 25 years old and I have never discriminated against guys that I know, that I’ve crushed on or loved, but I have an ideal.
My ideal guy, is Mr. Darcy. He’s Curran from Kate Daniels or Adam from Mercy Thompson. He’s taller than me, and smart and physically strong. He can literally beat the hell out of anyone who messes with me. Was promiscuous in a past life, but I have personally made him monogamous. He’s protective, but not possessive. He’s domineering, but never dominates me. He’s rich, but doesn’t care about money. We will argue as much as we will love and he will move me into Pemeberly while supporting everything I do.
And this is me. Ms. Feminist, independent, work my way to the top Naomi and I still have a romance novel idea of romance.
So, when a 13 year old reads “Twilight” and Edward is all obsessed, and watches his girlfriend sleep and makes decisions for her based on her own good,etc etc, yes, I believe that many 13 year old girls get the idea that this is love.
I think that “Dinner With A Vampire” is a perfect example of the effects of books like Twilight on a young persons mind. That book is written by a teenage writer. Her name is Abigail Gibbs and her book was published when she was 16 or something. Kaspar, her hero, is probably the worst romantic hero I have ever read. As in, kidnaps, hits, verbally abuses, etc the heroine. Ok, this 16 year old wrote this book. This 16 year old believes that she has written a love story. I actually had a long discussion with another 17 year old , who with all her heart believed that this was a romance. When I questioned her, she would say things like “i’m 17, with the world at my feet, i’m allowed to runaway in fantasy.”
I don’t think that girl is stupid. I think that we get a lot of what life is supposed to be like from our families, our friends and our culture. Right now, our culture is saying that guys who are “misunderstood,” “intensely possessive,” “Dark,” and violent are romantic leads. You can just look at the “Ignite Me” reviews on goodreads. Girls are gushing about Warner. Who abused, and tortured and killed, the entire series. All of a sudden he’s the love of their lives and people are saying “I want me a Warner.” Same can be said for Travis Maddox, Christian Grey and dozen other abusive men. Terrifying.
If he is not intense and hates others guys around you and doesn’t call you every moment, doesn’t sneak into your room and watch you sleep, then he isn’t invested. He doesn’t love you. Never mind that Edward Cullen’s actions mirror those of abusers. Never mind that it’s not OK, to dictate to your girlfriend who she should hang out with. Never mind that Edward literally wants to kill Bella and drink her blood for the entire Twilight book. Not like, “oh i’m a vampire, i like blood and you have it,” no. Edward wants to drink specifically Bella’s blood.
Nevermind that Twilight tells you to fall apart when your boyfriend breaks up with you. To risk you life in order to feel that thrill that being with him gave you. Oh and to change literally everything about yourself and give up your future, your family and your friends for love.
I think that sends a message that young people are receiving and accepting.
The real problem with books-turned-movies isn’t “omg they didn’t include every single word in the book” it’s “omg they completely overlooked the main theme, threw out any significant allegories, took away all the emotional pull, an turned it into a boring action movie with a love triangle in it”
If you step on my foot, you need to get off my foot.
If you step on my foot without meaning to, you need to get off my foot.
If you step on my foot without realizing it, you need to get off my foot.
If everyone in your culture steps on feet, your culture is horrible, and you need to get off my foot.
If you have foot-stepping disease, and it makes you unaware you’re stepping on feet, you need to get off my foot. If an event has rules designed to keep people from stepping on feet, you need to follow them. If you think that even with the rules, you won’t be able to avoid stepping on people’s feet, absent yourself from the event until you work something out.
If you’re a serial foot-stepper, and you feel you’re entitled to step on people’s feet because you’re just that awesome and they’re not really people anyway, you’re a bad person and you don’t get to use any of those excuses, limited as they are. And moreover, you need to get off my foot.
See, that’s why I don’t get the focus on classifying harassers and figuring out their motives. The victims are just as harassed either way.
It’s also applicable to other situations where someone claims their intentions were pure and they didn’t mean to do something sexist/racist/heterosexist/abelist, etc. Even if you did not mean to step on someone’s foot—you did.
Earlier this year, we brought you the story of Baby Bounkham, who was severely injured after a Georgia SWAT team threw a flashbang grenade that landed inside Bounkham’s crib—cops were serving a drug warrant based on information from a confidential informant about a small amount of meth. The raid yielded no drugs and no suspect. Cops insisted they did what they could to prepare and didn’t know there were children in the house, two seemingly contradictory contentions. The sad case illustrates the interplay between thewar on drugs, militarized police, and police brutality.
If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”
And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.
And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.
It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.
The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.
As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.
”—Junot Diaz speaking at Word Up Bookshop, 2012 (via clambistro)
"maybe the wider than expected demographic appeal of my little pony is a bellwether for the destigmatization of femininity" — me, in 2011, being the most wrong about anything i’ve ever been in my entire life
Male Writer:Ah, anniversary jokes are so funny. Because chicks always hate it when you don't remember anniversaries! A plus gold very original
Male Writer:Mother in laws amirite?
Male Writer:My male character who is an author insert of myself pines after a woman I used to pine after in high school. Then they have sex. This is good literature.
Male Writer:Ugh female books are so romance filled
Male Writer:And girl fanfics, so mary suey
Male Writer:Now listen about this original middle aged man who is an expert in everything, suffers from ennui, looks like me, acts like me, and gets all the girls i want.
Male Writer:She was sexy in an alluring, boring way, filled with purple prose and riddled with objectification
Male Writer:If i make a female character parrot my misogynistic views, they cease to be misogynistic! Are you saying you don't respect my fake female characters opinions, feminists?
Male Writer:a good action girl is one who looks hot at all times
Male Writer:If the female main character got in an asskicking line, my work is Feminist with a capital F and no one can criticize me
Specifically White Male Writer:Heroic tropes are so overdone. I'm going to create a boring white guy with stubble to be a completely original antihero no one has ever seen before TM.
Same Guy:It's original because he is a jerk who gets away with bad behavior, just like I wish i could.
Another Specifically White Male Writer:It's in my universe to only have white men do things in my book. I mean, don't you care about historical accuracy
Same Guy:I mean, it's a generic fantasy verse with no real life time period equivalent and i haven't done any research, but i'm SURE that it's historically accurate. To that dark mideval dragon fighting europe period
Same Guy:Where in Europe? Who cares!
Male Writer:There is no better way to introduce a female character to a male character than by him saving her.
Male Writer:Characters hating each other is good sexual tension!
Male Writer:One female character and five male characters is a good team balance
Male Writer:If my female character chooses to act in a sexist tropey way, it's not sexist. In fact, because she CHOSE to do it, it is Feminist.