imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So I had the pleasure last night - genuine pleasure, I should note - of seeing the recent collection of Disney Pixar shorts. They are, of course, gorgeous: wonderful art in many styles, with beautiful music to accompany them, and cute little stories to make the viewer laugh or cry or go awwwwww as appropriate. I enjoyed myself. But there were two things that rather bothered me.

The first thing was the introduction to the story of John Henry, in which all of the directors and producers who were shown were white. I say this as a white person: John Henry and his tragic triumph are not a white person's story. There should have been some people who were not white involved in the production, and if there were, why weren't they shown?

The second thing was actually the adorable Paperman. It is, in fact, adorable; it is what I think is usually called magical realism, its characters were well-developed despite the lack of words and the brief nature of the short film. But. Our male protagonist is instantly smitten with our female protagonist; that's easy to see. And then he spends the rest of the short thinking about her - wishing to see her again, trying to get her attention, searching for her. But while he's thinking about her, he's not actually thinking of her. We see that when she walks into the office across the way, she's there for some important reason: she's dressed to the nines, she shakes hands with the person in the office and gives them the folder she's been carrying, she sits patiently but nervously while the person reads through the folder. This is important to her, whatever it is. And the male protagonist thinks nothing of trying, desperately, to interrupt this clearly important moment in his life. What impact would it have made on her meeting if a paper airplane had interrupted it? Would she have been judged, however unfairly, because someone chose to hassle her from across the street? It's not an unreasonable assumption that she might have been. But the male protagonist doesn't think of this; he thinks of nothing but that he wants her attention, regardless of what else she is doing at the moment.

That bugged me.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
But not all men are like that! Not all men are violent when they are rejected, not all men catcall women, not all men become angry when someone refuses them sex, not all men go shoot up sororities because women won't sleep with them.

Yeah, not all men are like that. But enough men are.

See, that's the thing. It doesn't have to be 'all men' to be a problem. Just like not all sharks are dangerous - we still get out of the water when we see a fin. Not all snakes are poisonous - we still try to avoid getting near them in case of being bitten. Not all raw eggs have salmonella in them - we still cook our eggs to avoid getting ill. Not all of any of those are dangerous - but enough of them are dangerous that we avoid them anyhow!

And it's possible to learn to tell which sharks are dangerous and which are safe to swim with. It's possible to tell which snakes are poisonous and which are safe to handle. The chance of salmonella is small enough that an occasional raw egg probably isn't going to kill you. Violent - or potentially violent - men don't have nice brightly colored stripes on their backs to identify them as dangerous; they don't have clear markings which we can read and be wary of. Sometimes they display clear behavior markers which we can identify; sometimes they don't. The only way to be wary of the men who are dangerous is to be wary of all of them until they prove themselves to be safe.

So yes, women are wary of all men. Because enough men are dangerous that it's the only safe choice.

And those men who don't like that? Well, perhaps they could start doing something about the men who think that catcalling is a fun pastime, that women are required to put out if the man paid for dinner, that 'too drunk to consent' means the sex wasn't rape, that violence is an appropriate reaction to rejection. Perhaps when the best available statistics don't show that four men in every hundred are rapists - and likely to be serial rapists, too - perhaps when every woman out there doesn't have a story about how she or her sister or mother or best friend was violently assaulted, perhaps when walking down the street wearing comfortable clothing is not the catalyst for being obscenely propositioned...perhaps then we can reconsider being wary of all men.

But for right now, enough men are ruining it for all of you.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So I read Captain Awkward, and the DFD thread on Making Light, and Shakesville, and any number of advice columns on and off, because I am fascinated by humans and how and why we do things. One of the big things I see is in the matter of romantic relationships. Someone – usually a woman – will say something like, “My significant other leaves broken glass in the sink,” or, “My significant other pisses in cups and leaves them lying around,” or, “Of course I do all the housework despite working a sixty-hour week because my significant other just can’t do it,” and the thing is, nine times out of ten that significant other is male. And then a whole heck of a lot of other women chime in to say, “Hey, mine does that too, you are not alone!” (or, more hopefully, “My ex did that, and we are no longer together for a reason,”).

And I work in a mostly-female department of a mostly-female organization (librarians: very often female!), and a lot of my patrons are women, and I hear a lot of, “Oh, well, you know how men are,” and what the person means is: they don’t cook, they don’t clean, they don’t do childcare, they don’t do emotional anything, they expect their beer and their dinner and their marital rights and they lift heavy things and kill bugs. Good to have around but not, you know, useful for a whole lot of things, and you certainly can’t expect them to hold up their end of an emotional entanglement; if you want romance you have to pull that weight yourself: just be glad you have one who doesn’t hit you – or at least not much.

And that? That is grade-A prime-cut BULLSHIT. And I wish to dispute it.

First off, you don’t need a man. Nope. It is nice to have a romantic partner if that is something you want in your life, and if you are interested sexually and romantically in men then it is nice to have a man in your life, but for the love of little birdies, just having one is not an accomplishment to be desired, and certainly the attitude of, “Well, this one is crappy to me but at least I have one” – that attitude needs to be taken away in a sack, never to be seen again. So.

Secondly, let’s say you want a man in your life, in the sexual and romantic sense. Let me tell you a thing.

I am married. Have been for just under eight months now, which I grant you isn’t a lot but I lived with my husband for just under four years before we were married, and the pastor who gave us premarital counseling basically said to our faces that marriage was, frankly, not going to change a damn thing about our relationship – that in every way that mattered except the legal, we were already married.

And when someone says to me, “Oh, you know how men are,” and they mean ‘useless violent jackwagon with the emotional intelligence of a small grey rock,’ frankly, I kind of see red. Because that is NOT TRUE of the man I married, and I know for a fact there are more men like him out there.

Let me brag on my husband for a minute, because here are some things which good men do:

• My husband goes shopping with me, after we have made the week’s menus together and looked through the cabinets together and decided what we need.
• My husband makes dinner with me, except on the nights I work late and come home and fall over, when he makes dinner for me, and does it damn well.
• My husband eats dinner with me at our little table, and we talk about anything and everything and laugh our heads off about the weirdest things and discuss philosophical issues and how to rule the world when our grand plans work out and we become evil overlords of the universe.
• My husband does the dishes with me, side by side at the sink chatting about our days or our plans for the week or the story one of us is writing or whatever else happens to come up in conversation.
• My husband semi-regularly scrubbed out the tub (before it started draining properly), and damn it looked nice. Also he does the vacuuming when we clean because I hate that thing.
• My husband tells me if my clothing looks acceptable in public when I ask, because he has a much better eye for color and fit than I ever have, and also he thinks I am beautiful and should wear clothing which looks good on me.
• My husband is warm and snuggly and comes up behind me while I am on the computer to hug me from behind and get his beard caught in my hair like Velcro and laugh at whatever I’ve got up on Tumblr.
• My husband betas my fiction and worldbuilds with me, and I beta for him and worldbuild with him, and both our writing improves.
• My husband plays Diablo III with me and we go kill monsters gleefully and laugh and trade interesting items. And then he quotes the characters at me while we are doing other things so that I fall over laughing.
• My husband explains football to me, very patiently, over and over because I think it is a silly sport and do not understand it but I know he likes it so I don’t mind if the game is on, and sometimes I want to know why everyone is cheering.
• My husband makes really awful puns and laughs at my really awful puns.
• My husband lets me rant about my co-workers or patrons or the computers at work that don’t do what I need them to and hugs me when I am done.
• My husband never tells me I am stupid or ugly or useless, even when my own brain does, but he does tell me I am beautiful and smart and have really good ideas.
• My husband goes dancing with me.
• My husband brings me water and meds when I am sick, and rubs my back, and makes soothing noises. (Especially relevant this week, when I am making horrid hacking noises and snorfling.)

…Look, I could go on for a very long time about what a wonderful man I have married, but the thing is, look at that list. It is a list of ways my husband is kind to me, of ways my husband shares the work of being married with me instead of making me do it on my own, of ways that my husband demonstrates that he cares about me as more than just provider-of-food-and-sexy-times.

And no one, no one, NO ONE DAMMIT, should have to settle for less than someone who cares about them, and is kind to them, and shares the work of the relationship with them.

So if you are someone who wants a man in your life, romance-wise, do not fall for all of the many, many, many lies about ‘how men are’ and ‘you know how it is’ and ‘it’s just the way things work.’ No. There are men in the world who are kind and considerate, who tell awful jokes and hug you when you are sad and make dinner with you and never tell you that you are ugly or stupid or worthless. There are men who marry you after six years together because they want to, none of this who-buys-a-cow-when-milk-is-free bullshit. There are men who choose jewelry for you that is something you like, because they have paid attention to your interests, and buy you Hobbit socks for your birthday, and choose your engagement ring because it hasn’t got any sharp edges and they remember the time you cut yourself on a ring, years ago. There are men who do not make fun of your old teddy that is all flat and worn but you love it so damn much anyway. There are men who lean over and double-check that you’ve taken your pill because you like the outside confirmation, and who geek out about your favorite books with you, and who play computer games with you and never tell you you’re a ‘fake geek girl’ whatever the hell that is.

There are good men out there. My father is one. My husband is one. My husband’s brother, and his father, and on and on and they exist, okay?

If you really want a man in your life, do not settle for any man who will have you. Look for one who will be kind to you, and care for you, and respect your autonomy and your decisions; who will help you do the work of the relationship, and be your friend as well as your lover. Such men exist. Do not settle for less.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Welp, I'm appalled by my country. Seriously, an armed adult can claim he was 'scared' of an unarmed teenager and that counts as a defense?

...In other news, I'm trying to find a place to move, once I get a job, and Florida has just rendered itself quite effectively off the list of places I will *EVER* go. For a job, for a visit, for any reason whatsoever. Just...no. So much no.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Man, I have whiplash from the last few days of Supreme Court/Texas legislature shenanigans. On the one hand, augh, why did SCOTUS squash the bits of the Voting Rights Act which made it work? On the other hand, WHOO! DOMA is dead. On the same hand, WHOO! Wendy Davis is all kinds of awesome. On the first hand again, WHAT EVEN with the Republican party calling a vote after midnight and trying to pretend it was before midnight and then sort of backing down and going, oh, okay, actually Davis won that round.

...Seriously, has the Texas Republican party not heard of the internet? It's this big thing with tubes, Al Gore invented it, it lets *lots of people* talk to each other *instantaneously.* Also lots of people on the internet don't like you guys and are only too happy to point out your moments of idiocy. So maybe don't give them ammo?

Eh, the world is a strange and occasionally frustrating place.

...
In better news, hey, as of a week and a half ago I'm married!
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So Best Beloved and I were talking over dinner, as we do, and we got to discussing the scientific method as it relates to right-wing religious wingnuts. I was thinking specifically about a thing from a while back, where a prominent wingnut said something about all porn turning people gay - don't even ask, I dunno - and thinking, okay. Back when I was going through puberty and figuring out my sexual orientation, my thought process went something like this: 'Data point: I am attracted to men. Data point: I am also attracted to women. Conclusion: You know, I think I may be bisexual. Huh, who'd've thunk.'

Whereas if you're in one of those areas where being gay is not an acceptable option, that process might go: 'Conclusion: I cannot be gay. Data point: I am attracted to men. Extrapolation: Some horrible outside force is tainting me and turning me towards the dark side, aiee!'

Which...no. That is not how science works. You're allowed and encouraged to have hypotheses, because those give you a starting point, but when the data does not back up your hypothesis - and I remember this clearly from science class! - you write up a conclusion which says, in essence, "Well whaddaya know, I was wrong, I thought X was true but pretty clearly X is not true, and Z might well be true instead, we should do some more experiments." And then you come up with a hypothesis about Z and start testing *that*.

Now, this is not nearly so easy with self-image and sexuality as it is with chemicals in a lab, and I quite understand that. But I think a lot of things would benefit from being approached with the scientific method: I think X is true. I will gather lots of data to see if I am correct. If I am not correct, well, drat. Better find a new hypothesis!
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
You know that feeling when you think you've written a nice little PWP with no redeeming social value and then the plotbunnies attack and suddenly you're seven chapters into a twenty-plus-chapter fic with epic journeys and social implications of arranged marriage and a possible sequel?

...Yeah. That would be where I am now. Oh my gods, you guys, this thing is trying to eat my life. If I end up trying to re-write LotR with Frodo, Prince of the Blue Mountains (adopted), I may have to bang my head against a wall for a while. Re-writing the Hobbit without the dragon is bad enough!

Best Beloved just laughs at me. Suppose I deserve that, really. But seriously, this may be the longest fic I've ever written and it's *not even done yet.* I have sixteen chapters plotted and am nowhere near the end.

Though I admit that writing in a huge fandom and getting such magnificent amounts of feedback is kind of making me squee.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Was over reading a very cogent post from N.K. Jemisin, who is an absolutely wonderful author, on racism and sexism in SFF fandom, and ran into the mention that someone had tried to use Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold as evidence that Heinlein was not racist.

I...just...AUGH MY BRAIN. What? Seriously, the only other Heinlein book as truly awfully racist as that one is probably Fifth Column, and...just...OMG WHAT.

...If you're going to try and prove something, at least give it a good go, okay? Don't pick one of the most racist novels by a given author to prove he isn't racist. Please? It breaks my brain.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (Default)
So I adore Sherlock Holmes; he is a wonderful character and the books are wonderful and Dr. Watson is all kinds of adorable and I want one. I also quite like the BBC's Sherlock; it seems to me to be a decent adaptation of the original works into modern London.

I will not be watching Elementary for one reason: because every review I've seen says that Joan Watson is not the competent, war-tested, even-tempered, highly intelligent doctor that Dr. Watson should be. Yes, ok, Dr. Watson doesn't solve the cases. That's because he's not Sherlock Holmes, because no one else is Sherlock Holmes. That doesn't mean he's incompetent or stupid; it just means he isn't Sherlock Holmes. He's a very talented doctor, he's a good man, he's a soldier with a soldier's skills in fighting, he's immensely patient and astonishingly good-natured, given what he has to put up with! He is good at his job. He just isn't Sherlock Holmes.

So any Watson that modern adaptations provide had better be a brave, competent, highly intelligent ex-military doctor, because that's who Watson is, regardless of gender.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (Default)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [humans] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These words were revolutionary 235 years ago when they were written. They should not be revolutionary now. They should not be anathema now. They should not die, here in the country where they were born.

Oh, my beloved country.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (Default)
(As a side note, I’ve been trying to decide what to call my boyfriend on this blog, because obviously I’m not going to use his real name, do I look stupid? and finally settled on calling him my Wolf. And yes, this is possibly related to the pretty pretty icon. Er. My kinks, I has them?)

Anyhow. I was listening to my co-workers at one of my jobs (I have three, kill me now) talking about their respective male significant others, and noticed something a little disturbing. When I talk about my Wolf, in public or in private, it’s usually to mention something good about him – he makes me hot chocolate, he did the dishes, he’s funny, he has better dress sense than I do. When my co-workers talk about their male SOs, it’s often…not as complimentary. They’re insulting, they’re hypochondriacs, they’re hard to get on with, they don’t like my friends…

I find this a little disconcerting, really. I keep wanting to say, If he’s that unpleasant, whyinell are you with him? What good points does this man have? What made you take up with him in the first place?

And then I realized that this is linked to something I’ve ranted about before: the idea that all men are uncommunicative boors, and all women are brainless bimbos, and really they have nothing in common except occasionally sex (and even then the women have to be pressured into it), so just hook up with someone attractive and deal with the fact that you have nothing in common and don’t really like each other. Which is BULLSHIT. But it’s infected so many of us. There’s this idea that if a man wants you – any man – it’s a compliment; that if a man is attractive or rich, or if you’ve been with him for long enough, you should just stay with him because he’s good enough. Who wants an equal? Just go for any available penis!

And…I think that’s utter bullshit. I think we should all – male, female, or other – be pairing up with people who make us happy, who make us feel safe and warm and fuzzy inside, who we can talk to. Who love us, and who we love. And if that means that we don’t go for the first available person with the socially-approved genitalia who makes cow eyes at us, then good! Reach for the sky, people! There are good people out there – I’ve met them, I’ve gone to school with them – and if we’d just…oh, bah. What I’m trying to say is, we shouldn’t settle. None of us. And if our SOs aren’t making us happy, if each time we see them there’s a sense of doom or sadness or tension (that isn’t sexual), then we should feel free – even encouraged – to move on, to find someone who makes us HAPPY.

My Wolf makes me happy, and that is why I am planning on staying with him for the foreseeable future, as long as he’ll have me. I really just wish some of the people around me had the same sort of happiness, and weren’t just settling for…less.

ETA: (As a side note to the side note, and in order to demonstrate respect for my partner and fairly good communication skills, and also that I am occasionally an ass, I shall point out that my SO had much rather be referred to as Best Beloved than Wolf, and that therefore, henceforth I will be calling him Best Beloved. I am sure this will thoroughly confuse all...two...people regularly reading this blog. Hi guys! You're awesome!)
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (Default)
I'm American - a citizen of the United States of America. I love my country and its ideals dearly; I think that the ideas embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in the Declaration of Independence and the writings of our Founding Fathers and Mothers, that all people are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, are wonderful ideas, ideas which all people should support, because only by treating everyone as our equals can we become better than we are.

I'm a liberal. I think health care is good, and people who are poor should be helped not spat upon, and if I have to pay taxes, well, that sucks, but they help everyone, including me, because they support emergency rooms and roads and sewage systems and all sorts of other useful things. I think women should control their own bodies and gay and lesbian people should marry whom they please, with all the legal rights and privileges attached to that state.

I would like to say this to my political opponents: I think you are wrong. That's why we're opponents. I think some of your ideas are actively harmful, and others are passively harmful. But I also believe that you have reasons to hold those ideas, and I would rather like to sit down with you and discuss this like civilized beings. Perhaps there are things we can agree on. Perhaps there are things we must agree to disagree on. Perhaps there are things I will think you are right about, and perhaps there are things you will think I am right about.

But I cannot do this - I cannot sit down with you, O hypothetical rational political opponent of mine, and discuss our differences like civilized beings, because as far as I can tell, the people who hold views in political opposition to mine also think that I and the others who believe as I do ought to be rounded up and shot like rats in a trap. I do not care for this view. I do not think my political opponents ought to be shot - voted out of office, yes. Debated publicly, yes. Disproved scientifically, yes. But not shot. Because that is not how democracy works. Democracy is a civilized system, and that means WE DO NOT GO AROUND SHOOTING EACH OTHER WHEN WE DISAGREE. Okay?
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (Default)
REPEAT: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS for Out of the Dark

Ok, for starters, I really like David Weber's writing. I have a thing for space opera and aliens and against-all-odds battles and all that good stuff. So, going into Out of the Dark, which involves aliens trying to conquer the Earth and discovering that doing so is much like thrusting one's bare hand into a hill full of red ants, I was excited and happy.

And for the first three hundred pages, in which the aliens continue to discover that, yes, humans are bloody dangerous, and also they keep shooting at you long after logic dictates that they should give up, I was very happy.

And then the vampires showed up.

I disapprove of deus-ex-machina via vampire. I really, really, really disapprove. Once you have gotten your characters into a deep hole filled with nasty things, you are not allowed to then say, And then they can FLY! when there has been no evidence before this point that your characters so much as know that flight is possible. Once you have allowed the aliens to conquer the Earth and attempt to exterminate and/or pacify its people (and we all know how well the latter's going to work, now don't we), you do not get to go OH WAIT DRACULA and make it all better.

So yeah. Cranky Imaginary Golux is NOT AMUSED.

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