"You know why God cast me down? Because I loved him. More than anything."
Paintings by Masaaki Sasamoto
This was porn to me.
this is porn
and then this happened
is that John Barrowman and James Marsters making out
… that is John Barrowman and James Marsers making out
It is the year after the Battle of Hogwarts. School is starting again. And the thestrals are confused by all of the attention they are getting.
Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.
But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative? Because when it comes to guys, we have whole fandoms bending over backwards to write soulful meta humanising male characters whose actions, regardless of their motives, are far less complex than monstrous. We take male villains and redeem them a hundred, a thousand times over – men who are murderers, stalkers, abusers, kinslayers, traitors, attempted or successful rapists; men with personal histories so bloody and tortured, it’s like looking at a battlefield. In doing this, we exhibit enormous compassion for and understanding of the nuances of human behaviour – sympathy for circumstance, for context, for motive and character and passion and rage, the heartache and, to steal a phrase, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; and as such, regardless of how I might feel about the practice as applied in specific instances, in general, it’s a praiseworthy endeavour. It helps us to see human beings, not as wholly black and white, but as flawed and complicated creatures, and we need to do that, because it’s what we are.
But when it comes to women, a single selfish or not-nice act – a stolen kiss, a lie, a brushoff – is somehow enough to see them condemned as whores and bitches forever. We readily excuse our favourite male characters of murder, but if a woman politely turns down a date with someone she has no interest in, she’s a timewasting user bimbo and god, what does he even see in her? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great online meta about, for instance, the soulfulness and moral ambiguity of Black Widow, but I’ve also seen a metric fucktonne more about what that particular jaw-spasm means in that one GIF of Cumberbatch/Ackles/Hiddleston/Smith alone, and that’s before you get into the pages-long pieces about why Rumplestiltskin or Hook or Spike or Bucky Barnes or whoever is really just a tortured woobie who needs a hug. Hell, I’m guilty of writing some of that stuff myself, because see above: plus, it’s meaty and fun and exactly the kind of analysis I like to write.
And yet, we tend overwhelmingly not to write it about ladies. It’s not just our cultural obsession with pushing increasingly specific variants of the Madonna/Whore complex onto women, such that audiences are disinclined to extend to female characters the same moral/emotional licenses they extend to men; it’s also a failure to create narratives where the women aren’t just flawed, but where the audience is still encouraged to like them when they are.
Returning to Orphan Black, for instance, if Sarah were male, he’d be unequivocally viewed as either a complex, sympathetic antihero or a loving battler with a heart of gold. I mean, the ex-con trying to go straight and get his daughter back while still battling the illegalities of his old life and punching bad guys? Let me introduce you to Swordfish, Death Race, and about a millionty other stories where a father’s separation from a beloved child, whether as a consequence of his actual criminal actions, shiftless neglect, sheer bad luck or a combination of all three, is never couched as a reason why he might not be a fit parent. We tend to accept, both culturally and narratively, that men who abandon their children aren’t automatically bad dads; they just have other, important things to be doing first, like coming to terms with parenthood, saving the world, escaping from prison or otherwise getting their shit together. But Sarah, who left her child in the care of someone she trusted absolutely, has to jump through hoops to prove her maternal readiness on returning; has to answer for her absence over and over again. And on one level, that’s fine; that’s as it should be, because Sarah’s life is dangerous. And yet, her situation stands in glaring contrast to every returning father who’s never been asked to do half so much, because women aren’t meant to struggle with motherhood, to have to try to succeed: we’re either maternal angels or selfish absentees, and the idea that we might sometimes be both or neither isn’t one you often see depicted with such nuance.
read this, read it right now it’s absolutely genius.
This message is for you. Yes you. Hey. Pay attention. You’re a good person deep inside. And I know you have regrets. You’re feeling low and like you’ll never feel better again. Guess what. It gets better. Know that it does. I’m living proof. I was depressed and at times even suicidal for years and I didn’t think I could get the help I needed or that anyone would understand. Here are resources for mental healthcare:
And with this link you can actually talk to a trained listener through online chat. Please reblog this for people to get help.
I put together all the links I had from other posts into one, so that they would be more easy to access. I hope this helps at least one of you. <3CHEERING UP
Gives Me Hope // Emergency Compliment // Random Acts of Kindness // Random Acts of Kindness (Coca Cola Commercial) // 1000 Awesome Things // Make Everything Okay // Just Say Yes! // Having a Bad Day? // Love Yourself // Who is the Cutest? // Faith Restoring // Bad Day RemediesCALMING DOWN
Guided Meditation // Mindfulness Exercises (Audio) // 100 Things to Do // Rain // The Quiet Place // Breathing Exercises // Step by Step // Progressive Muscle Relaxation // Self Help // Do Nothing for 2 Minutes // The Thoughts Room // Coping Rules // Mindfulness // Grounding Techniques // More Grounding Techniques // Soundrown // Managing StressDISTRACTIONS AND COOL STUFF
Draw a Stickman // Flow // Pop Balloons // Line 3D // Rain for Me // Liquid Particles // Into Time // Noise Machine // Virtual Bubble Wrap // Personality Test // Emotional Baggage Check // Planetarium // Make a Painting // It Gets Better // Ocean Livestream // Happy Playlist // The Color Game // Silk - Draw a Picture! // Create Your Own Nebula // Imagination // Virtual Piano // Haiku Hero // What Should I Do Today? // Build Stuff With Sand // Quote Yourself // Watch Ellen // 2048 // Pandora // 8 Tracks // Sleep Calculator // Disney Movies // Life Hacks // Becoming an Adult Cheat Sheet // Let It Go in 25 Languages // 20 Questions // Childhood TV ShowsCOPING STRATEGIES
Make a Comfort Box // Make a Grounding Box // Make a Glitter Jar // Guided Meditation // Stress Relievers // Stress Analyst // Yoga Poses // Reduce Anxiety // Progressive Muscle Relaxation // Realistic ThinkingOTHER HELPFUL MASTERPOSTS
Dealing with Mental Illness // Anxiety & Self Help // Back to School // Happy Things // For Bad Days // Self Care // Self Injury Recovery // Distractions and Games // Find the Good // Movies // Hobbies to Learn! // Mental Health Help // Literally Everything // Resources // The Everything Post // Helpful WebsitesBE HAPPY! (CHECK OUT THESE AWESOME PEOPLE)
Little Reasons to Smile // Just Little Things // Just Girly Things // Bucket List // scars-fade-love-stays // you-are-worth-recovery // lifegoeson-sojustsmile // the-million-reasons-to-smile // thepinklining // twenty-seconds // the-positive-girls-1022 // smilekiditgetsbetter // smilestoinspire // just-trying-to-make-a-difference // just-a-girl-in-this-world // anxietyxwarrior // whenthe-w0rld-comes-d0wn // you—makeme-smileHELPING A FRIEND & UNDERSTANDING
with social anxiety // with anxiety // with depression // who is hurting themselves // with eating and body image // with a mental illness // Dealing with Panic Attacks and Anxiety // Kids Health - Anxiety Disorders // Everything You Need to Know // How to Help Someone Having a Panic Attack // What Not to Say // Fact Sheet // Supporting a FriendGETTING HELPPLAYLISTS
I Can Do Anything // Fight! // Be Happy // Southern Comfort // Forget About It // Keep Your Head Up // Stop Worrying // Stay Positive // Picking Up the Pieces // Shine // Darling, You’ll Be Okay // Don’t Worry, Be Happy // Feel GoodSCHOOL RESOURCES AND TIPS
How to Pull an All Nighter and Do Well on an Exam // Make Flashcards // Get Motivation to Study // Bibliography Maker // How to Cite Sources // Solve any Math Problem // Solve any Math Problem 2 // Online Calculator // AP Cram Packets // Can’t Remember a Word? // Who Do You Write Like? // Crash Course // AP Notes // Essay Writing TipsFOOD