I just saw this ad playing before a youtube video and I had to stop and watch the whole thing. Incredible.
Watch this. NowPERFECT PERFECT PERFECT
Overly Sensitive, Highly Emotional, and Other Feminine Flaws
33,204,961. That’s my approximation of the number of times I’ve been called highly emotional or otherwise plastered with the overly sensitive label. Well, let me offer you some insights on the reasons people feel the need to label you, and your options for managing those labels. Because what others choose to do with what you say is their choice, but how you feel every day is yours.
Broaden your horizons
If you attack girls for liking stereotypical feminine things you’re doing this feminist thing all wrong
In Defense of Sansa Stark
Sansa Stark must be one of the most hated characters in A Song of Ice and Fire. The vitriol levelled against her is often frightening in its intensity, surpassing that for actually horrific characters like Joffrey and Ramsey Bolton. Her crime? The unforgivable fact that she is a pre-teen girl.
As a massive fan of Sansa, even I must admit that she is difficult to like at first. She’s spoilt and a bit bratty. She fights with her fan-favorite sister and trusts characters who the reader knows are completely untrustworthy. She is hopelessly naive and lost in dreams of pretty princes and dashing knights. She acts, for all intents and purposes, like the eleven year old girl that she is. Most of us were pretty darn unbearable to older people at that age (and that’s fine, because they were also pretty unbearable to us). Robb and Jon, although older than Sansa, are similarly misguided and bratty, with Jon’s constant “poor me, I deserve so much more” attitude at the Wall, and Robb’s clumsy attempts at being the Lord of Winterfell. But these mistakes are only reprehensible to readers when they come from a girl, interested in girly things and making girly mistakes. Because viewers have been taught that “girly“ is automatically bad.
I love bad-ass, sword-wielding heroines as much as the next person (Arya and Brienne are two of my other favorite characters in anything ever), but the focus on this sort of female character — the oft-cited “strong female character” — seems to suggest that femininity is still bad, and that women can only be strong by adopting stereotypically male roles and attitudes. There’s nothing wrong with Arya declaring that being a Lady does not suit her and forging her own path, but saying that all female characters must take this attitude is as sexist and dismissive as saying that all female characters must be weak and take a backseat in events. Femininity is not bad, just as masculinity is not necessarily good.
Sansa plays an important role in the narrative, because she shows how societal expectations of women completely screw them over. She believes in everything that her parents and her septa have taught her. She believes in stories, and she believes that the greatest thing she can do is marry the prince (who will, of course, be chivalrous and honorable and handsome and kind) and have his children. She has spent her life in the cold castle of the North, dreaming of stories of tournaments and beauty in the south. Because people want her to be that way. That is how they think the ideal young woman should be. And it almost destroys her. Worse, it brings the reader’s hatred down on her, because even though women are told they are only “good” if they fit into this role, the role itself is seen as weak, manipulative, stupid and generally inferior. It is the Catch 22 of being a woman, both in Westeros and in our own world: no matter what you do, you are criticized, especially if you don’t act like Arya Stark and fight to become “one of the boys.” And so some “fans” of the series declare that they wish Sansa would get raped, a woman’s punishment for daring to act how she has been taught. For daring to act feminine, and making mistakes while doing so.
And all this hatred misses the fact that Sansa is one of the strongest individuals in the entire series. In a world where people drop like flies, in an abusive situation that would break so many people, Sansa survives. Sansa endures. She stays strong, and she never gives up. As Brienne says to Catelyn, she has a “woman’s courage.” She learns how to play the game. She wears her courtesy for her armor, and she listens, and she adapts, and she keeps her cards close to her chest. She learns how to smile and curtsey and use her words to keep going long after other, older, more experienced players, including her father, are destroyed. But she will not kneel. She will not weaken. She remains strong, and she remains determined, because the North remembers, and her day will come. Her “woman’s courage” keeps her alive and in the game where characters like Arya would not last five minutes.
Most impressive of all, Sansa maintains one key part of her personality that others might dismiss as “weak” or “feminine”: her kindness. She manages to be brave and gentle and caring, despite the trauma she goes through. She shows love and affection to little Robert and to Tommen. She puts herself at risk to save Ser Dontos, using her words and her courtesy to trick Joffrey into doing as she desires. She cares for and calms the people of King’s Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater, despite the fact that she is so young and so inexperienced and few of them have ever done anything to help her. She knows that if she were Queen, she would make the people love her, because she cares about other people, even when her own life is torn apart.
Traditional femininity is not innately inferior. It has its own kind of strength and its own kind of power, and Sansa Stark demonstrates that better than any other character I’ve encountered. She is not fierce or rebellious. She is not ruthless or brutal. But she is strong. She is a survivor. And that should not be dismissed.
Even if you’re not into ASOIAF/GoT, I highly recommend giving this a read for its invaluable discussion of femininity, gender and female representation in the media.
Yesterday a guy I had just met called Sansa a “whiny little bitch” and I wanted to rip his face off.
A Boys’ Camp to Redefine Gender
Over the past three years, photographer Lindsay Morris has been documenting a four-day camp for gender nonconforming boys and their parents.
The camp, “You Are You” (the name has been changed to protect the privacy of the children and is also the name of Morris’ series), is for “Parents who don’t have a gender-confirming 3-year-old who wants to wear high heels and prefers to go down the pink aisle in K-Mart and not that nasty dark boys’ aisle,” Morris said with a laugh.
It is also a place for both parents and children to feel protected in an environment that encourages free expression.
“[The kids] don’t have to look over their shoulders, and they can let down their guard. Those are four days when none of that matters, and they are surrounded by family members who support them,” Morris said.
Morris has stated that her photographic goal for the project is “to represent the spirit of these boys as they shine.” Some of the ways in which the kids shine is through the talent and fashion shows at camp that are popular and for which the campers come well-prepared.
“Some practice for the talent show all year, and others create their own gowns with their mothers or friends of the family,” Morris said. “The focus and enthusiasm is really pretty incredible. Also, it can be very emotional for the parents, especially the families who are new to camp and are experiencing this kind of group acceptance for the very first time.”
Although it is unknown if the kids at the camp will eventually identify as gay or transgender—or even if the way gender and sexuality are defined throughout society will evolve—the camp allows the kids to look at themselves in a completely different way.
“They get enough questioning in their daily lives, so it’s a great place for them to express themselves as they feel. … I feel we hear so many of the sad stories and how LGBT kids are disproportionately affected by bullying, depression, and suicide, and it hangs a heavy cloud over them and kind of dooms them from the beginning. I’m saying this is a new story. This is not a tragedy.”
Morris hopes to eventually publish a book of her work and also launch a large multimedia show that travels the country and the world to show a new face of LGBT youth. The children featured here and in Morris’ project are photographed with the permission of the their parents. Her ultimate goal is to start a foundation that raises money to help underwrite the cost of camp for kids unable to attend. She also hopes to add even more dimension to the project, concentrating on producing more portraiture and documenting the transition the kids experience upon arrival to the camp.
“I would really love to follow the kids into adulthood and see what kind of relationships they develop,” Morris said. “I want to witness the evolution, knowing from where they started and see how life is going to play out for them—hopefully happily—and I think they’re going to have a better transition into adulthood than the generation proceeding them.”
GoldieBlox, engineering toys for girls, will now be available at Toys ‘R Us!
omg the song
CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW THIS BASHES THE MONOCHROME GIRL TOYS AISLE WITHOUT BASHING FEMININITY AND HAS THE MOST EPIC SOUNDTRACK IN AN AD OF ALL TIME?
Gwendoline Christie is the actress for Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. She stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall and took swordfighting, horseriding, and stagefighting lessons for her part, as well as gaining 14 pounds of muscle, to accurately portray Brienne. (x)
She was also terrified of cutting her hair because she’d spent her life believing it was one of the only things that would make people see her as feminine despite her height. In an interview with TV Guide she said:
I struggled for a long time with [cutting] my hair, but then I’m grateful for the opportunity to realize that femininity doesn’t have to come from hair or any of those traditional female archetypes of appearance, So, that’s been exciting actually. I can’t speak with any kind of authority whatsoever because I’m just an actor and I only have my opinions, but I do think it’s really refreshing to have a woman depicted on a mainstream TV show that doesn’t obey typical aesthetics of females and the way they have been portrayed in the past. And I’m really excited to be portraying one of those women. And I hope that her popularity signals a greater expansion of people’s views about men and women and that gender types can be more flexible.
“In fact, by using her wits a seemingly defenseless pony can be the one who outsmarts and outshines them all.”
CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW THIS IS A KIDS TV SHOW WHERE THE ENTIRE MORAL OF AN EPISODE WAS THAT BEING FEMININE DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK
I wonder how the bullying of, let’s say, young males for being ‘nerdy’ or not conforming to masculine stereotypes fits into the broader social justice matrix of oppression and privilege
or if it’s conveniently ignored
Nerds of all kinds have been bullied since forever, but you can’t really look past how glorified ‘nerd culture’ is lately, how masculine it is, how inaccessible it is to women (discrimination), it’s been sexist since forever too, it probably has to do with how education and innovation were always such ‘boys clubs’, you really can’t miss this.
As far as them being bullied for not conforming to masculine stereotypes, of course it’s a problem and if you feel it’s ignored, it’s because the patriarchy doesn’t really want people to go off thinking femininity is meant for anyone but women/girls, because, y’know, there are traits like ‘fragile, sensitive, insecure’ attached to it, specifically to keep it a women’s/girls’ thing. So, whenever a guy starts showing signs of femininity or just not full on blown out masculinity, it’s seen as shameful, because women/girls are seen as shameful.
But it’s still the femininity they’re being bullied for, when men get treated this way, it isn’t because they’re manly men, it’s because they’re resembling women in some way or another and that’s a Bad Thing, because women are Bad.
What I Learned From Gay Sex: Misogyny and Homophobia
Peter is a gay man I slept with once. When he did come home with me and we were naked in my bed, he kissed my neck, and I moaned, high-pitched and breathy. He stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t do that. It’s faggy.”
I don’t care how you feel about friendship or magic literally everybody needs to watch this video right now
FINALLY SOMEBODY GETS IT
This is pretty much it, good video. In fact, this video talks about one of the major conflicts a lot of girls (like me!) have in adolescence: the concept of femininity is bogged down with so much social bullshit and systematic unfairness (and believe me, even as little kids we can tell) that lots of us feel we have to reject feminine things because we don’t want any of that crap. Even if we like it.
And I suspect, this goes for boys too. Because things associated with girls are also associated with that social bullshit, and they get constantly shamed by their peers to maintain their masculinity (The ‘Fag Discourse’, from C.J. Pascoe, this is an excerpt from a book I think all bronies should read) in adolescence, so they can’t easily take coded feminine things out of their dark hole either.
I would have felt way less ashamed of myself when I was a little kid if I had discourse like this to follow.
This video is spot on, and I encourage everyone to watch it, even if you’re not a pegasister or a brony.
Applause gif that I can’t dig up right now.
Yes, yes, yes. This is exactly why I fell in love with this show.
I WAS AFRAID I WAS GOIG TO GET MAD AT THIS VIDEO BUT HOLY CRAP IT WAS SO GOOD
I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T WATCH THE SHOW YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS :U
[he kept saying “feminity” instead of “femininity” though omg]
Wow. I’m actually impressed.
Holy shit perfect
Can I just say that I think this is the way Mulan should appear int the parks. In the beginning of the movie they make it very clear that the dress she wears to meet the matchmaker is not comfortable nor does it represent her personality. She spends the whole of the film proving that she is not a prize to be won or just a pawn to be married off at earliest convenience. She proves her worth in this outfit. She saves China in this outfit. She falls in love in this outfit. She risks her life, makes her strongest friendships, and changes the entire country IN THIS OUTFIT. Then they have her walk around the park in the same outfit she wore in the first scene of the movie and I think it is really negative toward her character. That is not who she is.
I’ve seen this post pop up on my dash time and time again, and it’s never quite sat right with me. I agree 120% with the idea that the pink “matchmaker dress” is a poor way to represent Mulan in the theme parks, but… so is her soldier armor. It’s just as much not who she is as the pink dress. It represents her pretending to be Ping, and her deceiving everyone around her. It is her pretending to be a man, to be someone else entirely. Honestly, if you want to talk about the outfit that best represents her, I’d suggest this one:
The outfit she wore when she defeated Shan Yu. That is who Mulan is; a warrior, but still a woman. It displays all of the strength that she truly has, yet still manages to be true to who she truly is. This it the outfit that she changed the entire country in; would anything have changed if she was still pretending to be a man? I doubt it. This proves that a woman can be strong, but still be feminine. Given that many people tend to equate being feminine with weakness, I think portraying that the two are not mutually exclusive is a damn powerful message to be portraying to kids in theme parks.
Just my two cents.
On my Facebook page, I posted a status in the wake of this morning’s school shooting in Newtown:
“Violent masculinity has got to go… for real…”
Several people ‘liked’ it, and one person (male) posted this comment:
To which I replied:
“No, violent masculinity. Look at who commits violence: men. Why don’t we ever question gender socialization as a cause of not only shootings, but all types of violence? Most all violence is committed by men. This is not to say that women cannot be violent, but violence is socialized as a masculine trait, and quite frankly, that is insulting to me as a man.”
“Although violence is often attributed to some forms of masculinity, theres no doubt that women can commit violent acts. That’s my point: all forms of violence are bad, not just “violent masculinity.”I get it: men are bad, women are good. Ok.”
This is a response often demonstrated by men - immediately feeling accused of being “bad,” when in fact, what I’m saying is that most men are NOT violent. But society socializes us to think of violence as an acceptable form of conflict resolution for men, and when taken to extremes, it can result in shootings such as the one we witnessed today. I went on to say:
“Yeah, except that is NOT what I’m saying AT ALL.
What I’m saying is that men and boys are socialized to be violent. When acts of violence such as the shooting in Connecticut happen, we look at a myriad of issues - gun control, mental health, access to affordable mental health care, violent video games, violent movies but the ONE THING that is rarely, if ever, mentioned is the gender of the shooters. Which is almost ALWAYS male. In fact, in the cases of these mass murders / school shootings, I do not think one shooter has EVER been female.
Why is that?
Yet when women commit acts of violence, gender is almost ALWAYS the first thing brought up - this implies that violence is inherently masculine. When men DO commit acts of violence - perhaps not as extreme as this one today, but bullying, sexual harassment / assault we often dismiss it as “boys being boys,” which again, is insulting to all men as it implies we cannot control our behaviors. As if we are hardwired for violence.
If you’re taking my comment as anti-male it’s quite the opposite - I love men and think we can do SO much better than we are doing now, and we need to model a new form of non-violent, healthy masculinity soon - or at least start a discussion around this topic as we do with the issues I listed in my first paragraph - otherwise things will continue the way they are, or get worse.
Additionally: how many of these mass shooting come about as a result of sexism? Almost all of these school shootings can be traced back to shooters and their misogyny and past instances of violence against women… another way men are taught to be socialized: view women as objects, as things, rather than people.”
How many women, children, and other men for that matter - have to die before we begin to have a serious discussion in this country about the role men’s socialization plays in these acts of violence? When will we stop simply “praying for the victims” and debating over gun control and address one of, if not THE, root cause of all of this violence - our definition of manhood?