“It’s Okay to be Neither,” By Melissa Bollow Tempel
Alie arrived at our 1st-grade classroom wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. I asked her to take off her hood, and she refused. I thought she was just being difficult and ignored it. After breakfast we got…
Jensen: “I could pretty much tell you a story about any aspect of Jared. I could tell you when he gets angry how he is, I could tell you when he gets sad how he is, I could tell you when he’s having a fight with, you know, a girlfriend how he is. So, uh…I will say that with all of those he’s a, uh, he’s a very passionate person about what he does. He loves his family and friends, he loves his dogs, and they love him, and…I don’t know. There’s so many, which one would you like to hear?”
PALO ALTO, CA – Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and President of Facebook, has stated publicly this week that he is “extremely pissed off” about the amount of Facebook posts and status updates relating to college students’ distress over final exams.
so I went to an arts school for high school, and I majored in creative writing. And in Writing I, a freshman course focused entirely on the technical aspects of the English language, one of us asked the teacher what the plural of “sawgrass” was. And—no exaggeration—we then spent the entire hour-and-fifteen-minute class period debating whether the plural form was “sawgrass” or “sawgrasses” because, when I looked it up, the dictionary said either form could be used, and obviously that was not an acceptable answer.
and when we graduated, that life-ruining teacher gave my entire class these little paperweights, which were engraved with a line from a poem called “Sawgrass.”
Click the link to go to Livejournal, and reply to the comment with my username in it. Stay anonymous simply because it makes the atmosphere lighter and more mysterious, kind of like a Secret Santa only with love and holiday cheer!
Neville and Ginny get married a year after the war ends, just after she finishes school. Although Molly Weasley is initially unsure about Neville—after all, she had so wanted for Harry to ‘officially’ become part of the family—she quickly changes her mind and gives him her blessing when he helps her to permanently degnome the garden at the Burrow.
Their wedding is part wedding and part reunion, with all of the surviving members of Dumbledore’s Army in attendance. For the most part, the ceremony and reception are downright joyous. Tears are shed and sympathetic hugs are given—of course, especially over the seat left empty at the wedding ceremony in memory of Fred—but the whole event remains a party, a celebration of love’s victory over death.
Something that was tired before it began: evil ladies being held exclusively accountable for the sins of their male counterparts.
Sometimes this is a fandom problem (Jaime Lannister, ASOIAF), sometimes a textual one (Graham, OUAT), sometimes a bit of both (Spike, BTVS). But it’s a problem no matter what, because it’s a pattern. Situational “bad boys” are shown as being maneuvered into place by an unapologetic dame. Male straddlers of the grey line are constantly being pushed into this back-and-forth of acting (for reasons of badassery) and regretting (for reasons of woobie), and the woman’s pushed forth as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Oh, she pushed him into it; oh, he’s doing it for love of her, or for her volition, but he has a heart, unlike that cold snake bitch he’s fucking!
Usually it’s so they’re made palatable as a romantic lead, which makes the schematic even grosser: we’re meant to expect their redemption the minute they switch lady hands, because why not? Why make it about their conflict when we could make it a dichotomy of Good Woman v. Bad Woman! Not like this poor bro had any choice in the matter! They never wanted to do the things they did! They’re GOOD GOOD GOOD under all that sexy badass set dressing! GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!
They make it so easy.
And it’s dull as fuck.
Who wants to read about anyone who isn’t the main character of their own life (regardless of what they are in the text)? Who thinks it’s sexy to have a character’s intellectual and emotional agency obliterated just so that they can serve as a moral clean slate? It’s weird, it’s infantilizing, and really, what a spectacularly patronizing way to treat your readers/viewers: an adult male with blood on his hands can only do Bad Things™ out of some kind of mean-spirited emotional thrall? Sorry, I don’t think so. Try again. Try letting your characters make fucked-up choices for a myriad of reasons, both selfish and unselfish, both cruel and kind, both well- and ill-meant. Note, choices. Try treating your characters like goddamn adults for once.
Choice is more interesting. Grey is more interesting. Expect me to find a tabula rasa under that black leather and I’m not going to buy it. It is not always the woman that bids them eat—and even if bidden, they have to be treated accountable for the bite.