she wears short skirts, i wear blue shirts, she’s cheer captain and damnit jim, i’m a doctor
- Anne Lamott
muslim?? muslim women?? covered?? working? doctors??? not? oppressed???!!!
p sure the first two are trooper and c3po
I would wear leggings if all of them looked like this.
definitely star wars
I am a privileged human being. I’m a straight, cis-gendered, Caucasian male raised in a middle-class home that practiced the majority religion of the first-world country I live in. In other words, for most of my life I was this guy.
One of the main problems when discussing privilege is that many people, on hearing the term in this context for the first time, mistakenly associate it with other uses of the word. A privileged kid, for example, is one that we see as spoiled, always getting what they demand and with entitlement issues coming out of their ears. We think of the kids on My Super Sweet Sixteen and get indignant at the suggestion that anyone could ever place us hard-working, mature adults in the same category as those whiney, annoying brats. This is not what privilege means.
The privilege I enjoy does not guarantee me a free ride. It does not give me what I want, when I want it, without having to put in the necessary work. It just means that I get to start from zero. This is a position that many people do not get to share. My life is not easy, just easier. Privilege is a passive influence and this passivity can fool many who benefit from it into thinking that they do not. So if someone suggests that you may be privileged, take a breath, remember that they are not insulting you and then ask them to explain what they mean.
- I have never left a job interview worried that the colour of my skin or my accent may have reduced my employment prospects.
- I have never had to consider the possibility that someone’s stand-offishness towards me was due to my sexuality or gender identity.
- I have never posted anything online with the worry (verging on expectation) that it would inspire someone to threaten me with rape.
- I have never woken up after a night of partying dreading any bodily interference beyond shaved eyebrows or a sharpie mustache.
If any of the previous statements are true for you, then yes, you are privileged. There may be people who are more privileged than you, fine. But remember, there are also a hell of a lot of people who are expected to put up with much worse with far less support from a society that treats people like me as the default state of being human.
[Edit: Just added a few links to my list for those not familiar with these subjects.]
I often tell people that I’m the biggest self-aware misogynist I know.
I was writing a scene last night between a woman general and the man she helped put on the throne. I started writing in some romantic tension, and realized how lazy that was. There are other kinds of tension.
I made a passing reference to sexual slavery, which I had to cut. I nearly had him use a gendered slur against her. I growled at the screen. He wanted to help save her child… no. Her brother? Ok. She was going to betray him. OK. He had some wives who died… ug. No. Close advisors? Friends? Maybe somebody just… left him?
Even writing about societies where there is very little sexual violence, or no sexual violence against women, I find myself writing in the same tired tropes and motivations. “Well, this is a bad guy, and I need something traumatic to happen to this heroine, so I’ll have him rape her.” That was an actual thing I did in the first draft of my first book, which features a violent society where women outnumber men 25-1. Because, of course, it’s What You Do.
I actually watched a TV show recently that was supposedly about this traumatic experience a young girl went through, but was, in fact, simply tossed in so that the two male characters in the show could fight over it, and argue about which of them was at fault because of what happened to her. It was the most flagrant erasure of a female character and her experiences that I’d seen in some time. She’s literally in the room with them while they fight about it, revealing all these character things about them while she sort of fades into the background.
We forget what the story’s about. We erase women in our stories who, in our own lives, are powerful, forthright, intelligent, terrifying people. Women stab and maim and kill and lead and manage and own and run. We know that. We experience it every day. We see it.
But this is our narrative: two men fighting loudly in a room, and a woman snuffling in a corner.
This is a really interesting article about the way media, fiction and narratives repeated in society shape the way we see and assume reality to be, specifically (in this case) about how narratives about women being victims, or supporting men, but not being fighters or soldiers create the idea that women never did that, and it’s only a modern new thing that we think they could, when in fact that’s not true at all.
Also, specifically relevant to this blog are the parts about how that affects us when we create stories ourselves, and can end up adding to this narrative consciously and subconsciously. It’s the same with how women are depicted in illustrated fiction. I honestly don’t think a lot of the boobs and butt poses, or women in bikini armor, are drawn by people consciously thinking sexist thoughts, I think they’re just doing What You Do. This is a female character, this is just the pose we’re used to seeing women in. We don’t think twice about drawing her like that, because it’s just how we’ve become conditioned to seeing women pose in the medium. Same with stuff like this. It’s how we’re used to seeing female armor, and when we think “female warrior”, our imagination just instinctively runs in the direction of what we’re used to seeing. It’s just What You Do with female armor, and female characters, and female poses.
Since starting Escher Girls, I’ve gotten quite a lot of mail from people telling me that they never realized just how often they put their female characters in boobs and butt poses, or gave them bikini armor, just because that’s how they saw women drawn in video games and comics and never thought twice about it. It’s just what seemed “right” to them, and that they’re now a lot more conscious of it and try to have more variety in the way they depict women, and often in ways that make more sense to the story. :)
I think it’s just important to catch ourselves sometimes and think are we creating something because this fits what we’re doing, and this makes sense, or are we just doing What You Do? (This applies to all sorts of tropes and stereotypes too.)
Literally what the fuck Ash