D.A. Clarke, “A Woman With a Sword” (via foodbeersexwhatever)
My sister was talking to me about the difference between a “lady” and a “gentleman”. Her thoughts were that generally the way we describe a “gentleman“‘s behavior is with phrases about what he does. But the way we describe a the behavior of a “lady” is with phrases about what she doesn’t do.
This is the metaphor I came up with then, to explain why I (and other women) get creeped out, and how behavior some men think is innocuous seems creepy or even threatening to the recipient:
Some men see women as puzzle boxes.
As far as they’re concerned, inside every woman, there’s a tasty Sex Treat™, and there’s some way to get it out. Some combination of words, of behaviors on the man’s part, some situation will pop that box open and the treat will be his!
Like every belief, this one has implications and consequences. A puzzler may continue to try and try and try to get a woman to sleep with him, testing different approaches and permutations, sure that the perfect solution exists — when in fact, he’s just being terrifyingly persistent in hitting on someone who he’s already completely alienated. He may learn generalized techniques from pickup artist websites or books, which make perfect sense to him because they use the same sort of puzzle/treat logic — and then find that real women he interacts with don’t respond as he anticipated, or even get offended, when he tries out his new techniques. A frustrated puzzler may stay in a platonic relationship with a woman hoping to stumble onto a way to get the treat, when he isn’t interested in the friendship for its own sake.
“I am not a puzzle box”, Felicity Shoulders
So tired of it.
Because seriously, nobody batted an eye when I was little and walked out of the theater after seeing Toy Story proclaiming, “Woody is so cool! I want to be just like him!”
Nobody cared that I was a little girl looking up to a male character. Not a single person would have been upset if I wanted a Sully toy, or if I admired Simba more than Nala. No parents said to their daughters, “No, I’m not taking you to see Up! because there’s no females for you to look up to!”
Because as long as it was men being awesome, parents decided that our kids could see through typical gender stereotypes. They decided, “my kid can learn something from this film even though she is a girl and that character is a boy.”
But as soon as the roles are reversed everyone is up in arms about it. Well that’s nonsense. Because if you’re really not a sexist, you’ll realize that it’s just as fine for your daughter to like Finding Nemo as it is for your son to like Brave.
So get off your sexist pedestal, stop complaining, and take your son to see Brave. And hope to all that is holy that he learns something from it…like how to fight against the current patriarchal system. Because he sure as hell isn’t going to learn that from you.
Excellent article. I always end up thinking this when I see reblogs like that. Female competition is a horrible, poisonous thing (that I’ve only recently gotten over engaging in, and I am much happier for it).
While I was plundering the fantasy world for the next cliche to pull a few laughs from, I found one which was so deeply ingrained that you hardly notice it is there at all. In fact it struck me so vividly that I actually began to look at it seriously.
That’s the generally very clear division between magic done by women and magic done by men.
Let’s talk about wizards and witches. There is a tendency to talk of them in one breath, as though they were simply different sexual labels for the same job. It isn’t true. In the fantasy world there is no such thing as a male witch. Warlocks, I hear you cry, but it’s true. Oh, I’ll accept you can postulate them for a particular story, but I’m talking here about the general tendency. There certainly isn’t such a thing as a female wizard.
Sorceress? Just a better class of witch. Enchantress? Just a witch with good legs. The fantasy world, in fact, is overdue for a visit from the Equal Opportunities people because, in the fantasy world, magic done by women is usually of poor quality, third-rate, negative stuff, while the wizards are usually cerebral, clever, powerful, and wise.
Strangely enough, that’s also the case in this world. You don’t have to believe in magic to notice that.
Wizards get to do a better class of magic, while witches give you warts.
Terry Pratchett: Why Gandalf Never Married (1985)
This is exactly what we were studying in my Anthropology of Religion class. I could go on and on and on, and it’s amazingly refreshing and delightful that I don’t have to right now.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!” Elspeth shouted. “You’re a woman! How will we ever be equal if we don’t stick together?”
Madame Pong had looked puzzled for a moment. Then she smiled. “That is not an issue where I come from,” she said gently. “In the civilized parts of the galaxy all intelligent beings are given equal rights and opportunities. The way women are treated on your planet is one of the things the rest of us find most puzzling about your world.”
From the way she had said that, I got the feeling that our treatment of women was also one of the reasons Earth had not yet been invited to join the League of Worlds. I would have asked about it, but Madame Pong had long ago made it clear that our planet’s exclusion from “the civilized galaxy” was something she would not discuss.
— I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X, Bruce Coville
One of the many reasons this is my favorite series, and he is my favorite author.
Full frontal feminism: a young women’s guide to why feminism matters
By Jessica Valenti
“But no wait the odds ARE equal! and and and and — and men get oppressed just as badly!” Lul sure.
I loves me some feminism in my Astronomy/Cosmology/Science blog ^_^