I love how fashion magazines are full of tips for styling messy buns and slouchy sweaters and torn jeans
but as soon as a disabled woman leaves the house like that she’s “given up” and “can’t take care of herself.”
white women when you derail a conversation about uplifting, supporting, protecting, loving black girls, and black women with “All girls, all women” you are the equivalent of when men derail your conversations to say “not all men”.
The basics are that for every one female-speaking character in family-rated films (G, PG and PG-13), there are roughly three male characters; that crowd and group scenes in these films — live-action and animated — contain only 17 percent female characters; and that the ratio of male-female characters has been exactly the same since 1946. Throw in the hypersexualization of many of the female characters that are there, even in G-rated movies, and their lack of occupations and aspirations and you get the picture.
It wasn’t the lack of female lead characters that first struck me about family films. We all know that’s been the case for ages, and we love when movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen hit it big. It was the dearth of female characters in the worlds of the stories — the fact that the fictitious villages and jungles and kingdoms and interplanetary civilizations were nearly bereft of female population — that hit me over the head. This being the case, we are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space. Couldn’t it be that the percentage of women in leadership positions in many areas of society — Congress, law partners, Fortune 500 board members, military officers, tenured professors and many more — stall out at around 17 percent because that’s the ratio we’ve come to see as the norm?
OK, now for the fun part: It’s easy, fast and fun to add female characters, in two simple steps. And I want to be clear I’m not talking about creating more movies with a female lead. If you do, God bless and thank you. Please consider me for that role.
Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?
Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.
And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue.
Yes, we can and will work to tell more women’s stories, listen to more women’s voices and write richer female characters and to fix the 5-to-1 ratio of men/women behind the camera. But consider this: In all of the sectors of society that still have a huge gender disparity, how long will it take to correct that? You can’t snap your fingers and suddenly half of Congress is women. But there’s one category where the underrepresentation of women can be fixed tomorrow: onscreen. In the time it takes to make a movie or create a television show, we can change what the future looks like.
There are woefully few women CEOs in the world, but there can be lots of them in films. We haven’t had a woman president yet, but we have on TV. (Full disclosure: One of them was me.) How can we fix the problem of corporate boards being so unequal without quotas? Well, they can be half women instantly, onscreen. How do we encourage a lot more girls to pursue science, technology and engineering careers? By casting droves of women in STEM jobs today in movies and on TV. Hey, it would take me many years to become a real nuclear physicist, but I can play one tomorrow.
Here’s what I always say: If they can see it, they can be it."
This is also why I don’t like the whole argument of “fandom shouldn’t be held responsible for replicating misogynistic (or racist, or etc) narratives in the media we transform” (often rephrased as “well that’s how it is in the show/book/movie/etc, so…”)
Because, frankly: why not? What - or who - does it benefit to ignore our creative power, in transformative works spaces? What’s the harm in trying to fail better than TPTB? Is it really that difficult?
A common misconception about anime cartoons amongst uninitiated audiences in majority-English-speaking countries is that anime characters are drawn to look ‘White’ rather than ‘Asian’. First of all, neither of terms are factual fixed categories - they are social constructions. That is, the meaning attached to race, whether ‘White’, ‘Black’, ‘Asian’ and so on, and the groups classified under these labels, change from one society to another, depending upon culture, time and place.
In an excellent exploration of the social construction of race in popular culture, sociologist Julian Abagond shows that Japanese animators do not, in fact, draw anime characters to personify their aspiration to be ‘white’. Instead, these characters reflect the animators’ own cultural biases - which is that Japanese people are the prototype model of the ‘default human being’. Abagond writes in Sociological Images:
If I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being. For them to think it is a woman I have to add a dress or long hair; for Asian, I have to add slanted eyes; for black, I add kinky hair or brown skin. Etc.
The Other has to be marked. If there are no stereotyped markings of otherness, then white is assumed.
Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters “look Asian”. They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.
You see the same thing in America: After all, why do people think Marge Simpson is white? Look at her skin: it is yellow. Look at her hair: it is a blue Afro. But the Default Human Being thing is so strong that lacking other clear, stereotyped signs of being either black or Asian she defaults to white…
When you think about it there is nothing particularly white about how anime characters look:huge round eyes – no one looks like that, not even white people (even though that style of drawing eyes does go back to Betty Boop).
- yellow hair – but they also have blue hair and green hair and all the rest. Therefore hair colour is not about being true to life.
- small noses – compared to the rest of the world whites have long noses that stick out.
- white skin – but many Japanese have skin just as pale and white as most White Americans…
Some Americans, even some scholars, will argue against this view of anime. They want to think the Japanese worship America or worship whiteness and use anime to prove it. But they seem to be driven more by their own racism and nationalism than anything else.
As Abagond’s analysis shows, perceptions of race and gender influence how people ‘read’, understand and draw meaning from animation. For Japanese animators, their characters reflect their view of normality - that everyone in their creation is Japanese (or Korean or Chinese or wherever the anime is produced). Audiences that have an uncritical view of race and Whiteness presume that ‘Asian’ drawings should look ‘Asian’. Yet this term - Asian - means different things to different groups. In Japan, the category of Asian is not very meaningful. Instead, mainstream Japanese culture portrays the Japanese people as the ‘default human being’. Gender and class also affect how this default human being is imagined (usually male, affluent and lean).
Just all art forms embody the biases and taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about the world, what audiences see in anime drawings are mediated by the ethnocentrism of the animators and audiences. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s group is superior to others. Viewers who think Japanese anime characters are trying to look ‘White’ are therefore viewing this artform through ethnocentrism.
Image of Jubei from Ninja Scroll from Jinni.
NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR CAPS. PHOENICIAN SPELLS. ARAMAIC SPELLS. LANGUAGES MUGGLES DON’T KNOW ANYMORE THAT HAVE BEEN PRESERVED THROUGH WIZARDING SPELLS IN LITTLE POCKETS OF THE WORLD. SOURCE LANGUAGES NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO ADAPT OR CHANGE ANYMORE BECAUSE THE LANGUAGES HAVE DIED AND PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO CAUSE LIKE, A NUCLEAR FALLOUT. IM SO EXCITED THANKS FOR THIS.
#WOOOOOO#literally all i wanna do is write a wizarding series set there#and to explore the prejudices of not only class difference and blood difference#but also religious differences and how that affects their magic#and instead of a ministry theres the monarchy#and djinn instead of ghosts#and just ARABIC FOLKLORE /throws rainbow sparkles/#im gonna die#harry potter#language#linguistics#ARAMIC SPELLSSSS#headcanon that bc they use the older/oldest languages middle eastern witches and wizards have no need for wands to channel their magic#bc it’s so pure and strong#ANOTHER HEaDCANON#pets allowed to be brought to school include and are not limited to: sphinxes. fennec foxes. golems.#desert wolves too#basically go big or go home with school pets (the-writers-ramblings)
Witches in secret pockets of Morocco who’ve been casting spells with ancient spices long before wands came about. Warlocks in Egypt who knew the double, magical, meaning behind hieroglyphics. A dead language? Latin and Ancient Greek have NOTHING on hieroglyphs. The veritable cacophany of ideas and spells and magic that the trading routes brought in. The Phoenecians with their many-striped sailboats proudly displayed Persian potion ingredients alongside spelled fishing nets woven by Palestinian wizards. Syrian magical folk meet Greek ones, and realize they can best communicate in the Ancient Greek all serious magical students learn. Curly heads bent over ancient spellbooks, and people stare as they converse in a language not spoken for hundreds of years.
Excuse you but can we not forget the jewish lore masters, poring over their tomes in hebrew and aramaic, preserved from their exiled homeland into the diaspora.
And the development of a syncretic magic in yiddish that mixes the subtle lore and subtle word power of the exiled levantines with the raw brute force of germanic magics. — how else did the golem?
DIASPORA SYNCRETIC MAGICS
jewish wizards offering house elves clothes in accordance with the slave laws
jewish wizards using golems as grunt labor
Yes to the Yiddish spells, too ;-)
Jewish wizards offering clothing to house elves and then constantly debating among themselves whether using a golem or other magically-created entity with some semblance of sentience for manual labor for years or decades is essentially the same thing as keeping a magical being for the same purpose.
See also: endless debates about whether one can use magic on Shabbat, and what sorts of magic qualify as “work”. Like, does it count if you enchant an object ahead of time?
Also debates over the extent to which Divination counts as the “witchcraft” detailed in the Tanach. Actually, I bet there’d be scholars compiling detailed tractates about which spells are kosher, using extensive biblical commentary.
JEWISH WIZARDS HAVING THEIR OWN EXTENDED TALMUD. HOW HAS THIS NEVER OCCURRED TO ME BEFORE??
Magic is a natural extension of the self; Therefore, one should be allowed to use magic on Shabbos. You might put restrictions on what kind of magic, and brewing potions (even ones that don’t require heat) and using wands…
I wrote a paper for a Harry Potter conference on foreign wizardry and how the systems of magic must have evolved to be completely separate entities that have very little in common. We’re only seen a TINY portion of the wizarding world and for the most part it’s Western European. I like to imagine Bill Weasley had to extensively train for cursebreaking in Egypt, because you can’t just waltz into a tomb, wave your wand, shout Latin and expect it to work.
I also love the idea of foreign magics being a bit wonky in a duel against each other because they’re not quite compatible. Like, it’s really hard to block a spell from a foreign wizard because you don’t understand exactly what you’re blocking against.
God, so many foreign wizard feels.
When a white person migrates to Africa, he is going from a position of power, to power. An African coming to Europe lands from power into powerlessness. We Africans cannot do much with our diplomas here. Once I had learned Dutch and went to the job centre, they offered me a position as a cleaning lady. And in the shop it happens regularly that someone follows me around to check that I am not stealing anything. In expensive boutiques I might not even get served. The sales personnel assume I cannot afford to buy anything anyway. Whereas a white person in Nigeria, even if he has no skills whatsoever, always gets opportunities. No Nigerian would dream of offering you a job as a cleaning lady.
(Femke van Zeijl)
…Yet magically they think they are in the position to determine where racism is or is not. 2) Varying population densities where Whites are a numerical minority erases racism and White supremacy. This is also false. Whites do not have to have a numerical majority for White supremacy to exist. Because Whiteness impacts the entire globe—you know the globe where over 80% of it has been impacted by colonialism and White supremacy—yet of course actual White people are a numerical minority globally, clearly it can be seen that this is not a numbers issue. Power, platform, and money lie in the hands of small groups that are often White (and usually cis hetero male) lead. Governments, global corporations, and more are concentrated in power and regardless of the race of the person “in charge” reflect the whims of imperialist White supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy.
"The media in black countries is white wtf are white people talking about. White supremacy rules the world. All these books and movies we have in gambia are from america and all of the characters are white why do you think so many black women in african countries bleach themselves to death. In asia tanned and dark skin is looked down upon and are treated as inferior and whites are treated like these pure trophies like white ppl stfu.”
-Anonymous via We Love Black Girls
Let’s just talk for a second about “NO IEP or 504 mtgs” being literally squeezed into this poster.
Placing IEP and 504 meetings amongst a list of things that are completely optional under the law (tutoring, letters of recommendation, school plays, coaches, concerts, parent emails, online grades) gives the impression that IEPs and 504 plans are somehow not a legally mandated part of any grammar and secondary school teacher’s job in the US. That they are an extra responsibility that teachers take on out of the same interest in a child’s education that motivates teachers to tutor, direct school plays, and email parents.
When, no, that is not the case. Despite IEPs and 504 plans being federal law, many teachers take them less seriously than legally optional duties like coaching or tutoring. Or even required duties like assigning and grading homework.
Story time: I had a teacher who didn’t attend my 504 plan, because she wasn’t “employed by the district at that hour.” Yet she was able to supervise student associations and assign our class several hours of homework a night.
Do teachers deserve better pay? Absolutely. Should they protest and organize for better pay? Of course.
But don’t act like IEP and 504 meetings are on some even keel with coaching sports or tutoring or providing letters of recommendation. As if IEPs and 504 plans were some mutually agreed upon good that are enacted flawlessly by teachers. Because they are not.
stop taking bucky’s metal arm away
stop taking charles’ wheelchair away
stop taking clint’s hearing aids away
disabled superheroes are important stop sucking please
"Well. That was weird."
Darcy shrugged. “You should be used to weird,” she said, before going back to her bottle of soda. Her feet were cold, and she moved them to another, drier part of the carpet. The receptionist was staring at her with an expression of ill-disguised horror, and Darcy gave her a sunny smile. Judging by the way the woman recoiled, it wasn’t effective.
Maybe because her mascara had to be all over her face by this point, giving her that great ‘horror or romcom movie surviver’ look. Or maybe because Shawn was hugging his ruined shoes to his chest, or that Harris appeared to have some sort of plant growth in his hair, and it might be growing. Shawn was just wet.
Of course, they were all wet. Wet and dripping onto the carpet directly outside Director Nick Fury’s office. Waiting, like drowned rats, for the other shoe to hit the ground. Because it had been that kind of weird.
“I’m used to weird,” Darcy told Shawn, more to convince herself than him. “I work for SHIELD now. We DO weird.”
Hawkeye #19 was well worth the wait. I thought nothing would ever top Pizza Dog.
#19 is mostly in sign language with very little subtitles showing just how awesome the medium of comics can be.
The almost 30 million Americans like me who have rare diseases often live beyond the reach of popular charity events and other cause-related marketing events. In this context, awareness is certainly an important level-setting goal. However for so many more of us who live with chronic disease, more immediate needs like access to appropriate, ongoing health care have greater impact on daily life.
Of course I want a cure, but I also want to make sure my daily chest physiotherapy, a key component in prevention of infection and disease progression, is covered by insurance. I would love to live without PCD someday, but right now, my focus is on living the most productive life as mother, spouse, writer, and teacher that I can. To do that, I need the specialists, physical therapists, medications, and other medical interventions that keep me as well as possible.
Don’t misunderstand me. Raising money for cures is incredibly important, and the sense of community, hope, and optimism these charity events and assorted awareness activities often foster are indeed valuable. A more robust support system and more effective treatments are just some of the benefits they have made possible. What we also need is better patient understanding of how research funding is allocated and prioritized, more focused attention on the causes and true prevention of disease, including the prevention of disease progression, and consistent access to treatment.
One patient I spoke to with an autoimmune disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract gave the example of a charity race for his condition that he couldn’t participate in because there weren’t enough port-a-potties along the racecourse. Breast cancer advocates point to the problems of marketing a perfume to benefit research for a cure, when patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment are sensitive to smells, and fragrances often contain chemicals considered to be carcinogens.
…Focusing on curing or beating illnesses can’t overshadow attending to the ongoing needs and realities of patients already living with them."
A friendly reminder that cure-focused narratives are unhelpful even for those who actually have diseases. It may be worse for autistic people, who don’t even have a disease or necessarily want a cure, but it doesn’t help anyone.