Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Why yes there are meta & other icontests out there and here be necessary reminders

Your Madame Ambassador of Meta (according to punch_kicker15) and Patron Saint of Icons (per eilowyn, and when the heck did this happen anyway?) has been remiss in her duties. And is speaking of herself in third person. This cannot stand. So herewith:

** Foz Meadow's essay, Gender, Orphan Black and the Meta of Meta says everything I want to say, beautifully, cogently and eloquently, about our cultural aversion to supposedly "unlikeable" female characters, how we hold them to harsh judgements whether as protagonists/heros or villians, how we protect male characters and tend to forgive all their sins (Buffy gets a mention, of course, but so do Darla and Dru) Required and necessary reading for anyone who cares about the subject. Contains mild spoilers for all of S1 Orphan Black.
.
"And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative?"

** Entries for otherworldlyric Challenge #175 are due TONIGHT, Friday the 20th midnight EST US.   dragonydreams says that they could use a couple more entries for this challenge. (My beta-muse-god wickedbish has thankfully NOT been remiss in his duties, quite the opposite, and so I may be able to pull one or two out of the hopper, we shall see. )

** Deadline for slayerstillness Challenge 26 "The Same but Different" is tomorrow night, Saturday the 21st, midnight in your respective time zones. There are four sets so far from three people, which isn't very much. Remember, you can enter two sets in this challenge! However, due to RL stuff and lack of reminders starry_night is willing to extend the deadline a week if folks ask.


And here be some icons, musings, prayers. verbiage and bonus questions for the final round of the home game version after the teaser and the cut:




[That was the teaser, this is the cut. You know what comes next]


Speaking of icons, I made some during the same session that produced "...by any other name..." and thank you everyone who stopped by to comment! Also thank you to everyone who responded to my silly Get it Done poster inspired by infinitewhale's infinite wit, and turned my journal into a coffeehouse. Tis great fun!

    01-03

04-05


(Can I get a job in this? Maybe at the Sears Photography Studio? Is Olan Mills still around?)
 4 & 5 are *AHEM* not great, to say the least, *COUGH* but combining that light effect with the "snow" effect in ipiccy as fun and worth giving another try sometime.

Dear Powers that Don't Actually Be or At Least I Don't Believe You Be But How Would I Know, I Could Be Praying to a Bunch of SIngle-Celled Plankton or the Flying Spagetti Monster for All I Know:

Please don't let me look on this two months from now and only see the flaws and feel embarrassed, the way I now do about the Spuffy banner I made for comlodge's birthday that I was so proud of at the time  - and definitely the one I made for velvetwhip's birthday because gee whiz I thought that was decent?- and 98% of the icons I've ever made - but now I want to tear up and start from scratch because I can do better than that.

Please let my VampWillow set for Round 2 of btvsats20in20 be as good as my friends think it will be, and not in a "gee that's nice, you tried honey" kind of way.

And please don't remind me that moaning about how ashamed I am of an artwork whilst simultaneously linking to it and self-pimping is, well, definitely sending a mixed message and hypocritcal at best. Because I already know. And please don't take me too seriously when I pray that my ex-boss' product be half-rotten by the time he gets to the market.  Or do, your choice.  Thanks bunches!


PS: I'm already embarrassed by #4  & 5 above anyway. Do I need to pray harder? Do you want cake?

And now, questions for those of you playing along with the home version:

1) Don't I have the BEST f'listies? I do. My peeps totally rock. (So technically that was a statement disguised as a question. Moving on...)

2) Should there be a law against white, middle-aged, college-educated, working or middle class suburban women using phrases like "my peeps totally rock"? Or at least a stern warning?

3) New LJ feature I LOVE: I start typing in a friend's name and LJ now brings up options for me to chose from NIFTY! Feature I hate: The new friends feed page:  the whole damn thing, basically.  Anyone else agree with me? What are you lovin'/hatin'/mehin' on with the changes?

3) If the world actually had been created by single-celled plankton, do you think it would operate more efficiently?

4) If the Powers that May or May Not Exist actually exist, would they eat cake?


2) Should there be a law against white, middle-aged, college-educated, working or middle class suburban women using phrases like "my peeps totally rock"? Or at least a stern warning?


As a white, private school educated woman, I say YES! Also "homies" or "chillin". We need our own catchphrases, though "Chip and Muffy are such sports" lacks punch somehow.

As to 4? EVERYONE eats cake.

Your icons are awesome!

Also, the point about gender... as someone who thought Brenda Leigh Johnson (The Closer) was AWESOME and wanted to punch everyone in the face who "pitied" Fritz for "putting up with her", may I just say that I like difficult female protagonists.


Gabrielle
Sorry to butt in but BRENDA OMG QUEEN FOREVER.

Brenda seems like Buffy's cousin to me. They share some traits in common and both are difficult female characters. I love them. <3 (I also liked captain Raydor in The Closer. I know that she did a spin off but I didn't watch it yet) It's nice to see that someone else like her too!
YES! Because Brenda is GODDESS! I love her ambition, her single-minded focus, her devious, calculating mind... and oh my stars, wasn't she marvelous with the teenage rape victim of the "cherry picking" high school students? LOVE HER!!!

Also, stay away from Major Crimes. You'll only sob your feminist heart out every time you see Nadine Velazquez in skin tight dresses playing the male gaze fantasy of a District Attorney. It sets feminism back 30 years every time she appears on screen (if she could act, that would ease the pain, but no... she can't say hello as if she's actually greeting someone). It's a betrayal of everything The Closer stood for and it fills me with rage.


Gabrielle
Oh really? Pity! I liked Raydor.

But really like Brenda there's only Brenda. I mostly watched The Closer because of her. While I appreciated the whole cast, she was the main reason and the person who made the show. Plus her accent is adorable. QUEEN. <3 <3 <3
Raydor is still saddled with that teen witness, Rusty, and all the silly domestic storylines that entails. (I no longer watch, but my mother does.)


Gabrielle
We need our own catchphrases, though "Chip and Muffy are such sports" lacks punch somehow.

I know people here for whom those phrases would be appropriate or who actually speak in a similar manner - and they aren't middle class. They're RICH. (Although I guess socio-economic class is in the eye of the federal gov't beholder. :p

who "pitied" Fritz for "putting up with her"





I like difficult female protagonists.

HELL TO THE YES.

Just the way the word "difficult" is used as a smear with women in fiction and RL - oh, you mean, particular, angry with just cause, strong and a survivor, as good as a man at her work and/or uncompromising in her ethics? A layered and complex person who displays the full range of human emotions? Wow, what a radical notion */snark*

There needs to be a manifesto. This gives me ideas.
I used "difficult" as a positive word. I myself have been labeled "difficult" since early childhood, so... (Also have known people named Chip and Muffin... eek! Let's not discuss whether I've ever referred to anyone as a "sport", shall we?)


Gabrielle
Oh goodness sorry hon, I should have been clearer there - I know exactly how YOU meant it! (I mean, hello? You're a Willow fan, I'm a Buffy fan, the Buffyverse is full of great female characters. People who aren't into "difficult", interesting women? I don't know why they're fans of the verse. Sorry not sorry - but there are plenty of male-dominated shows for that.)

I just meant how it gets used by the culture generally - which is to say, the opposite of how you and I mean it.

Let's not discuss whether I've ever referred to anyone as a "sport", shall we?

Mum's the word:



ETA: And yeah, I've been labeled "difficult" too - as has my sweetie, and pretty much every woman I know with half a brain.





Edited at 2014-06-22 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh God. These icons are SO DAMN SPARKLY. I love it. So much!
My favorite is 2. Or maybe 3. Or 1. I don't know. They are really beautiful and, you know it, my kind of thing. Can't wait to see the others!
#1: I was going to comment on velvetwhip's acceptable language post with this scene from Community, and I realized that you would absolutely love Britta Perry if you ever get around to watching Community (and have a tolerance for Chevy Chase being an asshat). She's atheistic, formerly activist, feminist, and dealing with her white liberal guilt in a realistic and honest way. I tell people I'm an Annie, but I want to grow up to be a Britta.

#2: DAMN THOSE ICONS (and the rose/Buffy picture you posted yesterday - sorry for not commenting)! Snagging #3.

#3: Artistic remorse is something every artist deals with. I'm embarrassed by the stories I wrote when I was fifteen, not only because they're terrible, but because I know I can do so much better now. We grow as artists, and it's natural to think that old stuff sucks because you've learned so much more in the intervening times. There will always be stuff that you remain proud of (my grad school writing sample may be my Buffy Fandom and Feminism paper, because I haven't written anything better in the intervening two years) (have I ever sent you that paper? You'd enjoy it).
(have I ever sent you that paper? You'd enjoy it).

No, I'd love to see it!

Artistic remorse is something every artist deals with. I'm embarrassed by the stories I wrote when I was fifteen, not only because they're terrible, but because I know I can do so much better now. We grow as artists, and it's natural to think that old stuff sucks because you've learned so much more in the intervening times. There will always be stuff that you remain proud of

You are wise beyond your years, m'dear. *hugs*

A few years ago I found an essay I wrote for film history in college nearly 20 years ago that dealt with Laura Mulvey's feminist film theories and screwball comedies and thought "damn. I wrote that? smart kid." So there are some things I can look back at fondly.

And btw what IS this post of velvetwhip's you speak of, sweetie? Because this is of interest to me.

I do plan to get around to Community, btw. Chevy Chase does not frighten me. Archie bunker was on tv when i was growing up so, puh-leez. Archie Bunker could slap Chevy Chase between two slices of rye and call him a sandwich.

And please do snag away with my blessings! So happy you like it Lexi! I'm in your collection with some great fandom artists, tis an honor.

Laura Mulvey

She's the male gaze lady, right? I know I could just look it up on Wikipedia, but I'm lazy.

The velvetwhip post is the one above, where she says she uses gangsta slang, and I was just going to say something like "the only thing you can't use is the n-word, as demonstrated by Britta Perry in this scene from Community", and link to that post with the screencaps and her speech about raging against the machine.

I sent you the Buffy paper, but I haven't looked at it in a while so I'm sure I'll find flaws when I do, but I think it's my strongest piece right now, so that's what I'm hoping to adapt for writing samples. I'm also going to send you my Statement of Objectives for MIT, which is my dream school, just to get your opinion. This is a very, very rough first draft, but I want to know if, in your opinion, I can get away with something so casual.

Edited at 2014-06-21 06:27 pm (UTC)
She's the male gaze lady, right?

You're too funny, Lexi *squishes you* Yup. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1974) was THE feminst film theory that everyone learned and either supported or wrote in reaction to/against even when I went to college in the '90's. Her follow-up "Afterthoughts" where she modifies some of her positions is less well-known.

And those gifs of Britta make me want to watch the show - and also? Troy's face. Just looking at gifs of Troy's face I WANT to watch this show, damn it!

The velvetwhip post is the one above,

I knew that *shifty eyes*
I've heard really good things about Orphan Black, but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I hope to correct that soon.

Your icons look very sparkly. :)

I too have been known to say peeps. I don't think there should be shame in that.

I'm a mid-western, college-educated, lower-middle class woman and I don't think there should be a law against what we can say. That's anti-feminist. :P

Finally, always eat cake. Except for the times when the cake is a lie...or when aperture science is involved.

Thank you for linking to that meta! Though my experience in the Once Upon a Time fandom has made me less eager for female characters to be treated just like male ones--I want some sort of middle ground where they're treated with more leniency and male ones with less, to stop the usual "there can only be one" mentality with regard to female characters from kicking in--I agree with the general point.

It reminds me of "Not Here to Make Friends: On the Importance of Unlikeable Female Protagonists" by Roxane Gay (http://www.buzzfeed.com/roxanegay/not-here-to-make-friends-unlikable):

When women are unlikable, it becomes a point of obsession in critical conversations by professional and amateur critics alike. Why are these women daring to flaunt convention? Why aren’t they making themselves likable (and therefore acceptable) to polite society? In a Publisher’s Weekly interview with Claire Messud about her recent novel The Woman Upstairs, which features a rather “unlikable” protagonist named Nora who is bitter, bereft, and downright angry about what her life has become, the interviewer said, “I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.” And there we have it. A reader was here to make friends with the characters in a book and she didn’t like what she found.

Messud, for her part, had a sharp response for her interviewer. “For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?’”

Perhaps, then, unlikable characters, the ones who are the most human, are also the ones who are the most alive. Perhaps this intimacy makes us uncomfortable because we don’t dare be so alive.


I apologize for taking so long to reply to this! I really enjoyed reading this (and getting some book rec's in the process.)

Also, happy birthday to you!

Roxane Gay's article is super - and did you read the comments afterward? Predictably enough, someone complained about her turning the article into a "feminist rant". There's always at least one of those in the crowd.

If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?’”

And Messud is my newest heros, thanks to you.

Perhaps this intimacy makes us uncomfortable because we don’t dare be so alive.

I think there's also, in terms of women disliking women characters and demanding a standard of likability, a "looking in the mirror" factor. We've been raised to "be nice" to please others (I'm in my 40's but a friend of mine in her 20's struggles with some of the same issues, so it's not just a generational thing.) We can't possibly measure up to the Norman Rockwell/laundry detergent commercial ideal of Womanhood. So we dislike in female characters what we dislike in ourselves, whereas we can like flawed male characters because there's a degree of difference (ergo safety) in identifying with them. And we've been taught that "boys will be boys."

Because some of the people I've seen who are the most vocal about Buffy, Faith or Willow etc etc etc being "an angry selfish bitch" are themselves very angry about it. We're angry with our own anger, which does get back to Messud's point. (She says it so much better of course.) It hasn't been safe for us to be angry and we haven't been trained in being assertive, in saying no.
Thank you for the birthday wish! It was nice; I took a walk by the beach at sunset. I'm glad you enjoyed the read. I've only read one of Gillian Flynn's books so far--Sharp Objects--and it lived up to what people had said about it; I loved the heroine. I'm looking forward to reading the rest, as well as some of the other books mentioned in the essay. By the way, here's Gillian Flynn's brief article talking about female violence and bad girls: http://gillian-flynn.com/for-readers/ It's what finally made me read Sharp Objects

Predictably enough, someone complained about her turning the article into a "feminist rant". There's always at least one of those in the crowd.

But of course! I avoided the comments.

So we dislike in female characters what we dislike in ourselves, whereas we can like flawed male characters because there's a degree of difference (ergo safety) in identifying with them. And we've been taught that "boys will be boys."

Yes. I try not to do that but it does happen to an extent. Not so much the male characters part because I've grown less drawn to them over the years and have become quicker to see their flaws without the "boys will be boys" glasses to add endearment. But sometimes I do get irritated or angry at a female character being unpleasant. I'm not supposed to be unpleasant, I don't get away with it, so why should she? There are times when that makes me root for her instead, and I work against the negative reactions when I have them, but I can and do have them. It's usually expected, even. Add the message "she gets away with it because she's beautiful or wealthy" and the character is often deliberately made unsympathetic unless or until punishment is dealt out to make her a damsel and perhaps reform her. Not necessarily a character arc from her point of view exploring her flaws and good traits and how she navigates them, but a parade of suffering to humble and scare her.

It hasn't been safe for us to be angry and we haven't been trained in being assertive, in saying no.

What we have been trained to do is to defend men and to be angry at other women on their behalf. Which we end up using as indirect ways to defend ourselves or gain protection. Other women aren't just competition--they're potential threats to the rules. If the rules are uncertain, what can we depend on to give us protection and guarantee rewards? If they're there and other women are rewarded or go unpunished for not following them, it's not fair when we get punished, and then what?

ICONS: SUCH PRETTY. SUCH. PRETTY.

1) FLIST PEOPLES DESERVE ALL THEIR DREAMS TO COME TRUE AND BE DELIVERED BY UNICORNS WHO SHIT RAINBOWS. Truth.

2) As someone who uses the phrase "ahoy there" in real life to greet people (and had absolutely nothing to do with childhood dreams of pirate life - have you read the stories about the badass lady pirates? ASPIRATIONS (what rape and pillaging? LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU)) I have no right to judge you or your colloquial choices

3) Yes

4) I would be offended if they didn't. The true master if the universe is cake, and it should be worshipped as such. All that delicious, moist, crumbly tasty goodness...

what? who? huh?

cake. *dreamy sigh*
The true master if the universe is cake, and it should be worshipped as such. All that delicious, moist, crumbly tasty goodness...

what? who? huh?

cake. *dreamy sigh*


I'd reel you back in but I'm too busy eating chocolate- chocolate chip ice cream. I had a SHITTY day (or a good day and one shitty person giving me grief) I will eat ice cream.

Oh, what's your favorite type of cake? And do the English eat their cake with ice cream like Americans do?

Edited at 2014-06-26 12:25 am (UTC)
My favourite is lemon drizzle cake, hands down. Chocolate is always good, but lemony goodness is a tough act to beat for me. And yeah, I eat cake with ice cream all the time - I prefer it to custard, though my family might disagree. Double cream is good too.
My favourite is lemon drizzle cake, hands down.

I don't think I've had that, is that a popular thing on your side of the pond?

I prefer it to custard, though my family might disagree.

Folks eat cake with custard over there? Do you mean genuine egg custard? (That's sort of a specialty thing here, you have to go to a place that makes fancy desserts to find the real stuff anymore.)

And is double cream the same as clotted cream or what is that?
It's a really common cake over here - everywhere from dainty tea shops to supermarkets sell it.

And custard is the common compliment for cake over here, the norm. I mean, yeah, powdered custard is used because it's cheaper, but genuine egg custard is still common as muck, nothing fancy.

And double cream isn't the same as clotted cream. Clotted is thicker, denser. Double cream is the same as regular cream - like for cooking - but with a deeper/richer taste that goes well with cakes but maybe better with pies.

Cake education is fun.
but genuine egg custard is still common as muck, nothing fancy.

Seriously?

goes well with cakes but maybe better with pies.

*eyes glaze over* And I love regular whipped cream (all we have here) dolloped all over pumpkin or sweet potato pie. (Do you have that variety there?

Pie education is also a needful thing. :D

Desert and sweet pies aren't a big thing over here, sadly. It's mostly apple, rhubarb, various berries or lemon torts, to be honest (oh, and mince pies in the winter <3)

It's a shame, I love pie, especially with a healthy dollop of cream.
We love pies here but a good pie is a hard thing to find (the ones in grocery stores tend to have a lot of goop in them.)

We have all sorts of varieties of pies, but finding good ones when you're having a cravig is hard. My mom used to make a pecan pie but doubled the amount of pecans called for, and she also made a lightly spiced sour cream raisin pie I used to love. I've had wonderful coconut cream pies at a diner in North caroline piled high with whipped cream and full of coconut.

I;ve never had a mince pie though and I've always wanted to try one - mince pies are not a thing in the US.

especially with a healthy dollop of cream.

that's the only way to have it - unless it's apple pie, which is lovely warm with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream melting atop it. Yum.