Fangirl Saves the World

just who the hell do you think you are, anyway?

Posts Tagged ‘thinky stuff

fiction as religious text, part II

with one comment

Here’s the part I left out yesterday.
If we buy my theory, then soulbonding is no weirder than praying.
Yup, I said it.
I’ll stop here to say that, from what I understand, there are a lot of ways to soulbond and a lot of ways to pray. That being said, we can’t compare being married to Snape on the astral plane to closing your eyes and reciting a quick Lord’s Prayer before you hop into bed; apples to apples, please.
So how is muses/characters telling writers how the story goes any different than divine inspiration? You’re interacting with some kind of unseen entity who tells you things. As your friendly neighborhood godless heathen, this seems like a fair comparison to me because taken out of context* the Bible is a book. (You are free to shoot me for heresy at any point in this discussion.) I don’t have the time, energy or expertise to get into a debate about the historical/scientific accuracy of the Bible, but lets go with the easy argument: there is no objective evidence for the existence of anything divine.
So, talking to Mary (or whoever) in prayer is not, in my opinion, any more or less “crazy” than talking to, e.g., Gandalf; believing you’re a reincarnated human soul is no different than believing you’re a reincarnated elf, a reincarnated Na’vi or even a reincarnation of a specific character from a book or an anime or something. (Okay, it’s true that humans could have existed on this earth and elves or Na’vi would have to have been on other planets or planes of existence, but isn’t heaven itself supposed to be in another dimension/realm/thing?)
I have this horrible feeling like I’m going to be dragged out into the street and shot. Before you do that, let me say that I’m not defending or attacking either side here, just drawing attention to the parallels that I see between them


*okay, I will give you that thousands of years of history is a hell of a lot of context

Written by Fangirl

August 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm

[open thread] slashfic, social justice and you

leave a comment »

If you’re not into meta/fandom, you might’ve missed the ongoing debate about slash. There’s a lot going on, so I’m going to link to a few articles instead of trying, and doubtlessly failing, to come up with something coherent on the subject, as all I have been able to do is chase myself in circles. (Ask Y: I do not enjoy not knowing the answer to something; as I have no answer for this, I’m asking y’all.)
Henry Jenkins, ever my hero, wrote the book (literally) on fan cultures, including an essay called Normal Female Interest In Men Bonking, which is one of my favorites; Geek Feminism has a post on women writing m/m erotica and the queerness or misogyny of slash fandom, and there’s a summary on why male/male fiction written by women is problematic in the eyes of some. metafandom‘s slash tag on Delicious is full of articles and entries, if you really care that much.
So, potential discussion questions: is slash misogynist? if it is misogynist, is it because of the original author’s misogyny (failing to create female characters female readers can identify with), or because of internalized sexism (girls are icky!), both or something else entirely? is it objectifying? fetishizing? Othering? appropriation of another group’s struggles? if so, what should slash writers do about that, if anything? is slash awesome because it gives women symbolic control over men’s bodies when we have, for basically ever, been denied control over our own bodies and sexualities, and basically gives us an excuse to talk, in detail, about what we find sexually appealing? or is it bad because it’s asserting hetero privilege over a marginalized group for our own entertainment? does that change if the (female*) creator/audience is queer, ourselves? if so, in what ways? can slash be a subversive genre? can writing/reading slash empowering, even as it is fetishizing? how do you tackle this particular quandary?
Or basically anything else you can think of. I wanna hear what y’all have to say. Talking in circles, tossing in facts, figures and links to relevant information (as long as they’re relevant), etc. is all fair game. Whatever you want, go!

(xposted from lion-hearted girls prefer blond(e)s.)


*yes, I am operating under the assumption that slash fen are female; I know there are exceptions.

“oh, I love you.”

leave a comment »

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the patronizing “oh, I love you,” spoken in the tone of voice one uses to address a small child.

One girl in my study abroad program, RK, would always say it when I finished explaining my position on something: I’m going to go with “marriage” as the example here, since it was the first time she did this. “Oh, look at how cute. Fangirl is up on her soapbox, frustrated with the patriarchy.”

Yeah. I’m fucking adorable.

No, I’m not. I’m not a small child explaining why I think Santa Clause is real because he leaves me presents on Christmas that use different wrapping paper than Mommy and Daddy. I’m a real, grown-up individual (or just as grown up as her) with positions that I have put a lot of thought into, instead of accepting wholesale and unexamined from anyone. My thoughts on marriage, abortion, public education… anything, really, are carefully crafted. I care about what I believe in, and I don’t want the wool pulled over my eyes by anyone.

I gather knowledge, facts. I check the sources of those facts. I consider other, related fields and questions and ultimately I weigh the options against my own personal code of ethics (itself constantly being fine-tuned so that I can be the best feminist and ally that I can be) and arrive at a decision.

I do this mostly for myself. I like to know where I stand, and to understand why I believe what I do, why others believe what they do, and what all of that means. It’s important to me: not just the result, but the process of achieving it. (Have I mentioned lately that I’m INTJ? This might explain a lot about me.)

So when I’ve explained my (admittedly unrealistic) thoughts on why I think the institution of marriage should be abolished all together, and my (more realistic) suggestions for what to do with the broken system we have now, I would at least like the dignity of a response detailing why I am wrong. That patronizing “oh, I love you” is the most frustrating thing to hear.

I’m not telling you this because I think it makes me quirky and funny, some kind of straw feminist class clown. I’m telling you this because you asked and because it’s something I care and have thought a lot about. Please, at least do me the favor of “but marriage is a holy and sacred institution and a fundamental part of our culture!” or “you know, you’re a fucking pinko commie” or something other than amusement.

‘Cause, you know: demanding equality is hilarious. Only silly people do that.

Written by Fangirl

February 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm