One last post on the subject, and then, I promise, I am done. 8)
One last question.
Imagine a girl. Who loves Captain America 2, even though she never saw the first one. Or who has been watching Battlestar Galactica reruns non-stop for the last couple of months. Or who found that old Orlando Bloom folder and thought about PotC movies for the first time in years.
Imagine that girl, having an idea. How awesome would it be if Peggy time traveled to the present to help Steve? Or if Starbuck was a Cylon? or if Elizabeth’s best friend from childhood showed up and they ran off to be lesbian pirates?
What if she could find herself, find a place for herself in a world, in a place that she loved? What if between work and school and family and friends and afterschool activities and a thousand other things, what if that girl wrote her story? HER story. One unique to her, even if it was every trope in the entire world, all rolled into one monstrosity on FF.net.
Maybe she wants to be a writer someday. Or a filmmaker. She wants to create comics. Or tv shows. Or run websites. Or maybe not any of that. Maybe she wants an audience. Maybe she just wants to share this one story with a community she loves.
But she writes it and she posts it and someone says, “Mary Sue.”
And if she knows anything about fandom, if she’s been on the internet, she knows that’s bad. She knows that means she’s failed somehow, that this story, this fun thing that she’s thought so much about, is somehow unacceptable.
She’s told that her female characters are unwelcome. Her story is unwelcome. She is unwelcome.
Maybe she shrugs it off and keeps writing. Maybe she conforms, writes fewer ‘Mary Sues,’ and more canon white het males. Maybe she grows up and becomes a screen writer and carries a life time of ‘girls don’t belong’ judgments into everything she creates, perpetuating the cycle.
And maybe she just stops trying to find herself in that world. Maybe she internalizes it. Maybe she keep dreaming, but never posts another word.
I am adult, with experience, and a job, and something of a readership. And let me tell you, the first time that landed in my comments, it hurt. There was a drop of shame in my stomach, a little roll of nausea. That I had created A MARY SUE.
My first thought? How to devalue the character. How to lessen her. How to strip her of the things that made her funny, made her clever, made her loyal and strange and amazing. Because my readership, I thought, didn’t want amazing.
Amazing was a failure, somehow.
I caught myself doing it. I caught that thought before it got too far. I caught myself thinking, “does she really need to be here?” when I never thought that about any of the male characters. I caught myself.
And then I got angry.
I got angry with myself, that I was so easily browbeaten. That I had almost let one anonymous voice, one mocking, disdainful voice, change how I saw this character. That I almost let someone do that to her.
That I had come so close to writing her out. Because she was a Mary Sue.
I don’t care if you use the term as gender neutral. It’s not. It carries connotations in fandom. It carries shame. It carries the unspoken weight of ‘fake geek girl’ and ‘codebabes’ and ‘I like my fangirls like I like my coffee, and I HATE coffee!’ It is another attempt to shame and silence, and I am done with it.
And if my niece grows up in ten years, and gives me her fic, about how Angelica Perfecton gets engaged to Spider-Man and saves Tony Stark by fixing his armor and teaches Steve Rogers how to paint?
Then I will be so overjoyed that she is a fan. That she is a fan who CREATES. Who makes the space safe for herself. Who dreams big. Who wants to be the center of the world she loves so much.
Because it is her right to do that without shame.
welcome to my blog i hope you like lesbians
Disney Characters and Little Characters
(not my photos)
The last one! I just… I died.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is not impressed with all your sexism.
I kept expecting him to do a mic drop all the time.
[AGGRESSIVELY ATTEMPTS TO ENJOY SOMETHING WHILE IGNORING HALF OF THE FANDOM]
The last person Merida ever expected to be drift compatible with was her mother. Growing up they had a lot of disputes about… well about pretty much everything. Elinor had a very strict idea of what her daughter should be doing and should not be doing and absolutely about where she should be going during the days while she and her husband went off on missions.
But when her father lost his leg and decided to go into early retirement she stepped up to the plate and found just what an amazing team she and her mother could make. Fergus coaches from the sidelines, but honestly the ladies know what they are doing and use their expertise in range weapons to protect the coasts in their Jaeger (Ursa Major)
7/?? of my Disney Jaeger Pilot Series
(sometimes, someone says something really small and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart.)
I realize very few people will get this, but it just so fucking perfect
In which Darcy never learned how to pronounce ‘Mjolnir’, but really doesn’t give two shits.
And we thought something was wrong with our speakers.