April 13th, 2015


Men-with-Boobs and Damsels-in-Distress

“She’s crying! Strong women don’t cry! Crying is for weak people! The man in this scene isn’t crying, so it means you think women are weaker and inferior to men! She should just man up and bear it! You’re making her into some helpless Damsel in Distress stereotype! Because she’s just cried right now, it means she can’t ever be strong and brave and badass again!”
“She’s not crying! Why isn’t she crying?! Women are more emotional than men, so of course she’d cry, it’s natural! I don’t care if she’s suffering on the inside, you’re saying women should just shut up and not express their feelings! You’re making her into some cold, heartless bitch to make her act like a man, because you think men are better than women!”

“She’s not fighting! You think women aren’t able to fight and should just wait for some big strong man to save them! Bet you’d love to put her in a skimpy bikini and tie her up to a railroad, huh?”
“She’s fighting! Women can be strong even if they don’t fight, you know?! Physical strength and violence aren’t the only important things ever just because they’re male-only things!”

“Oh my God! You actually had the hero save her! This is just like the 50s over again! I don’t care if she was tied-up and half-dead and delirious, she should have been able to knock out the superpowered bad guys and save herself anyway! She’s so weak and pathetic! I bet a man would have handled the exact same situation much better!”
“Oh my God! You actually had her save herself on her own! Can you even write anything besides the Strong Female Character stereotype? I don’t care if she’s super-strong and a great tactician with years of experience under her belt, she deserves to be cared for and looked after just like traditionally feminine characters! She needs help even when she doesn’t need it to show she’s an actual woman that male characters can find attractive!”

“She’s so meek and quiet! Stop censuring women and their opinions! You’re making her into some pliant, easy-to-manipulate woman-child for men to take advantage of!”
“She’s so loud and brash! How is that ladylike behaviour? You’re making her into some hysterical, capricious woman-child that the oh-so-wise men will just love silencing and putting down!”

“Why is she dolling herself up now?! Is she really that vain and shallow? Or is she so insecure that only men drooling all over her and objectifying her will make her feel better about herself?”
“Why does she never wear dresses and make-up? Every woman deserves to see herself as pretty and self-satisfied! You’re making her repress her feminine side! She must be so unhappy in those pants!”

“She has female friends? You think she’s not good enough to play with the boys? Great, just keep you dear little gender segregation going, you cunt!”
“She has male friends? Oh, I get it, she’s oh-so-special and Not Like All Other Girls! Great, just keep serving the patriarchy and trying to kill the sisterhood, you dickhead!”

“Oh, and now she has a love interest, that’s just great! Now she’ll obviously get all irrational and useless, and her whole character will surely revolve around him! What an airhead, getting distracted from her mission because of her love life and stuff, she should just be able to turn her feelings off like a switch … women don’t need men as the focus of their whole lives!”
“Why doesn’t she have a love interest already?! Love and sex are important, you’re cutting a huge chunk of her identity off! I don’t care if she doesn’t have time for a relationship or she doesn’t want one! Just stop this Strong Independent Women Don’t Need No Man crap!”

“Wait, are you telling me she’s having sex?! Seriously? That whore! Your view of women as sex-object for man’s pleasure is disgusting!”
“Wait, are you telling me she’s not having sex?! Seriously? Your fear of women owning and enjoying their sexuality and your slut-shaming are disgusting!”

“She’s just men’s fantasy of a perfect woman! Women like her don’t exist!”
“She’s just a man with boobs! Women like her don’t exist!”

I want masculine women in fiction. I want women who don’t have to be pretty or love their children or love their man or go crazy over shoes as “redeeming traits” to prove they’re still actually all-women, women who aren’t called unfeeling bitches and men if they don’t swoon and beg for a hug right after killing the bad guy in cold blood, women who don’t just need some infuriating alpha male dude to insult them and mock them and then hold them down and pound them into the mattress to make them “rediscover their repressed femininity” and turn them into delicate sensitive little flowers.

I want feminine women in fiction. I want women who don’t have to be “upgraded” into badass warriors to be considered relevant and interesting, women who aren’t shamed for being quiet or sweet or sneaky or loving dresses and the colour pink and flirting with cute guys, women who are badass because they’re clever and cunning and knowledgeable and emotionally strong and loyal and dedicated to their loved ones’ wellbeing and capable and wise.

I want women who look for sex and women who don’t, women who look for a romantic partner and women who don’t, ace and aro women, women whose love interests and sex partners aren’t men, women whose love interest and sex partners aren’t just men.

I want women who have both masculine and feminine traits. I want women who don’t see themselves as masculine or feminine, just women. I want women who think character traits and actions shouldn’t be classified as inherently masculine and feminine, because that’s a gender essentialist and simplistic view of reality.

I want women who are different yet still support each other, women who don’t fight all the time about who is a legitimate woman or a strong woman or a valid woman or “more” of a woman. I want women who honestly don’t understand what’s the paradigm that should be used to tell if someone is “less” or “more” of a woman.

I want women who understand that the only requirement to be a woman is identifying as a woman, and that you have no right to tell someone what they can and can’t identify as.

… I kinda feel the only possible way to get something like that would be having an entire cast made of women. You know, so not every single woman would be expected to represent all women on Earth, never make any mistakes and never have any noticeable flaws - and, consequently, not every single woman would be called a dumb bitch, evil slut and useless whore by Fandom for just about every little thing.

… Okay, so maybe not even that would work. We are talking about Fandom, after all.