eumelia: (oy vey)
No spoilers.

Because it was honestly pointless.

It was gross.

I actually felt as though the show was telling me "You're so dumb! Here's another sex joke! Oh look, sexual harassment is fucking hilarious."

Danny had a few brilliant lines; Schnauzer? Made me laugh out loud.

He also made a homophobic dig, which I have to say, I was not expecting and was actually very uncomfortable about. Because that isn't Danny, or at least, it wasn't. Danny was never the guy who needed to make a dig regarding some other man's masculinity in order to be funny or to take him down a notch.

On the Watson level, I need to reconcile that statement with what I know and the narrative that's been woven into Danny's character.

On the Doyle level, I want to fucking punch whoever wrote that line on principle and that fact that Danny said it in particular. If that was a Scott ad lib, I think that would really crush me.

In any event, NCIS:LA, you did not sell yourself to me. I hope I never have to interact with you again.
eumelia: (buffy is better)
[Trigger Warning: Frank discussion of rape culture]


It is with a great deal of kismet that I woke up this morning to an image that not only angered me, but haunted me throughout the day.

It wasn't an image of explicit violence.

It wasn't an image of gratuitous sexuality.

It wasn't an image of a war crime, news event or accident.

The image, which you can see under the cut )

It is a depiction of a white, thin, photoshopped woman. Her lips are painted red. Her eyes are covered with black silk blind fold, tied with a bow. Her nudity is heavily implied.

As you can see, this is the cover of this week's Newsweek. The cover article written by Katie Roiphe in which, and I quote Newsweek's tumblr:
[she] examines the submissive yet empowered female in Newsweek. “It is perhaps inconvenient for feminism that the erotic imagination does not submit to politics, or even changing demographics,” she writes.


I don't want to talk about the article though.

What interests me is the image and the accompanying quote: "The fantasy life of working women. Why surrender is a feminist dream".

Because that, my friends, is the face of backlash.

The reduction of womanhood and femininity into an unseeing nude waiting to be opened, unaware that she is even being gazed at - and how! When she is on the cover a mass produced weekly magazine that is available both in hard copy and as a e-mag - is a work of terror.

Pure and simple.

Femininity and women's sexuality is reduced, in this image and in that quote, to this:

Availability.

Woman, no matter who, where and how, is reduced to being available to someone else. That someone else will always and forever be a man.

This image implies that consent is not needed, because look, she's ready and willing for anyone to come and take her and open her up.

How can you tell?

She surrendered, because she can't handle her own power.

Shut the front door.

Here's the thing; Femininity and submission have been cultural peas in a pod for who knows how long. Femininity has been considered lesser, due to it's linkage to submission. Submission has always been associated with powerlessness... when attached to women.

When a man submits, well, he's kinky, isn't he, he's relinquishing his power temporarily.

Women, well, our power is the temporary thing.

Because we can't handle it. Beyond it, because secretly, we don't really want it.

That image is just another symptom of rape culture, because woman; no matter her background, race, ethnicity, sexuality, physical ability, mental capacity, nationality or even if she was born female; is nothing but a body which must avail herself to the desire of the men.

The fact is, that image and quote use kink as a way to yank and ridicule women's agency, autonomy and text based culture from under our feet. It reduces our sexual expression, fantasies, desires, choices and culture to something that, once again, avails us to be sexual objects in the patriarchy controlled public sphere.

Thank you, Newsweek, for slapping half the population across the face. Of course, according to you, we're asking for it, eyes closed and mouth at the ready.

[Entry #001]

Old News

Mar. 30th, 2012 07:08 pm
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Despite focusing lately on things not relating to the occupation in a direct manner, I still access the media and am as big a News junkie as ever.

As some of you may or may not know, today is Land Day, which is a commemorative day marking the strikes and protests Palestinians held in 1967 after the state (Israel) appropriated privately held Palestinian land. Thousands of dunams were basically stolen from under the owners feet.

This appropriation is still happening today, obviously.

But Land Day is a big event and such there are more demonstrators and many more wounded.

It's been a while since I've been involved in anti-occupation politics as I am focusing on more organised LGBT activism and, well, my life, but I don't think one can really separate the issues, as they colour every fraction of my life one way or another.

For instance, what does it mean that Israel cut ties with the UN Human Rights Commission, because they dared open up a probe regarding the building of settlements in the West Bank.

Apropos land appropriation. If I cared one whit about Israel's image I'd say we shoot ourselves in the foot, but seriously, we commit flagrant human rights violations every day, all the time. I can't say I'm surprised the foreign ministry started talking about Al-Qaeda (your guess is as good as mine as to why) and about how it's the Palestinian Authority committing - wait for it - diplomatic terrorism on Israel.

Because the state terrorism Israel commits on a regular basis is really not a part of the discourse.

Speaking of state sanctioned terror, and another reason why the IDF is a hierarchical, masculine-supremacist, racist and patriarchal institution of the worst kind?

(Trigger Warning: Rape Culture, Encouragement Of Rape, Overt Racism): IDF Colonel-Rabbi implies Rape is Permitted in War.

If you read the body of the text (heed the trigger warnings, my god!) you will see that when they write "imply", they actually mean "clearly states" that raping female prisoners is not only permitted, but actually encouraged!

...even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge...


As the author of the article writes, this is the face of the IDF of 2012.

The fact that this kind of religious doctrine is actually published by the IDF is telling. Mainly, they they really can't see anything beyond their weeping national erection.

Despite the above, or possibly because of the above, I must mention Adrienne Rich's passing.

Her writing has been an inspiration to me for many years, both her poetry and essays - all of which have been a great aid to me when it came to my own feminism, even if I didn't agree with everything she had to say (her gender essentialism was and is notorious, despite the way she leveraged it so beautifully in the political and theoretical spheres).

She was also a Jewish woman who spoke out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a supporter of BDS, which, you know, is special.

She also spoke of the role and the responsibility of the poet, the writer, the artist to be political and proactive and not shy away from social justice in their work.

Someone is Writing a Poem
...But most often someone writing a poem believes in, depends on, a delicate, vibrating range of difference, that an “I” can become a “we” without extinguishing others, that a partly common language exists to which strangers can bring their own heartbeat, memories, images. A language that itself has learned from the heartbeat, memories, images of strangers...


May her memory be blessed.
eumelia: (mystique)
I had one of the best days I've had in a very long time.

I spent the morning and afternoon with my BFF and a close mate (ACM). Ostensibly the morning was to run errands with out close mate, but really, it was just so much fun for me to spend time with my friends, who know what is going on in my life and with whom I don't have to censor myself.

All three of us went to the mall in order to shop for shoes and pants for ACM. Both BFF and ACM are fat and ACM always has problems finding pants that she really likes.

I think BFF and I were good luck charms because she found a pair of shoes that fit her and two pairs of pants that looked amazing and were comfortable for her.

I was the yak of this expedition, seeing as this shopping mission wasn't a gathering, but a hunt - we had an objective and we zero'd in on it - I schlepped the bags belonging to the fat lady and when I started complaining about being hungry, I was dubbed an honourary fatty just as went for lunch.

Which, you know, yay!

I love spending time with BFF and ACM. Well, BFF is who she is and she's one of those people who is just there for me, no matter what and I'm there for her - it's a mutual thing. And ACM is one of those freakishly clever and insightful people and I kind of melt when she's witty and commits word play - so carrying her bags was fun.

There's also a kind of "screw you" to the world when a thin girl carries the shopping bags of fat girls, you know? And I enjoy that feeling, so I was totally selfish.

I actually worried my BFF yesterday by not recognising the fact that I was hungry by my hunger pangs, but thinking they were an ache relating to some kind of stomach bug. Yes, I assume any and all stomach aches are actually not benign.

ACM said, "You think like a thin person, but we forgive you," when I related to above to her today.

Yes, well, nobody's perfect.
eumelia: (bullshit)
When I was in high school I was slut shamed. A lot.

Whether I was sexually active or not is beside the point, because the boys and girls who bullied me, they weren't the ones who knew my business. I was called "bitch", I was called "whore", I was called "dyke".

I was also called "slut", but that has a different context.

When I was in high school I used to go to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A lot.

The word "slut" was bandied around in a positive way, no one was saying it to offend or to shame. No one was saying it in order to see me blush and avert my eyes, just so they would leave me alone.

I remember once I screamed in the middle of the hall way, a loud drawn out scream. I don't remember why I did it, I must have looked insane. People parted around my like the Red sea and I was Moses.

Our most powerful weapon is our voice - Ursula (of The Little Mermaid infamy) obviously taught me well.

I didn't mine being called a slut when I was with my fellow Rocky peeps. Just like I don't mind being called a dyke or queer when I'm with fellow LGBT's.

Context is everything. No word can be reclaimed in full. I can the biggest bitch there ever was, but you don't get to call me one just because you don't like me. Yes, I am bisexual and lesbian, only I get to call myself queer. My sex life in my own and the people I actually have sex with and has no bearing on my morality and character - as such, slut is a word that I get to chose who says it and when and I decide whether I use it or not.

SLUTwalk has come to Israel and I will march.

Some people disagree with the politics of SLUTwalk, because the word is not reclaimable and the overt sexualisation of some of the marchers is counter productive.

I can't help but think back to what people say about the various Pride marches in my locale and all over the world. With regards to how provocative it is.

To that I can only say, Pride marches are necessary because of that sentiment my dear detractors.

And so long as sex and the having of it with whomever we chose is considered "provocative" and "slutty", and rape continues to be tied to the sex lives of the survivors and victims rather than to the actions of the rapist, these actions are necessary.

Because it doesn't matter what we wear, it doesn't matter what we don't wear. We could walk naked in the street with a neon sign flashing "Willing to Fuck Anyone!" in hot pink and that is still not "asking for it".

It happens to be International Woman's Day.

A friend said she considers this a day of mourning for the feminist struggle and I can't help but agree. IWD is a day in which we go "Yay Women!" and that's important, empowerment is not to underestimated, but who is empowered? And what are we empowering ourselves to be?

Feminism is not just about women, it is about the opening of minds and it is about resistance. Resistance of patriarchy, racism, homophobia, misogyny, modern-colonialism, war and economic terrorism, because they harm the majority of people on the planet.

SLUTwalk may be small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but rape is an instrument of war, it is an instrument of terror and so long as it is considered just something else we need to "deal with", resistance to the double standard of gender paradigms is paramount.

Make some noise.

eumelia: (jewish revenge)


Happy International Woman's Day.

Now let's get the other 364 days!
eumelia: (thinky thoughts)
Holy shit that was so fucking good!

Spoilers, okay! )

That's all folks!
eumelia: (master politician)
It's worse, because it is far more insidious than ever. You know the old saying about the frog in the boiling pot?

That's us.

It's been forever since I've had a good "bad news" round up. This platform has become something of an escape for me, you see, since the Summer in which thousands of people took to the streets protesting the current political, financial and social disparity in Israel - we forgot to take into account the underlying reason the current government has managed to shut us up and shut us out.

We are occupying another people and the Summer of so-called social change decided that that was too "political", not to do with "us" and not to do with the fact that the cost of living is practically unbearable within Israel. Because that's one thing and Israeli society is another.

Apartheid never seemed so clear.

Over the past few months, while we were resting on the laurels of actually being in the street and protesting the Men, the superficiality of (Jewish) women's equality has been steadily eroding.

Who is to blame? I mean, other than patriarchy. Of course.

Deepening religious extremism is one reason, I mean, when you have a Settler Rabbi telling soldiers should chose death rather than suffer a woman singing. You may go O_o at this little piece of News, but when you have more conservative interpretations to the Jewish adage "A woman's voice is Ervah" i.e. the sound of a woman's voice is pubic or sexual by it's very nature.

A woman is nothing but her sex, of course.

Speaking of voices, our freedom of speech has been basically been taken away, I can't tell you who you should boycott for fear of being sued for damages and now I can't call the Prime Minister, for example, a smug lying asshole, due to this abso-fucking-loutly spiffing amendment bill.

In which, and I quote the article linked above:
The bill represents an amendment to Israel's existing libel law, which would make it possible to sue a newspaper for libel, not only for commensurate compensation for any tangible damage caused by the publication, but for an additional sum of NIS 300,000 − without having to prove damages.

Emphasis mine.

Was there an emergency meeting of journalists? You bet there was.

Unsurprisingly, this bill coincides with the firing of one of Israel's few true watch dogs from public broadcasting Keren Neubach. As you can read in the link, the "reason" given? She "looks" bad on screen.
They're not even bothering any more.

Ditto on shutting down the Ramallah based radio station Palestinian-Israeli cooperative "Kol Ha'Shalom" (a play on words, as "Kol" is a Hebrew homophone for "voice" and "all").

Last night 2000 people rallied in protest of this bill.

2000. Yep, that many.

That really is the equivalent of crickets chirping.

The other bills that have been passing through the Knesset floor have been eroding civil society for years.

But wait. There's more.

The totalitarian nature of the Occupation is finally catching up with Israel proper. The non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank, exemplified by the recent Freedom Rider arrests (amazing pictures) shows the stark contrast of what is actually happening on the ground and the mindset of the average Israeli.

I mean, when the Prime Minister "shelves" the bill set out to persecute NGO's by limiting their funds, but his Foreign Minister goes ahead and does it anyway is, well, telling.

Add to that the fact that there is an all out political attack on the political science department of Negev's Ben-Gurion University, the alarm bells should be ringing off the walls.

Because when the Germans are telling the Israeli government: Um, excuse me, this is not very good and we're really sorry that we have to criticise you like this.

History repeats and really, the Germans would know.

In the meantime, my parents are watching commentary about a documentary about Steve Jobs and Apple.

I fucking hate the world.
eumelia: (bollocks)
Hint: It isn’t a debate.

Trigger Warning: This post is about the narratives of dubious consent, non consent, rape, sexual assault, body autonomy (or lack thereof) in fanfiction and fandom, and what being triggered actually means.


Before I begin to dig into this issue, let me put one thing on the table; the only moral issue about sex between two or more adults is consent. Everything else is a matter of what floats your boat. My kink is not your kink and that’s okay – in fact, it’s great, because in fandom we share and learn and discuss these things to a greater degree of openness and detail that in the “real world”.

So, I read a fic. It is a good fic. It’s not perfect, but very few stories are. Much like life, I must say1.

It is a really good story, which, right off the bat, places the characters in a scenario known in fanfic as dub-con, a short hand of “dubious consent”.

Let me put something else on the table here. In real life, there is no such thing as “dubious consent”. Dub-con is a narrative device, it is a construct of point of view, we see and read the conflict of the person (say, Hermione of “Harry Potter”) whose autonomy has been breached and we know, along with Hermione, that she actually wants this happen, only she’s not sure about why, or how, or some other thing – she just knows, kind of, that she wants this other person (say Snape) to do what he is doing.

Alternately, we have Snape’s pov, he who breaches the aforementioned autonomy and magically (no pun intended) knows that this fine, that Hermione actually wants it. That this is sexy, even if Hermione says “stop” or “no” or says nothing at all.

I use this example from “Harry Potter”, because this type of narrative is so typical in this pairing it is practically a trope. But it is a narrative found in all genres and happenstances of fic, be it het or slash, hurt/comfort or fluff – it is there and frankly, I despair at having to actually talk about this.

In real life dubious consent can’t happen. It cannot. Not because we don’t often feel conflicted about doing something with another person in bed, or because there wasn’t enough communication and the sex ended up being more enjoyable for one of the partners over the other (or others).
It cannot happen in real life, because the narrative in our heads can’t be shared. We can’t know if our partner is conflicted, or not comfortable, unless they tell us. The opposite, of course, is the same.

Dubious consent alleges that Ianto (for instance) can and would fight against Jack’s advances and actions if he really wanted to, this is the context of Ianto being subordinate to Jack in the hierarchy of the “Torchwood” team and their age (putting it lightly). With that in mind, it is likely that this scenario wouldn’t actually be construed by fic authors as an issue of consent because it is happening between two men, in the case of slash.

Consent isn’t about Steve’s (for instance) physical ability to stop Danny from performing fellatio on him. Consent is about the fact that Danny doesn’t care to ask or wait for Steve to actually say what he feels about the idea of it happening at all.

That is the point. The disregard to one’s choice, one’s comfort and one’s own wants (and needs) when it comes to sex is endemic, because the idea that the onus is on the person whose will and autonomy is being violated is simply not true. In the fic I read, there was a clear description of someone wanting to say “No”, but didn’t get a chance to do so, due to the narrative dictating that the “No” or the “Wait a minute” didn’t count because the sex was just that good. Dubious consent hadn’t even been an option here, because this scenario was constructed in order for the inner conflict of “do I or don’t I want this” to be taken as a token resistance as opposed to assertion of free will.

This particular fic isn’t even the only time in “Hawaii Five-0” fandom that this sort of thing has happened. In the name of sexy, how many times have we read Steve or Danny say “wait” or “stop” and have the other guy say “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you” or “I know what you want/need” and continue to do what they were doing despite the “No”.

And yes, “wait”, “stop” or even non-responsiveness when action is taking place in sex is a big “NO”.

You cannot know why a person says “stop” or “wait” during sex unless you actually stop or wait. Possibly, this person has a cramp, or you’re digging your knee or elbow somewhere uncomfortable or maybe, you are doing something that is making your partner feel distressed and things need to change.

When you assume that Steve or Hermione can physically/magically prevent Danny or Snape from violating them, you are perpetuating rape culture2.

When you assume that knowing what a character is feeling or thinking when their free will is being disregarded by their sexual partner makes this disregard okay, and when you then normalize this behaviour in your fic, you are perpetuating rape culture.

And in the case in which there is clear non-consent going on when you assume that by removing the word “rape” from the fic magically fixes the disparity in power dynamics and that the violence perpetrated now isn’t sexual or gendered, you are perpetuating rape culture.

This is doubly so, when you don’t warn that these things actually exist in the fic!

It doesn’t make a difference what your intent was, I doubt authors are actively malicious, but when you have a character (major or minor) that is assaulted, whether “live”, or in a flashback or memory, or discussed, that is still a textual description of sexual and/or gendered violence. The assault, whether explicit violence, psychological coercion or disregard to another’s free will, choice and autonomy, is still written down and as such must be warned for, because the words you use are the same.

The thing is I don’t mind that dub-con exists in fic, as it is a fantasy narrative device and everyone has fantasies they wouldn’t want to actually happen in real life. This is why we have role playing and BDSM and actually talking to your partner(s) when it comes to making fantasies come true. In the name of full disclosure, I read fics that have dub-con, non-con and rape scenarios in them, because I like hurt/comfort and angst – I need to be warned for this, not because I have triggers, but because I need to know that these scenarios are going to be handled with the due respect and sensitivity that they deserve.

The respect and sensitivity should be awarded to the readers who do have triggers.

It is no secret that transformative art fandom (fanfic, fanvid, fanart and more) is made of a majority of women and/or female identified people and a significant amount of gender variant people, LGBT men and women, non-white people, disabled people and other social minorities who are all vulnerable to sexual violence, because our humanity and body autonomy is considered inconsequential.

The notion that a not insignificant part of your readership will have been through a traumatic experience concerning sexual consent, and sexually based and gendered violence, is not out there!

It is not only a courtesy to warn for this in your header, it will save someone from stumbling into a scenario that will make him or her feel less safe in their own lives, because their hobby and their creative community triggered their trauma.

But in the end, what I find distressing is that people do not recognise what they write for what it is, and in slash fiction it is particularly endemic, due to the fact that this happening between two men. Because rape culture dictates that between men consent isn’t an issue. Because rape culture dictates that men never say “no”. Because rape culture dictates that men can stop the coercion by virtue of being “strong” and physically powerful.

Dear readers, this is bullshit.

As a community of vulnerable people who often place characters we love in painful and violent scenarios that happen in real life to real people in a society that considers our trauma to be exaggerated at best and made up at worst, we have to consider the consequences of our actions and take care of each other.

One of the ways we do this is to know what it is we are writing and to warn accordingly.

Footnotes:
1) This post was triggered (no pun intended) by a particular fic and a discussion that followed, but it is not specifically about any one fic. This post is about a trend and a trope that is all too common in H50 fandom and in fandom as a whole, and I am using this fic as a way to exemplify and make clear my points.
Back to text.

2(For a clear and concise definition of what rape culture is I would refer you to Melissa McEwan’s post at Shakesville where she writes:
[…]Rape culture is encouraging male sexual aggression. Rape culture is regarding violence as sexy and sexuality as violent. Rape culture is treating rape as a compliment, as the unbridled passion stirred in a healthy man by a beautiful woman, making irresistible the urge to rip open her bodice or slam her against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, or pull her by her hair, or shove her onto a bed, or any one of a million other images of fight-fucking in movies and television shows and on the covers of romance novels that convey violent urges are inextricably linked with (straight) sexuality.[…]

Back to text.
eumelia: made by <lj site="livejournal.com" user="quadratur"> (target)
Wow, well, it has been a long time since I left an episode of a show I love pissed the fuck off.

Spoilers for episode 2.09 )
eumelia: (mystique)
My whole life it's been thrown in my face.

As an accusation, more than anything. As a way to deflate my arguments, my words and my own feelings.

I'm over sensitive, so I'm looking to be offended.

I'm over sensitive, so I imagined the teasing, it was meant as a compliment.

I'm over sensitive, so the disparaging looks and gazes hurled at me were imagined, in my head, actually want it to happen just so I have something to complain about.

What does it actually mean, to be called out as "over sensitive"?

It has always, always been used as a way to silence me. It has always been a weapon to cut me at the knees and make sure I know my place - silent and weeping in the corner.

And it's not even being aware that the world is shit and that bad things happen due to disparity in power dynamics and gross social injustices.

This has been my life since I was a child.

And now, as an adult, and I swallow the lump in my throat because everything I say is coloured by this prism of sensitivity.

It is flung in my face too often and getting tips by those who silence me how to deal with the silencing is a small comfort - especially when I'm told they feel sorry that I take things so personally.

My over "sensitivity" fuelled rage wants to take a chair and throw it over someone's head, but social programming prevents me from going feral in a house of residence, or, you know at all.

It's just, you know, this week has had a few wins against the patriarchy, what with Israel's rapist (ex-)president going away for seven years and participating in an event protesting the marginalisation of women in Israel due to growing religious extremism, but reading about the news about Penn State in the United States and that getting into an argument about the position of women in public and the symptom of street harassment and how people do not get that this is all connected, it makes me bury my face in my hands and wail inside my head.

Yeah, if I'm sensitive, I fear how numb so many other people in my life are.

Being called over sensitive is equivalent to being called irrelevant. I am too sensitive to judge anything fairly or have an informed opinion about anything because it the speech of an hysterical woman.

I regret to say I left the conversation. I often do. It is difficult for me to handle the assault over my emotions and my perceptions, because when I fight back I will raise my voice and my abrasiveness will overtake and being of small statue and round face, I do not look like an informed and factual feminist woman, but more like an angry teenage girl with a grudge against the world.

My body dictates the perception.

This is how it has always been.

I'll just sit here and swallow the tears that make my eyes shine and my voice catch, because obviously, it is useless to speak for too long about that which has forced me to grow a skin that feels foreign to me.
eumelia: (this small)
I have in mind a meta in two parts.

The first, an outside view approach; in which I will pick apart the disturbing racial and class dynamics and intersections that were huge in this episode. I think that, among other things, will put into perspective why so many of us of feeling the Lori hate in this ep (besides the Mary Sue-ness of the character, that is).

We’ll call it the Doylist approach.

The second, an internal view approach, analysing the character interactions with each other and weaving it all into a coherent and cohesive narrative of what the characters – yeah, I’ll be honest – Steve and Danny - are going though at this first quarter of the season.

For every Doyle there is a Watson.

And just to show I’m not the pretentious arse that may be assumed from the introduction above, I give you the TVTropes Page Watsonian vs Doylist. Click at your own peril, etc.

First Part )

Second Part )
eumelia: (omg lesbians!)
Goddamn! Life is kicking my ass.

I have been trying to write about Zachary Quinto and his coming out for days now, because the significance of why he came out, i.e. because it was the socially responsible thing to do, is a clear challenge towards other closeted celebrities.

I think anyone who can come out should, but I also understand why you wouldn't or don't. As it is, being out is more a negotiation or a process than anything else and it needs to happen over and over again.

When Quinto came out, in an interview, in which his sexuality was not the focus of the article (i.e. it wasn't about him coming out of the closet), he did it in a way I find myself doing more often than not - matter of fact and casual.

Of course, it never is, matter of fact or casual that is. You can see the person in front of you rearrange every single thought they have on you, no matter how liberal and no matter if the other person is LGBT themselves - I know this, because my thoughts rearrange themselves and reshuffle my expectations regarding this person, who has decided that the cultural assumption of heterosexuality is not something to partake it, or that living your life in which every time you talk about your life you need to make sure you don't "slip".

Regardless as to whether one is celebrity or just a person going through life and interacting with people, when a person comes out, usually, the main reason is for their own benefit.

The fact that it is the responsible and ethically correct thing to do in neither there nor there, because it is also a matter of personal choice and circumstance.

A matter of personal choice and circumstance, which, when you're a celebrity, opens you up to a whole lot of shit just because you're a gay public figure.

I find it personally offensive and disgusting, as a fangirl, as a slasher and yeah, as a gay person, that in the passing weeks, when two men (Sean Maher came out of the closet a few weeks ago), who are first and foremost genre actors, come out I encounter (via Sparkindarkness) this and I quote from his post:
"Oh I would totally slash him!"

"brb writing that slash"

"Yaaay I have a new OTP!"

"I'm shipping him with X now"

"A new ship is born"

.... and so on so on.

Seriously - a life changing extremely powerful and personal moment, a moemnt that requires support and congratulations - and this is what is presented as support? Yay, a new fuckpuppet! Bring on the fetishisation! What does it even say about these people that the minute a gay man comes out that slashing them is their reaction?


I think fantasising about people, celebrities especially, as they constructed to be fantasy fodder, is fair. I think if you're going to be public about it, you show some fucking respect to the persona you're objectifying.
Attached to that persona is an actual person who is doing a job.

Fictional characters are a whole other kettle of fish, but that's not we're talking about, but it does need to be said.

Beyond the basic human decency mentioned above, I find it absolutely abhorrent that people in slash fandom, my cultural home, my intellectual playground, would actually create a meme that diminishes and marginalises gay people:

The You Know You're Addicted To Slash Meme )

With a very distinct few, all the ideas under the cut are homophobic. The fact that the ideas that aren't homophobic are contextualised in the meme above renders them just as disgusting and infuriating.

Most of the time, when I see criticism of fandom, participatory culture and slash, I read with interest even though I am not the target audience (usually there is a whole lot of misconception and mistakes in talking about fandom - we're not all straight and we're not all women, to start with. Just saying), but the criticisms of appropriation, misogyny and fetishism are ones I do read. I read them with the knowledge that these things happen far too often and are not called on (at all or enough) in fandom.

So let me say it like this; As a gay woman, as a queer fangrrl, as a consumer of slash; reducing gay men (be they real or fictional) to a piece of meat over which one writes their masturbatory fantasies, reduces, diminishes and marginalises me and my sexuality and my culture and every other gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans/queer woman (and man) who chooses to participate in male oriented fandom.

Food for thought, that.
eumelia: (this small)
In which everyone becomes straight, because the previous episode was just that gay.

So many spoilers, oh my god )
eumelia: (thinky thoughts)
It feels weird waiting for another episode of "Hawaii Five-0".

I mainlined the whole first season in less than two weeks over the summer and fell in love with it in a way I didn't think I would.
One of the reasons for this new love and obsession is that a mainstream action, adventure and "let's blow shit up" show, is managing to convey a camaraderie between two male leads that toes the line between platonic and erotic.
And when I say toe, I mean there's a line they can't cross, but they're going "Look, look, we're not touching!" with their toes.

Cut for length, spoilers and embedded images )

Credits: All screencaps from episode 2.01 "Ha'i'ole" were taken from Demon-Cry.net.
All other pics, screencaps and gifds were taken random Google Image search and prowling fandom comms.
eumelia: (mystique)
Over the past half year or so that I've conscientiously stopped waxing my legs and shaving my underarms, I've struck several conversations regarding why I've stopped removing my body hair.

Some are baffled, some are downright angry, some are admiring (one classmate of mine decided to join the ranks of hairy women, after I told about my experience) and some are simply curious. But the consistent remark, no matter the underlying thought regarding my body - my body and my looks are fair game for criticism and observation.

My decision to grow my body hair is my own. Why? Because it's my body and the way I present it is my own business, and wanting it to look a certain way is also my own business.

The notion that I'm required to present a certain way due to aesthetic convention explicitly suggests that my body is for the consumption of my surrounding, as opposed to me being being a person existing on my own terms in relation to my surroundings.

My self esteem regarding my body has definitely improved since I've stopped thinking about whether I'm presentable in a certain way - wearing shorts with my hair showing, wearing a bathing suit (a bikini no less!) to the pool or the beach with my hairy underarms has been extremely beneficial to upping my self worth.

All the above is to put on the table that while I work hard to be unpack the conditioning I've underwent regarding what is feminine and acceptable on my body, I am still sensitive to direct assault on my body image.

When I was a teenager, my skin was so bad and the acne so deep that they became lesions of my akin and have left scars on my shoulders - being prone to keloids will do that - so at the time my skin was a health hazard so I would go to a cosmetician on a regular basis. This, in addition to drug therapy under medical supervision, that went about to change my body chemistry.

I'm now in my mid-twenties and I hadn't been to a cosmetician in a good number of years, I decided to splurge on a facial in order to celebrate the completion of my degree (I got a haircut as well, pics will be posted asap!).

The litany of strikes the cosmetician assaulted me with when she was committing her sadism over my face was, as follows:
#1 You haven't been to a cosmetician in a long time, haven't you?
#2 You don't take very good care of your skin do you?
#3 You should have those moles removed, it's very dangerous.
#4 You should consider going on drug therapy again. Maybe the Pill?
#5 You should get a hormone check, you have an awful lot of secretions.
#6 You do your eyebrows and moustache yourself don't you? They're awfully long, you should get them waxed and cut.

As someone I ranted to about this said, the beauty industry is built on making us feel ugly, but the workers within the industry don't have to buy into it.

Were it not for the fact that I was doing this for myself and the fact that my own feminism has a broad academic backing with which I can reduce the encounter to a full frontal assault with the Beauty Myth and the judgemental mind set that only other women can have on women, I would have probably gone home and cried.

Cried for the fact that my skin is a health hazard, cried for the fact that I was ugly and that some stranger thought I was hopeless, and, actually disgusting - because the disgust dripped off her.

Once we started talking about her kids did I feel I could I actually lie back and take the pain of having my pores de-clogged without actually wanting to grab the scissors that were lying around the room and stab myself in the eye.

Or stab the cosmetician, it depends.

So here I am, a day later, still obsessing about what a stranger said to me. A stranger, I will most likely, never see again. I can only hope.

My point being, no one has the right to be so invasive about what we do with our bodies and how we present them. Not even so-called "beauty experts". Perhaps, especially not them.

That kind of invasiveness and "up-sale" mentality is part of what makes femininity debased and despised. I like being hairy and femmy. It shouldn't be mutually exclusive and it shouldn't have to make us question our decisions or second guess our self worth.
eumelia: (diana disapproves)
I'm not a Marvel fan, so you'll have to live with the Wonder Woman icon.

I am, however, greatly appreciative of "X-Men: First Class", seeing as it was a Hero's Journey and that hero was Magneto )

For the TL;DR people among you. It was awesome, I really really liked it. It is full of slash. It has problems with the way it portrays gender and race, it could've been better.
eumelia: (diana disapproves)
Spoilers up to S1E7 You Live or You Die )

This was in lieu of the new "Doctor Who" episode I have yet to see! Tommorow, you'll get my reaction to that. I've already been slightly spoiled, but I'm not sure as to what.

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eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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