Do we ever think seriously about how amazing it is that in Discworld, no female character ever gets fridged for the ‘benefit’ of a male character’s story arc?
I mean, it may not seem like a big deal until you remember these are actually 40 books and how incredibly common this is as a plot device in mainstream media.
Let’s take Sybil Ramkin (also known as dragon goddess of my heart) as an example. The one time she plays damsel in the series is in Guards!Guards when the King (actually dragon, actually Queen. Or maybe not. We shouldn’t presume on their gender identity) is going to eat her, and that’s because she was knocked out stone cold by several guards. Once she’s freed, she proceeds to kick ass and take names like you would expect from a dragon breeder, and you can also appreciate the fact that she kicks off probably the most practical courtship in the history of fantasy as a genre.
(also there was that time she knocked out a werewolf with a steel bar because they were holding her captive and apologized afterwards I swear to gods this woman)
And she is never fridged. Think about how easily most male authors would just go, ‘You know what? The protagonist isn’t having enough angst. Let’s kill his love interest.’
Then, tuppence more and up goes the donkey.
And she is such a positive force in the story! We start out with Vimes seemingly as a clichéd anti-hero cowboy-cop, the kind you’ll find in anything from Lethal Weapon to The Maltese Falcon. He is an alcoholic, utterly miserable and deems himself basically worthless. And then something (a combination of Sybil/Carrot/Vetinari support/scheming and Vimes’ own barely contained rage against the universe) kicks him in the pants and he gets character development like wowza! and we end up with a Lawful Good, incredibly clever (it never ceases to sadden me how he thinks he isn’t really that intelligent) protagonist with probably the strongest moral code I have ever seen in a fictional character. I mean, it had a mental/physical manifestation, for gods’ sake.
And they have this most elusive of fictional things; a marriage free of unnecessary drama and full of mutual respect and kindness, and she does her own thing with the dragons while he solves crime (she tends to help, though) and never is she killed off to ‘advance’ his development as a character.
Because a) that would be a really gross (although frustratingly common) thing to do and b),
This is Sir TerryMotherfuckingPratchett.
Not to mention that you can actually see their relationship develop and come to terms with one another— like in Men At Arms Sybil just assumes Vimes will marry her and quit the Watch to become a gentleman. But then as it goes along she realizes how important the Watch is to Vimes and so quietly accepts that part of him. Of course she worries about him, but she never tells him to quit, just to be careful.
You can see her frustrated with the long hours and running about but she never once throws a fit and tearfully demands him come home, she just very calmly tells him she wishes he was there more, but that she understands. She loves Vimes without needing to change him which is absolutely beautiful— GOD I LOVE SYBIL SO MUCH
This is it. The post that is finally gonna make me read Prachett.
GOOD! I love Terry Pratchett’s writing so, so much.
I love how, in the face of numerous studies across different cultures citing the negative long-term effects, people somehow still defend physical punishment against children. Like it’s a consistent finding and you wanna tell me the decades upon decades of various types of studies is wrong? Lol oooookay then.
Yup. Don’t even get me started on the “but I was spanked as a kid and I turned out FINE” justification for hitting kids.
Something wrong with the van. :( I hate how dependent I am when I don’t have reliable transportation. Yes, I have a bike, but I’m not very good at riding it and I get way too nervous around traffic. (And our city is SO not set up for biking.) I enjoy walking, but you run into limits, there’s only so much you can carry home from the grocery store. AND it gets hot. Public transport here is awful, and doesn’t run when and where I most need it. Not to mention that it’s really difficult to not have a vehicle to haul stuff to and from farmer’s market, art shows, etc.
they can’t tell that I didn’t write this bit immediately after that one
the six months where I ignored the manuscript are not visible to the naked eye
the bit where I put my head in my hands and muttered “I have no idea what I’m doing” takes place in the single space between the period and the next capital letter.
As soon as I shove that character in, she has always been there
and someone will probably say that she’s the emotional center
and the book couldn’t have been written without her
and nobody will know that I thought of her three thousand words from the end and scrolled up and shoehorned in a couple of paragraphs near the beginning because, for whatever reason, the story needed an elderly nun
she was almost the cook
and for about ten minutes she was the earnest young village priest
and now she has been there since you started reading.
I am sanding down the places where my editor found splinters
kicking up a fine dust of adjectives and dropped phrases
(Wear a breath mask. Work in a well-ventilated area. Have you seen what excess commas can do to your lungs?)
and eventually it will all be polished to a high shine
“A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.”—
Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg (via fuckyeahbeatniks)
the notebook problem: you see a notebook. you want to buy the notebook. but you know you have like TEN OTHER NOTEBOOKS. most which are STILL EMPTY. you don’t need to notebook. you’re probably not gonna use the notebook anyway. what’s the point? DONT BUY THE NOTEBOOK. you buy the notebook.
I have this problem, and I MAKE notebooks. And yet I’m still a sucker for a pretty notebook.
I got unfollowed by two people who I previously liked very much because I dared criticize Joss Whedon and express reservations about how he’s going to handle Avengers 2.
If I unfollowed everyone who had a different opinion from mine, I wouldn’t be following anyone. Sorry to put a pinprick in your idea that Whedon is a wonderful progressive genius who is going to save us all.
Good riddance. There’s the door; don’t let it hit you in the ass on your way out.
I don’t understand this whole Joss Whedon worship thing. I loved Buffy in her high school years, began to scratch my head when she went to college, watched Angel because, well, it was there and I loved Lorne and Christian Kane. I loved Firefly until I started to think about it and certain language darts stuck in my skin, and other people said things that made me think (I try not to think about my junk entertainment, or pretty soon, I’ll have no entertainment left). Dollhouse made me very unhappy. Very. He promised no fallback to prostitution, and he fell back to prostitution, also rape and battery. I bailed. I watched Dr. Horrible for the fellows, couldn’t help but noticed my beloved Felicia Day was wispy and fridged.
And yes, the broken women speech was wonderful. Women also make great speeches about women all of the time. We can save ourselves, thank you very much.
Whedon is no longer a name that automatically puts my hand on the remote or in the theater. And if people unfriend you because you’re honest about what you think, then they’ve kinda missed the point of knowing your own mind. We aren’t supposed to be drones as feminists. We’re not supposed to be pre-teens squealing over the newest hot guy.
I adore Buffy, and still value lots of things about it. I enjoyed the heck out of Firefly, although I will not deny that it has its problems. And I made the mistake of rewatching Dr. Horrible a third time, and… Wow. For someone who made his name trying to flip the stereotype of the “damsel in distress” on it’s head - that thing is just FULL of tropey tropey tropeness, isn’t it? A love triangle, the “nice guy,” and the jerk, killing of a woman for emotional resonance. It was fun at the time, the music is catchy, and it was interesting to have a big name use the internet to release something, but the work itself was in no way groundbreaking.
So, hypothetically… if I could take a bunch of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and read books at Barnes and Noble all day… and then be able to display my knowledge and understanding of the subject on an equal, if not higher, level than a college student… then, hypothetically… why is everyone paying for college again?
(Answer: Because a college degree isn’t about education, it’s a class marker. If we cared about everyone being educated, we would accredit free online courses and allow people to achieve intellectual growth and success without going into debt. But that’s not what college is for. I mean, yeah in college you can travel and learn from amazing professors and start your own anything and have access to facilities and resources and money, yeah, college is all that. And I’m not discrediting anyone who loves college but… college, at the end of the day is a business. College is just one more big way to perpetuate the system. But I say f**k the system, man.) #FreeEducationForAll #LearnRadically
Oh, I have such very mixed feelings about my own college experiences. Going back to school this time ended with me finding probably the best mentors I could have, but yeah - I could do without the crushing debt and ridiculous bureaucracy.
growing up as a gifted and talented student made me ridiculously ashamed of being wrong. like being wrong about the littlest things makes me want to cry and hate myself and i turn back into the big baby i actually am.
I’m gonna be 33 and my mom still calls me to wonder why I haven’t cured cancer yet because I should have gone into medical science. The way this interacts with the actual fact that I’m developmentally/cognitively disabled and am reasonably successful in what I’ve thus far chosen to do doesn’t seem to occur to her. Like, literally my mother thinks I should have cured cancer because I was just *that gifted* as a child. :| :| :|
You get over it eventually. And you can just, like. Live.
Oh yes. The never ending fear of WHAT IF THEY WERE JUST WRONG AND I’M NOT SMART AT ALL!?
The tears of the people upset over our new female Thor gives me life and I’m not sorry.
It’s kind of hysterical to me because some of the comments are of the “Thor wasn’t a woman in the original myths so why the hell are you making him a woman?” variety. I’m legitimately having flashbacks to when the first Thor film came out and Heimdall was being played by Idris Elba. There were so many people who were getting all upset because Heimdall was said to be the “whitest of the gods” in the Eddas (and there’s actually debate over that translation, anyway), and apparently because of that, a black man shouldn’t be portraying Heimdall.
I just kind of want to take everyone who thinks like this and smack them upside the head. I mean, Marvel just used the original myths as a starting point and built from there. Marvel’s comics are not the Eddas, and people really need to stop trying to use the Eddas as justification for being upset over casting they don’t agree with.
It’s like Elementary all over again.
Thor is typically described as red-haired, but nobody complained he was blond in the comic/movies.
Thor is the husband of Sif, but nobody complained when that wasn’t the case.
Loki isn’t Odin’s adoptive son, but nobody complained about that.
YOU DON’T NEED TO STAY LOYAL TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL
(AS LONG AS EVERYONE REMAINS WHITE STRAIGHT AND MALE)
"6 Insane Sex Myths People Used to Teach as Facts"
including things like how westerners apparently thought that Chinese women who immigrated had sideways vaginas and that doctors attributed any number of problems to the fact that they believed women’s uteri could detach themselves when the woman was not pregnant and scamper around the woman’s innards like some sort of wayward jellyfish blob.
Hilarious, right? Can’t believe people used to think that! Oh, how naive they all were!
Which brings us to women-pee-out-of-their-vagina.
People back then kind of have an excuse for stupid notions, because a lot of the time there wasn’t the technology or research or scientific community to call them out on it in order to spread information that was actually factual.
We do not have that excuse today.
Yes, I heard that, greyface in sunglasses in the second row.
"well we don’t teach ridiculous stuff like that!"
Spoiler Alert: We totally do.
Stuff like the complete erasure of parts of female anatomy, publicly taught and widespread misinformation about others and the fact that I learned more about my own body with 15 minutes on Wikipedia than I did in two mandatory Health classes and a Medical Anatomy class.
Send your arguments at me, believe me, they don’t hold water.
"The clitoris doesn’t have anything to do with reproduction!"
Sex Ed covers more than just reproduction. Every time they sent me home with a little paper for your parent/guardian to sign, they said they would be talking about anatomy as well as reproduction.
"Well, female anatomy is a lot more complicated…"
Doesn’t that mean they should spend more time covering it rather than skipping over the parts they deem ‘unnecessary’? Even in my Medical Anatomy class when we had the diagrams to label, despite there being a clitoris in the diagram, there wasn’t a lil line to write down what it was.
"Maybe they didn’t think it was appropriate to talk about for high school."
How dare they.
Get the pitchforks and burn the witch.
"They don’t talk about male pleasure either!"
I heard aaaaalll about what happens when a dude is aroused and orgasms with the erections and ejaculations and all that nonsense.
Girl orgasms are apparently not a thing. And, depending on the class, neither was female arousal.
(Which I find decidedly disturbing, as a side note.)
"Female orgasms aren’t a part of reproduction either."
BUT IT IS A SIMPLE PHYSICAL REACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAUGHT IF ONLY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL ACCURACY.
"Fine. The clitoris is controversial. That hardly covers the entire spectrum of female sexuality having misinformation and crap."
Apparently you didn’t read the part up above about how I did not learn what happens when a woman is aroused or orgasms in three years of classes that are supposed to teach me about this thing.
"If it took you 15 minutes on Wikipedia to figure stuff out, why are you so mad? That’s hardly a waste of time."
Because I deserve to know about my own body, and when schools teach Sex Ed in any form, they are taking on the responsibility of teaching me that.
And yet, I learned absolutely nothing useful.
That’s a problem.
"Okay, okay. They don’t talk about female sexual reactions, and that’s kinda sexist."
You know what else is kinda sexist? Telling men that sex is great and women that it’s going to hurt and suck and also you’ll get pregnant and die.
What am I talking about, you say?
The hymen. You know, the thing that covers a woman’s vaginal opening and breaks and there’s blood and that’s how you can tell if your girlfriend is lying about whether or not you’re her first.
Well guess what, buddy-boy, you dumped that girl for no reason because that’s not actually what a hymen is and you’re also a jerk.
The hymen is a flexible membrane that partially covers the vaginal opening (usually in a sort of crescent shape when they are but a wee lass) and did you notice the word up there? ‘Flexible’? Do you know what that means? It means that if a woman is sufficiently aroused, it prolly ain’t gonna break. (wow do you think this myth has anything to do with the lack of knowledge we’re taught about female arousal???)
I mean dude you can shove a baby outta that thing and it returns to its original shape, you can’t tell if a woman is a virgin or not by the state of her hymen anyways. They can tear during exercise n stuff as well but there is literally not much of a reason why sex should be painful for girls and why you call it “popping the cherry”
OH WAIT MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE DUDES LIKE TO THINK THAT THEIR DICK HAS MAGICAL POWERS THAT FOREVER CHANGES A WOMAN’S LIFE AND SHE’S NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER YOU WRECKED THAT TIGHT LIL HOLE.
Well, fun fact, if she’s tight that means you kind of suck balls at the whole sex thing.
This isn’t just a matter of some people making a mistake about how women urinate. This is part of a long history of the suppression of female sexuality to the point that when you get a damn diagram of the vulva, apparently they don’t mark where the urethra is because man we don’t want to spend too much time talking about ladyparts frick who knows what’s hiding down there…
“The reason women are turning you down for casual sex seems to be that, for one thing, a lot of you are calling them sluts afterward. Also, a lot of you aren’t bothering to try to be good in bed.”—Terri Conley, professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan ( link )