i am SO MAD RIGHT NOW. like. FURIOUS. just. ugh
did you know that Arwen was supposed to show up in the Two Towers and fight at Helm’s Deep?
Because I didn’t know. Arwen was my entry point into fandom, period. Arwen was. Like, I can’t even begin to tell you how important Arwen is to me, or how important she was to me when I was eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen. And, and she entered into the movie sword-first, guys. She was brave and strong and a faster rider than Aragorn and a healer and I loved her so much and I wanted to grow up and be her so badly. But cortue and I were just talking the other day about how once Elrond shows up at Aragorn’s camp in the third movie, Arwen loses the ability to speak. She shows up in flashback, lying in bed, and she shows up at the wedding, smiling and happy, but she doesn’t get even one more line. “Every time I watch it, I hope against hope that the elf under the cloak is going to be Arwen.”
We got an extra, “non-canon” book scene in which Arwen lay upon a fainting couch and was going to die because of Reasons, and then after that she fades out of the story, except as a smiling face at Aragorn’s coronation.
And she was supposed to be in the battle of Helm’s Deep? She was supposed to show up grim and beautiful and dangerous and save Aragorn’s life? She wasn’t just supposed to choose Middle-Earth, she was supposed to fight for it?
I can’t begin to tell you what that would have meant to me. I can’t begin to tell you how furious I am that this scene was cut, even from the extended editions.
hey, do you know why Arwen at Helm’s Deep was cut? Three guesses, and the first two don’t count. Fucking fanboys. Fucking Tolkien purists. Apparently they threw such a big shitfit when news of this storyline was leaked that Jackson et al scrapped it.
The website I found this on said that the internet outrage was so personal and vicious that it made Liv Tyler cry. I don’t know if that’s true, but if I’d known that this was a possibility, eleven year old me definitely would have cried. ten years later I still kind of feel like crying.
like, not just deleted from the movie. not just deleted from the fucking director’s cut. deleted so well that, like. well. a girl who’s been in love with Arwen for half her life never heard of it. I feel robbed.
and, it’s just. it’s been ten years, and people are still at that exact same level of outrage about Tauriel.
I’m so angry I’m not even angry, I’m just sad.
arwen the lord of the rings the battle of helms deep arwen undomiel if you hate tauriel then fuck you if you hate ladies because they weren’t in the books then fuck you if you hate ladies because they’re doing things they didn’t do in the books then FUCK YOU
I am mad I’m speechless, and I’ve been staring at this post for a good ten minutes.
"There’s no such thing as ‘men’ or ‘women’. There’s only the individual character you’re writing. One guy emailed me asking me how to write women, and I couldn’t answer, because I had no idea which woman he meant: me? Eleanor of Aquitaine? Lady Gaga? If you’re thinking of ‘men’ or ‘women’ as a monolithic group defined primarily by their sex, then you’re not thinking of them as individuals; so your character isn’t going to come out as an individual, but as a collection of stereotypes. Sure, there are differences between men and women on average – but you’re writing an individual, not an average. If your individual character is chatty on the phone or refuses to ask for directions, that needs to be because of who he or she is, not because of what he or she is. Write the person, not the genitalia."Wonderful writing tips from Tana French: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/tip-sheet/article/53085-5-writing-tips-from-tana-french.html (via theoncominghope)
When [an abusive man] tells me that he became abusive because he lost control of himself, I ask him why he didn’t do something even worse. For example, I might say, “You called her a fucking whore, you grabbed the phone out of her hand and whipped it across the room, and then you gave her a shove and she fell down. There she was at your feet where it would have been easy to kick her in the head. Now, you have just finished telling me that you were ‘totally out of control’ at that time, but you didn’t kick her. What stopped you?” And the client can always give me a reason. Here are some common explanations:
"I wouldn’t want to cause her a serious injury."
“I realized one of the children was watching.”
“I was afraid someone would call the police.”
“I could kill her if I did that.”
“The fight was getting loud, and I was afraid the neighbors would hear.”
And the most frequent response of all:
"Jesus, I wouldn’t do that. I would never do something like that to her.”
The response that I almost never heard — I remember hearing it twice in the fifteen years — was: “I don’t know.”
These ready answers strip the cover off of my clients’ loss of control excuse. While a man is on an abusive rampage, verbally or physically, his mind maintains awareness of a number of questions: “Am I doing something that other people could find out about, so it could make me look bad? Am I doing anything that could get me in legal trouble? Could I get hurt myself? Am I doing anything that I myself consider too cruel, gross, or violent?”
A critical insight seeped into me from working with my first few dozen clients: An abuser almost never does anything that he himself considers morally unacceptable. He may hide what he does because he thinks other people would disagree with it, but he feels justified inside. I can’t remember a client ever having said to me: “There’s no way I can defend what I did. It was just totally wrong.” He invariably has a reason that he considers good enough. In short, an abuser’s core problem is that he has a distorted sense of right and wrong.
I sometimes ask my clients the following question: “How many of you have ever felt angry enough at youer mother to get the urge to call her a bitch?” Typically half or more of the group members raise their hands. Then I ask, “How many of you have ever acted on that urge?” All the hands fly down, and the men cast appalled gazes on me, as if I had just asked whether they sell drugs outside elementary schools. So then I ask, “Well, why haven’t you?” The same answer shoots out from the men each time I do this exercise: “But you can’t treat your mother like that, no matter how angry you are! You just don’t do that!”
The unspoken remainder of this statement, which we can fill in for my clients, is: “But you can treat your wife or girlfriend like that, as long as you have a good enough reason. That’s different.” In other words, the abuser’s problem lies above all in his belief that controlling or abusing his female partner is justifiable…."Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (via seebster)
"But a female dummy didn’t become a mandatory part of frontal crash tests until last year. For all this time, the average American guy stood for us all.
That may have had a substantial impact on women’s auto safety. If airbags are designed for the average male, they will strike most men in the upper chest, creating a cushion for their bodies and heads. Yet small women might hit the airbag chin first, snapping their heads back, potentially leading to serious neck and spinal injuries.
In some cases, according to tests with female mannequins, small women were almost three times as likely as their average male counterparts to be seriously injured or killed. A study of actual crashes by the University of Virginia’s Center for Applied Biomechanics found that women wearing seatbelts were 47 percent more likely to be seriously injured than males in similar accidents.”"
I really wish there were a single word that meant “disgusted and speechless but also not at all surprised”
How about two words: paying attention
A dude friend demanded I "name one" female superhero who could head her own movie. I gave him a list. He said he hadn't heard of any, so they couldn't be A-listers. I said Captain Marvel, Black Widow, She-Hulk are solo titles. He said they still "couldn't handle" a solo movie. I gave up. (btw he also made several factual errors that, if he'd been a girl, the other dudes would've crucified him for, but they didn't say anything.) What are we supposed to do?
Kill him and eat him in front of the others. It’s the only way they learn.
Reminder that Iron Man wasn’t “A-list” before his first movie.
Erm….How was Iron Man not “A-List”? He has several solo titles and is one of the main protagonists in the Avengers…. Iron Man is pretty much the definition of “A-List”
See the bit where I said “Before his movie”. He wasn’t, he really wasn’t, one of the top names before a) Ellis and Granov’s Extremis arc/reboot and b) his first movie.
Until that point he was moderately successful, within comics, but certainly wasn’t a huge hit, and crucially, very few people outside of comic readers had any idea who he was.
Reminder that Black Widow had a solo film in production before the first Iron Man movie, and the reason it was cancelled was her gender.
One of my best friends has been an Iron Man fan his whole life, and he was STUNNED when the movie was green-lit, because Iron Man wasn’t A-list. We MADE these characters A-list, by loving their movies.
In another world, very close to this one, Black Widow is THE name to beat in comic book movies right now. I want to live there.
Ant-Man is getting his own movie
Daredevil had a movie
Ghost Rider has had 2 movies
Punisher’s had 2 movies (recently, in total he’s had 3)
Blade’s had 3 movies and a TV show
These are all “A-listers”?
I bet you most people had no clue who Blade was before the movies made him a success.
They invented a white dude out of whole cloth in the movie series in Coulson, and now he’s in video games, a live action series, an animated series, and in the comics.
Captain/Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, Black Widow, etc all have more of a comics history and name recognition than Coulson who didn’t even exist 6 years ago. People act like who gets a movie is like some sort of sports draft, and they’re being picked by their college/comic accomplishments, rather than these are fictional characters who are popular if there is the will to write them well & promote them.
Can we just bring this back to Kelly Sue’s answer which is downright perfect?
I was asked in an interview once: You’re writing another book with a female lead? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to be pigeonholed? And I thought, I write a team superhero book, an uplifting solo hero book, I write a horror-western, and I write a ghost story. What am I gonna be pigeonholed as?
Has a man in the history of men ever been asked if he was going to be pigeonholed because he wrote two consecutive books with male leads? Half of the population is women. I lose my temper here. And it’s certainly not at you. It’s just this pervasive notion that “white male” is the default. And you have to justify any variation from it."
Goddamnit, Kelly Sue
The doctor will never be a woman. There are plenty of women in the show that are admirable role models. I think you're just full ofsh it. Stop pushing your american views onto Doctor Who, a BRITISH show, with BRITISH values. It's unbelievable how obnoxious and hypocritical feminists are, especially you third-wave feminists. Always spouting "equal rights" but, "Can't hit me, cause I'm a girl!" You probably won't respond to this because you know I'm right and the whovianfeminism stance is weak.
This was so beautiful that I had to put it up on my wall and examine it as if it were an exquisite piece of art.
"Manpain" by Anonymous
Above we have a quintessential example of early 21st Century prose by an aggrieved man. The author of this piece is unknown, but we can surmise by his inability to properly say “shit” to a woman and his assurance that he likes “admirable” female characters that he is most likely a “Nice Guy.”
The anonymous author employs deliberate obtuseness in order to provoke a reaction from his audience. Notice how he pretends no British individual supports the idea of a woman portraying the Doctor, despite clear evidence to the contrary, even amongst actors who have portrayed the titular character on the show. Then there is the stunning self-centeredness regarding his perception of third wave feminism; he is only interested in equality it grants him the “right” to hit the women whose arguments make him so incoherently angry that he is unable to rationally reply.
His final challenge attempts to trap the reader. Do we respond and grant him the audience and validation he so desperately seeks, or do we ignore him and let him believe he has won? But perhaps we have a third option: to turn the focus back on him and examine how his comments display his deep insecurity in his own sense of masculinity, something he feels can only be reclaimed by challenging a girl on the internet to a fight and preemptively declaring victory because he fears he cannot engage with her on an intellectual level.
Hi, I was just reAding your defence against bad writing and I agree with it but I was just wondering what you meant by Mary Sue? You referred to it a few times. Thanks
The short answer: Mary Sue is the author’s idealized self-insert. (If you want to know alllll about Mary Sue, including the history and origins of the term, TV Tropes has your back. Also, if you aren’t careful, your mind and soul. Pack a lunch.) A Mary Sue story is one that primarily features a Mary Sue.
The slightly longer answer: That story you used to tell yourself, about the awesome girl who was totally pretty and everyone liked her and she maybe had magic powers and also like fifteen skills that you wished you did and also her hair never did that, you know, THAT THING your hair always does? And she was in your favorite fictional (or real person fictional) world, and all the characters or people that you loved the most loved her, and she married them or solved their problems or saved them or made them awesome food or held them when they cried? That story was a Mary Sue story, and that girl was a Mary Sue. Sometimes people write those stories down and post them. (AND THAT IS FINE.) Often the stories have limited appeal beyond the author and maybe her friends. (BUT THAT IS ALSO FINE.)
The “Sorry, you kind of touched a nerve” answer: While we can all identify our own Mary Sues, even if we’ve never written them down, people tend to spend a lot of time figuring out if other people have maybe written a Mary Sue, and checking every female character for potential Mary Sueism. In fandom times of old, the letters “OC” (original character) in a story header were a giant flag that meant Potential Bad Story Here, and the letters “OFC” (original female character) were translated as Guaranteed Bad Story Here. So people mostly stopped putting original female characters in their fan fiction.
But that couldn’t stop the inexorable progression of the Mary Sue Hunt. Canon female characters in fan fiction became the focus of intense scrutiny. Is this character being, perhaps, idealized? Is she better than she should be?
It was surprising how often she was better than she should be.
I mean, it’s one thing if we write John Sheppard being brilliant and solving a Millennium Problem while being extra super badass and a sharpshooter and extremely hot and having a troubled past and also he can play the piano and small children love him and he rides a horse. It’s one thing if we write Stiles as a badass motherfucker who can hack and do MMA and make small explosive devices and he saves everyone, and also it turns out he’s a surprisingly sexually skilled virgin, and also there’s this scene where he wears skintight leather and he has two boot knives. It is fine to write those things. (AND IT IS.) You could give Sheppard’s horse a telepathic soulbond with him and have Stiles elected president of universe (because he is awesome), and you’d still potentially have a significant and delighted readership. (WHICH IS ALSO FINE. Who doesn’t sometimes like a President Awesome with a Psychic Horse story? Give Sidney Crosby a psychic horse and you’ve got my click.) That’s just having fun and extrapolating from the canon. (Or, in the case of the telepathic soulbonding horse, it’s a crossover. From real actual published original fiction. And people call us strange.)
But if a female character does one of those things in fan fiction, she’s declared a potential Mary Sue. It’s out of character, it’s over the top, it’s wish fulfillment (as if there’s something wrong with wish fulfillment), it’s a self-insert. And that. That is less fine with me.
And the Mary Sue Problem is not limited to fan fiction. Turns out Mary Sues are also surprisingly prevalent in the canon itself! A tiny sample of the female characters I have heard described as Mary Sues:
- Hermione Granger
- Nyota Uhura
- Natasha Romanov
- Haruno Sakura
- Rose Tyler
- Bella Swann
- Katniss Everdeen
- Buffy Summers
Basically, think of any female character who gets more than eighteen lines, from any popular canon. Someone has called her a Mary Sue. Because she’s competent, because she’s smart, because she’s talented. Because she can do stuff, or because she tries to. Because she loves someone, or because someone loves her. Because she thinks she’s interesting. Because the author thinks we should care about her.
Mary Sue, in short, has become another way of dismissing female characters. Of telling women that we can’t be awesome. Of drawing the line between people who do (dudes) and people who are done to (ladies). Yet another entry in the long list of All the Unacceptable Female Characters. Yet another way of viciously scrutinizing every woman, real or imaginary, and either finding her excessively flawed (and therefore terrible) or excessively without flaw (and therefore terrible).
And also, of course, if the author of the Mary Sue story is a fan fiction writer, we make fun of her.
Which is why my actual definition of the term Mary Sue is: it’s a phrase that is useful for describing a certain common tendency in fan fiction that, taken to an extreme, is often pretty repetitive and uninteresting (but not, let me note, actually criminal or anything). Unfortunately, it has, over time, warped into a tool for knocking down ladies who write, and also other ladies, so I’m trying to learn not to use it any more. (But that is hard. Because see above about usefulness. Almost everyone has dreamed up at least one or two of these, and it’s so nice to have a name for them!)
ALL OF THIS.