lolaraincoat: drawing, two leaves (green)
I have little to add to what more diligent researchers and fen have already posted about the whole FanLib horror show. For my own reference, because surely you've all seen this already, this is what [ profile] cordelia_v had to say about it and here is Henry Jenkins' take on the matter. Both of these (along with the relevant post in Making Light) refer to [ profile] icarusancalion's thorough, clear synthesis of the sordid mess, which is here.

All I want to say is that this story demonstrates once again that among the many mystical properties of post-industrial capitalism is the magical power to transform regular people into lying, manipulative, creepy scumballs.


In happier fannish news, Fishwhistle and I are rewatching Buffy, beginning to end, and I'm loving Season Two even more than I did the first time. It's so carefully thought out, in almost every detail! We caught one bobble in the editing, but otherwise, wow, perfect. There's a scene in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" where Xander is trying to persuade Amy to cast the love spell for him, having dragged her into a classroom for the purpose, and behind him we see a "Great British Authors" poster on the wall. He has, for a moment, Dickens on one shoulder and Shakespeare on the other. Perfect.

In "Passion," a few episodes later, there's a scene in which Buffy insists to Giles that she has to warn her mother about the danger Angel poses. And behind her? A poster advertising "self-defense classes!" Perfect again.

And the coherence of the entire season! Even the supposedly stand-alone episodes are joined by a thematic thread: the dangers of virginity/the dangerous virgin. Amy's mistake in casting the spell is that she invokes Diana (!) as a godess of love; the Inca mummy girl was a virgin sacrifice; Ted's evil scheme is defeated because Buffy, wiser than Persephone, won't eat his cookies. It's such a pleasure to see that fairy-tale motif inverted, upended, and bounced around like a red rubber ball.


I've been reading the Season Eight comics and liking them very much, except that I'm not crazy about their Xander. Yeah, yeah, I get the Nick Fury thing. And it's interesting to see what the Buffy creators do with the character without the actor's contribution. But it turns out that Nicholas Brendon brought a lot to the show; without him, Xander's just ... a cartoon.


One last Whedon-y thing:

This rant on the topic of cell-phone film of a so-called honor killing and depictions of misogynist violence generally makes me love Whedon even more than I already did. I mean, yes, it is pretty much Women's Studies 101 c. 1983, and yes, it is kinda gender-essentialist, with which position I strongly disagree. But what other powerful man in Hollywood is asking these questions, even if he's coming to the wrong conclusions?


So I've been weeding and planting and mulching and pruning and generally playing in the glorious May sunshine these past few days, and I find myself singing a not especially good gospel song by the Queens of Harmony: I expect a miracle! Every day! God will make a way out of no way!. Now, you know, I'm agnostic (and no offense intended to the more committed atheists [hi Ratty!] or believers [Cordelia! Fab! Femme! hello!] who might be reading this) but if I was looking for a miracle I would see it in the garden. It's the most ordinary part of life, and the weirdest too: green everywhere, all of a sudden, in May, conjured up by rain and sunlight and the passing of time.
lolaraincoat: (feminist)
I forget which women's magazine of my childhood, back in the early 1970s, used to run a monthly column titled "Can This Marriage be Saved?" but I remember reading it while my mother did the grocery shopping, and I remember that the answer was always yes! it can be saved! with just a little more feminine self-abnegation! etc. Even as a cranky eight-year-old trailing through the supermarket behind my mom, a miserable housewife, I knew that something was not right (as Miss Clavel used to say) with that notion. Marriage was some kind of trap; marriage was How They Got You. My life plan in third grade involved becoming a nun, as soon as they started accepting little Jewish girls into the convents, because nuns lived with each other and didn't have to spend all their time catering to men and nobody made them wear stupid, itchy girly clothes that were too tight at the waist and elbows. (It was an era of liberation movements of all kinds, so my dream of convent-integration wasn't so farfetched.) Also, my Catholic friends told me that nuns were mean, and that appealed, oh yes it did: could I grow up into a woman without having to become nice, or sweet, or agreeable?

By fourth grade my plan had evolved, and I was going to live in outer space or else be a jockey.

It wasn't that my own parents' marriage was so gruesome -- well, it was, but that isn't what worried me about the institution of marriage -- it was that everything I saw on TV, and soup can labels and newspapers and comic books too, told me that good marriages were all about women being nice to men, taking care of their physical and emotional needs, in exchange for men supporting women financially. That seemed like a bad deal to me, and in fact it still does. So for me the idea of marriage was linked to all the ways of being a woman that I wanted nothing to do with, there in the darkness of 1971, and luckily the world changed enough that I have been able to avoid much of that crap -- though I haven't been able to avoid thinking about it.

I'm not opposed to your marriage, of course, or to my own (very happy) household arrangements. I am opposed to the model of heterosexual sanctioned-by-the-state marriage, the one that the legal code and the economic system of the US so strongly support, the one that the religious right fears will be rejected by most people if they have better options.

And women in the United States are, it turns out, rejecting marriage. An article in The New York Times today reported that 2005 census data show that 51% of adult American women do not live with a male spouse, up from 35% in 1960. (47% of American men do not live with a female spouse, with the difference accounted for by female longevity as compared to men and men remarrying more quickly after divorce -- in other words, women on average spend more years outside of marriage in their lifetimes than men do.)

I don't know for sure what this means, and neither does the Times. This is an intensification of the same demographic trend that when it was first noted twenty years ago resulted in a lot of very silly newspaper articles aimed at women warning us that we would, oh NO! be single forever! if we didn't shape up and start simpering. Now the Times is reporting this trend as a triumph of happy individualism on the part of tough career girls. Who the hell knows what it really means?

But I believe that a lot of little girls were thinking more or less what I was thinking, back in the supermarket checkout lines of 1971.


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August 2014

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