Makayla

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enlightenight asked: One more question about feminism. Without purpose, or having any "Women are boring :/" kind of thought, I have noticed almost all of my main characters are male. I feel bad about it and I want to change it but I am between having a side and strong female character effecting all main characters or creating an entire new storyline for a female. Please give me some advice!

mythandrists:

Answering this publicly because it might be helpful to others. :)

It depends what kind of story you’re writing! In general, there are plenty of ways to add female presence to a story. It sounds like this is something you’ve already started working on, so with that in mind, here are a few ideas:

  1. Same plot, genderbend everyone. If real-world gender politics aren’t the main theme or focus of the story, there’s absolutely no reason that a female character can’t have the same basic plot as a male character in the same position would’ve had. (If you’re writing fantasy and you feel restricted by a medieval-based world … why not just make the world gender-equal or even a matriarchy? It’s your story. If you want more ladies, give them room to maneuver.)
  2. Add female points of view to what you already have. It sounds like you’re writing something with an ensemble cast already … Why not add a female voice to the mix? Giving women a voice in the cast is generally a stronger move than making them secondary characters without their own points of view (unless it’s something where you’re trying to point out how women are marginalised).
  3. Erase everyone’s demographics and redefine. This kind of goes off the same principle as #1, the idea that female characters and male characters can have similar plots, but it goes farther. If you’re starting with three cis-het-white-able-bodied men, for example, make one of them black and gay and male, one of them Asian and female and straight and blind, one Hispanic and agender and Jewish … any combination you want. Point is, erase the ‘norm’ and start with a blank slate, and recognise that you can still keep your plotline the same (unless the setting is bigoted enough that demographics become an issue, in which case you may have to add a subplot or two when the scary transphobic side characters in the bar decide that your trans character doesn’t get to drink there). Of course, make sure that you’re not just playing straight to stereotypes with which demographics you assign to which roles/personalities.
  4. If none of that floats your boat, by all means, you can start with a female character and write her a new storyline.

I think the most important thing is to realise that able-bodied cishet white male is not the ‘norm.’ I know that the media wants us to think it is (that all characters are able-bodied cishet white guys unless otherwise noted), but in real life, this ‘normal character’ is really quite a small percentage of the world’s population. In America, able-bodied-cis-het-white men are … what? an eight? a tenth? less? of the population. There’s really no such thing as ‘normal.’ And once you realise that, it’s a lot easier (and more fun) to start writing works from a female/poc/lgbtq+/disabled point of view.

What I’d caution against is adding a minor female character just for the purpose of affecting your male leads (or doing the same with a black character who’s only there to affect the white people, or a gay person who’s only there to affect the straight people, and so forth). That actually ends up worse than not having representation - it perpetuates the idea that women are only here to make men’s stories interesting, that pocs are nice but unworthy of the spotlight, that lgbtq+ people are either oddities or fakers, and so forth. None of which you want to accidentally imply.

Filed under gender

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But I’ve just realised something depressing: even bloody communism has collapsed and I still haven’t lost my bloody virginity.
Rae Earl, My Mad Fat Diary (the book)

(Source: bookgeekconfessions)

655,194 notes

fainthum:

pierce-the-hartbig:

whazzupholytrinity:

cxmfxrt:

mr—brightside:

WHY DO THEY NOT TEACH THIS IN SCHOOL?!

this is probably the most useful post i’ve ever reblogged in my life

I NEED THIS POST FRAMED

Reblog it could save a life

Reblogging so tranxio can see that last one. I think you will feel that this is important knowledge. Docvalentine, you should consider adding the second to last to your repertoire might be a good idea. I should probably try using the third from final on my own wardrobe.

(Source: viekastv, via andworldbuildingtoo)

Filed under life tips

616 notes

lestranqe:

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Filed under themes

166,657 notes

death-limes:

venipede:

osteophagy:

endcetaceanexploitation:

Washoe was a chimp who was taught sign language.
One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:
"People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder—her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED." Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences." [23]
Washoe herself lost two children; one baby died shortly after birth of a heart defect, the other baby, Sequoyah, died of a staph infection at two months of age.

more about Washoe:
after the death of her children, researchers were determined to have Washoe raise a baby and brought in a ten month chimpanzee named Loulis. one of the caretakers went to Washoe’s enclosure and signed “i have a baby for you.” Washoe became incredibly excited, yelling and swaying from side to side, signing “baby” over and over again. then she signed “my baby.”
the caretaker came back with Loulis, and Washoe’s excitement disappeared entirely. she refused to pick Loulis up, instead signing “baby” apathetically; it was clear that the baby she thought she was getting was going to be Sequoyah. eventually Washoe did approach Loulis, and by the next day the two had bonded and from then on she was utterly devoted to him.
*information shamelessly paraphrased from When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson.

Even more interestingly, after Washoe and Loulis bonded, she started teaching him American Sign Language the same way that human parents teach their children language. It only took Loulis eight days to learn his first sign from Washoe, and aside from the seven that his human handlers learned around him, he learned to speak in ASL just as fluently as Washoe and was able to communicate with humans in the same way she could.

now if y’all don’t think this is the tightest shit you can get outta my face

death-limes:

venipede:

osteophagy:

endcetaceanexploitation:

Washoe was a chimp who was taught sign language.

One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:

"People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder—her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED." Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences." [23]

Washoe herself lost two children; one baby died shortly after birth of a heart defect, the other baby, Sequoyah, died of a staph infection at two months of age.

more about Washoe:

after the death of her children, researchers were determined to have Washoe raise a baby and brought in a ten month chimpanzee named Loulis. one of the caretakers went to Washoe’s enclosure and signed “i have a baby for you.” Washoe became incredibly excited, yelling and swaying from side to side, signing “baby” over and over again. then she signed “my baby.”

the caretaker came back with Loulis, and Washoe’s excitement disappeared entirely. she refused to pick Loulis up, instead signing “baby” apathetically; it was clear that the baby she thought she was getting was going to be Sequoyah. eventually Washoe did approach Loulis, and by the next day the two had bonded and from then on she was utterly devoted to him.

*information shamelessly paraphrased from When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson.

Even more interestingly, after Washoe and Loulis bonded, she started teaching him American Sign Language the same way that human parents teach their children language. It only took Loulis eight days to learn his first sign from Washoe, and aside from the seven that his human handlers learned around him, he learned to speak in ASL just as fluently as Washoe and was able to communicate with humans in the same way she could.

now if y’all don’t think this is the tightest shit you can get outta my face

(via andworldbuildingtoo)