Men wax poetics about the weeks preceding love -
Expectation and uncertainty are well and good,
In books of fiction.
There’s nothing more satisfying than
Men wax poetics about the weeks preceding love -
Expectation and uncertainty are well and good,
In books of fiction.
There’s nothing more satisfying than
Homelander spins slowly, scanning the area for any sign of where you went, an amused smirk broadening across his face. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
You lower yourself directly behind him, silently touching your feet to the floor before placing one hand firmly at his back to shove him forward.
He stumbles slightly, spinning quicker this time, whipping his head around to look for you as you once again disappear.
“You didn’t watch the footage at all, did you?” You cross your arms and grin as he looks up, finally seeing where you float near the ceiling.
“So,” He readjusts his collar before slowly rising, his cape somehow billowing even with the lack of wind anywhere inside the room – funny how that always happens. “You can fly?”
“You’d know that if you watched the clips.” A short yawn parts your lips casually, your hand moving up to cover your mouth as that familiar irritated twitch flutters across his features.
The meeting drags on, the crew having designed what they call an ‘outfit’ for you, but what you call a spandex bikini…
“That’s not happening.” You repeat, shaking your head.
“But,” The redhead, anxious woman named Ashley steps in, her entire demeanor screaming insecurity, “It would really speak to the young male audiences and give women something to model after. That’s what we’re going for with this new look.”
You roll your eyes and pinch the bridge of your nose. “That’s the problem, we don’t need a sex doll out there for little girls and boys to be looking at, we need a superhero. If you wanna sex it up then make it skintight, but don’t have me walking around nearly naked like some corner street bimbo.”
No one had noticed Stillwell enter the room until she speaks up. “Give her some tight pants and one of those corset things that leave a little open,” She motions vaguely to her chest, “around this area, just give some minor cleavage and call it a day.”
One of the design men open their mouth to speak, but she gives her off-kilter smile and slowly blinks in their direction. They all get up to leave, and she comes to sit on the couch opposite you as the two of you are alone.
“Is that a good compromise for you? Or are you gonna make this week more difficult than it needs to be.” She smiles again, though it doesn’t meet her eyes.
“That’s good enough for the short time I’ll have to prance around in it.”
Behind the Scenes (March 2020)
Melanie Scrofano, Kat Barrell and Dominique Provost-Chalkley on Mel’s directorial debut in S4
“I’ve never felt so supported by people. But I’ve also never trusted myself more,” Scrofano shared. “I really thought I’d be scared — and I was — but it was like, well this could go either way: I could be scared and really fall on my face or I could be scared and trust myself and just do it. And that’s what happened. It was really fun to be able to tell the story of Wynonna and of these characters from a female perspective.”
– Melanie Scrofano
TLJ is very much from the female perspective—and TFA has its moments of that too I think (As Leia says, not many but it’s got them, primarily the moment when Ben takes his mask off, which is shot from Rey’s perspective, a thing I LOVE). But I don’t think TROS really is overall. I can’t think of any moments that we see in particular rom Rey’s eyes (if anyone knows any please tell me because they make me happy). Overall, the girls’ struggles and emotions aren’t really given the huge weight they are given in TLJ. The movie doesn’t stop to let Rey feel things or show us that. It doesn’t quite give us any fem-gazy shots. Rose’s whole character and desires are written off and she’s the one that has to learn almost something like she was wrong to save Finn in TLJ, this time she must accept him going on the suicide mission (the plot justification for which is…really shoddy); Jannah is just there ?? As a sounding board for Finn I guess? Zorii is for a Reylo parallel, and I love her, but she also really has no weight. It’s not about her, or Rose, or Jannah. And the end is not about Rey getting back to the Resistance, and doesn’t let us see what Rey feels about these things. It’s about Finn getting Rey back. Or it’s about the nostalgic audience watching, and how they’re feeling, and not about Rey and what she is feeling. Her wants and desires are taken from her and then entirely forgotten by the narrative.
And overall, it’s an overwhelmingly male power fantasy that’s told. The solution is destruction of Palpatine, more fighting power, two lightsabers; the way Finn’s victory is achieved is through the very male power fantasy of “glorious death via destruction of something” that TLJ subverted. The “go out guns a blazing” idea is peppered in everywhere. Rey’s end where “hero gets to kiss bad love interest with zero consequences cause we’ll just whisk them out of their life also with zero consequences so the hero can ride off alone into the sunset to seek the next adventure” is a very western-movie/action hero/James Bond thing, and does not work in a female-led fairy tale. And I think this lens is what warps the overall story—only because this is a story about a female character on a heroine’s journey in the middle of a female power fantasy archetype, and this narrative lens clashes with and fails to understand that one, making a disconnect within the story, so it feels wrong.
HOWEVER, TROS does do at least 2 things in line with the female perspective. And one is that it does actually give huge weight to Rey’s desires initially. The plot drags and delays and prolongs not in terms of stuff happening but in terms of anything actually being accomplished because she can’t admit her desires. As soon as she does she gets a pep talk and shipped off to Exogol, something she can only do because she has now admitted her desire for Ben and landed in possession of his wayfinder, and its something we also are told she could have done from the beginning without all of that Plot if she was just willing to accept those desires. The plot hmms and haws like she does, and ultimately her desires are presented as the key to the whole thing, the solution to the problem, in that the plot and character arcs are untangled and launched forward by what she wants, by the fact that she wanted to take Ben’s hand. That’s what brings Ben Solo fully in to play; that’s what let’s her get to Exogol and not be possessed by Palpatine; that’s inititially what lets her succeed.
So that’s good, and the “I offered you my hand once” is straight out of a female-centered regency romance novel, so it also fits. But the overarching framework is primarily male perspective and I think they were just unable to successfully reconcile these two points of view.
The more I think of it the more convinced I am that @allgirlsareprincesses is absolutely right and for some reason they were telling Rey’s story from Finn’s perspective; and I still really want to know more of her thoughts on that idea👀☺️
I never really paid much attention to the “people just didn’t like that women were important in TLJ” line of thought but now I look back and think about it, especially after TROS, I’m more and more convinced that the role it gave women was a pretty big part of the criticisms, whether it was actually they didn’t like women or just they weren’t able to follow it because it is very heavy on the female perspective, which is not really something mainstream media shows a lot so we’re just not trained to look at things that way and it confuses and/or makes us a bit uncomfortable. Like, I honestly thought FinnRose kind of came out of nowhere the first time I watched it, but then I realized it was because I was automatically looking at it from Finn’s side. Like, I was watching Finn and there was none of the classic male gaze romance indicators there. He is not pursuing her; she has no makeover he can ogle at; He is the pursued slowly learning he cares. He is in the position that the woman usually fills in this sort of story. He’s not the Han; he’s the Leia. He’s got that soft gaze on Canto Bight, and when DJ takes Roses medallion he gets Super Defensive over it, and then when he almost loses her, and he’s taking such tender care of her at the end—he’s realizing he cares. But Rose—the romance is from her perspective. She wants Finn. She pursues him. She’s disappointed in him and forces him to reconsider by making him listen to HER. When he almost dies on the Supremacy, she’s defensive and desperate and tries to shoot Phasma dead on the spot. The last thing she wants to see when she almost dies is HIM. She’s so proud and soft when he steps up and commits! She’d rather die ramming him with her speeder to save him than let him die pointlessly, and SHE’s the one that initiates the kiss. Once I looked at it from a female perspective (from MY perspective) it all fell into place.
The exact same goes for Reylo. I had a friend who thought the Reylo kiss was unnecessary because she hadn’t seen the Reylo in the last two movies. (When I explained it to her she said “Oh! I thought they just had a weird connection!”) Because it was entirely from a female perspective. In TFA we don’t get Rey all prettied up so Ben can gaze at her, which is the normative signal to an audience that “this is a romance.” She’s dirty and sweaty and tied up. It’s Ben who’s prettied up for Rey to gaze at. And then TLJ especially is in every possible way from HER perspective. SHE pursues HIM. She pretties up but it’s subtle and because she’s pursuing him. He’s the one that gets the “makeover look at him” scene, not her. He LISTENS to her. It’s about emotional intimacy, which at least in a film setting is a very female perspective thing. It’s all women-centered myths and tropes and power fantasies. There’s no big strong guy saves and gets the girl. Ben is great because he knows Rey has the ability to save herself —he sends the lightsaber straight through Snoke to HER. He doesn’t sweep her off her feet, but he is swept off his. Like there’s a reason in all the Disney crossovers Ben’s is always the “Princess” role, and its because Rey is the active mover of her story and her romance, not him. (I mean, Ben May be on the dark side but he clearly drinks his respect women juice).
And like, that’s just the romance part of it! That’s not even the “listen to the women in your life” or the “destruction isn’t the answer and neither is violence but instead it’s communication and connection and love” thing that belongs to a more traditionally feminine worldview. Or that fact that the women’s actions and feelings are given huge weight (Rose can have a whole scene to cry about her sister and Rey can feel scared and alone and that’s THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. They can love and the story treats it as Important; Leia can feel despair for a moment and the story stops and sends an entire Luke her way to give her hope; Holdo sacrifices her life and everything suddenly goes silent in reverence). Like Rey, they are all active movers of the story. It’s just so foreign that a lot of the audience is thrown for a loop by it. It’s not what they’re used to so they think it’s not there at all. Or it’s “bad writing” because they aren’t reading it.
I’ve noticed sometimes there’s posts aimed at radfems saying “go do real-life activism! you’re not a real activist for just yelling stuff online!” and I don’t think that’s anywhere near right.
Radical feminist writings from female perspective online have saved my life, and my sanity. We are surrounded by male brainwashing and male perspective to the point where many women don’t even realize they have a right to their own perspective, and a lot of them still feel insane for just feeling hurt and upset at how horribly men treat them. Exposing women to female perspective, on a very public, social platform, is a revolutionary. I remember first time in my life when I found a radfem blog, first time I read a post written by a woman, saying we are not bad people for not caring for men’s problems, because males create all of our, and their problems, so why should our activism center them? It light up my entire world, just that statement that it’s ridiculous to expect of us to dedicate our movement on people who are reason why we have a movement! I kept reading radfem materials every single day for the next 6 months, and bit by bit my sanity was returning, for the first time in my life I was seeing the truth, the actual data of violence, the actual representation of who women are as human beings. I have never before in my life felt proud to be female, but after absorbing radfem writings, I haven’t stopped feeling proud.
Openly writing radical feminist resources has proven to be dangerous and emotionally taxing, every single radfem who stepped forward and started writing her own posts has faced rape threats, death threats, attacks and insults from every single group that isn’t radical feminist, we have been insulted and trashed to death for doing this, do you think this would be the case if our writings aren’t very effective and dangerous to status quo of patriarchy? You think there would be bans on communicating with us and interacting with our resources, if they weren’t extremely effective in undoing the brainwashing inflicted on women? Waking women up from believing in male delusions is essential to the movement, and this is the only safe way to do it. We’re providing each abused and raped and exhausted woman with a place where her experience and feelings matter and are represented within all of us. This is something patriarchy cannot give to any woman. Resources we create are invaluable to women’s sanity, confirmation that her instincts are right, her perspective is right, the way she observes and condemns abusive men is right, the way she feels uncomfortable and threatened in male company is right. Women need to hear this, because all their life they’ve been listening to how they’re not allowed to express or even feel any of that, they’ve been drowned in guilt for even thinking they’re right to condemn those who merrily abuse them.
History of feminism is filled with extraordinary women who were able to write and speak publicly from female perspective, and who managed to spread this around and wake up the female spirit of justice and freedom, and this is exactly what we’re doing, every day. Seeing women openly disgusted by a man for doing cruel and horrifying creepy shit every day is so much better than only being able to listen to media defend him endlessly. There are still women who don’t even know their perspective exists, who don’t know they have the right to be tired and sick and angry with all of what they’ve been thru. We need to keep going until they all find us. We will keep going until the truth is represented in all of our minds. Once we’re there, we will have no trouble translating our activism into real life.
Watching one of your own get humiliated, tortured, objectified and dehumanized is abuse and a threat. Every woman who’s been exposed to depictions of women being used, brutalized, raped and objectified has felt it on her skin, it was abuse to her, threat to her entire kind, and to her personally. She was being told, in that moment, what the world does to women, what it would do to her. The rest of her life is then just waiting for her to be forced into it, or doing it willingly in hope it wont be so brutal. This is what living on earth is for women. Watching our own being tortured and waiting for our turn.
This is what pornography is doing to us. It’s what media is doing to us. It’s what photoshopped, unnatural and objectified depictions of women are doing to us. It’s what objectifying via makeup is doing to us. Every image and video of women who are presented as something to be used and consumed, is abuse to womankind.
we should totally live under the authority of parasites who rate our value by how badly they want to sexually abuse us, that totally sounds like a good idea
I often wish I were more beautiful physically, I’m like a solid 5, not pretty, not ugly (my boyfriend thinks I’m pretty :) ) and I used to lament that I’d never get male attention because it was pretty dire, my sense of style was crushed out of me by my parents for being eccentric so I never learnt to improve upon what I had and just dressed in sacks and rags basically. But I know consciously that if I’d been more beautiful and had more male attention as a teenager I might have ended up making a lot of mistakes and having my life go very differently… I was encouraged by my own Mother to be promiscuous and “have fun before you settle down”. That coupled by the crushing feeling of making it to my 20s without so much as a kiss I ALMOST went down the road of degeneracy, through social pressure alone, because my natural feelings are conservative. I know that if I’d had the guys I was crushing on actually be interested in my my whole personal development (in the absence of a decent Mother) would have gone very differently, I didn’t have a single conservative role model, how should I have known? I was forced to develop my personality in order to have people give a shit about me… I can see how prettier girls are led down the road to hell and it’s really sad… I was only spared because guys as a whole didn’t give me romantic attention in the first place, but what about those who do? It’s really sad.
So now I’m in a weird dichotomy between wishing I didn’t feel so ugly but also being glad for being a potato.
The “Eh Yo Shawty” Approach: A Female Perspective
Me: Just got back from a run. Feeling sweaty and tired; feeling accomplished, content, and empowered. I glance up and see someone on the stairwell across the parking lot. Think nothing of it.
You, a person: “Eh, yo! Yo shawty! Eh, yo!”
Me, a person: Someone is calling to get someone’s attention. Someone is calling to get my attention. Someone is calling because I caught THEIR attention. Someone does not know me; Someone called me “Eh yo, shawty”, not my name. So I have caught a Stranger’s attention. We have caught a Strange Man’s attention. Did we want a Strange Man’s attention? No, we did not want a Strange Man’s attention.
You, A Strange Man: “Eh, I know you hear me!”
Me, a Person: Option A: be polite and greet a Strange Man back. We should always be polite and greet a Strange Man back. Has greeting a Strange Man back been effective in the past when we do not want a Strange Man’s attention? Being polite in the past has NOT been effective when we don’t want a Strange Man’s attention. Being polite in the past brought a Strange Man closer. A Strange Man was bigger; a Strange Man was taller, a Strange Man was faster and stronger. We did not want a Strange Man’s attention and we did not want a Strange Man closer. We, a Woman, should not greet a Strange Man back.
You, A Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man: “Oh, so it’s like that, huh?”
Me, A Woman: Option B: request that we not be mis-addressed as EhYoShawty when we are not actively seeking a Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man’s attention. Has requesting that we not be mis-addressed as EhYoShawty been effective in the past when we do not want a Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man’s attention? No, requesting that we not be mis-addressed as EhYoShawty has NOT been effective in the past when we do not want a Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man’s attention. Requesting that we not be mis-addressed as EhYoShawty has made a Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man angry. We do not want a Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man to be angry or a Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man may come closer; we do not want him closer. We stay silent; we look away.
You, A Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man: “Oh, I see how it is.”
Me, A Silent Woman Looking Away: Desired results achieved? Results mixed. A Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller Man does not come closer but is still angry.
You, A Strange Stronger-Bigger-Faster-Taller-Angry Man: “Whatever. Fuck you, too, bitch!”
We, A Bitch: We walk up the stairwell and unlock the apartment door. We close the door and lock it behind.
We, A Silent Woman Looking Away: We greet our cat and head into the kitchen.
We, A Woman: We pick up a glass.
We, A Person: We have a drink of water and text our mom that we’re back from our run.
Me: Then, I head for a shower.
Judith Slaying Holofernes, c. 1612, is arguably one of Artemisia’s most important painting. She depicts the biblical story of Judith killing Holofernes and thus saving her city in an emotionally and visually powerful manner. Judith is strong, capable, brave, and determined, which was at the time a rare depiction of the female hero.