“When men say “most women are crazy, but not you, you’re so cool” the subtext is not, “I love you, be the mother to my children.” The subtext is “do not step out of line, here.” If you get close enough to the men who say things like this, eventually, you will do something that they do not find pleasant. They will decide you are crazy, because this is something they have already decided about women in general.”—Lady, You Really Aren’t “Crazy” (via seebster)
If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”
And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.
And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.
It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.
The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.
As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.
”—Junot Diaz speaking at Word Up Bookshop, 2012 (via clambistro)
It’s fine for men to watch shojo anime and read shojo manga like Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura.
It’s fine for men to make pornographic doujinshi of these, buy figurines, and jack off to the characters.
It’s fine for men to completely invade a Pretty Cure forum created for young girls and scare said girls away. It’s fine for these men to twist the entire fandom around themselves, its fine for them to show up to Pretty Cure events in throngs and its fine for them to frantically grab all the free handouts before any of the girls can.
It’s also fine for men to take these magical girl anime made for girls that celebrate being a girl and make them all about their pornography and which girl they most want to put their dick in. It’s fine, because theres even a cute name for them, ‘Ooki Tomodachi’ (Big Friend).
It’s fine for them to do the same with My Little Pony, of course. It’s fine that they can make the voice actors of the show uncomfortable with personal questions, its fine that they can yell out rape jokes to them at conventions, its fine that they have basically made it impossible for any of the 8 year old girls the show was made for to ever google it in public. It’s fine for them to gather in the toy stores around the pony toys and intimidate young girls. It’s fine that the whole show, created to celebrate femininity and how ‘theres no wrong way to be a girl’ is now associated with their fetishes. And its so fine that these male fans get given a cute name (‘brony’), get documentaries made about them, have newspaper article after blog post after feature talking about how they are ‘challenging gender norms’ and ‘transforming pop culture’.
But if a girl ‘trespasses’ into a male space, what happens? (Even when it isnt ‘trespassing’, in the case of Free!, in which a space was actually made for us ) We can expect such timeless classics as: degradation, ‘you’re not even a REAL fan!’ ‘I bet you dont even know ______’, all kinds of threats, and, of course, the posts you see on this blog.
This! This nails what makes me so uncomfortable about brony stuff. I don’t care if guys like “girl” things. What bothers me is how they move into a female space and take it over and make it all about their dicks, then act offended when women get uncomfortable with it. They cannot imagine a space that they can’t co-opt and make their own.
BUT they also can’t imagine women having their own space OR invading a “male” space like comic books or science fiction. Jesus fucking christ, dudes, could we women get a little fucking space?