to tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites
"It’s for my Queer and Feminist Comparative Literature Theory class."
“Let me write that down…”
“I took it more for the teacher than the class. My school was all-male until the sixties, and she was one of the first teachers at the women’s college. She’s really respected.”
“So what’s one important thing she’s taught you?”
“… about how it’s important for feminists to evaluate everyday occurrences. How even routine personal interactions are political. Everything is significant, and even little things have meaning.”
“Is it possible to see too much meaning in little things?”
“Well, there does seem to be some people who go around looking for things to be angry about. But if the alternative is to be desensitized to how small things affect us, I think it’s better to be overly sensitive.”
The number of “get me out of here” tactics women have developed and shared to help each other escape from overly-insistent-to-borderline-predatory dudes in public places should probably be enough evidence of the existence of rape culture all on its own.
i think a key lyric racist feminists have kept erasing in their criticism of the “Bow Down”/ “Flawless” track is “I know when you were little girls/ you dreamt of being in my world/ don’t forget it…respect that”
coupled with the adichie quote the line has even more resonance because when a man is successful, other men look up to him and see him as a role model
but often with women, we may look up to women as little girls, but then as we get older, we turn on those women in a patriarchy that, as adichie states, encourages infighting and competition among women - and not the good kind that men are encouraged to have that fosters mutual respect, but the bad kind that encourages us to tear each other down for limited attention and resources patriarchy is willing to allot us
beyonce is allowed to aggressively respond to this kind of vitriolic criticism from other women. however, she goes beyond that in this final version of the song with the inclusion of the adichie quote and the second half of the song that encourages ladies to see themselves as flawless and good looking even when they wake up in the morning
beyonce could have stopped at aggressively defending herself from critics, which would have been justified (and which the original Bow Down did), but she goes a step further in this version, and recognizes why women act like this and comments on it, then she goes even beyond that and tells women we don’t need to compete like this, we’re all flawless and don’t need male approval to be beautiful. When she says “ladies tell ‘em i woke up like this…flawless” she is re-asserting comradery among women that patriarchy seeks to destroy: we’re all ladies- even if you were cruel to me, we’re all in this together, and we don’t need to fight over men’s approval—after I tell you off for knocking me down, I’ll build you up and tell you, you’re flawless, so you can see that you don’t have to knock me down.
i can’t think of another multifaceted feminist song like this that simultaneously is an aggressive counter attack against female infighting that doesn’t resort to tearing down the other women, and also identifies the cause of this animosity, while offering a feasible reconciliation: let’s build ourselves up and find our own sources of self worth—alternatives to male attention. her song “pretty hurts” addresses the deep seated pain and self-hate that makes this project difficult, but flawless depicts those moments of strength we all have when we feel confident in ourselves, those brief respites from a male value system, and encourages us to magnify those and work toward making them a way of life
“There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.” - JK Rowling
Can we talk about Susan’s fabulous adventures after Narnia? The ones where she wears nylons and elegant blouses when she wants to, and short skirts and bright lipstick when she wants to, and hiking boots and tough jeans and big men’s plaid shirts when she feels like backpacking out into the mountains and remembering what it was to be lost in a world full of terrific beauty— I know her siblings say she stops talking about it, that Susan walks away from the memories of Narnia, but I don’t think she ever really forgot.
I want to read about Susan finishing out boarding school as a grown queen reigning from a teenaged girl’s body. School bullies and peer pressure from children and teachers who treat you like you’re less than sentient wouldn’t have the same impact. C’mon, Susan of the Horn, Susan who bested the DLF at archery, and rode a lion, and won wars, sitting in a school uniform with her eyebrows rising higher and higher as some old goon at the front of the room slams his fist on the lectern.
Susan living through WW2, huddling with her siblings, a young adult (again), a fighting queen and champion marksman kept from the action, until she finally storms out against screaming parents’ wishes and volunteers as a nurse on the front. She keeps a knife or two hidden under her clothes because when it comes down to it, they called her Gentle, but sometimes loving means fighting for what you care for.
She’ll apply to a women’s college on the East Coast, because she fell in love with America when her parents took her there before the war. She goes in majoring in Literature (her ability to decipher High Diction in historical texts is uncanny), but checks out every book she can on history, philosophy, political science. She sneaks into the boys’ school across town and borrows their books too. She was once responsible for a kingdom, roads and taxes and widows and crops and war. She grew from child to woman with that mantle of duty wrapped around her shoulders. Now, tossed here on this mundane land, forever forbidden from her true kingdom, Susan finds that she can give up Narnia but she cannot give up that responsibility. She looks around and thinks I could do this better.
I want Susan sneaking out to drink at pubs with the girls, her friends giggling at the boys checking them out from across the way, until Susan walks over (with her nylons, with her lipstick, with her sovereignty written out in whatever language she damn well pleases) and beats them all at pool. Susan studying for tests and bemoaning Aristotle and trading a boy with freckles all over his nose shooting lessons so that he will teach her calculus. Susan kissing boys and writing home to Lucy and kissing girls and helping smuggle birth control to the ladies in her dorm because Susan Pevensie is a queen and she understands the right of a woman to rule over her own body.
Susan losing them all to a train crash, Edmund and Peter and Lucy, Jill and Eustace, and Lucy and Lucy and Lucy, who Susan’s always felt the most responsible for. Because this is a girl who breathes responsibility, the little mother to her three siblings until a wardrobe whisked them away and she became High Queen to a whole land, ruled it for more than a decade, then came back centuries later as a legend. What it must do to you, to be a legend in the body of a young girl, to have that weight on your shoulders and have a lion tell you that you have to let it go. What is must do to you, to be left alone to decide whether to bury your family in separate ceremonies, or all at once, the same way they died, all at once and without you. What it must do to you, to stand there in black, with your nylons, and your lipstick, and feel responsible for these people who you will never be able to explain yourself to and who you can never save.
Maybe she dreams sometimes they made it back to Narnia after all. Peter is a king again. Lucy walks with Aslan and all the dryads dance. Maybe Susan dreams that she went with them— the train jerks, a bright light, a roar calling you home.
Maybe she doesn’t.
Susan grows older and grows up. Sometimes she hears Lucy’s horrified voice in her head, “Nylons? Lipstick, Susan? Who wants to grow up?” and Susan thinks, “Well you never did, Luce.” Susan finishes her degree, stays in America (England looks too much like Narnia, too much like her siblings, and too little, all at once). She starts writing for the local paper under the pseudonym Frank Tumnus, because she wants to write about politics and social policy and be listened to, because the name would have made Edmund laugh.
She writes as Susan Pevensie, too, about nylons and lipstick, how to give a winning smiles and throw parties, because she knows there is a kind of power there and she respects it. She won wars with war sometimes, in Narnia, but sometimes she stopped them before they began.
Peter had always looked disapprovingly on the care with which Susan applied her makeup back home in England, called it vanity. And even then, Susan would smile at him, say “I use what weapons I have at hand,” and not explain any more than that. The boy ruled at her side for more than a decade. He should know better.
Vain is not the proper word. This is about power. But maybe Peter wouldn’t have liked the word “ambition” any more than “vanity.”
Susan is a young woman in the 50s and 60s. Frank Tumnus has quite the following now. He’s written a few books, controversial, incendiary. Susan gets wrapped up in the civil rights movement, because of course she would. It’s not her first war. All the same, she almost misses the White Witch. Greed is a cleaner villain than senseless hate. She gets on the Freedom Rider bus, mails Mr. Tumnus articles back home whenever there’s a chance, those rare occasions they’re not locked up or immediately threatened. She is older now than she ever was in Narnia. Susan dreams about Telemarines killing fauns.
Time rolls on. Maybe she falls in love with a young activist or an old cynic. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe Frank Tumnus, controversial in the moment, brilliant in retrospect, gets offered an honorary title from a prestigious university. She declines and publishes an editorial revealing her identity. Her paper fires her. Three others mail her job offers.
When Vietnam rolls around, she protests in the streets. Susan understands the costs of war. She has lived through not just through the brutal wars of one life, but two.
Maybe she has children now. Maybe she tells them stories about a magical place and a magical lion, the stories Lucy and Edmund brought home about how if you sail long enough you reach the place where the seas fall off the edge of the world. But maybe she tells them about Cinderella instead, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, except Rapunzel cuts off her own hair and uses it to climb down the tower and escape. The damsel uses what tools she has at hand.
A lion told her to walk away, and she did. He forbade her magic, he forbade her her own kingdom, so she made her own.
Susan Pevensie did not lose faith. She found it.
There is no help; you are doomed to love Mallory forever.
i want to see a magical girl anime where she has to stop mid transformation because the villain wont stop doing bad things so she has to grab one of those designs from the background and fight them off using it all the while shes only wearing one shoe and like half a tiara and screaming YOURE SUPPOSED TO FUCKING WAIT!!!!!
fight club au.
Since you didn’t specify a fandom, clearly you meant a Fight Club AU wherein ladies. Because ladies. [Note: the views expressed in this story do not necessarily reflect the views of Skellerbzzt or her subsidiaries because Chuck Palahnuick)
The first fight club was just be and Maria pounding on each other. It used to be enough that I knew where my life was going. To know that when I came home angry that I could die without a scar and leave a nice condo. A nice condo where every other idiot in there is some high flying dick in a nice suit squeezing up next to me in the mailroom saying Hi and already convince he was a finger flick away from having a dick warmer. Used to be enough that I’d come home angry from work where every third sentence was Hey Can We See A Smile, one was the boss having me do his job and the second was nothing you could complain to HR about or they’d have a sexual harassment seminar and you’d never get a promotion ever again. But I’d come home to a nice condo. Nice jewelery. A really nice car. Really, properly nice. Until someone else picked it up. Until whatever bachelor came in a ruined it all.
Maria, she’s had five husbands and all of them she’s found dick deep in other, young women who were so goddamn proud of themselves.