svollga: (granat)
I haven't posted here in ages, mostly because I had a very hard-working autumn, and then I felt as I'm unused to posting to several social network sites anymore. Also, my circle here is mostly social justice feeds, and I was a bit tired of thinking about this stuff all the time. I know it's necessary, but sometimes it's so exhausting to care. But I'm back on track now.

Anyway, mostly I just want to talk about what I'm writing right now, and how all I've read so far about representation and stuff is working out. I'm writing a huge, epic novel-length fanfic thing, which is rare for me because I tend to write short stories and novellas. Another rare thing is that usually, my narrative is focused on the main characters, and all the other canon and original characters are just a background functions. But I can't do it in an epic thing with an actual plot, so I'm having a couple of dozens characters running around.
And here comes the representation thing. Because before I got caught in this whole social justice/equality stuff, I would follow the stereotypes. I need a bodyguard? I take a strong big man. I need a rape survivor? A woman or (being in a slash fanfic) a young slight boy. Older men for the authority figures. A good guy to die in a mission heroically saving someone.
Now, I still have the stereotypes in my head. But I also have a stop button. Every time I need a character for some function in the plot, I stop, and I think about which stereotype fits, and then I do any other thing that is stereotypical, or I subvert it. So there's a woman as a chief of security, and another one as a sexually assertive buddy/wingman for a main character (and also his first officer), a big manly man as a rape survivor, and other people in places where the stereotypes don't fit them in. And the best thing about it all? I didn't have to think about in consciously. It's not that I actually stopped and thought about the choice. It was all my brain working somewhere deep, so I just had to think 'who is the security personel in this scene', and I saw not a big manly man, but a blonde curly woman with a mean right hook. Or an Indian beauty with a no-nonsence attitude. Or maybe there was a big strong man, but there weren't only big strong men in security.
Okay, I still have a clingy-going-evil woman, and a leacherous/treacherous man, but I think it's okay because there are enough characters around who aren't following any stereotypical narratives and tropes for those two to exist. Because while I am all for subverting the stereotypes there's another thing going on in the subversive circles that I don't quite like: turning against any character that fits the stereotypical trope even when it's a thing that happens to people. In a fandom that praises the diversity and subversion in there show, there is a lot of annoyance if a victim doesn't fight, but freezes, though there are a lot of people freezing at the assault. A woman showing any 'stereotypically female' weakness is considered 'bad work' because she's stereotypical, though there are women like her. This troubles me, as a 'strong woman' stereotype going circles. So I think this is how this whole representation thing should work: subvert and dissolve stereotypes until they don't exist anymore, and include those very stereotypes in it's tollbox when they are from the real people's life, just see that they aren't overrepresented.

P.S.: Criminal Minds does all this stuff brilliantly. Can't stop watching.

svollga: (Default)
Moved from the conference through Moscow to the friend's house in Rostov.
At the conference, I ended up talking about the public debate about LGBT in Russian society (details later). Some comments about my panel made me thinking about the balance between activism and scientifical approach. When we are talking about a discriminated group, what is objective point of view, and what is biased? Can I be both an activist and a scientist studying the topic of my activism? And how much does the fact that I'm also a member of this discriminated group tip the balance of objectivity?
It's very important to me to understand this balance, to make it clear, at leas for myself, where is the point of balance.

P.S.: I think I hate polite and friendly educated people who express moderately homophobic views even more than open angry homophobes. It's easy when an angry idiot calls you an abomination; it's hard when an educated intelligent colleague looks you in the eye and politely explains to you that you are a second-class citizen.
svollga: (wish)
Lately, I'm feeling frustrated and sad and angry a lot, about many things. I want to barricade in my ivory tower and forget there's a world outside.

In less then two weeks, I'm speaking at a conference abou LGBT youth issues, and I still can't get ready to it because every time I start to look through information for the conference I get angry and close to tears. Because this shit shouldn't be an issue. Because those stupid homophobes shouldn't even exist. Because I don't want to think about it, and talk about it, and be intellectual and scientific about it.

Also, I'm supposed to write an article about institutionalised homophobia and how personal right to be a homophobe isn't working in the line of work when an institution cares about equality. And... see above.

My rape culture posts attracted another bunch of rape apologists and I don't want to talk about them.

Everything that's going on in my fandom makes me mostly frustrated to the point that I stopped reading anything except for fanfiction. All the meta, all the spoilers are like a minefield of frustration to me. Even things written by people I usually agree with and whose opinion I respect. So, I limit myself to the pretty pictures and squee about them.

The fact that the heat is almost unbearable doesn't help. The fact that after the last visit to my shrink, I'm going through a very difficult spot of self-work, doesn't help, either.

Can it be over soon, please?

silent hill

Aug. 7th, 2010 10:07 pm
svollga: (Default)


The forests are on fire. Moscow is covered with smog and smoke and slowly suffocating.
And now all his is coming to the city I'm currently living in. Today, the streets are filling with smoke and the smell of something burning...

sundries

Aug. 4th, 2010 11:21 pm
svollga: (Default)
# I went LARPing a couple of weeks ago, in the world of Martin's Wild Cards. My character was a well-mannered practically religious girl of 50'th
who wanted to get married and have a house and children. I was wearing pink, speaking in a sweet voice and fainting every two hours. My name was Damsel DiStress. (My family was sort of a mafia circle and I finally married the main Evil of the game, but nevermind.) I love characters like that, really, though it was the first time the character actually was sweet and innocent - usually I play something pink and lacy and sweet as a cover for evil plans.

# ABC's Huge has an openly asexual character along with a character who identifies as an angry feminist. And it shows a lot of fat teens having normal teen life and even falling in love and kissing and making out omfg! For all it's failures, it's still playing out as more win than fail.

# The one thing I really dislike in Huge is, sadly, Gina Torres' character. She is very unsure and shows it in being eithr awkward or defensive all the time. First, it's boring. Second, it doesn't suit Gina Torres who has a wider range. Third, if the camp director showed her uncertainity to real teens she would be eaten alive. Teens are evil like that .

# I have to get ready for the conference I participate in in a caoule of weeks, speaking of LGBT movement in Russia. The problem is, I sort of stopped reading any LGBT-related news for the last month because they make me frustrated and sad and angry and I don't have energy for these feelings right now. But I have to compose myself and go through the news and facts very very soon. (So I'm writing about my frustration in hope that it will go away.)

svollga: (granat)
Post 5 songs (or more) that start with the letter you're given.
I've got "C" from [personal profile] eumelia.
Let me know if you'd like a letter.

Four of my songs are from the musicals and one is from the movie that is almost a musical. It wasn't intentional :)

1. Chase The Morning, from Repo! The Genetic Opera. Sarah Brightman is brilliant and gorgeous. And the voice of Marni, repeating the affirmation, is both beautiful and creepy. I love this scene - it passes Bechdel test like whoa! Actually, while Repo! is sometimes problematic and sometimes full of plot holes, it has strong and interesting female characters. Also, the line You have your mother's eyes, her hair is very creepy, because Shilo wears a wig, and Nathan could easily order it made from Marni's hair.
2. Cell Block Tango, from Chicago. It's famous. I love the dark humour of the lyrics and the sad stories behind them. I quote it a lot:
You know, some guys just can't hold their arsenic.
And then he ran into my knife. He ran into my knife ten times.
I guess you can say we broke up because of artistic differences. He saw himself as alive and I saw him dead.

3. Could We Start Again Please, from Jesus Christ Superstar. I'm a fan of JSC, especially of the "2000" version (Jerome Pradon is brilliant as Judas). This song makes me deeply sad because I know the feeling: you see things in entirely different light, everything you thought made sense doesn't, or this sense is something entirely different, and you just want to wake up from this bad dream, or to change everything entirely. Also, the scene in the movie during this song is very disturbing.
4. (The) Creation of the Man, from Scarlet Pimpernel. This one is hilarious. ...Someone has to strike a pose / And bear the weight of well-tailored clothes / And that is why the Lord created men! It also fits nicely into my field of study, which includes gender presentation on fashion and clothing.
5. Christmas Is All Around, from Love Actually. It is simple, and silly, and you can't get it from your head for days... but it's Christmas. I always watch Love Actually at Christmas (or, to be exact, at New Year Eve, because we don't celebrate Catholic Christmas here), and I love this song. Also, Billy Mack! And particularly enjoy the incredible crassness of the moment when we try to squeeze an extra syllable into the fourth line. (Can't miss a chance to say it: Joe is love.)

svollga: (smile)
Swimming pool and long walks lead to thinky thoughts that sort of flow from one topic to another. I started with thinking about transformative art as an empowering tool. The original text (in any media) is sort of like the world around: it is whole, complete and exists without me, by the rules written not by me, and while I'm included ad the reader of the text (which is sometimes addressed directly to me via breaking the fourth wall), I'm supposed to be passive and play by the rules. But is I transform the text via fanfiction, fanart and so on, I can change it. I can take what I like and rewrite what I don't like, or add something I think is missing, or simply rearrange the parts in the order that makes more sense to me. At the same time, I keep the feeling of the original, its atmosphere, its essence, while working out the kinks. For me, this action is a metaphor of the interaction with the real world around me: I can take the cards I'm dealt with and rearrange them, change them, rewrite the parts I don't like while still working with the same old world. It takes time and effort, but it's working. In some sense, transformative art gives me stronger feeling of power than original art: original art is the process of creating something new which doesn't translate as well for me into interaction with the world around me. But the feelings I experience when creating a canon-compliant story where Ianto Jones lives, or Sirius Black is brought back from behind the Veil, and the feelings I experience when working on some pro-lgbt project are similar: in both cases, I have a feeling that I'm changing something that is bigger than me, by small steps, because I can.

Speaking of the small steps: from watching tv-shows and movies made in the US and in the UK, I've got a feeling of some inherent difference in the stories they tell about how the world can be changed. In the US products, there's one Big Hero who changes everything, does everything, saves everyone in one big ultimate effort. The story I get from them is usually, 'you can change entire world in one big push if you try hard enough'. In the UK products, there is a common person that strives to be a better person, or just to be themselves, or do their own thing the way they see fit, and  in the process change the world around themselves - a lot of small, almost imperceivable changes that grow up into a bigger picture. The clearest example is Life on Mars where Sam Tyler changes the people of 70th and the police methods just by being himself all the time. The story I get is, 'you cannot change the whole world but you can change the world around you by being yourself and making small steps, and the changes will go further and further'. I like this story better. It fits my worldview, and it gives me strength to do something because I don't have to get ready for the Big Push - I can do something today, something that I'm actually able to do, and it will still make a difference.

This is how I understand the 'personal is political' thesis: what I am and what I do matters because it influences the world around me and goes into the big pucture, and the big picture changes and influences me and everybody else, and I change and influence it and everybody else... and so on. Everything is connected*, and I have the power to change the entire world, if not at once, than with time.

* This worldview is probably the reason I find Wicca the closest of all religions though I'm not religious and don't identify as Wiccan.

svollga: (ianto)
Photobucket
It's a year since CoE, and the Shrine in Cardiff is still alive and full of gifts and flowers. I find it exciting. It reminds me that there are actually a lot of people for whom fictional characters are real in the sense of emotions they evoke and their role in our lives. (That's one of the reasons I loved the Doctor Who finale so much. The story of Amy who missed her imaginary friend at her wedding rings true for me, and I think I'm not alone in this feeling.)
svollga: (ianto)
# For some reasons, I can't listen to music while working, it distracts me, but I usually listen to some tv series I've already watched as a background noise.
Today, I listened to Buffy's Hush. Hmm.

# Speaking of Buffy, the storylines in it tend to repeat itself first as farce, and then as tragedy. Take Something Blue: there's Willow using her magic to deal with unwanted feelings and bringing trouble to everyone including herself, and there's Buffy and Spike in love. All played to the comic effect. We all know how it ends in season 6.

# Someone have written an RPS fanfic in Russian about John Barrowman a lot of words about RPS and the issue of cheating/breaking up as a plot point )

# Another fanfic I'm reading and having thinky thoughs about is a rapefic. some triggery stuff )

# I feel like I should write something about CoE today, but I can't. I don't have anything new to say, and I'm tired of repeating all the stuff I've said during this year. I ended up talking about it anyway )

# I started watching Huge, new ABC series about the weight-losing camp for young adults, with Nikky Blonsky and Gina Torres. I'm still undecided if it's mostly good or mostly bad, though. They have some possible win and some possible fail, but it's too early to decide because it depends on where the story goes later. For now, I'm sad that in the 2nd episode the character was called a lesbian and got dissappointed about it - I think mostly because the boy she was interested in called her so, and he didn't mean any offence, he jus assumed, so it was more a misunderstanding that any offence, but I'm very touchy on the subject.
svollga: (janto)
Title: Second in Line
Authors: Saint-Olga & Eithne
Fandom: Torchwood/Equilibrium
Pairing/characters: Jack/Ianto (primary poly couple), Jack/Preston (secondary poly couple)
Rating: PG-13
Beta-reading: amazing [livejournal.com profile] tree00faery - thank you very much! - and partly [livejournal.com profile] smirnoffmule
Wordcount: 11 758
Disclaimer: All recognizable elements belong to their respective owners.
Prompt: 3621. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones/any other character or OC, understanding of non-monogamous relationship.
Summary: The abstract notion of ‘love’ carried no clear explanation as to how exactly it happened, so it would be just a bit useful to learn something about it not from movies, but from the real life around him. Not to watch, that was really… impolite and sort of disturbing – but to understand. In some way.
Saint-Olga’s Notes: After I started thinking about the prompt I chose for [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest, I realized that I am already writing the story that fits it, along with [personal profile] eithne . It’s a story about a new member of Torchwood, who came from another time and place, where people were not allowed to feel. (Those who’ve seen Equilibrium will recognize John Preston; those who haven’t - it’s enough to know that he is played by Christian Bale, looks like this and knows a cool shooting/fighting technique.) So, this fic is a part of a cycle which starts with Ex Machina, but can be read as standalone.
The story is set after the end of Equilibrium, and between Dead Line and Children of Earth for Torchwood.

Read more... )
svollga: (janto)
I've tried my fair share of PoVs in my stories (I even have a couple with very experimental creative decisions like having first and second PoV in one sentence, in every sentence), but lately, I prefer tight third limited PoV.
Mostly, I think it's because third limited comes to me naturally, so it's a first choice. It's comfortable.
I consider it either a choice that gives me most freedom, or an act of creative energy economy/laziness. Third limited gives me an opportunity not to do a lot of stuff I don't want to do: not to explain everything that's going on (because the character can miss something, can have something explained to them in a couple of phrases, or have a 'lightbulb' moment), not to write things I hate to write (fighting and action, mostly), and not to search for a unique first-person voice for the character (it's enough to do it in dialogue). On the other hand, I can still do all this stuff.
Also, third limited is how I usually experience the story I'm watching/reading. I have a character whose storyline is most interesting and/or close for me, whose feelings are the easiest to understand, and follow them. My point of view can change with time. In Torchwood, I started with Gwen, then moved to Tosh, and then, after I've watched Doctor Who, I started seeing things from Jack's PoV. In CoE, my PoV suddenly moved to Ianto, though I find him a difficult character to indentify with because he's a lying liar who lies, and we know so little about him. (And yes, watching CoE from Ianto's PoV is painful.)
It's interesting how this experience reflexts in the choice of PoV in my Whoniverse writing. I use Jack's PoV in stories about the Doctor, Ianto's in stories about him and Jack (except for those where Jack saves/loses him), John Hart's PoV in stories about him and Jack, and so on. Generally, I tend to choose PoV of the character I consider more unsure of the relationship, to have him slowly discover what's going on in the other person's head and between them too, even if the story isn't actually about relationship. (I did the same in my earlier fandoms, so I suppose it's just my thing.)
Still, third limited is somewhat limited so sometimes you need to change the PoV. It's the thing I really hate to do because I firmly believe that the change of PoV in third limited must be structurally defined, for example, by chapters, and I rarely write stories long enough to be chaptered. In my last work (written together with [personal profile] eithne  and soon to be posted), we needed Ianto's PoV in addition to the main Preston's PoV, and I made it into interludes defined my asterics, but then I had a feeling that it still mixes with preston's PoV so I added the PoV's names. It works, because the story needs Ianto's input which Preston can't be privy to, but it is structured to death.
svollga: (lesbian)
Even if it weren't for a good cause, this banner is too pretty not to post:
svollga: (janto)
I've developed a new squick lately: if the characters pay a lot of attention to the fact that they are having penetrating sex for the first time, it turns me off from the scene, and sometimes from the entire story. It's interesting because some time ago (several years ago, when I was new to both NC-17 fanfiction and sex) it was my kink. Now, it makes me all 'meh' and 'bored now', and I scroll down or close the window.
I suppose it has something to do with getting rid of heteronormative paradigm which puts penetrating sexual interaction on a pedestal of Real Sex, and first time is considered Something Special, especially for the one being penetrated. I shared this concept, which is funny because while I was all for first time and penetration being special, I never felt it as special in my own experience. The only thing that makes it any different is that you have to put some more thought into logistics and preparation than, say, for petting/frottage.
Now, if the characters make a Big Deal out of the fact that they are having the Real Stick In The Hole Sex OMG, I have a sudden feeling that I'm reading some sort of bodice-ripper. I can cut some slack for the characters who were entirely straight and unexperienced and very heteronormative (in J2 AUs, for example). But when it's Jack and Ianto it feels almost as OOC to me, and also have a reaction along the lines of 'don't put this heteronormative shit into my non-heteronormative very transgressive queer couple'. (And if it's Jack who makes a Big Deal it is OOC.)
It doesn't help that in the stories where the characters make a big deal out of penetration, they often also make a big deal of who is on top. And making a big deal of who is on top (and/or having fixed positions) is another deal breaker for me because it's also too heteronormative. I had enough of this stuff in anime fandom where the discussion of seme/uke is a big part of fannish discourse and of characterization. Once again, I don't care about it in real life - why should I care for it in fiction? Also, how does the preference of sexual positions correlate with the character exactly? Often, the character who is the top is also 'the man' in the relationship, bossy and dominant and rational, and the bottom is 'the woman', weak and emotional and submissive, and here we go into mysogynistic shit. Thanks but no thanks.
I think that Torchwood fandom is doing better than most - in this fandom, the heteronormative stories aren't that often, and there are a lot of stories with diverse sexual characterization. I suppose it actually prompted the development of my squick because in my previous fandoms, heteronormative/fixed sexual characterization was a norm and I was so used to it I didn't notice how much it bothers me. Now, it does.

svollga: (lesbian)
yuki_onna dissects Lady Gaga's bisexuality claim: If you only want relationships with men--and she's not only saying she's only had relationships with men in the past, but only looks for them with men now, and could never love a woman--well, you know, I have a hard time seeing what's so thrillingly queer about that.
You know, I tend to distrust any celebrity declaration of bisexuality. It seems to me that most of them (especially women) do it for titillation of the audience. I know it's not right to doubt and argue the self-identification of people, but the label they use, I use too, and what they do with it echoes with me. And a lot of them use this label but only date opposite sex in public, supporting the myth of bisexuals using their own gender for sex while marrying the opposite.
So when they call themselves bisexual but only have open visible long-term relationship with opposite sex like Lady Gaga, it makes my past and potential future same-sex relationship more fragile and 'unreal' in the other's eyes. When they call themselves bisexual but then take it back like David Bowie, it makes my orientation less valid in other's eyes. There are of course people who are doing it sort of right, like Angelina Jolie who doesn't dismiss her relationship with a woman as something less then real. But the more people represent bisexuality as something not real, the more I feel the need to defend it as real, and I don't know how, and don't actually want to defend what I am (especially as I'm not quite bisexual, I'm pansexual because gender isn't binary, and I prefer queer anyway). It's all kind of stupid.

Speaking of another sort of representation: there's a usual argument in the discussions about queer representation (or any minority representation, actually, but let's take queer for this one) that it's all very good to have queer representation, but you can't force the author, the creator, to write something they don't want to, because of the holy creative process and inspiration and so on. And on one hand, I get it. I write things, too, and I write whatever is in my head, and I don't stop to check for representation. But on the other hand, when I see yet another 'the author has the right to write whatever they have in mind' I want to scream: 'No they don't have the right to erase me and the likes of me from existence because they don't want me in their little pretty world so much that they can't even think about me and the likes of me! Stop making me invisible! LOOK at me, I'm here in this world, we are all around you, we're here, we're queer, didn't you get the memo to get used to it?'

...I think I have a period of being angry at discrimination and silencing and stuff. Not used to it.


svollga: (tv)
There's a discussion on The non-queerness of our current Who that has so. much. fail in comments, I can't stop wincing. There was a lot of win in comments, too. But fail grabbed me stronger. I'm very sensitive these days.

# It is a family show. Queers aren't allowed in a family show because they are enemies of family. Also, naughty queers.
# It's for children, not for teenagers as RTD's era was. Again, children should never see queers. They can get queer cooties. Right through the screen.
# Moffat isn't gay so he doesn't think about gay agenda when writing his stories. Minority stories are for the minorities to tell (to each other, probably) while privileged people enjoy their privilege to forget about the existence of said minorities.
# The story isn't about relationships, romance and/or love. So we can have blatantly heterosexual people all around flirting/in love/married/having families (not to mention heterosexual couple as the main characters and a wedding as a major plot point), and the story isn't about romance, but having any kind of queer representation makes it about romance.
# I watch for the story, not for romace/sexual situations. And queers can't be action characters, they are all about queer sexuality.
# Most foregrounded relationships in the series are between parents and children. And queers can't be parents. Never.
# Heterosexual relashionship aren't really in your face. But they are in background all the time, and did I mention heterosexual couple as main characters and a wedding?
# It is close to the ratio of straight/queer in real life. No, it's not, even if we take only quantity not quality (i.e. one short remark vs wedding storyline).
# I assume that River is bisexual/Eleven is asexual/character N is queer, so add it to your list. Can we please stop talking about subtext while discussing text? Subtext is in the eyes of the beholder. Those who want see it, those who don't - don't. Text is a slogan, a speech, a statement of existence. Queers were in the closet of subtext for too long. Thank you, but no.
# And my personal peeve: I'm bisexual, and I don't care whether there are queer storilines or not, because I make no difference between genders/don't look specifically for queer references. So you are okay with dating any gender but seeing only straight couples on screen? Well, I'm bi, and I'm not okay with it. Because I'm tired of feeling that one half of my sexual identity is forbidden while the other is supported by society, and that I have to choose sides. I want not to care about the gender of people kissing on my screen, but because nobody cares, not because I'm blind to the unequality and queer invisibility.

Grrr *shakes fist*
svollga: (x-over)
Title: Ex Machina
Authors: Saint-Olga & Eithne-Ame
Fandoms: Torchwood&Doctor Who/Equilibrium
Rating: R (for this part; mostly for violence)
Characters: Jack/Ianto, Preston, the Doctor
Genre: Kinky PWP Crossover, Action
Category: Gen
Wordcount: over 13 000
Summary: So imagine somebody is, for some reason, in need for something, in any place, any time, any point in the universe. And if this somebody just happens to have this, it may find any other point in the universe, any time, any place, where there is somebody, who is also in need for something and has another one like this, and snap! - they meet.
Authors' Notes:
1. It started as an idea of a kinky PWP which suddenly needed explanation and character development and stuff, so it grew into a longer story, and then to a cycle. This is the first part, which is mostly explanation and plot. Works as stand-alone.
2. Those who’ve seen Equilibrium will recognize John Preston; those who haven’t - it’s enough to know that he is played by Christian Bale, looks like this and knows a cool shooting/fighting technique.
3. The story is set after the end of Equilibrium, between Dead Line and Children of Earth for Torchwood and after The Next Doctor for Doctor Who. The 'he will knock four times' arch never happened here.

Continued from Part 1.

Read more... )
svollga: (tv)
1. My new Tardis-a-trois, travelling together and having fantastic adventures.
2. And meeting Jack Harkness.
3. River Song being awesome and intriguing and on screen. Often.
4. Liz Ten. Preferably with River Song.
5. Nasreen Chaudhry. Preferably snapping the Doctor's braces. And being generally awesome.
6. QUEER CHARACTERS AND STORYLINES. With happy ending.
svollga: (granat)
Title: Bi
Fandom: Whoniverse
Genre: gen
Character: Jack Harkness, Alonso Frame, imlpied River Song
Rating: Teen
Beta: [personal profile] ettegoom 
A/N: The idea occurred to me during DW 5x13 (though it doesn’t spoil anything) and refused to go away. I’m not quite sure how does it work with the specifics of the canon, but I had to get it out. Very weird thing, but Whoniverse can fit anything weird.
All the gender pronouns are used intentionally.
Summary: Jack’s gender isn’t a fixed point.

If Jack had to name one thing he missed most while stranded on the 19-20-21st century Earth... )
svollga: (wish)
Criminal Minds was tv-show I've always recommended as very PC in quite, dignified and clever way. It had a regular cast of 4 men and 3 women, all the women had distinct and non-stereotypical personalities, were well-respected professionals and could be good role models and examples of How You Do Women on TV (hint: as human beings). In addition, it had a lot of women (as well as people of colour) in the episode cast, in very different roles, and all of them had their own agenda and were not just token girls or helpless victims. Among other procedural shows where good female characters are a rarity, this one was a gem. It went through 5 seasons without lowering their standarts in both plot quality and passing Bechdel test. It was a very successful show even though it had a lot of force-major problems in production.

Now, the CBS company suddenly decided to cut their female cast 'for financial reasons'. One of the characters, Jennifer Jareau, an essencial member of a team who is also a mom, will be cut entirely. There's a huge possibility that plot-wise, it will be played as 'she decided to devote more time to her family', and we will lose not only a strong female character, but a female character who can balance very difficult job and family/parenthood. The other character, Emily Prentiss, a field agent, will be 'scaled down'. The one character left, Penelope Garcia, is a brilliant, quirky and interesting character (and a lovely fat girl, too!), but she is largely in a periphery, working from the home base.

The entire cast have expressed their dismay over the sudden decision, which will surely affect the story lines and the show’s audience. There's a huge apheaval among the online fans of the show, including the online petition (also supported and promoted by the cast).


Personally, I'm very sad about this new development because it was really a rare show with a full-fleged female cast, and I was hoping that the girls will be getting even more screen time and personal plot archs. This cutdown was a very unpleasant surprise. :(
svollga: (heel)
There's the thing: while I support the feminist agenda, I sometimes feel that some everyday things I do or don't do, I allow or don't allow to do for me, can't be quite correlated with it. Mostly the questions arise because of my own bigendered nature, and of genderqueer nature of my circle. A lot of genderqueer people in my circle, mostly female-bodied but leaning to male, try to affirm their maleness by conforming to male gender stereotypes. The stereotypes work like the code for gender: if you behave like a stereotypical man (generally an idealised chivalrious gentleman) than you are a man and are treated as such. If you behave as a woman (generally with a tint of an idealised lady or a vixen) than you are a woman and are treated as such. And if you claim you're a man but behave in any 'feminine' way - show your emotions, have tantrums, show weakness, ask for help - then you are lying. The situation is certainly influenced by the fact that we are all role-players to some extent, and it's easier for us to play the suitable role. (I went through several types of manly man roles and have even had relationships built on those roles.)
It's not as bad as it may seem. Generally, my circle is very comfortable to exist in because it accepts any personal quirks including specific gender variations. It's a safe space to be queer in, and a pretty much egalitarian, too, but it's tinted with the sort of medieval fantasy mentality when a woman is a lady to be cherished and honoured and marveled at, but being male or at least lean to maleness is somewhat better. Though being a woman gives you more leeway with behaviour and emotions. (Well, it's like in the 'real world', only better, actually. Easier and with less differencies and limits.)
It doesn't bother me much, but it does sometimes when I have a feeling that I'm not a feminist enough because I play this game, too. In my male phases, I think that I have to be a head of a household, to be reliable and calm and logical; in my female phases, I'm flirty and attract attention to my female beauty and have a leeway on irrationality and emotionality because I'm a woman. It feels natural, but at the same time, a bit suffocating. I don't know what I can do with it, and I'm not sure if I want to do anyhing, but I've been thinking about it lately, and decided to write it down.
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