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Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK.

But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative? Because when it comes to guys, we have whole fandoms bending over backwards to write soulful meta humanising male characters whose actions, regardless of their motives, are far less complex than monstrous. We take male villains and redeem them a hundred, a thousand times over – men who are murderers, stalkers, abusers, kinslayers, traitors, attempted or successful rapists; men with personal histories so bloody and tortured, it’s like looking at a battlefield. In doing this, we exhibit enormous compassion for and understanding of the nuances of human behaviour – sympathy for circumstance, for context, for motive and character and passion and rage, the heartache and, to steal a phrase, the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to; and as such, regardless of how I might feel about the practice as applied in specific instances, in general, it’s a praiseworthy endeavour. It helps us to see human beings, not as wholly black and white, but as flawed and complicated creatures, and we need to do that, because it’s what we are.

But when it comes to women, a single selfish or not-nice act – a stolen kiss, a lie, a brushoff – is somehow enough to see them condemned as whores and bitches forever. We readily excuse our favourite male characters of murder, but if a woman politely turns down a date with someone she has no interest in, she’s a timewasting user bimbo and god, what does he even see in her? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some great online meta about, for instance, the soulfulness and moral ambiguity of Black Widow, but I’ve also seen a metric fucktonne more about what that particular jaw-spasm means in that one GIF of Cumberbatch/Ackles/Hiddleston/Smith alone, and that’s before you get into the pages-long pieces about why Rumplestiltskin or Hook or Spike or Bucky Barnes or whoever is really just a tortured woobie who needs a hug. Hell, I’m guilty of writing some of that stuff myself, because see above: plus, it’s meaty and fun and exactly the kind of analysis I like to write.

And yet, we tend overwhelmingly not to write it about ladies. It’s not just our cultural obsession with pushing increasingly specific variants of the Madonna/Whore complex onto women, such that audiences are disinclined to extend to female characters the same moral/emotional licenses they extend to men; it’s also a failure to create narratives where the women aren’t just flawed, but where the audience is still encouraged to like them when they are.

Returning to Orphan Black, for instance, if Sarah were male, he’d be unequivocally viewed as either a complex, sympathetic antihero or a loving battler with a heart of gold. I mean, the ex-con trying to go straight and get his daughter back while still battling the illegalities of his old life and punching bad guys? Let me introduce you to Swordfish, Death Race, and about a millionty other stories where a father’s separation from a beloved child, whether as a consequence of his actual criminal actions, shiftless neglect, sheer bad luck or a combination of all three, is never couched as a reason why he might not be a fit parent. We tend to accept, both culturally and narratively, that men who abandon their children aren’t automatically bad dads; they just have other, important things to be doing first, like coming to terms with parenthood, saving the world, escaping from prison or otherwise getting their shit together. But Sarah, who left her child in the care of someone she trusted absolutely, has to jump through hoops to prove her maternal readiness on returning; has to answer for her absence over and over again. And on one level, that’s fine; that’s as it should be, because Sarah’s life is dangerous. And yet, her situation stands in glaring contrast to every returning father who’s never been asked to do half so much, because women aren’t meant to struggle with motherhood, to have to try to succeed: we’re either maternal angels or selfish absentees, and the idea that we might sometimes be both or neither isn’t one you often see depicted with such nuance.

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Gender, Orphan Black & The Meta Of Meta

read this, read it right now it’s absolutely genius.

(via sarahcosima)

(via heathyr)

Source: knowlesian
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As an actress, I realize that viewers are entitled to have whatever feelings they want about the characters they watch. But as a human being, I’m concerned that so many people react to Skyler with such venom. Could it be that they can’t stand a woman who won’t suffer silently or “stand by her man”? That they despise her because she won’t back down or give up? Or because she is, in fact, Walter’s equal? But I finally realized that most people’s hatred of Skyler had little to do with me and a lot to do with their own perception of women and wives. Because Skyler didn’t conform to a comfortable ideal of the archetypical female, she had become a kind of Rorschach test for society, a measure of our attitudes toward gender.”

-Anna Gunn, “I Have A Character Issue”

(via heathyr)

Source: debekah
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dirtybrian:

thewitchylibrarian:

dirtybrian:

mattachinereview:

biyuti:

girljanitor:

dumbthingswhitepplsay:

popca:

dolgematki:

nativevoice:

“Stop sending expired food”….”fried chicken 64.99” 

IQALUIT, Nunavut — A head of cabbage for $20. Fifteen bucks for a small bag of apples.

A case of ginger ale: $82.

Fed up and frustrated by sky-high food prices and concerned over widespread hunger in their communities, thousands of Inuit have spent weeks posting pictures and price tags from their local grocery stores to a Facebook site called Feed My Family.

Holy hell.

WHAT IN THE FUCK? This shit is not okay.

ughhslfkajsdlf gross gross gross

64.99?????


These people are starving for a reason.

Conservationists

have been starving

these people

to death for years.

Reblogging for the extra articles. 

Also… I might show up to this protest and support them. 

Pay attention to this stuff, please, followers who haven’t heard about this!  This kind of thing is completely erased in news media.

This is really fucking important.

This is why I don’t respect anyone who blindly supports the anti-sealing protestors. Because for a lot of people, it’s the only affordable option.

It’s not just Iqaluit. In Nain, Labrador this problem has been going on for ages and nobody does anything about it. $47 for a ham and $17 for a block of cheese. In Rigolet, Labrador, a loaf of bread costs $7. Here’s another picture of an Iqaluit food price changing before your very eyes.

The NNCP is starving people, reducing their food choices, and keeping people on EI poor. This is so, so wrong.

How can we help? I joined the group and checked out the website, but I didn’t see anything that can be actively done (other than raising awareness, which, of course, is great).

Excellent question! If you read through the group (which is here, for anyone who missed it), there are people talking about some ways to help.

  • Look at the latest news on the Feeding My Family website to see what the priorities are and how you might be able to help.
  • If you’re Canadian, call your local MP and ask to discuss this issue and express your concern.
  • Look up ways to support putting pressure onto airlines to charge fair rates (a $1000 plane ticket should be from one coast to the other, not a few hundred miles).
  • Research and learn what you can about food sustainability. For a start, how about learning square foot/metre (French intensive) gardening or container gardening and starting to practice it yourself? Share these techniques with friends and family. Get good at it so you can teach them to others who have poor food security in your own area.
  • For the love of God, stop signing “anti-sealing”/”anti-hunting” petitions and supporting Greenpeace’s actions without understanding the complicated, nuanced situation in the North.
  • Watch the FB group, because people there mention direct donations and ways to help the organizations actually on the ground there.
  • For example, one person is starting up a donation project/fundraiser.
  • Look at what organizations like FoodShare are doing and support them.

There is so much to be done. Sharing news articles and stories, lists of resources, donation and fundraising pages, and knowledge about food security is critical, but there’s a lot more work of all sorts.

(via katherinegryffindor)

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jon-snow:

god bless sdcc

(via callmekitto)

Source: jon-snow
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clarythehunter:

titansdaughter:

pandafreakforlife:

HOW DOES THIS EVEN HAPPEN!?

LIKE THIS:

You know nothing

(via i-was-so-alone-i-owe-you-so-much)

Source: pandafreakforlife
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When you play the game of clones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.

(via lallyinthesky)

Source: arryns
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apfelgranate:

so it’s pretty much accepted canon by now that raleigh has at least one notebook filled with mr. raleigh mori/mr. mako mori, yes?

(if i felt guilty for this – which i don’t, at all – i’d lay the blame here and here.)

(via heathicorn)

Source: apfelgranate