ANNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE CAN YOU IMAGINE THOUGH. SHE PROBABLY WAS A HUGE FAN OF HIM.
Young!Mako spends the first few years being starstruck by the pilots and then as time progresses, it’s the pilots who then become starstruck by her.
I am sick and tired of the way we critique misogyny in fandom.
Why is it always “shame fanwork creators (overwhelmingly young women and queer ppl) for not including enough female characters” and never “question the fact that we’ve created a media culture where canonical female characters are by and large so boring that no one wants to create fanworks based on them?” (Not to mention the fact that any person who dares to include an original female character in a fic will have the deadly accusation of “Mary Sue” leveled at them, even if they’ve written the most well-rounded character in the world)
Why do we talk about the danger of fetishization when straight women are writing about male/male pairings, and never think about the fact that slash is often being written by young women who have been socialized to be so ashamed of their sexuality that their own fantasies never include people of their own gender?
Why are we placing the burden for destroying problematic tropes about sexuality and romance exclusively on this tiny, relatively powerless subculture made up of relatively powerless people who are creating media exclusively for their own enjoyment, and not on the gigantic megacorporations that are profiting off the romanticization of abusive, unhealthy, destructive relationships, an attitude fans are only repeating?
Why do defenses of fic always turn to “it’s not all gay porn !!!1!!!!111” as an argument? What’s wrong with people creating erotica that they can enjoy, when almost no one is making mainstream porn for the audience that reads fic, when people can explore potentially problematic or even dangerous kinks/desires without actual performers having to participate in making video porn, when the “gay porn” side of fandom can lead to some of the most wonderfully freeing discussions about sexuality possible in our society?
Say I write a fanfiction. The only female character complies to the problematic sassy/helpful best friend trope, mostly because the story revolves around two main male characters (well-developed in canon, with lots of canon jokes about how much they love each other, and played by male actors I find extremely attractive) getting together and having a fair amount of extremely explicit sex. This fic is read by, oh, 200 people, all of whom are already familiar with the conventions of fandom. How does that compare to the literal millions of people who watched, for example, the first Hobbit movie, which contained (as I recall) no women or queer characters at all, and had an audience full of all kinds of people, likely including little girls who are looking up on screen and learning that their stories aren’t seen as worth telling?
I’m not saying fandom tropes aren’t harmful, I’m just saying we should look at the scope of the damage done by them as opposed to, oh, every other kind of media ever, and then think about why we’ve chosen to shit all over the not-for-profit hobbies of young women and queer people.
It’s important to remember the context we all grew up in. That we were taught to value certain stories over others, that even when people more like us (whatever identities you live in) do show up we are mis- or under-represented on our screens/on the page. Of COURSE that’s going to shape who we are and what we create and think and fantasize about.
None of that excuses us - not anyone who identifies with any social justice movement(s) - from doing our own legwork. From questioning WHY we’re drawn to these things, from questioning why women of all ages are insulting young women and girls via the words THEY PUT IN their men character’s mouths (and why we repeat them back when we podfic them, vid them, drawn them), from questioning why we’ll take the time to flesh out some under-developed characters but not others, and why every major fandom is dominated by an m/m pairing that focuses on cis white men characters whose disabilities (if they have them, and a lot more of them do than fandom admits) are totally sidelined.
I don’t care if the canons do all of this too. For every time I’ve critiqued fandom for erasing characters from less privileged groups out of their own fucking narratives, like Mako Mori and Stacker Pentecost, who mysteriously vanished when I went looking for Avengers/PacRim crossovers last night (Spoilers: Guess who DID get to stick around?) I’ve written posts and tweets and comments about how Moffat makes me hate Doctor Who, and about how yes, SPN kills everyone on its cast but there’s only a very specific subset who get to come back. It’s rarely an either-or game.
What worse is that we’ve created a culture where it’s exceedingly difficult to talk about fandom and the way it replicates and CASUALLY HURTS ITS OWN IN-GROUP MEMBERS. It shouldn’t be a fandom_wank report every time we do try to discuss these things. It shouldn’t be all awkward foot shuffling and muttered “We aren’t trying to be…” I get that you want your safe space, but guess what? We ALL do. Even if what I need to make a space safe might not be the same as what you need.
I’ll blame our starting points on the patriarchy and every other poisonous institution. Then I’ll fight for a fandom that values under-developed canon queer characters of colour as much as it values under-developed white straight-passing men. I will fight for a fandom that doesn’t leave it up to me to call bullshit when someone calls my disability, however accurately and thoughtfully fictionalized, their new kink. I’ll do it even if I’m only reaching 200 people instead of millions, because look, I can’t change the whole fucking world, but I can work on my corner of it.
And I’ll do it while I keep tweeting acerbically about Moffat.
First off, from blameitonthepatriarchy:
Why is it always “shame fanwork creators (overwhelmingly young women and queer ppl) for not including enough female characters” and never “question the fact that we’ve created a media culture where canonical female characters are by and large so boring that no one wants to create fanworks based on them?”
I don’t know what corners of fandom the OP moves in, but for every piece of “shame fanwork creators” meta I see, I see so many meta pieces that question the media culture we’re given that I can’t even try to quantify it. In so many of the examples given of “Why this? But not that?” I can think of way more examples of “that” than “this” so the whole argument feels pretty misleading to me.
Next, from coppergilt:
I’ll do it even if I’m only reaching 200 people instead of millions, because look, I can’t change the whole fucking world, but I can work on my corner of it.
THIS! That was my main objection when reading the original post. Yes, fandom is a safer space for a lot of people, but doesn’t that just make it hurt more when we fail at it? When a group that is supposed to be inclusive talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk.
Look, I’m a white, cis-queer woman. When I first joined fandom, it had a lot to offer me, it was such an eye opening experience! I saw queer people written in ways I never had before! I saw a community of women making things and talking and owning the space! It was glorious, it helped me realize and define my queerness, it empowered me to join in and create! Those are all amazing things fandom gave to me!
But I’ve reached the stage in my fannish life, where I feel fandom’s not keeping up with me. Before fandom, I was always drawn to female characters, my attention went to interesting women. Then I joined fandom and the queer stories filled something I was missing, but replaced all those interesting women with pretty boys. At the time I was willing to make that trade, but now it sometimes feels like a step back (I think it’s worth saying too, that it was fandom that taught me to hate women characters far more than it was the general media, and now, 10 years later, I’m still trying to unlearn what fandom taught me when I was younger). I want to read about those interesting women again! And I think my entry into fandom would have been so much better had stories about queer women been as readily and abundantly available as stories about queer men.
And that’s just me, there are so many other people that come into fandom wanting to see themselves in stories but didn’t, or didn’t see themselves represented to the extent that I could. POC fans, trans fans, ace fans, fans with disabilities, and more. And we can write meta about inclusion and talk about how everyone is welcome in fandom, but when we are constantly excluding or undermining or erasing these characters from our stories… that sends a really powerful message.
Look at Teen Wolf: where the POC lead character is passed over in the fandom for the white characters Stiles and Derek. Where there’s the reoccurring reaction when new fans watch the show and say “wait, who’s Scott?” or “wait, Stiles isn’t the main character?”
The fact that there are canon queer characters on Teen Wolf, one of which is Danny, a queer character of colour, but not only does Sterek get more attention, a subset of Sterek fans tried to boycott an episode with a Danny and Ethan sexy scene over anger that Sterek wasn’t canon and that Derek might see other people.
And, look, we can blame the original source material for the lack of representation all we want (and I do, believe me, I do) but we can’t hold fandom blameless for our part in that, not in today’s day and age.
Fandom isn’t a fringe group secretly mailing zines to each other (if we ever were), we’re big and visible and we break the 4th wall, talk to the PTB all the fucking time.
And we may ask TPTB for more representation on our shows, but they see giving into that doesn’t catch our interest the same way pretty white boys do.
If it did, why is Sterek so big, while Scott gets ignored? Why is Sherlock BBC an international mega hit, while Elementary is not? Why is the Inception fandom all about Arthur and Eames and not about Ariadne or the main ship not Cobb/Saito? Avengers fans may constantly ask for a Black Widow movie, but most of the fic features Tony, Steve, and Clint. Why isn’t Sleepy Hollow the new Supernatural?
And look, I’m not denying that there are reasons other than representation that leads to the reality of the fannish situation. I’m not saying it’s bad to like the things you like, or fan the things you fan. But. Looking at the over trends of fandom, it says some bad things about us. It supports the bad things the PTB do, it supports the patriarchy and many of the systems of oppression that exist the world.
And really, how can we expect the giant juggernaut of “the media” to change when we, the people who profess to want this change so much, can’t even do so in our own little corner of the internet?
16 years old beatles fans who think they’re “vintage” and better than everyone else and trash talks fans from 1d or the wanted or wtv… do you understand the beatles are *the* boy band from the 60’s? Like they are the ultimate boy band. so why do you have to have this god complex and pretend liking a 2010’s boy band is a bad thing idgi
People really need to stop romanticising and glorifying lucid dreaming. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be, you don’t really get ‘free will’ over your dreams, you don’t get transported to some fantasy land catered entirely to your whims. It can lead to sleep paralysis, which renders you completely powerless to nightmares and unable to wake up from it, which is extremely terrifying.
the worst thing about speaking two languages is trying to use an expression from one language that fits perfectly into your conversation but the other person won’t get it
"SAVING ROBERT SHERMAN"
As you may have heard, Disney is going ahead with the movie about the making of Mary Poppins — “Saving Mr. Banks.” Tom Hanks is playing Walt Disney, Emma Thompson is playing Pamela Travers, the original book’s author.
They have also cast wonderful actors to play the Sherman Brothers. Jason Schwartzman is portraying my Uncle Richard and BJ Novak was just cast to play my late father, Robert B. Sherman. Pretty brilliant choices all around.
Many people have been asking me what I think about all this.
As many of you know, I got a chance to read a draft of this screenplay several months ago now and had issues with it. The script was full of inaccuracies that run afoul of mere poetic license. I lived through that period and recall it and the people involved very well. Of course, I intimately know my lovely late father and my uncle.
I was privileged to hear all of those wonderful songs before just about anyone. Some of my fondest memories were those acetate demos right after dinner. Those times I’d go to their office and Dick would sing me something new and they’d both watch my face for a response.
Dad read my sister Laurie and me the Mary Poppins books. They were good, but kind of creepy, too. Dad, though, was enthusiastic, his mind was racing, his eyes seeing all of the amazing magic as he excitedly told us some of his ideas of how he could adapt these episodic stories and weave them into a musical, moving film. I saw Dad step into his stride during the Poppins years, really feeling he was connecting and creating something magnificent with his brother, Walt Disney, Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi, Irwin Kostal and the other great minds involved.
I saw his highs, I saw his lows. This was his chance to truly merge his songwriting, poetic and story-telling skills.
"A man has dreams of walking with giants
To carve his niche in the edifice of time…”
Dad felt he was walking with giants at this time. He was a deeply humble and shy man, so this wasn’t an ego thing. He never really sought the limelight. Dad felt such deep respect for those artists around him and felt respected and safe and encouraged by them to open and shine, himself; contribute and convey in his own words — real and created — his heartfelt wisdom and philosophies on family, love, understanding, compassion, charity and, I think most importantly, the challenges parenthood. These were hard-learned lessons for him and he poured his soul into helping adapt the screen story and co-create the timeless song score.
"Before the mortar of his zeal has the chance to congeal,
The cup is dashed from his lips,
His flame is snuffed aborning
He’s brought to rack and ruin in his prime.”
I never actually met the “colorful” Mrs. Travers, but I did hear all about her at the time. In making “the boys: the sherman brothers’ story” with my cousin Gregg, we waded through the hours and hours — painful hours of tapes recorded at their couple weeks’ meetings with Travers at Disney Studios that are the basis of “Saving Mr. Banks.” Bear in mind, the script, the songs, the entire movie was fully developed and storyboarded and ready to go by the time the author flew in on her broomstick, but Mrs. Travers still had to grant the rights.
Truly, listening to those meetings was more than enough of that nutcase for me. I was so impressed by how my Dad, especially, kept his patience with the strange, clueless, vile woman and steadfastly tried to win her over though his passion, intellect and reasoning. She was a shrew and insulting and had nothing at all positive to say about anything they graciously presented. Her endless montra, “No-no-no-no-no-no-no” — even at hearing the brilliant story arc they created, the now-classic music and lyrics.
"My world was calm, well-ordered, exemplary
Then came this person with chaos in her wake
And now my life’s ambitions go
With one fell blow
It’s quite a bitter pill to take…”
Travers was a bully and nasty at that. She famously wanted “Greensleeves” to replace key songs and insisted the color red be nowhere in the film. This is also the eccentric woman who told my Dad that the way she got inspired to work was to take a pad out into her garden, sit in the tall grass and rotate in the grass until the feeling hit her.
My dog does that too, by the way.
Travers didn’t get it then and, I assure you, she never understood nor appreciated how my Dad and Dick and the others at Disney had passionately spent years, given arguably their finest work to develop “Mary Poppins” into the classic it eventually became. To boost her relatively obscure book into a household name.
Back to “Saving Mr. Banks.”
The Pamela Travers conceived by the screenplays writers is made to be a sort of hero. In the draft I read, at least, she comes up for key story and song notions I absolutely know were my father and uncle’s contributions. She points out that they’d better write a song about that bird woman, pointedly mentions flying kites and a spoonful of sugar. The screenplay suggests that, somehow, by “saving” her precious story from the hands of the bumbling songwriting brothers and their cartoon-making boss, setting them all straight, she will in some sense “save” her own deplorable, drunken loser father who, according to these screenwriters, was the entire basis for her “Mary Poppins” book.
For those of you who’ve read Travers’ original book, the ‘father’s responsibility to his family’ concept is nowhere to be found. That was my father’s and uncle’s added theme. So was the prayer for charity that is “Feed the Birds.” The kites were an ode to my Grandfather, Al Sherman, and his simple, inexpensive way of bringing family together. Yes, a man must work hard, but his first responsibility is to his family. Mary and Bert both get that across, singing and speaking my father’s words. All it takes is tuppence, just a spoonful of sugar.
With my Dad passing only a few months ago, it’s especially difficult to see, in “Saving Mr. Banks,” his genius and his legacy arbitrarily handed over to someone who, in truth, was bitter and demeaning and sought to stop him from sharing these gifts. The script also has Mrs. Travers making a snide quip about my Dad’s wounded leg and his limp. Those of you who’ve seen “the boys” know that my father was a World War II hero that, at 17, helped drive the Nazis out of Europe. He was shot in the knee charging a hill — a week after he liberated Dachau concentration camp. He was only 19 then.
Two years younger than my son, Alex. I can’t even imagine that kind of bravery. What an amazing man. He’s not here now to defend himself against this outrageous slight, so I am speaking out for my Dad.
I have expressed my feelings to the higher ups at Disney and, hopefully, these most blaring wrongs have been corrected. I would love to see a great movie about this time that correctly tells the story. It’s wonderful enough without fudging the facts, believe me. “Mary Poppins,” the movie and now the stage play, are a cultural phenomenon, in part due to PL Travers’ books, in part due to Walt Disney, the Sherman Brothers, the screenwriters, the actors, the dancers and the other artists involved.
Mrs. Travers did not “save” the movie with her stubbornness and insight, though, as this storyline suggests. She finally sold out her rights to Walt because of his persistence and because she needed the money.
Ironically, after the enormous success of the film and song score, she wrote additional Poppins books and even named one chapter “Supercalifragiliticexpialidocious” — a word my late Dad and Uncle created.
As I’ve written before, my Dad was an amazing father, first and foremost. He always embraced the message of their version Mary Poppins and, especially, the pivotal song he wrote (“A Man Has Dreams”) where Bert cleverly turns Mr. Banks to see, work is important, but family comes first.
"You’ve got to grind, grind, grind at that grindstone
Though childhood slips like sand through a sieve
And all too soon they’re up and grown
And then they’ve flown
And it’s too late for you to give…
Just that spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down,
The medicine go down
Medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down…
…Well, goodnight there, guv’nah”
Dad was always there for me, so I will always be here for him and I’ll honor and defend his memory. So will his and Dick’s timeless words and music.
As Dad always said, “The work speaks for itself.”
Jeffery Sherman (Robert Sherman’s son) - via Facebook (via alwaysbelieveindisneymagic)
for those planning to see the movie, just to have an understanding of another side of the story
An important read.(via missmaceymouse)
I reblogged this last night and I am doin it again(via taylorvandgrift14)
Okay, finally found my head.
This is for my awesome friend Jackie who is just amazing and puts up with me and my lame RPs and emotions and junk. She’s always wanted a picture of Laura in a JGS uniform so I commissioned my go-to artist in order to say:
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being my friend and putting up with me and showing me so many great things, like how wonderful Laura is and not being ashamed to say I’m a Marvel now and just being awesome <3