Friends Post: Comment to be added

If I have not friended you and you wish for me to do so, please comment here with your name, a description of how we met, or if we haven't properly met, tell me why you think we should be friends.  I don't bite.  I just don't friend-back people I really don't know.  I do F-lock some rather personal entries.

Also, if you're a fandom buddy, you can ask to be put on the 'fandom' filter, which is basically for rough-drafts of fanfiction to be previewed and beta'd by my fandom-residing f-list, or posts of unforgivably fannish geekery.

**This FO banner has a dual purpose of being awesome, as well as deflecting the kinds of people who should not be in my LJ, such as: People who use LJ at work too much (Srsly, do your work, lazy douche!) and people who hate boobies (If you hate boobies, then we clearly have nothing in common.  GTFO.)**

(Toby is not to be taken too seriously)

Fanwork Navigation Post (PINNED)


Keep in mind, I'm a lazy buttface, so this post will rarely be up-to-date.  I'm also pretty much exclusively working in FMA universe, though a few other series occasionally catch my ficcing fancy.  The art is of many fandoms.

ETA- All fanworks in this post are 2-5 years old.  For more recent works with better categorization, please visit
[info]paper_whale my fandom journal. It has tags.

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On fandom and "Expressing Sexuality"

So one of the things that I've noticed about certain objectifying tropes is that they're often ham-fistedly defended by non-feminist (or pseudo-feminist) people as being "empowering" or a means for women to 'express their sexuality".  Recently this attitude was used to laude a new TV series about playboy bunnies in the 60's, claiming that the job was one of the most empowering positions a woman could have at the time.  So, there are things to be said about what could be claimed as personal empowerment for individual women, but it's laughable to claim that a corporation so widely known for commodifying and selling the bodies of women, in print and in real life, could be purported as an empowering outlet for women to express their sexuality, I started thinking about this tendency to claim sexual objectification as 'power'.

One of the most ridiculous things I've heard people argue, usually when trying to prove something about how men aren't privileged because women have advantages too, is that women have all the power in society because "They're the most sexually desirable/beautiful beings in existence".  The idea is that women are empowered by being sexually desired and being able to use that 'power' as a bargaining chip to control straight men.  Which is a really gross idea; trying to dress up a means by which women are treated as commodities to be bought and sold, not sexual beings to be respected and treated on equal terms with all other adults- as if it were actually a form of legitimate power.

The only widely socially accepted way for women to "express sexuality" is being sexually desired.  It's not always oversexed and overt; lingerie and bunny ears; sometimes it's just by the sitcom trope of 'woman witholds sex to make husband do what she wants'.  There is very rarely an accepted narrative of women desiring; of women actively lusting for lust's sake, seeking out sex not for a femme fatale seduction, but because she's into fucking.  There's rarely a narrative of sexually active women that doesnt' focus on those women dressing up sexy to do it.  And it isn't that dressing up to look sexy, or being turned on by being desired, aren't legitimate ways to be turned on; kinks are kinks.  It's just sick how widely accepted it is that womens' sexuality is only about being desired by straight guys.

This is part of the reason, I believe, that slash and yaoi fandom is viewed with such disgust.  It's jarring to see a form of erotica primarily created and consumed by women that has absolutely nothing to do with the desires of straight men, and why it seems to be such an outlet for queer women.  Unlike so much 'lesbian' porn, it doesn't put women on display for the consumption of straight men, and it doesn't involve straight sex.  Even though it's ostensibly all about men, it's a rare form of erotica that isn't all about catering to straight guys all the time.

Tangentially, my feelings on this subject were touched on when I wrote my female!Ciel AU fic, which focused a lot on her sexuality, and directly grapples with the trope that being sexually 'desired' (read- objectified) by men is an inherently arousing experience, even for a woman with heterosexual desires.  Ciel loathes being looked at with lust by men, and feels their lust as inherently linked to the widespread attitude that her beauty (just as her mother's beauty was regarded) is all she's good for.  She knows that her social power is constantly compromised simply because she's a woman, and she has to fight to maintain a position of power and respect.  She also knows how sex can be used as a weapon against her, and has unfortunately experienced the worst of that.  She expresses her sexuality through fantasies about Sebastian, because she knows she has absolutel control of their relationship, which is still present even when her fantasies are about him being rough, dominant or violent.  Even though she fantasizes about a sexual dynamic that fits into the accepted narrative of female submission, she is in absolute control of the situations, both over the theoretical Sebastian, and Sebastian in reality, and in that sense, it is subversive and empowering for her.  (In that sense it also kind of hits up a meta commentary regarding rape fantasies contrasted with actual rape, especially relevant as Ciel is a survivor herself.)

Don't fear the polka-dot: A Valentine to thoroughly questioning sexism

A while back on ONTD_F, a tumblr post was linked. ("Don't Fear The Dowager: A Valentine to Maturity")  It's a rather short piece by a writer from Jezebel, and it talks about trends toward the infantalization of women largely through the aid of many childish hobbies and styles well beloved by hipsters.  While there are some very real conversations to be had about the social tropes of women as childish (and the fetishes ensuing from there), and the very subtle pressures of self-degradation and encouragement of women to make themselves less intimidating in order to not scare men away, and the ways those trends can manifest from those attitudes, but this article didn't effectively touch on any of that.  What it became instead, was a lot of bitter mis-aimed ranting, largely aimed squarely at women and making all sorts of assumptions about why women do what they do.

Not only does she make the ridiculous (maybe satirically hyperbolic, but no less awful) assumption that all of these kitten-loving, ribbon-wearing, cupcake-baking grown women are all "In it for the peen" (Lesbians aren't into this stuff apparently), but she also puts the cart before the horse in berating women who she perceives as degrading themselves through these childish chosen aesthetics, rather than bringing into question the social norms that might lead to these things being popularly seen as attractive and non-threatening and therefore suitable for women.

She confuses the accessories of infantalization (Etsy jewelry, pastel jumpers, whoopee pies, all things that aren't necessarily degrading and are perfectly legitimate things for adults to enjoy in an independent context) with the concept itself.  I've seen this a lot in feminist discourse; taking tropes commonly associated with sexist forms of oppression and vilifying them and the women who employ them, whether or not those women actively choose those tropes and accessories independently and freely. 
This happens a lot in discussions of porn, the sex entertainment business and sexuality; once again putting the cart before the horse and seeing inherent degradation in things that can indeed be honestly enjoyed by adults.  This isn't to conjure up the often mocked "Any choice a woman makes is a feminist choice" brand of feminism, which is a problematic thesis in itself, but a lot of this sort of rant is completely misguided anger and a failure to address the actual problems.  In the porn discussion, a lot of the criticism comes off making it seem as if certain types of clothing, makeup or sex acts are inherently degrading- making those things the center of conversation rather than the problematic chauvinistic themes behind a lot of pornography and its marketing system, as well as the very real issues of human trafficking and commodification of human bodies.  These things not only miss the point by failing to engage with the nature of the sexism in the porn industry, they also actively degrade the sex workers within the industry and helpfully let all women who enjoy those degrading things (Like facials, or anal sex, or S/M, or pole dancing, or 'stripper heels') that they're doing their sexuality wrong.

And that's ultimately what Julie is saying here:  "You're doing womanhood wrong".  This becomes clear at the end when she suggests that women who adopt this manic-pixie cutesy personality (ignoring whether or not this is an adoption of trends and not an individual's expression of personality) make it easier for men to disrespect them. 

And there it is; blaming sexism on women for expressing themselves in the 'wrong' way.  And the fact of the matter is, if a man is going to treat a woman in a sexist manner because she is wearing a miniskirt and converse rather than a pencil skirt and pumps, then he probably didn't have respect for her to begin with.  Among the associations of frozen yogurt versus wine and dinner-dates versus walks in the park as inherent signals of liberated womanhood versus degraded pseudo-girlhood, the actual issue,- socially enforced sexism by men against women,- is left woefully untouched.

(Picture of "Fro-yo" because it is more delicious than wine, and arguably healthier too.  Choosing this over alcohol is what my womanhood looks like and I regret nothing.)

(no subject)

This is Grell, the conservative librarian.  She is very reserved, modest, clumsy, a terrible fighter, and is sometimes prone to crying fits.  She believes in keeping things strictly professional, and always treats her co-workers accordingly.  Although she is too shy to initiate anything herself, she’d like a boyfriend who is kind and chivalrous, with whom she can enjoy wholesome quiet activities.  Her favorite color is brown.

(Just doin’ a makeup test.  Still need practice with those Garbo-style eyebrows.)

(Speaking of eyebrows, anyone do the eyebrow-gluestick think to conceal and paint over your brows?  If so, any tips on how to keep it smooth and non-crumbly.  It looks good enough from a distance, but up close looks pretty iffy.)



(no subject)

I'm super sleepy, I have naught but a bicycle, and there's 7 miles and a possible thunderstorm between me and work.

Guess who doesn't want to go to work today!